I'm so slack.
I acquired Guard City sometime in June 2011, talked about it in August 2011 and been meaning to do a full post with detailed shots of it before the end of 2011, but it didn't happen.
First a re-cap of why collectors are interested in this piece, which from a colour scheme perspective is not really that impressive to me - I like the Defensor colour scheme better.
Here is a summary from my Aug 2011 post, regarding why Guard City (and Battle Gaia) are so rare and expensive:
- They are Japanese exclusives and not available in the US and Europe, but only available in Japan and some parts of Asia. Operation Combiner is the final Generation One line in Japan (and
- theoretically the final G1 line in the world, since the Europe exclusives are considered “G1.5”).
- Battle Gaia, being TF-10, is the only Decepticon in the Operation Combiner line and arguably, the very last G1 Transformer, the very last G1 Decepticon and the very last G1 combiner.
- With the Transformers series in decline first in the US and then in Japan in 1992, it’s very probable that only a very small quantity of each Operation Combiner figure was produced. There has been a decline in price for the Micromaster combiners, TF-01, TF-02, TF-02 and TF-05
- (ie: Sixbuilder, Sixwing, Sixturbo and Sixliner) after the deluge of reissues in the early 2000s. TF-06 to TF-09 giftsets have never really been expensive because the toys were released as part of G1.5 and G2. However, the quantity of Guard City and Battle Gaia sets has not increased since 1992.
- The extremely beautiful box art. This is the key feature that sets G1 apart from any other line that comes after. If TF-04 and TF-10 were not in a giftset box with stunning box art, I’d probably not seek them out or pay so much for them (personally).
Guard City profile from TF Wiki
Guard City (ガードシティ Gādo Shiti) is a high-ranking Autobot warrior, who commands the Micromaster Six-Teams in their defense of Earth. His arch-nemesis is the Decepticon combiner Battle Gaia.
Guard City is composed of the following individual Autobots: Fire Chief (Hot Spot recolour), Streetstar (Streetwise recolour), Fly-Up (Blades recolour), Sparkride (Groove recolour) and Safety (First Aid recolour).
As a Free-Combiner, the individual robots making up Guard City's limbs enjoy a certain level of autonomy, allowing them to consciously rearrange themselves to suit specific situations. With Streetstar and Sparkride forming his legs, Guard City can reach incredible speeds with his "Mach Formation". With Sparkride and Fly-Up forming his arms, Guard City can use their various abilities (such as Fly-Up's rotor blades) to aid him in battle with the "Attack Formation". With Safety and Streetstar forming his arms, he can use the lightbars of both vehicles to make himself highly visible and demand attention during emergency situations, creating the "Signal Formation". And with Safety forming one of his arms, Guard City can call upon the medic's skills to repair wounded soldiers via the "Repair Formation".
Photos now? Yes!
Front of package
Close up of front of package
The "free-combiner" concept identified by TF-Wiki above is actually the cornerstone concept behind Operation Combination (and perhaps an evolution of the Scramble City concept) - free-combiner is written on the Guard City box are "自由合体" (see photo below). Very interestingly, while the Japanese language use of Chinese of characters are usually in the form of traditional Chinese characters, the word body ("体") in this instance is actually in simplified Chinese. The tradition Chinese word for "体" is "體".
Close up of Fire Chief in package
Close up of the other 4 Guard City members in package
Back of box
Free-combination concept diagram
Illustration of free-combination possibilities
Guard-City's tech specs, which are on the bottom rather than back of the box. Except for Strength, Endurance and Rank which are "10"s, all other stats are "9"s.
Guard City's profile write up
Out of package with unused paperworks
Close up of styro tray insert. It's really neat how the Japanese arrange the inside of their giftsets, yes?
Fly Up. Notice that there is no rub-sign on the roof, where Blades would have a rub sign.
Safety. Notice that there is no rub-sign on the roof, where First Aid has a rub sign.
Streetstar. Again, there is no rub-sign on the hood where Streetwise would have a rub sign
Close up of the unused sticker sheet. For Guard City (and Battle Gaia), the stickers are really the key features that further differentiates them from their US-counterparts. The stickers are not just recolours of the US type stickers but are all new creations with many more stickers that the US-releases do not have.
I will not go into commenting on the differences between Guard City and Defensor or go into detail for each figure. The reason for that is simple - Maz has already done an A+ job describing and reviewing them. Read Maz's post here on TF-1.
Guard City MIB unused and Battle Gaia MIB unused
Close up #1
Close up #2