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How do you folks keep track?

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How do you folks keep track?

Postby shockwave00 » Fri Nov 30, 2012 11:47 pm

I just recently started collecting some of the more recent Transformers toys and have taken a real interest in it. I have recently acquired:

- ROTF Leader Optimus / Leader Megatron / Leader Jetfire / Voyager Fallen

- DOTM Leader Sentinel / Leader Ironhide / Voyager Optimus / Voyager Megatron / Voyager Shockwave

- Battle Ops Bumblebee (Metallic)

- Leader Starscream (the one with the tattoos, not sure but it might be associated with ROTF)

If I do say so myself, I think I've racked up a pretty decent collection. But looking around at all the other options is just completely overwhelming and confusing. How do you folks possibly keep track of all the different models that are out there? It seems like trying to do that could be a full-time job.

For instance, I've noticed things such as:

- Hasbro/American models vs Takara Tomy/foreign models

- Numerous different models that all seem pretty similar (for example, what the heck is the difference between Leader Optimus, Striker Optimus, Buster Optimus, Jetwing Optimus, and Jetfire Optimus? And how does Jetwing and Jetfire Optimus differ from the Leader Optimus + Leader Jetfire I already have, or from that dual pack that includes both Leader Optimus and Leader Jetfire?)

- What is the difference between the Transformers Prime Domestic RID Voyager figures and the Transformers Prime Import AM and Arms Micron figures?

- How do you keep track of what sizes ( Leader, Voyager, etc) are available for each version?

I just don't know how you guys do it. I'm interested in continting to collect, but I don't want to waste money on certain versions only to later find out that I should have bought a different version (like if I should buy a Prime AM and Arms Micron figure instead of a Prime RID Voyager figure; or if I should buy Striker Optimus instead of Leader or Buster Optimus; or if I should buy Jetfire or Jetwing Optimus even though I already have Leader Optimus and Leader Jetfire, etc).

So how do you folks keep track when you want to buy the best versions, not miss out on something really good, but also not waste money buying models that are essentially duplicates of each other? And what about deciding between a domestic version vs a foreign version?

Any advice to sort through the confusion?
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Re: How do you folks keep track?

Postby RAcast » Sat Dec 01, 2012 12:38 am

Motto: "Can't stop, so what! That's how I like it!"
Weapon: Rocket Launcher
shockwave00 wrote:I just don't know how you guys do it. I'm interested in continting to collect, but I don't want to waste money on certain versions only to later find out that I should have bought a different version (like if I should buy a Prime AM and Arms Micron figure instead of a Prime RID Voyager figure; or if I should buy Striker Optimus instead of Leader or Buster Optimus; or if I should buy Jetfire or Jetwing Optimus even though I already have Leader Optimus and Leader Jetfire, etc).

So how do you folks keep track when you want to buy the best versions, not miss out on something really good, but also not waste money buying models that are essentially duplicates of each other? And what about deciding between a domestic version vs a foreign version?

Any advice to sort through the confusion?


As for that, you just have to do your research! TFwiki.net is your absolute best friend. Use it, and use it often! Also, never hesitate to ask other members their opinions. You can always spark up a good discussion of the pros and cons of some of the FE figures vs. their PRiD counterparts, for a recent example.


- Hasbro/American models vs Takara Tomy/foreign models


The differences are typically just cosmetic. Takara tends to use more and better paints as well as more chrome, and die-cast in the Binaltech and Alternator lines, while Hasbro uses more average paint schemes and those lines were all plastic for Hasbro.


- Numerous different models that all seem pretty similar (for example, what the heck is the difference between Leader Optimus, Striker Optimus, Buster Optimus, Jetwing Optimus, and Jetfire Optimus? And how does Jetwing and Jetfire Optimus differ from the Leader Optimus + Leader Jetfire I already have, or from that dual pack that includes both Leader Optimus and Leader Jetfire?)


This one's easy. :) There's the original version of the mold, Rotf Leader Optimus. Buster is a retool that made the canisters on the sides able to form into a gun, among other small differences. Striker is the Dotm retool, with a new abdomen, gun, swords, and front grill extension/shield addons. Jetwing had some retooling and includes a giant jetpack like Optimus had in the Dotm movie. Jetfire Optimus is exactly what you think it is.

- What is the difference between the Transformers Prime Domestic RID Voyager figures and the Transformers Prime Import AM and Arms Micron figures?


1) The price! :lol:
2) The AM releases are remolded with extra ports and pegs for microns.

- How do you keep track of what sizes ( Leader, Voyager, etc) are available for each version?


Eh, you just remember stuff. There's nothing to that besides being involved and interested. :)
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Re: How do you folks keep track?

Postby SKYWARPED_128 » Sat Dec 01, 2012 12:54 am

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shockwave00 wrote:Numerous different models that all seem pretty similar (for example, what the heck is the difference between Leader Optimus, Striker Optimus, Buster Optimus, Jetwing Optimus, and Jetfire Optimus? And how does Jetwing and Jetfire Optimus differ from the Leader Optimus + Leader Jetfire I already have, or from that dual pack that includes both Leader Optimus and Leader Jetfire?)


Basically, they're just variations on a theme.

ROTF leader class OP = First of its mold, sold during the release of ROTF. Takara Tomy also released an identical toy in Japan.

Buster OP = Takara's "pimped out" OP, with silver paint apps and more detailed flames on the toy. Head is also remolded with an exposed mouth. Fuel tanks can now be combined to form his gun.

Jetwing OP = slight remold of ROTF OP (fuel tanks can convert into gun, swords removed for Gatling guns to plug in, back modified to hold "flight tech", "abs" and crotch remolded to replicate DOTM aesthetics). DOTM "flight tech" is included, hence the name--it's not screen-accurate,though, as it was made from an early piece of concept art. No additional paint apps.

Striker OP = Another remold of ROTF OP. Silver paint apps, with additional parts to form "stealth mode" in alt mode. The two parts convert into OP's shield and shotgun as seen in DOTM. Amazon exclusive includes a pair of energon swords that can be held on his hands.

Optimus/Jetfire set = Don't remember too much about this one, but the biggest difference is that OP has spring-operated battle hooks as seen in the ROTF forest fight instead of swords. Otherwise identical to original ROTF LC OP, or were there additonal paint apps? Pretty sure Jetfire has additional paint apps, though.


shockwave00 wrote: How do you keep track of what sizes ( Leader, Voyager, etc) are available for each version?


Keep yourself updated on seibertron with frequent visits, I guess, or browse some online toy shops.

Googling helps, too.

shockwave00 wrote:What is the difference between the Transformers Prime Domestic RID Voyager figures and the Transformers Prime Import AM and Arms Micron figures?


In a nutshell, Hasbro versions come (barely) pre-painted while Takara ones come with stickers for the owner to apply. Takara versions also come with simple model kits called Arms Microns that converted from robot or animal into the main figure's weapons. The Takara versions also have additional ports to mount weapons on.

All in all, you just have to lurk around different TF sites to keep yourself updated, or simply post a question and ask. Members here are usually more than willing to clue you in.

EDIT: Drat, RACast beat me to it... :BANG_HEAD: :grin:
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Re: How do you folks keep track?

Postby Mykltron » Sat Dec 01, 2012 6:00 am

Motto: "If I win again I'm still the champion. If you win HAH! that's just impossible.

Weapon: tea cup."
I keep track by writing down the names of the figures I want to buy. I've been collecting for a while so I'm only looking for new releases so I don't have as big a wish list as you!

If in doubt, ask. People here love to help. You'll get best result if you start a thread for one question. You've asked a lot of questions in this thread so some may go unanswered accidentally.
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Re: How do you folks keep track?

Postby Mykltron » Sat Dec 01, 2012 6:02 am

Motto: "If I win again I'm still the champion. If you win HAH! that's just impossible.

Weapon: tea cup."
Looks like you got plenty of comprehensive answers already though!

Anyway, welcome to Seibertron! Careful - it contains nuts.
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Re: How do you folks keep track?

Postby JelZe GoldRabbit » Sat Dec 01, 2012 9:38 am

Motto: "The only good is knowledge, and the only evil is ignorance."
Weapon: Dual Bladed Sword
Welcome to the boards, and the world of Transformers toy collecting. You'll be in for a pretty wild ride, so keep your appendages within your seat at all time. ;)

As for keeping track on what's what, there are several reliable sources:

- TFwiki for general knowledge
- TFU.info as a toy database and ID guide
- The Seibertron photo galleries for up close looks on toys.
- Several review sites. For the sake of being unbiased I won't be listed any, sorry

And of course us. Don't be afraid to ask us anything :)

Personally, I've made several spreadsheets of what's out there, complimented by original toy if it's been repainted or retooled. It was... exhausting and I'm behind on some releases. :shock:
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5) BW Convobat (red) & Megalligator (purple)

- Jelze Bunnycat =:3
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Re: How do you folks keep track?

Postby Nemesis Destron » Sat Dec 01, 2012 10:14 am

Motto: ""So you see evil will always triumph over good, because good is dumb!""
Weapon: Dual-Sonic Disrupter Gun
Spreadsheets huh? Well what ever it takes no doubt. Welcome to the fold dude, video reviews are really helpful to me when trying to make a decision on things especially on deciding between Hasbro or Takara releases. The Review Forum here is choked full of helpful reviews and videos so hope that helps you man. ;)^ :VEHI:
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Re: How do you folks keep track?

Postby RhA » Sat Dec 01, 2012 10:19 am

Motto: "BRING ME DANGER!"
The quickest way to get a grip on what's out there is to look at the main lines by year. It's certainly not all that's out there, but it gives you a good start.
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Re: How do you folks keep track?

Postby Shadowstream » Sat Dec 01, 2012 1:08 pm

Weapon: No Weapon
There are numerous means by which to "keep track" as those before have attested, but what it all boils down is:
WE'RE NERDS! :-B
MightyMagnus78 wrote:Nothing Hasbro does surprises me anymore, their ineptitude is legendary!

Burn wrote:
Shadowstream wrote:It's quite clear they dun dropped the ball, but did they have to drop it so far and so hard?

It's FunPub. It's their specialty.

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don't take that to mean I'm a killjoy just because I can be, though...
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Re: How do you folks keep track?

Postby craggy » Sat Dec 01, 2012 2:14 pm

I can't help much with the movie lines, having never been interested in that subsection of TF toys, but the Arms Micron vs Hasbro Prime Robots In Disguise issue is one I've paid a good amount of attention to.

The Hasbro figures have paint, and usually one, maybe two weapons included. The Takara versions have even less paint on them than the Hasbro ones, with the majority of the details added via stickers. The base colours of the toys are usually the same, or not very far off. The Arms Micron guys come with little Microns, usually instead of the weapons the Hasbro releases include. These come as a kit, but are pretty easy to put together. Again, there are stickers to add detail and colour.

I personally really like the Microns, but don't feel the official stickers are all that good quality, so for the main figures I prefer the Hasbro ones. Takara are releasing a lot of the Micron kits as single packs, via their AMW line. These are usually a different colour, and there have been some AMWs that have not as yet been packed with larger figures. I'd say that unless you're really keen on the particular colours of a Micron, it'd be best to hold off for an individual release of it in the AMW line, over getting a AM Prime toy over the RID one just for the extra. The AMWs are around $7 or $8 from online stores, which makes getting a retail Prime toy and a solo Micron still less-expensive than the whole AM toy imported. Even with the upcoming AMW 5-packs it's still a good deal, and that's how I'm getting the Microns.

Of course, there are some Arms Micron toys that don't seem to be getting released by Hasbro any time soon. Breakdown is one, as well as his repaint Swerve, the Jet-mode version of the Vehicon toy and the Gaia Unicron too. If any of those guys take your fancy the only option is to get an imported one. There is also the recently released Hasbro Thundertron, whose toy is being released in very different colours in Japan's AM line as a different character, Lio Prime. Similarly AM Starscream is coloured more like Skywarp than the show character Starscream, and there's an exclusive AM Thundercracker out too.

wow. that's a whole lotta info on just this past year's line. No wonder you're overwhelmed, if you're looking back at the last few years, and there's nearly 30years of TF history that you could get into as well. Good luck, shockwave00!
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Re: How do you folks keep track?

Postby Breakdown 2099 » Sun Dec 02, 2012 5:20 am

How do I keep track?
Seibertron toy news!
Also check out various toy stores like BBTS.com, toyarena, tfsource etc etc
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Re: How do you folks keep track?

Postby datguy86 » Sun Dec 02, 2012 9:07 am

Motto: "SHEEAGH!"
How do I keep track?

Spreadsheets and bar graphs; bar graphs and spreadsheets.

It's how I roll, dawg.
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Re: How do you folks keep track?

Postby Valandar » Sun Dec 02, 2012 11:53 pm

Motto: "It doesn't matter if the glass is half full or half empty, only that you work to make it full."
Weapon: Particle Beam Cannon
Another way to keep track is if somebody mentions a figure, odds are they're referring to the version in the latest toy line. For example, right now, "Voyager Optimus" probably refers to the Prime RID toyline (though with the FE reissues it might refer to that, instead).
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Re: How do you folks keep track?

Postby gavinfuzzy » Mon Dec 03, 2012 6:53 am

Motto: "Secrets are the foundations of success"
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Funny thing... I can remember all variants of transformers from the time I started collecting back in 2007.

I guess I just CAN remember it...

As for older stuff, TF wiki is your best friend. :grin:
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Re: How do you folks keep track?

Postby SJ21 » Mon Dec 03, 2012 10:38 am

Motto: "You don't know because you can't see me. Then you are dead."
Weapon: Sniper Rifle
I keep track of my collection using a spreadsheet. I have it divided up by line. I am also lucky enough to have a room to display my entire collection.

As far as buying figures goes, I figured out what I want in my collection. Then I set up some buying rules. As long as I stick to my rules, it makes my choices of figures pretty simple.
Check out my collection!

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Re: How do you folks keep track?

Postby triKlops » Mon Dec 03, 2012 10:43 am

Motto: "I’m the rising sun, I’m the new tomorrow, I’m the skull on the gun, I’m the song of sorrow; I’m the thirteenth arrow, I’m the wisest owl, I’m a soul-eating predator, I’m on the prowl"
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i will pretty much echo everyones comments about using the TFWiki as a resource coupled with Seibs galleries for cross-reference.
keeping track of my personal collection is done with Shmax.com; great record keeping resource and detailed info list.
click the banner on my sig to go to the site and create an account, if you feel inclined.
have used them for a few years and except for a couple of hiccups with the database when it was being upgraded, no problems.
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Re: How do you folks keep track?

Postby amtm » Thu Dec 06, 2012 10:22 pm

Motto: "I'd've written a shorter post, but I didn't have the time."
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I use a combo of memory, spreadsheets, and news on sites like seibertron. Before i fequented seibertron, i had no idea what was coming down the pipeline or when. Now i do. I simply note what i'm interested in with my spreadsheet and wait for the release, and a good sale. I don't catch everything i want but i also pay a lot less than retail on most things. That's really important for two reasons. First, so you can recoup your cost if you sell it later. Second, so you can afford all the other Transformers you want to buy!

I should add that there is no "best" version of a character or mold in many cases. It's a matter of opinion and taste. I'm generally willing to pay more for a substantially new mold than an altered paint scheme.
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