04 August 2012

G1 Japanese mailaway exclusive Masterforce C-200: Lander MIB unused

I had no idea this piece existed.

Yes, I did know that Pretender Landmine was released in the USA in 1988, but I did not know that there was a Japanese boxed version, C-200: Lander, that was correspondingly released in Japan as part of the Chojin Masterforce series in 1988.

For the longest time, it was common perception among my collector friends and I that the Masterforce Cybertrons “began” with Metalhawk, since he was numbered C-201, which corresponds with the Destrons’ “first” Masterforce toy, D-201: Blood.

Then, in the last year or so, when I was ‘nearing’ completion of my Japanese G1 toys and was ‘diversifying’ into other TF paraphernalia, I discovered several pieces of vintage Masterforce marketing material that showed Landmine. He was not shown with the other Pretender figures but as part of what appeared to be a ‘special offer’ figure. At around the same time, I heard whispers from other collectors that ‘just when they thought they are done with Jap G1, they discovered that there is still the mailaway C-200: Lander to acquire!’.

C-200, it's true, it exists.

Wow, Landmine, one of my favourite Autobot Pretenders was actually a mailaway toy in Japan, and not just any mailaway. It’s a mailaway that got it’s own exclusive box – not a white box (like Omnibots) or a white box with cartoony drawings (like Ratchet) or a USA box posing as a Japanese mailaway (like Dirge or Repugnus) or a USA box with a golden Japanese sticker (like Gnaw), but this was a mailaway with its own box, designed to fit in with the other Cybertron Pretenders! (read more about mail away Japanese Transformers in this wonderful article by Maz entitled "Mail-away G1 Transformers - Part 2")

This was epic.

Tell me this is not epic.

Naturally my next question is – “where do I find one?”

I soon discovered that while not notoriously expensive, like most Japanese exclusive Transformers are, C-200: Lander was particularly difficult to come by. The promotional material I had seems to suggest that they mailed away Landers at a rate of 500 per month, up to a total of 3000 overall. That’s about 6 months in the year, in 1988, more than enough time for lots of Japanese to actually get one.

C-200 MIB with promotional material for mail away

3000 in total does sound like quite a large amount, but then, I just have not seen any around. Didn’t even know what it looked like.

Fast forward to early July. I went to Osaka and managed to obtain the ultra rare MyClone Red Alert (chase figure), which is something a collector buddy from Australia has been looking for for close to 3 years.

I suggested to him that we should trade for something on my wants list (which included C-200: Lander as one of the wants). He came back to me and said he could trade Lander and I was very happy! Yay!

So here it is, C-200: Lander MIB, unused.

His name is 'Lander', read that and weep Landmine.

Made in Macau rather than Japan

Stunning box art, seriously stunning (as with all the 1988 Pretenders)

Lander bio.

The guy wears glasses. Don't mess with him.

Inside when flap is opened. This is a feature common to the 1988 Masterforce Pretenders released in Japan.

Diorama on box flap featuring Lander.

Insert with paperworks (I'm missing the bio card because my buddy collects them and so I agreed to let him keep it). Thus, technically, my Lander is 'incomplete'.

Instructions and unused sticker sheet.

His insert actually says "C200". No swapping of inserts!

Lander with promotional mail away offer which came with the toy, just in case the Japanese boy needs to mail order another Lander after already getting one.

The vinyl on the left is probably a store exclusive or display piece for marketing purposes back then. At the bottom, there is information on how to get a mail away Lander (from the looks of it).

Out of box and insert

Altogether now, Transformers Masterforce C-200: Lander, C-201: Metalhawk, C-202: Phoenix, C-203: Diver




  1. Ohhhhh, nice! I know Colbey has been trying to track this guy down forever. I'd say that Myclone was definitely worth it! Did you get my email about the cassettes?

    1. Yeah, the MyClone was definitely worth it (fortunately, I don't collect that series). Yes, I did see your email about the cassettes. Still assessing, but will reply to you =)

  2. That is awesome! I love the box art! The diorama is just too cool. I must say that when I start on my Japanese collection, this will be one of the first ones I acquire. Very well done.

    1. Pretender box art is one of the coolest things in the 1988 line. They look absolutely stunning. Also there is just something about Lander's colour scheme of yellows and grays that works. Highly recommended piece for when you start our Jap collection

  3. as always HD a very fine example joins your collection, i really enjoy looking through your blog and pictures of you posessions. always amazes me :)

    1. Thanks for the kind words Steve. It does take up quite a lot of my time to document, update and upkeep the blog, glad that at least it is being enjoyed!

  4. Very nice, HD! This was definitely the one piece I was hoping to hear that you had gotten. :) (And you needing the bio card gives me something extra to do, which is something I need to do ever since I got over my bad news.)

    Also, what makes this iconic (to me, at least) is that the Transformers Generations 2012 (volume 1) book has a Pretenders manga in it. That, and they show him being a "ladies man" (per say). (The manga also has me hope that Takara Tomy will do a "Pretenders" line that includes the U.S. characters.)

    But beyond that, congrats on this! (Oh, and for some humor, check out the spelling on the boxes of Alternity's "Ultra Magnus" and "Dai Atlas". :p)

    1. hi Kuma, I thought the news was all good and you were moving to the Kanto region?

      Something extra to do means you are helping me hunt the bio card? *hint hint* =)

      You are right that its cool TF: Generations 2012 showcased the G1 Pretenders. It's good that the showcase is moving beyond the 84-86 TFs and showing later year stuff. Lander is indeed a ladies' man - if you recall, he was on a 'hot date' in the first Episode of Masterforce when Hawk was calling him in for duty.

    2. Hey HD.

      Yeah... That had changed due to the events tied to that bad news. But I do plan to try again, even if it is not in the Kanto region. Especially since I am in a Transformers dry zone.

      And yup. :) I think with a few changes I have made on my want/wish list, I think it will be fun to find this. And who knows? I might luck out and find one for you. :)

      Plus, yeah... I remember that episode. :) That, and I am now hoping that they will do more of that kind of G1 canon. Maybe even do a manga tied to the events that lead to the Headmasters anime, or even the Master Warriors.

      Either way, I am now hoping they will do another exclusive special for volume 2 and it ends up being a modern remake of one of the Pretenders. :)

    3. hiya, as in you're going to try to relocate again? Maybe to Tokyo this time? =)

      thanks for volunteering to help me look out, but knowing the rarity and obscurity of these things, I'm not very confident they will turn up easily.

      Since you speak and understand Japanese, I'm sure the G1 Jap episodes will be more fun, understandable and more of a pleasure to watch compared with me (cos I have to rely on subtitles).

  5. I don´t know that Lander was a mailaway item...

    Congrats HD!!! That figure seems awesome, the box art is pretty cool also. I say it again, congratulations!!!

  6. Seriously? Seriously? You found him? I've been looking for the better part of 10 years for this piece! The closest I've gotten to acquiring him was from a TFW2005 seller who had one boxed and complete for $100. I offered $125 and he accepted my offer...and then backed out never to be heard from again.

    Congrats. You've got yourself a real jewel there.

    1. Well, actually I traded MyClone Red Alert (which I think is equally rare if not rarer) for him. It's true its not expensive, but then, so hard to find right? Actually, I've heard that there were 2-3 sales for these on TFW near the end of last year. From memory, Yigal was selling one.

      Email me, I know a person on TFW that has 2 or 3 of these MIB.

    2. I'll send you a PM via TFW since I don't have your e-mail

  7. Nice article.

    Are the copyright stamps on the figures themselves identical to the US Landmine release?


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