Member: Seasoned Veteran
  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited


About comicwiz

  • Boards Title
  • Birthday 06/05/1971

Personal Information

  • Occupation
    IT Consultant
  • Location

Recent Profile Visitors

1,266 profile views
  1. Back in mid August I posted about acquiring my white whale. I thought I had taken my research as far as I could, but there were still a number of questions which I wanted answered. Namely, why would Irwin Toys have produced a toy robot with a white Voltron III logo that didn't match the yellow logo used for it's other two produced toys. On Sept 4th, I posted a WTB in one of the largest vintage toy FB groups, hoping to potentially draw out more examples of the Irwin Toys Mini-Lion to further my research, and within an hour, something unbelievable happened. A member of the group posted this photo: After picking my jaw up off the ground, I would spend the better part of a month trying to convince the owner to sell the yellow logo Voltron III Mini Lion to me, and about a month after he first posted the photo, a deal was done. The find at the very least confirms that Irwin Toys had intended to produce this toy, but cancelled it for a variety of reasons. The white logo was used to distinguish it as a mock-up of the intended final version, and they had taken it through two generations of mocking-up. The first is distinguished by it's mismatched fists/feet, and the four numbered images above the matrix are the known specimen which I have tracked: The second generation is mainly distinguishable by the colour matching of the fists and feet to the arms and legs. The packaging remains the same for this second generation mock-up: The yellow logo Voltron III is the final version which Irwin Toys had intended to produce, and we know this not only because they finally matched both the figural toy robot and packaging with the correct colour to remain consistent with it's Miniature and Deluxe versions, but because the final version also shows for the first time in muliple iterations of mocking-up the copyright/license information and date, which is lacking in the first two generations of mock-ups: Not only is this a cool discovery of an almost forgotten part of Canadian toy making history, and a great way to round out both my research and collection, but it's also a great example of how preproduction bucks the system and find it's way on to retail shelves. We have some indication of how this might have occurred from this archived forum post from 2008, 8th post from the top, where the OP talks about speaking to his Dad who once worked at Irwin Toys about them, and he states "he said they used to receive in small batches of samples to show around (he was a salesman) to drum up interest in a particular item, and sometimes those productions never went ahead." To date, the Gen 1 has been found with a Zellers and Toys R Us, but the Gen 2 have only been found with Zellers price stickers. Based on my research, and to my knowledge, this is the only known example of the unproduced Irwin Toys Voltron III Mini Lion (no. 700000) with yellow VOLTRON III logo, pictured alongside the Irwin Toys Deluxe (no. 700200) and Miniature (no. 700001) GoLions. It's existence confirms all iterations of the Irwin Toys carded Mini-Lion, including the white logo versions, to be mock-up prototypes. I want to take a moment to give mad props to @Flaming_Telepath for being so helpful initially as the deal to acquire this piece got complicated very quickly at the beginning, and Nick was more than willing to help make it happen. Eventually things worked out a lot smoother and with it's arrival yesterday, I just had to share this discovery with you guys. Thank-you!
  2. comicwiz

    Selling CGC Keys from Canada

    Where in Canada are you located?
  3. They are clamshell blisters, and have a very light blue pigment in them. I got mine from the Earth Toy Mall, but as @Buzzetta mentioned, Iain Sanderson (GW Acrylic) has them also. I bought mine a long time ago, and I think I got a 100 count as well which worked out to a little less than 50 cents a piece. They have larger ones also for the Power Droid, Rancor Keeper, etc. They aren't stackable unfortunately, but I have them in small bins and I find they are safer to keep action figures in than ziplock bags or even in the original carrying cases. I have not seen a single figure of mine show any sweating or frosting using these. In the bin below I just have them stacked, but I do have another larger box (just out of camera on the right side) where I have them upright. I particularly like them because it's a great way to organize them with the accessories/weapons.
  4. Thank-you. It is my favourite G1 Transformer as well. The one I posted above is the version with the painted macross emblem. I also have the version with the stickered emblem (and the wing has a circular gap in the paint app of the wing so the sticker can be applied in the exact area). Took me forever to find both.
  5. If it were Star Wars, there is a company called GW Acrylic that is making a lot of really cool stuff, not just acrylic cases for MOC's. However, if it's G1 Transformers, I would honestly just look up CGA/AFA's website, and see if they have already premade cases. The quality of their cases is above the rest, and worth paying a little more money to get. I've bought several custom cases from them (for toys they didn't have cases made) and they have come out great. Incidentally, the first custom case I had them make for me was for a G1 Jetfire.
  6. @Buzzetta there is a closed Facebook group (it's called PrePro) where this preproduction stuff sells. I was added about 6 months ago, but I've had my sights on other things and haven't checked in for awhile. It comes up from time to time, it's all about timing and being priced right.
  7. Lets blame everyone except CGC for this atrocity of a slab. Keep using them to damage your comics.
  8. How this slab hasn't been recalled is beyond me. I refuse to accept this is a consumer problem - responsibility lands squarely on the company for allowing this inferior product to damage people's personal property. This slab shouldn't have been used, period. Yours isn't the only one, and coincidentally, a person posted a day after you did on Facebook with a badly damaged SS ASM 122 thanks to comic wreckers.
  9. This was a SDCC exclusive through DKE toys that an FB friend posted about prior to the show. I had another FB friend pick it up for me and it just arrived. Again, an unconventional purchase for me, but too cool to skip. STAR WORLD Dark Invader by Buzzard Guts, numbered #5 of 50.
  10. The Ewoks line Wicket has gotten quite valuable. Congrats on a nice find!
  11. The incandesent bulb technique is similar to the method I used (and described in an old RS thread after I resolved some frosting on a Ben). The problem with this technique will become very evident once you have to deal with frosting on a caped figure. In such cases, it becomes a lot more complicated because the referring heat from the bulb will (believe it or not) reaching a melting point that could start to deform, or even discolour the cape (especially noticeable on a brown or tan cape). What I did is put the MOC in a soft case (Star Case) and used a magnifying glass to direct the light and target the frosting. One thing I have noticed over the years is in fact problems with capes which I believe were amateurly worked on to resolve frosting, but the person doing it had not known enough about the issue with the light melting the vinyl cape. The outdoor, in direct sun remedy is definitely not something I would recommend.
  12. Frosting is one of those things that most people, when they notice it, mistake as mold. You are correct, it does show up better on black paint apps, or on black plastic shot figures. However, I've seen it on Ben (had a 12 Back with frosting in fact), Vader, DS Commander, Han, Chewie, and I'm sure I'm forgetting at least a few others. For some reason, they seem to be more prevalent with 12 Backs. The great thing about this article is it really starts to drive home the concept of material failure, and I myself have talked to people, explaining how "frosting could be cured", but in actual fact, all you are really doing is removing it on a sealed specimen to not make it appear unsightly, You aren't fixing the root cause of the problem that is forcing the plasticizer to migrate to the surface. The one thing I may have gotten right is I would explain it as the plastic "breaking down", because once that blending additive migrates to the surface, what we do know is happening for sure is the material composition is starting to breakdown. With precious metals, this happens when you are metling down gold or silver, and the impurities rise to the surface, but those compositions are becoming purer in a sense. When plasticizers are migrating to the surface of ABS, it begs the question, what is taking it's place when that compound is coming to the surface. I don't think we can conclude these figures are "shrinking" (which is one of the side effects the science indicates), but I can confirm that at the very least, the plastic is becoming brittle, and at the atomic or microscopic levels, we might be ble to see cracking/fracturing. Hard to convince someone they should open their sealed 12 Back though for science, so the only way we'll find out is when these things start breaking inside their blisters. Apart from the frosting issue is the limb discoloration. Perhaps most prevelent with "green limbs" on Chewie, and Toltoys VCJ's (which has a spotted/blotching green effect). White figures like Leia and Stormtroopers start to turn pink. The "green/blue" discolouration on the Blue Snag's torso is another one. On the talking point of brittleness, I've read multiple instances where collectors accidentally dropped a Blue Snag (either in their display, or at a show) and the torso exploded into pieces, and the common thread those events shared is the green torso. One of the reasons why I'm particular about that particular figure as the material composition of limbs tends to be filled, not hollow, and has a rubbery, more durable characteristic. Torsos on the other hand are of a PVC grade, are hollow, and keep the entire figure together, so if those discolour, it's best to be careful and avoid dropping them.
  13. comicwiz

    HOS and Posting Privileges

    I'm really on the fence with this whole poll and discussion. I have no issue relegating those who have committed serious wrong to the sidelines, but I also feel it's one of those things that should be looked at on a case by case basis. I've been a member long enough to know what the PL and HOS are, but I feel the member at the center of this current vote/poll is not the best use case for whether a HOS inductee should lose posting priviliges. I say this primarily because the past issues used to establish a fact pattern were not the strongest cases of what I would consider a serious offense, but I also reserve some judgement that I shouldn't have a say since I wasn't the offended party. That said, I wonder if my FB friend Darren, the RS thread starter, and one of the past issues that was used to establish a fact pattern, would even remember what happened with Chip. If the grieved thread starter doesn't care, why should a forum community external to the SW collecting culture even care? I keep a long, long, long list of people who are put up on pedestals in that hobby who have really did wrong, and are talked about with reverence and are likened to legend status, so what happened between Chip and Darren 2009 won't even register. What I do know is that situation on RS was settled, and it appears the other issues were as well, including those which occured most recently on these forums. While I consider this community to be the best of it's kind in terms of remaining vigiliant in the areas of course correcting missteps and transgressions, I don't feel any induction should be based on activity happening external to these boards because the culture here is unique, and would be considered acting as it has as a form of overeach (trust me, I've been ridiculed and practically bounced from other forums/social media circles for even talking about a probation list for people reneging on a transaction). Someone remarked another member asking advice on opening a brick and mortar store in another thread (I can't seem to find the post anymore), and honestly I didn't even know there was an issue with that member, and I've been here pretty much from the time these forums opened. I vaguely remember some discussion about there being some issues, but honestly it's been so long that I can't even remember. I don't want to undermine the efforts of those who tried to establish a strong enough case for the induction of the member at the center of this discussion, but I see HOS induction as something far more serious, and warranted for repeated transgressions, on the scale of Jason Ewert type of activity of fraud, but happening on these forums. IF we are going to look at having a system of graduating PL cases with a fact pattern of repeat transgressions, I'm of the opinion they should be incidents and a past pattern occuring on these boards. As the host pretty much decides on what constitutes banning, a lot of what I just wrote is going to fall on deaf ears, but as far as injecting a different perspective to how the self-regulating function works on these boards, I just don't want to see it turning to a situation where it's so disruptive that it takes away from the experience for other members who don't want to be repeatedly told something they already know, or might not even have been fully on-board with the decision to induct the transgressor in question. Moreover, it if it absolutely something that everyone feels must happen to create awareness for members who may not be cognisant of that members past, then I'd expect the same people who are banging on the awareness drum be consistent, and post whenever another member from the HOS is posting on these boards, otherwise the bias sets in and such action would be perceived as trolling for the sake of trolling a specific member rather than for awareness efforts.
  14. The only Jawa which we know for certain was part of the first SW wave is the vinyl cape Jawa (VCJ). The only exception is an Austrialian variation VCJ which appeared on a later ESB wave cardback, but we can distinguish this from the US/Canadian/UK VCJ because the Toltoys (Aussie) one has a reddish cape. While variant collectors do follow stitching differences, the Jawa with cloth cape continued to appear up until the very last wave, which was the POTF. While there is a COO specific Jawa that is believed to only have been used with the vinyl cape, don't pay too much attention to the stitching variations. or claims one is specific to a first wave. If AFA grading is any indication, they label all cloth cape Jawa's with 1977 KENNER STAR WARS.
  15. An example of the old label notation (sorry for the blurry pic, it's an old scan)