This isn't an easy giftset to find and then justify the price for. The toys within are not vastly different in moulding or appearance to anything that isn't already easily available from Hasbro, but for those who love the Cybertronian Mode Animated Optimus Prime deluxe or the Cybertronian Mode Animated Megatron deluxe, it's a big deal. This is the Japanese Takara Tomy Animated "Fight of Start" giftset - or at least that's what I'm calling it thanks to the gramatically incorrect English text on the back of the box. I guess it kind of acts as TT's answer to the Hasbro "Battle Begins" giftset in the US and Europe where the Earth mode deluxe Prime and Cybertronian deluxe Megatron were packaged together with the DVD.
The whole situation with the deluxe mode Animated leaders was pretty confusing for me to get my head around all at once as I wasn't following the development of variants when these things were actually being released. What sold this set to me was the opportunity to have the utterly magnificent Cyb mode Optimus Prime in shiny metallic Takara colours, as no matter how good the Hasbro version is, a better finish on all the parts would elevate it even further up the list of best deluxe TF ever. Not that there are too many figures ahead of it anyway. You can see that the Megatron is also metallic-coloured and both feature collector's cards. The presentation of the set is rather magnificent but wow did it take long to undo all those twisty-ties.
From initially disliking this mould a great deal (thanks irrationally to the voyager), and then growing to accept it could have some cool features when I bought the gold chromed lucky draw exclusive, by the time I have gotten around to the Fight Of Start version with no battle damage...it's not that bad after all. Proportions are great and despite his tendency to do the splits on any sort of slippery surface, it's as good as you could expect a deluxe version of Cyb Animated Megatron to be. Terrible alternate mode, mind.
So, about all those versions and the lack of 'battle damage', here's my understanding of what's available, in no particular order:
"Battle Begins" giftset (Hasbro)
- battle damaged deluxe Earth mode Optimus Prime and battle damaged deluxe Cyb mode Megatron
"Revenge of Blackarachnia" 2-pack (Hasbro)
- battle damaged deluxe Earth mode Optimus Prime and deluxe Blackarachnia
"Battle in Space" 2-pack (Hasbro)
- battle damaged deluxe Cyb mode Megatron and deluxe Prowl
Deluxe Cybertronian mode Optimus Prime (Hasbro)
- matte deluxe Cyb mode Optimus Prime
"Fight Of Start" giftset (Takara Tomy)
- metallic deluxe Cyb mode Optimus Prime and metallic deluxe Cyb mode Megatron
Family Mart B Prize (Takara Tomy)
- matte deluxe Earth Mode Optimus Prime
"Sons Of Cybertron" giftset (Takara Tomy)
- translucent deluxe Earth mode Optimus Prime and translucent deluxe Rodimus
Optimus Prime Gold Version (Takara Tomy)
- gold chrome deluxe Earth mode Optimus Prime
Megatron Gold Version (Takara Tomy)
- gold chrome deluxe Cyb mode Megatron
What we can see is that Hasbro only ever released the deluxe Earth mode Optimus and Cyb mode Megatron in 2-packs, never individually, and never without battle damage. If you want those 2 figures without battle damage, you have to track down the store exclusive Family Mart Optimus or the Fight Of Start giftset I'm featuring here from Takara Tomy. That may sound like the Japanese market had the better end of it, but the Hasbro versions are far more available today for anyone who wants to experience the mould. Japan also never had the Cyb mode Megatron deluxe sold individually unless you count the lucky draw figure. Which I don't.
For me though, the main draw and the reason for chasing down this "Fight of Start" set was always the Cyb mode Optimus figure with the different paint application. Everything I bought in Animated the first time through was for show accuracy, this time I've been more interested in completion and spicing things up, exploring every other aspect of the releases. As you'd expect, shiny fancy colours on one of the most brilliant Transformers sculpts for this size and price range ever, it's just wonderful.
All the best