What was distribution like back in the day?

Discussion in 'Transformers General Discussion' started by jourdo, Aug 12, 2006.

  1. jourdo

    jourdo TFW2005 Supporter

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    Sadly omega knight's thread got me thinking back to the height of the G1 days. Does anyone remember/know what the distribution like back then? Granted I did not have the disposable income back then (seeing as I was a young lad) as I do now, but I do not remember any particular figures being that hard to find. Please correct me if I am mistaken here... Anyone have memories of back then?
     
  2. Pravus Prime

    Pravus Prime Sorcerer

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    Well, as I recall, it took some driving for my parents to find Soundwave. And two different TRU's to get all of Menasor.

    Other than that, it seemed pretty solid, as I remember.
     
  3. mx-01 archon

    mx-01 archon Well-Known Member

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    From what I gather, releases back in the 80's weren't as segmented as they are now. They weren't hard-locked into size classes divided into smaller waves. Rather, they were released more or less all at once, in larger series. Not so much waiting for particular figures to show up.

    If you've seen the old catalogues, they're divided by year, not by wave or multiple waves.
     
  4. Razerwire

    Razerwire 99 Problems... Super Mod

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    I remember when I was a kid going to the KB store in the mall, they had one aisle completely devoted to TFs and GI Joe and there was PLENTY of whatever you wanted... If only it were like that today...:( 
     
  5. godsenddeath

    godsenddeath . TFW2005 Supporter

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    Can't speak for America.......

    but in Ireland it was pretty bad.

    I saw Frenzy/Laserbeak and Ravage/Rumble ... once.

    Sunstreaker also once.

    Trailbreaker and Sideswipe i never saw at all... and i wanted Sideswipe BADLY

    Prowl was almost a Myth.


    Most toyshops here had a selection from Hoist, Ratchet, Ironhide, Grapple, Inferno, Tracks, Smokecreen and Bluestreak or Skids.

    Yep, Skids, the most difficult-to-find MISB Autobot car was common as dirt here, back in the day, they couldn't move it at all.

    Octane, I saw maybe... twice.

    If you were looking for any small Combaticons or Protectobots other than Swindle , Stretwise or First Aid your Bruticus or Defensor was likely to remain incomplete.

    Even as late as '88 it was pretty poor - I saw both Getaway and TM Hot Rod once.
    Quickswitch was also scarce. (Sixshot was never releaed by Hasbro UK)
     
  6. Nevermore

    Nevermore It's self-perpetuating a parahumanoidarianised!

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  7. fschuler

    fschuler Member TFW2005 Supporter

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    I never got to go to many stores as a kid during G1, maybe a few times per year. I do recall, however, going to Johnny's Toys (a local Cincinnati toy chain) on my 9th birthday in 1985 and seeing a virtual wall of TFs. If memory serves, they had at least 8 feet of shelf space from top to bottom dedicated to them. I remember seeing Prime near the top with a $27 price tag on him and a look from my Dad that said "don't even think about it". Do any of you old hunters have better recollection of what the shelves looked like back then? Better yet, anybody have any in store pictures? That would be very cool.
     
  8. Draven

    Draven Banned

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    I can remember walking into Zodiac Toys in Luton, and seeing all members of all Bruticus, Defensor, Superion and Menasor. I can also remember seeing a LOT of TFs in Woolworths (along with the pretender Vehicles) and even Tesco.
    Compare that with now; if the TRU or Entertainer near you (assuming there IS one near you) in the UK doesn't have anything, it's buying online for you.
    The case assortments on the Hartmans' site are US ones only; the UK didn't get all of G1 by ANY stretch. Looking through their lists, I don't remember ever seeing any of the following:

    Trypticon, Fort Max, Constructicons, Repugnus, Doublecross, Ratbat, the Clones, Bugly, Finback, Splashdown, SkyHigh, Groundbreaker. Predaking, Blaster & his cassettes, Swoop, Deluxe Insecticons, Whirl, Roadbuster, Gnaw, Sky Lynx, Omega Supreme, Punch/Counterpunch, Sixshot, Monstructor, Vroom, Crossblades, Raindance, grandslam, Squawktalk, Beastbox, Slugfest, Overkill.
    I am sure Nevermore can add to this list.

    But you could actually FIND what we DID get.
    Oh, and we got Overlord. :) 
     
  9. Swoop

    Swoop Well-Known Member

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    I remember my local Tescos had a load of G1 toys (Ravage/Rumble, Bumblebee, and Grapple, among others), and later on the G1 Classics.
    John Lewis Kingston also had a large stock, inc the Dinobots (minus Swoop, of course), and I remember seeing what seemed like an entire wall of Ultra Magnuses in John Lewis Oxford St.
     
  10. Orodruin

    Orodruin @deathformer TFW2005 Supporter

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    I wish I could remember.
     
  11. Nevermore

    Nevermore It's self-perpetuating a parahumanoidarianised!

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    This reminds me of something I'm wondering about right now: Who was in charge of the UK releases back in the day?

    The "MB" Transformers were apparently a Germany/France/Belgium/Netherlands only deal.

    http://www.tf-1.com/articles/eurous_frame.php?art=mb
    http://us.geocities.com/futuristgroup/veurolist.html

    Which packaging did you get your toys in? Hasbro US?
     
  12. Draven

    Draven Banned

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    Well, my G1 Onslaught's box looks American to me; no references to the UK at all, and monolingual. Jetfire is exactly the same. They're the only 2 boxed G1 figures that I bought back in the day that I can get to at the moment.
    the first packaging I can remember seeing in stores with more than one language on it, BTW, is Beast Wars.
     
  13. McBradders

    McBradders James Franco Club! Moderator

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    One language boxes, unless they were imported directly from Europe as some chains were incined to do back then. Distribuition was great too. Anything that *was* out in the UK, you could pretty much find locally, but they were so damned popular they just flew off the shelves.

    I can remember the intense hunt for Grimlock, finding him, being exactly £1 short and being given it by my Mum to get it.

    Best. Hunt. Ever.

    Same with He-Man and Star Wars too. You could actually hunt for shit and usually find it eventually. Nowadays it's hard enough to find a shop that stocks toys, let along stocks toys you might be interested in.
     
  14. KidDynamite

    KidDynamite don't know nothing Veteran

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    I recall some toys being extraordinarily difficult to find, especially the 1984/1985 ones when Transformers was a full fledged cultural phenomenon. I think it was less about bad distribution and case assortments and more about the fact that EVERYBODY wanted the coolest toys and some of them sold out as soon as they were put on the shelf. Some of the early stuff (Sunstreaker, Thundercracker, Skywarp) I NEVER saw in a store a single time and got from Hasbro's mail order promotions later. Some I only ever saw once (Soundwave, Hound, Sideswipe) and was fortunate enough to have some spending money or a generous relative with me that day. Later on, like 1986 on, I don't remember ever having a problem finding anything. I'd flip through the catalog at home to figure out what I wanted, go to the toy store, and pick it up.
     
  15. Emperor Bruticus IV

    Emperor Bruticus IV Destron

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    Yeh Draven we did have the constucticons! i remember seeing them in Harrods when i was about 4. and I had some of blasters tapes, dont ever rember seeing a blaster though.. I was real young when transformers where about so its hard to remember. I think the UK was pretty good back in the day.. i rember i had all of the dinobots except swoop...Im not sure if we ever got Abominus either..
    Anyhooo I rember in them days TOYS "R" US was the ONE!!!! i would always run with my mum to "The Isle" it was like 50meters long and 3 meters high and like a 3rd of it was Rammed full of Transformers.. tons of purple boxes and tons of red ones. and then to the side you would have the smaller carded ones. The main transformer that i wanted and never got was SOUNDWAVE!!! he was like a myth - i never ever saw one..i thought for some strange reason he would look like the cartoon incarnation which is why they need to make a MP of him. Also woolworths had alot of sparkbots and pretenders and stuff like that.
    I dont know if any of you guys remember but Hamleys had 1 "GIANT" transformer!! it was bigger than FortMax and its head looked like Snapdragons head master with purple spikey legs, but the head when transformed looked like Bruticus's head. I sooooo wanted to play with it, but two older boys already beat me to it, and they didnt wana share. I dunno what transformer it was, but I think it was unique..perhaps a hasbro Exclusive?? i dunnno

    for you American guys, Hamleys is Europe's Biggest and best toy store, where they have one of every good toy out fo the box for you to play with.
     
  16. godsenddeath

    godsenddeath . TFW2005 Supporter

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    Were they Hasbro UK Constructicons or the imfamous Iga ones from Mexico?
    IIRC, the Autobot tapes that were distributed in the UK had the transparent
    (some would say transparent in more ways then one) Chinese sticker in the top right corner.



    Some Hasbro USA stock did make it over to the UK and Ireland. In '85, i got Hound for Xmas, and it had the *American* 1985 catalogue in it, a friend who got Jetfire also got the same catalogue.

    IIRC for the first year or so of Transformers, Hasbro U.K. didn't exist yet as such and U.K. marketing/distribution of TFs was handled by Hasbro U.S.
     
  17. Dragonclaw

    Dragonclaw Comic Ink - Dublin, CA

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    Distribution was totally different back in the old days. For one thing there wasn't just the standard size classes that everything got shoehorned into....subgroups were userate assortments (Constructicons, Aerialbots w Stunticons, Motormaster & Silverbolt, Autobot cars, Megatron, Optimus....) on their own and could be orderred by the retailers seperately
     
  18. Emperor Bruticus IV

    Emperor Bruticus IV Destron

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    I think they where the American constructicons, Hard for me to remember. I remember purple nose Skywarp. And i dont think my cassett bots had any chinese stickers!, mybe originally, i dont know as i swapped i think dragstrip for Ramhorn and eject. I think we should try and find out who that super transformer i mentioned is... It must have been a one of or super rich kid Hamleys exclusive
     
  19. adamthered

    adamthered Reads comics. Starts shit

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    I recall the day I got Thundercracker at the Cedar Rapids TRU. It seemed like half of one side of the aisles (back when they had actual aisles) was completey Transformers. And the shelves were packed full. This was just before Thanksgiving so they had plenty of stuff. After that, I don't remember TFs being that plentiful. They were still easier to find than they seem to be today, but the fever had hit.
     
  20. Megatronwp38

    Megatronwp38 Megatron? Is that you!?!?

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    i remember a wall of transformers in toys rus and kiddy city, heck even good old K B Toys had an actual selection back in the day. The only ones I remember being difficult to find were the 1st year figures until they re-released them with all the 85 figures. I remember fort max warming kiddie city's shelves for a few years.
     

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