General talk about Transformers figures from any era.

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Postby iceman » Tue Dec 07, 2010 6:44 pm

Last edited by iceman on Sun Jul 23, 2017 12:08 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby iceman » Wed Dec 08, 2010 4:56 pm

PART TWO of my 101 FAQ, answering some more detailed questions..

Disclaimer: Again like Part One, all content is factual and what is officially known at the time of this FAQs release, and again in no way am I responsible for your Transformer purchasing matters

So here we go with some more bed time reading material :)

1)Q#: Why was/is there SO MANY mold and Manufacturing stamp changes to all the figures in general, it sure makes life difficult!

A: I will break this into 2 parts and make the understanding of it as easy as I can.
Question & Answer #1 will be Manufacture stamp changes, Question & Answer #2 will be Mold changes.


*Initially the Takara sourced Transformers, (diaclone, Micro Change etc) had pre-Hasbro associated Manufacture and Date stamps, usually including just TAKARA, The year and place of manufacture stamped on the figures. In the very initial batch of Transformers branded toys, this remained mainly unchanged. Especially on the Minibots. However, into Transformers 2nd year,(1985) and even in some cases during their first year, 1984, They started rolling out Date stamps to include Hasbros partnership as a joint venture, with the year dates likewise sometimes updated.

Here is some further reasons as to why the manufacturing stamps changed:
*To keep with world trends at the time, saving on manufacture costs (around 1986), manufacturing started leaving Japans shores To other outsourced factories, in Macau, China etc. This required a change.
*Updates and further later Reissues often updated the stamps to the year of reissue, as well its new manufacturing location, like the late Eighties/early Nineties 'Classics' line.
*As it was not just one factory manufacturing the figures, different factories could produce a different version for any-given
figure that they were ranging in their domestic market. This applies also to the toy distribution companies who may have even made their own Transformers figures like the IGA in Mexico, The South Americas and so forth.
*To show Takara and Hasbros collaboration.

2)A: MOLD CHANGES were made for the following reasons:
*To adhere to then-current(still current and updating) Child toy safety laws. This was done from the very beginning of the Transformers line.
*To fix weak points in figures that caused several complaints from children and parents at the time, like the waist joint on Metroplex.
*When molds needed to be repaired, some detail may needed to have been removed to fix the problem.
*To make the manufacturing process more easier, allowing better mold pulls, mold injection, assembly simplification etc.
*Manufactured in different locations, for different sub-contracted companies,ie, El Gracieo,IGA, GIG etc.
*To delete unwanted/un-marketed features. (Like the launching mechanisms on the Gestalt Leaders).
*to strengthen/ improve a figures joint or overall construct, like the trailer on Ultra Magnus.
*To save on production material (multi-media)costs
*To save on shipping weight, As from around 1986 world freight prices began to rise, (Causing a huge shipping and logistics war world wide, involving P&O, Flying Tigers, Pan Am and others)
*To adapt a figure for a new feature, (like the Targetmasters).

3)Q#: Why is Predaking bigger and different to the other combiners?

A: The individual Predacons and Predaking himself were designed by a Japanese designer by the name of Akitaka Mika. The Predacons and Predaking were the only G1 Transformers designed by Mr. Mika, and are an example of his design aesthetic, which was very Mechanically inspired. Predaking was sold individually and made abit bigger to help boost the amount of typical $12-17us(1986) price point Boxed Decepticons, as the Decepticon numbers were far less than the Autobots. They couldn't upsize the Combaticons or Stunticons as each figure had already been patented in Pre-Transformers times.

4)Q#: So what happened to Diaclone?

A: It was eventually withdrawn around 1985. Takara focused on its partnership with Hasbro thereafter, due to their strengths as a Manufacturer and Hasbros strength as a marketer. Diaclones were available throughout their time outside of Japan in some specialty toy shops. When they stopped Diaclone, unmade Diaclones like the stunticons and Combaticons etc were ported directly to Transformers. Some designs however were simply never used.

5)Q#: Why was Transformers not successful in Japan?

A: A few of the known reasons are as follows, The Japanese prefer Piloted robots, or Robots that have Human companions. Or a story based from a predominantly human viewed angle with robots playing side-kicks, like Pokemon. The children did not take to the robots having their own individual personalities, or operating on their own accord without the close bond or reliance of a human. Hence the direction they took late in the series, with Headmasters, Targetmasters and Powermasters
In addition, most of the figures they already had before, Transformers were (and really are) Reissued re-releases of toys they already had on toy shelves....

6)Q#: Blasters gun is huge and dumb..........

A: Then do something with it. Transform Blaster to his Boom-Box mode and stick the peg that would usually go into his fist into one of the screw holes in his back, and make sure the gun tip is pointing up. There you go, Blaster can now get 'radio messages' with his antenna. That is why his gun is shaped that way at the top.

7)Q#: Where do I put Omega Supremes clips in base mode? wonder they were easily lost...

A: If you have the instruction booklet, you most likely know. If you do not, they clip (well, really slide) in underneath his leg halves that form the 'bridge' sections next to the rocket gantry in base mode. They sort of act as back up locking tabs.

8)Q#: What is a Pre-rub/Grey Roller/Bloated Fist/Metal Trailer Optimus Prime?

A: Basically It was the first Optimus Prime version to hit the shelves, only being available in 1984. It has several differences, because it is very nearly identical to the original Diaclone Convoy.
These differences to the standard version include:
*Grey Missiles.
*A Bloated Gun
*Different Fuel and Gas pump
*Grey Roller
*The launcher that pushes Roller is Grey
*The Fists are different
*Primes cab is a deep red, but has a slightly more orange tint to it over a standard Prime.
*No Rub-sign
*When the trailer is opened, instead of having 2 large stickers of mechanical components, one on each side, there is instead 2 large metal slides or plates, with the same Mechanical design printed on them. They are held in place by tabs, which leave visible (and identifying) marks on the outside of the Trailer.
*Date stamp just says Takara, Japan.

9)Q#: At what point did Original G1 Transformers become expensive after they had finished retailing?

A: It is a question that is more commonly asked then you think, and a proper definition of the question is really needed to give it a better answer, and of course then each figure on a case by case basis and so forth.....
But VERY generally speaking, The rise of Ebay in 1996 got the secondary Market more broadly open, and sometime around 2000-2001, When the 2000's Reissues started is roughly when a 'Boom" in prices and auctions going for larger sums of money generally started occuring.

10)Q#: Why doesn't Trypticon merge with Silverbolt and HotSpot when Metroplex does?

A: Metroplex was already designed to do so, because in Diaclone they were all set to be on the same side. Trypticon on the other hand Was a Transformers only release, and as Silverbolt and and Hotspot were on the opposing side, They lost their chance. Bitter rivals to the end...

11)Q#: Any cool stuff on Sunstreaker?

A: For sure, how is this.
* He is in a different scale to the other 1984 Transformers. He is a scale or maybe even two, smaller.
* He was not available on his own in Japan, he could only be purchased with Skids and Buzzsaw in the VSZ 'Giftset" which are sought after and very expensive on todays secondary market.
* He has red stickers on his shoulders because those stickers were for his pre-Transformers self, He was either Red in colour or a Police car.
* His early Transformers release had very thin tips on his missiles, that nearly always broke when being removed from the sprue tree or during play. This caused complaints and so the missiles were thickened as he was converted to his 1985 Rubsign version.
* He was the first Diaclone toy produced.
* For some reason, Sunstreaker did not come with little Headlight stickers that his pre-Transformers figures did.

12)Q#: Why was Swoop coloured differently as a toy compared to his Cartoon self?

A: The answer is really a long one, involving all 5 Dinobots. Summarized, its basically to colour uniform him with the rest of the Dinobots, like the Insecticons and Constructicons etc.
All of the Dinobots recieved 'safety' changes for Transformers, and in the process slight colour changes were made.
The cartoon was made in a hurry, and exactly what was going to be finalised for the retail shelves was often way behind the animating process. (especially causing problems for the 1986 range and movie characters)

13)Q#: Soundwave got remolded in black and became Soundblaster, and gained a rub symbol. Any other variations?

A: If that question was a can, you now have worms everywhere....

OK. Firstly, Soundwave, before being a Transformer toy, had a few differences to the figure we all got.
the Pre Transformers Soundwave came with: Headphones, a Microphone (both did not work, just gimmicks) A cassette which would become Frenzy, a clear cassette case, like what we got with the reissues, and all the other typical weapons/missiles.
Finally, he had MC-10 moulded in gold on his cassette door, to the top left, and thicker gold bands down the bottom.

As a side note before continuing, on an original western(us) Soundwave box, the photographs of the toy are this Pre Transformer version, and the photographers seem to have just covered these differences up with blue tape...
When this toy became Soundwave, his cassette door was altered, deleting MC-10 and making the border a consistant border all the way round. However in Japan, he got this new door but retained all accessories that the original pre Transformer had. Except in his Giftset with Grimlock (That I might add are very rare and worth lots)
In Transformers, his changes from that point went like this:

* PRE-RUB had a very gold chrome border on his cassette door.
Changing to the Rub-Sign version, this gold became slightly less rich in gold colour, still gold but just not as rich.
* The rub-sign version introduced different fists, mainly identifiable by a hollowed out part at the top when the fist is fully extended out.
*Manufacturing stamps started changing and there is many versions, including a date stamp on the outside of his battery cover itself.
*His chest cavity can have different depths *I am unsure which version sorry*
*A big difference is in the piece that his upper thighs click into when turning into a cassette. This difference is so much that it is actually an entirely different body molding which prevents mating different versions and parts together.
*His weapons: Shoulder gun has indent marks either shallow or deep, and a different sized hole at the front, His rifle, in the extension inside part, has either lines or no lines. And other minor detail differences.

AND NOW the big MAJOR differences, we all identify with.

His pre Transformers toy, and what we got in the western world as Soundwave, no matter which version until Soundblaster, came with his two chrome arrow buttons seperated to his play record and stop single molded button(s).
However the Japanese Soundwave, as well as keeping all the original accessories, changed those chrome buttons (and additionally parts of the cassette door mechanism as well) to be one solid chrome button molding. After the western Soundwave stopped distribution, it is the Japanese version that continued and gave us, with the addition of a wider tape door and a re-colour, Soundblaster and the reiusses we have had since.

14)Q#: Apart from the blue and gold being lost from Swoop, any other changes?

A: His beak was remolded to be less pointy, his tail was also remolded, but unfortunately the stickers were kept relatively the same as his Diaclone stickers and so his tail stickers do not fit his Transformers tail well at all. His Sword, Missiles and mouth lost their firm chromed plastic for softer red plastic. The Guns also lost their spring power.
Despite not having a seat or canopy for a Diaclone driver, his Diaclone toy did still come with a pilot, with the suggestion that it should ride on its back.

15)Q#: How tall were the "Diaclone pilots" that came with the pre Transformers?

A: The pilots are/were approximately 2.5cms (1 inch to the Imperial) tall.

16)Q#: What was the purpose of the Rub-Sign?

A: The Rub-signs were 1980's technology Hasbro/Takara used so people could identify the product as part of the true Transformers line and not from any other robot line. They helped combat Counterfeits at the time. However the Autobot and Decepticon Clones have their own additional Rubsigns to help tell them apart, which is pointless because of the kibble from their alt-modes. The initial use of the Rub-signs was used on the Mini-spies, Which faction they belonged to was randomized, and not known until the Rub-Sign was warmed up.

17)Q#: Were any of the human characters available at all during the Eighties?

A: Most people know this answer. Like Arcee, no. Only Spike with Fortress Maximus.

18)Q#: Were there any versions of G1 Megatron that could fire like his pre-Transformers self?

A: No. His initial release did have a few remaining parts from the firing mechanism in his pistol but as the run of Megatron went along, these pieces were altered heavily or removed entirely. Even with the plastic bullets, the Early versions were still incapable of firing.

19)Q#: Why does Hot Rod have stickers on his side that have the flame pattern and a purple/pink background colour behind them when the toy is red?

A: His original toy colour was going to be close to that colour on the stickers. He is shown in some catalogue brochures in those pinky/purple colours, as well as on his box, but it was altered before production and they seem to have forgotten to change the sticker to match.

20)Q#: On the back on 1986 boxes, on the boxart, why is Broadside in different colours and looking very different as a robot?

A: That art was based on a version of Broadside that was a prototype. There was 2 versions of Broadside developed, which caused problems with the animation of him in the episodes he appeared in and other action figure propaganda.

21)Q#: What was the first Transformer figure to have design input directly from Hasbro?

A: Hot Rod.

22)Q#: When was the first use of ball joints in G1?

A: Optimus Prime has them in his Trailer. Whirl, Astrotrain, Deluxe Insecticons especially Chop Shop, Vortex, Blast Off and Wreck-Gar followed suit.

23)Q#: Blast Off is a Military Space Shuttle. Rubbish.

A: Not entirely untrue. Space Shuttles Coloured Green with pink windshields yes- As the white and black on a space shuttle are for a specific material and design purpose.
It is unknown if the Military as ever flown space shuttles of there own, but the United States Air Force does have an agreement and certain close bonds with NASA that have seen a few Space Shuttle Launches With solely specific Military objectives....
As with anything Military, there are so many amazing facts we know about, but even upon being de-classified there is usually so much more we will never know about....

24)Q#: Why does Megatron have M.C.12.13 stamped on his Left Hand side above his Trigger?

A: It is stampings from his Pre Transformers self,
*M.C. stands for Micro Change.
*12.13 stands for his model that he belonged to.
The Walther hand gun part alone was a toy called M.C.12. Changing to the toy that came with the extension pieces to be a homage to the t.v. show 'The man from U.N.C.L.E' he became M.C.13, so he therefore is a M.C.12 toy upgraded to M.C.13 to become M.C.12.13
Automobiles often share similar name/ version upgrades.

25)Q#: What was the inspiration for the Decepticon and Autobot logos?

A: Most people know the answer but if you don't, Soundwaves Head was the major basis for the Decepticon logo, Prowls head was the major influence for the Autobots logo.

26)Q#: Any Information on the 'Dino Cassettes' I heard they are very rare and expensive?

A: Rare and very expensive they are, they are some of the rarest G1 figures.
OK. The 'Dino Cassettes" were sold in 1988 in Japan. they were called ' W Cassettebots". There were 4 Cassettes in this sub-group, all Autobots.
They comprised of Graphy and Noise, who combine together to form a figure called Decibel.
And Dial and Saur, who both combine to form Legout.
Each Cassette came with 2 chrome weapons and each had a clear cassette case. Each Cassette came in a box, all were sold individually.
With the money involved, you can buy these 4 Cassettes, or end world poverty. The choice is YOURS :P

27)Q#: Why was Nautilator left out of the western Seacons giftset?

A: No real reason has every really been explained, and remains a great mystery in the world of G1.

28)Q#: I heard there was problems with Mexican Optimus Primes awhile ago??

A: Yes. Firstly, The original Mexican Optimus Prime was how shall i type it... 'too an acquired taste'.. heres a link as to what a Mexican Optimus Prime consists of and is all about:
The infamous big problem however was back when the Secondary market was really taking off in the early 2000's circa 2001-2003. A Seller on Ebay started listing, - and selling, 'Mexican Primes", which were Optimus Primes that had been taken, (whether original, reissue or counterfeit I am not sure), and deliberately 'repainted' parts poorly to represent a Mexican Prime. With additional RED PAINTED FEET(instead of the usual blue). What made it worse is this person was able to sell them for large amounts of money, of course on a totally fraudulent basis. Abit of a collector war broke out with Ebay to have the guy stopped, as he got his accounts terminated and started up selling them again fooling new people who did not know etc. Police i think (and only if memory serves me correctly, do not make it official) had to get involved.

It was one of the first really big fraudulent/false pretence issues to really be seen in G1 collecting. It helped, in a very small way, to prompt a couple of variation guides around on the internet, some of which are now long gone. Infact, the main campaigner used to have a few webpages dedicated to stopping this seller, as well as a link campaigning a big attack on paypal (If memory serves me correctly it was on their own personal grounds) . These webpages likewise seem to no longer be around having been able to be viewed for awhile after.

29)Q#: Why does Perceptor have a tank mode?

A: It is a feature of his toy before Transformers In Microchange. Its purpose was for the included Diaclone pilots mode of transport. The pilot would sit on the reflective chrome under piece to his study table part.

30)Q#: Why was Arcee never made?

A: No real reason has been given, However, since there is very little to go on in terms of design models, prototypes etc, and Hasbro/Takara never really mention anything, it is likely (not official) that it was because she was a female and boys would not buy her, hence the silence,. to save face. There again, there is evidence to suggest otherwise, as there was female characters available for G.I.Joe at the time. So the jury is out on that one.

31)Q#: Why was Unicron never made?

A: As much as I would love to investigate and come up with theories, it is unsure. The plans for a unicron toy were pretty advanced though, and interestingly Hasbro AND Takara came up with two totally different prototypes, even going so far as getting the designs patented..So he must have come VERY close.

32)Q#: Any Shockwave variations?

A: He came with or without a Rub-sign, but was not released in 1984, For sure he was one of the first 1985 new range Transformers to hit the retail shelves.(well, which retailers did stock him, He was not available everywhere)
Other than that Rub-Sign variant, the only difference other than his non-Transformer toys was colour changes on his large Decepticon logo sticker on his chest. The colour changes were common to the Decepicon stickers throughout G1.

33)Q#: Any variations on the Skylynx figure?

A: yes. only a minor difference, some either have his black booster rockets at the back on a hinge or the rocket boosters have a small sliding part that then hinges open so you can pull the tail out.

34)Q#: Who were the Anibots?

A: Here is a grab from TFwiki, it saves me the time writing it out and is explained well.

"The Anibots were an Autobot sub-group that featured in early drafts of The Transformers: The Movie. Their ranks include:

* Clump the rhinoceros
* Pardo the leopard
* Shriek the eagle
* Simba the lion
* Thump the buffalo

The Anibots merge to form the giant, lightning-breathing Dragon Beast. Given their alternate mode descriptions, it seems highly likely that the characters were eventually reworked to become the Predacons.

Per an April 1985 draft of the film by Ron Friedman, the Anibots would have lived in the "Roboto-zoo" in the south quadrant of Autobot City. When the Constructicons attacked as part of Megatron's forces during the Battle of Autobot City, Ultra Magnus released the Anibots from their cages as a desperation move. Although the Anibots' unexpected appearance and unbridled ferocity initially gained them the upper hand, the Constructicons were able to turn the tide, forcing them into retreat with concentrated weapon fire. Later, when the Constructicons merged into Devastator to break through the city's walls as seen in the finished film, Wheeljack would have merged the Anibots into their colossal Dragon Beast form. Dragon Beast and Devastator battled, causing as much damage to the city around them as to one another, until the arrival of the Dinobots occupied Devastator's attention. Dragon Beast took advantage of the opportunity to smash Dirge and Ramjet."

oh what COULD have been....maybe the next reissue of Predaking should be these guys. Who is in favour, say I.

35)Q#: It was a great idea making the Car combiner a Decepticon and Plane combiner an Autobot, nice switch

A: Yes, especially when they had been fully planned the other way around, as per tradition. Thats why Menasor mistakingly often ended up in some scenes with an Autobot logo..

36)Q#: Whats the easiest way to spot a K.O. Box??

A: This guide isn't really made to give the details of K.Os, because they are a different subject.
Vaguely though, every KO has unique differences to its original counterpart. One of those most common differences however is usually the Spotlighting Sun behind the toys artwork. There is nearly always a difference or a tell-tale sign from it, whether its positioning, shading, brightness intensity, colour etc.

37)Q#: Was smokescreen unique to Transformers since he is a retool?

A: No, like Prowl and the mess that was Bluestreak, he had a Diaclone version as well.

38)Q#: What is the rage all about with the Computron Giftset?

A: Firstly, it is abit rare, secondly the packaging is considered very attractive by collectors, and finally the boxart depicts Computron as carrying 2 guns, even though the set only comes with the standard 1, alot of buyers of these sets go and buy a second gun to replicate the boxart (something I intend to do myself)

39)Q#: Mirage and Smokescreen are race cars like Wheeljack, did they also really exist?

A: Yes, both did exist. Ironically, Mirage was a very modern Grand Prix car when his toy was designed in 1982, but by 1984, Formula One had already started changing heavily into our modern era, Carbon Fibre technologies etc, and Mirages actual car was already very antique....
Here is a link to Mirages real life car:
Smokescreen was likwise used in around the same years, heres a link to his real race car version:

40)Q#: Any other cool info on Mirage?

A: He is designed to be launched from Optimus Primes trailer, hence his blocky metal back part of his car mode.

41)Q#: Whats the story with multilingual G1 packaging?

A: It gets broken down like this:

* Japan got everything in its own language because they were special.
* English speaking countries except Canada got language packaging in English like America.
* Canada got English and french.
* Milton Bradley was the distributer for Europe, so packaging with German, French, Dutch and Spanish was used and retailed Europe-wide. However, sales became very poor in Germany for unknown reasons, and that language was replaced with English.
* Italy had (still has?) different toy laws, and subcontracting firm GIG released packaging in Italian but brief bits of English as well.
* El Gracio, as the distributer in Greece, felt free to Release toys in Greek.
* IGA had the distribution rights in Mexico and released their toys in spanish
* Spain itself got to release toys in its own language later on in the later eighties.
* South American toy distributers released Transformers in Spanish/Portugese (mainly just Minibots though) and whatever other language they came in.

42)Q#: Did Hasbro/ Takara print all the boxes themselves?

A: No, they were outsourced to different factories. They were test cut and designed by them though.

43)Q: What did Milton Bradley have to do with Hasbro and G1??

A: There involvement is best summed up in this grab from TFWiki,

"Milton Bradley is an American toy and game company. In 1984, Hasbro merged with Milton Bradley, temporrarily renaming itself "Hasbro Bradley", and used MB's existing European distribution network to introduce the Transformers toyline to Europe; as a result, many of the earliest Transformers to be made available in Europe featured MB rather than Hasbro logos on their packaging. In some countries (such as Germany), the local MB branches kept distributing Transformers toys (despite the packaging now sporting "Hasbro" logos) under supervision from Hasbro UK until Hasbro consolidated its international markets in 1991 in an attempt to establish the parent company as a worldwide household name, thus renaming all the various international subsidiaries into "Hasbro". From that point on, "Milton Bradley" continued merely as a Hasbro sub-brand with a focus on strategy games.

Additionally, the Generation 1 Action Cards trading cards were marketed under the Milton Bradley brand. "

I will just add this however,
It is nearly always forgotten that Milton Bradley had rights to the Australia and New Zealand markets. The 'European exclusive' Transformers right at the end of G1 were available down here thanks to the Milton Bradley establishment.

44)Q#: Were the Turbomasters and Predators G1 or G2?

A: Whatever you feel inclined to call them. How about, g1 1/2 ;)

45)Q#: Any other cool info on Perceptor?

A: His chrome is silver but there is some much harder to find rare ones out there where the chrome is more gold in colour.

46)Q#: I heard Soundwave boxes that do not have the text 'does not record or play cassettes" are k.o boxes, is this true?

A: No. Pre-Rubs do not have this text, it was added in due to the inevitable complaints that the toy did not play or record , as could be expected...

47)Q#: Did they ever consider making playsets based on the Autobots or Decepticon Headquarters?

A: It is unclear, theres certainly no physical evidence of anything supporting even a suggestion to do so, however in some propaganda, the S.T.A.R.S command center was hinted at as being a part of (in some way) the Autobot base. Take it with a grain of salt or how you feel.

48)Q#: How many Autobot cars came in 1 shipping case in 1984?

A: 12. 2 Mirages, cutting back to just one to include Skids.

49)Q#: I wonder how many of xxxxx figures were sold in the Eighties?

A: We will never know... keep guessing ;)
(maybe one day we will, who knows.....)

50)Q#: Why was the G1 cartoon so important to the toyline?

A: This is a very important question, that gives us many answers to things important in the toyline.

First, we must list some facts.

*The cartoon and movie, regardless of anything else, was purely a device used as an advertising mechanism to sell toys branded Transformers.
*In the initial planning stage for production of the cartoon, characters had to be selected. These selected characters were pre-existing molds from the Takara toy company. They of course were already patented.
*The marketing of The Transformers had to provide enough characters to emmerse children into the Transformers world, but not to much figures incase it was a commercial flop and disaster, costing Hasbro/Takara alot of money.
*The marketing established a range of figures at different price points so children could buy them cheaply (minibots)or under more deluxe circumstances(Prime, Megatron). With medium priced figures like cars and jets in between.
*The line had always been developed to be 2 distinct factions fighting eachother, and with the new characters on each side now selected, a BIBLE was written.

-------this is a link to parts of the official production bible:-------------

*In the first season, only a limited number of figures were released as pilot toys, used to see if western children took to the "new toy line"
*As the story is set more from The Autobots side, The Decepticons got less toys. The gaps were intended to be filled in by generic character models. Reflector and the mysterious 'Hauler" are examples of this.
*After the 3 part pilot episode was aired, and Transformers was an instant success, more Episodes were ordered.
*As the bible shows, some characters were used, and especially the Decepticon team made low in numbers, incase it was a flop. When it was apparant it was going to be a success, other characters had to be used and introduced to keep the show fresh and interesting to children, as well as sell other marketable product of Takaras own.
*As 1985 got underway, Toys from other companies even got added in with special permissions. However this was not ideal and not great marketing, So, again as the bible shows, (especially with the terrible legal mess surrounding Jetfire/Skyfire, Omega Supremes inability to be sold in the U.K because of liscence issues etc, The borrowing of other toys apart from Sky lynx was phased out.
*By late 1985, Hasbro and Takara had kamakaze marketed nearly all of their pre-existing toys out onto the retail shelves, due to their push in the cartoon, and some figures were starting to sell slower.
*Because it had become so big, an attempt at a movie had already started back early in 1985. Perhaps knowing they would go through all their stock, It was the perfect time to introduce original to Transformers products. This is what the movie was about, changing the product over.

*Also, because the children buying the toys were getting slightly older, more edgy and serious stories were allowed use in the cartoon. So the cartoon was now trying to keep with the times, however because of the death of Optimus Prime, and dislike of the new leaders, viewership started taking hard hits, directly causing alot more poorer quality in animation, as the budget was having to be scaled back. The Rodimus Prime toy itself was not as successful as Optimus Primes toy.
*To get things going in a fledgling Japanese market, and to reuse some characters, Targetmasters and Headmasters became the word in 1987. By then times were changing and Transformers was in terminal decline popularity wise, with sales getting lower. So the 5 part series 'The Rebirth" was cut down to just 3 parts, just to push the 1987 Transformers range out onto the shelves.
*To show why to a further extent, Transformers toys/cartoon was so important to eachother,heres an example.
Soundwave is without doubt one of G1's most favourite characters. He is just cool...because the cartoon profiled him as a harsh personality, with a very,very distinctive voice, and he could interect with other Transformers (his Cassettes)
The toy was meant to finish use at the end of 1985, and likewise his cartoon association. But because his toy was so popular, he was kept on through 1986, even getting cassettes, Overkill and Slugfest in 1987. Thats why he was still in the cartoon, but his role was scaled back as obviously the attention was on selling the new figures.
And a final bit of evidence, When Sixshot makes his cartoon debut, he just had to run through all of his Transformations in his *very* brief animation time... Didn't he;)

51)Q#: So how long did it take you to write this FAQ, better still, learn all this stuff??

A: A long time. Put me on the New Years Honors list and we will call it even at that ;)
Faction Leader
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Postby Full-Tilt » Mon Dec 13, 2010 5:58 pm

Nice work iceman, looking forward to part 2 - what about the '84 takara dinos or the VSA The Superion v Menasor giftset? Haha its supposdly a prototype but someone somewhere must know something! :lol:
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Postby Full-Tilt » Mon Dec 13, 2010 6:10 pm

Oh heres an oddity with the box art on motormaster from my collection

Hes only properly transformed on the Japanese box!
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Postby iceman » Mon Dec 13, 2010 6:45 pm

superion vs menasor, BIG CRIME IT WAS NOT MADE. WHY WHY WHY. WHYYY :lol: :lol:

officially, just a test sample was made that happened to make its way to a photography session. none retail. :(
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Postby iceman » Mon Dec 13, 2010 6:55 pm

lol just saw your post on motormaster, haha if you think thats wack, the western gifset has the western motormaster arts "thigh' section blended to your japanese boxes leg sections....

its like whoops... 'guys, i know your all clever designing this thing but as the designer can you pleeeeeeaaaase tell me how to draw it correctly, im under abit of pressure here with christmas coming and all'

the box arts crazy, they fix...well fix motormaster, change ratchets red cross by blanking it out with some white although you can still see where it was, and yet you have bluestreak and astrotrain (random examples) that they just failed to be bothered correcting.
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Postby tilallareone » Wed Dec 29, 2010 1:15 am

I love this guide....very helpful. Learned a lot of interesting tidbits of info I never knew before. When will you do the second one?

Just watched that how to fix Blaster's tapedeck and wonder..... has anyone done a 'how to' on fixing a G1 Shockwave chest? I have fixed arms on him before but not the chest....looks like if you unscrew that thing a million pieces will come flying out of there... Heh

Keep up the good work :)
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Postby Full-Tilt » Tue Jan 04, 2011 4:12 pm

I never realised sunstreaker wasn't released indivudally in Japan. Haha good point on blaster too :lol:
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Postby s4turn » Thu Jan 06, 2011 12:54 am

great guide, some good info in there

good to see it stickied too!
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Postby buyaball » Thu Jan 06, 2011 1:30 am

the thing about the decepticon and autobot logo's

soundwave and prowl being the resemblences to them

was this quoted by hasbro or is this the conclution fandom has come up with



don't click this link...

If you watch Titanic backwards, It is a heart warming tale of a ship which jumps out of the water & saves lots of drowning people.
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Postby tilallareone » Thu Jan 06, 2011 1:51 am

Great stuff :) Yeah boi
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Postby tilallareone » Thu Jan 06, 2011 2:09 am

At Botcon earlier this year a guy had a Computron Giftset MIB. He was selling it for $1,500.00 US. Looked cool but I passed :) Too eggspensive. Would like something in an AFA case for that kinda money.
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Postby iceman » Thu Jan 06, 2011 1:30 pm

the thing about the decepticon and autobot logo's

soundwave and prowl being the resemblences to them

was this quoted by hasbro or is this the conclution fandom has come up with



Yes it is official. When the Transformers was being developed, Hasbro actually hired a marketing agency to do alot of the story set up work for them.

the companies name was Griffin Bacal Incorporated. and here is what they did. (again because this info is already well set in literature, I have no need to go and re-word it myself.)

"Griffin Bacal was founded in 1978 by Tom Griffin and Joe Bacal, who had previously worked together at Benton and Bowles. One of their first clients was Hasbro, whom they had previously served while working for Benton and Bowles. Hasbro employed their services for coming up with advertising campaigns for several of their toy lines. Together with Marvel Comics, Griffin Bacal retooled G.I. Joe into its 1980s incarnation, "G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero". Following that, Griffin Bacal participated in the development of Hasbro's My Little Pony series.

In 1983, Griffin Bacal were asked by Hasbro to adapt two Japanese toy lines, Diaclone and Micro Change, for the American market. Griffin Bacal suggested to merge the two into one single series, and Jay Bacal, Joe's son, suggested the name "The Transformers". Griffin Bacal also had the idea of making the robots the main characters of the series (the Diaclone backstory had portrayed them as piloted mecha) and make them sentient alien machine lifeforms. Lastly, Griffin Bacal divided the robots into two groups, "Autobots" (good) and "Decepticons" (evil) and designed faction logos for them, based on the heads of the robot toys that would later become known as Prowl and Soundwave, respectively.

Following this, Hasbro and Griffin Bacal asked Marvel, whom they had previously worked with on G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero to flesh out the backstory, to give the robots names and personalities and develop a comic series and an animated television show. The cartoon was produced by Marvel Productions and Sunbow Productions, the latter of which was owned by Griffin Bacal. '

so there ya go. Why or how they ended up being the basis of the symbols who knows.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------At "Botcon earlier this year a guy had a Computron Giftset MIB. He was selling it for $1,500.00 US. Looked cool but I passed :) Too eggspensive. Would like something in an AFA case for that kinda money."

they are getting very pricey. And then somebody likes me comes along and buys one for keeps, taking another off the secondary market, up they go again :P

apart from Superion and Devastator at times, even in not so great condition, giftsets are becoming big business. I am glad i have taken that road, despite the money (which does bug me, i do think it is abit silly) they do display alot better. The shipping isn't cheap either.
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Postby IamLegendaryAntiHero » Tue Apr 12, 2011 6:52 pm

iceman wrote:5)Q#: Why was Transformers not successful in Japan?

A: A few of the known reasons are as follows, The Japanese prefer Piloted robots, or Robots that have Human companions. Or a story based from a predominantly human viewed angle with robots playing side-kicks, like Pokemon. The children did not take to the robots having their own individual personalities, or operating on their own accord without the close bond or reliance of a human. Hence the direction they took late in the series, with Headmasters, Targetmasters and Powermasters
In addition, most of the figures they already had before, Transformers were (and really are) Reissued re-releases of toys they already had on toy shelves....

I wonder if shows like Gundam want to put human characters in their anime because they're afraid their fans will be turned off by a cartoon that doesn't have cute anime girls.
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Postby Full-Tilt » Wed Apr 27, 2011 1:33 pm

Can you explain whats going on with g1 ratchet?

Why did the very early ones have the red cross? Then came the rubsign and the cross Then the most common rubsign only version?
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