14 October 2012

A mystery solved, for me at least... (C-91: Computron and D-84: Abominus giftsets)

Over the years, I have been hearing on and off that the Japanese D-84: Abominus giftset and the C-91: Computron giftset has a special exclusive poster included in it - one of the reasons why the Japanese release of these relatively easily available toys, which were also widely released in North American and many other parts of the world in English packaging, were so expensive.

I've asked many people "what exactly is the poster that came with these sets and how does it look?"

Among all the TF collectors I asked, including veteran shop owners in HK and SG, no one could tell me what the C-91 or D-84 poster looked like. They could tell me what a Goodbye Convoy or Goodbye Megatron poster looked like, but not the C-91 and D-84 poster(s).

What further frustrated me was that my usual shop in HK kept getting in MISB near C10 sets of C-91 and D-84 and when I peeked inside, there was indeed a larger than normal piece of paper that looked like it is a poster. Obviously, I could not take it out to see because I'd have to cut the tape making the box no longer MISB. At approximately HK$10,000 to 13,000 a pop (US$1290 - $1670), I was absolutely not willing to pay for it to open in order to sate my curiosity. To me, Computron and Abominus are worth no more than US$150 to me, each.

Recently, as I was traversing TFW, I saw a thread where someone was selling his/her D-84: Abominus giftset and voila, there was a photo with its poster shown.

Mystery solved - I believe this is the poster that came with both the C-91 and D-84 giftsets.

(photo was saved more than a month ago and I don't remember who the seller was. Please contact me if its your photo and would like it take down or attributed to you)

The poster pictures and promotes both Computron and Abominus together with suggested Scramble City combinations with Superion, Defensor, Menasor and Bruticus, and appears suitable for either giftset, therefore, I think its reasonably safe to conclude that it also came in the Computron giftset - however, I'm happy to be proven wrong or be pointed in the right direction re the Computron giftset.

That's it, a mystery solved, for me at least...

09 October 2012

Takara Transformers SCFs - ACT 1 Chase figures - Metallic finish Convoy and Megatron

Previous chapter - Takara Transformers SCFs (Super Collectible Figures), a (re)introduction

Like I mentioned in the previous chapter, some of the hardest SCF figures to get are the "Chase" figures that came blind-packed in each ACT. I recalled that when ACT 1 was released, I did not even have any idea what the Chase figures were.

At the time, all the toy action took place at Clarke Quay in Singapore, on Sundays. There I was on the Sunday that SCF ACT 1 was released, back in December 2000. I was so excited about this first ACT because I knew that it contained many of my favourite G1 characters.

I bought a sealed carton from what must have been Hourstore at the time. I ran to the fire stairs with a friend and we started peeling the individual boxes open. First box, no Chase figure... second box, no Chase figure... third box, still no Chase figure...

I proceeded to gleefully open all 12 blind-packed boxes and discovered that I did not get a single Chase figure.

Then I walked around and looked at other shops that did not sell sealed cartons - ie: they opened the cartons and extracted any Chase figures they could find. At one such shop, I saw what the ACT 1 Chase figures were... and I was blown away.

Here they are in their full glory.

02 October 2012

Takara Transformers SCFs (Super Collectible Figures), a (re)introduction

Transformers Super Collectible Figures ("SCFs") were released by Takara toward the end of the year 2000. These small PVC figures that were approximately 3 inches tall, do not transform, but unlike their Decoy predecessors, were posable.

8 out of the 10 waves (called "ACTs") eventually released were G1-centric, with character designs that closely matched the designs seen in the G1 Cartoon and Marvel's Transformers Universe design sheets.

I was immediately attracted to this series and were buying up each ACT as a complete box.

A comprehensive figure listing can be found on Wikipedia here.

My SCF figure display back in 2001 / 2002

Each ACT came in a box of 12 individually blind packed figures. Of the 12, 6 would be coloured figures and the other 6 would be either clear (later pewter) versions of the 6 coloured figures. Selected boxes of 12 figures would randomly include a "Chase" or special figure that was different from the other 12 either in terms of molding or colour. Since all figures were blind packed, the Chase figures for each ACT were difficult to come by. Back in the day, I heard that there was 1 Chase figure per every 10 boxes (of 12 individually blind packed figures) - that's approximately a 1:120 ratio.

Out of all the ACTs I bought, I was only lucky enough to stumble upon one Chase figure - this was for the final G1 ACT8, where I got a blind packed Coronation Starscream with cape. I was ecstatic of course, but it also meant that I did not have a coloured Star Convoy (ie: if you got a Chase, that set would effectively be 'incomplete' and missing another random figure).

SCFs randomly scattered on my table, back in 2001 / 2002 (before the eagle eyed collector gets too excited, the Skywarp there is a custom paint job done by my friend from a SCF Thundercracker and not the Transformers: Generations Lucky Draw Skywarp).

I had not other Chase figures back in the day.

Now, close to 10 years later, I've managed to hunt down a number of SCF Chase figures which I will showcase in subsequent posts. Very excited!

Next: Takara SCF ACT1 Chase figures - metallic Convoy with laser axe and metallic Megatron with flail.

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