Welcome to the next in a series of interviews with different Aussie Transformer fans. Last time we chatted to Paul, a near 20-year veteran of the Online TF community. Today we will be talking to JP – a younger fan of the genre who shows a real love of giant shape-changing alien robots!
Name or what friends call you?
State you live in?
How did you hear about www.bigangrytrev.com?
I’ve read a few of your reviews and interviews. Always a great read!
Transformers Allegiance, if you had one?
Your Techspec motto if you had one?
“Don’t stop until you’re the last one standing”
What existing, official Transformers character best describes you?
Hm, if I had to choose one character, I would say that Ultra Magnus would be the best fit. A strong and by the book warrior, that has some leadership qualities but would rather work on the ground to get the job done.
Which special ability of any Transformers character would you want to have for yourself?
I would really like to have the Insecticons’ ability to clone themselves. Would give me the chance to keep up and do all the things I want to do all at the same time.
How would you rate yourself on a C scale, C10 being MISB Mint perfection to the lowest C1 ‘junker not worth it even for parts’?
C8, Pretty good condition, missing box but have all the accessories
Fan/Collector since (year)?
I want to say 1999 when my brother introduced me to it but 2001 was when I really started as a kid. Fell out roughly around Transformers Cybertron and Dark of the Moon. Really got into collecting December 2016 when so many Christmas Clearance Sales drew me back in.
What drew you to Transformers, making you become a fan/collector?
My brother had a few G1 toys from when he was a kid. I remember playing with his Optimus Prime trailer and being a huge fan of Bumblebee. I really loved the mythos and lore behind each series and toyline. As I’ve grown older I’m really into the more obscure and side stories that help create the Transformers Mythos.
Do you think you will collect Transformers until you die?
Absolutely! The Autobots and Decepticons war will never end and they will need more troops for the shelves!
Were your family/parents supportive of collecting toys or did you have to hide your passion from them and friends?
Family is quite open to my collecting so when I swapped back into Transformers it was welcome. However they are beginning to notice the tubs and boxes coming in the mail. Friends love their own collections (Warhammer, Game Memorabilia, Star Wars etc) so this is my “thing” in our group.
Have you attended any fan-meets, Fairs, Conventions?
I attend most of the big conventions in Melbourne. I do take the time to stop by and say hi to the TCCA guys, see how things are and if it’s available, get membership on the spot. Will need to see the guys next time since I haven’t joined up for 2018 yet!
I have yet to attend a fan-meet as they always seem to fall on days when I have some type of event going on beforehand. Hope to head to one eventually!
Any creative endeavours with Transformers (drawing, writing, customising, etc)?
Oh boy! I’m a huge fan of the universe so me and a friend have been playing a Transformers RPG over the last year using bits and pieces from each series/reality.So I have quite a few dozen characters that I aim to eventually make figures of.
My main character is a Decepticon Gladiator named Treadcrusher who acts as a Decepticon Drill Sergeant that takes on new recruits and tempers them for the war before sending them to different Warzones and battle groups.
Regarding actual figures, I have created three of my bots so far. First up is Raidwave, an Autobot Communications Specialist and Conspiracy Theorist focusing on secret Quintesson plots both within the Autobots and Decepticons.
I also have made the main characters of the RPG: Gearzone and Warsmith. Gearzone used to be a guard on Garrus 9 before a Decepticon breakout destroyed his body. Warsmith is a former elite guard and Decepticon general who surrendered to the Autobots after becoming disillusioned with the Decepticon cause and Megatron. Here’s a pic of the two in their Wrecker Campaign colour scheme.
Favourite series/era/year, and why?
It would have to be Armada. It was the series that I was so invested in as a kid and I absolutely love mini-cons and the whole fight to control or save these little bots between the two factions.
Least favourite series/era/year, and why?
Bayverse transformers after Dark of the Moon. The trilogy was okay but Age of Extinction and Last Knight really frustrated and confused me with how weirdly humans acted towards the transformers and even the Autobot groups themselves. The movies had the Autobots become progressively more and more like movie Decepticons in their actions and disregard for life and property so there was very little justification for any of the characters or war anymore.
While I am not a fan of the movies, I will say the bayverse toys are amazing and I do love those bots. A personal favourite would have to be the scout class Hubcap and Depth Charge who remain on my main Autobot shelf.
Collect any comics (which ones)?
I collected the old Dreamwave Comics as a kid. Big fan of the Age of Wrath series before the big bankruptcy. Today I pick up the IDW Lost Light series each month. Likewise I am also a subscriber to the Definitive Generation 1 comic series so I can have a read of the original Marvel US and UK series as well as the early IDW stuff before the big renumbering back to 1.
Favourite Comic issue/story, and why?
Last Stand of the Wreckers is an all time favourite for me. I was always a big fan of the Wreckers and to see a story arc dedicated to the team and their final battle on the Prison of Garrus 9 was absolutely amazing and quite heart-wrenching. WRECK AND RULE!
Another contender would be the Dreamwave Armada ‘Worlds Collide’ story arc with dimension hopping heralds of Unicron wiping out different universes. Since Armada is my favourite series, it was awesome to see G1 bots go head to head with the Armada crew.
Favourite Cartoon episode/story, and why?
My favourite cartoon episode would have to come from G1. The Golden Lagoon. Seeing the Decepticons becomes so overpowered and indestructible was quite entertaining. Even when watching the episode I always get giddy when the Autobots are repelled and have to outlast the Decepticons to defeat them.
Favourite Character, and why?
My favourite character would have to be Punch/Counterpunch. Something about an Autobot Double Spy tricking Decepticons sounds amazing. Also, with recent FunPub stories, I like the whole idea that he may have started as a Decepticon Spy but the Autobot persona has taken over and he’s just in this morally gray world where he is not sure who he truly is.
Sexiest Transformers (robot) Character?
G1 Arcee for sure.
Which Transformers character would you want to exist for real?
I would like Armada Demolisher to exist in real life. He would be an awesome and loyal friend to hang out and just have to help when things get tough.
Approx TFs toy collection count (or give a range like 200s, 300s, etc)?
I…Hm. I think I probably have 300ish bots on me. They are all in different boxes that get cycled out to sit on my shelf every few weeks.
Sealed collector or out-of-packaging collector?
Out of Packaging! Free the bots from their cardboard and plastic prison! I can understand why people would want to keep them safe in the box but I think that people should go and have a play with their bots. Especially if they spend heaps of dollars on them to have them in their collection.
How much do you think you’ve spent on your collecting habit?
That is a very dangerous and thought provoking question. Probably far too much but hey, it’s a collector’s hobby so you are bound to spend a lot to fill out your collection.
Any rare/expensive figures in your collection?
A few Japanese exclusives I picked up while I was in japan earlier this year but nothing too special or rare. I actually am not a big hater of retools and repaints so if a simple construction green repaint of Scoop now flipped into a Decepticon, that will find a place in my collection.
What interesting Licensed Merchandise items do you have?
I also like little rubber figures so I own an old Soundwave Eraser. I’m also a big fan of the old Ladybird G1 books and they hold a very fond place in my heart and collection.
First Transformers toy?
That would be Robots in Disguise 2001 Two pack Spychanger Mirage and Ironhide. Two of my first bots and they still from a special place within my collection.
One toy you most want?
At the moment, I am looking at picking up a few random Combiner Wars sets but the most important thing I currently want is a G1 Punch/Counterpunch or the FunPub Botcon exclusives.
The centrepiece/favourite toy in your collection at the moment (and why)?
At the moment I am loving my CHUG G1 Cars. I recently picked up Sunstreaker, Bluestreak and Red Alert and they look amazing together. There’s also the Fall of Cybertron Sideswipe that I absolutely adore his giant path blaster and alt mode.
Favourite toy in your early years of collecting (if it was more than 10 years ago)?
Every battle that I had when I was a kid always featured the RiD Spychangers. Just having a wide range of simple, cheap price point bots were always awesome to have starting my collection and just having such great designs and colour variations.
Worst toy(s) ever in your opinion?
G1 Broadside. That thing is an absolute brick. Thank goodness for the Titans Return remake.
Toy(s) that were most disappointing when you got them?
I got a Movie 1 Scout Class Warpath. I thought the Alt Mode looked quite nice but then the bot mode was an absolute ugly mess. Which is honestly strange since I liked most of the Cybertron scout figures. More recently, it would be Titans Return Blitzwing where parts kept falling off out of the box. On the shelf he looks amazing but I don’t bother transforming him as pieces keep falling off or disconnecting from their housing.
Thoughts on gimmick and non-convertable Transformers toys?
Not a big fan of non-convertible transformers but happy with gimmicks. I know shelves are chock full of One-Steps and Simple transformation bots but people still buy them and certain gimmicks can be heaps of fun i.e. Power Core Combiners
Thoughts on unlicensed fan-project figures/accessories?
Transformers is honestly a weird world regarding 3rd party things. Before returning to Transformers, I was heavily into building Gundam/Gunpla. In that community 3rd party and KO kits are heavily frowned upon and often a source of tension within the community, so when I came back to TFs, I was amazed by how open and welcoming towards 3rd party/KO Oversize and Add-on stuff.
For my own thoughts, I do not mind them as they are quite interesting but on the whole they do not interest me due to their high price points and fragile nature. I love to play and transform my figures rather than having them sit on a shelf due to their price and fragile nature.
Thoughts on the Transformers Brand over the last five years?
Overall I think it has been a strong five years of TFs. Between the Prime Wars Trilogy stuff and the cartoons and toys on the shelf, things seem to be going quite well.
The same however cannot be said for the movie franchise and the recent news about the possible cancellation of further movies. While I may not have the most love for Bayverse stuff, I do hope a reboot occurs and helps revitalise the movie franchise into something awesome and coherent.
Which single TFs toy should every fan own?
Hmm, that is a tough one. I think everyone should have a G1 Bumblebee or similar minibot as these guys are always timeless and fun to just have sitting on your desk. For a more modern pick, I would say CHUG Thunderwing as that figure is just so well done.
Which Transformers toy/product would you give as a wedding present?
As a wedding gift, I think I would be Energon Omega Supreme or any of its retools as you need both parts to make it into its bot mode and a nice symbol of two coming together.
Got any other questions for JP? Pop them in the comments section below and I’m sure he will do his best to answer them for you!