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

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.

As mentioned before, Hasbro had the rights to release Transformers across mainland Europe, but it did not have access to all the Takara moulds of the period. Ceji Joustra had a fair amount of toys that they had exclusive licence to for the same territory, and they came out on the same European shelves (starting 1984) as "Diaclone". The Warpath mould was never released for the pre-Transformers market (as either Diaclone or Micro Change Series), and was not therefore part of the Ceji Joustra Diaclone line. That meant that Hasbro, through the newly acquired Milton Bradley, could sell and distribute Warpath on Transformers cards. They did this as MB was already a recognised brand in Europe and had facilities/connections that Hasbro could use for the sale and distribution of Transformers.

This first wave of Milton Bradley minibots (Warpath, Powerglide, Cosmos, Seaspray and Beachcomber) seem pretty tricky to find, even though the larger first wave MB stuff like Optimus Prime, Megatron, Soundwave, Dinobots and Constructicons appear more often than most MB items. You can see the MB logo on the card front in place of the Hasbro logo we'd be most used to seeing. 

Being an MB release for mainland Europe, the languages on the card are German, French, Dutch and Spanish. There is only enough room on the enlarged tech spec for the translated motto, not the full bio. That was probably a bit of a shame for children at the time, I'd imagine. They also didn't bother to translate the text accompanying each transformation step, but the mailaway literature on the back was all translated. You can also see the Berne copyright convention text below the tech spec and proof that the item was of Japanese manufacture. The significance of that text can be explored here.

Like a lot of the European stuff I picked up recently, this MB Warpath has a French price sticker, with 29 Francs and 50 Centimes being the retail price, translating to roughly $4.15 in 1985/1986. There is also a Milton Bradley France distribution sticker, with MB France being the subsidiary responsible for Transformers in that particular region. Interesting how the card itself says ages 5 and above, but only 36 months and up given as the age advice on the distribution sticker.

Pic courtesy of 80skid

The above is what he would look like if he still had his bubble or was sealed.

Moving onto the Warpath toy itself, it should be a very standard version toy, no real variation to speak of. These were, after all, not repackaged Ceji Joustra Diaclone stock like some of the other Milton Bradley releases that came later. They were also not Ceji manufactured - but there is a 1986 Ceji variant Warpath, it's just not this one. Nothing to do with Ceji, this one.

The lack of a rubsign on the toy is just that, a missing rubsign. The sticker residue is still there, so it's just been removed or fallen off at some point. I should mention at this point that it was only in the last year that I realised you could pull Warpath's arms out in robot mode! 

The card artwork may show him with a silver mouthplate, but most Warpaths came with an unpainted mouthplate. Some variants have a black painted mouthplate, sort of like a beard. It's nice!

Milton Bradley Warpath (left) - Hasbro Warpath (right)

MB Warpath - Hasbro Warpath - Takara Treds

Next to a standard UK-bought Hasbro G1 Warpath, there's almost nothing at all to distinguish them. The last picture above shows the green Decepticon Takara E-Hobby GoBots Treds, homaging a Bandai GoBots toy while at the same time paying tribute to a prototype green Warpath colour scheme that never made it to production, but can be seen in 1984 early Takara Transformers paperwork.

MB Warpath (left) - Hasbro Warpath (right)

Looking at the copyrights underneath, the MB Warpath on the left has the standard rubsign era Hasbro + Takara + dates stamping. The one on the right, a UK-bought Hasbro Warpath, actually only has a Takara stamping. I must admit I initially found this odd, but I have a Seaspray that also only has a Takara stamp. I'm guessing these were just among the very first and earliest series 2 minibots to see release globally. You can find UK Warpaths with both styles of stamping shown above.

You may also notice that the Warpath on the right with the Takara only stamp has two extra mould injection points visible on the longer grey tread sections, their location being roughly either side of the copyright text.

That's really all there is to say about the Milton Bradley Warpath; it's another cool packaging variant stemming from Europe and it's a total bastard to find sealed (or even in this condition) for those collectors who have set their sights on complete Milton Bradley or minibot variant collections. I only purchased it because of the cardback, knowing the toy itself was unremarkable relative to standard Hasbro G1 Warpaths. That said, I'm thrilled to have it, and although I am not actively collecting MB variants these days, it's hard not to smile at what little I have been able to pick up in a remarkably competitive and well-combed marketplace:

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All the best

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