While I slowly continue hunting new Transformers toys these days, there are times that I missed early pre-orders in RK due to monthly budget issue. This resulting ending up losing collecting my favorite toy from time to time or even wanted to get limited exclusive 3rd party including restock toys that only available in the west. Because of this issue, I spent sometimes survey some of the online stores from US that will meet my shopping requirements. One of the search results was TF Source, quite well known online toy store in the Transformer community as well sponsors for Transformers news site like Seibertron and TFW2005.
I do have to say TF Source gone through a lot of changes and redesign since I last brought the Fansproject Shadow Commander set with RHS Bumblebee from them this year. The website is now looking cleaner and easier to navigate before. With all category's menu using drop down coding, you won’t be having a hard time browsing products even the available and out of stock listing are details. The only problem I usually facing log in account is quite slow for some reason.
As for the price, there isn’t necessary comparing or worth arguing as I understand (distance between US and Asia) the toys mostly imports from overseas so the prices usually mark higher. But not all, if you look at the price of the Transformers Hasbro version. It is usually cheaper and some of them really worth paying rather getting direct from eBay.
TF Source also sells vintages, exclusive version and even offers their own limited edition holiday (3rd party) gift sets toys that only available in their store. I brought their first FansProject Superion Snowman add-on kit version back in 2010 and I got to say it is beautiful redeco set compare to the first released version. Oh, don't forget you can sell your toys collections there (T&C).
Source rewards were just introduced this year. You earn points when you made purchase from the store. These points can be save and later used for redeem freebies. But there are few rules require following before you can redeem and sadly, this rewards reward for US and Canada residents.
They accept both Paypal and Credit cards (Visa and Mastercard). Due to increase credit card hacking, I do recommend paying using Paypal for safer online shopping in the west unless you know the security services they are using.
Shipping and Packing
There are three shipping methods available. You can either used First-Class, Priority and Express Mail international. I usually fine with First-Class Mail international, not only cheaper as it even got tracking as well. Depending on the orders and weight, there won't be any First-class options to choose from. Nonetheless, TF Source now offering a good deal for international buyers who made over US$150.00 purchase will automatically eligible for reduced shipping!
As for the packing, it didn't say or giving any optional choice for bubble warping during the check out. From my three times buying experience, all of them are packed in the hard box with provided bubble warping.
Good Customers Services
I know not every shops provides 100% satisfactions! For my case, it was immediately solved. My third order for RHS Bumble Bee were somehow mistakenly replace with Prime 1st edition. Of course, no one would be happy missing out the RHS version. Yes, I did inform about their end sending me a wrong toys. The folks over there response my problem the next day and told me they will ship out the replacement ASAP without require to return the wrong toy.
TF Source is indeed a respectable online retailer. Even it may not be for the others buyers. I am satisfied with the purchase and received a great response rectifying the order problems in a short period. But do remember what I said earlier. Price isn’t issue for me. This is about what I as a collector missed during early pre-order. I buy from the west because unable to get in Asia with good price or somewhat mark up to the point of disagreement. This is my alternative way of buying hard to get toys and easily finding them offering First-Class Mail international shipping option.