A long show with lots of visuals tonight, and an absolute treat for fans of robots in disguise! For those of you who joined Rob Daniels, Harrison the Mad Metal Man and myself — thank you! From the early Japanese origins, up to the present day, we took you on a guided tour of the Transformers brand. Plenty of vintage and modern toys on display, and genuine toy ads from back in the day too. (Facebook copyright strike — they killed the stream. Sorry about that, but you can still watch on YouTube.)
Show format: the first hour and 15 minutes are a history lesson. The lists begin then! Three lists, 15 picks, and no repeat!
This was an absolute blast. Thanks for watching.
The LeBrain Train: 2000 Words or More with Mike, Rob & Harrison
Episode 90 – Top Five Transformers Toys
Let’s roll out! I know this episode will alienate some of our regular viewers, but it’s been one that Harrison and I have talked about doing for at least a year now. And since it’s Christmas time, it feels like the perfect opportunity to talk about some of our favourite toys.
Transformers toys, specifically. We’ll talk about the history of the brand, and bring us up to the present day. Comics, cartoons & movies will be discussed. But the actual Top Five list this week will be our favourite toys. Expect some show & tell, and I’ll also be running some vintage TV ads!
On the panel:
- Optimus LeBrain (yours truly)
- Visions in Soundwave (Rob Daniels)
- MegaContrarian (Harrison the Mad Metal Man)
With two different generations of fans on board, this is sure to be a show of Cybertronian proportions!
This photo gallery (entirely music related I assure you) is by request of Jason, who is interested in getting these toys. Below you can see the the following pieces:
- Hasbro Transformers Universe Hound and Ravage set.
- Reprolabels sticker set.
- Dr. Wu DW-P02 Duel add-on kit (silver gun and missles)
- MGS-03 add-on kit (darker guns and missiles)
How are they music related? One of them transforms into a cassette, while the other one plays a wicked guitar solo on the electric axe, as you can see below! Also note Hound’s cool light-piped eyes. Nifty eh?
RECORD STORE TALES Part 225: Bait & Switch
One Wednesday afternoon in 1997, I was working alone. A gentleman in his mid-20’s walked into my store. He browsed the hip-hop section and I asked him if he needed any help finding anything. He said no, and was pleasant enough. About 10 minutes later, he approached the counter to make a purchase.
I knew immediately there was a problem. In his hands was a used copy of Puff Daddy’s brand new smash hit album, No Way Out. It had one of our Bargain Bin stickers on it, priced at $5.99. However the album was a fairly new release, and any used copies we had were always priced at $11.99. I’d never put one of them in my Bargain Bin, ever at this point. You just didn’t throw a new release into a sale bin. As Puffy said, “It’s all about the Benjamins.”
I couldn’t rule out staff error, so I double checked. Each price tag had a stock number on it. That stock number told me the location of the actual CD; the discs were all kept safely behind the counter.
Sure enough, I referred to the stock number which led me to a completely different CD, one that was common for our Bargain Bin. It wasn’t staff error. This meant that somebody switched the Puff Daddy price tag with another CD, from our Bargain Bin.
I knew this wasn’t going to be easy.
“OK, I have a problem here,” I began, as gently as I could. After all, I had no way of knowing for sure that this guy switched the tags himself. It was probable that he would, very few people would switch a price tag and leave it. I could even see where the tag was peeled off and re-applied. “This CD isn’t actually $5.99. It’s supposed to say $11.99. It looks to me like someone switched the price tags. I’m not saying it was you…I’m sorry about this…but I can’t sell you this disc for $5.99. $5.99 is less than we actually paid for it.”
He shrugged. “That’s not my problem. You have to honor the price tag.”
“This price tag,” I countered, “links back to a CD by Hole. I can sell you that CD for $5.99, but not Puff Daddy. This is a brand new release, we never put new releases out in our Bargain Bin.”
Then he got fancy. “Are you familiar with the Bait & Switch law?”
I was. From Wikipedia:
First, customers are “baited” by merchants’ advertising products or services at a low price, but when customers visit the store, they discover that the advertised goods are not available, or the customers are pressured by sales people to consider similar, but higher priced items (“switching”).
“This isn’t a Bait & Switch,” I argued. “Somebody else switched the price tag. Like I said, this tag right here links back to Hole, not Puffy. I can sell you Hole for $5.99, for Puffy, you’d pay $11.99. Again, I’m not saying you switched it. But somebody did. I’m sorry about that but I can’t lose money on this CD because somebody switched a price tag on me.”
“Legally, you are obligated to let me have that CD for $5.99. You’re in violation of Bait & Switch laws. Do you want me to get the cops involved?”
I knew he wouldn’t do that. “You can do that if you want, but what’s to stop me from going over to Walmart, taking a price tag from a $2 bag of chips, and putting it on a CD myself? Would Walmart have to sell me that CD for $2?”
Cool as a cucumber, he just shrugged.
It was at that moment that my boss walked in.
“What seems to be the problem here?” he asked.
I explained the whole situation, how somebody switched the price tag, and how he wanted Puffy for $5.99. I explained how I was 100% certain of the situation, and how the stock code on the price tag led me to a $5.99 Hole CD.
One issue that I had with my boss was that he didn’t always stick up for store managers in situations like this. I could never predict if he would stick up for us or cave. So what did he do? He apologized profusely and he rang in the CD for $7.99 or something like that. The customer was happy as could be, so polite.
He strolled out knowing he’d won. I wonder who he scammed next?
I walked over to the Puff Daddy section to see if I could find evidence of the missing but correct price tag. Sure enough, what did I find? A Hole CD, with a poorly applied $11.99 price tag on it, in the hip-hop section not far from Puffy. And what did that $11.99 tag’s stock code lead me to? The spot that the Puffy disc occupied.
An $8 scam was hardly going to break the bank, but I felt about two feet tall, because I knew I was right. I never let anybody else scam me in that way again. But that’s another story…
I have 31 discs of music to listen to now. And a whole lotta other goodies. Here we go!
First up – books. Peter Criss’ Makeup To Breakup, and the latest from Ripley’s Believe It or Not and Guiness’ Book of World Records. I’ve leafed through Peter’s book — all he seems to do is bitch about Paul and Gene. Review will come.
Next, Queen. A total of 8 discs of awesome remastered Queen to listen to: The Miracle, Jazz, A Night at the Opera, and Live Killers!
Next up, Rush. 6 discs in each of these two Sector box sets, including 2 DVD’s in 5.1 surround, plus 2 discs of 2112. Awesome. (I already have Sector 2 and have a review of that coming in the next few days.)
And the rest: The 4 disc Cult Love Omnibus Edition. Thin Lizzy’s Life Live (2 discs), Jon Lord’s Concerto for Group and Orchestra, and the new Rage Against The Machine XX edition (2 discs plus a DVD).
But that’s not all. Check out this Kiss lunchbox, these movies and vintage G1 Transformers 1988 “Bugly” action figure.
Lastly my folks got me this neat Joby camera tripod. This is going to come in handy when I make my next Transformers stop motion animated movie. I did a brief 15 second screen test — check that out too!
Hope your Christmas was filled with happiness, love, joy, and rock!