G1: Toys not released in UK

Discussion in 'Transformers Toy Discussion' started by TechnoBot, Dec 20, 2011.

  1. TechnoBot

    TechnoBot Well-Known Member

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    It's well established that many of the G1 toys were never officially released in the UK in the 80s but I have some questions about this.

    * Swoop was apparently not released because of safety concerns and Omega Supreme for licensing issues but what was the reason for many of the other toys not being brought over? Did they see some of the other toys as being too fragile? Hasbro UK seem to have been very selective but it seems odd that they didn't capitalise on TF popularity at the time by releasing as many of the US TFs as possible. Going by this list here about half the toys from 1985 didn't make it to the UK.

    * I remember reading an article by Sven Harvey saying that Hasbro UK didn't make the mistake their US conterparts made by discontinuing the 84/85 cars and replacing them with just Kup, Blurr and Hotrod. Did they perhaps strategise selling the cars rather than the more specialist toys like Perceptor/ Blaster etc ?

    *How similar would the UK case assortments have been to the US ones? Would they have packed more of the other dinobots to compensate for Swoop's omission or some other non- dinobot? Also, toys like Skids and TM Scourge which were shortpacked in the US, am I right to presume this was also the case in the UK?

    *Does anyone have any recollection of the amount of TF stock there was in UK toystores in the 80s? There is a picture here of TFs in a toy aisle of a Zodiac store. Was this typical of the range most big stores would have had at the time? Given this picture must be around the height of their 80s popularity I might have expected a bigger stock.

    *Are there any other major toylines from the 80s or 90s where so many major toys weren't given a UK release? Or any?

    Any thoughts on all this much appreciated.
     
  2. wildfly

    wildfly Right notes. Wrong order.

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    Shortpacking: Every Targetmaster got a release in the U.K. the same year as the U.S, so i'm asusming the case assortments didn't change. I saw Scourge... Twice, Cylconus once, Hot Rod once, Blurr Twice. Kup... yeah he just sat and sat for some reason.

    You may already know this, but *Technically* some of the S1 Autobot cars may have been shortpacked in the U.K as well. Ironhide, Sunstreaker, Trailbreaker and Prowl didn't get a U.K. release til 85, by which time Hasbro INC were, i believe (?) shipping each at only one per case.

    Skids... also apparently shotpacked, but somehow almost always one of the last ones left.

    That Zodiac toys display is about comparible with what i remember, although i didn't have any masive toy shops near me, like TRU etc.



    G.I.Joe/Action Force is the best one i can think of. Generally it ran two years behind the U.S. Some toys were pushed back an extra year on top of that, whilst others were dropped completely in favour of relaunching older toys.
     
  3. Aernaroth

    Aernaroth <b><font color=blue>I voted for Super_Megatron and Veteran

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    There's a ton of toys that saw expanded release in the UK as well, such as the original "Classics" Transformers, the Turbomasters/Predators, and even other lines like Starcom!
     
  4. TechnoBot

    TechnoBot Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for all the info miscreant, I didn't know about the shortpacked S1 cars.

    Did you see all the Targetmaster's on shelves at the same time or in stages? And do you know if "Action Force" was ever shown on UK tv? I know some eps were released on VHS.
     
  5. wildfly

    wildfly Right notes. Wrong order.

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    1) All at the same time. although see what i said previously about Cyclonus etc being scarce.

    2) I don't remember ever seeing it on terrestrial TV. Unaltered G.I.Joe cartoon was on the Super channel though.

    My comments on the availabiliy of S1 cars in 1985: I'm fairly sure all the S1 cars were repacked at 1 per case in 1985, and that Hasbro UK's case assortments wouldn't have been revised to reflect the fact some of those were only available for the first time that year.

    I do recall seeing Sunstreaker...once. Prowl, twice at most.....and Trailbreaker....... was an urban myth.

    Ironhide was common enough. All the S2 cars were easily found with just a little effort.



    Better still, Mattel liquidated the old Starcom stock, in the "U.S Space Force" ,single language packaging, via mail ins. I can't remember the exact cost, but it was something like 2 proofs of purchase plus a minimal S+H charge. I got a free Railgunner, Starwolf, Laser Rat, and Shadow Raider out of that.
     
  6. Autovolt 127

    Autovolt 127 Get In The Titan, Prime!

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    I'm not from The U.K but i know Perceptor was never part of the U.K line up and thus he was a Amazon exclsuive in the U.K when the TRU reissue came out a few years back.
     
  7. Takeshi357

    Takeshi357 "Research"

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    And meanwhile, Overlord happened!
     
  8. IronicHide

    IronicHide MEME GO HERE

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    There was also the occassional incident of a TF not being released in the UK but being released in Europe, then imported here. The Constructicons would be the big example.

    Yes, Action Force was on TV and certainly the VHS compilations of episodes were available, I bought several as a kid.

    Though I definitely had S1 toys - Jazz, Mirage, the three seekers, Prime, Megatron - my memory is of the toys picking up with S2 releases, particularly the combiners, and snowballing with the movie-onward toys. Lots of Terrorcons, Sureshot, Pretenders. I got Cyclonus and Scourge but original releases, not Targetmasters.

    I also seem to remember Omega Supreme being available in Ealing Toy Stack (which was stuffed with TF stuff for about three years) but that may have been another incident of European import.

    Shockwave, Swoop and the deluxe Insecticons were the ones I felt sore about never seeing in shops. And the Unicron my mate at school swore he had seen in the US and his dad was totally going to buy it for him.
     
  9. Taziir

    Taziir Well-Known Member

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    I remember my local TRU having virtually half an aisle dedicated to TF's in the 80's.
     
  10. supermegatronwd

    supermegatronwd Well-Known Member

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    off the top of my head we didnt get omega supreme (strange as we did get omegatron), skylynx, deluxe insections, roadbuster, perceptor. however we did get the original batch till the early 90's(original, chinese reissue, gold classics), then the euro exclusives aswel.
     
  11. supermegatronwd

    supermegatronwd Well-Known Member

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    ohh also autobot/decepticon clones, punch/counter punch
     
  12. TigerBlade

    TigerBlade Prepare for extermination

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    IIRC Devastator and Fortress Maximus never made it to the UK, I was living in Denmark at the time as a Forces kid and I remember one of my American friends getting Devastator and being well jealous! My parents got my Fort Max at the time via a Sears catalogue as they couldn't get it in the UK. I was later told they were gonna order Trypticon from the same place but I had started growing out of the toys by then....so there is another...

    Shockwave is another sticking in my mind....not sure on that one tho.
     
  13. wildfly

    wildfly Right notes. Wrong order.

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    1) Aside from the Mexican verison and the G1.5 version with no combiner parts, Woolworths apparently had the Constructions around 1989...in English language packaging. (?) I'm not sure if these were U.S. left overs, or Chinese market toys originally.

    2) Hamley's allegedly sourced them from somewhere. Hasbro UK also ran a color in competition in some Toymaster stores. I'm GUESSING that Hasbro thought about a wide release in the UK and then backpedaled after acquiring a certain amount of them, dumping the leftovers afterwards (1989)

    3) Not officially....... but i've seen people claim..... Beatties(?) stocked it.

    4) Aside from people who may have their memories confused with sighting Astro Magnum.......it's not impossible small quantities turned up from somewhere... Shockwave was available in mainland Europe, as were Sky Lynx and Trypticon...and i've seen enough people claim
    to have seen them to not discount the possibility completely. This would also indicate Shockwave was not entirely out of the question (?)

    I've seen people claim they saw Blaster, and Swoop, in U.K shops, so whist some degree of scepticism is necessary, small amounts of any of those toys wouldn't surprise me particularly, Transformers being as popular as they were at the time.
     
  14. dsn1014

    dsn1014 41:75:74:6f:62:6f:74

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    About the Constructicons, I happened upon Long Haul and Scavenger in a Toymaster in Portlaoise of all places about 13-14 years ago or so(easily more), after the G1.5 release. I expect they were there since long before that as I came upon them in a dark dusty corner in the shop, had a Classics Onslaught there too and some other gems. Kinda place that if an item falls down and gets kicked under the shelves it's not coming out for a long time. How they got there I don't know. Sadly I don't have them anymore, traded away, or else I'd check the backing cards. If memory serves there was a small sticker with a language I didn't recognise on the front of the card.

    For all that we missed out on, I love my Rescue Force and Overlord. But still hurting over Shockwave and Blaster.
     
  15. OptimusTimelord

    OptimusTimelord Masterpiece Reanimator

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    I'm sure there were one-offs and oddments in specialist shops here and there, but I personally never saw any of the non-UK release TFs on shelves at the time. There were KOs around, such as the grey Shockwave and Perceptor, the deluxe Insecticons (TRU had a box set of them), and scaled-down Whirl, Roadbuster and Jetfire (got those from Beatties - never saw Trypticon in any of their branches).

    I remember reading in the UK Marvel comic letters page that the UK toy market wasn't big enough to support the full range being brought over, so they had to leave out a certain amount. It was a shame they decided not to bother with Devastator/Shockwave/Blaster etc rather than, say, the Jumpstarters :rolleyes: 
     
  16. Rodentus prime

    Rodentus prime Well-Known Member

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    I saw the Constucticons in Beaties just before the other combiner teams came out, so they were around.
     
  17. Magnus' Mate

    Magnus' Mate Well-Known Member

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    This is inaccurate. The primary reason why many of the toys were not brought over was Hasbro believed the UK toy-buying market could not support so much variety - in other words, there weren't enough kids (and generous parents) to buy all those high-priced toys like Fort Max! Certain years - esp. 1986 - had a MASSIVE glut of stock and so only certain items were released in the UK. It was not to do with licensing or safety concerns.

    Another important distinction (as others have already hinted at) - OFFICIAL HASBRO UK (i.e. the product promoted in the catalogues that came with figures) releases are one thing, and then certain shops - including independents like Beatties - sometimes sourced other figures but not through Hasbro UK - they were (usually) still official Hasbro figures, but not part of the Hasbro UK range.

    To whit, the following are among those not released through Hasbro UK. This is off the top of my head (I researched the subject several years ago) so I may have omitted a few:
    Swoop, Blaster, Perceptor, Constructicons, Shockwave, Deluxe Insecticons, Deluxe Autobots, Sky Lynx, Predacons, Trypticon, Gnaw, Autobot and Decepticon Clones, Fortress Maximus, 3x of the 1988 Autobot Pretenders, 3x of the Decepticon Pretenders

    Some of these were imported through other means though, and Marvel UK even offered Trypticon in a competition for readers.
     
  18. Tripredacus

    Tripredacus K-Mart-ian Legend

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    Shockwave was made for European markets as it definately was used as a prize item.

    In fact, Roadbuster and Whirl, Deluxe Insecticons, Constructicons Shockwave and others were released in 1985.
    20th Century Toy Collector ยป MB Transformers Collection

    One thing to remember about European G1s is that each country ended up with different things. For example, Portugal got the goldback Classic G1 reissues that were released in the UK but with a sticker on the back. Italy had Gig, France released Joustra Diaclones repackaged into TF boxes, and the Milton Bradley releases showed up in various locations as well. It was entirely possible for some toys to not be available in one country (or even part of a country) and available elsewhere. If this topic is about a specific country (like England) rather than all of Europe, then you have a point.
     
  19. supermegatronwd

    supermegatronwd Well-Known Member

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    i still think whirl, deluxe insecticons, roadbuster, were not released in the uk. 1. i cant remember seeing them in any toy shops. 2.compared to the rest of transformers that on sale they are the ones that cost a fortune for uk collectors.
     
  20. Irish Carnage

    Irish Carnage Instrument of Destruction

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    The constructicons were definitely released because i had them all one point. I'm quite certain i got two of them in a toymaster, scrapper and mixmaster. I remember seeing sunstreaker, sludge, slag and grimlock in the same toymaster. I do remember a small shop in dublin that used to sell macross toys having megatron, the autobot and decepticon clones which i got. Anyone from dublin might remember the name of the shop, it was on jervis street.
    There was a little family shop in my town that had all the stunticons and aerialbots in the gold classics packaging. I vaguely remember seeing some headmasters too, i was only 3 or 4 at the time. I do remember chromedome being the shelfwarmer in my area.
     

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