22 June 2012

1986, Series 3, Springer with metal chest (assortment 2, non-poster box)

G1 Transformers Springer - assortment 1, metal chest
I have always been fond of Springer since I was a kid. There's just something about his colour scheme that I really liked - the combination of light green, grey and yellow with the baby blue window. Such pastel coloured harmony.

Of course, his benign colours do mask the fact that he is one of the most fearsome Autobots out there and the leader of the Autobot army's crack commando squad - The Wreckers. Wow, such a guy. And he transforms into 3 modes too. And he carries a sword. 

Oh, his box art (below) is awesome too.

I've for some time had Springer MIB. However, since I started my quest for "assortment 1" variations like the blue eared Cyclonus, there was one version of Springer I had to get - the metal chest Springer. Just a little more common than the metal toes Sandstorm (which I also have), the metal chest Springer is also not easy to come by.

One of the difficulties in obtaining this piece is perhaps how one just cannot tell from the sale or auction photos whether the piece has a metal chest or not. The metal and plastic chest versions look 99% identical in photos.

The second difficulty was of course getting a metal chest Springer that does not have paint chipped off the metal chest. With most that I have come across, each corner of the chest inevitably has paint chips and are therefore unacceptable for my collection.

After a few months of looking, I finally found one on eBay that looked just perfect.

Here he is...


No paint chips on metal chest.

Custom Autobot symbol to match his depiction on his box photos.

Comparison with plastic chest Springer (on right)

Comparison with plastic chest Springer (on right)


Again, custom Autobot symbol to match his box photos depiction.

Comparison with plastic chest Springer (on right)


Close up

With the variant blue ear Cyclonus

Blue ear Cyclonus, Canadian Slag and metal chest Springer

Comparison with plastic chest Springer (on right) - if shown side by side, it's pretty apparent that the plastic chest version is of a lighter shade of yellow.

With box.

Without a doubt, I think that the metal chest Springer is superior to the plastic chest one. Die-cast parts in 1986 toys were already becoming a rarity.

I guess one question remains - why did Hasbro change the chest to plastic? Was it to cut cost? Or was it something else? 

For Springer, I think the reason is two-fold - (i) to cut cost; and (ii) for the toy to better balance. The metal chest version exhibits a tendency to keel over because it's too top and front heavy. Keeling over also means it may inadvertently chip the paint off the metal chest. What a vicious cycle!


  1. That's stunning. Best loose Springer I've ever seen by far.

    Nice Cyclonus too ;-)

  2. That's an extremely clean Springer! And I had no idea that Cyclonus was so much taller than Springer. Great find!

    1. Yes, Cyclonus and Scourge too are actually quite tall. So is Galvatron. The 1986 Autobots are all quite short by comparison.

  3. Did you know the Canadian G1 Springer was called "Ricochet"? :)

    All the best
    Maz...loves Canadian G1

    1. Ah, that's interesting! Nope, didn't know that Springer shared his name with a TM.

  4. That is cool- nice Springer man. I thought I had all the die-cast and rubber wheeled versions for my collection, but I did not know about the Sandstorm metal toes, I rushed to my display cabinet and am now unsatisfied that I do not!I have been looking for a blue version Cyclonus too, but his stickers are always pretty damaged on the ones I've seen. I managed to get a Red faced Slag complete with CDN box- very hard to find especially mint/ nr mint and complete even in Canada!! Maybe a blog/article about more of the die-cast and other variants would be cool- maybe you know about some others I do not know about (; and leave me searching once again!!

    1. Thanks dude. Metal toes Sandstorm is quite a bit rarer if you ask me. There are lots of variants out there, more so for the 1986 TFs cos i think that was a transition for phasing out die-cast or something.

      Maz would be interested in some pics of your MIB Canadian Slag...

    2. Yeah they seemed to be getting rid of rubber wheels too, something I love on the earlier G1s. Metal Hawk was almost like Japan saying F-you America we are taking TF's back home with quality as our vengeance!! If you could give Maz my email it is coreybulpitt@gmail.com I could send him some pics, I have the Chrome Diaclone sword too for added coolness to his look!! Haha!!

    3. Hey dude, greetings from Osaka! I'll let Maz know about your Canadian Slag. Mine is also the version with the chrome sword and red launcher like yours, a very cool piece.

      It's true that they were getting rid of die cast and rubber wheels, how terrible for G1 that is....

  5. I've had a couple metal chest Springers. One had a fairly loose joint pin holding the chest and the front would just fall down in helicopter and car modes due to the weight. I think that they changed metal and rubber to plastic in 86 to save money, but in Springer's case it had a slight bonus of making the toy retain vehicle modes better.

    Some other notable asst 1 figs:
    - Whirl with gray painted canopy cage
    - Scourge with painted blue top
    - Prime with light blue roller and trailer supports. Might technically be asst 1.5 since the gray roller is asst 1.


    1. I think you are right - the metal chest does cause some inconvenience to transformation and even the robot mode actually standing properly due to the top heaviness.

      There are lots of "asst 1" figures out there, I think I'm just about done getting them all though, whew. In addition to those you mentioned, there is blue-ear Cyclonus, metal toe Sandstorm / Hot Rod / Kup, Matsushiro Jetfire, etc as well. Too many for me to remember.

      Agree, I think "blue Prime" is asst 1.5 - I have that one here - http://heroicdecepticon.blogspot.hk/2012/04/series-1-pre-rub-optimus-prime-mib-blue.html


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