25 April 2008

Bluestreak (part 02) - His special place

I'd like to think that Bluestreak holds a special place in more than my heart- he holds a special place in the history of G1 as well.


I can at the moment think of 3 reasons:

[1] The blue Bluestreak controversy
It is basic knowledge among fans that while the Bluestreak box art and package pictures depict a predominantly blue coloured Bluestreak, the toy is anything but- in fact, the actual toy is almost entirely silver in colour. This begs the 24 year question of 'why didn't Hasbro release Bluestreak in his microman blue colour?'

The mythical blue Bluestreak

[2] Bluestreak is in every Transformer package
I'm sure a portion of G1 fans would have realized this, and I certainly did when I picked up my first Series 1 Transformer. In the 'Study your Transformer's Tech Specs' section of the instructions, it is the Bluestreak tech spec that is used as an illustration. Since this section of the instructions is present in all Autobot and Decepticon G1 toys up to 1990, bar carded ones, Bluestreak is by default in every Transformer package!

There are 2 versions of this- the first appeared only in Series 1 (1984) instructions and is fully coloured; the second appears from Series 2 (1985) onwards till the end of G1 and is not fully coloured. It is noteworthy that Series 1 toys who were also released as part of Series 2 (and in some countries as Series 3) had fully coloured instructions but a tech spec section that is not fully coloured. See below.

Coloured Bluestreak tech spec used as example (found in the instructions of 1984 Series 1 toys only)

Non-coloured Bluestreak tech spec used as example (found in the instructions of TFs from 1985 to 1988)

Non-coloured Bluestreak tech spec with bar chart overlay (found in the instructions of TFs from 1989 to 1990s)

[3] Parts mix up
It is also basic knowledge that Bluestreak, Prowl and Smokescreen were cut from the same mold, and had similar parts. There appears to be a mix up of launchers, whether deliberate or not.

Bluestreak came with red launchers, Prowl with silver and Smokescreen with white. These were, again, at odds with the toy depicted in their respective packages. From the pictures on the package, Bluestreak was to have silver launchers, Prowl white and Smokescreen red. This was corrected to a limited extent in that the Bluestreaks released with Series 2, in 1985, did in fact come with silver launchers.

Another mix up issue that is perhaps a little less known is the base material colour of the gun and 3 missiles that came with the launchers. This base colour, which can be seen once the chrome has faded/ been worn off/ scratched off, should correspond with the colour of the launchers. That is to say that if a Bluestreak toy came with red launchers, the base material colour of his gun and 3 missiles will be red as well; white launchers will come with guns and missiles with a white base material colour and so on.

It is thus easy to identify whether a 'complete' vintage Bluestreak, Prowl or Smokescreen is truly complete in the sense that it has all the parts it originally came with or that a seller simply mixed and meshed parts together to sell the unsuspecting buyer an apparently 'complete' toy. And that, is a word from the wise for eBay rookies.

With Bluestreak having such a profound importance to the G1 line, it is little surprise that I hit the roof when Hasbro and Takara, in recent times, purported to call him Silverstreak.

Next: What's in a name?

Read all Bluestreak chapters!
Chapter 01: A (re) introduction
Chapter 02: His special place
Chapter 03: What's in a name?

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