Top 5 Best Transformers Toys Japan Never Got: Molds and Retools

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Top 5 Best Transformers Toys Japan Never Got: Molds and Retools

Postby william-james88 » Sat Oct 13, 2018 3:37 pm

Every two weeks, Seibertron.com brings you a Top 5 list related to all things Transformers written by me, your fellow editor. These are our opinions so what matters most is what you guys think of the topic or list, and I hope to see your own lists or comments on omissions and ranking. Let's have fun! All previous lists can be found here.


Top 5 Transformer Toys Japan Never Got (Molds and Retools)


Western fans whose purchases are predominantly Hasbro's standard Transformers toys sometimes feel like the grass is greener in Japan. And why wouldn't we? Just look at the exclusive molds, remolds and redecos Japan got in the Transformers Prime line and more recently in the Generations Combiner Wars and Robots in Disguise lines. Just to shove it in our face, they even re-released at retail the Tank Frenzy and Rumble molds for the cassette characters which Hasbro never released at retail (even though Hasbro designed it)(LINK). Plus there are all the Masterpiece Transformers we may never get and the list goes on.

But with all that going on, it is very easy to forget that Hasbro themselves have had dozens (hundreds?) of exclusives, many of which were just found at retail, and this list is to remind all Westerners (and Oceanians) that we sometimes get things Japan doesn't get (and might never ever get). Yes, many of those Hasbro exclusives are toys nobody wants (like Supreme Beast Machines Cheetor, Supreme Cybertron Starscream and quite a bit of the Titanium line) but we have some really good stuff too that quite a few Japanese fans had no choice but to import (now it's their turn to pay that shipping muahahaha). I will stick to just retail here (we will leave show exclusives for other lists), and in the next two weeks, I will try to mix it up with a wide array of exclusive molds, remolds and decos that both Japan or Takara (they can be mutually exclusive) didn't get. For now we start with tooling so either a new mold or a retool that Japan never got at retail.


5. Transformers Prime Beast Hunters Sharkticon Megatron

While not show accurate in the least, this is by far the best toy to come out of this design. I loved Prime Megatron's robot mode but the vehicle left a lot to be desired. There was that visible head syndrome, robot arms just hanging out in the back adding nothing to the vehicle mode, and I couldn’t quite get what the front was all about. Was it a head? Couldn't really make heads or tails of it (not quite as bad as Megatron's Animated Cyertronian design of course) and not something I cared to Transform this excellent robot mode into.

But man, talk about an overhaul with the Beast Hunters retool of Sharkticon Megatron. Many problems I had with the original vehicle mode design were fixed. No more visible head syndrome for starters but more than that, the ship looked like something. It had this incredible bio mechanical look to it, which reminded me a lot of HR Geiger, with a very prominent head and fins in the back. Those are the obvious bits of remolding but when actually taking a good long look at this toy you realize it's mostly new parts. The arms and legs and even head have all been changed to add detail contributing to the more underwater theme. The deco is pretty stellar too, reminding me of the colour palette in the Bioshock games. And he comes with the Tartarex Warp Sword which not only is a badass shark sword gun made for pure slaughter but also a very clever reference to the abyss from Greek mythology, Tartarus.

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4. Transformers Beast Wars Transmetals 2 Ramulus

There are several Beast Wars Transmetals toys Japan did not get at first but some eventually found their way there in one way or another. This one never did. I will be honest, that pun of a name scores him some pretty high points but the toy is great overall as well. The Transmetals 2 line is known for inventive designs, premium deco and serious gems (with the notable exception of Cheetor) and Ramulus is all of that. Add to that the very original beast mode, that of a Nubian Ibex (wild goat from the Middle East), which I think is his better looking mode. I do like that as with many Beast Wars toys, the robot head takes inspiration from his beast mode, and he has these adorable horns (which are only beaten by that adorable little goat tail).

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3. Transformers Prime Voyager Beast Hunters Predaking (Cyberverse upscale)

What, 2 Transformers Prime toys on this list?! Well what can I say, Transfomers Prime was the paragon of cartoon based toylines which has yet to be beaten, so you bet your ass it had some damn good toys. Japan got some excellent exclusives for that line (Ironhide, Jet Vehicon, :-x Breakdown :-x ) but we got some too, like this awesome dude right here. He is beautiful, nice and lean, imposing with a terrific transformation, which I prefer to the far more expensive Ultimate Predaking. Despite being classified officially as a voyager, he's HUGE, which gives this toy incredible value. Plus he has a generous amount of paint apps and I love those translucent wings. This is the best Predaking toy from the Prime line.

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2. Transformers Titans Return Sky Shadow (aka Black Shadow)

In the G1 era, Japan got Black Shadow, a toy that was never released by Hasbro (we got Thunderwing instead). But now it's payback time with Hasbro releasing the best rendition of that character through leader Sky Shadow, a toy that just oozes cool. Even for those who don't know the character, the design and colour scheme are undeniably stylish. He just looks intense and a Decepticon truly worthy of being in the highest ranks. The transformation was simple but clever and all modes look great. The chunkiness also reminds me of the Cybertron era, but with today's articulation - it's awesome! I like him even better than Overlord, a toy we have been waiting agse for, since this seems like an evolution in design (which I always like) rather than simply just doing G1 with articulation (which often ends up rather dull).

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1. Practically all the best Beast Machine Toys

Japan skipped so many molds from Beast machines that the line might just as well been Hasbro exclusive (and it technically was until 2004 when a dozen molds showed up in Japan). Basically, Takara only released their version of the toys for show characters, and only 1 toy per character (the more show accurate one). So for instance, they only released the Tank Drone as their Tankor instead of the awesome Mega toy. They also missed out on all those incredible basic class toys of non show characters like Quickstrike, Longhorn, Night Viper and Scavenger, all toys that I would recommend anyone to have in their collection. And yes, many of these toys mentioned are better than the previous toys mentioned on the list, I just didn't want this list and the upcoming "Top 5 Beast Machines Toys" to be the same.

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Transformers Beast Machines Tankor Gallery

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Transformers Beast Machines Night Viper Gallery

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Honourable Mentions:

Titanium The Fallen

He's here for two reasons. Firstly, it's possible that Titanium The Fallen might've been imported to Japan by Tomy Direct and I am not sure if that counts or not. Secondly, it's not as good as the other toys on this list. The idea though is that the Titanium line was Hasbro exclusive and Takara didn't release their version of it. I know, I know, good for them. They were able to avoid some of the worst toys ever made for the Transformers line, and I say this with no exaggeration. They were also able to avoid an Optimus Primal toy which didn't have a Beast Mode (well done on that one Hasbro). But they still missed out like with Fire Convoy and the Fallen. People forget, but this toyline got us our first figure for The Fallen (aka Megatronus, one of the Primes). And fun fact, this toy's design is taken from the IDW comics Stormbringer Megatron design, so that's one more Stormbringer design for fans to have in toy form.

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Transformers Titanium Series The Fallen Gallery


G1 Octopunch/Bludgeon

It is very hard to judge G1 toys in fairness due to their iconic status. I love Bludgeon and collect his modern toys, but I would be hard pressed to say that the original holds up to everything else on this list. Pretenders are very love em or hate em in this community while I remain indifferent on the subject. I do love both Pretender designs. Of course, it would help to talk about it more if it was available for me to purchase at a decent price. I still find it very bewildering that of all the G1 toys not to be released in Japan, it is the one deliberately styled after a part of their culture and the first Transformer to bring in the Samurai motif. That has since been found across different characters. It's an aspect I like a lot since in the more modern era I find it fascinating how designers will use pieces of the alt mode to turn it into a samurai style armour, for example. And yes, Octopunch, the tentacle monster Transformer, also never made it to Japan.

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Transformers G1 1989 Bludgeon Gallery

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Transformers G1 1989 Octopunch Gallery
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Re: Top 5 Best Transformers Toys Japan Never Got: Molds and Retools

Postby carytheone » Sat Oct 13, 2018 6:16 pm

Motto: "shelf space may be fleeting, but plastic is forever"
I absolutely love Megasharktitron. It's batshit bananas and has a great deco. Those colors are so lovely and that soft velvety brown is to die for.

I do love me some absurd one-offs.
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Re: Top 5 Best Transformers Toys Japan Never Got: Molds and Retools

Postby Wireless_Phantom » Sat Oct 13, 2018 6:58 pm

Motto: ""We're all a little mad here""
Weapon: Dark Saber Sword
You know I'm pretty sure that most of Universe 1.0 didn't get released in Japan either, though I can see why most people wouldn't really care, personally as a connoisseur of weird repaints I love it! (and despise the price some of them go for nowadays. Seriously, 40$ for Reptillion?) :SG-CONS:
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Re: Top 5 Best Transformers Toys Japan Never Got: Molds and Retools

Postby TK415 » Sat Oct 13, 2018 6:59 pm

Great list! Thanks!

Who is riding the unicorn?
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Re: Top 5 Best Transformers Toys Japan Never Got: Molds and Retools

Postby -Kanrabat- » Sat Oct 13, 2018 10:54 pm

Motto: "Love it? GET IT!
It's that simple."
Weapon: Mace
Appart the Beast Machine snake and Unicorn, it feel pretty good to have every single toys mentioned on this list. Even the honorable mentions!

On all the toys of this list, my personal #1 would be the "voyager Cyberverse" Prime Predaking. He's one of the best transformers ever made PERIOD. :BOWDOWN:
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Re: Top 5 Best Transformers Toys Japan Never Got: Molds and Retools

Postby Bucky » Sun Oct 14, 2018 12:37 am

Weapon: Hip-Mounted Launchers
Another fantastic top five list. I think in concept this might be one of my favorites, because I spend an inordinate amount of time thinking about/lamenting all the stunning exclusives that Takara puts out, when I’m thinking about toys. It’s nice to take some time, and be thankful for some of the cool exclusives that we get from Hasbro. Keeping things in perspective is really important.

I still don’t understand why some people malign Sharkticon Megatron. He’s a great example of successful and creative retool. The wild color scheme really makes this figure pop. I remember picking him up from Target on a whim. I’m glad I did. I actually think he’s superior to the standard flat grey Megatron we got from Hasbro. I still wish we had gotten the flashier, show accurate silver Megs that Takara put out, but Sharkticon Megatron is refreshingly unique. Plus out of all the lame weaponizer gimmick weapons we got with Voyagers, Shark Megatron’s sword is weirdly cool, and my favorite one by far. I didn’t have to mod it like I did with Magnus’ and Dreadwing’s. Nor did I place it in a labeled ziplock bag, and store it in my “I don’t want to display this” drawers.


Ramulus has been very high on my WANT list for a while. Never had him as a kid (heh). The only reason why I don’t have one now is because I haven’t found one MISB for a price I’m willing to pay yet. I make it a point not to buy used Transmetals, unless it can’t be helped, because the vacuum paint has such a strong tendency to chip, flake, etc.

I picked up Ultimate Predaking maybe three years ago, for a great price. He’s a super cool figure. Very heavy, and imposing. I had no idea that the upscaled cyberverse toy was so comprable, or so huge. That is a massive voyager! If I didn’t have Ultimate Predaking, I’d pick up that voyager in a heart beat...

...I’m still kind of tempted.

The Overlord/Black Shadow mold is probably my favorite thing to come out of Titans Return, and it’s got some stiff competition, because I have a lot of love for that entire line. It’s a big reason why I’m looking forward to that Legends Dai Atlas next year. I just didn’t realize that he was a Hasbro exclusive.

I’m only mildly dipping a toe into the Beast Machines line. It’s just to pick up some of the variants of the Beast Wars molds that they reused. Never would have guessed that nearly the entire line was exclusive for the West. I guess in a way it does make sense? Hasbro put out the BM line, with a lot of reused molds from BW. Meanwhile Takara put out BW Neo and BW II with a lot of reused molds from BW.


Again, this is another fantastic list. I sincerely look forward to reading these every other Sunday morning. ;)^
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Re: Top 5 Best Transformers Toys Japan Never Got: Molds and Retools

Postby Carnivius_Prime » Sun Oct 14, 2018 12:59 am

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I thought that Titans Black Shadow was kinda crappy to be honest. Even when on sale in B&M for £15 rather than £50 (along with Sixshot and Overlord who are equally as dull). Didn't like it at all.

That Sharkticon Megatron looks decent. I wouldn't have it as a Megatron and I'm still not really sure what I'm looking at it in it's alt-mode but the bot and especially those colours look good.
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Re: Top 5 Best Transformers Toys Japan Never Got: Molds and Retools

Postby Crosscheck » Sun Oct 14, 2018 1:00 am

Weapon: Electro-burst Rifle
Sharkticon Megatron seems like an awesome basis for a Depth Charge custom. The overall looks just screams Depth Charge to me.
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Re: Top 5 Best Transformers Toys Japan Never Got: Molds and Retools

Postby Rogue-Primal » Sun Oct 14, 2018 7:00 am

Motto: "Where do you want it Decepticon, a shot in the head... or the groin!"
Weapon: Ion Particle Blaster
what about all the cool fox kids repaints of the beast wars, there's plenty of these recolors that japan never got :-?

i'd count those as toys japan never got, at least not without imports.
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Re: Top 5 Best Transformers Toys Japan Never Got: Molds and Retools

Postby Blitzwing is bae » Sun Oct 14, 2018 9:33 am

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I hav ethat orange and green guy that appears right before the honarable mentions section, can someone PLS tell me who he is?
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Re: Top 5 Best Transformers Toys Japan Never Got: Molds and Retools

Postby ZeroWolf » Sun Oct 14, 2018 10:09 am

Motto: "My past no longer binds my future..."
Weapon: Battle Blades
A great list will, I agree with every entry, especially predaking, the deluxe upscale were so-so but the Voyager upscales were all fantastic
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Re: Top 5 Best Transformers Toys Japan Never Got: Molds and Retools

Postby beastwarsbrah » Sun Oct 14, 2018 10:25 am

Weapon: Spinning Augers
Blitzwing is bae wrote:I hav ethat orange and green guy that appears right before the honarable mentions section, can someone PLS tell me who he is?


BM scanveger. I used to have a lot of the bm basics. Longhorn was my favorite. Great list! I need that predaking
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Re: Top 5 Best Transformers Toys Japan Never Got: Molds and Retools

Postby Flashwave » Sun Oct 14, 2018 11:03 am

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beastwarsbrah wrote:
Blitzwing is bae wrote:I hav ethat orange and green guy that appears right before the honarable mentions section, can someone PLS tell me who he is?


BM scanveger. I used to have a lot of the bm basics. Longhorn was my favorite. Great list! I need that predaking

I got that toy as part of the RID01 lineup and for n more than he is, its a fun little toy.
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Re: Top 5 Best Transformers Toys Japan Never Got: Molds and Retools

Postby SG Roadbuster » Sun Oct 14, 2018 12:04 pm

Predaking being in this list reminds me of how upset i am that Hardshell and Ironhide/Trailbreaker/Huffer never got a similar Commander-digivolve to-Voyager figure.
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Re: Top 5 Best Transformers Toys Japan Never Got: Molds and Retools

Postby william-james88 » Sun Oct 14, 2018 1:47 pm

Rogue-Primal wrote:what about all the cool fox kids repaints of the beast wars, there's plenty of these recolors that japan never got :-?

i'd count those as toys japan never got, at least not without imports.

Read the intro in the article when you can, you will see why the redecos were not mentioned yet.

By the way, which beast wars redecos do you like best?
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Re: Top 5 Best Transformers Toys Japan Never Got: Molds and Retools

Postby Cobotron » Sun Oct 14, 2018 2:02 pm

Motto: "Free your mind, and your ass will follow!"
Weapon: Sword
Cool list!

Fun surprise to see those old BM photos get used for something. How long have you been sitting on them, Will? :lol:

Those BM toys are still some of my favorite. I'm such a sucker for translucent TFs. These were so weird and wonderful, which is why I'm surprised they were never released by Takara.

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That's Microman LED Powers Shining Tector Soloman, from Takara circa 2000
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Re: Top 5 Best Transformers Toys Japan Never Got: Molds and Retools

Postby TK415 » Sun Oct 14, 2018 2:24 pm

Cobotron wrote:Cool list!

Fun surprise to see those old BM photos get used for something. How long have you been sitting on them, Will? :lol:

Those BM toys are still some of my favorite. I'm such a sucker for translucent TFs. These were so weird and wonderful, which is why I'm surprised they were never released by Takara.

TK415 wrote:Who is riding the unicorn?


That's Microman LED Powers Shining Tector Soloman, from Takara circa 2000
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Those are great looking toys!

Thanks for the answer C.
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Re: Top 5 Best Transformers Toys Japan Never Got: Molds and Retools

Postby JelZe GoldRabbit » Sun Oct 14, 2018 4:19 pm

Motto: "The only good is knowledge, and the only evil is ignorance."
Weapon: Dual Bladed Sword
Cool list with an offbeat subject :)

Even in the somewhat current lines, TakaraTomy skipped some retools and original molds. Those would include:

- Some T30 retools like Jhiaxus, Gears, Crosscut and Dreadwing
- PW retools CW Chop Shop, TR Rumble.
- All of RiD 2015 Combiner Force, for shame!
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Re: Top 5 Best Transformers Toys Japan Never Got: Molds and Retools

Postby D-Maximal_Primal » Sun Oct 14, 2018 5:50 pm

Motto: "There are no impossibilities in the multiverse, just small minds unable to comprehend the possibilities"
Weapon: Star Saber Sword
That Ramulus is on my list for sure one day, and wow, kinda strange it was Hasbro exclusive!

I agree that Japan missing out on Combiner force was a sad thing. It would have been really neat to see what Takara could have done with Ultra Bee and Menasor (Galvatornus was pretty good to start with). And no Blurr (Rescue bots represent!) or Soundwave had to be a blow.
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Re: Top 5 Best Transformers Toys Japan Never Got: Molds and Retools

Postby Bumblevivisector » Sun Oct 14, 2018 9:43 pm

Black Shadow seems like a case where the other shoe may just not yet have dropped west of the Pacific. Considering Big Powered's on the horizon, Takara isn't done with new releases of TR molds; maybe they're waiting for a mold appropriate for Blue Bacchus?

And if Takara remolded him into Thunderwing next year, it would officially be the strangest mold reuse/distribution in TF history!

Should finally unbox my SharktiMegatron soon. I only recently opened that voyager Predaking, but he'll sadly be unarmed most of the time in my collection because his tail makes such a perfect sword for that second BotCon Flamewar as she squares off against the Autobot Combiner Hunters. I need to try highlighting the characters on it in dry-erase-red sometime...

Japan not getting Combiner Force hadn't occurred to me, maybe because of the TAV repaints I haven't caught up on yet. Shame, that. But the end result for Beast Machines toys was downright poetic. So many of the greatest toys Japan missed out on were indeed the ones not accurate that wrong-headed, waste of a cartoon. Mega Tankor looks great repainted into a member of the G2 Cybertronian army, further dissociating him from the shame. And Scavenger looks so much like those construction guys in issue #1 of G2 that he hardly needs any customization beyond the proper insignia to repurpose him! That's what I like about roughly half the Vehicon toys. I also bought Snarl to repurpose as Leonicus of the Covenant, and should check to see if he's succumbed to GPS yet.

The best lists are the ones that bring up some category that's not the most obvious to fandom at large. Maybe follow up with toys that North America takes for granted but Europe never got?
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Re: Top 5 Best Transformers Toys Japan Never Got: Molds and Retools

Postby JelZe GoldRabbit » Sun Oct 14, 2018 9:50 pm

Motto: "The only good is knowledge, and the only evil is ignorance."
Weapon: Dual Bladed Sword
Bumblevivisector wrote:The best lists are the ones that bring up some category that's not the most obvious to fandom at large. Maybe follow up with toys that North America takes for granted but Europe never got?


That would take a little bit of research, as one can never tell how far a line will progress over there (I was surprised Titans Return made it to Wave 3/4, compared to Combiner Wars stuck on Wave 1). Plus, Europe has so-called "Grey Imports", overstock from overseas (usually Canada via the UK for some reason...) that usually consists of later waves that otherwise would never have been released there.
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Re: Top 5 Best Transformers Toys Japan Never Got: Molds and Retools

Postby Flashwave » Sun Oct 14, 2018 10:56 pm

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william-james88 wrote:
Rogue-Primal wrote:what about all the cool fox kids repaints of the beast wars, there's plenty of these recolors that japan never got :-?

i'd count those as toys japan never got, at least not without imports.

Read the intro in the article when you can, you will see why the redecos were not mentioned yet.

By the way, which beast wars redecos do you like best?

For me, it’s Tarantulas hands down. SOmething more unifying and spooky about that Grey and Chrome redec, followed by the Buzzsaw colors on TM Waspinator.
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Re: Top 5 Best Transformers Toys Japan Never Got: Molds and Retools

Postby bacem » Mon Oct 15, 2018 12:06 am

wasn't that BM battle unicorn mold ended up got released on japan, named "magna stampede"? or was that repaint a US release too?
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Re: Top 5 Best Transformers Toys Japan Never Got: Molds and Retools

Postby JelZe GoldRabbit » Mon Oct 15, 2018 12:11 am

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bacem wrote:wasn't that BM battle unicorn mold ended up got released on japan, named "magna stampede"? or was that repaint a US release too?


Universe 2003, in a set with a BM Tank Drone redeco called Stockade, and two Mini-Cons, Prowl and Terradive.

While you have brought that up, that set was released as a "USA Edition", available from e-Hobby. So in a sense, the Battle Unicorn mold was available locally there.
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Re: Top 5 Best Transformers Toys Japan Never Got: Molds and Retools

Postby homicide » Mon Oct 15, 2018 1:46 am

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I love the Sharkticon Megatron figure and one of the main reasons I love it that I never see get mentioned is that Megatron actually achieved this form in the Novel "Transformers: Retribution." I suppose I probably just read more than a lot of people & most weren't even aware of it, but yea in that book Megs acquires the "Sharkticon Matrix" & upon inserting it into his chest his physical appearance changes to this! Of course it doesn't last, but still awesome that it happened!
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