Monday, August 30, 2010

The end is just the beginning

So I ended up back with Photoshop to stitch together my photos. One side went fine, the other is a bit distorted on one end, but isn't terrible. It's been 57 days since I started the project. That's almost two full months from installing the first shelf supports to putting the final Prime in place. The current figure count (I don't call it "final", since that would be inaccurate... I'm still collecting, after all) comes to a grand total of:

945 Transformers

I didn't include the non-transforming Titanium figures or the half-dozen or so Robot Heroes figures I also have, but that's as close as I can come to an accurate count. So there you have it! The one number that stands out from my count is the number of Mini-Cons I have now. I've been collecting groups of them for quite a while, but I didn't really realize how many I really had until the spreadsheet gave me the total: 107 Mini-Cons... that's one ninth of my entire collection!

So that's it for the vast bulk of my installation project. All that's left is finding room for new figures as they're released. I have a feeling I'm going to need some extra shelf space in the near future, or have to sell off some of the less interesting figures. For now, I'm just going to breathe a sigh of relief that everything is back on display after several years!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Everything is on the shelves!

I put the final figure (a new Prime) up on the shelf about an hour ago. Since then, I've been trying to get photo software to stitch together my pictures so that I can get each wall in one shot... so far Photoshop has completely failed me, so it's on to other freeware options. First up is Microsoft's Image Composite Editor.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Out of Prime Real Estate

I'm finally down to just two full tubs of Transformers, which represent about half of my remaining collection. Which means that they must be the small to medium size figures to pack together that tightly. One should be my Beast Wars collection, and the other looks like my Armada/Energon/Cyberton figures. I can't remember if I left most of them in robot mode before packing them up, but hopefully I did. The time I'm taking to re-transform figures is still slowing me down the most. Even looking up the figure names doesn't take that long.

Last night I gathered up all of my Bumblebee figures, which were all in vehicle mode except for two. I still have three left to convert before I'm done putting them onto the top shelf.

Right now I have about two and a half shelves left open, all together. That includes a couple of feet at the ends of the two top shelves. What I don't seem to have anymore is room for my Prime/Primal and Megatron collections... I started the Primes on one side of a shelf and the Megatrons on the other. Last night I put my second to last movie Prime on the shelf and filled the remaining gap. I can still fit a few more in front of the other figures, if they're shorter. But for the most part, any new leader figure I get will have to go on a completely new shelf. I considered moving the Megatrons to the other side of the room, on their own shelf, but that would mean moving the other figures I already have over there... plus, it doesn't look quite as impressive split out that far. But it might still need to happen at some point. Maybe a year down the road I'll take the time to move them around better. For now, they can stay where they are.

My overall figure damage report was really low until a few days ago. There were less than half a dozen vehicles that had small paint scratches or rubberized parts that had been bent in a curve that needed to be straightened back out. But over the weekend I tried to work with my Generation 2 Jazz figure... the plastic they used for the front end didn't stand the test of time well at all. When I tried to pull the arms out to the sides, the top of the hood split apart, on both sides for both arms. Then the entire front end detached from the rest of the figure. So now he's in several pieces on my desk as I figure out what I want to do. My G1 Jazz is still discolored and has fairly loose joints, but it's still in one piece. I may see what I can do with some glue to put the other guy back together again. It's just a shame the plastic came apart so badly, as he's one of my favorite characters.

I'm glad that I can at least see the light at the end of the tunnel now. It's been fun to revisit a number of figures as I put them on the shelves, but it's also been a much longer process than I had expected...

Monday, August 16, 2010

Further along, but still quite a bit left

So I managed to get my Alternators on the shelf and moved ahead to the rest of my figures over the weekend. It's going faster than it was last month, but it's still slower going than I had assumed when I started the project. It looks like I transformed about half of my figures into vehicle mode, or at least partially into vehicle mode, when I packed them up several years ago. That means that it's taking me longer to transform them back into robot mode again before I can place them on display. I had to change every single one of the Alternators back to robot mode, so that, in itself, took most of an afternoon.

I'm also finding it a bit difficult to find the "taller" figures that I want to put on the shelves first, so that I can put shorter figures in front of them without completely blocking the one in the back. I have more and more of the "basic" size figures sitting on my desk, ready for placement, but not enough larger figures to place them in front of yet. I think the next tub of figures has a greater number of the big guys though, so hopefully that will sort itself out in the coming week.

So I finally got far enough ahead to be curious about the numbers... I've been cross-checking my figure names in my database as I put them onto the shelves, so I can get an accurate count of what I have. As of today, I have 341 figures on display. Not bad, just slightly over a third of my total collection in place now... but that means I still have two thirds of them sitting in the remaining tubs. At this rate I won't be done until November! Although, as it gets colder outside, I'll be spending more time on the project inside. I think I can probably get through the rest sometime in September, at the latest.


Monday, August 2, 2010

Pushed around by paperwork

I fully intended to sit down and convert all of my Alternator figures from vehicle to robot mode this weekend, then get them onto the shelves. However, after pulling all the vehicles out and setting them on the table, I realized that I probably needed the instructions for some of them. That led me to the cardboard box full of instruction manuals, and from there I ended up spending close to an hour sorting all of them out into their respective toylines/series.

By the time I finished sorting through them, I was running out of time for the evening. My wife and I are still working on the exterior of the house, and evenings and early mornings are the only times we can work without a heat advisory making it dangerous this time of the year. So rather than start the Transformation process for a bunch of fairly complex figures, I went the opposite direction. I opened up and displayed some of the simplest figures I own:

The Mighty Muggs Transformers figures are an artistic rendering of some of the more popular figures in the shows and movies. They don't transform into anything. They're just short, vinyl figures, all the same shape (with minor variations like Bumblebee's horns) with paint used to make them look like their toy counterparts. They've been out in stores for a year or more now, but at least half of them had never been removed from their packaging until yesterday. I've been collecting them because they remind me of my own Cuboyd Transformers customs. I don't think there are any plans for new Mighty Muggs Transformers figures at this point, though. So, this particular collection may be complete already. (NOTE: From this point forward, I'll be adding clickable images with a red border for photos that have larger versions you can preview.)

I did finally open up my last two Starscream toys from their boxes, to complete their lineup on my top shelf. I had the Leader class movie figure and the Alternity figure still waiting for display until the past weekend. It isn't a complete representation of all the figures ever released, but it's a pretty good grouping of them.

Since the latest "Hunt for the Decepticons" and "Generations" toy lines have started hitting stores, I've been picking up more new figures. I'm still trying to limit myself to just those that look interesting, since I still have hundreds of other figures that still need my attention... but there are quite a few interesting figures in this series, so I'm sure I'll be adding quite a few in the next month. I also finally have my hands on the Japanese Takara/Tomy release of Blaster as a fully-functional USB hub! This guy was announced over a year ago, got canceled, then re-scheduled and finally released.

So the original figure (on the left) turned into a ghetto blaster. The USB hub turns into a laptop computer that works as a real USB hub. You can see the ports on the robot's legs in the photo above. What I think is the coolest part is the fact that any of the old cassette figures that fit in the original Blaster will also fit in the chest compartment of the new figure! I've also confirmed that the new figure can hold the original Blaster's rifle just fine. It looks huge, but the holes in the fists are identical sizes.

So, that's the collection status as of now. The Alternators will definitely be next, then we'll see what else presents itself from the tubs.