Seven and a half years ago, in the summer of 2006, I went on holiday with a couple of friends to Mallorca, an island off the coast of Spain. It was to be a 2 week vacation in the sun, as far removed from daily life as possible. That included the people, the day job and even the hobbies. So imagine our surprise when one of the highlights of the holiday ended up being the discovery of a never-before-seen Transformers G1 variant. Sort of...
|A rare break from the beach, Sega Rally or pool|
Normally that would be a most unwelcome intrusion on a holiday for the other people accompanying me, but one of those people was Ras (his illness expressed HERE), so it almost became the central theme of the trip, eventually. Obviously Spain is well known for having a lot of gold-boxed Classic Generation 1 Transformers, and more recently it has become known for having had Milton Bradley G1 Transformers too, so the presence of something interesting was not without precedent. But with Mallorca being such a popular British tourist destination, and knowing that Ras had been here many times before, surely we'd have heard something about what was to come?
|Mallorcan toy store|
At first, all we found were Binaltech bootlegs from Chinese company A&L called "Metals Transform", very well known in the community and I already had a significant number of them at the time. Toy stores like the above, and even beach-lining souvenir shops had the odd KO Binaltech in their inventory. What Ras spotted in a gumball machine, though, was quite a surprise, and wholly typical of that lucky bugger's now-legendary knack for being in the right place at the right time...
|What? You can't see it?|
So you already know the source of the big reveal is not an official toy. Takara and Hasbro were never going to licence versions of their Transformers toys to be sold in a cheap European souvenir shop, let alone in a 1 Euro gumball machine intended for tourists to placate bored children.
However, there are crappy bootlegs, and there are bootlegs that collectors will hunt for years because the items in question would bring a genuine sense of expansion to an area of the hobby that never seems to stop growing. This is not yet the reveal, as some of you may know about this through Ras already, but it's a great place to start...
|End of Part 1|
All the best