19 December 2011

The dilemma with Decoys - Part 2

In Part 1, I talked about acquiring the Collection No.1 and Collection No.2 of the Takara Decoy giftsets. According to the Alverez book, which my toy shop owner friend gave to me with the above 2 purchases, there was 1 more giftset to acquire to complete the series - Collection No.3: Cybertron Hero Collection (9 pack giftset).

"Where in the world am I going to get something so obscure?" I thought to myself. It'd have to be from Japan no doubt. At this point in time, with xmas and new year looming on the horizon and me intending to hold the fort at work while others go on leave (cos xmas is more important to them than me, to be honest), there is no foreseeable Japan schedule. Seems like I would just have to wait then.

On 13 December 2011, I decided to go down to YMT to my favourite shop to take a peek. It was just a random, spur of the moment decision while waiting to sign some documents at 9-ish to 10pm.

Shop guys told me there was no new stock that came in, only 1 new addition to their glass display cabinet. I looked and by gosh, who would have thought? There it was sitting right there - Collection No.3!!!

I asked to inspect it and it appeared to be 100% complete, with all the little cards that came exclusive with Collection No.3. Whoa, is this unexpectedly delightful or what. Bought it without thinking more.

Still while waiting to sign documents, I had dinner with a beest. There I discussed the question of whether the human mind could will something to come true or to predict events that will happen, albeit toy related maybe. I cited examples where I managed to obtain hard-to-find figures at particular collectible shows or toy fairs, after seeing in my mind's eye that I would find them on the mornings of each event (eg: the Supergirl figure from Superman/Batman series 2; Darkseid from the same series; and Marvel Legends Juggernaut).

beest thinks its the work of God. I think its the power of the human mind. Either way, its unquantifiable and perhaps, unknown.

I am very happy to present, Takara Decoy Collection No.3: Cybertron Hero Collection (9 pack set with cards).

Back of box

The contents

Close up of the contents - this set contains: Bumblebee, Cliffjumper, Grimlock, Inferno, Prowl, Slag, Sludge, Snarl and Trailbreaker. This set is key to completing the Autobots because it contains 4 of the 5 Dinobots (Swoop came in the 22-pack) and also key characters like Bumblebee and Prowl. It also comes with 2 suits of Autobot and 2 suits of Decepticon cards (52 in total) and 2 jokers and a blank card.

Contents with the cards all laid out

These cards are awesome. They each contain that particular character's box art and also the total of each Tech Spec value added up. For example Optimus Prime has the number "76" because it is the sum of his Tech Spec values of 10, 10, 8, 10, 10, 10, 8, 10. The cards come in 4 suits like the tradition Spades, Hearts, Clubs and Diamonds - there are 2 Autobot suits, one with a red Autobot logo and the other with a yellow Autobot logo; and 2 Decepticon suits, one with a purple Decepticon logo and the other with a blue Decepticon logo.

Close up of cards

The card set also comes with 2 Jokers - one is a Decepticon symbol and the other is Sunstreaker. The Joker choices are odd. I can understand Sunstreaker a little, because he does not have a regular Japanese release and is only released as part of the VSZ giftset. Kind of logical that he is not included in the main suits, but then, what about Skids who also did not see a regular release? Oddly, Skids is given the high rank of "Queen" in the yellow Autobot logo suit. Also included is a spare blank card.

The other oddity is the inclusion of 4 of the 5 Dinobots as part of the Decepticon suits. Swoop is "King" for the purple Decepticon suit and Sludge, Slag and Snarl are respectively the "Jack", "Queen" and "King" of the blue Decepticon suit.

So there it is, Collection No.3.


  1. Nice HD, the cards are awesome indeed. One thing I havn't worked out is what do the hand symbols exactly mean? I'm assuming its all part of the game(s) you can play with the decoys but exactly what I don't know. Also do you notice anything in particular about the card art?

  2. If decoys had been painted instead of just a single flat color, I'd have been all over it. Instead I'm going to continue to fawn over my Robot Heroes!

  3. @Skullcruncher - Yup, the cards are awesome! I also have no idea what the symbols mean, they seem strange. As to card art, could you be referring to how Ironhide and Ratchet are the only ones that don't have their US type box art but has art that includes their head?

    @ Botch - I kind of agree with you that they would be cooler if painted (like the Takara SCF figures), but there is a certain flavour to them in a cool vintage sort of way... heh.

  4. Really enjoy reading about your toy hunts. They sound way more exciting than buying stuff online or hunting for new figures at retail.

    This particular decoy set, at least from my experience, is the more common of the 3. It shows up far more regularly on eBay, albeit normally at inflated prices, than the first two sets do. My patience on this set finally paid off and I obtained this on eBay earlier this year at an extremely reasonable price.

    I'm still waiting for the first two sets to show up at prices less than $100 a piece.

    I agree with your comment from your first post about the decoys that these sets are the way to go if you want to obtain all of the Decoys instead of hunting after each one individually.

    Congrats! Looking forward to your next blog posts ...

    Happy holidays!

  5. @Botch - it's interesting to note that the photo on the back of this box has all of the Decoys painted. Was Takara suggesting that people paint these? I'd like to know more about why the Decoys are painted on the back of the box.

  6. @ Ryan - Thanks for the kind words. My key intent is to record my toy-hunting experiences so that I can relive them later on. It is certainly more fun to buy stuff at retail rather than having to always order them online.

    Interesting to know that Collection No3 is the more common one. I initially thought that it'd be the rarest to get complete because the cards can so easily go missing. Congrats on getting your at a reasonable price!

    I bought each of the first 2 sets for about USD$50 each, cash-and-carry, so I'm sure below $100 each is possible. I can help you look out for them when I'm next in Japan.

    ~ HD

  7. I'm fairly certain the hand symbols are if you want to play Junken-pow (paper/rock/scissors). By the way... I had to use Internet Explorer to view this page... it keeps vanishing a second after loading in Firefox!


    1. hi Jinz, I use Safari for this page and it's usually fine. Sometimes, the page looks funny on iPad, but on a Mac, it's usually okay.

      Hmmm... interesting thought about the rock/paper/scissors...

  8. @Ryan: Interestingly I own a set of the Decepticons which are actually painted. From what I was told they were bought as such in Japan with the seller assured they came like this and were NOT a custom.
    I've never seen any other ones though.

    1. Hi Argus, I can guarantee any painted decoys are custom. However they did come in a varitey of colours and even sizes(and there are even some KO's). I would love some photos of these as I collect decoys like madman - I have about 350 different ones but still need around 400 more. prime_kiwi at live.com.au.
      Heroic Decepticon = Informing & Connecting transfans since 2009!

    2. Good luck guys!

      From what I know, any painted Decoys are custom too and a batch was done for some BotCon in the past. They are custom, but also official in that sense.


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