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DAY 1 - Pre-trip planning, (Tue 20th) flight over there, first evening and local area recon.
DAY 2 - (Wed 21st) Universal Studios.
DAY 3 - (Thu 22nd) Toy Museum & retail toy hunting.
DAY 4 - (Fri 23rd) Vintage toy hunting.
DAY 5 - (Sat 24th) Tourist Bus tours around Singapore.
DAY 6 - (Sun 25th) Singapore airport and return home (Mon 26th).
SUNDAY 25TH - SINGAPORE AIRPORT AND RETURN
8.30am - wake up
9.00am - breakfast downstairs
9.30am - back in the room to finish packing.
11.30am - checked out of the hotel, and left our baggage at the front desk (to come back later for it).
Went to look at the ToysRUs one last time, in case the Kreon Combiners
were there as well (they were supposed to be released with the micro-changers).
Didn't find any though.
Next up, Wendys to grab some burgers before we left.
I got another Baconator (a double this time - bottom right), and a cheeseburger
(bottom left, opened up to show how paper-thin the meat patty was), another
Chicken-mushroom burger (top right), plus a Shrimp burger (top left).
The Shrimp burger was an interesting one, as I'd never heard of such a
thing. It was much like a fish burger though. The meat patty in the
cheeseburger was such a surprising disappointment... the meat patty in
the Baconator was about 6 times the thickness.
We also looked around for some packaging tape, as the box I had taped up could do with a little more for reassurance on the long trip home. We checked out several stores for over an hour, trying to find one that had packing tape... even finding two different hardware stores that were closed before finding a third one that was still operating. (had to pass through a cheap dingy shopping centre that had people standing outside their shops begging for us to buy stuff from them)
2.00pm - we got back to the hotel, grabbed our bags and hopped in the first taxi that dropped off someone. Going straight to the airport via the P.I.E., it took about half an hour, and only $16.
2.30pm - Singapore Airport...
It's huge! Three terminals with 4 or 5 floors each, and two of the floors are like an external shopping centre.
It was so busy, possibly because it was claimed to be a GST-free zone, but GST is only 7% and the expense of leasing Airport space offset any saving. (prices were the same or more than what we found outside the airport).
There is so much to do for transiting passengers... you could spend a whole week in there and not even be noticed. They have sleep areas, free internet, a free theatre, play areas, shops, food courts galore... We were there for about about 7 hours, and barely explored just the one terminal. And I was worried about being at the airport too early.
That year I had to waste 14 hours at LAX, would have been a breeze at
Singapore airport. It's like a massive shopping centre with an airport
It would almost be worth setting aside at least half a day just to spend at that airport... or else you'd feel like you missed an opportunity when you get there and see how big it is, but don't have any time before your flight.
Singapore was always a transit point ever since the British set it up
in the 19th century, so the airport has also become a stop-over point for
most airlines flying between Europe and Asia/Oceania.
As such, it accommodates stop-overs that can often be over-night... preventing the need to find a hotel as added expense.
I'm guessing the massive number of people/planes using the airport is what pays for it all, otherwise there would be a pretty big fee for airlines and shops to fund all the free stuff.
Maybe its still government owned... unlike the Australian airports that charge a fortune on anyone who goes near the place, and nothing free to show for it (as it all just goes to the shareholders).
When we got there, we dropped off our luggage and got our boarding passes.
I was told to put my box on a nearby trolley, because it was over-sized, but I wasn't too keen on leaving it unattended, so we waited a bit nearby to watch it. While I was waiting and eating the couple of Wendys burgers I had left, I realised that I had the extra packing tape in my bag, and had forgotten to use it yet. Going back over to my box, I taped it up a heap more. When I was finished, this reeeally old man stumbled over to the trolley and slowly started to push it over to a luggage station... then heaved it up onto a conveyor belt. It was like something out of a TV comedy.
3.00pm - Julian and I went off to explore the Airport for the next 6 hours.
Just one of the many play areas inside the airport... with the Angry
Birds theme that was all over the airport at this time.
The legendary Burger King was in sight.... (in the end I didn't even
buy anything from it, as there was nothing odd to interest me)
We checked out all three toy stores in Terminal 3 (yes.. the terminal
is that big, there are three toystores). Didn't find or buy anything
Found another one of these Jerky stands, with heaps of different types
of meats and flavourings. Very delicious, but very expensive.
More of the Airport.
I found a Fish pond and a Butterfly enclosure in this terminal.
Since it was night time now, the butterflies were all asleep. But
some of the fish weren't. Just after I took this photo, one of the fish
leapt out of the water and almost hit the side.
5.30pm - We found a currency exchange booth, with two different agents on each side. We picked the one that had marginally better AU$ rate.... and decided to get all our SG money exchanged. If we'd been back in Australia, we'd have only managed to trade in notes, so getting it exchanged in Singapore meant we didn't even end up with any coins either.
5.45pm - We found the free movie theatre, and got there just before Battleship started.
8.00pm - After the movie ended, we headed over to our departure gate and waited until we were called.
8.40pm - Onto the plane.
We were in the green/blue mid-section this time, which felt a lot more pleasant than the brown/orange section were in last time.
While waiting for the plane to depart, Dispensor made us fill our our
9.20m - Take off.
This time Julian was too tired to stay away during much of the flight,
so I was able to watch the rest of Spiderman, and watch the Bourne Legacy
Nothing else really interested me, so later in the flight we competed against each other on the games system (there were about a dozen multi-player games).
Dinner. A pork dish. I didn't want the fish, and since we were
one of the last to be served from our meal-cart, they had to see if they
could find a Pork meal on one of the others.
Breakfast had no options, as it was rather light. I guess most
people sleep through the night-time flight, which would make it more of
a waste having a bigger meal.
7.10am (Monday, Brisbane time) - arrive at Brisbane
Went through customs, and grabbed luggage, then off to the taxi rank.
8.00am - taxi
8.30am - dropped off at car servicing garage to pick up my car.
Tried to pay for the bill, but the cards I had with me didn't have the daily limit to cover it, so I had to go home to fetch another one.
Called for a taxi to take us both to my place.
9.00am - grabbed my card and went back to the servicing garage (left Julian at my place).
9.30am - back to pay off the rest of the bill, and grabbed my car.
10.00am - stopped off at post office on the way back to my place. Found a couple of new boxes there waiting for me.
10.30am - back home, opened up the new items from the post office, got changed, and had to offload something that had been percolating inside me for several hours. (I was holding it in because I thought I would be home over an hour beforehand.... as it was, when I was at the servicing garage the second time, I let one off that was so potent, two ladies way at the back of the office were asking if they could smell something... followed by a lot of air-freshener being sprayed - fortunately there was quite a few people in the office, so couldn't work out that it was me).
11.00am - took Julian back to his place.
11.30am - finally back home... and asleep for 8 hours from midday.
The total toy haul of the week...
Universal Studios - Optimus Prime w/ Trailer, Deluxe Evac (on card), Voyager Megatron, Voyager Optimus, Bumblebee Quantum Enforcer roleplay gun.
TFPrime - Kup, Rumble, Vehicon, Cmdr Skyquake, Airachnid.
BotShots - Roadbuster, Skywarp, Clear Shockwave.
Asian Generations - Deadend, Brawl, Starscream, Ironhide.
DOTM Speedstars - Dirt Rocket.
JP Arms Micron - Smokescreen, Nemesis Prime, Silas Breakdown.
JP KT figurines - Rumble, Frenzy, Optimus Bust, 86-movie Devastator, AI & Fire Convoy.
Kreo Microchangers Wave 1 - Springer, Blast Off, Rampage, Bludgeon, Hook, Airachnid, Quickslinger, Inferno, Warpath, Singe, Insecticon, Dirge.
A total of 33 action figures to add to the collection.
Plus all the non-toy stuff I bought from Universal Studios...
Optimus head drinking cup (filled with fruit jellies)
Plastic cutlery set (knife, fork, spoon)
Plastic meal tray
Two Bubble blowers
Voice changer (doesn't work very well... probably a design flaw like the bubble blowers)
Despite the disappointment of not coming back with anything JP Gen1,
or finding much new stuff, I did manage to finish off a few loose ends.
I found a Speedstars bike that I was unlikely to find, due to it being unwanted by collectors so would never show up on ebay. That completed the collection of Speedstars vehicles.
I also completed the set of Asian Generations figures (which were difficult to find online for a decent price), and the first series of BotShots (all 44 of them). And with the toys I had coming in the mail, I was able to complete all of the Deluxe and Cmdr class figures from the first series of TF-Prime.
Skipping the giant Allspark cube from Universal sucked (it was a lot more expensive at Singapore), I managed to get all of the exclusive action figures for the Ride (Evac and the repack figures).
It was good to get the new set of Kreon minifigures, as it ended up being a world first, which I posted up photos to be front-paged on the global fansites.
The KT figurines from Japan were a nice extra, as they were released about 10 years ago, but never really interested me enough to seek them out. I liked the detailing on them, but was never going to pay online prices and shipping for them. Besides, Julian seemed more interested in the bathing girl figurine (as can be seen in the photo above, with how he kept having the toys crowding around her)... so I bought it for his benefit... I swear.
Well, that's part 2 of my adventure covering the Universal Studios Transformers
As soon as the next one opens up next year, expect another expensive chapter from me.