We here at the Allspark are starting something new. We are highlighting the collections of our fandom and bringing you a look at an amazing collection every month. So read on to see this month’s amazing collection!
The collection of the month won’t always be the largest, or cleanest, or even the most expensive. It will be an amazing collection that is worth everyone’s time to check out! Maybe it might inspire you to add to your collection or change the way it is displayed.
This month’s collection is one of long time forum member Ryan C. Oakley (RCX). He has been a forum member here at the Allspark since 2002! One of the many neat things about his collection is that before you even get into the basement to see it, you have to walk down this awesome stairway featuring some amazing 90s comics!
We sat down and asked him a few questions about his collection and Transformers in general. Check out our interview below!
Allspark: When did you get into Transformers?
Ryan C. Oakley (RCX): Christmas of 1984. I was 6 that year, and had been watching the cartoon when it premiered earlier that fall. It was a Christmas filled with a ROTJ Ewok 3-pack, a new Apple IIC computer (w/ sweet green monochrome monitor), and my first Transformer…
Allspark: Who was your first Transformer?
RCX: …Thundercracker. Still holds a special place in my heart. I have my original, albeit missing pieces. The Encore version (w/ Skywarp) stands in his place now.
Allspark: Which TF is your personal favorite?
RCX: Probably Optimus Prime, for all the regular the obvious reasons. I hope to meet Peter Cullen one day. But more specifically I was always one of those weird kids that loved to watch the credits of my favorite shows and movies. I never got to see the 1986 movie in theaters, and it was a little while before it was shown on TV. Before that you could never find out who the individual voice actors were that voiced your favorite character because they were listed in the credits in a group without specific roles. That changed in season 5 where they listed Peter Cullen’s name as Optimus right next to Jason Jansen as Tommy Kennedy. It was the first time I found out who voiced a Transformer, and I’ve loved voice-chasing ever since. Even did a talk about it during my public speaking class in college. I suppose I always wanted to be a voice actor, but I digress. I also love the Stunticons – their designs and personalities are unique and fun. I love the G1 episode Masquerade. At the time I didn’t have the G1 Stunticons yet, so I used Prime, his trailer, and other stand-in bots to recreate this ep.
Allspark: What is you favorite TF toyline?
RCX: I have a few. G1 is probably #1 because nothing would exist without it. The real-world designs of the first 2 years really drew me in. Beast Wars 1997 Transmetals for their being amazingly animation-accurate for the time. I also love RID 2001. Around the end of Beast Machines when I was active on the Allspark much more, I always said G3 was coming. The return to vehicle adversaries in the BM Vehicons made me want it so bad. Then the next year we got Car Robots and then RID. The car brothers’ (especially Mach Alert) toys blew my mind. Real-car var modes with Beast Wars style engineering and posability. The best of all worlds at that point. And I suppose any line that has G1 redux figures. I’m a sucker for animation appearances and cartoon-accuracy. If it’s appeared on a show or movie, I try to own it. So everything from Combiner Wars through Kingdom has been a Primus-send in filling holes and one-upping lesser-made toys. And of course Masterpiece, as they trickle out.
Allspark: What inspired you to setup your collection in this manner?
RCX: I fell out of collecting as I grew older in grade school in favor of Nintendo. The typical “it’s not cool to collect toys as you start to become a teenager” syndrome. I did amass a decent collection of G1 from 84 to 90 though, through Micromasters. Never got everything I wanted, because I wasn’t super-spoiled (not complaining here). So when the end of Beast Wars season 2 happened when I was in college, it gave me that spark (pun intended) to start collecting again. And Beast Wars was easy from a “collect everyone from the show” standpoint. Transformers started taking over my dorm room. Then my next college apartment. Then my friend’s basement. Then just one shelf in my house as our family grew (and my son was bitten by the bug as well). I’ve got nearly every show character (minus some BW2 and Neo stuff) from 1996 to today, and nearly every G1-redux to cover that series (maybe one day I’ll get to filling my original G1 holes). It was just over 2 years ago that we moved and I had the opportunity to finish our new basement exactly the way I wanted so I could display everything properly that had been in totes for 10-15 years. Nevermore (from Germany) on the boards here really put me into creative mode when he showed everyone what could be done with IKEA Besta shelves. I was leaning in the IKEA direction, but seeing pics of his toys and setup really inspired me. I go into super-nerdy detail in the “Office Reno” thread about the specifics of my setup – what I used and how I did it. Hopefully we can link that here. Like I said in that thread, right now I’ve got about 500 figures on display, and hundreds more still in storage. It’s taken a very long time, many iterations, and an evolution of what life with a super-supportive wife and 2 incredible kids can allow for (a toy museum in the basement isn’t exactly high on the family needs list) to get to the collection pictures you see here. I am so proud of what I have and what I’ve done so far BECAUSE I’ve waited so long to do it…right, in my view. I feel happy every time I come down to my basement. But I’m nowhere near done yet.
Allspark: What is your holy grail Transformer?
RCX: I don’t think it’s just one. For awhile it was a true official Skyfire toy. I was so sure we wouldn’t get one that I bought FansToys Phoenix, the only 3rd party figure I own. But now he’s real and he’s amazing. I suppose it would be to have a Masterpiece of everyone that was on the Ark/season 1.
Allspark: Do you think that you will ever reach a point where you have all the Transformers that you want?
RCX: It’s possible, but probably not. Engineering and sculpt seems to get better every few years, and lately the Hasbro/TakaraTomy design teams have really been playing my song where it comes to slavish animation accuracy in multiple toylines. I know that’s not everyone’s preference, but it sure does it for me. The replacements that we’ve gotten recently (i.e. most of WFC:S,E,K and SS86) make it impossible for me to pass them up. They’re just too good. Plus it gives me an excuse to have older figures of the same characters move down to other shelves – like having a separate “Rebirth” shelf for my otherwise redundant Universe Cyclonus and TR Scourge. Alternatively you can use you collection to finance your collection. During this pandemic, I took to eBay to sell off much of my surplus and redundant figures that inevitably comes with collecting toys for decades. This was only ever my second purge, but it not only helped me buy the physical shelves you see in these pictures, it helped supplement my income when I was partially laid off. Keeping all packaging and inserts (which is another logistical challenge; my family calls it my “boxes of boxes”) definitely added eyes to my auctions.
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