He's been called many things in his time - "The Decepticon Six-changer", "S.T.A.G." (ie: Solo Transformer Assault Group), the "Decepticon Ninja Warrior", a "Phase-Sixer", "a Living Weapon" and "Guardian", (that's six things!) - his name is Sixshot.
Sixshot was released as part of USA Series 4 and Japanese Transformers: Headmasters, in 1987. Out of all the 'masters' like Headmasters or Targetmasters and 'Scramble City' teams or other releases with a defined sub-group, Sixshot was unique - he was just an odd one out toy with no other members in his sub-group ("Six-changer") and no Autobot counterpart until Quickswitch came along in 1988. Sixshot's counterpart in Japan is Sixknight from the 1988 Transformers Masterforce series. Unlike a good number of US released figures post 1987, Sixshot was still Sixshot in Japanese continuity and did not receive a recolour and did not become a 'different' character.
Among the 1987 line up, Sixshot also subtly unique because he is one of the very few toys of that year to have chrome. Before 1987, almost every Transformer figure had some part that was chromed. In 1987, figures which had chrome were far and few between, Sixshot was one of them. Other figures that had chrome included Hot Rod (chrome engine block), Mindwipe (chrome circles on arms), Overkill & Slugfest (chrome weapons), Scorponok (chrome leg pads) and Weirdwolf & Skullcruncher (very minor chrome on largely unchromed parts).
Back in the G1 days, Sixshot was a relatively minor character in US Season 4 and then in Transformers: Headmasters. Yeah, he was pretty badass and even killed Ultra Magnus in Headmasters, but he really did not come into the limelight until the Furman-verse early days of the IDW Transformers comics.
In the Transformers: Devastation arc, we begin to see just how seriously the Autobots (and Decepticons) have to take Sixshot. In Last Stand of the Wreckers, we see that he is one of 3 Decepticons that are so powerful, they are only to be unleashed in 'Phase Six', the final stage of Megatron's 'Six-Stage Infiltration Protocol'.
I love the Sixshot characterisation in the IDW comics. Here are some of my favourite Sixshot lines.
"I am Sixshot. I was made to destroy. Controlled carnage and detached devastation define my existence." - Transformers Spotlight: Sixshot
"Just point me and pull the trigger..." - Sixshot to Megatron in Transformers: Devastation #1
"You don't get it, do you? I could do this all day. It's what I was built for. It's all I was built for." - Sixshot to Optimus Prime, while he was taking on almost the entire crew of Autobots from the Ark-19 (Transformers: Devastation #4)
And, this is my all time favourite Sixshot quote from Transformers: Devastation #4:
"Much as I applaud your efforts to do me harm... I should point out that my armature was forged from metals drawn from the compacted subatomic matter of a collapsed star... and my power core is a self-regenerating dark matter fission cell, hermatically sealed. Oh, and I'm very fast... and very strong..." - Sixshot to the Autobot crew of the Ark-19 while he was kicking them to kingdom come.
It is no wonder then, that the prices for Sixshot toys, even the reissues, sky-rocketed following the release of IDW's Transformers: Devastation. The eBay prices for Sixshots are in the region of US$200 to $250 nowadays and oddly, the reissues are thereabout the same in terms of price. While US boxed Sixshots are not very rare (just quite expensive), the Japanese release of Sixshot is a tad rarer. This release was exactly the release I acquired on 4 March 2011.
Here are pictures of this very minty and largely untouched piece, sure to be among one of the gems in my collection.
D-98: Sixshot MIB
Box = C7.5 to C8 (some light wear)
Toy = C9.5 (appears to never have been transformed)
Paperworks = complete, stickers unapplied
Decepticon Ninja Warrior
Takara, 1987, Made in Japan
Top and bottom of box
Back of box
Tech Specs. This is one of the key differences between a reissue Sixshot box and a vintage Sixshot box - the reissue does not have tech specs.
Sixshot is worth 4 Robot Points...
... and used to cost ¥3980 (which was a lot of money back in 1987, being approximately SGD$100)
Sixshot out of box (the other thing the reissue Sixshot didn't have was of course the styrofoam tray)
Close up of paperworks
Unused sticker sheet
Untouched (and probably never before transformed) Sixshot in snowy white styrofoam tray