G1: 1987-1992

1987 was the year the the G1 cartoon ended in the USA after the 3-part "The Rebirth" storyline. I remember this year as the year where Hasbro/Takara 'went to town' as far as innovation and concepts were concerned.  A large number of sub-groups were introduced, key among them the Headmasters, Targetmasters, Throttlebots (similar to 1986's Battlechargers in a way), Monsterbots, Six-changers, Duocons and Clones. Wow. 1987 is also significant because it was the year that the largest Transformer ever made, to date, was released - Fortress Maximus.

I'm incredibly fond of these guys, especially Pointblank and Misfire.

Note to self. E has declared that Hardhead MIB is hers.

Like I said above, this gem now belongs to E.

The 4 'original' Autobot Headmasters.

The 4 'original' Autobot Headmasters and the 3 'original' (new mold) Targetmasters.

1987 USA box Pointblank MIB, with inserts and unused paperworks.

By far the most difficult and relatively more expensive Monsterbot to obtain - Repugnus.

The 3 Autobot Monsterbots. These are the fire Transformers which feature the spark gimmick and are almost like deluxe versions of the down-sized 1988 Sparkabots and Firecons.

MISB Battletrap acquired from my January 2010 trip to Tokyo.

1987 Headmaster Weirdwolf MIB with unused sticker sheet.

1987 Headmaster Skullcruncher with insert and sealed paperworks packet.

The 3 'original' Decepticon Headmasters.

The Autobot and Decepticon Headmasters

MIB Targetmaster Cyclonus. Unfortunately, I did not obtain one with its inserts.

The infamously very rare and very expensive Targetmaster Scourge with box.

My 2 favourite Decepticon Headmasters - Snapdragon and Apeface.

This was a very exciting year as well. How could it not be? Hasbro brought back the greatest Autobot Leader of all, Optimus Prime! This year built on the Headmaster and Targetmaster concepts from 1987, and also introduced many new innovative concepts such as the Powermaster, Tiggerbots/cons and significantly, the Pretenders. The line up for 1988 was nothing short of massive. There were a total of 18 Autobot and Decepticon Pretenders alone, almost the size of the entire 1984 Transformers line up. For me, it was one of the more challenging and tougher years to complete because particular figures, while not expensive in absolute terms were incredibly scarce on eBay and/or on Transformers Forums.

The following figures gave me a difficult time: Needlenose, Override and Carnivac. I would also have had a difficult time with Pretenders like Groundbreaker, Sky High, Splashdown, Bugly, Iguanus and Finback if not for the fact that a kind lady seller from the US selling them to me as lots of 6 Autobot Pretenders and 6 Decepticon Pretenders all complete. I also greatly appreciate the kind gesture from Fatbot of OZ Formers for selling me the Pretender vehicles and Pretender Beasts which were also pretty challenging to obtain complete.

Very pristine Canadian box Quickswitch.

E has declared that this is hers!

1990s issue MISB Nightbeat. I bought this from Sky Shadow of OZ Formers.

The 6 'standard format' Autobot Pretenders, all C9 condition and all complete. Sweet!

My favourite Autobot Pretender - Landmine.

The Autobot Pretender Beasts. Catilla is a sabretooth tiger, how cool is that?

The Autobot and Decepticon Headmaster Juniors

The Decepticon pretenders!

My favourite Decepticon Pretender - Skullgrin.

The Decepticon Pretender Beasts. Carnivac is of course a hot favourite of mine since the Marvel UK days...

Carded and unused Seacons.

MOSC Beastbox and Squarktalk

This is a 'more of the same' year in terms of Pretenders. In fact, this year's toys are comprised sole of Pretenders, in many shapes, sizes and forms, and Micromasters. Really not a very interesting year back in the day. However, its pretty interesting for a collector wishing to complete this year, today. Due to the declining interest in Transformers back in 1989, many of this year's figures had lower production runs relative to the figures from prior years. The quality of the figures were also generally inferior to the previously "Made in Japan" figures of the earlier years. Add the advent of 'gold plastic syndrome' to the above mix and it gets really interesting for a collector seeking to complete the 1989 Transformers in the more recent years.

While the majority of each figure is not overly expensive, it is incredible challenging and difficult to get pieces like Skyhammer or Roadblock's inner robot unbroken; or the small Pretenders like Bludgeon, Octopunch, Stranglehold, Pincher, Doubleheader or Longtooth complete. The Monster Pretenders is another difficult sub-group to complete with Slogs and Bristlebacks being in very short supply due to GPS. Complete Monster Pretenders (ie: Monstructor) can go for anything from US$350 to US$500, and that is just 6 figures in 1989's 39 figure line up (counting each Micromaster patrol as 1 figure since they were sold together).

Vroom was very difficult to find complete, much less in box and with insert. I bought this from a UK seller, but US auctions had this guy going for as high as US$280!

C-343: Hothouse, MIB and unused from my Japan trip in January 2010.

My carded Bludgeon. This was from 2 separate auctions, one where I bought Bludgeon complete with all parts and another where I bought the backing card (for AU$2!).

The Monster Pretender inner robots. They're tiny.

The very fearsome Monstructor!

If any one year should be mentioned as the year that killed off Generation One, I think this should be the year - 1990. This year's figures comprises entire of Micromasters (already not interesting from 1989) and the devolutionn of Transformers, which should be a transforming toy, the ActionMasters. Hasbro cranked out 28 ActionMaster figures/vehicles and what not in 1990 and, personally, I think its the most uninspiring and dismal thing to happen to the franchise since its inception in 1984. There were some interesting ActionMasters, don't get me wrong, but they were by and far things I'd rather avoid.

MOSC Banzai-Tron and Krok.

3 x MOSC Micromaster Patrols

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