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

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

A Big Reveal (Finale)

Armed with the company name "Gisima S.L." and the original information provided by Pablo, it became much easier to track down information on the company responsible for manufacturing and selling the Spanish bootleg minibots. Websites led to blogs, which in turn led to forums and eventually the scope of these releases - and the number of available variants - became clear. Painfully clear.

Same stickers as black Windcharger KO

To quote from the excellent Toys From The Past blog run by Juan Angel Serrano:

"Gisima is a Spanish toy manufacturer based in Ibi (Alicante). The company was founded in the year 1978 by Miguel Juan Gimeno, Emilio Mollá Silvestre, Plácido Martos and a brother of him. The name of the company was taken from the first syllable of each surname: GImeno – SIlvestre – MArtos.

"The company manufactured toys from the very beginning, it was not one of those companies whose production derived from plastics or metal to toys, but a toy company from 1978 on...Something that I find particularly nice, is that the company still exists. In 1998, the name GISIMA was changed to Game Movil S.L.".

Sprue connection marks evident

One of many, many variants available

It was clearly evident that within Spanish circles, the story was quite well known and these toys existed in the collections of toy enthusiasts, not Transformers enthusiasts exclusively, and everyone had a particular piece of the puzzle. I was seeing the same toys I had uncovered already though; the Beachcomber KOs, the black Windcharger and the Seaspray. Then I came across a particular collector whose acquisitions and displays contained a significantly larger part of the puzzle than most:

Pic property of "Scorponok" from Nuevadominion/Cybertron

Pic property of "Scorponok" from Nuevadominion/Cybertron

This simply incredible Gisima KO minibot store display is the photographic and physical property of Nuevadominion/Cybertron member "Scorponok". I do so wish I had been able to establish contact with him and ask for more photos, information and a price! Alas, I did not ever hear back from him so I hope he will not be too dismayed to see his photos in use here for informational purposes, I have tried to credit fully and will adjust accordingly upon hearing from him in the future of course.

Marketed as "Trans Formers" and showing only Beachcomber, Seaspray and Windcharger, the full extent of the different colour combinations and the task of any self-styled minibot completist are nothing short of daunting. The variety of colours evident across the eighteen KO minibots in that store display alone means that any combination of parts was possible during assembly. If we look at the yellow and blue Beachcomber in the centre of the display, it has yellow legs and feet whereas the previous two showcased here had alternating/inverse colours, so hybrids are a real possibility.

Pic property of "Scorponok" from Nuevadominion/Cybertron

Seeing that every KO minibot seems to have a direct inverse variant, and hybrids too, trying to come up with a complete listing becomes virtually impossible. One can only list the extremes of each colour scheme and leave it to the collector to fill in the gaps for what else was possible and released. Within the above store display we can see the all black Windcharger, the red and cream Seaspray and its inverse, a yellow and blue Beachcomber not quite the same as the two photographed previously, cream and blue Windchargers and cream and blue Beachcombers. This means the Beachcomber had red/yellow schemes, blue/yellow schemes and then cream/blue schemes. 

Taste the rainbow

It's only when you realise that virtually every single part of one of these minibots is subject to variation that you spot the smaller details. For example, I never realised that the red and yellow Beachcombers I have are not 100% the inverse of each other, they both have yellow roofs. Now if you look at the blue and yellow ones in the above picture, they are completely inverse in every respect, wheels, wheel hubs, roofs, feet, legs, head, arms and torso. 

Pic courtesy of Felix Arroyo

There is a distinction between the cream and yellow plastic used on the Windcharger KO mould too, just like the Beachcomber. So each is available in blue/yellow, yellow blue, then cream/blue and blue/cream. Just to show that there are points in-between those inverse extremes, look closely at Felix Arroyo's yellow/blue Gisima Windcharger above. It's almost a perfect duplicate of the cream/blue Windcharger shown in previous pictures and in the same picture, except the front wheel hubs on the yellow/blue Windcharger above are yellow like the rest of the wheel, not blue like the rear hubs. For the sake of sanity, collectors are probably going to have to stick to the main inverse variant types and just accept whatever little irregularity in assembly comes their way.

Yellow/blue Gisima Windcharger - Pic courtesy of Felix Arroyo

Yellow/blue Gisima Windcharger - Pic courtesy of Felix Arroyo

I think when I am referring to these variants, in order to avoid confusion (hah!) I'll label the head/torso colour of the Windcharger mould as its primary colour, so the Windcharger featured immediately above will be the yellow/blue version as its robot head is yellow. The Beachcombers also could be classified by head colour, so the very first gumball Beachcomber KO found by Ras would be a yellow/blue, saying yellow first and primarily as that's the colour of his robot head and most prominent in vehicle mode. For Seaspray too, the head/torso colour of the figure should act as the primary colour of the variant.

So in the picture above, from left to right we'd have to classify them as yellow/red Beachcomber, red/yellow Beachcomber, cream/blue Windcharger, red/cream Seaspray, black Windcharger, blue/yellow Beachcomber and yellow/blue Beachcomber. Having spoken to Spanish collectors, people who used to own one of these Gisima items and from responses on the Spanish forum sites, there are some variants that people have owned/seen but there are no photographs of them today, such as an all cream Windcharger (presumably the inverse of the all black one). Conceivably, all of them have a variant where assembly involved monochromatic parts, so an all yellow Beachcomber or an all red Seaspray.

Mission impossible?

Assuming, though, that the all black and all cream Windchargers were deliberately monochromatic where other solid-colour "errors" on the toys are assembly irregularities where there were some guidelines as to what the main colours for each release should be, we can put together a provisional list of variants. Looking at the toys, it also appears that no more than 2 colours of plastic were used per figure, so the red/cream/blue toys shown in the stock photography on the store display may be just that, stock images and not actual released toys. 

All that in mind, we potentially have the following main variants with confirmed ones accompanied by the owner/photographer's name in brackets:

  • Red/Yellow (Maz)
  • Yellow/Red (Maz)
  • Blue/Yellow (Maz)
  • Yellow/Blue (Maz)
  • Blue/Cream (Scorponok)
  • Cream/Blue (Scorponok)

  • Black (Maz)
  • Cream - assumed
  • Cream/Blue (Maz)
  • Blue/Cream (Scorponok)
  • Yellow/Blue (Felix)
  • Blue/Yellow - assumed

  • Red/Cream (Maz)
  • Cream/Red (Scorponok)
  • Burgundy/Cream (Argus)
  • Cream/Burgundy - assumed

Gisima KO Transformers

That's thirteen confirmed variants, sixteen with the assumed inverse versions, and eighteen if you assume 3 main colour sets for each mould. Once you start counting the hybrids with Beachcomber roof colours, wheel hubs, legs and Windcharger wheel hubs to name the ones I've seen, the number goes well above a possible 20. Then there's the ones I haven't seen, Felix mentioned a red and white Windcharger, and the store display does show red parts on Windcharger too.

These bootleg minibots from Gisima, released in Spain during the height of vintage global Transformers popularity, will probably never be considered by collectors as on a par with South American minibots from Brazil or Peru because Gisima's re-moulds are not official and were not sold on Transformers cards, or something derivative but still licensed. They will always be knockoffs, but the sheer range of those available, the interesting interpretation of the original moulds and the bizarre colours on minis - all in the right scale to sit beside official TF minibots and do it well - means that completists will be forced to stand up and pay attention. Finds like this, where an entire range of G1-based toys - popular ones - exist in undiscovered colour schemes and extent outside their own country will simply stop one day, so it's important to enjoy them when they come along. We're running out of countries!

Quite a long way from a knockoff Beachcomber found in a gumball machine on holiday, right?

End of A Big Reveal
The full collected blog chapters of "A Big Reveal" can now be found now on TF-1 HERE

Huge thanks to Pablo, Juan Angel Serrano, Felix Arroyo and Ras. An unreserved apology also to Scorponok of Nuevadomain/Cybertron for using pictures without express permission, I'm at your mercy should you wish them removed once you see my request.

All the best


  1. Great articles, Maz!!! Congrats!!! I remember got 4 or 5 of these kos in my chillhood... Now they are all no more than dust XD
    Also, I´m a friend os "Scorponok" from Nueva Dominion, I just advice him from your blog and this entry, I hope that he can contact with you soon. He is a great collector from here (Spain) with a lot of rare items from various transformers robots RARE franchises, like these Gisima´s KOs.
    Again, thank you for the articles!!!
    All the best from Spain ^^

    1. Hola! Thank you so much for the kind words, it means a lot coming from those of you who had first-hand experience of these Gisima bootlegs.

      I would LOVE to hear from Scorponok, please inform him that he can contact me at Synwraith (at) hotmail (dot) com :)

      I looked through his collection thread on Nueva Dominion, it was incredibly impressive.

      Thanks again, a real pleasure to hear from you!

      All the best

  2. Holy. Crud. I don't even know where to begin. I think one could spend a lifetime trying to track all of these down. The mind boggles.

    1. And that's just the ones we know about!

      All the best

  3. Truly amazing. GREAT article. Thank you for sharing and enlightening us on the background of these interesting KOs.

    1. A pleasure Colbey, thank you so much for the kind words.

      All the best