22 December 2011

Review - Headmasters Dino-cassette C-121: Gurafi MIB

I first talked about how I acquired this Dino-cassette here - The full story (Part 3) - So rare they ought to be extinct. These cassettes have also variously been called "W-Cassettes".

Now, it's time to showcase these little gems, one by one, the first being C-121: Gurafi (aka Graphy).

Gurafi has a nice cassette mode and even a fun transformation, but his dino-mode just does not do it for me. It's kind of boring and just stands there upright with wings that are difficult to position convincingly. The weapon attachments to the wings also appear to be after-thoughts and do not add much utility. I think the key reasons the design was so limited is because it needed to combine, so at least that is forgivable. I would rate this as my least favourite among the 4 dino-cassettes and give it an overall rating of 6.5/10.

Gurafi bio from TF Wiki:
"Graphy (グラフィ Gurafi) is one of the Autobot Mini-Cassettes. The aerial intelligence soldier of the group, he is the calmest among them, a stark contrast to his hyper-violent partner Noise. Graphy is an impressive flyer with amazing eyesight. As a member of the W Cassettebot sub-sub-group, he can combine with Noise to form the robot Decibel."

Further information: "Graphy is a mini-cassette that transforms into a red Pteranodon. A pair of silver-chrome laser guns attach to the ends of his wings. In tape mode, he fits into the chest compartment of Blaster or Soundwave (and their retooled reincarnations).

Graphy combines with Noise to form the legs and chestplate of the humanoid robot Decibel. In this form, his guns attach to his legs for added stability."

C-121: Gurafi MIB
Box = C9.5
Toy = C9
Inserts = C8.5
Accessories = complete, C9

(C-121: Gurafi, combines with C-122: Noizu to form the robot Decibel)

Close up of the beautiful box art. Would have loved a movable beak for the toy like the box art depicts, but it was not to be.

Top of box - despite the tiny size of the box, Takara still managed to squeeze in the "classic" transformation-sequence photos.

Bottom of box - the tech specs are here

Back of box

Bios for Decibel (combined form of Gurafi and Noizu) and bio for Gurafi

Gurafi out of box - Gurafi bio card, instructions and Gurafi cassette and 2 weapons in insert tray

Close up of bio card and instructions

Close of of Gurafi in insert tray and its weapons

Close up of Gurafi in cassette mode

With instructions opened

Gurafi transformed

According to TF Wiki, Gurafi is 'vanishingly rare'. 

I know, it took me ages to acquire it. Here is the quote from TF Wiki: "As one of the vanishingly few toys unique to the Headmasters toy line and something of a tail-ender within the line, Graphy and the other three "dino-cassettes" command ridiculous sums on the secondary market. Their actual rarity is questionable, though; similar "exclusive holy grails" Stepper, Artfire, Twincast and Soundblaster were uncommon, but not vanishingly rare, yet still commanded top dollar due to overseas perception (until they got reissued, at any rate). As there appear to be no plans to reproduce these cassettes, their high-price status is unlikely to change."

BEWARE - At this point, it is the fan-dom's understanding that KO-Toys, the 'company' that makes unauthorised (illegal) copies of Transformers toys, is being shut down. However, despite that, they appear to still be planning to release KO versions of Gurafi and Noizu. Do watch for KO / illegal / fake versions of these especially on online stores.


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