Monday, November 21, 2016

Sketch - G1 Rotorstorm Fanart


Autobot Turbomaster Rotorstorm
The Transformers, Hasbro, Inc., 1991

Italy 1991 Release

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Sketch - Diaclone Fairlady Z Fanart


Car Robot Fairlady Z (280Z T Bar Roof)
Diaclone Real & Robo Series, Takara Co., Ltd., 1982

Autobot Gunner Bluestreak
The Transformers, Hasbro Industries, Inc., 1984

USA 1984 Release

Monday, November 14, 2016

My Favorites - Decepticon Jets

ダイアクロン リアル&ロボ シリーズ
Diaclone Real & Robo Series, Takara Co., Ltd., 1983

The pair of Diaclone F-15 Eagles are shown below. Only the two versions exist, the Acrobat Jet and the Fighter Jet that were the direct inspiration for Thundercracker and Starscream respectively. Skywarp did not have a Diaclone incarnation.



Jetrobo F-15 Eagle Acrobat Jet
Japan 1983 Release
 (Front)
Jetrobo F-15 Eagle Acrobat Jet
Japan 1983 Release
 (Back)
Jetrobo F-15 Eagle Acrobat Jet 
Japan 1983 Release
(Contents)
Jetrobo F-15 Eagle Fighter Jet
Japan 1984 Release
(Front)
Jetrobo F-15 Eagle Fighter Jet
Japan 1984 Release
(Back)
Jetrobo F-15 Eagle Fighter Jet
Japan 1984 Release
 (Contents)

The Transformers, Hasbro Industries, Inc., 1984


A small selection of Transformers F-15 Eagles are shown below - almost entirely Starscream. With the exception of the 1986 Starscream Release, the box variants that apply to Starscream are equally applicable to Skywarp and Thundercracker. (All three have NGB boxes not shown, because I'm not privileged enough to own even one!)



Decepticon Air Commander Starscream
™ box, © 1984 Hasbro Industries, Inc., 5781/5780 ASST
USA 1984 Release
(Front)
Decepticon Air Commander Starscream
™ box, © 1984 Hasbro Industries, Inc., 5781/5780 ASST
USA 1984 Release
(Back)
Decepticon Warrior Thundercracker
™ box, © 1984 Hasbro Industries, Inc., 5782/5780 ASST

USA 1984 Release
(Front)
Decepticon Warrior Thundercracker
™ box, © 1984 Hasbro Industries, Inc., 5782/5780 ASST
USA 1984 Release
(Back)
Decepticon Air Commander Starscream
™ box, © 1984 Hasbro Industries, Inc., 5781/5780 ASST
USA 1985 Release
(Front)
Decepticon Air Commander Starscream
™ box, © 1984 Hasbro Industries, Inc., 5781/5780 ASST
USA 1985 Release
(Back)
Decepticon Air Commander Starscream
® box, © 1984 Hasbro Industries, Inc., 5781/5784 ASST
USA 1986 Release
(Front)
Decepticon Air Commander Starscream
® box, © 1984 Hasbro Industries, Inc., 5781/5784 ASST
USA 1986 Release
(Back)
Decepticon Air Commander Starscream
® box, © 1984 Hasbro Industries, Inc., 5781/5784 ASST

China 1990 Release
(Front)
Decepticon Air Commander Starscream
® box, © 1984 Hasbro Industries, Inc., 5781/5784 ASST

China 1990 Release
(Back)


戦え! 超ロボット生命体 トランスフォーマー

Fight! Super Robot Lifeform Transformers, Takara Co., Ltd., 1985

In Japan, all the series one and two jets were released except for Dirge. A couple of examples below.



Destron Aeronautical Staff Officer Starscream
 © TAKARA CO., LTD 1980,1983.
Japan 1985 Release
(Front)

Destron Aeronautical Staff Officer Starscream
 © TAKARA CO., LTD 1980,1983. 
Japan 1985 Release
(Back)
Destron Aeronautical Staff Officer Starscream
 © TAKARA CO., LTD 1980,1983.
Japan 1985 Release
(Contents)
Destron Aeronautical Troops Thrust
 © TAKARA CO., LTD 1985.
Japan 1985 Release
(Front)
Destron Aeronautical Troops Thrust
 © TAKARA CO., LTD 1985.
Japan 1985 Release
(Back)
Destron Aeronautical Troops Thrust
 © TAKARA CO., LTD 1985.
Japan 1985 Release
(Contents)

Timeline


The items featured on this page have been placed on the Timeline below. Treat it as relative rather than absolute.




Comparisons - Series One Jets

Below are F-15 Eagle (and derivative) jets that I've photographed for comparison. The exercise is to look at the progression of changes and place the variants on the Timeline. All of the series one jets were available as part of the same assortment #5780 when the Transformers toyline debuted in May 1984, as prerubs in ™ boxes, with '© 1984 Hasbro Industries, Inc.' on the back. They were all available again in 1985, and like the series two jets, featured rubsigns and came in ® boxes, however the copyright indicia on the boxes were not updated. In 1986, only Starscream was released from the true Eagles, as part of a new assortment #5784 with Cyclonus and Scourge. 



Starscream sticker sheets
Left: ™ variant sticker sheet. Decepticon logo has more form fitting cut.
Right: ® variant sticker sheet. Logo has '®' and item #5781, Decepticon logo has softer cut.

Exhibit 1A. Jetrobo F-15 Eagle Acrobat Jet


Imprint
Manufacturers stampNone
RubsignN/A

Intake stampNone
Other parts stamp
Features
WingLong point, Solid base, Short pegTailfinSolid tip, Small peg
CanopySmooth, Stickered cockpitHingeNo washer
NoseconePlasticFistSingle tab, Small circle hollow
Notes: The earliest F-15 Eagle specimen featured on this page, and the pre-TF basis for Thundercracker. It features a solid plastic nosecone that was later updated to rubber for the Transformers toyline, due to safety requirements. Though difficult to see on the photographs on this page, it has a factory applied, striped plastic sticker on the floor of the cockpit, present only on Takara and GiG Diaclone jets, as well as the Kingdam counterfeit. The sticker was not carried over to Transformers, where the factory stickers were paper based and of simpler design.

Exhibit 1B. Jetrobo F-15 Eagle Fighter Jet



Imprint
Manufacturers stampNone
RubsignN/AIntake stampNone
Other parts stamp
Features
WingLong point, Solid base, Short pegTailfinSolid tip, Small peg
CanopySmooth, Stickered cockpitHingeNo washer
NoseconeRubberFistSingle tab, Small circle hollow
Notes: The Fighter Jet features all the same features as its Acrobat brother, however this particular specimen has a rubber nosecone instead of plastic. It suggests that it was produced for the Diaclone line in 1984, but not before some modification had been made to the production for Hasbro's G1 toyline that hit the US market in May of 1984. A plastic nosecone is generally regarded as a defining feature of the Diaclone jets. The Italian GiG release - F15 Aquila - nearly identical, also has a rubber nose, but does not have the pointed wing tips, indicating it was further along the spectrum to G1.

Exhibit 1S. Decepticon Warrior Thundercracker



Imprint
Manufacturers stampNone
RubsignNone (Prerub)Intake stampNone
Other parts stamp​None
Features
WingShort blunt sanded wings, Solid base, Short pegTailfinSolid tip, Small peg
CanopySmoothHingeNo washer
NoseconeRubberFistSingle tab, Small circle hollow
Notes: The absolute earliest Thundercracker variant, featuring sanded tips on each wing piece. The tips has been removed for safety reasons (Read about the variant here). A sealed NGB specimen is known to contain the sanded wing Thundercracker variant. Recently another has surfaced and the owner has confirmed the same.This is undoubtedly from an NGB box. Very difficult to come across. (Added 07/12/2016)

Exhibit 1C. Decepticon Air Commander Starscream


Imprint
Manufacturers stampNone
RubsignNone (Prerub)Intake stampNone
Other parts stamp​None
Features
WingShort blunt, Solid base, Short pegTailfinSolid tip, Small peg
CanopySmoothHingeNo washer
NoseconeRubberFistSingle tab, Small circle hollow
Notes: The earliest G1 Starscream variant, we begin with a prerub toy that inherits the lack of manufacturer stamp from its Diaclone predecessor. Notable changes are that the wings have been modified to have the pointed tip removed for safety reasons (Read about an exceptional variant here). A rubber nosecone is par for the course by now. Of all the Starscream variants, this has the lightest blue parts, important for matching the rudder to the body by color matching, and the tailfin to the rudder by peg-hole matching. The blue gets progressively darker over the years. This variant would have only come in the earliest NGB (No gray border) box and ™ boxes immediately following..

Exhibit 1D. Decepticon Warrior Thundercracker



Imprint
Manufacturers stampNone
RubsignNone (Prerub)Intake stampNone
Other parts stamp​None
Features
WingShort blunt, Solid base, Short pegTailfinSolid tip, Small peg
CanopySmoothHingeNo washer
NoseconeRubberFistSingle tab, Small circle hollow
Notes: An early Thundercracker variant, but not the earliest, as it has molded blunt wings, rather than sanded. I have shone a light inside the sealed ™ box Thundercracker, as well as the sealed ™ Starscream, and the specimens inside both have a Takara only stamp. I am not confident enough to place this unstamped variant exclusively in an NGB box, because they are so rarely seen. A sealed NGB specimen is known to contain the sanded wing Thundercracker variant. This is possibly late NGB or very early ™ box.

Exhibit 1E. Decepticon Warrior Thundercracker



Imprint
Manufacturers stamp創作 • 著作物
© TAKARA CO., LTD. 1980,1983,JAPAN
RubsignNone (Prerub)Intake stampA, thin
Other parts stamp​None
Features
WingShort blunt, Solid base, Short pegTailfinSolid tip, Small peg
CanopySmoothHingeNo washer
NoseconeRubberFistSingle tab, Small circle hollow
Notes: A standard and common ™ box Thundercracker, it features a Takara only copyright stamp - the copyright Takara had registered as of 16 July 1984. This specimen is notable for featuring an 'A' stamped inside the left intake.

Exhibit 1F. Decepticon Warrior Skywarp



Imprint
Manufacturers stamp創作 • 著作物
© TAKARA CO., LTD. 1980,1983,JAPAN
RubsignNone (Prerub)Intake stampNone
Other parts stamp#3 long missiles, #3 short missiles
Features
WingShort blunt, Solid base, Short pegTailfinSolid tip, Small peg
CanopySmoothHingeNo washer
NoseconeRubberFistSingle tab, Small circle hollow
Notes: A standard and common ™ box Skywarp, it features a Takara only copyright stamp. This specimen had '3' stamped on each set of missiles, however since they are not attached to the body and have no reasonable method to confidently match, I will treat this as inconclusive.

Exhibit 1G. Decepticon Air Commander Starscream




Imprint
Manufacturers stamp創作 • 著作物
© TAKARA CO., LTD. 1980,1983,JAPAN
RubsignNone (Prerub)Intake stampNone
Other parts stamp#4 wing, #4 fist, #3 neck, #4 rudder, #4 long missiles, #4 short missiles
Features
WingShort blunt, Hollow base, Short pegTailfinHollow tip, Large peg
CanopySmoothHingeNo washer
NoseconeRubberFistSingle tab, Large circle hollow
Notes: A late ™ box Starscream, it features a Takara only copyright stamp, but the wings and tailfins have hollows cut out of them, possibly for strength, or to reduce plastic to make the parts cheaper per unit. A large number of parts feature a number stamped on them.

Exhibit 1X. Decepticon Air Commander Starscream




Imprint
Manufacturers stamp創作 • 著作物 
© TAKARA CO., LTD. 1980,1983,JAPAN
RubsignError, Rubsign misplacedIntake stampA, thin
Other parts stamp#3 wing, #3 neck, #5 rudder, #3 long missiles, #3 short missiles
Features
WingShort blunt, Hollow base, Short pegTailfinHollow tip, Large peg
CanopyRidgedHingeWasher
NoseconeRubberFistSingle tab, #5 Large circle hollow, #3 Square hollow
Notes: The first jets I described with the error rubsign were series two jets 2A, 2B, 2C below. It's taken a while to track down specimens of the series one jets. Fortunately I was able to purchase a set of three that appears to have all belonged to the same owner, and likely all originally bought at the same time, judging by the way he/her has placed the Decepticon stickers on the top and bottom of only the left wings for all three jets. These series one jets are all consistent with the series two jets that share the rubsign error. Starscream strangely comes with a #3 and #5 fist, which raises eyebrows, but then again, on most series one jets I've seen, #3 and #5 parts are often present together. Even more strange is the fact that they are both single tab fists (usually double tabbed on rubsign jets)- and the the #3 has the large square hollow that I've only seen on double tabbed fists.
(Added 07/12/2016)
I have for a long time been of the belief that the error rubsign was a symptom of teething troubles when rubsigns were first introduced, an issue quickly rectified. However I have seen an error rubsign Starscream in a sealed ® box and a standard rubsign Starscream in a sealed ™ box, which by right is the earlier packaging variant. This may mean that early rubsign series 1 jets did have the rub applied correctly, and the error rubsign was a batch error that affected all six jets at some point early on in the ® box era. See Exhibit 1H, a standard rub Thundercracker with ™ papers, might actually be an earlier specimen than the error rubs. Definitely more samples are required.
(Added 19/03/2017)


Exhibit 1Y. Decepticon Warrior Skywarp


Imprint
Manufacturers stamp創作 • 著作物 
© TAKARA CO., LTD. 1980,1983,JAPAN
RubsignError, Rubsign misplacedIntake stampA, thin
Other parts stamp#3 wing, #3 fist, #3 neck, #3 rudder, #5 long missiles, #5 short missiles
Features
WingShort blunt, Hollow base, Short pegTailfinHollow tip, Large peg
CanopyRidgedHingeWasher
NoseconeRubberFistDouble tab, Square hollow
Notes: Another series one jet featuring the error rubsign. This time the #3 square hollow fist has been updated from single tab double tab(Added 07/12/2016)

Exhibit 1Z. Decepticon Warrior Thundercracker


Imprint
Manufacturers stamp創作 • 著作物 
© TAKARA CO., LTD. 1980,1983,JAPAN
RubsignError, Rubsign misplacedIntake stampA, thin
Other parts stamp#5 wing, #3 fist, #3 neck, #3 rudder, #5 long missiles, #5 short missiles
Features
WingShort blunt, Hollow base, Short pegTailfinHollow tip, Large peg
CanopyRidgedHingeWasher
NoseconeRubberFistDouble tab, Square hollow
Notes: Another series one jet featuring the error rubsign(Added 07/12/2016)

Exhibit 1H. Decepticon Warrior Thundercracker


Imprint
Manufacturers stamp創作 • 著作物
© TAKARA CO., LTD. 1980,1983,JAPAN
RubsignRubsignIntake stampA, thin
Other parts stamp#5 wing, #4 fist, #3 neck, #5 rudder, #3 long missiles, #3 short missiles
Features
WingShort blunt, Hollow base, Long pegTailfinHollow tip, Large peg
CanopyRidgedHingeWasher
NoseconeRubberFistDouble tab, Large circle hollow
Notes: Here we have what I consider a transitional variant Thundercraker, bridging the gap from prerub to rubsign. It features a rubsign for the 'first' time, at least in the correct placement, while retaining the Takara only copyright stamp. It came with ™ papers and stickers, the ™ instructions featuring the rubsign update, plus an additional rubsign paper in the baggie. As distinguishing features of rubsign jets, it features for the first time a ridged canopy, washer on the hinge joining the cockpit to the body, and an additional tab on the inside of each fist. I am currently trying to establish whether this came earlier in the timeline than the error rubs.

Exhibit 1I. Decepticon Air Commander Starscream



Imprint
Manufacturers stamp© HASBRO 1980,1983.
創作 • 著作物 

© TAKARA CO., LTD. 1980,1983,JAPAN
RubsignRubsignIntake stampC, bold
Other parts stamp#5 wing, #5 fist, #6 neck, #5 rudder, #5 long missiles, #5 short missiles
Features
WingShort blunt, Hollow base, Long pegTailfinHollow tip, Large peg
CanopyRidgedHingeWasher
NoseconeRubberFistDouble tab, Large circle hollow
Notes: A standard ® box Starscream, the features and imprints are what I would generally expect for a 1985 or 1986 rubsign jet. It features a bold, upside down 'C' stamped in the intake. All the Hasbro copyright stamped jets appear to have this newer styled, bold letter stamped on them.

Exhibit 1J. Decepticon Air Commander Starscream (Japan)


Imprint
Manufacturers stamp© HASBRO 1980,1983.
創作 • 著作物 

© TAKARA CO., LTD. 1980,1983,JAPAN
RubsignRubsignIntake stampC, bold
Other parts stamp#5 wing, #3 fist (square hollow), #6 neck, #3 rudder, #5 long missiles, #5 short missiles
#3 wing, #5 fist (large circle hollow), #6 neck, #3 rudder, #5 long missiles, #5 short missiles (darker)
Features
WingShort blunt, Hollow base, Long pegTailfinHollow tip, Large peg
CanopyRidgedHingeWasher
NoseconeRubberFistDouble tab
Notes: Essentially identical to US version, the Japanese release appears to have two variants (as cross-referenced with four specimens I have), being a #5/#3 or #3/#5 combination of wing/fist. The latter has darker blue parts and is probably a 1986 release, where the lighter is probably a 1985 release.

Exhibit 1K. Decepticon Warrior Skywarp


Imprint
Manufacturers stamp© HASBRO 1980,1983.
創作 • 著作物 

© TAKARA CO., LTD. 1980,1983,JAPAN
RubsignRubsignIntake stampD, bold
Other parts stamp#3 wing, #3 fist, #6 neck, #3 rudder, #3 long missiles, #3 short missiles
Features
WingShort blunt, Hollow base, Long pegTailfinHollow tip, Large peg
CanopyRidgedHingeWasher
NoseconeRubberFistDouble tab, Square hollow
Notes: Another example of a standard 1985 rubsign jet, notably this features an upside down, bold 'D' stamped inside the left intake.

Comparisons - Series Two Jets


Thrust, Ramjet and Dirge without exception came in ­® toyboxes as part of the #5785 assortment. All three featured a rubsign. The boxes always state, '© 1985 Hasbro Bradley, Inc.'. A limited production batch features the rubsign misplaced on the diecast intake instead of the plastic body, which was corrected on subsequent batches. It appears they didn't make it in time for inclusion into the 1984 Montgomery Ward Christmas Catalog, but of course with printing lead times, the absence of a thing is not necessarily proof of its absence. Safe to say they were on sale in 1985. Thrust and Dirge were featured in the 1985 Sears Catalog as a Christmas idea (Source). All the series two jets were released again in 1986.


Thrust, Ramjet, Dirge sticker sheets
Top: Error rubsign variant sticker sheet. Decepticon logo has more form fitting cut, like the series one prerubs, but with '®' and item #.
Bottom: Standard sticker sheet. Logo has '®' and item #5781, Decepticon logo has softer cut.

Exhibit 2A. Decepticon Thrust



Imprint
Manufacturers stamp創作 • 著作物 
© TAKARA CO., LTD. 1980,1983,JAPAN
RubsignError, Rubsign misplacedIntake stampA, thin
Other parts stamp#4 wing, #3 neck, #3 rudder, #4 long missiles, #4 short missiles
Features
WingHollow base, Lined stickerTailfinLined sticker
CanopyRidgedHingeWasher
NoseconeRubberFistDouble tab, Small circle hollow
Notes: There was a batch of these jets produced with the rubsign factory applied on the die cast left intake - a region that is designated to receive a sticker from the accompanying sticker sheet. This is as an error in what I assume is an early or first batch - I have a number of these early series two jets, and all the ones with an error rubsign feature a Takara only stamp. The factory applied wing stickers have a thin black line separating the colors. Note the thin 'A' stamped inside the left intake, the same as the transitional rubsign Thundercracker that also featured a Takara only copyright stamp. Features a transitional sticker sheet.

Exhibit 2B. Decepticon Dirge



Imprint
Manufacturers stamp創作 • 著作物 
© TAKARA CO., LTD. 1980,1983,JAPAN
RubsignError, Rubsign misplacedIntake stampB, thin
Other parts stamp#3 wing, #6 fist
Features
WingHollow base, Lined stickerTailfinN/A
CanopyRidgedHingeWasher
NoseconeRubberFistDouble tab, Large circle hollow
Notes: This specimen again has a misplaced rubsign, on a Takara only stamped body. The factory applied wing stickers have a thin black line separating the colors.This time, the intake stamp is a large, thin 'B'.

Exhibit 2C. Decepticon Ramjet



Imprint
Manufacturers stamp創作 • 著作物 
© TAKARA CO., LTD. 1980,1983,JAPAN
RubsignError, Rubsign misplacedIntake stampB, thin
Other parts stamp#1,2 wing, #2 neck, #6 fist
Features
WingHollow baseTailfinNone
CanopyRidgedHingeWasher
NoseconeRubberFistDouble tab, Large circle hollow
Notes: This specimen again has a misplaced rubsign, on a Takara only stamped body. As with the error Dirge, the intake stamp is a large, thin 'B'.

Exhibit 2D. Decepticon Dirge



Imprint
Manufacturers stamp© HASBRO 1980,1983.
創作 • 著作物 
© TAKARA CO., LTD. 1980,1983,JAPAN
RubsignRubsignIntake stampA, bold
Other parts stamp#3,2 wing, #4 neck, #6 fist
Features
WingHollow base, Unlined stickerTailfinN/A
CanopyRidgedHingeWasher
NoseconeRubberFistDouble tab, Large circle hollow
Notes: Features the rubsign placed in the typical position on the top left corner of the plastic fuselage. All jets - Starscream, Thundercracker, Skywarp, Thrust, Dirge and Ramjet - when presented with a rubsign in the typical position, feature a Takara + Hasbro copyright stamping on the left leg. The factory applied wing stickers no longer have a thin black line separating the colors. The stamp in the intake is again 'A', but this time bold, upside down and further to the middle of the intake than when an 'A' appeared on a prerub series one jet. All the Hasbro copyright stamped jets appear to have this newer styled, bold letter stamped on them.

Exhibit 2E. Decepticon Ramjet



Imprint
Manufacturers stamp© HASBRO 1980,1983.
創作 • 著作物 
© TAKARA CO., LTD. 1980,1983,JAPAN
RubsignRubsignIntake stampA, bold
Other parts stamp#3,4 wing, #2 neck, #7,8 fist
Features
WingHollow baseTailfinNone
CanopyRidgedHingeWasher
NoseconeRubberFistDouble tab, Large circle hollow
Notes: Ramjet also has a bold 'A' stamped into the intake, like Dirge.

Exhibit 2F. Decepticon Thrust (Japan)



Imprint
Manufacturers stamp© HASBRO 1980,1983.
創作 • 著作物 
© TAKARA CO., LTD. 1980,1983,JAPAN
RubsignRubsignIntake stampD, bold
Other parts stamp#4,2 wing, #5 neck, #9 fist, #9 long missiles, #9 short missiles
Features
WingHollow base, Unlined stickerTailfinUnlined sticker
CanopyRidgedHingeWasher
NoseconeRubberFistDouble tab, Large circle hollow
Notes: Thrust has an upside down, bold 'D' stamped into the intake, and has fists and missiles stamped as high as '9'. The factory applied wing stickers no longer have a thin black line separating the colors.

Beware the knock-off - Kingdam 06 Vary Robo Series Jetrobo F-15 Eagle

Although there are various off-colour or off-model knock-offs of the F-15 mold, the only fake to attempt to imitate a legitimate version off the toy is the Kingdam 06. Made in Taiwan in the early 80s following the release of the original Diaclone Jetrobo, this counterfeit bears a striking resemblance to the pre-Starscream version of the toy. Some very notable differences include an amber/orange canopy, similar to Thundercracker's in hue, as well as grey rudders and black fists instead of dark blue. The main wings feature KINGDAM6 on the factory applied sticker. All the blue parts are much lighter color than the Diaclone. Overall, the quality is poor. The gray plastic feels inferior, so much so that it is verging on transparent at the thinner parts such as wing edges and missiles. The molding is also inferior, with many depressions and lines on the plastic surface, from sub-standard mold-cutting and injection.