25 October 2009

Masterforce C309 Godbomber - a whirlwind adventure

It was the year 2000.

At the time, I've more or less just (re)commenced collecting Transformers again. Naturally, I was particularly interested in the G1 figures that I missed out of, a decade or so before. These were ones that I really wanted but never got around to being given them.

Powermaster Optimus Prime was item #6 on the list of figures I really wanted but missed out on. It was such a relief to have Prime back after he'd died in the 1986 Transformers: The Movie. I was on the search for a Powermaster Optimus Prime back in 2000. Roaming around The Cannery at Clarke Quay, a place that in coming years will surely be remembered as the Singapore toy capital in the 'good old days', I met with many old secondary school friends who were to my surprise also interested in buying back the Transformers they missed out on. I gathered that this may be a common trait among boys. Heh.

Knowing that I am searching for Powermaster Optimus Prime, my friend DY told me one Sunday morning, "Hey, you know that there is an add on trailer to Powermaster Optimus Prime right?"

"What?!? You sure?"

"Yeah. It's called Godbomber, a Japanese exclusive back in 1988. It's one of the holy grails of Transformer collecting. It's so rare that very little people have actually seen it before."

If there is something like that, I'd surely want to acquire it to make my Powermaster Optimus Prime 'complete', I thought. The problem is, I've never, ever, seen or heard this before and had no idea where to look. I scoured eBay, but, as with rare items, no one seemed to be selling Godbombers for months and months.

In the intervening time, WT, another friend had kindly given to me, the entirety of his Transformers collection that fortuitously for me consisted of Powermaster Optimus Prime and Sixshot, both complete. All that was left to do is to find the fabled Godbomber.

On another Sunday months later, there was a Transformers toy 'exhibition' at Exclesior Hotel. I attended with DY and he pointed out to me "There it is. Powermaster Optimus Prime, known as Ginraii in Japan, combined with Godbomber to form God Ginraii."

*jaw drops*.

It exists.

I was blown away.

"Ah, there's my Dolly Parton." the owner of that piece, now one of the few Singaporean PowerSellers on eBay said. He must have been comparing the large chest of God Ginraii with Dolly's chesty chest, I suppose.

I-have-to-have-Godbomber. There's no two ways about it.

The next month or two was spent extensively researching Godbomber. What parts it comes with. Where was it released. Which is the best place to have a chance of finding it.

No luck.

I was also told on good authority that Godbomber was a limited release even back in 1988, and that it was limited to 2000 pieces, released on Japan only. There were supposed to be markings on the Godbomber box that said so. I don't know whether this was or is true since I have no way of verifying it. But I was experiencing great difficulty in locating a Godbomber.

On a random day, I was flipping through a Japanese pocket book that I been given as a present by a primary school classmate. This was a book that I'd paged through time upon time, for countless times. This time however, I noticed something I didn't before. There he was in the picture. Godbomber together with Ginraii and then on their left, a picture of their combined form God Ginraii.

Ironically, Godbomber was a character that I should have known since 1988. This is that picture in the pocket book - I experienced subtle deja-vu and an epiphany at the same time.

Their combined tractor-trailer form is so awesome and like no Prime I've ever seen before that I had renewed vigour in searching for a Godbomber. I would find such a Godbomber from this guy in Hong Kong.

SGD$450 was what he wanted for it. I-was-still-in-University-at-that-time. That-is-a-lot-of-money.

But he was offering an MIB Godbomber for sale! The first I'd ever ever come across in my life. Man, what a mess I was. I knew I had to part with some of my present Transformers in order to raise the cash, but I would have to part with many Transformers to make up SGD$450.

I did the only thing I could. Remember the Overlord I bought for $4 from a University charity fair? Yes, this one here.

I sold that Overlord for SGD$450 to finance my C309 Godbomber MIB.

This is my C309 Godbomber MIB.

Box front

Back of box

Contents, complete with all parts and paperworks

Close up of Godbomber

A while later (could be months or a year I can't remember), Takara saw fit to reissue the C310 God Ginraii giftset en-masse, drastically hammering the price of any existing Godbomber to smithereens. Now every one and his dog is able to acquire a fresh minty Godbomber reissue. To make matters worse, there were some many reissue C310 God Ginraiis in Asia that its price went from SGD$160 on first release to SGD$70 after 6 months, and there were still heaps floating around.

Such was life.

I am still extremely happy with my C309 Godbomber nonetheless. It is a vintage piece in its individual box (which I prefer to giftsets), near-mint, and, if the legends were true, one of 2000 that was released on 1988. If for nothing more, I would still hold it close to heart for the whirlwind adventure it led me on, from discovering it exists, all the way to me acquiring it.

~ HD

1 comment:

  1. I'm just curious...is this your only vintage Godbomber? Have the reissues driven the price down enough that you have had other opportunities to buy other minty specimens?


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