For the longest time I owned a Hasbro US production sample early G1 Ramjet, originally owned by the Hartman brothers and before that by an ex-Hasbro employee. The toy was resealed to the card and had an orange canopy like on Ramjet's box artwork and stock photography. It was basically a pre-release variant, a sample of immense value and unique feature. Well it was until I found what I believed to be an actual production version of an orange-canopied G1 Ramjet.
|Hasbro production sample orange-canopied Ramjet|
|Misplaced rubsign, no factory stickers on wings|
The Hasbro production sample was very special, it had no factory stickers on its main wings, the canopy was smooth and orange like a pre-rub Skywarp or Thundercracker piece, and the rubsign was placed on the black die cast shoulder. This obviously had to be amended because the shoulder stickers would have covered the rub symbol completely had it continued to be produced that way.
|Not the smartest placement|
Except they were produced this way, not just this production sample, but many of the first Dirges, Ramjets, Thrusts and even some Starscreams. Either very late 1984 or the earliest stuff in 1985 with rub symbols. Having passed this stunning sample onto a new owner last year, I then found a loose specimen too, but a proper production version, not pre-production.
|Production version "Orangjet"|
Orange smooth canopy, check. Misplaced rubsign, check. However, being one step along the evolutionary scale than the production sample, this Ramjet that would have been on a store shelf actually had factory stripe stickers on the wings and the copyright had the typical 1985 Hasbro line added to the Takara + Kanji + dates stamping, unlike the production sample.
|Standard 85 Ramjet copyright|
Is it possible that it was a custom? Sure, it's possible. The misplaced rubsign could have been faked I guess. But the thing is, the auction never made any noise about the rubsign or the orange canopy. It was just sold as "Transformers Ramjet" or something like that by a non-collector. For me it was too much of a coincidence, and I accepted that it was a very early G1 Ramjet released with an orange canopy. The rest is history. Literally history, as I sold it last year. Just another curiosity I couldn't afford to keep, boo-hoo. But yay, another Orange Ramjet!
All the best