Collector Closeups - Izwan Ishak

Welcome back Cybertronians. to another edition of Collector Closeups, which I believe is long overdue. Our Collector Closeups articles of course features fellow collectors, as we like to call it in Malaysia among the collectors community -- Taikun (pronounced as Tycoon), who doesn't mind to share their collections with the world, as well as to inspire other existing and would-be collectors.

This time around, we would like to introduce to you to a fellow collector, as well as a friend of ours, Izwan Ishak -- who is an avid fan of model cars and of course, Transformers.



Real Name            : Ahmad Izwan Ishak
Code Name           : Skippy
Affiliation             : TransMY
Function                : Normal Member
TF Series               : Tranformers: Prime. Masterpiece, Alternators/ Binaltech, *CHRUG, RiD 2015
Other Collectibles : Model Cars, SHFiguarts and miscellaneous
Quote                     : Who's Ahmad? (Yes, really!)
Favorite Figure      : Alternators Smokescreen, G1 God Ginrai

Izwan, or Skippy as he is affectionately known as, may be sort of a late starter, as far as being a Transformers Collector goes, which was in 2014; but don't let that fool you, he has been in love with the franchise since Day 1. The allure of a toy that is actually 2 toys (or more) in one, was just too appealing.
Gundam - one of the first figure in his massive collection
While his Transformers collection may have expanded exponentially ever since he joined TransMY -- the premiere and official Transformers collectors club in the country -- 2 years ago, it doesn't mean he never had any Transformers figure before then. In fact, his first ever Transformers figure dates back to 1988 -- God Ginrai from the Japanese  Masterforce series, which is a Holy Grail to some collectors out there.
Universal Studios Exclusive
Also being an avid model car collector (more on that later), it was natural for Skippy to be attracted to the now-defunct Alternators/ Binaltech series. It was then too that Skippy was introduced to the Masterpiece line.
In 2014, Skippy finally discovered TransMY, and after signing up as a member, his life as a collector officially began, and he concentrated more on the Transformers: Prime series. The rest, as they say, is history.
As mentioned earlier, Skippy is also a huge model car fan -- especially police cars. His model car collection is quite extensive -- ranging from Hot Wheels to the bigger 1: 24 scale models.
While there are quite a number of impressive super fast cars in his collection, it is his love for anything police-cars that sets him apart from other collectors. There is actually a glass cabinet dedicated only to model police cars!
Life-sized "Police" Car
But it doesn't end there, he even has a life-sized car repainted into a Japanese police car color-scheme! How cool is that?!
SHFiguarts
Skippy's collection is impressive indeed, and his dedication towards his passion and hobby is definitely an inspiration for his fellow contemporaries, and New Planet Cybertron Weblog is most definitely honored to be given the opportunity to have a sneak peek at his awesome collection.


Till next time...

.:PEACE:.


*CHRUG = Classics, Henkei, Reveal The Shield, Universe, Generations


Transformers Review: Gigatron (Car Robots)

Intro:
            A Transformer that could change to multiple modes has always been my favorites. Can you imagine how difficult it must be for the designers to actually figure out how to make that concept work into physical form?
            As if Triple-changers weren’t enough, Has-Tak came out with Six-changers, i.e. Sixshot and Quickswitch. Those two were the product of the late 1980’s. Fast forward to the new millennium, Has-Tak revisited that gimmick and decided to give it a shot, and that’s where the series Car Robots (or Robots in Disguise in the English dub) was produced.
            In that series, Gigatron (Megatron in the English dub) was the Emperor of Destruction, and is probably one of the most unique Megatron action figure ever designed. After the lapse of almost 10 years, we finally had another six-changer.
            Yes, you heard me right, Gigatron can transform into 6 different modes. However, things get better when Gigatron was upgraded later in the show to Devil Gigatron, where he would gain yet 4 more configurations. Since both used the same mold, so that means Gigatron’s action figure could also transform into a whopping 10 different modes!!!
            Wow! That is just so unbelievable, and I reckoned he currently holds the record of the Transformer with the most modes!
            However, character-wise, his ability to multi-transform resulted in Gigatron having an unstable mind. Each of his modes would have a personality of its own. So yes, he does have a serious case of split personality – making him a very dangerous opponent, because he’s always unpredictable.  
            Gigatron has always been on my most-wanted list, and to finally be able to own him, the feeling is surreal.
            This Gigatron was released in conjunction with the brand’s 15th anniversary.
            So without further ado, let’s get down with the review.


Car Mode (GigaFormula in Japanese dub):
            First we’re going to review the car mode. Well, you’d probably need some imagination to visualize him as a car. He’s more like this super fast, biologically-infused car with wings.
            Yes, he isn’t exactly a realistic-looking car, but you have to admit, we’re off to a flying start here.
            For some odd reasons, this car mode reminds me of Bat-mobile. Don’t ask me why, but maybe it’s because of the wings.
            The car mode roles quite smoothly and the entire thing does look awesome.
            He looks quite slick and fast, and you could almost imagine him being able to zip at extraordinary speed.
            Of course, there are kibbles all over this mode. I guess, the whole idea for Gigatron is not to have a convincing alternate mode, but it’s all about making it work.
            In the official instructions, the wings are actually closed, but I actually prefer to angle it somewhat higher. The shoulder pads are supposed to be kept low and closer to the arms; me on the hands, like it to be opened to conceal the gap between the shoulders and the legs. These are just two of my preferences for this mode. You can do however you feel like doing – whatever floats your boat.
           
Jet Mode (GigaJet):
            The jet mode looks kinda need. It looks imposing and grand-ish.
            It’s really cool that you can adjust the wingspan of the jet mode – either having a full wingspan like I always like it to have; or you can have it sweep in.
            Good-looking as it is, I do have a gripe with this figure. The two dragon heads that are on top of the jet mode can’t really lock in – they just perch on top. The hind landing gears, which are formed by the arms can’t really lock in either. Unless the joints are really tight, then the arms just might collapse under the weight of the figure itself.
            However, I do like the fact that there is a landing gear, which is stored behind the chest piece.

Bat Mode (GigaBat):
            The bat mode actually looks quite good! It’s basically the robot mode with its legs swept to the back, and the hands extended to become the legs.
            I really like the fact that there is actually a bat-mouth, hidden underneath the head piece in other modes.
            The knee caps of the robot mode actually serves as extra supports for the bat mode, as this mode can be a little bit back-heavy. The cockpit of the jet mode can be positioned as the bat’s tail.
            Articulation-wise: it basically has all of the robot mode’s upper body articulations, and by the way, the wings can somewhat flap.
            Overall, a really neat mode.

Hand Mode (GigaHand):
            Of all the modes that Gigatron has, this is probably the silliest transformation mode. A hand! Why do you need an overgrown hand anyway, when you can have much other cooler mode out there?
            Why?
            Anyways, with that being sad, the hand is actually quite articulated! It has almost all the articulations a hand should have, and it even has a thumb!
Clenched in a fist
            It even can clench into a fist! How cool is that?
            Silly, but cool.
            Oh yeah, in this mode, the two weapons are not utilized.

Dragon Mode (GigaDragon):
            The dragon mode is probably one of the coolest. It is basically the robot mode standing upside-down.     
            The robot’s arms now become the legs, and the legs now become the heads. There are smaller arms at the robot’s waist, which are kinda puny – imagine T-Rex’s arms, but with 3 fingers.
            The jet cockpit now becomes the dragon’s tail.
            The figure is a bit back-heavy.

Robot Mode (GigaTron):
            The robot mode is of course the sixth mode, and visually, I have to say, Gigatron looks majestic. Evil, but majestic.
            The wings at the back, along with the apt dark-purple paint apps, make Gigatron looks demonic at best.

            In robot mode, it is about the size of your standard Voyager-class figure, but the wings tend to make it look even more massive.
            Articulation-wise: the head rotates; the shoulder are on two-sets of ratcheting joints, which allows all range of motions; the arms rotate above the arms; elbows are on tight ratcheting joints; the fists rotate; just like the shoulders, the hips are on 2 sets of ratcheting joints as well; the legs rotate slightly below the hips; the knees are on ratcheting joints; and finally the ankles are on ball joints.
            Gigatron could use a waist joint, which would have done a great deal for the figure.
            There is so much detailing on this figure: shoulder pads, wings, shin guards etc – absolutely fantastic.
            The robot mode is officially the sixth and final mode for Gigatron, but later in the cartoon series, Gigatron would receive an upgrade, to become Devil Gigatron – technically the same figure, but recolored from blachish-purple, to whitish-purple, and supposedly with a whole lot more transformation modes – 10 modes to be exact.

Hydrofoil Mode:
            Something tells me that for hereon-in, the transformation modes aren’t really going to be stellar, or even convincing for that matter.
            It feels as if each of this transformation is a result of random-fiddling with the figure.
            This Hydrofoil mode example, is nothing more than an extension of the car mode. It looks plausible, and I can see where they are going with this mode, but it really isn’t that good.
            And again, the arm piece doesn’t lock in anywhere.  

Gryphon Mode:
            Of all the 4 new modes introduced for Devil Gigatron, the Gryphon is probably the best.
            It looks good, complete with the tail, and is quite well proportioned.
            The articulations of the Gryphon is similar to the robot’s, but on all four.

Elephant Mode:
            The elephant mode is probably the 2nd worst of all the modes, and here’s the reason: in my case, the elephant head can’t really lock in or hook onto the “ear” pieces.
            Probably they do have a latch of the Devil Gigatron figure for the purpose of the hook-on, but they don’t really have one on this mold.
            Even if they have that lock-in mechanism here, this elephant mode just doesn’t work for me.

Pterodactyl Mode:
            This is yet another very weak mode, and I think the photos are self-explanatory. It's the worst of the lot and it doesn’t look like a pterodactyl at all, not by a long shot.
            In most cases, let’s assume this most doesn’t exist at all.
 
Summary:
            Overall, Gigatron is a good figure – very adventurous, yet is not really an excellent. The original modes for Gigatron are good, yet the four additional ones are sub-par at best (yes, I know for Devil Gigatron, this mold was retooled slightly).
            It is a fun figure to fiddle with, and if you’re like me, and you enjoy figures with multimode configurations like Sixshot, you will definitely enjoy this one.


Rating – 8/10