If one is going to collect expensive, rare toys as a hobby, then one must accept that somewhere down the line certain things have to be sacrificed in order to continue collecting the high-end, obscure stuff, or one must switch to cheaper more accessible pursuits...or even cash in on the rare figures in one's collection and accept that other priorities take precedence at certain points in one's life.That's where I'm at, and here is a look at some of the special Transformers and Pre-Transformers items I've said goodbye to recently.
|Takara/Hasbro sample Diaclone "Smokescreen" and MP-19|
|Mexican, Sample and Masterpiece Smokescreens|
Having finally reached the stage where I've had to accept that what I once considered the untouchable core collection must now be sacrificed for future prospects and progress, the first to go were the hybrid Mexican Iga Smokescreen/Bluestreak pair. They were both loose, beautifully mint and undamaged (silly rare for Mexican TFs), and both were half Bluestreak and half Smokescreen, except one was the mirror of the other. I once considered taking them apart and making one 100% "Smokestreak", but that would have sacrificed their integrity and special status as transitional hybrids, so I left them as they were. They will be missed. More on them HERE for anyone interested.
Another big and significant item sold in those same photographs was the one-of-a-kind Takara Diaclone Fairlady Racing that was found in Hasbro possession marked with a "Sample" sticker. Toy was perfect, unused, had all traces of Diaclone heritage removed (paperwork, Diaclone driver and manually removed factory stickers with manufacturer logos and text). Instead it had hand-written markings where Autobot stickers were meant to go and hand-coloured sections on stickers, presumably made by Hasbro staff in the 80s before Smokescreen's final integration into the Transformers line. A breathtaking piece of history, More HERE.
|Mexican Black Prowl|
|C'mon, do a Masterpiece of it!|
Sticking with Mexican Fairladies, this well-known variation also left my collection recently. It was definitely the nicest black Mexican Prowl I had ever owned, and the nicest one I've seen in the last decade. Toy was boxed with bubble, complete, undamaged and only missing instructions. I think having sold on my last 2, it didn't feel like such a heart-wrenching thing to part with another - although I'm sure I won't find another this nice. Maybe deep down I have a belief that I can always find one again if my collection can afford it? Hopefully next time it will be the elusive fully-black variant I've heard about or at least one of the versions with the black crescent on the hood.
|Diaclone Powered Convoy|
|Powered Convoy cab, Diaclone pilot and Powered Buggy|
I owned this Diaclone Powered Convoy for a third of my life and more, I bought it at a time when it was still possible to get really good Japanese ones unbroken, and trust the integrity of the parts it came with, at a very decent price. Although, the first thing I did was compromise that integrity by swapping out the dull grey normal missiles with the much rarer white missiles from the later chrome-trailered variant of the same toy. I also added an Italian GiG release Powered Buggy box as the Japanese Buggy box was missing from my set. This Powered Convoy reminded me of what Diaclone collecting used to be like many years ago. It spent most of its life in storage but for the last year it had been in my display cabinet. No more, but should I ever add another Powered Convoy to my collection, it will absolutely have to be the Ceji Joustra version.
|Reissue Lucky Draw Black Tracks|
|Lucky Draw Black Tracks and Finnish Diaclone black Corvette|
This is another figure I never thought I'd part with, simply due to its strong links with what I launched my TF-1 website with originally, and just how much time I'd invested in uncovering the history of the Finnish Diaclone Black Corvette. Having purchased a vintage Black Corvette from Finland in 2012, letting the reissue go - despite obvious differences between the two - was not a big deal. It's gone to a place where it will be hugely appreciated, and that makes me happy.
|Milton Bradley Sunstreaker-as-Sideswipe|
I think it is important to end a post like this on a positive note, and as much as I will miss these unique and staggeringly rare variants I've made a name for myself documenting and finding, I have benefitted financially from their sale and that will lead to a better life for myself and my loved ones. It is a very privileged position I find myself in, being able to enjoy these toys when others haven't, then making money occasionally on their sale.
The MB Sunswipe above was purchased by me after a number of well-known MB TF collectors allowed me to have a free run at it since I spotted it first, and it is technically a Joustra Diaclone Countach repackaged as a Transformer - and my friends all know that is the #1 toy on my vintage wants list. After purchasing it, I added styro, cardboard inner support, unused stickersheet and unused missile sprue - all authentic and vintage and most of them from this mould/release/version. It brought me great joy to be able to sell it on precisely at cost to one of the greatest people I've ever met online, the guy who deserved this MB Sunswipe the most. Give it a good home, M.
All the best