13 September 2017

Live on Kickstarter: Transformers G1 Unofficial Photographic Archive (Volumes 1 & 2)

I would like to say, 'please read my entry before heading over to check out the project on Kickstarter', but this is one instance I do not mind you heading over to Kickstarter first, then coming back here. So, here is the link!


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So now the "secret" behind my long and sometimes frequent absence on the blog here. It is not because there have been no acquisitions, it is not because I have nothing left to say about Transformers, and it is certainly not because I have left this blog for good.

It is, however, because G1-junkie / Hyperoptic, brr-icy and myself have been working on a very special project - the Transformers G1 Unofficial Photographic Archive!

[Optimus Prime double spread from Volume 1]

It's a good long title, to be sure. It was what we have settled on. Something that was suggested by E was along the lines of "Photographic Memories of G1 Transformers". Poetic, yes?


[Sky Lynx spread from Volume 1, incidentally, one of E's favourite toys!]

So, back to the Photographic Archive, which is actually a collection of 2 books. Volume 1 is 300+ pages and features all US released G1 Transformers from 1984 to 1990.

[Apeface and Snapdragon spread from Volume 1, incidentally, 2 of my favourite toys!]

Volume 2 is 200+ pages and features Japanese exclusive G1 Transformers from 1985 to 1992, and European exclusive G1 Transformers from 1984 to 1994.


[Blue Bacchus and Black Shadow spread from Volume 2]

In total, we are talking about 500+ pages of the good stuff, the solid G1 stuff. With hundreds of hours of shooting photos and writing and after more than 10,000 photographs, the books are now 90% complete.

Approximately 21 hours ago, we launched our campaign on Kickstarter. Here is the link again:



As of this moment, it is about 25% funded, which we are really happy about.

If you like G1 Transformers at all, do head over to Kickstarter (link above) to check out the project and if you like what you see, any support you can lend towards getting the books fully funded would be very much appreciated!


07 May 2017

Early Takara Transformers giftsets: VSX, VSY, VSZ, Goodbye Convoy and Goodbye Megatron


These are the earliest of the Japanese giftsets and in my opinion, the best early Transformers giftsets out there. The main reason is that they are not just giftsets of combiners, toys that should have been sold together any way, but they are giftsets of individual characters, some which could be released together, but some that are surprising when grouped together.

So here we are in year order of release:
Photo grouping which shows all the above mentioned giftsets. This is a real milestone for me and perfectly rounds out my objective nearly 3 years ago of streamlining and collecting only the early Japanese TFs.



30 April 2017

Takara Transformers VSY: Grimlock versus Soundwave & Frenzy Giftset



Today, I am focusing on the VSY giftset, which is Grimlock versus Soundwave and Frenzy. Notably, the giftset comes with a storybook and a cassette tape which contains read along audio of the storybook. VSY was a late 1985 release and is in fact a re-release of 26-Grimlock, 17-Soundwave and 18-Frenzy, from a year ago. In other words, all that this giftset contains are regular figures that were already on sale at the time.

Despite what TF Wiki says (here) of VSY being the "rarest of the 3 VS giftsets", I do not believe it to be the case. In fact, from experience, VSY is probably the most common of the 3 VS giftsets, with VSX being undisputedly the rarest of them all.

What is difficult, however, is finding a VSY in a nice box that is not tattered and torn.



The above photo shows VSY together with each character's Japanese individual release and US packaged counterparts. Frenzy was actually released three times: first as 18-Frenzy in the Fight! Super Robot Lifeform line in mid 1985, then in the VSY giftset in late 1985 and again as D-58: Frenzy (with gold weapons) in 1986.

A further note that the photo above shows:

  • the first release of 17-Soundwave, box is dated "(C) Takara Co. Ltd. 1974-1983"
  • both the first and second release of 18-Frenzy. The first release is dated "(C) Takara Co. Ltd. 1974, 1983" and the second release is dated "(C) Takara Co. Ltd. 1983" and has a bar code at the bottom.

29 April 2017

Takara Transformers VSZ: Sunstreaker & Skids versus Buzzsaw Giftset



I obtained this set a couple of years ago. It was only in the past 2-3 days that I had taken the time out to photograph it properly and also to write about it.

It would be the first in a series of articles involving the Generation 1 Japanese "VS" sets.

The post focuses on the "VSZ" giftset, which is Sunstreaker & Skids versus Buzzsaw. Notably, this is the first appearance of all three of them in the Japanese line. For Sunstreaker and Skids, the VSZ set was the only time they were released in Japanese packaging.

Below is a photo of each character with their US packaged counterpart. Buzzsaw was released in the US with Soundwave.


The key difference between the Takara Japanese release and US releases are: VSZ Sunstreaker has strong springs in each of his arms; VSZ Skids has a strong spring launcher; and VSZ Buzzsaw is stamped differently and have different numbers below the wings.



The above is a photo showing a further counterpart of Buzzsaw, as he was released as D-106: Buzzsaw as part of the D-101: Soundblaster release in 1987.

14 April 2017

Takara Japanese giftsets VSX - VSY - VSZ!

Complete my trio of "VS" Japanese giftsets recently and am over the moon, yay!

From bottom to top:
VSX: Convoy vs Megatron giftset (1984)
VSY: Grimlock vs Soundwave & Frenzy giftset (1985)
VSZ: Sunstreaker & Skids vs Buzzsaw giftset (1986)





VSX: Convoy vs Megatron giftset (1984)
(this set is unused and comes with the poster)


VSY: Grimlock vs Soundwave & Frenzy giftset (1985)
(this set is unused and comes with the storybook)


VSZ: Sunstreaker & Skids vs Buzzsaw giftset (1986)
(this set is stickers applied and missing some catalogue papers, but it has no flap crease!)


Photo also showing the other 2 rare early giftsets:
Goodbye Convoy giftset: Convoy, Alert, Ligier (1986)
Goodbye Megatron giftset: Megatron, Starscream (1986)

26 March 2017

VSX auction on eBay from Grimlock's Paradise


Where these were once as rarely seen as unicorns and leprechauns, these have been appearing a little more since late last year.

Here comes another VSX. It is on eBay for a BIN price of US$10,000 minus $0.01.

I have added this record to my tally here.

Link to auction is http://www.ebay.com/itm/Transformers-Takara-Vintage-VSX-Optimus-Prime-Megatron-Giftset-MIB-Unused-/172592005930?&_trksid=p2056016.l4276.

26 February 2017

The year was 1987 - USA Headmasters, Targetmasters and Monsterbots


The 1987 Decepticon Headmasters & Targetmasters: Snapdragon MIB (unused, sealed), Apeface (unused, sealed), Targetmaster Cyclonus MIB, Targetmaster Scourge MIB, Slugslinger MIB, Triggerhappy MIB, Misfire MIB, Mindwipe MIB, Weirdwolf MIB, Skullcruncher MIB.


The 1987 Autobot Headmasters & Targetmasters: Highbrow MIB, Brainstorm MIB, Chromedome MIB, Hardhead MIB, Targetmaster Hot Rod MIB, Targetmasters Blurr MIB, Targetmasters Kup MIB, Pointblank MIB, Crosshairs MIB, Sureshot MIB

15 February 2017

1987 Headmaster Horrorcons - Snapdragon and Apeface



Takara D-99: Apeface MIB
Takara D-100: Snapdragon MIB
Hasbro Apeface MIB (unused, sealed to bubble)
Hasbro Snapdragon MIB (unused, sealed to bubble)
Loose Apeface: robot mode, gorilla mode, plane mode
Loose Snapdragon: robot mode, dragon mode, plane mode

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