02 December 2017

Birthday 2017 - Takara 21-Reflector MIB and a delightful discovery

For my birthday this year, I did not prepare a rare and significant present like last year for myself in anticipation.

However, during the mid-afternoon, E and I had some time before our dinner and movie (Justice League) with friends and E suggested that we could go to the toy shops. We went and I visited the shop where I previously saw had a MIB Reflector (Takara version). Previously, on multiple occasions, the shop-keeper said he did not have a price in mind for the Reflector.

This time, he did. So after some haggling, I bought it - see photo above. One of the main reasons I wanted this set was because it had unpunched missiles, still on the sprue.

After dinner and the movie, I was home and looking over the 21-Reflector. I realised that the red robot had white strips at the knees of each leg. This was odd because I do not see this for most Reflectors out there, except the set that the Devstar37 showed me some years ago (yes, I remember these useless facets).

For those that has followed this blog, you would recall that Devstar37 was the good friend that I bought nearly 50 pieces of early Japanese G1 from, back in early 2013. 21-Reflector was not one of the pieces he sold to me, but he did offer it to me a few years after. I did not end up purchasing his Reflector, but had photos of it stored on my phone.

So then, I checked the photos and was quite surprised. The general wear on the box all seemed to look alike. I quickly messaged Devstar37 on Facebook and asked if he thought the set I bought from the shop could be his. After some discussion and sharing with him the photos of the contents, he quickly came to the conclusion that the set I bought was, somehow, indeed his set!

I was just blown away. Something I missed out on awhile ago has circled back and is now part of my early Takara collection, most of which was bought from Devstar37. This is such a reunion and make this D21-Reflector a much more delightful birthday present to myself than would have initially been the case.

This story has not ended though...

The next morning, I dug up all my other Reflectors (photo above). I compared the 21-Reflector that I just bought with the 21-Reflector that I currently own.

After some comparison, I realised that I had variants!

The set I just bought (which used to belong to my good friend Devstar37) was the "first release" of 21-Reflector. The words "1974, 1983, Takara, Japan" was stamped on the box, the instructions and all the robots. This was also the "skinny" missiles version with a matching flash cube for skinny missiles. The first release version matches the Diaclone Microx version in terms of molding.

Photos of 21-Reflector, "first release" version:

The version I had was the "second release" version. The words "1983, Takara, Japan; Hasbro" was stamped on the box, the instructions and all the robots. This was also the "fat" missiles version with a matching flash cube for fat missiles. Like other Takara early releases (like the cars), second releases have a bar code printed on the box - this version is no exception. The second release version matches the US released mailaway version in terms of molding.

Photo of 21-Reflector, "second release" version:

Photo comparison showing both releases (first release at top):

Photo comparison showing both releases (first release at top):

Photo comparison of the date stamps:

Photo comparison showing bar code on the second release box:

In closing, this has turned out to be a very good self-present. Not only did I reunite Devstar37's Reflector with the bulk of his collection (which now belongs to me), I also accidentally rounded out my Reflectors by having the 2 variants complete with unpunched missiles. Not bad at all!


  1. Wow! Excellent and very interesting! Haha.
    Wonderful read as usual at your page, HeroicDecepticon. Haven't messaged you for quite a while. (Not sure if you remember me, I mentioned that I was at the Sapporo Mandarake before (in 2010), and that it has changed location (in 2013) - ring a bell? haha).

    I'm messaging mainly because I realised that this is your last post at this blog... Have you 'officially' stopped blogging? (busyness in life took over? Family? Kids?) Or you have moved on to another blog? Are still collecting TFs..?

    Hope you receive this. Cheers.


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