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TFC Toys Dr. Crank Pictorial Review

Posted on 12-16-2011 at 09:38 PM by ORIO under 3rd Party Unlicensed
drcrank1
If you're like this news poster, maybe you haven't shipped your pile of TFC Toys Not-Constructicons Hercules figures yet. Or maybe, you're still on the fence about owning these figures. Well thanks to 2005 Board members like dkreed7 we now have a good look at what to expect from the newest offering from 3rd Party Group TFC Toys, Dr. Crank. Yes, this figure based on Generation 1 Constructicon Hook has been released and this excellent review gives you an excellent look at the figure.

Take a look at all the images which include pictures of Hercules combined with four out of six of the members. Dkreed7 has also provided comparison shots next to several different Transformer items. Click the title bar to check out these pictures and share your thoughts in the feedback thread.
Views: 6,874 / Credit: dkreed7 of the 2005 Boards!

Images for TFC Toys Dr. Crank Pictorial Review

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Batman
Man that is gorgeous. Thanks for all of these photos and great review
rego0012
the left arm will not stay on with mine. when you turn it it pops off the swivel =[
OptionZero
In combined mode he scales pretty well with perfect effect and classics figures, but i still think the individual bot modes are a bit too tall

oh well, he still looks badass as Devastator
Stygian360
Did you figure out how to configure the gun based on any sort of instructions that come with Dr. Cru(a)nk, or just do it based on what seemed logical based on the pieces provided already? I'm guessing the later will be the case, but hoping for the former!
rattraprules98
Has anyone tried putting string on the crane yet?
dkr7
Quote:
Originally Posted by rattraprules98 View Post
Has anyone tried putting string on the crane yet?
yeah, it's hard to keep it lined up as when there's slack in the line it comes off the pulleys and gets tangled, i'm kinda waiting to see if someone comes up with a solution before i attempt it again
darthsutius
I'd love to see more pictures of these guys alongside other classics figures (Seekers, Autobot Cars like Prowl/Jazz etc). The thing holding me back from getting these is that the Bot modes seem a little too big to fit in with the other classics comfortably.
opt1musaber
My fav figure then Structor out of the 4 so far. Gd review.
Torque
looking forward to Tuesday when he AND Structor arrive!
TenScaryMonkeys
Quote:
Originally Posted by dkreed7 View Post
yeah, it's hard to keep it lined up as when there's slack in the line it comes off the pulleys and gets tangled, i'm kinda waiting to see if someone comes up with a solution before i attempt it again
What about using a length of jewelry wire on the hook pulleys, and a length of string only for the boom arm? That'd give the front end the correct look without sacrificing the ability of the arm to extend and retract, and you'll have less stuff to get tangled.
Feralstorm
Nice and solid. I might have preferred the crane arm to just have a hook on it, rather than the winch-with-no-cabling approach. I don't bother moving the shoulder wheels to the sides, as that hinders articulation, and wheels in front look good anyway. Combiner-chunk mode works pretty well, and its impressive how there are little parts just to brace things together. My biggest complaint is some overly stiff joints with poor leverage, such as the crane base which I can't turn without removing it from the vehicle, and the connection pegs, which are determined to rip my fingernails out when trying to move them. (I find teeth are more effective, but potentially damaging)

Pretty nice, and feels unlikely to wreck its own joints like some. Above average among Hercules crew members.
wheeljack359
Quote:
Originally Posted by rego0012 View Post
the left arm will not stay on with mine. when you turn it it pops off the swivel =[
I want to hear more about this. I hope its isolated but is anyone else having this issue?
megatroptimus
Quote:
Originally Posted by rego0012 View Post
the left arm will not stay on with mine. when you turn it it pops off the swivel =[
Probably not fully inserted. Only 2 minor problems with mine: the rear wheels. One has a hard time staying parallel in truck mode, the other is a bit loose (pin not fully inserted).
StarFire_MK2
Quote:
Originally Posted by darthsutius View Post
I'd love to see more pictures of these guys alongside other classics figures (Seekers, Autobot Cars like Prowl/Jazz etc). The thing holding me back from getting these is that the Bot modes seem a little too big to fit in with the other classics comfortably.
I was wondering about the scale myself. Upon reflection, I think it's pretty good. These guys transform in construction vehicles, which are larger than cars, so their robots modes should be a bit taller.
chapsy
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stygian360 View Post
Did you figure out how to configure the gun based on any sort of instructions that come with Dr. Cru(a)nk, or just do it based on what seemed logical based on the pieces provided already? I'm guessing the later will be the case, but hoping for the former!
if you do a google image search with "TFC Hercules Rifle" or something to that effect it should be on the first page. It's also in the Mega-Thread here, but it got lost in the hundreds of pages somewhere.
wheeljack359
Quote:
Originally Posted by megatroptimus View Post
Probably not fully inserted. Only 2 minor problems with mine: the rear wheels. One has a hard time staying parallel in truck mode, the other is a bit loose (pin not fully inserted).
I think a good fix for that pin is " use a soldering iron to heat up the pin, careful not to touch the plastic, and apply pressure the pin will sink into the plastic and when cool be locked in place. Its how I insert and remove pins when I customize.

Just takes a careful touch! I solder as part of my career so it seems natural to me. If someone needs help I am willing, as long as either you live close enough, or you dont mind sending it to me.
wheeljack359
Quote:
Originally Posted by StarFire_MK2 View Post
I was wondering about the scale myself. Upon reflection, I think it's pretty good. These guys transform in construction vehicles, which are larger than cars, so their robots modes should be a bit taller.
That always bugged me even as a kid I knew the constructicons should have been huge, individually even. I like how this set is closer to that idea and the other set by Maketoys fixes the issue by making the construction vehicles of the smaller type you see on smaller construction sites.

It gives reason to love these sets, but i like Hercules best of the two.
Fretburn
I don't really mind the individual bots being fairly large by Classics standards as the Constructicons should be pretty big guys based on their alt modes alone.
Really now, if we were to go by alt mode scale alone, these guys, especially Heavy Labor and Dr. Crank, would be more than double the size of someone like, say, Jazz. But then they would be ridiculously oversized in their robot forms.

So yeah, while scale has always been an issue in the TF universe I think these guys strike the best balance possible.

And really, is there any combiner whose individual bots are even remotely in scale with each other?

Devastator comes close with Scavenger probably being smaller than the rest of the COnstructicons but not by a huge margin.

Defensor has a motorcycle, ambulance, helicopter, sedan all nearly half the size of a fire truck.

Bruticus has a jeep, SPACE SHUTTLE (or humvee and aerial drone in FansProject's iteration) tank, helicopter and large flat-bed artillery truck.

Menasor is probably the closest, helped by the fact that four of the limbs share similar alt modes with the larger bot forming a truck. If anything, Motormaster is under-scaled.

And then there's Superion. While the individual smaller jets are probably fairly close in scale Silverbolt is WAAAAY under-scaled. Classics Silverbolt's alt-mode is probably closest in scale to the original Aerialbot limbs.
Don't get me started on the Energon/Classics Aerialbots. Between A10 Warthogs and a heavily modded Blackbird that thing is insanely out of scale.

So yeah, when TFC picked their sizes for these guys I think they made the best compromise possible. Especially considering the size of the combined form being pretty close to FP's Bruticus. While that may or may have been intentional, I am happy that they are close enough that they don't look ridiculous next to each other.

Now, if only someone would make an appropriate sized Predaking. Actually, scratch that. If anyone was to pull off a Predaking that was appropriately bigger than Hercules/FP Bruticus I can't see how they could make the Predacons not HUGE.
dragon
Quote:
rattraprules98
Has anyone tried putting string on the crane yet?

awwww you took my question.

wasnt expecting it but i got him yesturday if i had string i put it on have an autobot swing from hook as tarzan
Sonscreen
Thanks for the pics!
GENOZAUR
3rd picture down from the top crane truck facing to the left

whats that fold out combiner port part for behind dr hooks right shoulder ?
aeleven
I like Dr Crank, I wait for him to arrive. I ash they would design him so not all those screws show on one side.
Shepard Prime
Anyone know how tall Devastator is in inches? He looks huge!
process
~12.5"
benclark1982
Well the picture with MP starscream clenchs it, i have to have this figure for my MP shelf. If only Hasbro could make some thing like this.
darthsutius
Quote:
Originally Posted by benclark1982 View Post
Well the picture with MP starscream clenchs it, i have to have this figure for my MP shelf. If only Hasbro could make some thing like this.
Hasbro are idiots. They don't make things like this because they believe there's no market for it. Yet a whole bunch of fans just shelled out $600 on one figure. They have no right to call foul over this, they basically gave these companies the green light to do it when they said outright that they never would.


Besides, do you really want a G1 Devastator where the vehicles don't have robot modes...?
mx-01 archon
Quote:
Originally Posted by darthsutius View Post
Hasbro are idiots. They don't make things like this because they believe there's no market for it. Yet a whole bunch of fans just shelled out $600 on one figure. They have no right to call foul over this, they basically gave these companies the green light to do it when they said outright that they never would.
*facepalm*

The absence of Combiners at retail have nothing to do with Hasbro's ability, but are entirely due to retail logistics.

It's not that they won't sell, it's that Hasbro doesn't want to sell them, if they can't get it right.

And the way that Wal-Mart/TRU/et al run their shows, it's almost guaranteed to never work out for them.


You see, Hasbro wants to be able to sell their product to kids. Retailers, on the other hand, want to see the product on the shelves refreshed every 3 months or so. So that's where we start to see a problem. It's not very often that you'll see a kid being allowed to buy 5-6 Transformers all at once. So the kid buys a couple, pines over the rest and is eager to complete the set. Finally gets to go buy more toys in six months or so and... whoops, long gone. Sad kid. Bad, bad, bad.

So, you spread out the releases instead... and seriously, what self-respecting kid knows to time his toy buying to specific release windows?

Giftsets are out of the question because: A) Hasbro is very hesitant to use its high-end price points unless it's going to be for a high-profile release, because big-ticket items need all the advertising they can get; and B) the retailers "encourage" manufacturers to include electronic gimmicks in higher-priced toys. And nobody wants a Combiner figure that's gimped because the core robot had to have a bulky light & sound pack in it; and finally C) the design requirements for Combiners are much higher than for a single figure, so it's simply not worth the effort for them to skirt around both A and B, and maintain their profit margins.

Combiners worked in G1 because the assortments were shipped year-long. Maybe even two years in some cases. So if you started collecting in January, you could be reasonably sure that you'd be able to finish the big guy up in December.

Nowadays, you wait that long, and it's off to eBay for you, and probably at significant mark-up, the way that this fandom works. That is not an acceptable distribution model.


Combiners are an absolute logistical nightmare for North American retail purposes.

TakaraTomy, on the other hand, might be technically able to pull the gig off, due to looser retailer constraints and a more favourable collector-based market in Japan. But Transformers aren't a massive draw over there, so TT rarely produces anything without Hasbro's financial support.
darthsutius
Quote:
Originally Posted by mx-01 archon View Post
*facepalm*

The absence of Combiners at retail have nothing to do with Hasbro's ability, but are entirely due to retail logistics.

It's not that they won't sell, it's that Hasbro doesn't want to sell them, if they can't get it right.

And the way that Wal-Mart/TRU/et al run their shows, it's almost guaranteed to never work out for them.


You see, Hasbro wants to be able to sell their product to kids. Retailers, on the other hand, want to see the product on the shelves refreshed every 3 months or so. So that's where we start to see a problem. It's not very often that you'll see a kid being allowed to buy 5-6 Transformers all at once. So the kid buys a couple, pines over the rest and is eager to complete the set. Finally gets to go buy more toys in six months or so and... whoops, long gone. Sad kid. Bad, bad, bad.

So, you spread out the releases instead... and seriously, what self-respecting kid knows to time his toy buying to specific release windows?

Giftsets are out of the question because: A) Hasbro is very hesitant to use its high-end price points unless it's going to be for a high-profile release, because big-ticket items need all the advertising they can get; and B) the retailers "encourage" manufacturers to include electronic gimmicks in higher-priced toys. And nobody wants a Combiner figure that's gimped because the core robot had to have a bulky light & sound pack in it; and finally C) the design requirements for Combiners are much higher than for a single figure, so it's simply not worth the effort for them to skirt around both A and B, and maintain their profit margins.

Combiners worked in G1 because the assortments were shipped year-long. Maybe even two years in some cases. So if you started collecting in January, you could be reasonably sure that you'd be able to finish the big guy up in December.

Nowadays, you wait that long, and it's off to eBay for you, and probably at significant mark-up, the way that this fandom works. That is not an acceptable distribution model.


Combiners are an absolute logistical nightmare for North American retail purposes.

TakaraTomy, on the other hand, might be technically able to pull the gig off, due to looser retailer constraints and a more favourable collector-based market in Japan. But Transformers aren't a massive draw over there, so TT rarely produces anything without Hasbro's financial support.
No, Hasbro does not have the ability. They have demonstrated this several times over the last decade. There is no reason at all that the ROTF Devastator couldn't have transforming components, even if they were very basic shell-formers to meet safety requirements at that size. Devs is still clogging some shelves here almost 3 years later. The Energon combiners were flawed and the PCC range was a good idea executed badly.

As far as the whole 'Walmart' arguement goes, it's bullshit. It's a cop-out reason. Hasbro is in charge of their own company, not Walmart. Hasbro controls the assortments and they sure as hell don't have a problem including at least one Bumblebee in every movie wave. Maybe 5 years ago they were at the mercy of retailers, but with the success of the movies the ball is surely in Hasbro's court.

The ROTF packaged Energon Combiner giftsets, despite their shortcomings as toys, aren't on the shelves anymore. They seemed to sell alright to me - no doubt with a little help from FP.

As far as complexity goes, that's not true either. The PCC line failed because of the automorph gimmick of the limbs - it made the gestalts unstable and the tolerances needed to be perfect since a spring was usually pushing against the connector port at all times. Having the smaller vehicles be transformed manually would have been less spectacular but more satisfying for kids overall. The Energon combiner port style was fine, it was the over complexity of the individual toys that makes them poor - the individual bot was designed first and the gestalt second. It may be harder to sell a gimped robot that serves a larger purpose, but again a giftset made up of 4 scouts and a deluxe is not out of the reach of most kids and parents, not when they're willing to buy a massive POS Optimus Prime in fishing pants that's not even close to screen accurate.

The arguement about bigger toys needing electronics is a moot one and another indicator of Hasbro's lack of ability - they need to learn that it is possible to use batteries other than AA's in this century. It's harder to replace smaller batteries, sure, but most kids probably couldn't give a shit if their Prime says 'I am Optimus Prime' after the 697th time. It says his name on the box, dumbasses. At the very least, they should look at moving to a AAA format like most other toy manufacturers have.


Meanwhile, TFC is producing a Devastator that is huge and stable, and they're doing it by making the limbs as uncomplicated as possible - they're big bricks and most of them do a poor job at paying homage to their G1 counterparts, but they seem to do their combining job very well. Personally I'm going with Maketoys due simply to the bots being a little more interesting and the Dev being more G1 accurate, but again the bots are kept relatively simple to serve the gestalt. Both releases do a fantastic job that I honestly don't think Hasbro could do even if they wanted to.

The obvious solution that has always been there is that Hasbro should be working with these guys - give them a little funding, share a little knowledge, take a percentage of the profits - while importantly letting them remain independent. Sell them online where these smaller-run products belong at a price that Walmart wouldn't agree with. A lot of fans who don't buy third party on principal would probably opt in if they were officially supported.
mx-01 archon
*facepalm*

Why do I even bother?


You go on believing that the company that just gave us a freakin' BLACK SHADOW update, an incredibly obscure Japanese-only character (outside of modern comics) is "too stupid" to realize that popular characters are popular.

Meanwhile, the rest of us with a proper sense of reality can sit back and accept that things are the way they are, and enjoy not having a hernia when our self-entitlement fantasies go unfulfilled.
process
Quote:
Originally Posted by mx-01 archon View Post
*facepalm*

Why do I even bother?


You go on believing that the company that just gave us a freakin' BLACK SHADOW update, an incredibly obscure Japanese-only character (outside of modern comics) is "too stupid" to realize that popular characters are popular.

Meanwhile, the rest of us with a proper sense of reality can sit back and accept that things are the way they are, and enjoy not having a hernia when our self-entitlement fantasies go unfulfilled.
It always seems to come back to this: xkcd: Connoisseur
MegaHavok
Quote:
Originally Posted by darthsutius View Post
No, Hasbro does not have the ability. They have demonstrated this several times over the last decade. There is no reason at all that the ROTF Devastator couldn't have transforming components, even if they were very basic shell-formers to meet safety requirements at that size. Devs is still clogging some shelves here almost 3 years later. The Energon combiners were flawed and the PCC range was a good idea executed badly.
Hasbro has the ability to make what ever they want. Just because it doesn't meet your personal tastes is not a sign of wrong doing. There is always a reason for things being made the way they are. Hasbro could have integrated bot modes in to movie devastator? Sure. However, the additional tooling cost would have driven the price up even higher.

Quote:
Originally Posted by darthsutius View Post
As far as the whole 'Walmart' argument goes, it's bullshit. It's a cop-out reason. Hasbro is in charge of their own company, not Walmart. Hasbro controls the assortments and they sure as hell don't have a problem including at least one Bumblebee in every movie wave. Maybe 5 years ago they were at the mercy of retailers, but with the success of the movies the ball is surely in Hasbro's court.
Sorry your completely ass backwards here. It is walmart and the other retailers that have pushed Hasbro so hard to focus on movie line, specifically Prime and Bumblebee. It is retailers that want assortments that focus on main characters and not villains. The action figure market is a dying industry that has to have retailer support to survive

Quote:
Originally Posted by darthsutius View Post
The ROTF packaged Energon Combiner giftsets, despite their shortcomings as toys, aren't on the shelves anymore. They seemed to sell alright to me - no doubt with a little help from FP.
A short run exclusive is not evidence for or against any argument

Quote:
Originally Posted by darthsutius View Post
As far as complexity goes, that's not true either. The PCC line failed because of the automorph gimmick of the limbs - it made the gestalts unstable and the tolerances needed to be perfect since a spring was usually pushing against the connector port at all times. Having the smaller vehicles be transformed manually would have been less spectacular but more satisfying for kids overall. The Energon combiner port style was fine, it was the over complexity of the individual toys that makes them poor - the individual bot was designed first and the gestalt second. It may be harder to sell a gimped robot that serves a larger purpose, but again a giftset made up of 4 scouts and a deluxe is not out of the reach of most kids and parents, not when they're willing to buy a massive POS Optimus Prime in fishing pants that's not even close to screen accurate.
Who said Pcc Failed? or that the new Optimus is even selling well? You points are all opinions and assumptions

Quote:
Originally Posted by darthsutius View Post
The arguement about bigger toys needing electronics is a moot one and another indicator of Hasbro's lack of ability - they need to learn that it is possible to use batteries other than AA's in this century. It's harder to replace smaller batteries, sure, but most kids probably couldn't give a shit if their Prime says 'I am Optimus Prime' after the 697th time. It says his name on the box, dumbasses. At the very least, they should look at moving to a AAA format like most other toy manufacturers have.
Hasbro has attempted to use smaller sized batteries back in the days of Armada. They switched back due to complaints from parent who did not like having to buy the smaller sized batteries. Dude have you ever even been in a toy aisle? lights and sounds are like crack to little kids? Try me features are extremly popular and drive sales


Quote:
Originally Posted by darthsutius View Post
Meanwhile, TFC is producing a Devastator that is huge and stable, and they're doing it by making the limbs as uncomplicated as possible - they're big bricks and most of them do a poor job at paying homage to their G1 counterparts, but they seem to do their combining job very well. Personally I'm going with Maketoys due simply to the bots being a little more interesting and the Dev being more G1 accurate, but again the bots are kept relatively simple to serve the gestalt. Both releases do a fantastic job that I honestly don't think Hasbro could do even if they wanted to.
A fantastic job of what exactly? Paying homage to classic characters? Yeah as I look at my classics shelf I can see how bad hasbro is at that. The combining gimmick? Both TFC and FP base their joints and connection points on Hasbro tech so respect goes where it's due

Quote:
Originally Posted by darthsutius View Post
The obvious solution that has always been there is that Hasbro should be working with these guys - give them a little funding, share a little knowledge, take a percentage of the profits - while importantly letting them remain independent. Sell them online where these smaller-run products belong at a price that Walmart wouldn't agree with. A lot of fans who don't buy third party on principal would probably opt in if they were officially supported.
So you want 3rd party toys to cost even more?? official licensing would only increase the overall cost of the items itself and eliminate the choices we currently have from competing 3rd party products
kaseycuyler
Anyone have pictures or anything on stringing up the crane arm????
ElekTriC
this?



Stygian360
BTW, you take really great pics! All of the colors are rich and vibrant, the poses you used were well thought out and executed, and overall you convey the figure- combined form and otherwise- very well!
ElekTriC
thx i just take photo's haha
Bumblebee765
I was originally not going to get any of these guys, but I'm a sucker for construction vehicle TransFormers, and I especially love Dr. Cranks crane! So if I get any of them, it will be this one! If I do get it, I will definitely string up his crane boom! I was wondering though, how did you string it?
darthsutius
Quote:
Originally Posted by MegaHavok View Post

Who said Pcc Failed?
This must be coming from someone who has never laid hands on a PCC combiner. They are extremely flawed. They fall to pieces if you stare at them the wrong way. At least one of the limbs in each set doesn't connect firmly enough for play. Might be ok for us collectors who keep these things on shelves, but the kiddies were more than a little frustrated with them. This is not my opinion, this is a fact from watching kids try to play with these things.

I give credit where credit's due. Cyclonus? Sideswipe/Sunstreaker? Great updates of classic characters. Most of the new 'Prime' line is astoundingly well engineered. ROTF Leader Prime is one of the greatest TF's of all time (albeit not the most kid-friendly TF ever...). But I'm not going to pretend that Classics Galvatron isn't an absolute POS. It is what it is.

Some people love certain things that others don't. I quite like Ultra Powerglide, others think he's too big or the wrong colour. No big deal to me. But blindly following a company and defending their every move doesn't get anyone anywhere. I personally don't feel the need to pretend some of the duds I've bought over the years are better than they are out of some misguided brand loyalty.

Maybe bright lights and sounds dazzle the kids in the US but it doesn't work that way here. Kids here ask to have the batteries removed pretty quickly if the lights/sounds interfere with the toys playability.

Anyway, it's my fault for derailing the thread. I should know better than to say a word against Hasbro on the TFW boards...
darthsutius
Where's that little dude from? He's about the perfect scale.

Can't imagine Hook letting a fleshy boss him around though.
ElekTriC
i watched this video. so all the credit goes to him i just posted some photo's. but i removed it for now. want a heavier hook for him

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B-GjLUSUNsU


that little dude is from the mechanical chain bases i have. painted it up so he's more visible



kaseycuyler
Thank you much for that video. Now I just gotta get dr crank and I can do this =D
Ray Kremer
Oh frak, that is awesome. I will be doing this with mine.
Luffy
Has anyone had trouble connecting exgraver to Dr. C? I got mine today and try as I might I can't connect the arm to either peg.
mx-01 archon
Exgraver's port is a bit tight at first go.

I'd actually recommend trying to connect him to Heavy Labor's port first, since those don't swivel and try to collapse on you when applying pressure. You'll notice the little nubs inside Exgraver's port flatten out a bit, that's fine. It'll make him much easier to attach and detach, but he won't fall off.
ang3l3s
Got mine and my only hate is he has no visor, for me he is the weakest figure so far.
Sonscreen
Finally got mine from chimungmung. Overall I'm pretty happy. The only QC issue was a loose screw in the crane boom. Loving the scowl.
VestigialHeart1
Popped Exgraver on Dr Crank for a few and snapped one of the small protrusions that holds the connector in place off when I removed him. Havent tried to reconnect Exgraver. Kind of scared to since that was my first attempt at combining them...
Turbine027
I found that all the ports attach and detach easier when put on and taken off at a 90 degree twist from where you would normally think to attach it... Example of what I mean:

Have structor / leg pointing completely to the side, attach, and then twist 90 degrees to face forward. Similarly with the arms, attach with the arm "swung forward 90 degrees," then lower to normal position. I think it has something to do with where the slits and bumps are on the corresponding parts - but it could also all be in my head haha, but it does seem easier for me so I thought I'd share...
Sonscreen
I feel like such a for messing up the string in Dr. Crank's crane. It keeps tangling. Oh well.

Continue: TFC Toys Dr. Crank Pictorial Review Discussion on the 2005 Boards!

 
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