14 October 2013

The complete Takara Transformers - Operation Combination giftsets (1992), aka 合体大作戦

It's taken me awhile to get these together. The key reason that that at or around 2009, I decided that I didn't really need to complete Operation Combination as all vintage pieces - I settled for the reissue six-combiner robots.

It was at that time that I sold off Sixbuilder, Sixturbo and Sixtrain to an Australian collector. I also sold off TF-07 to him. Thus, there were holes on my Operation Combination collection that one could drive a truck through.

Recently, as part of a 30+ pieces Japanese Transformers lot, I re-acquired that final pieces to once again complete my vintage run of Operation Combination - I re-acquired TF-01: Sixbuilder (#1 of 35), TF-06 (#3 of 35) and TF-07 (#4 of 35).

So here it is, the complete Operation Combination run of TF-01 to TF-10, all MIB and all unused.

What follows are shots of my placing the 10 pieces in a variety of ways, to fully showcase them. For the benefit of the reader, this is what Operation Combination consists of:
  • TF-01: Sixbuilder giftset
  • TF-02: Sixwing giftset
  • TF-03: Sixturbo giftset
  • TF-04: Guard City giftset (Defensor repaint)
  • TF-05: Sixtrain giftset (Sixliner repaint)
  • TF-06: Spin Road vs. Dark Jet
  • TF-07: Fire Road vs. Shadow Jet
  • TF-08: Checker Road vs. Moon Jet
  • TF-09: Mach Road vs. Flare Jet
  • TF-10: Battle Gaia giftset (Bruticus repaint)

While writing this I realised one thing - all 10 pieces of the Operation Combination line are giftsets! That is right, this final year of Generation One Japanese Transformers consists entirely of giftsets! How strange, but also how nice.

One interesting point to note is that Sixliner, the very first six-combiner, is not actually part of 1992's Operation Combination line-up. It was actually part of Transformers: Zone, from the previous year, 1991.

In the photo below, you can see Sixliner in the background - it is the box below Swoop's on the left hand side of the photo.

The Operation Combination line, being only 10-pieces long (or short), is considered a very small line compared to the number of released on other years that came before it. Typically, each year had a vast number of releases, the high point, perhaps being 1987 - the Headmasters year in Japan, where they are just so many toys.

However, despite it consisting only of 10 pieces, it is arguably one of the hardest Japanese Transformers years to complete.

The six-combiner giftsets which relatively more difficult to find than more common pieces, are not that scarce in quantity. They generally hover around the US$150 to $200 mark on the secondary market. The road and jet teams (TF-06 to TF-09) are pretty common and I wouldn't expect them to be difficult to track down, even in an unused state.

That leaves 2 key reasons for why Operation Combination is difficult to complete - TF-04: Guard City and TF-10: Battle Gaia. These 2 combiner giftsets, repainted from Defensor and Bruticus respectively, are for some unknown reasons, extremely difficult to come by and therefore also relatively expensive.

Both Guard City and Battle Gaia commands high prices on the secondary market, if one can find them. Battle Gaia is arguably the final Transformer in Japan's Generation One line up, likely released in small quantities back in the day, which is probably the reason why it is one of the most difficult pieces to track to down.

I hope you enjoyed this journey back to 1992!

~ HD

Related Posts:


  1. someday i will get to them as vintage pieces, i had the six teams in my hand at tfcon, but they were incomplete, just the micromasters, i figured that was a waste of time to buy, very nice collection, great you found them all unused.

    1. This post just consolidates them though, I recently got TF-01, TF-06 and TF-07, but the other pieces, I've had them for awhile now.

      Gotta get the vintage ones. They just have a different feel to them from the reissues. Also, the vintage ones comes with lots and lots of stickers, which I understand is your kind of thing, heh.

      For Jap exclusive pieces, incomplete would almost certainly be a 'waste of time', because its so difficult to find parts for them.

  2. Nice! I have the Road/Jet sets. I love them. The box art on the back makes me laugh every time i look at them. BWOOOOM!

    1. Ah, now you reminded me. I should have taken a shot of all the back of the boxes... *slaps forehead!*

  3. I don't know if my last comment made it to you or not since I got signed out while writing it. Anyway, I discovered Guard City thanks to this blog and I dream about him all of the time. Congrats on completing the Operation: Combination series!

    1. hey dude, you last comment didn't make it, but this one did! Guard City is a quirky one and I'm not sure I'm a fan of its colour scheme, but there are collectors who like it better than Defensor. To read more about Guard City, you have to read what the mighty MAZ wrote, here - http://www.tf-1.com/articles/jtf/guardcity_template.html

      Thanks for the kind words once more!

    2. I love Guard City's color scheme. It's the main reason I want one!

    3. ah, i see. you are on the side of the collector's who prefer Guard City's colour scheme.... =)

  4. Fabulous as always HD. I'd love to go all out and finish Zone and Operation Combination, but it's not in the cards.....the irony is I've located 2/3 of Operation Combination MIB and could get Battle Gaia in that sweep, but can't for the life of me, even find 1/3 of Zone!

    Keep hitting us with these Gems! I love to see your collection!!!

    1. hi Logik, nice to see you here! Thanks for the kind words.
      Zone is a really odd series, because other than Big Powered, Sky Hyper, Landshaker, Metrotian and 2-3 sets of variant coloured patrols, its just a re-hash of existing toys in existing colours.

      Thus, to acquire piece in the Zone series other than the above, it typically means getting MOSC specimens of the MM patrols and also all the trainbots in Zone box. And there is also Galaxy Shuttle in Zone box. It's for this reason that other than the above pieces, I have largely avoided Zone.

      I agree, it is difficult to complete. I have at some point almost all the patrols and bases and the above pieces - ie: close to 90% of Zone complete, but have sold off all my MOSC patrols to various collectors....


Your comment will be beamed to me and will be visible within 3 to 7 hours typically. Do check back or subscribe to this post for my responses or to see comments from other readers! ~ HD

Last 30 days' TOP TEN Popular Posts