February 23, 2016

Articles: Transformers Jr.



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Lots of items were released in Japan by Takara/Seven that sported that fantastically iconic "TF" logo somewhere on the box. None more awesome than the Jr. line. Predominantly denoted by a "Jr" under the "TF" logo, these treasures were released exclusively in Japanese stores (both toy and convenience alike) from 1986 onwards. This is, in the robot world, a relatively small sub line to collect. It's finite. However it's not at all an easy line to complete as some are brutally difficult to find.




To have complete insight we must first take a look at the origin. Like their bigger brother, Raiden Jr. started life in the Diaclone line (along with the Lamborghini Countach LP500S in yellow/Sunstreaker for Takara/Seven's "TF" line). They were paired up and offered on card. These pairings translated to the Transformers Jr. line in boxes in addition to the Raiden Jr. gift set of all 6. Interestingly that wasn't the only translation. For whatever reason C-129 colour scheme from Train Robo #11 of the Diaclone line.

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The Junior figures themselves initially began as TF: "Gokin".




- Convoy
- Soundwave
- Ultra Magnus

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After that they were officially packaged as Transformers Jr. 


1987















- Rodimus Convoy
 - Metroplex (black chest sticker)
 - Metroplex (silver chest sticker)
 - Tyrpticon
 - Ultra Magnus Jr. w/Glavatron decoy gift set
- Soundblaster
 - Chromedome
 - Trainbot Jr. double set #1 C-125/C-129 (Train Robo #11 colours)
 - Trainbot Jr. double set #2 C-130/C-126
 - Trainbot Jr. double set #3 C-128/C-127
 - C-131 Raiden Jr. Giftset (C-129/Diaclone Train Robo #11)
 - Chromedome Jr. w/Rodimus Convoy decoy

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1988








 - Fortress Maximus (interestingly released in 1988)
- Super Jinrai single #1
 - God Ginrai single #2
 - God Ginrai gift set w/Godbomber accessories
 - Grand Maximus

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1989








 - Star Saber single
 - Star Saber gift set (with black camera)
 - Star Saber black camera single
 - Star Saber blue camera single
 - Star Saber red camera single
 - Star Saber Pistol set
 - Jr. 3 pack: Convoy, Chromedome and Fortress Maximus

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1989/1990




-Lucky Draw Jr. gift set


Ultra Magnus Jr. for size comparison


At the tail-end of the Jr line, a large '5 years of leaders' gift set was given away as a prize in extremely small numbers. The campaign through which this was offered is unknown.
6 Jr toys were actually included: Convoy, Rodimus Convoy, Fortress Maximus, Super Jinrai and God Ginrai and finally Star Saber. The toys were the same as their regular production counterparts and all 6 were offered side by side in one extremely long white mail-away box with blue Japanese writing. An astonishingly cool piece.

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That's it for the Jrs. An exciting subset of vintage Transformers that got its origins again from Diaclone. I absolutely adore them.

....but what other items did Takara/Seven produce for their "TF" line? Oh, pretty much everything...



...no, really.

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February 20, 2016

RobotPoints Store update!






Well, it's been a long time since the last post so I thought I'd get the ball rolling with an update to the store. As well as whole host of new additions; the store has been separated into two sections. Vintage and Modern. The selection is also now more refined, focusing solely on rare, unusual and exotic items of both production and pre-production alike. Click here or go to the CONTACT page with any inquiries.


March 09, 2014

RobotPoints Store

The STORE section of RobotPoints is now open for business, offering a wide variety of items from G1 prototypes to convention exclusives and everything in-between.






Head on over by clicking the STORE icon at the top of the page.


March 03, 2014

UPDATE - Articles: Kits

It's been a while since the last entry to RobotPoints, though a few changes and additions are in the works and will be coming your way soon.

In the mean-time, the kits article has been updated to include a few recent acquisitions. Not least of which is the last of the four 'long box' Microchange kits.

Check out the article in its latest form here: Articles: Kits..





..and stay tuned for more updates!

December 01, 2012

Artefacts: "5 up 5 down". Sixshot Unpainted Hardcopy Prototype

Sixshot: The ultimate Transformers challenge. This is a resin hardcopy of one of the coolest toys ever made.

 Robot mode
Attack Jet
Wolf
Tank
Armoured Carrier
Laser Pistol

Six toys in one! Not much else to say. Let's allow the pictures to do the talking.


"It's like shooting cyber ducks in a barrel"

November 28, 2012

Artefacts: Galaxy Shuttle Shield

In 2004 the Transformers Generations Deluxe book was released in Japan. As well as acting as a complete reference guide for G1 and G2 production toys, it showed pictures of many never-before seen concept drawings and prototypes.

One such prototype was an unknown accessory that Galaxy Shuttle was sporting.



A shield and base attachment? I'd never heard of this. My interest was piqued.

The shield acts as its namesake when Galaxy Shuttle is in robot mode, and attaches in base mode to form a Micromaster launcher. Thought to have originally been intended for release with the Galaxy Shuttle toy itself, it's possible that it could have been marketed separately with its own Micromaster. Either way, it's a very cool piece that sadly never saw production.



This is a resin hardcopy prototype that, oddly, has a copyright. A simple "c TAKARA" is located on the underside of the shield. A very unusual trait for a prototype of an early-stage.


The shield is surprisingly large and in addition to the features previously highlighted in the Generations Deluxe book, it strongly resembles a sort-of space cruiser. Perhaps further fuel for speculation that it was to be marketed separately.

UPDATE 22/09/13

Monzo has kindly commented in this post with the following information:

"Autobase Aichi has an article on this particular part, but it's buried on the site:

http://snakas.web.fc2.com/misc_item/c326s.htm

According to a Japanese-speaking friend, the article says that the shield part was given away at Japanese stores (not stated which ones) as the "MicroTF Launcher" in the summer of 1990. However, its connection to Galaxy Shuttle was unstated, and the give-away received no advertising. The Autobot/Cybertron symbol sticker was not included with the part, but was added by its owner.

So... apparently it was released, but in a very limited fashion."

This is interesting and seems to make sense, given that the example shown in the link which Monzo provided does indeed appear to be further along in production. It has additional, more crisp detail on the underside compared to the pre-production example pictured here on RobotPoints.

A more rough appearance is perfectly normal for a hardcopy though, but one needs to again question the copyright. The thought occurred that the shield on RobotPoints could possibly be a copy from a reverse-engineered mould of an original store exclusive. There are two signs to refute this however. Provenance is not fool-proof, but is oftentimes the key to denoting authenticity. With this in mind, the first sign is that the original owner can assuredly claim legitimacy. Secondly the lack of detail and general condition of the underside does not a reproduction make. If those were the resulting side-effects of creating a second generation copy; then there would be no (extremely fine and crisp I may add) copyright. It would have been lost in the process with the rest of the detail.

Still, the presence of a copyright on any resin hardcopy continues to bewilder, and the notion of release, however limited, is certainly a lesser-known fact about this unusual piece, now known as the "MicroTF" launcher!

Thanks to the Mapes brothers, of TF@TM (transformertoys.co.uk) for the Generations Deluxe book scans.

September 30, 2012

Artefacts: MR-47 Hardcopy prototype. Some Machine Robo love!

Although Robot points is primarily for Transformers-related artefacts, once in a while I'll include something a little bit different. Well, it is related I guess..anyway, here is a very cool hardcopy of the GoBot/Machinerobo "BadBoy".


You don't often see prototypes for Machinerobo/GoBots, let alone hardcopies. This example comes with the original box, used for, I presume, storage shipping and designation.

Production VS Prototype


There are a large amount of differences between this prototype and the production piece. Aside from the obvious paint and sticker applications; the head is completely different, there is a gun on the nose of the prototype in airplane mode, the armament is somewhat larger and (the coolest part) the chest-section bulks the toy out in robot mode and gives the whole appearance a decidedly better look. The legs, by design, also separate to give a more varied stance.

Robot Modes

It's an interesting piece that showcases how design changes throughout the creation process.

September 29, 2012

Artefacts: Mock-Up Transformers Prowl. A Diaclone that became a Transformer

During the creation of the Transformers franchise, Takara would send existing Diaclone toys to Hasbro R&D for purposes both conceptual and marketing.


This is one such piece. This Diaclone Police Fairlady has thick mock-up Autobot stickers and many of the "Diaclone" words blotted out. This piece was used largely in the photography for the catalogs, box, box art, and various other publications.



Truly one of the first, if not the first "Prowl" toys to have ever been made.