Ok, why on Earth is this still listed as rumour and why are people even saying that it has
to be a Takara import?
Here's the thing. Griffin has developed enough of a relationship with Hasbro Australia that he's told things - things he's allowed to reveal and things he's not allowed to reveal. If he's being told this and able to pass it on, then I have no reason to doubt its authenticity or that it's information Hasbro is happy having in the public domain. Secondly, the information he was given specified packaging which differed from the standard Takara Masterpiece packaging
There is no reason to regard this "with a grain of salt" or to even regard it as rumour - any more than a rep saying something at a Botcon panel should be taken as rumour.
However to play devil's advocate, let's presume for one minute that one or both of these were somehow an Australian exclusive. The other thing is that people need to understand how small the number of players in the Australian retail market are. Granted Australia has a population less than a tenth of the US, but you can almost count the number of major players on one hand.
You essentially have:
- Westfamers - controls Coles (a supermarket chain which does sell small transformers and low ticket toys, but is unlikely to get exclusives), Kmart, Target and Myer (a high end department store)
- Woolworths - controls Woolworths (a supermarket chain which does sell small transformers and low ticket toys, but is unlikely to get exclusives) and BIGW (a department store similar to Kmart and Target) as well as other unrelated retail chains
- David Jones
- ToyWorld (one of the 2 original toy chains in Australia - barely survived the arrival of Toys'R'Us and the then Coles-Myer's "World4Kids" megastore
- Uncle Pete's Toys (the other original toy chain that post TRU and W4K is barely limping along)
In short, with the exception of Uncle Pete's Toys, any of these juggernauts have a large enough market share to carry exclusives.
Furthermore, this is the exclusives history here in Australia to 2006 that comes to mind (feel free to fill in any gaps I miss burn):
- Australia-wide - Euro G1, G2 Powermasters, Machine Wars
- Kmart(?)- Beast Wars Airrazor & Razorclaw video 2-packs, Universe 1.0 Ramjet, Cybertron Primus (w/- bonus Unicron head), Alternator Optimus Prime
- Toyworld- Beast Machines Rattrap and Megatron
- David Jones - Universe 1.0 Nemesis Prime
- Target - RiD Dreadwind, RiD Landfill (yellow), RiD Jhiaxus, RiD Storm Jet, Energon Cyclonus & Demolishor (Armada repaints), Universe 1.0 Ruination, Masterpiece Ultra
- BigW - Energon Ultra Magnus and Energon Rapid Run, Energon Prowl/Checkpoint 2-pack (90% sure this was BigW but could have the retailer wrong), Cybertron Soundwave, Cybertron Dark Crumplezone
Some of these are merely exclusive distribution of regular items whilst others are official store exclusives from O/S. The point of this is that Australian retailers have had a long history of having the pulling power to have exclusive distribution rights to items here.
Furthermore whilst Toy'R'Us are absent from that list, they have since had multiple toy exclusives, including most recently, MP Prime and Thundercracker.
As for Uncle Pete's toys, while they are conspicuously absent from that list, they have exclusively had GIJOE BTR and Sigma 6 figures here iirc and their warehouse is large enough that several cases of Star Wars POTF2 figures appear to have turned up in the past couple of years, which they're now still selling at retail (and will most likely spend the next decade trying to sell).
Heck from what the manager in Toy World Fyshwick (ACT) has told me last year (although there's since been no new information), Toy World even look like they're getting Platinum Omega Supreme and Platinum Optimus Prime as exclusives.
In conclusion there is no rational reason to continue to dismiss this as mere rumour.