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)

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