Friday, 14 August 2015

Review: Visionaries Collector's Guide

80s toy collectors are really being spoiled at the moment. Within the last year or so we've had the 30th Anniversary TMNT book, the Voltron 30th Anniversary book, the Transformers Legacy packaging art book and recently the He-Man art book.

Of course these are for some of the bigger lines that emerged from the 80s. There are many, many others (I'm especially aware of this since I've recently sorted out my collection for display at our school comic con). The odds of getting big guides for these is remote.

...unless they're on Kickstarter.

Earlier in the year a campaign was launched to produce a Visionaries guide. Well, the campaign was successful and the guide is now available to everyone for the grand sum of 1p (plus postage). So is it worth it?

The first thing that struck me about the guide is that it's a lot smaller than I was expecting. For some reason I had in my mind that a large A4 booklet would arrive through the post, with thin glossy paper stapled at the spine. In reality the guide is around A5. The paper is very thick, almost like thin card, with a glued spine (there's likely a proper name for this, which I unfortunately do not know).

In some ways reality wins, in others, my imagination. I think staples would have been a much better option, especially for a small book such as this, as then the pages could be opened out flat and the images seen clearly. As it is, you lose a chunk to the binding. Being doubled the size would also have been a big plus to really make those pictures stand out. They're ok as is, but bigger is often much better.

On to the contents. Each figure in the line gets a page, detailing his biography from the cardback then turnaround photos of the figure and his accessories. The same goes for all the vehicles. There are then pictures of the box/card art, which would have really benefited from being twice the size.

The rest of the book is about the unproduced second series, with pictures of all the prototypes. This section is essentially there to make Visionaries fans cry at all the cool toys they'll never be able to play with. Again, it's fine at the size it is, but being bigger would have been far better.

Content-wise the guide is brilliant and contains everything a Visionaries (toy) fan could want. The only improvement I could see there would be adding sections on the comic, other merchandise and potentially the cartoon itself. I'm sure many of the people wanting this guide already have complete collections of the toys (there were never that many released!) but for those who don't, the guide is great to ensuring you get hold of all the accessories.

The downfall is possibly due to my expectations and comes mostly to size and lack of staples. Thinking about it, I suppose what I desired was an 'art book', with big glossy images to drool over. Instead I got exactly what was advertised - a guide to help collector's...collect...everything, perfectly sized to fit in your pocket for taking to toy fairs and the like, and I can't really complain at receiving what I was told I was going to get!

Besides, did I mention what this cost to get hold of? UTTER BARGAIN.

The guide is available to buy from Punch Party Press...or at least it was when I ordered it. Sadly it's currently listed as sold out.

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