Even the most available, recent and relatively cheap line of Transformers toys will have its expensive exclusives, rarities or prize version figures. Usually in Japan. Transformers Animated is absolutely no exception, in fact exclusive figures make up a very noticeable part of a complete collection. They aren't always just regular characters in special colours, very often the US exclusives like the TFCC or BotCon figures were brand new Animated characters making them completely essential. What we have here though are the Japanese Takara Tomy exclusive gold chromed 'Lucky Draw' deluxe Earth mode Optimus Prime and deluxe Cybertronian mode Megatron, both limited to 1000 pieces each, which is actually quite a lot for a Lucky Draw figure.
|Nothing too fancy|
|Clamshell inner packaging|
Often these two figures are sold as a set, but their origin isn't exactly the same. Optimus Prime's campaign ran between August 1st and September 30th 2010, whereas the campaign for the gold Megatron ran between November 1st 2010 and January 16th 2011. When Prime's campaign ended, one month later gold Megatron's entry period for submissions began. To enter the lottery where Optimus could be won, residents of Japan could send in a barcode from a single regular TF Animated figure, or 4 from the smaller EZ collection figures. Five Transformers Sega trading cards or specified sections of the Japanese Animated DVD character cards could also be used to enter the Optimus campaign lottery.
The choices of lottery entry for Megatron included the same regular Animated figure barcode, but one from a regular Autobot Alliance movie figure could also be accepted. The four EZ collection barcodes were again usable as entry too, as were 5 Sega TF trading cards. Character cards from DVDs could be used as entry like with Optimus, but for Megatron the DVD could be volume 4 or 5 of Transformers Animated as well as the Transformers: Revenge Greatest Hits DVD. Plenty of ways to enter, 1000 of each figure available, it's no wonder the Animated Megatron and Optimus are among the most 'available' of the Japanese Lucky Draw figures, and probably among the cheapest too.
This absolutely delightful deluxe class Animated Prime mould is a winner in every deco it's ever been available in. From the Hasbro Battle Begins/Revenge of Blackarachnia 2-packs with the battle damage to the Japanese Takara Tomy exclusive Sons Of Cybertron clear deco or the Family Mart B-prize regular Prime deco with no battle damage, the transformation, posability and look of this figure score highly. The axe with this toy is commonly thought to be the most screen accurate version of Animated Prime's primary weapon. It's heavily based on the Cybertronian Mode Optimus Prime deluxe which I actually prefer, but this is a superb figure and pulls off heroic in robot mode like very few figures of this size ever have. The axe can be gripped by both hands very easily leading to some killer poses, and in gold chrome Animated Prime shines, figuratively and literally.
Fewer pictures of Megatron? Yes indeed, he's certainly not my favourite Transformers Animated toy. I found both the Cybertronian mode voyager and deluxe class toys to be uninspiring figures that I barely ever touch or interact with. It doesn't help that the Cybertronian mode doesn't really look like anything at all. Of the two Cyb mode Megatrons, the deluxe is the better toy in my opinion, his arm cannon far more reasonably sized with the deluxe. Posability is actually pretty good and he certainly looks great as a robot, if painfully small compared to how big he was on screen relative to Prime. I've been far more interested in picking this figure up and transforming it than the battle damaged one I have, or the brand new Fight Of Start un-damaged silver metallic version I just got in despite the gold chrome release being about 20 times their value. I guess I am one of those shallow gits who can have a toy he's not fussed about doused in gold chrome and suddenly take an interest.
Something both gold Animated deluxes have going for them is that they can be played with, transformed, posed and displayed without as much fear of flaking gold compared to other Lucky Draw toys I have seen. There is a decent amount of gold plastic on both Prime and Megatron, and it seems to be at key friction points (not counting Megatron's shoulder tabs) so throughout Prime's transformation, I never experienced two gold surfaces scrape or make worrying amounts of contact. It's a crime to have these figures and not see gold Prime in vehicle mode.
I don't know whether it's their increased availability compared to other prize toys of a similar nature, or if it's the fact that for me Transformers Animated toys should be played with and posed, transformed, enjoyed, or if it's because I got them in trade value as well as cash towards something I was selling...but I just have no issue picking these up, taking them out of the box and having a mess about. I have not been treating them like trophies or museum pieces. See? Transformers Animated wins at Lucky Draw. Just like it wins at everything else.
All the best
Maz - with big assist from the TFWiki