♪MUSIC♪ Previously I did a video talking about my
favourite and frustrating toy buys of 2018 and that was a lot of fun but it was meant to
kick off a series of other toy related videos, which didn’t really happen until much later in the year. Mind you, my Instagram is full of posts talking about my
near-daily bargain finds and additions to the collection so if you ‘re interested I suggest you check
that out and click follow if you don’t mind. In any case I thought I’d do another one of these lists
because I had some amazing finds in 2019 as well as some not so amazing ones. Because there were so many to choose from
I’ve had to lay down a few ground rules: Stick to toys or high end-collectables that at least resemble toys AND toys that I myself bought, kept, and remain in my collection. Now they don’t have to be brand new to 2019,
they just had to be new to MY collection. Also, most of the prices I quote here are in Australian dollars,
so keep that in mind. This video is happening a few weeks into January because, as always,
my bargain hunting happens right up until the last day of the year. Alrighty. let’s start on a low note so we can alternate end on a high…
by Mondo Tees Well… This is familiar territory.
You’d think I’d learn but whatever! Last year I bought the Leonardo from this range for cheap
and in that first video I talked about how I really liked it overall but was let down by the QA issues given its exorbitant original price. Since then Mondo, as well as a variety of other big retailers, have reduced
their prices so it’s a little easier to swallow but not enough so. Anyway, I just happened to find an Aussie eBay seller getting
rid of his collection and so that’s where Donnie comes from. And if you’re wondering why he’s brown, that’s because it’s to match
the original colour scheme from the 1980’s figures by Playmates it was to encourage kids to want to buy more than one to complete the set,
which they might not have done if they were all the same colour. And *chuckle* I guess that’s kind of what’s happening here now.
*nervous chuckle* Donnie here does seem to be slightly better made than his brother Leo afterall Leo was the first one released in the range and one of Mondo’s first figures of its kind but quality wasn’t the issue here…
the back of his bandanna was missing. I contacted the seller and he replied a couple of days later saying he
simply forgot to put it back in the box and would send it out immediately. It took 5 polite follow up messages over the course of
EIGHT WEEKS for it to finally arrive from interstate. Seller claimed he sent it the first time but it probably just got lost.
He then said he would send another one from a figure he still had (which is really odd when you think about that). What puzzled me the most was that I had bought other figures from
this guy at fantastic prices and with little to no hassle. So this particular sale really soured me a bit. But um… But then again y’know I have half the quartet now sooo, um… Hmmmm? Ay? Ay?
From an annoying Ninja Turtles acquisition to a really cool one. DreamEx released a line of 1/6 scale figures in their own original
Ninja Turtles designs and I didn’t mind them, they actually looked kinda cool. Unfortunately, for my money they weren’t exactly $400 worth of cool. They released the four turtles as well as Casey Jones and The Shredder
but by the time they got to April O’Neil, and I may be slightly off on this, they apparently lost the license? With the figure already manufactured and set for release they did so
without any of the TMNT names or branding on the boxes and renamed her “Newshen”. did not pay full price for this figure, instead I found an incomplete
one on eBay from a Chinese seller for less than $50… that was a no-brainer! I’ll admit, had I paid the original retail price I probably would have
been disappointed with “Newshen” here but she was such a bargain, we go from an “okay, decent enough figure”
to a somewhat impressive April O’Neil It’s funny how that works! The iconic yellow jumpsuit is well made covering the
somewhat standard quality main body and the few accessories she came with are okay too consisting of a
microphone, video camera, and turtle communicator. *chuckle* I did have to recreate her press pass though, which was fun to do and while I could have done with alternate hands to help hold things,
I was definitely not in need of the folding chair and alternate head, which depicted her gagged. The running joke of the original cartoon is that she was always
a damsel in need of rescuing (because kids cartoon, of course) but it makes me cringe that anyone thought it was a good idea for
collectors to try and recreate it. One of my favourite parts of this figure, although it’s not quite 100 percent there there is a sense the designers were trying to emulate the likeness of Megan Fox,
who was cast as April in those god awful recent live action Ninja Turtles films. (ironically, she was one of the only things that made sense in that movie) What’s really cool is she seems to fit right in with the
Mondo Turtles more so than the ones DreamEx made. Geez, now I just need to get the other two turtles to complete this set…
My curiosity simply got the better of me especially as a Star Trek fan. Unfortunately, the two boxed figures were missing their phasers, which sucks but that’s not the reason it’s made the frustrating list… these figures are rubbish! Okay I’m being harsh but… let me explain:
2010 was the tail end of Star Trek’s merchandising renaissance, led by Diamond Select’s popular range of replicas and figures. That was also around the time in the upswing in popularity of
high-end 1/6 scale figures with Hot Toys pretty much leading that charge. So of course other companies wanted to chase that trend. Dragon Models are a Hong Kong based company better known for their 12 inch military figures. Never heard of them? That’s fair enough.
They didn’t do themselves any favours with this range either. Crappy proportions, average cut to the uniforms, and not even trying when it comes to
recreating the likeness of the characters, it makes the originally announced $200 retail price such a kick in the balls! I got all three of these for about 70 bucks, which is roughly how much
ONE of these figures got for online these days but I’ve also seen people try their luck in the hopes that some buyers ill
confuse these with Hot Toys and their pricey contemporaries. In all fairness Dragon Models may not have had to rights to the likenesses
but if you look at their other licensed figures there is a pattern to suggest they they were either incapable of such or simply didn’t bother at all. When you compare the Dragon Models Picard to the awesome version made by Quantum Mechanix,
the gulf between them is staggering! Even the Playmates release from 1998 is lightyears ahead of Dragon’s efforts. (VOICEOVER) I, um… I don’t even know where to start with Worf. *GROAN*
Let’s move this out of the way. I recall I was having a particularly bad morning when out of the blue
I received a message from a friend on Facebook. She was looking to de-clutter and thought, being a fellow Halo fan,
I might be interested in this.
This gargantuan one to one replica of the Covenant Needler as seen in Halo is a beast of a thing. It even dwarfs the Plasma Rifle laser tag replica from over a decade ago. When this was first released in conjunction with the 2015 launch of Halo 5
(which was fine by the way settle down) it was just way too exorbitant a cost for me especially for a prop that really didn’t rank as a major “must have”. But anyone who follows my weekly hunting on Instagram knows I love a good bargain! Finally seeing it up close it’s quite a fine replica
even if it did sort of skimp on the paint work, opting to recreate the honeycomb pattern with physical texture rather than pearlescent paint. It’s beautiful when lit up, makes noises when you fire it, and the “needles” even animate and reload. when I got home after picking it up I discovered that the mechanism for the needles was not working at 100%. This isn’t anyone’s fault apart from maybe the manufacturer because this is a pretty common problem in this replica (of which 3000 were made) and there’s even a YouTube video by someone who had the same issue so I was able to gleam some info from that to help me fix it and get it back into working order again. It’s what I do!
Because I paid so little it didn’t bother me that much. Like I said, this is a one to one replica and so it was made for characters that are over 2 metres or seven feet tall it’s not really made for the average human even if they are all armoured up!
At first I thought that this indicated the figure had been repaired but then I realised that this was actually a common practice among owners of the ¼ scale range.
Or at least the idiots amongst them. These figures are actually quite heavy and are prone to toppling over primarily
because the ankles often don’t have enough friction to support them, so some people, the aforementioned idiots, glue the ankles in place.
And I HATE that! Nothing else about this figure is wrong or broken or missing but it’s just so annoying to have something like this ruin my ability to pose the figure the way I want to which is the whole point of my preference for figures over statues and the fact that I wasn’t told about it, is beyond annoying and frustrating!
places for surprisingly cheap and that was the spark I needed. So I went hunting for my favourite characters starting with Captain Picard
of course and although he was the original goal, slowly that expanded as I found more local retailers and individual sellers that had them for cheap
(like 20 bucks as opposed to $50 or more that many online sellers were asking). Of course I went for the prop replicas and ships too but that’s for another time. One of the more annoying things about Diamond Select’s method in releasing these figures is that many of them were either store or event exclusives or special mail aways in limited quantities and they can often end up rather pricey. Variant figures I can understand like this Data in command Red uniform from the episode “Chain of Command” (bargain auction by the way but repeat myself). As well as this Lt Picard in Science blue from one of my favourite episodes “Tapestry”. But then there was some strange attempt to have certain characters be exclusives
I reckon just to piss off fans who wanted to complete the crew. This became especially annoying when I decided to collect the TNG crew as they appeared in Nemesis (Nemesis was garbage by the way so I prefer to reference them as being from First Contact even if only two of them are technically so). There were two versions of Movie Data: proper Nemesis release that was based off of 3D scanned data
and a legit First Contact release. The latter was a bastard to find for cheap because the few times he would pop up sellers wanted close to $100 for him. Me being me, I found cheap loose ones for a fraction of that price… TWICE. Even harder to find was the exclusive LaForge often going for $150 new in pack.
But sometimes waiting for that bargain can be rewarding and easy on the bank account too Geordie was part of a interstate job lot for less than 50 bucks! To help finish the TV series set, one of the last figures I bought was a hard to find
mint in pack Barclay that a seller on Gumtree just so happened to have for about $15. The most interesting find was from the beginning of 2019 when I found this loose and complete Q,
from a joblot of random accessories left over when the Gumtree seller sold off the actual figures. The reason this makes the list is because 2019 is when I finally completed the TNG set
(as far as I know at least)…
but also because they POSSIBLY represent similar problems despite being separate transactions. The vintage 1985 generation one Dirge was won in an eBay auction for cheap and it was advertised as having most of its accessories
(even the often hard to find landing gear as seen in the photo). But wouldn’t you know it, the landing gear was missing when it arrived. Unfortunately, the seller ignored my follow up messages and seems to
have pissed off quite a few other buyers too and later disappeared altogether frustratingly the seller apparently lives only an hour away from me but I don’t know where exactly. It’s made all the more odd that the other auction I won from the same person was trouble-free. I spotted this G1 Ultra Magnus at one of the toy fairs and the seller specifically told me this was a genuine vintage Magnus
just with the missiles and launchers from a reissue version. That sounded a tad suspicious. So I ignored it at first but by the end of the day things were being discounted
and I was buying something else from them anyway so I decided to get this too. Later, a much more knowledgeable Transformers friend confirmed that the entire toy was indeed a reissue. This one has rubber tyres, painted faces, chrome where it need to and is made in Japan. This incomplete one has plastic tyres, no paint on the faces, missing some chrome parts and says “made in Macau”. That doesn’t actually matter apparently, it’s more to do with which factory it came from during that era. The release and re-release history of certain Transformers toys,
especially with all their running changes, makes this so frustrating. Due to the original moulds being used the original dates are going to be on there. I don’t have a problem with buying re-issues. I just like to know that’s what it is when I’m handing over my cash, I want to be told truth. Benefit of the doubt: maybe the person who sold me this was told the same thing.
But then why would you put distinctly re-issue parts on a genuine original? Call it a pet hate if you will, I don’t like to be lied to! And the problem is that jerks like me can not- no no wait – WILL not keep our mouths shut about such BS
vintage Ecto-1 toy at a Savers one night four years ago and it was only $5, which then led into finding the missing pieces for it. I browse eBay pretty much every night (I find it meditative) and I have a standard list of saved searches but only every now and then do I, on a whim, search for Ghostbusters toys.
One night I thought what the hell, let’s look for this firehouse. Previously, I had only ever seen this thing in the little catalogues that come with the toys
advertising the company’s other range of products. I had never seen one up close before. I did almost get to see one or buy one, a local Gumtree seller had one for sale but they wouldn’t bloody respond to their messages. I’ll admit, it took a quite a few months and a couple of failed attempts but I finally won an auction…
for less than $50 and it was only missing ONE piece! love this playset and being from 1987 I love how simple it is, there’s not too many gimmicks or noise, nor are there too many moving parts and it very much suits the figures
and vehicles it’s meant to accommodate. But apart from that honestly, I’m not sure what to say about it. Overall there is something so satisfying in having this in front of me, having it in my collection. Before we get to number one let’s look at a few dishonourable mentions… ♪MUSIC♪ Oh.. yeah, fortunately not a very long list.
It’s been a pretty bloody good year of toy collecting come to think of it. By the way, you’ll also notice that most of my frustrating candidates, bar one, are less to do with the quality of a toy and more to do with the negative buying experience. Most of the time I’m fine with bad or average toys if I spend very little on it. But one of the more frustrating parts of the hobby has to do with the … um… is there another word for lika a toy scalper?
And we fucking let this happen! As I said before, I had a pretty good year of toy hunting so I had great difficulty in narrowing down my list to just 5 favourites. And an honourable mentions list… that was too long as well and ended up sounding like me bragging about how cheap I got all these toys (which I do on Instagram anyway). Having said that, here’s a list of honourable mentions what will undoubtedly sound like me bragging about how cheap I got these for because screw it! ♪MUSIC♪
(VOICE OF DATA) “Fire photon torpedo!” ♪MUSIC♪
*CHUCKLE* If there ever WAS a contender for “grail item” then this might be it. There we were on the Sunday night after the Mega Toy Fair here in Adelaide, we had just finished dinner. I decided to check my messages and somehow ended up on Facebook Marketplace (because you know, spending the last two days throwing cash at other people in exchange for plastic crack wasn’t enough). Go watch that video by the way, I would really appreciate it. Anyway that’s where I spotted a bargain listing for a couple of Star Trek TNG playsets: The enterprise bridge and a transporter set. Now I only wanted the bridge playset because a previously I had already found a transporter complete and with box at the Brighton Market for only $15. Fortunately, I was able to haggle for a lower price and the entire transaction happened within half an hour on my way home from dinner! The reason this takes out the top spot is because I think it’s absolutely beautiful. Not only that, it lights up and plays sounds from the TV show. Love it!