Top 5 Transformer toys sold at retail but NOT in the US

Top 5 Transformer toys sold at retail but NOT in the US

Sunday, July 12th, 2015 6:08pm CDT

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Posted by: william-james88   Views: 91,317

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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 Transformers toys sold at retail but NOT in the US

I live in Canada and I can say that the US is one of the best places in the world to be a Transformers fan. Transformers usually cost less there than almost anywhere else in the world. Not only that, but the US has a greater access to exclusive Hasbro Transformers such as the SDCC and Botcon sets. Even lines which were found elsewhere first, like GDO, Masterpiece and Prime First Edition, eventually find their way to US retail. However, a few figures sometimes fall in the cracks and never make their way. Either Hasbro wont pick up distribution of particular Takara products or a particular figure will simply never be spotted. Even laws can come into play. These are a handful of such cases, just to give an idea of the variety of stuff that was found elsewhere throughout the years, and I didn't want to just stick to G1. Let us know which toys you would have loved to find in stores but never did.


5. The Transformers Alternity Line

For some reason, there is a bunch of criticism over the Alternators line and I don't understand it. This was a great project from Hasbro and Takara, going back to the Diaclone roots of favoring the alt mode and making perfect model cars that can fit with other lines from different companies. Except the technology changed and you could get more articulated robot modes by then. I thought it was an incredible line and I still think so. In any case, the alternators line lost some steam in the US and when Japan came up with the follow up Alternity line featuring a 1:32 scale (rather than 1:24), Hasbro didnt pick it up. That is too bad because it had some very cool ideas, like having the seekers be cars with the car's shell forming the robot wings. Like that they keep their distinctive seeker motif while also having an alt mode that stray from tradition (which would still scale with the rest of the line). They also featured die cast parts, rubber tires and style money can't buy (check out that Megatron below!). There were only a handful of original molds but they all exuded style and are the most minute toys ever made. And they were never distributed outside Japan.

Transformers News: Top 5 Transformer toys sold at retail but NOT in the US


Transformers News: Top 5 Transformer toys sold at retail but NOT in the US
Transformers Alternity Banzai-Tron (Crystalo Black) Gallery

Transformers News: Top 5 Transformer toys sold at retail but NOT in the US
Transformers Alternity Optimus Prime (Vibrant Red) (Convoy (Vibrant Red)) Gallery

4. Transformers Arms Micron War Breakdown

From the beginning, the Prime line and the States were at odds. The First Edition figures were available worldwide aside from the US at first for quite a while. Instead, they had the less accurate and less detailed Robots in Disguise subline toys in stores. Sure, some were fine (like Vehicon and Arcee) but for a while, it seemed the collector oriented First Edition line would never see the light of day. Eventually though, every toy found its way to Toysrus though not every location got them and there were not too many to go around. Worse, by that time, many fans had already paid a premium to get these toys they thought they would not see at retail.

That was not the end of woes with the Prime line though. While there were a bunch of fun redecos like the seekers and Transformers Arms Micron Ironhide (who was supposed to be the original version of the Kup mold Hasbro released, just look at that head) found in the Takara line that Hasbro never distributed, none of those decisions hurt more than not distributing Breakdown. Unlike most other toys never gotten in the US, this was an actual show character. Someone who simply wanted to have the Decepticon team on his shelf just couldn't depend on retail releases. And unlike the Unicron mold that was also Japan exclusive, this was a phenomenal mold. I can't confirm that though since none of the other uses of that mold (such as Swerve and Silas Breakdown) were distributed by Hasbro either. While he leaves the biggest gap in the Prime line, there were other cool releases for the line that never came to the states, and actually were distributed by Hasbro, such as Beast Hunters Cyberverse Ultra Magnus, Unicron Megatron (both the Construct bot and the Cyberverse toy) and freaken BLUDGEON!

Transformers News: Top 5 Transformer toys sold at retail but NOT in the US

Transformers News: Top 5 Transformer toys sold at retail but NOT in the US

Transformers News: Top 5 Transformer toys sold at retail but NOT in the US


3. MP-5 Destron Leader Megatron (Masterpiece)

This is the only mold from the Masterpiece line that is guaranteed to NEVER EVER be released in the US, due to toy gun laws. And it happens to be Megatron, the main antagonist in all the Transformers brand. Your Walmart 20th Anniversary Optimus is thus left rivaless unless you import him. You would think that this alone would propel him to the top spot but he is held down a bit by a week design. While it is impressive that he was designed in two weeks, the thin legs and ultra fiddly transformation do give a hint at the rushed process. However, the engineering present here is utterly insane, by far one of Takara's most complex transformers ever engineered. While the toy has its faults, its take on the transformation is so smart that this has been the default guide for companies trying to make their own unofficial version years later.

Transformers News: Top 5 Transformer toys sold at retail but NOT in the US


2. Transformers Victory Liokaiser


G1's best combiner never came to the US. He was part of the Victory line where quite a few other molds never came (that could be a list of it's own)and he is the very first combiner to integrate the fists and feet with the components. This is something Hasbro couldn't even pull off with Titan Devastator in 2015. All you needed to keep was his combiner head. But beyond that, there is a lot to love in this toy. The design itself was totally unique at the time, with an animal themed combiner while none of the alt modes were animals. Instead, the individual robots had shamanistic helmets representing their animal link as well as a breastplate which could transform into an animal and serve as a gun. Don't be surprised if you see this guy again on a list of most needed reissues.

Transformers News: Top 5 Transformer toys sold at retail but NOT in the US

Transformers News: Top 5 Transformer toys sold at retail but NOT in the US

Transformers News: Top 5 Transformer toys sold at retail but NOT in the US


1. Transformers Super God Masterforce Overlord

This number one is almost by default. This is one of the bigger G1 Transformers sets, with three modes (like G1 Scorponok) and made up of a bunch of parts including two seperate alt modes. It was available in Japan, Europe and Australasia. However, unless the planets align and some miracle like an "encore" happens, it will never come out in the North America, let alone the US. Instead of feeling sad (please don't check EBay), just sit back and bask in his glory:

Transformers News: Top 5 Transformer toys sold at retail but NOT in the US

Transformers News: Top 5 Transformer toys sold at retail but NOT in the US

Transformers News: Top 5 Transformer toys sold at retail but NOT in the US

Transformers News: Top 5 Transformer toys sold at retail but NOT in the US

Honourable mentions: SO MANY. Let's see, there's G1 Thunderclash, Binaltech Arcee, the Action Masters Elite (at least those somewhat transformed), BWN Chorada, the G1 Predators, G1 Star Saber and so much more. It would be easier saying which ones we'd rather not get (like the Big Rescue Force) so let us know in the comments which ones you wished came out in the US. Or even better, let us know which ones you wished came to your country.

Credit(s): william-james88


This article was last modified on Tuesday, April 12th, 2016 9:36am CDT

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Re: Top 5 Transformer toys sold at retail but NOT in the US (1709276)
Posted by william-james88 on July 12th, 2015 @ 6:15pm CDT
You know guys, I was thinking, and since I am hoping these lists will be viewed years down the line, I feel it's best that they can be improved on if need be. Since this list was about a country I don't actually dwell with and was more about facts than opinions, I don't mind improving it a bit. So I added to the 4th entry for it to encompass the Prime toys the states didn't get, which actually happen through 4 lines (Beast Hunters Cyberverse, Arms Micron, Construct-bots and the upscaled Legions). While it's too bad some G1 toys were kept to certain georgraphic regions, you would think that today's business practices would have evolved with both Takara and Hasbro being more in sync on some obvious stuff (like Breakdown!), but this showed that it was clearly not the case.

So here is the improved list thanks for all your help!

http://www.seibertron.com/transformers/news/top-5-transformer-toys-sold-at-retail-but-not-in-the-us/33481/
Re: Top 5 Transformer toys sold at retail but NOT in the US (1709279)
Posted by griftimus prime on July 12th, 2015 @ 6:19pm CDT
breakdown wins this one easily. i was pissed. what about combiner wars groove?
Re: Top 5 Transformer toys sold at retail but NOT in the US (1709281)
Posted by Yotsuyasan on July 12th, 2015 @ 6:23pm CDT
I figured it had been said enough, and didn't have any plans to comment again on it myself... but since you ended up feeling the need to update #4 after all, how can it still say, "The First Edition figures like Transformer Prime First Edition Cliffjumper were available worldwide aside from the US, who instead only had the less accurate and less detailed Robots in Disguise subline toys in store," after the plethora of people who have commented with evidence to the contrary? Yes, you do go on to say, "Muuuuch later, it seems every toy found it's way to Toysrus though not every location got them and there were not too many to go around." But saying that loophole still allows the inclusion of that toy on the list seems rather silly.

If it was sold at U.S. retail, even if its release was delayed and a bit limited, it shouldn't be on a list titled, "Top 5 Transformer toys sold at retail but NOT in the US." Doesn't seem much room for grey area there.
Re: Top 5 Transformer toys sold at retail but NOT in the US (1709282)
Posted by william-james88 on July 12th, 2015 @ 6:28pm CDT
griftimus prime wrote:breakdown wins this one easily. i was pissed. what about combiner wars groove?


Well Hasbro said "we'll see" so while we can write about it here, I wouldnt feel comfortable putting it on the list.
Re: Top 5 Transformer toys sold at retail but NOT in the US (1709286)
Posted by william-james88 on July 12th, 2015 @ 6:43pm CDT
Yotsuyasan wrote:I figured it had been said enough, and didn't have any plans to comment again on it myself... but since you ended up feeling the need to update #4 after all, how can it still say, "The First Edition figures like Transformer Prime First Edition Cliffjumper were available worldwide aside from the US, who instead only had the less accurate and less detailed Robots in Disguise subline toys in store," after the plethora of people who have commented with evidence to the contrary? Yes, you do go on to say, "Muuuuch later, it seems every toy found it's way to Toysrus though not every location got them and there were not too many to go around." But saying that loophole still allows the inclusion of that toy on the list seems rather silly.

If it was sold at U.S. retail, even if its release was delayed and a bit limited, it shouldn't be on a list titled, "Top 5 Transformer toys sold at retail but NOT in the US." Doesn't seem much room for grey area there.


Well these lists serve as reference so I found it fun to discuss the history of this line and how it started really bad for the states compared to the entire world and it was an indication of things to come. I found it pretty important to point out in an article about the states not getting toys, how they didnt get these figures at first which were for a main show. I still cant wrap my mind about how Hasbro decided to distribute everywhere else instead of the country they are based in. So I feel this is the best place to talk about it. It's not a loophole, just a quick history lesson. And I dont think it should be ignored. I want it to be remembered, because it sure as hell isnt fun to have everyone else get these fun toys at retail when you don't. If ever Canada does get Generations Arcee, for instance, I wont automatically forgive Hasbro for having taken so long to distribute it. And it sucks (for Arcee and all those first edition prime toys) that so many fans are left buying them for a premium not knowing when, if ever, these would be available in retail.

Sorry if you find it silly, I found it important in a list about the woes of distribution.

Oh and another little reason I kept it is because I wanted the comments in this thread to stay relevant to whoever reads them whenever they end up reading this. Now those comments become a celebration of having found some toys that were thought to never come out :) Everything stays relevant while the content is improved.
Re: Top 5 Transformer toys sold at retail but NOT in the US (1709290)
Posted by Deadput on July 12th, 2015 @ 7:18pm CDT
Can confirm that Canada at least had a couple of First Edition Cliffjumpers.




Regret not getting it or any other version of the mold.
Re: Top 5 Transformer toys sold at retail but NOT in the US (1709305)
Posted by morphobots on July 12th, 2015 @ 7:54pm CDT
When I was younger, living at home without the responsibilities of "adult" life, I went on a tear tracking down as many G1 Asian exclusives as possible before my window of opportunity closed. Even though I was able to score a Grand Maximus during that time, Overlord is without a doubt the crown jewel of that search. He defies categorization, being a Godmaster, A Duocon, a city-former, and a triple-changer all in one. Today, if I had to choose, I'd love to get the deluxe DOTM Leadfoot Hasbro yanked here right before US release, but the scalper prices are just too outrageous for a figure not even 10 years old.
Re: Top 5 Transformer toys sold at retail but NOT in the US (1709311)
Posted by william-james88 on July 12th, 2015 @ 8:09pm CDT
mirageandjazz1197 wrote:Can confirm that Canada at least had a couple of First Edition Cliffjumpers.

Regret not getting it or any other version of the mold.


Yup and he was still available in retail as of last year when I picked him up at Archambault (along with first edition starscream and bumblebee) thanks to a tip from kanrabat.
Re: Top 5 Transformer toys sold at retail but NOT in the US (1709344)
Posted by Emerje on July 12th, 2015 @ 10:23pm CDT
Was the Alternity line really that good? I really hated the character designs back then (some have grown on me over the years), but when I finally got GT-01 GT-R Prime (a re-skin of Alternity Convoy) for a review I couldn't believe how terrible the figure was for US$100 at the time. I don't know how Takara wasn't embarrassed to put that in stores, and not just once, but NINE TIMES! I don't know, I feel like we dodged a bullet by not having Hasbro release these in place of something else.

Also laughed a bit about the honorable mention going to Binaltech Arcee. Were people really upset that Hasbro didn't release this manly looking Arcee? I would have much preferred Blaster and Red Alert over "her".

I guess it's only fair that I name some figures I wish had found their way over here. Many years ago when I first saw Metalhawk in a book I knew I wanted him. Unfortunately I don't have him in any form. Not as a Takara Tomy reissue, not as a silly BotCon exclusive, and, despite his importance in the comics, not as a new Generations figure. Shame, I really liked the idea of a more elaborate Pretender to dead the others.

Also wish Hasbro had tried a little harder to get Brave Maximus to us. I understand it didn't pass safety tests, but at the time they also believed in lower age ranges, primarily 5+ for RID. The Hasbro of today is willing to adjust ages to fit their needs. For example Generations was 5+, but Combiner Wars is 8+, likely because the weight of the combined size makes it harder for them to pass the dreaded drop test. Realistically this means Hasbro could have adjusted the age range to work in their favor, they just didn't want to go through the trouble back then. Even today, with Platinum Edition reissues also at 8+ including Trypticon (which was 6+ back in the day) realistically they could reissue Fortress Maximus if they wanted to (and didn't have a new one coming out) at the right age range. I almost got a Korean Brave Maximus off BBTS way back, I forget why I didn't.

Also would have liked an Artfire to go with reissue Stepper/Ricochet but that doesn't seem to ever be happening. Not that he was ever reissued or anything. Stupid Takara leaving me wanting more...

Emerje
Re: Top 5 Transformer toys sold at retail but NOT in the US (1709536)
Posted by o.supreme on July 13th, 2015 @ 1:29pm CDT
Man... Articles like this really take me back. I miss my LioKaiser & Overlord. I actually had the Euro Overlord first, then sold it and bought the Japanese one before selling my entire collection in 2006.

I really liked the Alternators also. I had them all, and any Binaltech variants that were not sold in the U.S., but again, I sold my collection in 2006, before they changed formats to the "Alternity" line. :-(
Re: Top 5 Transformer toys sold at retail but NOT in the US (1709542)
Posted by william-james88 on July 13th, 2015 @ 1:46pm CDT
o.supreme wrote:Man... Articles like this really take me back. I miss my LioKaiser & Overlord. I actually had the Euro Overlord first, then sold it and bought the Japanese one before selling my entire collection in 2006.

I really liked the Alternators also. I had them all, and any Binaltech variants that were not sold in the U.S., but again, I sold my collection in 2006, before they changed formats to the "Alternity" line. :-(


Do you collect anything these days? The Alternity line is still out there if you have the money and interest.

And I too loved the Binaltech line, for it's use of die cast.
Re: Top 5 Transformer toys sold at retail but NOT in the US (1709548)
Posted by o.supreme on July 13th, 2015 @ 1:57pm CDT
Not really, there are some wonderful toys out there. I mostly just have all the animated series/movies on DVD. I get my son random toys on occasion. I really got into Kre-o/Kreons because they were inexpensive. I am REALLY tempted to get some of the new Combiner Wars, but again, don't have the funds. Still, thanks for the article, nice to always go down memory lane.
Re: Top 5 Transformer toys sold at retail but NOT in the US (1709554)
Posted by william-james88 on July 13th, 2015 @ 2:13pm CDT
o.supreme wrote:Not really, there are some wonderful toys out there. I mostly just have all the animated series/movies on DVD. I get my son random toys on occasion. I really got into Kre-o/Kreons because they were inexpensive. I am REALLY tempted to get some of the new Combiner Wars, but again, don't have the funds. Still, thanks for the article, nice to always go down memory lane.


That's very kind of you. There will be articles every two weeks, and they usually deal with a look back at the different toys regarding a particular aspect (in this case it was geographical distribution). This link shows you what articles are available and the new ones will be posted there when they come out: http://www.seibertron.com/energonpub/master-list-for-top-5-best-transformers-lists-p1642668.php#p1642668
Re: Top 5 Transformer toys sold at retail but NOT in the US (1709579)
Posted by Optimum Supreme on July 13th, 2015 @ 3:05pm CDT
william-james88 wrote:You know guys, I was thinking, and since I am hoping these lists will be viewed years down the line, I feel it's best that they can be improved on if need be. Since this list was about a country I don't actually dwell with and was more about facts than opinions, I don't mind improving it a bit. So I added to the 4th entry for it to encompass the Prime toys the states didn't get, which actually happen through 4 lines (Beast Hunters Cyberverse, Arms Micron, Construct-bots and the upscaled Legions). While it's too bad some G1 toys were kept to certain georgraphic regions, you would think that today's business practices would have evolved with both Takara and Hasbro being more in sync on some obvious stuff (like Breakdown!), but this showed that it was clearly not the case.

So here is the improved list thanks for all your help!

http://www.seibertron.com/transformers/news/top-5-transformer-toys-sold-at-retail-but-not-in-the-us/33481/



Thanks for the update. Not getting Breakdown really bothered me. Adam f'ing Baldwin voiced the guy and he's super awesome, and I wanted a toy version so bad. Had to make due with a friggin Cyberverse version, and it wasn't even a commander... So small next to his arch rival Bulkhead...
Re: Top 5 Transformer toys sold at retail but NOT in the US (1709683)
Posted by monstrinhotron on July 14th, 2015 @ 4:40am CDT
i'd make a list of the transformers never released here in the UK, but none of us are getting any younger and it would be a shame to spend the next week or so scrolling through a list of tears and disappointments
Re: Top 5 Transformer toys sold at retail but NOT in the US (1709684)
Posted by Va'al on July 14th, 2015 @ 4:50am CDT
monstrinhotron wrote:i'd make a list of the transformers never released here in the UK, but none of us are getting any younger and it would be a shame to spend the next week or so scrolling through a list of tears and disappointments


I like you and your glum humour.
Re: Top 5 Transformer toys sold at retail but NOT in the US (1709910)
Posted by Towline on July 15th, 2015 @ 4:19am CDT
A new Over Lord could have the potential to bridge the gap between Hasbro's "Combiner Wars" and "Titan Wars". The original Over Lord was a power master, combiner, and city bot. All in one Transformer.
Re: Top 5 Transformer toys sold at retail but NOT in the US (1710033)
Posted by Optimum Supreme on July 15th, 2015 @ 6:54pm CDT
Towline wrote:A new Over Lord could have the potential to bridge the gap between Hasbro's "Combiner Wars" and "Titan Wars". The original Over Lord was a power master, combiner, and city bot. All in one Transformer.

But can he see why kids love the taste of Cinnamon Toast Crunch?

8-}
Re: Top 5 Transformer toys sold at retail but NOT in the US (1711314)
Posted by D-Maximal_Primal on July 19th, 2015 @ 6:25pm CDT
Very good list. I enjoyed seeing other toys that we in the US have not. now, if only we actually got new toys of some of these guys down the road :BOT:
Re: Top 5 Transformer toys sold at retail but NOT in the US (1712608)
Posted by RAR on July 23rd, 2015 @ 9:03pm CDT
There is some nice EZ series unique repaints I've always liked.

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