August 2004 Archives



Man did it suck to be me.

I was so excited yesterday because of my BBTS package supposedly arriving I didn't think the UPS guy wouldn't just leave it like he normally does.

Instead there was just a note saying a signature was required!!! Ack!!! What's even more upsetting is that they often show up after 4pm or so and Matt or I are usually home by then.

Must be a big ass package.

However, even though I didn't get my Nippon goodness Eric Nassau stopped by and surprised me with a mint condition 1987 Headmaster Horrorcon Snapdragon and a mint condition 1986 Wreck-Gar. Both with the boxes too!!!

Eric rocks the balls when it comes to giving me his old yet beautifully maintained crack.

This puts the plastic crack total at 674. I'm edging ever closer to that magic 700!


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Hmmm. Does Plastic Crack™ become Plastiksprung™?

Or Fente en Plastique™? Crepa di Plastica™?

Or maybe Rachadura Pl�stica™? Or how about пластичный отказ™?

The great debate begins!


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Yay!!! My Takara Robot Masters will be arriving today!!!

Not that any of you care.

Perhaps I'll manage to come up with some non-crack entries later.

I know how much you all love my pointless obsession.

671 and 29 to go!


Ugh. Twenty-nine TFs away (including those in transit) before I join the 700 Club.

The Fabulous Jen™ wants me to throw a 700 party when that special moment arrives.

Theoretically, it'll happen sometime right before December 2004 or January 2005 pending Hasbro actually getting shit onto the shelves.

I am such a loser.

17 outta 17!



M informed me by way of L moments ago on AIM of a quiz at BBspot!

Prescription Drug or Transformer?

I got 17 outta 17! Booyah!!!!

And you got how many? C'mon. Don't lie to Nala. I'll know if you are lying!

Binaltech Tracks is in da haus! Booyah!

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Binaltech TracksThere's nothing quite like having a totally shitty day at the old Job Of Love and then coming home to packages from Big Bad Toy Store and Amazon sitting on the porch beckoning you to open them.

And all I have to say is Binaltech Tracks is in da haus! Booyah!

Oh. And so is that sure to be shitfest Dune prequel that finally hit the shelves.

Oh Tracks... how I long to open your imported goodness.

Alas, since you found your way to my attic from the islands of Nippon you are not to be opened until your plastic Hasbro blue Tracks brother arrives soon.

Oh. Binaltech and Alternators. How I love thee. Let me count the many ways.

Primus grant me the serenity...

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Here's an example of why I call it plastic crack�.

Note the price.

Now I'll admit this is quite frankly a plastic crack addict's total wet dream.

I'm moist even at the thought of this.

For $1,525.00 I could do a whole lotta repairs on the house!!! Ack!!!

Halloween 2004

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Trypticon Crush!!!

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TrypticonWell... my being a Mister Impactiont and all finally paid off.

There's nothing quite like a large motorized Decepticon dinosaur to make your day.

Really... there isn't.

He's surprisingly in good shape and his electronics fully work. I'm only missing the small "car" which I will hopefully be able to pick up at a non-addict price.

It is true... Trypticon does indeed "crush".

First real ebay problem ever...


So on July 14 I won an auction on Ebay for a Trypticon, a large motorized Decepticon from way back in 1986.

I paid via Paypal within minutes of winning the auction, trying to be a good buyer.

The seller is listed as a "power seller", and had a decent rating, so I didn't hesitate to bid since this is the only kind of info one can go buy.

Two weeks went buy and I hadn't received any package or email. During that two weeks I sent several emails requesting a status of this via the Ebay system. No response from the seller.

On July 27, 13 days after I paid for the item, it still had not arrived and I sent an email via Yahoo account.

I received the following response...

it was shiped us mail some time a couple of weeks ago let me check my records and see if i can find out if my wife sent it ups or if she sent it usmail if it was ups ill see if she has a tracking number sorry i havent checked my email for a whlie ive been trying to catch up i get so much spam its annoy and a wasrte of time any whay ill let you know as soon as i see my wife this evening thanks
Note: The lack of correct grammar, spelling, and even punctuation are exactly as the seller responded.

First off... I paid for an item that the seller sold. I don't need to hear excuses about spam or anything else. Once payment was sent, the seller had the full obligation to complete the transaction per Ebay's Terms of Service.

I didn't hear back from the seller again. I waited patiently as he clearly stated he would get back to me.

Last night, 27 days after I paid for the item, I sent another email stating that nothing had arrived and I was going to request a refund from Paypal.

I got this response this morning...

heres your tracking info sorry my wife went in to labor and there were cop[lications so i wasnt able to respond it shows rescudled for the 12th as pay pal for a refund all you what i can prove it shiped and status of delivery and if you refuse the package well have to see what they what to do from there good luck with pay pal they dont side well if your shiper proves the idem is shiped im willing to go thew thew the hoops mister impactiont
Once again, the lack of correct grammar, spelling, and even punctuation are exactly as the seller responded.

Now previously on July 27 the seller said it had been shipped and all.

Of course, looking up the tracking number that he finally provided to me shows it didn't leave until August 3, 20 days after I paid for the item.

I then get more excuses about a wife going into labor and such.

My favourite is how it ends with the "mister impactiont" part.

Now I ask you my loyal readers... am I out of bounds here in giving somebody several weeks to get to me something I paid for in the middle of July?

I am not the one that didn't respond to 3 emails between July 14 and July 24! I am not the one that didn't do the follow that I said I would do on July 27! I am not the one that implied the item shipped after July 14 when in fact it didn't ship until August 3!

I don't feel even remotely at fault here considering I paid for the item immediately after purchase.

I know there is always a risk of problems with Ebay. I had a minor problem with a G2 Megatron as well, but that seller ended up being much nicer, responsive, and then sending me the item 2-day shipping because it was clearly their fault.

God. If I ever sell stuff on Ebay, I promise I will be organized and clearly get items out within 2 days of payment clearance as well as communicate with the buyer of my crap. I'll also send everything, regardless of size, via UPS so that both I and the buyer have a true way of tracking the package.

I think that is the bare minimum that should be expected of an Ebay seller.

OTFCC: The ending


Ok. I promise this will be my last OTFCC 2004 post.

Just wanted to get the gallery of pictures up that I took.

And thus, this trip comes to an official close.

OTFCC 2004: Day 2

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Day 2 of OTFCC began with an overpriced breakfast buffet at the Holiday Inn and there wasn't even sausage on the damn thing! Cheese blintzes and Eggs Benedict does not a breakfast bar make.

But anyway, we headed back across the street and continued to go over the various dealer's wares.

I managed to score some amazing PVC finds, especially for Takara Japanese only figures. (In fact, I think if I count my PCVs, I'd have over 600 figures in the Attic of Love� lists.)

Masterforce OverloadPVC-wise, I snagged a Masterforce Overlord, a Masterforce Minerva, a Wheeljack that Brian D. gave me, a G1 Omega Supreme, and a Battlestar Convoy, the reborn Convoy (Optimus Prime) of the Japanese continuity. He rocks the balls I tell you!!!

Stunticon WildriderNow I still had a few minor things I needed and spent the good portion of the day trying to find a vintage G1 Stunticon Wildrider, a missing leg to my mostly complete Menasor.

There was only 1 I found and it was $25. I looked and looked and looked and could just not find any.

On a whim, I went back to the guy that I got such great deals from the previous day and asked him if he happened to have a Wildrider since the guy had tons of stuff still in boxes under the table.

Low and behold... he had one and he only charged by $7!!! Alas, moistness overcame me because now Menasor has a proper leg.

MegazarakAnyway, I originally wasn't going to buy one of the convention exclusives since I'm not much of a fan of the original mold (Armada Megatron), but I thought Matt seemed to like it so I purchased the 'con exclusive Megazarak for $50. He'll stay in the box.

I really should have gotten last year's exclusive Sunstreaker and Sideswipe, but I just don't want to spend the cash yet on them.

As Day 2 dragged on, there continued to be dealers who kept lowering prices or wanting to make deals.

I managed to get the Car Robots Spychangers so that kinda rocked since I have almost complete RID lines. I figure getting the Car Robots versions will allow me to have a new niche to collect so what the hell.

Finally getting a hold of the Fabulous Bethany Power, we agreed on meeting in an hour and I putzed around, looking for this or that.

And now... I can reveal to you what may just be the single greatest purchase of the show. The bot that I've wanted for years. The bot that I prophesized in March that I would one day finally own.

Omega Supreme
Yes. Omega Supreme now resides in the Attic of Love� where he will spread goodness and joy for all the world to behold.

No doubt you are sitting at your computer or laptop and saying to yourself "Indeed. Nala is now blessed. Omega Supreme, in all of his massive glory, resides in the Attic of Love�. Great joy and happiness will now be experienced by all. And love will rule the Cowlands. Forever. And ever. And ever."

And thus OTFCC ended for Nala.

A bit over budget, but happy nonetheless.

I then traversed the sea of geeks and low and behold, awaiting me upon my return to the Holiday Inn was The Fabulous Bethany Power and her sister, Kate Power.

Those in the know are aware that these two are the sisters of frequent commenter and former nala-roomate Max Power.

We drove around for about 45 minutes in what I'd consider god-awful horrible traffic in and around Chicago suburbs looking for a pizza dive.

Alas, nothing.

I finally just said to go to the Outback Steakhouse that we drove past 40 minutes early and we had dinner.

It was great to be able to see Bethany P. prior to her leaving for graduate school in England.

Brian D. and I eventually returned to O'Hare and said our fond farewells to OTFCC 2004.

I am not sure if I'll go again.

OTFCC 2004: Day 1


Well, Matt and I picked up Brian D. at 5am Saturday and we headed to the Cowtown Air Transportation Vehicle Launching facility.

A couple of hours later and one time zone later, we made it to our hotel.

Unfortunately, with the hotel totally booked, we couldn't even check-in until after 3pm. At least were were able to leave the luggage and bags with the bellguy (I think bellboy sounds just too gay!) and head over to the 'con.

I'll admit that it was quite impressive to walk in and see 15 or so tables for Big Bad Toy Store (BBTS), my favourite online plastic crack acquisition site.

Actually, I'd have to say that BBTS had probably the best display and presentation of anyone, including Hasbro's rather spartan center booths.

Now we wandered around and checked out every dealer.

Protectobot GrooveThere was one guy, a rather young guy actually, that I actually got some of my best deals from. He sold me a practically mint vintage Protectobot Groove, a fair vintage Protectobot Streetwise, and a complete and near mint vintage Protectobot Hotspot, which allowed me to complete an one of my favourite combiners Defensor.

I picked up a cute Shockwave decoy, as well as an Actionmaster Shockwave.

08-02-04-laserwave.jpgNow Shockwave is of course one of my favourite, if not all-time favourite, characters in TF. And I decided I couldn't wait for Hasbro to get his damn modern incarnation of Shockblast out so I bought a Tarkara version... Laserwave. Sure he was a bit pricey, but he's an import and his packaging kicks the proverbial Hasbro ass!

Picked up a few other things here and there this day as well.

Also attended the Hasbro panel, in which Hasbro, purveyors of addictive plastic, discussed the future of the line for the remainder of the year, as well as what 2005 will hold.

Some cool shit, like the return of real gestalt combiners like in the 80s, as well as some news of licensing of new vehicles for the realistic, and quite frankly best ever, line called Alternators.

Of course, the Q & A session got out of hand when the extreme fans asked really stupid questions that have been asked over and over again from previous years.

While the director of marketing for the Transformers line tried to not be insulting, you could tell she just wants to come out and say "Look people... this is a toy line for boys... the decision making pretty much has to do with what will sell to kids... not you adult losers!!!".

They'd never say it of course. The addicts are probably 40%, maybe even 50%, of the sales of the crack Hasbro purveys.

But you know they want to just come out and pull a Shatner and say "Get a life!". (Well... even I do... and I'm a plastic crack whore!!!)

Alas, as Kelmeister had hoped, there was no Dr. Who geekage there.

08-02-04-getter.jpgBut... *drumroll*... there was some totally awesome Shin Getter Robo 5" PVCs of my favourite 70s bots.

I picked up a Getter Dragon, Getter Ligur, and Getter Poseidon, my faves from the era. I even got a Mazinger and Grandizer too. For PVCs, they are sweetness and moisture creating. I do believe my panties got all in a bunch when I saw them.

Later that night, we had dinner at the hotel restaurant and it was actually very very good. I was shocked at how much better the food was here at this Holiday Inn than the other hotels I've stayed at.

Brian called it a night and went to watch a movie on Crack-Priced Hotel Movie Rental� and I decided to head down to the bar.

I spent the later part of the evening consuming 4 Black & Tans (non-hoont variety), smoking massive amounts of cigarettes, and just people watching.

Not the best of evenings, but hey... it worked for me!

Brian D., who was the primary motivating factor for me to go to OTFCC, just emailed me a link to an Ebay auction for the Hasbro give-away exclusives at the 'con.

Now understand all you had to do was fill out this survey and you got these items.

The exclusives in question are the cheapest possible item Hasbro could have done: Energon spears (Japanese sample? in translucent blue and purple.

At most, the cost to Hasbro for these things is about 2-3¢. Maybe a couple of pennies more for a simple bag and the dumb ass printed instructions, which could have been left out.

Now while I am clearly stating how lame these give-aways are, I consider it to be a smart tactic on Hasbro's part. Produce the simplest stupidest cheapest give-away, have your adoring captive audience at hand, do a marketing survey, and then make the captive geeks feel like they are getting something "special".

Now a repaint mini-con or G1 mini-bot would be "special". At least they represent something that actually transforms.

Anyway, my gripe with it that these attendees, myself included, spend thousands of dollars over time on Hasbro's products. Many people spent thousands of dollars just at the damn convention!!!

And the special sorta-kinda "thank you" to those who went out of their way to attend the 'con, spent money to get in, spent money to travel there, and will continue to spend money on Hasbro products, get the cheapest simplest possible freebie that Hasbro could do.

It just kind of pisses me off. Hasbro should have done something a little more substantial for the fan base.

Anyway, back to that auction which was the whole point of this entry but I had to get here with a bit more info for you non-plastic crack addict readers.

Many of the vendors/dealers startedoffering $10 for the two damn freebies if the geeks would just part with the things. I had packed up mine in the suitcase at the hotel, so unfortunately I couldn't sell 'em off.

Now already on Ebay there are auctions gouging collectors. This auction had a starting bid of $12.50 and ended up going for $38.77!!!

That is insane!!! We are talking 30¢ worth of product here folks! 30¢!!! And people are paying almost $40 for the shit!!!

Do you see why I call this shit plastic crack™?

TF geeks are willing to plop down insane amounts of money to get our fix, regardless of the true value of the dope we need!!!

Now I would never have paid for the things. I took 'em because they were "convention exclusives", but I understand that beyond the fact that they are not for sale in stores, the things have practically zero value.

Anybody in their right mind, of course I am excluding most TF geeks here, would look at these things, see how much people are willing to pay for them, and just realize what a sorry lot we are.

Insanity I tell you. Insanity!!!

Well... I'm back from this year's OTFCC. I had 2 extremely long days of pretty much non-stop walking around and around and around the dealer rooms.

Yes. I spent more than I had planned. My rationale? Well, it isn't every day I can find obscure 20 year old items that I want so I basically said to myself "why the hell not?" and bought things. I shall be refraining from ebay for several months to balance out my crack budget.

I'd have to say that on the whole, the event was an ideal place to people watch and train my bitter and jaded eye on geekdom as a whole.

Yes. All the stereotypes were there, and in full force to boot.

Now one interesting thing was that not only was there the big Tranformers convention, there was an even bigger (probably 4000+ people) miniatures gaming convention going on. Talk about a visual geekstravaganza!!!

On the whole, the OTFCC con was a mediocre event, and I lay the fault for this directly at the feet of 3H, the company that ran this event.

Disorganized and unprofessional, many things gave me the feeling that these people are just fans who really don't have any concept of true event planning on the scale that this needs to be done.

Examples of this which utterly frustrated me and made me wish I was somehow involved in an official capacity to bring some sense of order and follow-up to missing details:

  • Past 12 Months - lack of real information about events and schedule
  • Past 12 Months - Useless website with no real organization or east to access information.
  • Past 12 Months - Inability to respond in a timely manner to anything.
  • Past 12 Months - Behaviour bordering on "fraudulent", considering hundreds of people have still not received exclusive merchandise that was paid for over a year ago.
  • Con Day 1 - Absolutely no signage, professional or otherwise, indicating there was a show. Hell, we confused the gamer con lines for the TF con lines.
  • Con Day 1 - An embarrassment of a registration/pass pick-up desk.
  • Con Day 1 - The waiting line of early arriving geeks being allowed to camp out in front of the registration desks, thereby making people have to walk over and practically fall on these losers who were all sitting on the floor.
  • Con Day 1 - Useless convention guidebook full of useless artwork from a comic book. The damn thing is supposed to be about events and where things can be found.
  • Con Day 1 - Hard to read hand drawn signage when there was signage. A simple b&w laser printed sign would have been perfectly fine.
  • General - No real information or advertising for some panel rooms.
  • General - No information area where update info, such as room changes or other cancellations, is posted.
  • General - No place to smack and shame extreme fan boys who ask stupid fan boy questions because they have no real life.
  • General - No way to ship items you buy if you are from out of town.
  • General - No decent maps or even clocks around.
Now I've been involved in a wide-variety of large and small scale event planning, even on extreme budgets, and there are just some basic things that I cannot excuse, especially from "officially" sanctioned events with this kind of attendance.

Oh well, that's enough for a first rant.

More later on geek fanboy observations, the hotel, plastic crack acquisitions, and observations on the concept of "captive audience" and evilness, and The Fabulous Bethany Power and she-who-was-formerly Kate Power.

Oh, and pictures too so you can laugh and taunt me about being a geek.

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This page is an archive of entries from August 2004 listed from newest to oldest.

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