Non-affiliated, Non-lengthy, Non-articles about Transformers

Sunday, 9 March 2014

Diaclone "Yellow Trailbreaker" Quickie

Another I-can't-make-an-article-out-of-this Quickie! Impossible not to think of nacho cheese, it's the Diaclone No.5 Car Robot Hilux 4WD in yellow, otherwise referred to as "Yellow Trailbreaker". One of the most exotic original colours for the pre-Trailbreaker mould, and one of the toughest to find. Released in Japan (and Japan only) circa August 1982, he was also available in blue and black as a Diaclone.

Diaclone "Yellow Trailbreaker"

The Diaclone "Yellow Trailbreaker" comes in exactly the same box as the black and blue release, but you can see that the black version was used for the box artwork and photography, implying it was the primary release. While it's a fact that the yellow version is by far the most desirable, bizarre and representative of the appeal of Diaclone Car Robots, the blue Japanese - not Diakron or GiG - Hilux is a bloody tough toy. When was the last time you saw an unused one?

Clear window version

Incredibly alluring colours

This highly eye-catching scheme was of course totally unique to Japanese Diaclone, and despite multiple reissue Trailbreakers, we've never had a reissue exclusive yellow version of the mould, preserving the already considerable value of the original. Yellow and blue Japanese Hilux 4WDs have the same black side stickers as Trailbreaker, but interestingly the black version of this toy as a Japanese Diaclone had unique yellow side stickers. Also not an easy toy to find.

With the Diaclone pilot, and of course missing a fist

These Diaclone pre-Trailbreakers from Japan seem to come with intra-colour variations, some having clear windshields and rear windows, and some with translucent blue. All 3 colours of the Hilux have shown this variation. Like the "Red Hoist" - and also the "Black Skids" we looked at recently - this toy has unique accessories too, namely the yellow fists that come sprued in package. You can imagine how desperate a quest it is trying to find replacements. 

On the subject of Red Hoist, here are the two most exotic Hilux-based Diaclones together, cutting quite the mirror universe look:

Red hoist and Yellow Trailbreaker

Wannabe Wrecker!

Can you imagine how successful an E-Hobby set of the above would have been? It would have eclipsed the popularity of the Clampdown and Deepcover set, as well as the Gold Jazz and Silver Streak in my opinion. If they could justify a black Ironhide reissue that barely sells nowadays, quite why these were off the table during Encore escapes me. I shouldn't complain too much, the lack of a reissue kept the value of my Yellow Trailbreaker high and softened the blow of saying goodbye. Hard to imagine I'll ever own one again though, so if you get an opportunity, grab it with both hands - even if Yellow Trailbreaker doesn't have both of his!

Into the sunset

All the best


  1. Love it. Love the tone of this post, although, I don't love yellow Hilux haha.

    I can sort of see why eHobby would not have done a reissue of this. Whilst, a yellow sports car (eg: Sunstreaker or Tiger Track) would be quite attractive, a yellow 4WD is just not really enticing. Speaking entirely from my subjective tasts buds of course, perhaps mustard Trailbreaker is not the right flavour.....

    1. Thanks so much, B. I think if people can find the posts interesting and enjoyable, without having any love of the topic of the post, that's something I;d be most happy with.

      I honestly believe, keeping in mind that the E-hobby sets are strictly collector-focused, they never needed to worry about appealing to everyday fans with sexy sportscars and stuff, their remit is surely to offer obscure, l;imited exclusives that the majority would not normally take an interest in - just look at Hauler/Detritus.

      All the best

    2. True that about eHobby. However, from what I could tell Hauler and Detritus really shelf warmed when they were released where I was. They were obscure, but perhaps *too* obscure? Shop owner at the time was on the verge of giving away Detritus.... there were so many left that even at $30 no one wanted one (even if they didn't have it).

      On the other hand the Sideswipe / Red Alert (initial eHobby release) sets sold well, even when the released them again as "New Year" specials.

    3. I think that has to do with the fact that they had virtually no history and were new colours, a yellow TB would have come with the weight of Diaclone ..and not only that but "rare Diaclone" behind it, and that would in my opinion have made it immediately important to all those who could never dream of getting the originals. With Red Tracks and Grey Skids, originals were obtainable for those who cared, but even Diaclone collectors find it rough going finding a yellow Hilux.

      All the best

    4. Hmm... you could be right in terms of the 'weight of Diaclone' analogy.

      Although from where I'm from, perhaps also owing to that period of time (in early 2000s) where Diaclone colours were still relatively unknown (again where I'm from), most of the eHobby releases that did not have a direct Transformers relation were scored upon and generally did not do well in terms of sale.

      For example, blackhooded Streaks, which matched his cartoon colour scheme, flew off the shelves and were sold out in days.

      Compared with for example the Deepcover / Clampdown set or the Road Rage / Crosscut set, both of whom has strong Diaclone links, which did not sell well.

      In fact, there was so much left over stock at the time that a seller begged me to take Deepcover, Clampdown and Tigertrack (itself being a Diaclone related colour), all MISB for US$100 - for all *three*.

      So I guess it depends on knowlege, place and time.... haha

    5. Well, since we were originally looking at Yellow TB/Red Hoist versus a sportscar set like Clampdown/Deepcover - and the latter weren't massively popular on release as per your observation - they might as well have given us the yellow TB/Red Hoist set anyway if that would have been a slow seller to start with regardless of sportscar nature or not! :)

      Now all of this said, at the time I was in Diaclone circles and their view of the world was undoubtedly different to most of the fandom, for example Anime Streak was generally disliked because of the awful factory label on the bumper and the super cheap grey plastic look across the car. By contrast everyone I knew went mad for Gold Jazz, Red Tracks, Silver Skids and the Countach recolours.

      "So I guess it depends on knowlege, place and time"

      Absolutely, well said.

      All the best