Video Post: Transformers Gacha Arms Micron blindbags

Addaltmode open Gacha Arms Microns

We’re making good on our new year blogging resolution to try the occasional different post formats over the coming year, so here’s our very first video post! In it we are opening and discussing some Gacha-pod style blindbags containing more of those funny Japanese Arms Micron Transformers with which we seem to have a bit of an obsession here on Addaltmode! Did we manage to expand our collection with some of the toys we wanted, or — as is so often the way with blindbags — do we now just have a clone army of just one character? Check out our video and see…

So yeah, we’re not going to win any Oscars are we? But if we did, our speech would thank our pal Sadie B who helped us film and edit it, and of course the good and very witty Ashens whose YouTube channel we love, and whose hands-and-sofa ensemble style we ripped off, uh, homaged.

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Toy Review: Takara-Tomy AM-12 Breakdown (with Zamu)

Whether you collect plates, plants, plushies or, uh, plastic robots, if you’re a collector, the chances are you have a wishlist. Maybe it’s a mental list, something scrawled on the back of an envelope, or perhaps – like us here at AddAltMode – you have a spreadsheet on the go. But whatever the format, I’m willing to bet that most such lists contain a few  “dream on” items: the things you’d dearly love to own but doubt you ever will due to rarity, cost, age or a combination of all these factors.  Top of my Transformer wishlist for some time has been the Takara-Tomy Arms Micron Breakdown figure. But to be honest I never thought I’d really get him. The only times I’d ever seen him for sale at all here in the UK he’d been going for ridiculous prices as a double import (from Japan via the USA) and though I probably spend more than I should on Transformers overall, I couldn’t begin to justify (or afford) splurging so much on a single figure.

My Arms-Micron Knock Out had pretty much resigned himself to being partnerless too:

Breakdown really does cost that much :(

But sometimes love stories do have a happy ending:

Arms Micron Knock Out and Arms Micron Breakdown, united at last!

Arms Micron Knock Out and Arms Micron Breakdown, united at last!

Yes! Breakdown recently popped up on Ebay here in the UK, pre-owned but in superb condition and for a price that was not insane. My heart was thundering in my chest to an embarrassing extent as the final seconds of the auction ticked to a close, but I’m happy to say I got him and my wallet wasn’t crying afterwards.

Although he’s not a new toy I’m going to do a full review, because he’s not a figure that gets seen very often. It’s such a shame he’s not more readily available because Breakdown really is superb, both in terms of his design and his show accuracy.

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Army-Building with STEVE, XPNDBL & CANTFLY (Star Wars Fans Have it Easy)

Army-building is a slang term among action figure collectors which means obtaining and displaying multiples of the same action figure — usually one which represents a generic “trooper” rather than a particular character.

These statues were made with mix-and-match molds, so each one is actually unique.

Qin Shi Huang was the first Army-builder. (Photo of his mausoleum, from Wikimedia foundation, original here.)

Army-building seems to be popular among the Star Wars fandom. A quick Google search turns up thousands of images of fan-made displays, some of which contain hundreds of neatly-lined-up Stormtroopers with a a single Darth Vader & Emperor Palpatine (and maybe a couple of those red bodyguard guys) stood at the head of the group.

Guess what kind of action figure we army-build with here at AddAltMode: that’s right it’s a Transformer. The Vehicons from Transformers Prime – who are the show’s Stormtrooper-equivalents.

The Steve who looks thoughtful is wondering where his pal is, completely fooled by his disguise.

Vehicons! We’ve discussed them once or twice before.

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Toy Review: Fansproject’s Lost Exo Realm LER01-Columpio & Drepan

Hello Internet! Those of you who’ve read our report from Auto Assembly 2015 might remember that I said I’d bought a really nice third-party not-Dinobot-honest called Columpio, made by a company called Fansproject.

... honest.

Totally not a Dinobot.

Columpio isn’t a terribly new figure: indeed FigureFanZero reviewed him nearly a year ago. (Incidentally, I can highly recommend FFZ’s blog to anyone interested in collecting little plastic men/robots. He writes informative & witty reviews, and has diverse tastes. Also, there’s an index of his myriad reviews, which can provided useful info on a range of particular figures.)

Anyway, I thought I’d string together a little review of the figure; I paid much more for him than I would normally pay for a toy robot, but I think he was well worth it.

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Gacha Arms Microns

Here at AddAltMode we’ve spoken about Arms Microns before, and we’ve discussed the tiny Transformers characters that come in Kinder Surprise eggs, but we haven’t yet ventured into the wacky world of the Gacha Arms Microns – which were released in Japan, through Gashapon machines (Takara’s competitor Bandai actually owns the Gashapon trademark, so the Arms Micron capsules come from “Gacha”-branded machines).

Team Scream: Decepticon Starscream with Arms Micron スタースクリームブーメラン.

Because the machine effectively delivers the toy to the purchaser at random, these are similar to blind-bagged toys available in the West: you don’t know what you’ll get until you open it. They were released in Japan in 2012, but small numbers were imported to the UK (still in Japanese-language packaging), and a number of these found their way to Toys’Я’Us stores in Southwest England. Which is where I come in… Continue reading

Toy Review: Takara-Tomy AM-20 Ironhide (with アイロ/Ai-ro)

Ironhide is a name known to Transformers fans since G1. A solid, dependable, but surly and brusque old Autobot, he appears in most continuities as a long-time friend and lieutenant to Optimus Prime. He skipped out on Transformers: Prime cartoon, but it seems that in Japan, at least, he didn’t miss out on being part of the toyline.

 アイアンハイド (Aianhaido)/Ironhide comes in a box with no clear parts, so the picture is all you have to go on whilst he's MISB.

アイアンハイド (Aianhaido)/Ironhide comes in a box with no clear parts, so the picture is all you have to go on whilst he’s MISB.

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One Spoilt Robot: Customisations for Knock Out

I do enjoy spoiling the ones I love. This is why my 4 pet rats live the high life in cage designed for 12. It’s why I surprised B  last Christmas Day with the news that I was taking  him to Auto Assembly this year (our first time, so exciting!). And it’s why my toy of Knock Out – my favourite Decepticon – has a ton of customisation and actually more additional accessories than he can wield at any one time. Yeah it’s probably a bit over the top but let’s face it, if there’s one character from Transformers Prime who would appreciate a few aesthetic enhancements, it’s our Knock Out, and seeing as none of his toys really do the character justice he’s due a few perks at least.

So here’s a brief guide to how this Automobile Enthusiast got pimped….

Knock Out Screenshot from Transformers Prime Episode 64 "Synthesis"

“Because I’m worth it”

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