Top 5 Best Transformers Toys Japan Never Got: Characters and Decos

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Top 5 Best Transformers Toys Japan Never Got: Characters and Decos

Postby william-james88 » Tue Oct 30, 2018 9:05 pm

Motto: "'till All Are One"
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 Best Transformers Toys Japan Never Got at Retail: Characters/Decos

Last time, we looked at molds which never got released in Japan. This time, we are looking at specific decos/redecos that never saw a release there. I am not talking about instances where the Hasbro deco is better than the Takara deco, we already have a list on that. I'm referring to a release that never made it there, like when they redeco a toy to sell it as a different character (which is mainly the case for most of these). It will make more sense as we go through the list, enjoy!


5. Transformers Prime: Robots In Disguise Thundertron

This may not be the best mold from the Prime line but it is still an original mold for a new toy only character, with one hell of an original Pirate design. Well only in the Hasbro toyline. While the mold was released in Japan, it was not released as its intended new character but instead as not one but two Primes (Lio Prime and Go Prime). The decos are nice, but they aren’t that of the original character this mold is supposed to be and that head really does not work for Leo Prime.

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4. Transformers Energon Omega Sentinel

This list wasn't easy for some reason. I really had to think it through. There are lots of redecos only Hasbro has but which ones actually made sense, which ones mattered? Prime Kup? No, that mold wasn’t even made with him in mind. Titans Return Krok? Eh, he seems to really love warming those shelves. But a Guardian robot redeco of Energon Omega Supreme ? Hell yes! It of course works with the idea that these drone type robots share the same body as Omega Supreme in blue, and here we have a new Omega Supreme toy so why not give it that colour scheme. And for those who have space, this is a far more affordable army builder than the one based on the G1 mold (and isn't this mold better? Come on, you know it's true).

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3. Stalker

Japan got most of the G1 (or G1.5) Predators but not this one. Which is a pity because it is the most fun of them all. Most of the Predators are jets and then you get this awesome missile tank that can do more damage than all the others combined. He is a great design and while Japan got the mold through its later redecos, it never got the original which was for an original character (and not Soundwave). It is to this day the only rendition of Stalker we have.

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2. Generations G2 Combiners

Japan never got the original G2 combiners back in the day. That might have been a blessing in disguise and avoided a lot of young Japanese tears. However, that did not mean there was no excitement from this part of the world when the G2 redecos of the Combiner Wars combiners were announced. Everyone was excited, Hasbro really went all out on the redecos making them as slavish as possible. It was a beautiful love letter to an era that is often ignored (and even looked down upon sometimes by some very uncool dudes). Sadly, those were never released by Takara so Japanese fans had to go to their local import shops and pay double. And they sold out very quickly even at those high prices. This really put a lot of my collecting woes into perspective.

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Transformers Generations Combiner Wars Superion Gallery

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Transformers Generations Combiner Wars Menasor Gallery

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Transformers Generations Combiner Wars Motormaster Gallery


1. Transformers G1 1985 Jetfire (Skyfire)

It seems obvious now, but the idea of Jetfre did not come to me immediately. Macross is deeply associated to Japan so to think that they would not have access to Jetfire was almost unthinkable. But it's true. Because Macross is Japanese, the classic Valkyrie mold could only be released as a Macross toy in Japan. Hasbro, on the other hand, was able to import that figure and incorporate it within the Transformers line as Jetfire, one of the best toys of the entire G1 toyline. Japan never saw that Macross toy in the glorious red and white deco as Jetfire, and most likely never will.

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Honourable Mentions:

For all you fangirls/boys out there, I will give him a mention here: Alpha Bravo. Though designed by Takara Tomy, it never made it onto the Japanese market directly.

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And man, this list was HARD to write. Unlike Hasbro, Takara released most redecos thought to be exclusive through E-Hobby or other toy initiatives. And here is a great one that I thought Japan never got, but indeed they did.

Transformers Beast Machines Primal Prime

This toy has always been a fan favourite and I ca see why. That G1 Optimus colour scheme works really well with it, and they go all out with it too. It's not just red and blue paint, you have parts that are translucent, chromed and some cool gradient effect on the chest and feet. Just take a look at the images below, they speak for themselves.

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Re: Top 5 Best Transformers Toys Japan Never Got: Characters and Decos

Postby Wolfman Jake » Wed Oct 31, 2018 1:20 am

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You tossed Alpha Bravo a bone, but no mention of Rook!? For shame!
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Re: Top 5 Best Transformers Toys Japan Never Got: Characters and Decos

Postby william-james88 » Wed Oct 31, 2018 5:05 am

Motto: "'till All Are One"
Wolfman Jake wrote:You tossed Alpha Bravo a bone, but no mention of Rook!? For shame!

That's because i preffer that toy as Roller.
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Re: Top 5 Best Transformers Toys Japan Never Got: Characters and Decos

Postby Evil Eye » Wed Oct 31, 2018 5:14 am

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At long last, Stalker in a list! Hooray!

And good shout on Omega Sentinel. I still kinda want that figure, even if I get the upcoming Siege Omega Supreme he looks like a really nice toy. Plus those colours are wonderful.

One that I feel was conspicuous in its absence was Sixshot from Energon. Whilst admittedly the basic mold is marred by that awful waist joint, he did have some rocking colours.
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Re: Top 5 Best Transformers Toys Japan Never Got: Characters and Decos

Postby Carnivius_Prime » Wed Oct 31, 2018 5:46 am

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That Jetfire was by far my fave TF toy as a kid and it's high level of build, design, articulation, and just plain style just made it leagues above pretty much every other G1 TF figure (especially any other jet ones, i'm looking at you, crummy seekers starscream and co). A Jetfire without all the red armour does look oddly naked though.
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Re: Top 5 Best Transformers Toys Japan Never Got: Characters and Decos

Postby ScottyP » Wed Oct 31, 2018 7:01 am

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Alternately: with a plethora of other beautiful Valkyrie toys, no one in Japan missed out on all that much in not getting Jetfire.
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Re: Top 5 Best Transformers Toys Japan Never Got: Characters and Decos

Postby ZeroWolf » Wed Oct 31, 2018 7:16 am

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A good list though I do agree with Scotty regarding jetfire, that mold looks a lot better in its original colour scheme (which we got versions of thanks to Robotech)

That being said, I wonder how many Japanese collectors worked hard to track down a g1 jetfire? Or how many took it into their own hands to create their own.
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Re: Top 5 Best Transformers Toys Japan Never Got: Characters and Decos

Postby AFTRHR » Wed Oct 31, 2018 9:38 am

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Alpha Bravo made the list, I am a happy man and can now die peacefully.
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Re: Top 5 Best Transformers Toys Japan Never Got: Characters and Decos

Postby SG Roadbuster » Wed Oct 31, 2018 10:42 am

"Japanese fans had to pay double for the combiner wars g2 boxsets"

and us westerners had to pay double for Grand Galvatron, Megatronia, and Baldigus.
3 for three, even trade. wait. no, they also got elbows on their Constructicons, a Ratchet that was painted and didn't cost 300 bucks, and the better version of Computron.
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Re: Top 5 Best Transformers Toys Japan Never Got: Characters and Decos

Postby william-james88 » Wed Oct 31, 2018 10:46 am

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SG Roadbuster wrote:"Japanese fans had to pay double for the combiner wars g2 boxsets"

and us westerners had to pay double for Grand Galvatron, Megatronia, and Baldigus.


That is untrue, those boxsets were $160 US, far from double the price. Plus, the G2 boxsets were available for cheap in the US. And a bunch of fans got Victorion for $40. Sure that one is not a G2 set but adds to the fact that US fans got all the deals when it came to combiner box sets.

ScottyP wrote:Alternately: with a plethora of other beautiful Valkyrie toys, no one in Japan missed out on all that much in not getting Jetfire.


Its still a character they didnt get. And plus that doesnt change it being the best toy westerners got that wasnt released in Japan (even if they had cool toys too) ;)

Also, I much preffer the red and white deco over the black and white deco of the original valkyrie. Its why I still want an original Jetfire over settling for a macross reissue.
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Re: Top 5 Best Transformers Toys Japan Never Got: Characters and Decos

Postby ZeldaTheSwordsman » Wed Oct 31, 2018 7:17 pm

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william-james88 wrote:It seems obvious now, but the idea of Jetfre did not come to me immediately. Macross is deeply associated to Japan so to think that they would not have access to Jetfire was almost unthinkable. But it's true. Because Macross is Japanese, the classic Valkyrie mold could only be released as a Macross toy in Japan. Hasbro, on the other hand, was able to import that figure and incorporate it within the Transformers line as Jetfire, one of the best toys of the entire G1 toyline. Japan never saw that Macross toy in the glorious red and white deco as Jetfire, and most likely never will.

The reason for no Transformers release in Japan is less to do with Macross (after all, by that logic there would never have been Transformers rereleases of the toys that had already been put out under Diaclone!) and more to do with the fact that when Takatoku Toys went under, they and all their molds were bought up by Bandai. Bandai is Takara's arch-rival. Hasbro was able to license the Valkyrie mold (and others like the Beetras and Dorvack molds) because Bandai had no real US presence at the time and thus didn't care. Licensing it to their main competitor in Japan on the other hand? Soooo not happening

Also, are you absolutely sure Japan never got the red and white deco on the big Valkyrie? That would be very weird considering that was the livery of Hikaru's, one of the main ones on the show. And featured in the intro.
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Re: Top 5 Best Transformers Toys Japan Never Got: Characters and Decos

Postby ZeroWolf » Thu Nov 01, 2018 5:09 am

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ZeldaTheSwordsman wrote:
william-james88 wrote:It seems obvious now, but the idea of Jetfre did not come to me immediately. Macross is deeply associated to Japan so to think that they would not have access to Jetfire was almost unthinkable. But it's true. Because Macross is Japanese, the classic Valkyrie mold could only be released as a Macross toy in Japan. Hasbro, on the other hand, was able to import that figure and incorporate it within the Transformers line as Jetfire, one of the best toys of the entire G1 toyline. Japan never saw that Macross toy in the glorious red and white deco as Jetfire, and most likely never will.

The reason for no Transformers release in Japan is less to do with Macross (after all, by that logic there would never have been Transformers rereleases of the toys that had already been put out under Diaclone!) and more to do with the fact that when Takatoku Toys went under, they and all their molds were bought up by Bandai. Bandai is Takara's arch-rival. Hasbro was able to license the Valkyrie mold (and others like the Beetras and Dorvack molds) because Bandai had no real US presence at the time and thus didn't care. Licensing it to their main competitor in Japan on the other hand? Soooo not happening

Also, are you absolutely sure Japan never got the red and white deco on the big Valkyrie? That would be very weird considering that was the livery of Hikaru's, one of the main ones on the show. And featured in the intro.

I completely forgot that Hikaru used those colours at the start, I'm more used to the black, white and yellow colour scheme he took on later on.
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Re: Top 5 Best Transformers Toys Japan Never Got: Characters and Decos

Postby carytheone » Thu Nov 01, 2018 5:15 am

Human sacrifice, Alpha Bravo and Stalker on the same list... mass hysteria!
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Re: Top 5 Best Transformers Toys Japan Never Got: Characters and Decos

Postby william-james88 » Thu Nov 01, 2018 7:35 am

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ZeldaTheSwordsman wrote:The reason for no Transformers release in Japan is less to do with Macross (after all, by that logic there would never have been Transformers rereleases of the toys that had already been put out under Diaclone!)


You sure about that? That logic doesnt seem to hold since Diaclone was by Takara, the same licence holder of Transformers in Japan. So there is no conflict, its the same toys sold by the same company but under different branding. But we cant say the same about toys not made by Takara, hence why there was no Omega Supreme released in Japan back in the 80s, and it was only released once Takara and Tomy were the same company. The same would thus hold true for Macross.
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Re: Top 5 Best Transformers Toys Japan Never Got: Characters and Decos

Postby Fires_Of_Inferno » Thu Nov 01, 2018 9:46 pm

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Thundertron is easily among my favorites from the TFP toylines! The awesome design, optional peg-leg, massive sword, huge shoulders, and pirate hat and beard? What's not to love about him! And he turns into some kind of lion/tiger/wolf thing! I love it!
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Re: Top 5 Best Transformers Toys Japan Never Got: Characters and Decos

Postby ZeldaTheSwordsman » Fri Nov 02, 2018 1:18 pm

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william-james88 wrote:
ZeldaTheSwordsman wrote:The reason for no Transformers release in Japan is less to do with Macross (after all, by that logic there would never have been Transformers rereleases of the toys that had already been put out under Diaclone!)


You sure about that? That logic doesnt seem to hold since Diaclone was by Takara, the same licence holder of Transformers in Japan. So there is no conflict, its the same toys sold by the same company but under different branding. But we cant say the same about toys not made by Takara, hence why there was no Omega Supreme released in Japan back in the 80s, and it was only released once Takara and Tomy were the same company. The same would thus hold true for Macross.

What I'm saying is that the "different company" factor is exponentially more important than the "prior brand" factor. Especially since the different company in question is Takara's arch-rival.
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