Top 5 G1 Transformers Toys Not Designed by Takara

Transformers News: Top 5 G1 Transformers Toys Not Designed by Takara

Saturday, January 14th, 2017 11:59PM CST

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Every two weeks, Seibertron.com brings you a Top 5 list related to all things Transformers written by me, your fellow editor. These are my opinions (just like movie or game reviews hosted by sites are still just the opinion of one person) 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 G1 Transformers toys not designed by Takara

For those who do not know, the initial Transformers toys were actually just toys from Japanese (and Korean) toylines licensed by Hasbro with a few changes. For instance, one of the toylines whose toys became Transformers was called Diaclone and consisted of tiny figures which drove, flew and manned these transforming vehicles. That would explain why the cockpits are so detailed and have seats for small figures in the initial Transformers cars and planes and why the original Dinobots have seemingly random flaps that can pop out to seat tiny figures too.

Hasbro simply sold these toys under a new brand and took away the idea of little figures piloting the vehicles. This is just one example, and Hasbro licensed a bunch of toys from different toylines to be sold under the Transformers brand, which explains its great diversity (like a gun fighting a truck!). However, most toys were licensed from the same Japanese company, Takara, which Hasbro still partners with today to bring us Transformers toys. That explains the semi cohesiveness and similarity in design and transformation among the toys. BUT, there are a few toys from this first generation that came from other companies ... and it shows. Let's take a look at the five I find most interesting.

5. Roadbuster from Takatoku Toys

Roadbuster was first released as Takatoku Toys' "Mugen Calibur" from the Dorvack toyline (where Whirl is also from). Unlike the others on this list, his aesthetic works pretty well with the Takara figures. He is definitely more of a heavy dutytoy (bigger too) with a bunch of bad ass accessories that, while are awesome, do make him quite a pain to collect these days.

Transformers News: Top 5 G1 Transformers Toys Not Designed by Takara

Transformers News: Top 5 G1 Transformers Toys Not Designed by Takara


4. Sky Lynx from Toybox (designed by Tomy)

This guy is quite interesting since even though he was designed by the toy giant Tomy in theme with their Zoids toyline, he was actually commissioned and owned by Toybox. The really interesting part is that as far as I know (please state otherwise in the comments), the first release of this design is actually by Hasbro through the Transformers brand. So Skylynx was first issued by Hasbro, through a license with Toybox, designed by Tomy. And yes, you can totally tell he is not Takara, as there is not much order to this stupendous toy. He is a bird, a lynx, a space shuttle with a transporter and what looks like a Sauropod. Plus, there is a motor for it to walk (like many Zoids toys). It is such an otherworldy design in the G1 line that even the Marvel comics had a hard time making sense to his transformation, choosing to just make him a straight up triple changer (having shuttle, bird, and lynx modes only).

Transformers News: Top 5 G1 Transformers Toys Not Designed by Takara


3. Omega Supreme from Toybox (designed by Tomy)

Like Skylynx, this toy was also from Toybox but designed by Tomy. However, Tomy had designed him inline with their Plarail toyline which dealth with train sets (which is still going strong today). This more than explains why Omega Supreme dissasembles himself transforms into a track system for a tank to move along it. If you ever wondered why Omega Supreme does not transform like regular Transformers do, this should explain it. Unlike Skylynx, he was released by Toybox as Super Change Robo Mechabot-1. This toy had a very different color scheme than how he looked once Hasbro licensed the toy from Toybox.

Transformers News: Top 5 G1 Transformers Toys Not Designed by Takara

Transformers News: Top 5 G1 Transformers Toys Not Designed by Takara

Transformers News: Top 5 G1 Transformers Toys Not Designed by Takara


2. Shockwave from Toyco.

Shockwave was first released as "4 Changeable Astro Magnum" by toy company, ToyCo. Here is the kicker, ToyCo was Korean and not Japanese making this the very first Transformers toy not designed by Japan. They licensed this toy to several American distributors and toy makers which gave way to similar non-Transformer toys using the same mold being released in 1985, including a RadioShack exclusive called "Galactic Man" (who was dark grey). Because Hasbro was not the only one to use the licensed mold, they started sticking rubsigns on their toys to show that theirs was the official Transformers toy (this was also done to distinguish their transforming toys from the Gobots). Another cool thing to note is that unlike most G1 toys, especially all the ones designed by Takara, this toy has a very nice amount of articulation for his time.

Transformers News: Top 5 G1 Transformers Toys Not Designed by Takara

Transformers News: Top 5 G1 Transformers Toys Not Designed by Takara


1. Jetfire from Takatoku Toys

Of course this is #1. It is by far one of the best toys of the G1 era due to its detail and complexity. Also, his robot mode is not at all what one would expect from a Transfomrers toy. He looks more like a Macross figure (for obvious reasons we will further explore) and has a more prototypical Japanese look compared to the other licensed toys (the color scheme doesn't help reinforce this notion). The reason for him being the odd man out in a Transformers line up is because he was from Takatoku Toys. He was part of their Macross VF-1S Super Valkyrie series. Unlike the other toys listed above, this series, like Transformers, lives on to this day. They are now owned by Bandai, the other Japanese toy giant (who made the original Gobots back in the day, through a smaller division called Popy, to compete directly with Takara's Transforming toys) and are the most complex and expensive transforming figures on the market today. Hence why it was such a treat for Hasbro's lawyers to have found a way to keep giving us toys based on this design such as the Generations Jetfire in 2014. Finally an afforable toy based on a Macross design.

Transformers News: Top 5 G1 Transformers Toys Not Designed by Takara

Transformers News: Top 5 G1 Transformers Toys Not Designed by Takara

Transformers News: Top 5 G1 Transformers Toys Not Designed by Takara


Honourable mentions: The Deluxe Insecticons and Whirl.

Transformers News: Top 5 G1 Transformers Toys Not Designed by Takara

Transformers News: Top 5 G1 Transformers Toys Not Designed by Takara
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Re: Top 5 G1 Transformers Toys Not Designed by Takara (1852426)
Posted by Emerje on January 15th, 2017 @ 1:09am CST
Personally I would have had a hard time deciding between Shockwave and Jetfire at #1 and would have probably just called it a tie. :lol:

Emerje
Re: Top 5 G1 Transformers Toys Not Designed by Takara (1852429)
Posted by Burn on January 15th, 2017 @ 1:40am CST
ahhh Roadbuster. I remember getting him in an old G1 lot. Poor bugger had been through hell and back, most of his pins were rusted, heavily. To the point that some of his joints never moved. I set out to restore him but there was no way to remove those pins.

Fortunately I picked up another one not long after and restored him. (New Reprolabels, tightened joints). To this day he's still one of the best figures from G1.

And then there's this guy ...
<!-- ia0 -->2017-01-15 17.35.37.jpg<!-- ia0 -->
Re: Top 5 G1 Transformers Toys Not Designed by Takara (1852432)
Posted by JelZe GoldRabbit on January 15th, 2017 @ 2:02am CST
Shockwave isn't the only "foreign" TF to have multiple Western releases: he shares that honor with Omega Supreme with the Omegatron release from Grandstand's Convertors, UK, plus some other odd stand-alone releases.

They got around ;)
Re: Top 5 G1 Transformers Toys Not Designed by Takara (1852437)
Posted by Carnivius_Prime on January 15th, 2017 @ 4:47am CST
Of course Jetfire. Gorgeous in both robot and jet mode. I had the original one as a kid and it was always my fave for posability, design and general envious looks from friends (though one had a grey version with a different head obviously based on the same original toy). I was always disappointed that the fictional Jetfire/Skyfire looked so damn chubby in comparison. Nowhere near as sleek and cool.


By the way I thought me finding a great condition Jetfire at car boot last year for £2 was a good deal right? Friend of mine found a 99% complete Jetfire with armour and gun (just missing the weapon clip) in a charity shop recently. That Jetfire himself has some minor yellowing but an amazing find.
Re: Top 5 G1 Transformers Toys Not Designed by Takara (1852438)
Posted by fenrir72 on January 15th, 2017 @ 5:09am CST
Shoji Kawamori's Jetfire is timeless. Even until now The complexity and simplicity can't be rivaled! :x
Re: Top 5 G1 Transformers Toys Not Designed by Takara (1852443)
Posted by Ironhidensh on January 15th, 2017 @ 7:17am CST
If Jetfire had not been number one, I would have been greatly upset. Good job.
Re: Top 5 G1 Transformers Toys Not Designed by Takara (1852444)
Posted by unexistance on January 15th, 2017 @ 7:27am CST
No love for Deluxe Insecticons? :D j/k

I'm more interested in the unproduced Beetras Hornet / Spider / Dragonfly...
Re: Top 5 G1 Transformers Toys Not Designed by Takara (1852446)
Posted by william-james88 on January 15th, 2017 @ 8:35am CST
Ironhidensh wrote:If Jetfire had not been number one, I would have been greatly upset. Good job.

Haha, thanks man.
Re: Top 5 G1 Transformers Toys Not Designed by Takara (1852459)
Posted by Microraptor on January 15th, 2017 @ 10:53am CST
JelZe GoldRabbit wrote:Shockwave isn't the only "foreign" TF to have multiple Western releases: he shares that honor with Omega Supreme with the Omegatron release from Grandstand's Convertors, UK, plus some other odd stand-alone releases.

They got around ;)


If I recall correctly Converters also had the Roadbuster and Whirl molds.
Re: Top 5 G1 Transformers Toys Not Designed by Takara (1852464)
Posted by optimuspete on January 15th, 2017 @ 12:02pm CST
First I have to say I love these lists, they're awesome... You should do a list top 5 characters with both faction symbols.Bot+Con or Max+Pred. There has been a lot of figures across the lines... Might make a good list thanks keep up the good work
Re: Top 5 G1 Transformers Toys Not Designed by Takara (1852484)
Posted by JelZe GoldRabbit on January 15th, 2017 @ 3:30pm CST
Microraptor wrote:
JelZe GoldRabbit wrote:Shockwave isn't the only "foreign" TF to have multiple Western releases: he shares that honor with Omega Supreme with the Omegatron release from Grandstand's Convertors, UK, plus some other odd stand-alone releases.

They got around ;)


If I recall correctly Converters also had the Roadbuster and Whirl molds.


Not quite, as there were two lines called Convertors: one by Grandstand in the UK, and the other by Select for the US.

Grandstand's Convertors was a small line with only 11 toys from Diaclone and Microman, and the more obscure Machine Saurer by Takara and Technica Change by Yonezawa.

Select's Convertors on the other hand was very similar to Transformers and Gobots in terms of size, and in that Select licensed molds from one single company: Mark. Mark specialised in making smaller versions of popular mecha, including from Dorvack and from Macross. In other words, the Convertors versions were smaller, 1/100 scale, whereas Whirl and Roadbuster were 1/66 scale. Not only that, the third mech, a tank, was also released in that line. They were called Chopper, Wheels and Tanker. Yup, it even had smaller versions of Valkyries, the VF-1A and VF-1S types to be exact, called Zardak and Zark.

In short, the larger toys went to Hasbro, the smaller ones to Select, without a legal hitch. The 80's transforming robot market was pretty weird, no?
Re: Top 5 G1 Transformers Toys Not Designed by Takara (1852490)
Posted by Alpha Dominus on January 15th, 2017 @ 4:17pm CST
Ironhidensh wrote:If Jetfire had not been number one, I would have been greatly upset. Good job.


Yeah I'll second that. And Carnivus Prime I agree about Skyfire's odd and unimpressive design. Always preferred the one, true Jetfire way more. Too bad we never got to see that sleek toy form in the old toons.
Re: Top 5 G1 Transformers Toys Not Designed by Takara (1852495)
Posted by Emerje on January 15th, 2017 @ 5:10pm CST
JelZe GoldRabbit wrote:In short, the larger toys went to Hasbro, the smaller ones to Select, without a legal hitch. The 80's transforming robot market was pretty weird, no?


I'd say, those Valkyries ended up all over the place. All at once we had the ones from Convertors (including SD figures) by Select, Jetfire by Hasbro, and Matchbox's full Robotech line. Today Harmony Gold goes crazy if something just slightly resembles a Valkyrie.

Emerje
Re: Top 5 G1 Transformers Toys Not Designed by Takara (1852509)
Posted by Ironhidensh on January 15th, 2017 @ 6:32pm CST
Emerje wrote:
JelZe GoldRabbit wrote:In short, the larger toys went to Hasbro, the smaller ones to Select, without a legal hitch. The 80's transforming robot market was pretty weird, no?


I'd say, those Valkyries ended up all over the place. All at once we had the ones from Convertors (including SD figures) by Select, Jetfire by Hasbro, and Matchbox's full Robotech line. Today Harmony Gold goes crazy if something just slightly resembles a Valkyrie.

Emerje


Harmony Gold. The way that company has killed the Robotech/Macross franchise sadens me to no end.
Re: Top 5 G1 Transformers Toys Not Designed by Takara (1852521)
Posted by fenrir72 on January 15th, 2017 @ 7:06pm CST
Ironhidensh wrote:
Emerje wrote:
JelZe GoldRabbit wrote:In short, the larger toys went to Hasbro, the smaller ones to Select, without a legal hitch. The 80's transforming robot market was pretty weird, no?


I'd say, those Valkyries ended up all over the place. All at once we had the ones from Convertors (including SD figures) by Select, Jetfire by Hasbro, and Matchbox's full Robotech line. Today Harmony Gold goes crazy if something just slightly resembles a Valkyrie.

Emerje


Harmony Gold. The way that company has killed the Robotech/Macross franchise sadens me to no end.


I usually refrain from doing this but %#%$#%$ Harmony Gold! Not even a middle ground! Such intransigence! All we get are those clunker Toynami versions :SICK: not to mention no official domestic releases for the various anime versions of the franchise. :(
Re: Top 5 G1 Transformers Toys Not Designed by Takara (1852523)
Posted by JelZe GoldRabbit on January 15th, 2017 @ 7:15pm CST
Finally, even two Deluxe Insecticon designs appeared in Convertors, albeit slightly retooled: Chop Shop as Crawler and Ransack as Morphus.

Back to the list, those molds did introduce unconventional forms which would be mainstays, long before the 2007 Movie was even a thought in their minds. And we love them for it. :x
Re: Top 5 G1 Transformers Toys Not Designed by Takara (1852651)
Posted by Ultra Markus on January 16th, 2017 @ 11:24am CST
So its basically a list of the only non takara designed transformers
Re: Top 5 G1 Transformers Toys Not Designed by Takara (1852655)
Posted by william-james88 on January 16th, 2017 @ 11:41am CST
Burn wrote:
Fortunately I picked up another one not long after and restored him. (New Reprolabels, tightened joints). To this day he's still one of the best figures from G1.

And then there's this guy ...

yeah, its really cool how some of the best and most interesting figures from that era are not from Takara. Also, you have him?! Thats freaken awesome!

optimuspete wrote:First I have to say I love these lists, they're awesome... You should do a list top 5 characters with both faction symbols.Bot+Con or Max+Pred. There has been a lot of figures across the lines... Might make a good list thanks keep up the good work


Thanks so much! That is one hell of a good idea. Off the top of my head I can think of:
G1 and Gen doubledealer
Cybertron Sideways
Animated Shockwave
Universe Dinobot
Punch Counterpunch

Who else?

JelZe GoldRabbit wrote: Mark specialised in making smaller versions of popular mecha, including from Dorvack and from Macross. In other words, the Convertors versions were smaller, 1/100 scale, whereas Whirl and Roadbuster were 1/66 scale. Not only that, the third mech, a tank, was also released in that line. They were called Chopper, Wheels and Tanker. Yup, it even had smaller versions of Valkyries, the VF-1A and VF-1S types to be exact, called Zardak and Zark.

In short, the larger toys went to Hasbro, the smaller ones to Select, without a legal hitch. The 80's transforming robot market was pretty weird, no?

Weird but awesome. I never hear of these, are they as collectable? Or more affordable? And do the smaller molds have simplified engineering to work with their scale or are they are complex?

Alpha Dominus wrote:
Yeah I'll second that. And Carnivus Prime I agree about Skyfire's odd and unimpressive design. Always preferred the one, true Jetfire way more. Too bad we never got to see that sleek toy form in the old toons.

Thats why I like that Gen Jetfire toy so much. Its a nice combination of the two elements. he is broad but also sleek.

Ironhidensh wrote:
Emerje wrote:
I'd say, those Valkyries ended up all over the place. All at once we had the ones from Convertors (including SD figures) by Select, Jetfire by Hasbro, and Matchbox's full Robotech line. Today Harmony Gold goes crazy if something just slightly resembles a Valkyrie.

Emerje


Harmony Gold. The way that company has killed the Robotech/Macross franchise sadens me to no end.

Would you guys care to explain that please, I am out of the loop. Also, does that mean bandai has no say over the robotech line?

JelZe GoldRabbit wrote:Finally, even two Deluxe Insecticon designs appeared in Convertors, albeit slightly retooled: Chop Shop as Crawler and Ransack as Morphus.


Ultra Markus wrote:So its basically a list of the only non takara designed transformers

Sure, but with a lot of description for those who arent aware. Plus, here is where order matters most. And I was happily surprised that we still had a nice discussion about the phenomenon of japanese robots being brought to the west. I learnt some fun stuff while both doing the list and reading the comments it brought :)

Any images to share? how are the molds different?
Re: Top 5 G1 Transformers Toys Not Designed by Takara (1852674)
Posted by Optimum Supreme on January 16th, 2017 @ 2:19pm CST
Jetfire is probably (IMO) the best G1 toy period.

I'd probably swap Whirl and Roadbuster (if not combine them into one entry as a cheat) though.
Re: Top 5 G1 Transformers Toys Not Designed by Takara (1852677)
Posted by RK_Striker_JK_5 on January 16th, 2017 @ 2:23pm CST
Now this is a pretty cool list! :D I... honestly can't disagree with placement, but I'd maybe combine Roadbuster with Whirl. Other than that, pretty much agree.
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