I know this is primarily a Nintendo blog, but recently I’ve had some life changing experiences (African trip) and have finally decided to complete/finish my other “uncompleted” collection. Believe it or not, my first obsession was not collecting NES games, but rather G1 Transformers from back in the 1980’s. To be more specific, my collection runs from 1984 – 1987 with a few select figures from the 1988 line. I am in no way into the Pretenders, Actionmasters, and Micromasters which I believe were introduced in ’88 – ’89 and as it was readily apparent that Hasboro was out of ideas, the series was quickly discontinued. Thankfully the American Transformers TV show did not include these, however the Japanese series went nuts and included everything with a piece of metal in it! I own a copy of the Japanese Headmaster series on DVD, but after this it went too far for me. Don’t even get me started on the live action Transformers movies!! Thanks to these abominations, director Michael Bay is on my blacklist along with George Lucas for his Star Wars prequels.
Back in 1984 as a kid you basically had two choices. Were you a GoBots or a Transformers fan? I had a few of both… however in the beginning, school playground rules stated that Transformer toys were too “powerful” to play with GoBots and were therefore unwelcome in the playing scenarios at recess. Fortunately we realized very quickly that GoBots were lame, and Transformers were superior!
Before the TV show premiered, there was only a few action figures available, and perhaps by fate I was drawn towards Soundwave who is to this day my favorite Transformer! As a kid, I obviously had no income other that the $2 a week my parents gave me as an allowance. Soundwave was $25 at Kresge’s (a long ago vanquished chain of Walmart type stores). My dad purposed a difficult choice to a 9 year old kid… I can buy the official Soundwave at full price, or I could buy a knockoff version (which was identical minus the Decepticon logo and box art) for $16. That is one hell of a difference in price when you have very little income. I had saved $18, so could buy the knockoff out rightly, or I could go into allowance debt for several weeks and get the official action figure. Duh, of course I chose the official version as I didn’t want to be labelled a loser in the playground! Soundwave along with his cassette companion Buzzsaw was mine… how cool was I!?! Then the TV show premiered, and Soundwave had the best voice of all the Transformers. It was a synthesized voice by the same guy who did Megatron’s (Frank Welker)… and it was AWESOME! Also the fact that the character was the most loyal Decepticon of them all which was proven in the 1986 movie when he picked up a defeated Megatron from the battlefield and carried him onto a ship to escape the Autobot wrath!
Anyways my family wasn’t “first world rich”, so I was only able to acquire a few transformers back in the day (they were actually really expensive even at 1984 prices!). For my birthday I opened an Optimus Prime, which basically secured my number one position in the playground as; kid most desired to play with! I was THAT awesome… too bad I peaked in popularity at such an early age:(
Fast forward to 1986 with the release of Transformers the Movie. This was an epic event in my childhood. I wasn’t allowed to go to the movies by myself yet, so thankfully my friend Sonny and his mother offered to take me to this larger-than-life event. I was devastated… they killed off my hero Optimus Prime along with 90% of the other Transformers! It wasn’t until high school that I realized that Hasboro did this only to introduce a new Transformers toy-line as they figured they had already profited as much as they could during the past two years. In other words, everyone who could afford the Optimus/Megatron figures had already bought them. But you must understand… losing all these beloved characters was devastating! Thankfully Galvatron and the Sharkticons were awesome enough to carry on the series for another two years!
However by 1988 I had officially decided to put my toys away and pursue my other interest… the opposite sex. On this topic I had decades of study and research to do! The Transformers (and GI JOE) were put on hiatus in the attic until years later.
Near the end of high school, and at the beginning of university I had realized how much I had missed my original obsession of Transformers (and GI JOE), so started unofficially collecting again. Fortunately back in the mid-90’s Transformers weren’t that sought after and I was able to get so many for no more than a song! For real, some dude sold his whole collection to a store called Eyeball Soup, and for about $200 I was able to pick up over 90 of the now highly sought after toys! Now the prices are crazy high, and starting a complete collection feels out of reach.
Then came July 2nd, 2007. The Canadian release of Transformers the movie. I have so many issues with this movie’s director, producer, and writers that I don’t even know where to begin other than saying it ruined the franchise. This will perhaps be another blog entry.
All this being said… I don’t wish to end this on a downer, so I won’t. G1 Transformers rule! Here is a list of the G1 action figures I need to have what I consider a “pure” complete collection before they were bastardized by the Pretenders and company. At the price NES games are going for right now, perhaps my Transformer collection will be complete first!
Needed Transformers (and all accessories)
Roadbuster (Deluxe Vehicle) $75
Power Dashers x 3 (mail order set) $20 each
Seachlight and Wideload (Throtttlebots) $6 each
Misfire (Tagetmaster) $55 – 90
Fizzle, Guzzle, Sizzle (Sparkbots) $10 each
Scoop (Target Master) $25
Hosehead, Siren (Headmaster) $50 each
Joy Ride and Slapdash (Power Masters) $50 each
Cindersaur, Flamefeather, Sparkstalker (Firecons) $10 each
Windsweeper (Triggercon) $12
Needlenose (Targetmaster) $40
Fangry (Headmaster) $35
Darkwing (Powermaster) $65
S.T.A.R.S. Autobot Command Centre $65
Total = $739
Until next time,