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

Monday 8 October 2018

Diaclone Jetrobo F-15 Hi-Speed Fighter

Takara's Diaclone Jetrobo F-15 Eagle Hi-Speed Fighter from the Real & Robo sub-series, released in Japan in 1983, was the very first use of the now-legendary Transformers G1 Starscream mould. In my mind, it is as historic a figure as Diaclone Battle Convoy, the predecessor to G1 Optimus Prime. It represents an absolutely magical purchase for me personally, although not one I have ever chased with much fervour - which actually surprises me a lot. The manner in which this toy finds itself in my collection and was completed - it didn't start out as a purchase of a complete toy - is something of a reflection of everything I feel I am about in this hobby and what it means to me.

Wednesday 19 September 2018

Hasbro G1 Turbomaster Hurricane

The Turbomasters are an absolute wonder of late European (and Japanese) Generation 1 Transformers. Some refer to these particular Autobots and other toys of the same era as G1.5, as they are so close to the Generation 2 era toys, but they are still absolutely G1 toys, from 1992. They are also some of the best G1 toys in existence because they have the core essence of what makes G1 special evident throughout their makeup. 

Monday 27 August 2018

Hasbro Canada G1 Pre-rub Bumblebee

In 1984, The Transformers graced the world. Well, some countries in the world. The United States, United Kingdom and Canada are probably the three best known territories that received Transformers toys in the first year of their manufacture. Hasbro Canada had an appreciable pre-rubsign range of Autobots and Decepticons in 1984, including the very earliest 'pre-rub' minibots packaged in vehicle mode on their card backs. Canadian G1 figures had bilingual packaging, English and French, including a French name for the character. In Bumblebee's case, his French name was "Bourdon", and quite apart from being the same as a Hasbro US pre-rub Bumblebee, the packaging featured something extremely unique.

Monday 9 July 2018

Milton Bradley G1 Warpath

I've spoken a lot about European G1 Transformers on this blog, recently, and this short piece will be much of the same. The Warpath you see above is from 1985, and the packaging is branded Milton Bradley instead of Hasbro. Otherwise, it's a standard, Takara-manufactured G1 Warpath. This would have been available in countries like France, Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, Spain and parts of Scandinavia on a quad-lingual Milton Bradley cardback. It also happens to be a bit of a rarity.

Sunday 1 July 2018

Milton Bradley G1 Ravage

I'm not exaggerating when I say the Transformers Generation 1 Milton Bradley-badged Ravage from 1985 is one of the rarest packaged regular production Transformers in the history of the line. Ravage itself is a very common G1 toy, released in many countries and in many forms, but this specific packaging from mainland European countries in 1985 stands out as not just the rarest occurrence of this figure, not just of all the known and confirmed MB-badged G1 figures, but almost ALL G1 packaged figures worldwide.

Sunday 24 June 2018

The Mysterious G1 Tracks Stickers

Generation 1 Transformers are magical. Not just the toys, but everything that surrounds them, to this day. The fact that I am finding it impossible to do a straightforward stickering of a vintage or reissue G1 toy without finding some mystery, inconsistency or long-ignored point of fascination is a credit to just how mad everything being produced at the time was, and just how much this hobby and this area of Transformers collecting still has to offer even seasoned enthusiasts. This is how I came to discover that most of us have been stickering G1 Tracks incorrectly for 33 years!

Saturday 23 June 2018

Plasticos IGA G1 "Hoistbreaker" Hoist Quickie

I recently picked up another Plasticos IGA G1 Hoist, that is a Mexican Hoist with a green Trailbreaker head! This toy is from 1986 and is a famous Transformers variant; one of the finest examples of repainting an old mould instead of using the updated parts of the retool - even if it involved not updating the head, the most character-giving part of the toy! You can read in-depth analysis of the 'Hoistbreaker' from Mexico in my Mexican G1 "Trailbreaker Head" Hoist piece for this blog and also the TF-1 article.

Tuesday 19 June 2018

Another Hasbro G1 "Orange Canopy" Ramjet

The Hasbro G1 Ramjet variant with the orange canopy and I seem to have an inseparable destiny. I once owned a Hasbro production sample Ramjet with a pre-rub style orange canopy but gifted it to a friend. I then found and bought a production version of the same variant, and sold that too. Now, I have what I believe to be an even later production version orange canopy G1 Hasbro Ramjet - and in all this time I'm not aware of anyone else having found another example. So what's the deal?

Wednesday 13 June 2018

Ceji G1 Bombshell

I'm re-treading the past again here on Square One. I first featured the Ceji-manufactured 1986 G1 Insecticon variants from Europe a few years ago as a set. The article on the Ceji G1 "Orange Chested" Insecticons was basically what the title suggested, a look at the French-made Insecticons produced by Ceji on behalf of Hasbro Bradley for the 1986 wave of Transformers in mainland Europe. The deeper and richer orange plastic on the chest canopies was always the draw of these variants, making the toys more closely resemble their box artwork compared to Hasbro's vintage Insecticons with a much more yellow translucent plastic. So why revisit the Ceji Bombshell?

Saturday 9 June 2018

Hasbro Walmart Exclusive G1 Hot Rod

Talk about a welcome surprise. Here we have the brand new, Walmart (and Hasbro Asia?) exclusive reissue of Generation 1 Hot Rod. Completely out of the blue, a surprise listing seen from an Asian retailer, and certainly not the first time he has been reissued. Takara first reissued “Hot Rodimus” for the Japanese market in 2000 with vintage-style G1 Takara Packaging. Hasbro then released it as "Rodimus Major" for Western markets in the Commemorative Series packaging. Takara then reissued a Targetmaster version for the TF Collection reissue series in 2004. There was no Encore reissue for Hot Rod, so although fans feel like we are constantly getting Hot Rod reissues, it’s actually been fourteen years since we got the last reissue G1 Hot Rod – the exact same amount of time from Hot Rod’s vintage 1986 release to the first reissue in 2000. Fourteen years.

Wednesday 6 June 2018

Joustra G1 Starscream

There's something I have missed deeply about writing vintage G1 articles, especially those that are about obscure variants, and that's the thrill of discovering something new or undocumented. I recently bought the above Starscream from a European seller, not expecting it to be anything groundbreaking; it just happened to be a good price and in highly displayable condition. Perfect for someone rebuilding their variant collection. What I found instead was a hugely significant and probably historical - yet tiny - detail. Spoiler alert, though, there may only be five of us worldwide who will care!

Monday 28 May 2018

Hasbro G1 Sixchanger Quickswitch

In 1988, Hasbro gave the Autobots their very own ultimate gimmickformer, the six-moded Sixchanger "Quickswitch". The Decepticons, of course, had the magnificent Sixshot from 1987, and now the Autobots too had a multi-form warrior. Quickswitch, over the years, has been roundly criticised as a Transformer based on his suspiciously non-descript modes and odd proportions. Sixshot is superior to most collectors. On my mission to collect mint examples of all 1987 and 1988 G1 Transformers, in order to experience them as they should have been, straight out of the box in the 80s, I knew I could find something to appreciate in this bizarre toy if I found him in the right condition.

Saturday 17 February 2018

Fans Hobby MasterBuilder MB-09B Trailer

When Fans Hobby released their first figure - MB-01 Archenemy - they said they would eventually do a proper in-scale trailer for it. MB-01 Archenemy was of course their Masterpiece-scale version of Car Robots Black Convoy / RiD Scourge. The repaint of MB-01 was MB-04 Gun Fighter II, their take on the original owner of the vintage sculpt, Generation 2 Laser Optimus Prime. Gun Fighter II was fantastic, even improving on the excellent Archenemy, and now his trailer is nearing release. Soon, collectors everywhere will have the chance to complete the Laser Prime look and package as he was originally intended by Fans Hobby.

Monday 29 January 2018

Fans Hobby MasterBuilder MB-03B The Red Dragon

This tremendous looking beast is Fans Hobby's "Red Dragon". Designated MB-03B in the MasterBuilder series (basically Masterpiece-alike), it is their repaint of Feilong/Doublecross into a Beast Wars Transmetal 2 Megatron. There was already a show exclusive MB-03A, but this has a slightly different deco and is mass release. You can read my review of the base mould for Feilong separately, as I'll be focusing on this toy's looks and features for this review as opposed to an in-depth rundown of the mould itself.

Saturday 6 January 2018

Fans Hobby MasterBuilder MB-06 Power Baser

Fans Hobby are the first really credible 3rd Party Transformers outfit to try their hand at a Powermaster Optimus Prime / Super Ginrai figure at Masterpiece scale. The Xovergen figure wasn't good enough for most, it seems. The fact that I can count Fans Hobby as credible a mere 12 months into their existence as an active group is an amazing achievement. So here is MB-06 Power Baser from their Masterpiece-like MasterBuilder series. Their Godbomber-alike will be available in the not too distant future, allowing collectors to have an MP-scale God Ginrai. Exciting prospect!