It took awhile and a lot of searching and in the end I managed to find a Masterforce C-303: Minerva (Minelba) in unused, bone white and C9.5 condition. This is a very rare piece and perhaps, also highly sought after by collectors wishing to finish up their "Japanese Exclusive" G1 Transformers. line up To my mind, the Minerva is probably a rarity among the rare and the other pieces that are nearly as rare as (or rarer than) Minerva are figures like: the W cassettes, the 6 headmaster heads (plus their white versions), Go-Shooter, Galaxy Shuttle, Black Shadow, Blue Bacchus, Dinoking and the like.
Minerva is an interesting name for a Transformer. Minerva is a Roman goddess.
"The name "Minerva" may come from the Indo-European root 'men', from which "mental" and "mind" are also derived. However, the non-Indo-European speaking Etruscans had a goddess Menrva, so the name may be of entirely unknown derivation. Minerva was the daughter of Jupiter and Metis. She was considered to be the virgin goddess of warriors, poetry, medicine, wisdom, commerce, crafts, and the inventor of music. As 'Minerva Medica', she was the goddess of medicine and doctors.
Adapting Greek myths about Athena, Romans said that Minerva was not born in the usual way, but rather sprang fully armed from the brain of her father; this image has captivated Western writers and artists through the ages. Ovid called her the "goddess of a thousand works." Minerva was worshipped throughout Italy, though only in Rome did she take on a warlike character. Minerva is usually depicted wearing a coat of mail and a helmet, and carrying a spear." (referenced from Crystalinks)
I'm 90% satisfied with this Minerva, but it'd be perfect if I could also get the box and styrofoam for this figure. It's a very nice figure and certainly a notch up from the figure it was repainted from - Nightbeat (although, don't let Simon Furman hear me say this of one of his pet favourites!).
Some pictures of Minerva...
Close up of face. Mmmm... blue eyes for Autobot, nice.
Rescue ambulance mode
Minerva driver in seat
Close up of driver. She is supposed to be quite stunning.
Rescue ambulance in attack mode. Okay, I think defence mode makes more sense since an ambulance or rescue vehicle is unlikely to go on the offense and attack.
Date stamp: "Takara 1987, Taiwan". This pretty girl's made in Taiwan, figures.
Goddess of wisdom deep in thought
C-303: Minerva / Minelba with instructions and unapplied sticker sheet
Masterforce Headmaster juniors with their US counterparts. Left to right: Go-Shooter, Siren, Carb/Hosehead, Nightbeat, Minerva
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