25 August 2012

Pre-Transformers, Diaclone, Dinosaur Robo No.5 aka Swoop MIB, unused - Part 1

This is long over due.

This was from a deal that Maz helped broker at the end of February '12. I remember when clearly because I had to fly to Beijing and then Shanghai for work for 2 very intense days and it was at around 5am on one of those days that another auction for a piece like this (but not unused) was due to end.

I remember telling Maz before I boarded the plane to China that he needed to be quite certain to get the deal through, otherwise I would be forced to bid on the auction. He then gave me his 101% assurance that the Diaclone Swoop was a done deal if I wanted it. Love the man!

Of course I wanted it. It is want of the last pieces toward cartoon accuracy that I needed.

So what are we talking about? We are talking about pre-Transformers Diaclone dinosaur robo no.5 (I'll call it "Diaclone Swoop" for easy reference). This was the mould that became Swoop and released as a Dinobot in 1985.

For some bizarre and unknowable reason, the USA cartoon's Swoop colours were based entirely on Diaclone Swoop's colour scheme - ie: blue chest, golden beak, golden missiles, etc. In my mind, it is the colour scheme that makes Diaclone Swoop the most desirable pre-Transformer Diaclone dinobot.

Like USA Swoop or Japanese box Swoop, the Diaclone Swoop also happens to be the hardest to find and rarest of the pre-Transformers Diaclone dinobots. For many of the reasons above, it is the crowning jewel in many a collection, the 'holy grail' to many.

To me, it is this piece's near 100% cartoon accurate colour scheme that is so alluring to me.

Here it is. First, photos of the box.

Top left hand side of the box, with the words "Diaclone adventure world".

"Takara Co. Ltd. 1980, 1984"

Side of box showing transformation sequence

Product ID number is "160102-7-1980". "1980" is the year? Very oddly, the number is stickered on. I wonder why.

Bottom of box

Back of box


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  1. I have to say that the Dinobots have a special place in my heart. More so than combiners and Headmasters. Namely because I always wanted at least one when I was a kid, but the closest I had gotten was the "choose your path" type books tied to them. (Loved it.)

    These days, once (and if) I obtain an AFA worthy Convoy (pref. Encore, but we'll see), I hope to seek out Grimlock's MP-8 variant, if not these in their Japanese packaging (which I heard is not easy). (I'll explain why in that email I owe you.)

    So with that said... I am glad you got this, as it will go to a good home. (Or E's collection if she thinks it belongs in that collection.) :)

    1. Dinobots are my favourite too! When young, I had Grimlock and Sludge. My brother had Slag. But we never had Snarl or Swoop. So the latter 2 Dinobots have this special place and are something that I really want.

      Looking forward to that email from you!

      This has certainly gone to a good home, and it's in *my* collection since E has not declared otherwise. =)

  2. HD: Congrats again on getting such a rare and nice toy in such great condition! Diaclone swoop is very special to me because he was my first Diaclone and the reason why I bought it at the time was to have a Transformers cartoon accurate diaclone swoop. I like how the beak is gold chromed instead of red plastic, and there are working wheels on the toy in the diaclone version... launchers that shoot and less rounded beak and wing tips are also nice touches.

    1. hey VF1, "Transformers cartoon accurate" is also the key and perhaps only reason I bought this piece. I don't usually collect Diaclone and am not very interested in the other Diaclone Dinobots, but man, Swoop, is a must get for me.

      I have photos prepared and will be doing a comparison article on Swoop (TF version vs Diaclone version) soon, so keep eyes peeled... and I will also be mentioning the working wheels part.

      The less rounded beak and wings make SUCH a difference. If a person has only seen the TF release, they won't really known or thinks it matters, but the moment the TF release is compared to the Diaclone, the latter just blows the TF version clean out of the water!

  3. Longimte lurker here: Stunning stuff as always. :)

    The "1980" on the product ID was the original suggested retail price. Takara has been using that format only up till recently (the past 5 years or so?) before discontinuing adding it to the boxes directly. I suspect that the sticker conceals either a different ID number or mayhaps even a different retail price.

    Quite interesting to rummage through one's japanese collections and check out the original retail prices on stuff like, oh, Minerva, Overlord, Raiden and Metalhawk once in a while to make you want to wish one had bought them off the shelves instead... :/ :p

    1. hi! Thanks for posting something. Your user name does sound familiar. I think you have contributed to one (or more) of Maz's articles on TF Source, if I'm not mistaken.

      Thanks for the clarification on the sticker. I did think it strange why a sticker was needed and what the fuss was about the product ID. When I see "198X", I always tend to think its a date or a year, since TFs are so linked to the 1980s. =)

      I will take your advise and check out these pieces and their original retail price. I have some Japanese poster promotional material next to my desk and its says Minverva is 1800yen; King Poseidon giftset is 6300yen; Metalhawk is 1980yen.... etc.

      Cheers, look forward to more of your thoughts here!

      ~ HD


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