Friday, May 8, 2015

Dino Cassettes C-121 Gurafi/Graphy & C-122 Noizu/Noise KO comparison (Part 2)

Part 2 of the C-121 Gurafi & C-122 Noizu comparison
Now for C-122 Noizu/Noise….

Frony of the box: Top = Original; Bottom = KO
Artwork on the original, the tail should be seen, not just the tip of the tail.
The toes should be hidden behind the yellow title box. If you can see the toes on the right leg, it's a KO.

Side of the box: Front = Original; Back = KO
The artwork and on the side flap and the back of the box, as well as the top of the box, is the same as Gurafi…Arm of Decible should not go into the front of the box.

Back of box: Left = KO; Right = Original

Top of the box: Top = Original; Bottom = KO

Instruction sheet...


The instruction sheet is significantly lower in quality…you have to be blind to miss it.

Bio card: Left = KO; Right = Original
the differences are quite similar to Gurafi…here, the bio card is smaller on the KO. Original, should be near credit card size.

Inserts: Left = KO; Right = Original
Original insert shold have a square compartment for it's accessories and no grooves to "hold" the cassette.

Weapons: Left = KO; Right = Original
The interior of the weapon: you can see the dark base color for this piece. For the original, the chrome is even all round. Similarly, tis is not a sure fire way to identify KOs.

Both have the Takara'87 stamping.

Cassette: Front = Original; Back = KO
Lack of details in the head of the KO. i used this to identify KOs. There should be a line around the eyes and another line round the mouth of the original.

Cassette: Top = Original; Bottom = KO
Again, a significant lack of details on the KO.

Decible: Left = KO; Right = Original
The back of KO Decible cannot stay in place, tends to "lean" backwards, resulting in the instability of Decible, causing it to fall backwards....I had to help by holding onto the feet so that it will not topple over. The legs are loose, wanting to do Van Damme splits.

This is the catalog that came along with each cassette. Don't know if it should due there but since it inside…i'll just accept it!

Hope the comparison helps and will help someone out there in acquiring a set of these rare cassettes. The originals, really are a sight to behold and when you play and handle it, you will know that no KO will ever come close. My opinion is that i will never get a KO to "replace" a vintage piece.
The reason(s) why i would get an KO:
1) To find out how the KO look and what are the indications of a KO.
2) For customizing. (thoughts really been a long time since i last worked on a custom)

Now….Bring on C-123 Dairu & C-124 Zauru!!!!

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Dino Cassettes C-121 Gurafi/Graphy & C-122 Noizu/Noise KO comparison (Part 1)

After prolonged period of searching and hunting, managed to snag for myself the first half of the rare and elusive Dino Cassettes, C-121 Gurafi and C-122 Noizu.


Way before this, i got a set of the KO dino cassettes, for research purposes, wanting to make sure that i do not get a KO piece of the price of an original. I need to know the difference, not only the box, but the toy and inserts as well. I want an 100% original collector piece. As they say, to know your enemy well, is half the battle won.
Some research on the net and great help my my friend HD, (who has all 4 original Dino cassettes), i managed to memorize by heart some differences. So now, after scoring these 2 pieces, i'm showing those differences that one can judge straight by looking at one. No reviews on the original toy itself (well, maybe some praise for the original along the way) as a very good review done by my good friend on C-121 here and C-122 here.

First up: C-121 Gurafi/Graphy (Top = Original, Bottom = KO)
1) Wings must reach the edge of the box
2) The white japanese words at the bottom must be aligned to the right, not nearer to the centre.

There are other differences, but you can't differentiate unless you have an original on hand to compare. i will just name these 2, they are sufficient enough to judge the piece if its a KO.

Side of the box: Front = Original; Back = KO
1) Arm of Decible extends to the front of the box for the KO. On the original, the picture fits nicely on the side flap. This is the same for Noizu as well.

Back of the box: Left = KO; Right = Original
1) The artwork of Decible for the KO touches the edge of the box. For the original, the artwork is well within the white background.

Top of the box: Top = Original; Bottom = KO
Picture of Gurafi covers the top of the box, edge to edge.  i.e the wings touch the top edge and the feet touches the bottom edge. On th KO, the picture is not touching the edges at all. If you noticed, the angle of the photo then is different as well..


Bio Card: Left = KO; Right = Original
Significant difference in size of the Bio card. It should be almost the size of the box itself, near to credit card size. For the KO, about the size of the cassette.

Instructions: Left = Original; Right = KO

 Left = KO; Right = Original (apologies for standardizing the photo order!)
Instruction sheets are clearly identifiable, with the KO version having very pixelated pictures. It appears that the KO makers do not have an original piece to achieve a high definition scan. It looks like the instruction sheet was printed out from a picture downloaded from the net. It looks very unprofessional, even for a KO.

Inserts: Left = Original; Right = KO
The compartment for the accessories should be square. On the KO, both are rectangle, almost identical in size. Also there should not be grooves to "hold" onto the cassettes in the compartment.

Weapons: Top = KO; Bottom = Original
 The weapons are almost identical, very difficult to judge just by looing at the chrome. Look at the insides where chrome paint can't be applied. It seems that on the original, the base plastic is red and it's black for the KO. This is also noticed for Noizu. Not sure if this can be used to 100% judge an original.

Cassettes: Left = KO; Right = Original
 Rivets are bigger on the original. on either side.

Level of details are significantly lacking on the KO.

Cassettes: Front = Original; Back = KO
There should be a groove on the forehead of the dinosaur.

 Left = KO; Right = Original
Lack of details on the dinosaur head for the KO as shown in blue circle.

The KO piece has the Takara'87 Stamping as well. So we can't judge it by stamping, though there are some difference in the font used, no way to verify without an original.

All these being said, when you handle the KO piece, you will know the difference. Loose joints, not so easy to click in parts etc. The handling feel is totally different, this is unlike the KO Japanese Headmasters. But fortunately, the KO headmasters do not have the Takara stamping which makes it very easy to identify. (KO headmaster Lione comparison here)

But unless you have the opportunity to inspect at point of transaction/purchase, you have to base on the pictures provided. Very often the not, we make our purchases online, via forums, Facebook groups, ebay etc. You have to ask for actual photos of the item and not photos from the forums, other collectors etc. Push the seller to provide, you are paying premium for such stuffs anyway and we would rather be safe than sorry. Opportunities will come, i'd rather pass on a rare item (but unsure if it's original) then to jump into it without verification.

Next: C-122 Noizu comparison.


Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Fairlady Streaking Around...

Should have posted this for a long time….
After Starscream, Bluestreak is probably my next favourite G1 mold.
Nissan Fairlady car mode…very nice! 
Was poisoned time and time again by my good collector buddy who is the ultimate Streak fan.
I am now so poisoned that the only antidote is more streak….

 By advice, i managed to snag myself a pre-rub streak. Really an art piece, the quality and the feel of the pre-rub brings out the excitement in me. I still can remember the feeling very clearly when i have this piece in my hands, MISB…the feeling of opening up a 1984 Transformer toy, just like when i was a kid, the excitement… (except now i'm very much more careful)

Pictured here is the picture of the pre-rub streak, returned back into his box. Plastic prison? probably but i have a couple of streaks more, so i still get my taste of fiddling with streaks now and then.

Here are the other 2 streaks…the Commemorative Reissue Streak and the e-hobby anime (black hood) Bluestreak. Photos coming up next are pictures of the reissues.










Why is Bluestreak called BLUEstreak when it is not blue, one may ask. Even Bluestreak in the 1980s cartoon was silver and black hooded.
This has been explained several times in many forums and several blogs.  I shall not bore you guys further…


October 2014: I had the chance to visit my good buddy, Heroic Decepticon at his apartment in Hong Kong...yes, we managed to meet despite the Hong Kong protest.
really an eye-opener…His display is so cool that i wanted to mimic to my own display. Not to mention that his collection is second to none (exaggerating, yes…probably second to not many :D)

One of my main objective was to see the Diaclone Blue Bluestreak in the flesh and i did!

Here i am, holding the fabled Blue Bluestreak.

Had the chance to play both the Diaclone version as well as the GiG version. wait, and the Diaclone blackhooded streak as well. Damn! so many streaks he has!

So engrossed in playing with the cars, i didn't know he sneaked a few photos that caught me in the act.



Looking at these diaclone pieces really pushes me to want to own 1 of these and i have to step up to look for one…and especially need help of friends and collectors if they chance upon one…
The toy is very very solid, the fine details are painfully straight with well-cut lines. No regrets in getting one…ever.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Transformers Pre Rub Optimus Prime (Convoy) Finally!

Don't know if i should be ashamed to mention this…being a Transformers fan from the 80s, i've never owned a G1 Optimus Prime until 5 years go where i bought the 25th Anniversary G1 Optimus Prime…then i acquired the Grey and Red Bape Optimus Prime...these were the only G1 Convoys…i have never owned a vintage G1 Prime until now….

This piece, a used complete Pre Rub G1 Optimus Prime was acquired at the same time as the Decepticon Jets…In my view probably the best version of Optimus Prime for a G1 fan.
The box wasn't the best in condition, a fair bit of wear but good enough for me, good enough for a first time vintage prime owner like me….

Styrofoam is in good condition, almost pristine...

Here's the truck mode...

Robot mode…Best representation of the G1 artwork…bloated fists and weapons…Most important of all, the rifle matches the artwork, 1980s cartoon…later versions were released with a different, slimmer rifle. Diecast, rubber wheels and all…how could i missed this for all these years?!!


Yeah, bloated fists...



Another thing which stands out from other later versions…Roller comes in grey color which is similar to what shown on the instructions sheet…Also, a good representation…later Rollers come in blue color as shown on the first picture, the 25th Anniversary version...

Next thing about the trailer, the colored sides are actually metal plates, with the colors and designs printed on…Later versions come with stickers….This will not make a significant difference to most collectors whether the patterns are stickers or metal plates but to me, it is important as this shows that this version is the closest to the Diaclone Convoy, the first use of mold and design for Optimus Prime.
The metal plates serves a purpose for the little diaclone drivers where the magnets on their feet can keep the drivers stable by adhering to the metal plates...

IN all, i'm very happy with this version of Optimus Prime, not only being my first vintage prime but as the best version of Optimus Prime…Again, similar to my Decepticon Jets, this is also an opportunity acquisition…and i was not the one who found this opportunity, a friend led me to this and i can never thank him enough...