Whatever happened to Toy X?

Discussion in 'Transformers General Discussion' started by Nevermore, Apr 3, 2006.

  1. Nevermore

    Nevermore It's self-perpetuating a parahumanoidarianised!

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    There's been lots of speculation about what happened to this and that toy. This thread is intended to give you an overview on what happened to them, or what to expect.

    The first Cybertron entry has now been added. Galaxy Force is listed in the "Takara" section in part 7.
     
  2. Nevermore

    Nevermore It's self-perpetuating a parahumanoidarianised!

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    Part 1: COMMEMORATIVE SERIES

    Well... Hasbro didn't actually start picking up the reissue line again. Rather, they'll just use the Classics line (which isn't actually officially called "Classics" as a line per se) to release a single new reissue. Other than that, it's still not looking good.

    --

    Soundwave (with Laserbeak and Ravage):

    Currently out in Hong Kong and Singapore and in stock at US-based online retailers such as Big Bad Toy Store, including eBay sellers.
    http://www.bigbadtoystore.com/bbts/product.aspx?product=HAS12882&mode=retail

    Oddly enough, he's NOT available from Toys'R'Us yet, even though he's supposed to be a TRU exclusive.

    --

    Sunstreaker:

    The last use of the mold was Hasbro's "Classic Heroes" line from 1990, which was exclusively available in Europe.
    http://www.geocities.com/futuristgroup/veurolist.html

    An entry for a Hasbro reissue was found in Canadian TRU computers in December 2003, with the SKU # being 53465.
    http://tformers.com/article.php?sid=2298

    Another entry was also found in Australian TRU computers in June 2004, with the SKU # being 580899.
    http://www.theyareamongus.com/news/2004/06/tru-sku-numbers-for-upcoming-reissues.htm

    However, if we take a look at the SKU # for Commemorative Series IX Ricochet from the Canadian TRU website, we will find it's... 53465.
    http://web.archive.org/web/20041010075825/http://www.toysrus.ca/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?storeId=10051&catalogId=10051&langId=-1&productId=18453

    And likewise, the SKU for reissue Ricochet at Australian TRUs is also 580899.
    http://www.theyareamongus.com/news/2004/09/hasbro-reissue-ricochet-now-available.htm

    Additionally, the Canadian Toys'R'Us website even illustrated their product page (with the toy already being called "Ricochet") with photos of G1 Sunstreaker (taken from Greg Gaub's site, as indicated by the watermark) in September 2004 before replacing them with the official Hasbro stock photos of Ricochet.
    http://tfarchive.com/community/showthread.php?s=&threadid=26323

    So does this mean Sunstreaker was actually intended to be reissued at one point, but then got dropped in favor of Ricochet, or did Hasbro simply use "Sunstreaker" as a placeholder name for the American version of Stepper before they decided upon the final name "Ricochet"?

    --

    Ramjet, Trailbreaker, Thrust and Ironhide:

    The last use of all four toys was Takara's "Collector's Edition 2001" reissue, with Ramjet and Thrust being available together as a set, Trailbreaker being available as a set with Hoist, and Ironhide being available as a set with Ratchet.
    http://transformers.iespana.es/transformers/tfcollectors.html

    In June 2004, entries for Hasbro reissues of Ramjet and Trailbreaker were found in Canadian TRU computers.
    http://web.archive.org/web/20040619032359/http://ae2.iaconhub.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=246

    Also in June 2004, entries for Ramjet, Trailbreaker, Thrust and Ironhide were found in Australian TRU.
    http://www.theyareamongus.com/news/2004/06/tru-sku-numbers-for-upcoming-reissues.htm

    Then, in October 2004, a prototype of Ramjet surfaced in China.
    http://photobucket.com/albums/d75/binalternator/unreleased/reissue_ramjet/

    Of course, that prototype was just a Starscream torso with Ramjet wings, but then, we saw several early test shots of remolds of previous releases using production parts of the last uses of those molds with the remolded parts in noticably different colors. Plus, P.Prime brought us a loose prototype of Astrotrain around the same time, and we know what became of that eventually.

    In February 2005, we got confirmation that both Ramjet an Trailbreaker were now being listed as "discontinued" in Canadian TRU computers.
    http://www.tfans.com/talk/index.php?showtopic=18526&view=findpost&p=336269

    In April 2005, Hasbro reissues were finally confirmed as having been cancelled/put on hiatus, due to TRU having backed out of the deal.
    http://forums.transfandom.com/invboard/index.php?showtopic=27267

    If I were to guess, Ramjet and Trailbreaker would have been released as Commemorative Series X, and Thrust and Ironhide as Commemorative Series XI. With Ramjet even having made it as far as an early test shot stage, and both him and Trailbreaker being listed in both Canadian and Australian TRU computers, it's safe to say those two were scheduled to be release before Thrust and Ironhide, who were only found listed in Australian TRU computers.

    Oh, here's another one. According to this rumor (?), Series IX was originally supposed to be Sunstreaker (placeholder name for Ricochet?) and Ramjet (prototype seen), whereas Series X was supposed to be Hound (misnamed Trailbreaker?) and Thrust. Slightly off the mark, but not enough to be regarded as "total bulljive".
    http://tfarchive.com/community/showthread.php?s=&threadid=25776

    One last thing to consider here: We got a remold of Alternators Hound that was designed to be Trailbreaker, then ended up in yellow as the Decepticon Swindle; a straight repaint of Swindle in orange named "Rollbar"; a Universe repaint of RiD X-Brawn that was apparently intended to be Trailbreaker, but eventually ended up with a different color scheme and the name "Autobot Ratchet" instead; a Universe repaint of RiD Spychanger Ironhide with a G1 Trailbreaker deco but named "Ironhide"; and a Cybertron toy that was designed to be a new version of Trailbreaker, but ended up with a different-looking head and the name "Overhaul". Chances are that Hasbro currently can't use the name "Trailbreaker", although that doesn't explain why three out of these four attempts to release a Trailbreaker homage ended up with drastically different decos, and one of them even with a different head sculpt than initially intended.

    A fe months ago, Hasbro's revamped Transformers website featured an updated checklist that included entries for lots of unreleased toys, most of which have been removed again since.
    http://www.hasbro.com/transformers/default.cfm?page=Collectors/Checklist

    Among those unreleased toys were:
    (Stepper = Ricochet)

    So, all of them but Thrust are retroactively confirmed by Hasbro themselves.

    --

    Hasbro reissue of Artfire?

    After Takara reissuing Stepper and Hasbro following suit with their "Ricochet" version, could his fellow Targetmaster be far behind?

    There was a rumor of Artfire being listed in TRU computers in December 2004, but that rumor eventually turned out to be false.
    http://209.85.129.104/search?q=cache:y5v8y1KQugEJ:www.tfw2005.com/transformers/showthread.php%3Ft%3D62612

    However, at BotCon 2005, Hasbro confirmed that Artfire was on their "short list" should reissues ever pick up again.
    http://www.physics.ohio-state.edu/~sstoneb/tf/tidbits/botcon2005.txt

    --

    The rest of the G1 Autobot cars (Ratchet, Wheeljack and Mirage):

    No rumors for any of them.

    Ratchet was last released by Takara as part of their "Collector's Edition 2001" reissue series.
    http://transformers.iespana.es/transformers/tfcollectors.html

    Wheeljack was last released by Hasbro as part of their "Classic Heroes" line from 1990, which was exclusively available in Europe.
    http://www.geocities.com/futuristgroup/veurolist.html

    Mirage ("Ligier" in Japan) was last released by Takara as part of the "Good Bye Convoy" giftset, which was available in 1986.
    http://www.geocities.com/tfstepper/GOODBYECONVOY.html

    According to the "Hasbro & Takara working together" panel from BotCon 2005, the Wheeljack and Mirage molds are lost.
    http://www.physics.ohio-state.edu/~sstoneb/tf/tidbits/botcon2005.txt

    The exact wording to describe their state was apparently "long-since depleted", which would imply that the molds are indeed damaged beyond repair, rather than just having "disappeared" without a trace.
     
  3. Nevermore

    Nevermore It's self-perpetuating a parahumanoidarianised!

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    Part 2: RID, ARMADA & ENERGON

    More mysteries surface as my researches go on...

    --

    "G1" homage Spychangers:

    In December 2002, Previews listed five upcoming Spychangers, due out in April 2003. Names listed were Wheeljack, Sideswipe, Trailbreaker, Prowl and Mirage.
    http://www.transfandom.com/main/archive2002/news.php?id=982

    In January 2003, those listings were confirmed again, with a second wave consisting of Breakdown, Drag Strip, Motormaster, Dead End, and "Wildracer" being solicited that was supposed to come out in August 2003.
    http://www.tformers.com/article.php?sid=936

    In April 2003, Previews then confirmed the "Stunticons", due out in July 2003.
    http://www.tformers.com/article.php?sid=1276

    In February 2004, Hasbro finally confirmed that the "Stunticons" were not in their plans.
    http://www.hasbro.com/transformers/default.cfm?page=news&newsid=CFE670CA-D56F-E112-4E00352C539C1A2E

    It's possible that the Autobots listed ended up as the "G1" Spychangers (well, Prowl and Wheeljack, at least; "Sideswipe" might have been the original plan for Silverstreak), and "Trailbreaker" was released as Universe "Ironhide" in a Wal*Mart exclusive two-pack with Spychanger Ultra Magnus. Apparently, Hasbro lost the "Trailbreaker" trademark, as explained in other segments of this thread.
    As for the Stunticons, we never heard of them again.

    --

    Adventure Team and Space Team repaints:

    Were seen in packaging in early 2004.
    http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d75/binalternator/unreleased/mini-con_repaints/adventure_space_team_repaints_01.jpg

    My good friend Remy confirmed the product code and assortment numbers to me: 28627/28625 Asst. for the Adventure Team, and 28626/28625 Asst. for the Space Team. That means they were planned as store exclusives (a "2" at the beginning always means "store exclusive").

    Remy also told me that he got the toys long before he put the galleries up.

    So here's the Adventure Team repaints:
    http://tfkenkon.com/collection/act232/

    And the Space Team repaints:
    http://tfkenkon.com/collection/act281/

    In March 2004, they were confirmed cancelled (link no longer working)

    So yes, cancelled, but they went as far as having in-packaging samples produced.

    --

    Street Speed Team repaints:

    Duh. Somehow, they popped up in the official Hasbro stock photos TFW2005 pulled from various sources (mirrored because the TFW gallery is no longer online).
    http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d75/binalternator/unreleased/mini-con_repaints/street_speed_team_repaints_01.jpg
    http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d75/binalternator/unreleased/mini-con_repaints/street_speed_team_repaints_02.jpg

    One possible reason for Hasbro not releasing them:

    Takara had their own repaints of the Street Speed Team (called the "Overdrive Edition") which were available both as giveaways for turning in a Takara survey at the 17th Next Generation World Hobby Fair and as giveaways for purchasing Micron Densetsu toys at Ito Yokado stores.
    http://snakas.web.infoseek.co.jp/armada/speed_overd.htm

    Note how the color schemes are the same as for those unreleased Hasbro repaints, only swapped between the inidividual Mini-Cons. Rumor has it that Takara won't allow Hasbro to release any repaints that resemble their own limited exclusives too much, although that theory is heavily debated, so take it with a grain of salt. See also the OTHER unreleased repaints of the Street Speed Team below.

    --

    Red Powerlinx Thrust:

    Depicted on the packaging of US Powerlinx Thrust (including the bio card artwork), but the actual toy sported a different, more gold-ish color scheme.

    Curiously enough, the red version of Powerlinx Thrust was released as a "USA Edition" in Japan.
    http://www.bwtf.com/armada/toys/reviews/redthrust/

    "USA Edition" means that this was simply the Hasbro toy on a Hasbro card (albeit with a Takara-style bubble) with an additional Japanese sticker slapped onto the card, exclusively available from the Toy's Dream Project's members store Toycard in December 2003 (the regular version of Hasbro Powerlinx Thrust in the standard US gold colors had previously also been available as a "USA Edition", this time from Laox stores).

    In their February 2, 2004 Q&A, Hasbro addressed the "Red Powerlinx Thrust" issue:
    http://www.hasbro.com/transformers/default.cfm?page=news&newsid=CFE6708B-D56F-E112-46B6865D4470EE87

    To this day, red Powerlinx Thrust has never surfaced in US stores. However, he did pop up in Israel, of all places, in June 2004.
    http://hydepark.hevre.co.il/topic.asp?topic_id=983788

    Note that the packaging is the standard hexalingual (= six languages) European packaging. That's because Israel used to get their toys via the European Hasbro branch.

    Additionally, reliable sources confirmed that the European version was also released in (parts of) Italy and Spain.

    We also had a confirmation of the toy's availability in Portugal (link no longer working).

    Then in July 2005, a loose red Powerlinx Thrust surfaced on eBay again, offered by a seller that regularly sells loose pre-release items (either unpackaged dealer samples or near-final test shots).

    In September 2005, the European (!) version also popped up in Australia (!), strangely enough.
    http://www.allspark.com/forumarchives/index.php?showtopic=83109&view=findpost&p=1626425

    Finally, in March 2006, red Powerlinx Thrust also popped up in the UK, again in European packaging... and the journey continues.
    http://www.tfw2005.com/boards/showthread.php?t=106189

    --

    Clocker, Brakedown & Override (Street Speed Mini-Con redecos from Energon Ultra Magnus):

    Originally, Energon Ultra Magnus was supposed to come with different Mini-Cons. The front side of the packaging claims he comes with the "Street Speed Mini-Con Team".
    http://www.cobraislandtoys.com/tf/2004/ultramagnus-energon.html

    Additionally, the back of the packaging depicts the three Street Speed Mini-Cons, identified by name as "Clocker" (Spiral), "Brakedown" (Oval) and "Override" (Backtrack).
    http://www.bwtf.com/energon/toys/ultramagnus/streetspeed.jpg

    The colors shown are the standard Armada Street Speet Team colors; but then, the back of the box also depicts Armada Overload, not the Energon Ultra Magnus repaint.

    In fact, advance packaging sample versions of Ultra Magnus that surfaced before the toy officially came out still included the Street Speed Team redecos.
    http://www.cosmicrust.com/news/2003_08_01_index.php#106157889658916558
    http://www.tfans.com/talk/index.php?showtopic=18913

    However, the Mini-Cons that actually come with Energon Ultra Magnus are, of course, redecos of the Space Team, consisting of Astroscope, Payload and Sky Blast (which even retain their Armada names).

    On top of that, the European version (which was apparently produced in much larger quantities than the American version) correctly lists the "Space Mini-Con Team" on the front of the packaging, and the back of the packaging even depicts the Space Team instead of the Street Speed Team (even though both the Space Team and Ultra Magnus/"Overload" still sport their Armada color schemes).
    http://www.seibertron.com/toys/gallery.php?id=363&size=0&start=0

    Energon Ultra Magnus was also released in Japan, as a "USA Edition" exclusively available from Toy's Dream Project.
    http://megatronofcybertron2.homestead.com/energonultramagnus.html

    "USA Edition" usually means that the toy actually is identical to the Hasbro toy and even comes in a Hasbro box, with an additional "Toy's Dream Project" sticker slapped onto the box identifying it as a "USA Edition". However, in this case, the section on the back of the packaging which would have depicted the Street Speed Team has been covered with a black & white sticker that depicts the Space Team instead.

    So to sum it up, we have:

    1) US sample packaging version, depicting Street Speed Team and including Street Speed Team.
    2) US official release version, depicting Street Speed Team but including Space Team.
    3) Japanese "USA Edition" version, including Space Team and with a sticker depicting the Space Team slapped over the photos of the Street Speed Team.
    4) European version, including Space Team and depicting Space Team.

    So what happened?

    First of all, let's have a look at the colors of the unreleased Street Speed redecos:
    http://www.cosmicrust.com/toys/energon/ultramagnus.php

    Looking familiar? Those are almost the same colors also used for the Super Stunt Team, the Street Speed Team redecos that were exclusively available with the Japanese Micron Densetsu vol. 1 DVD.
    http://snakas.web.infoseek.co.jp/armada/dvd1.htm

    The only difference is that the color schemes are "rotated", in other words: Clocker (unreleased Spiral redeco) sports a similar color scheme to Flat-Out (Japanese DVD Oval redeco), Brakedown (unreleased Oval redeco) sports a similar color scheme to Redline (Japanese DVD Backtrack redeco), and Override (unreleased Backtrack redeco) sports a similar color scheme to Servo (Japanese DVD Spiral redeco).

    Therefore, the prevalent theory among fans currently is that Takara complained to Hasbro about the strong similarities between the proposed color schemes of the Street Speed Team redecos that would have come with Ultra Magnus and their own "Super Stunt Team" redecos, especially since they were also planning to release Hasbro's Ultra Magnus toy as a "USA Edition" in Japan, and thus Hasbro decided to scrap the Street Speed Team at the last minute and decided to include redecos of the Space Team instead. Of course, as noted above with the OTHER unreleased repaints of the Street Speed Team, that theory is heavily debated among fans, so better don't take it for face value.

    Either way, the decision must have come pretty late in the development process, considering in-packaging sample versions including the Street Speed Team had already popped up, and there was no time to fix the packaging for the US release of Ultra Magnus including the Space Team redecos. Takara solved the problem by slapping a sticker over the photos of the Street Speed Team, whereas Hasbro were able to change the packaging in time for the European version of Ultra Magnus to depicted the correct Mini-Cons (but not the correct colors).

    On a sidenote, Hasbro found use for the names of all three of the unreleased Mini-Cons in Cybertron: "Clocker" became the Western name of Galaxy Force Skids, "Brakedown" is Clocker's old mentor, better known as Autolander in Galaxy Force, and "Override" is the crossgender name of Galaxy Force Nitro Convoy.

    --

    Skywarp Interceptor:

    Found listed in Wal*Mart computers in June 2004.
    http://web.archive.org/web/20050207102432/http://www.tfw2005.com/boards/thread48389.html

    The product code number is 80967, which is actually the same as for the "Energon Starscream" repaint.
    http://tfarchive.com/toys/checklists/energon_superlink.php#enerdeluxe

    Additionally, the UPC number is identical as well.
    http://www.cosmicrust.com/news/2005_02_01_index.php#110887037806041163

    Mystery no more.

    --

    Optimus Prime with Mini Optimus Prime and Megatron & Soundwave:

    In May 2004, test shots of repaints of Energon Optimus Prime and Megatron surfaced in China (Optimus was instantly nicknamed "Santa Prime" by fans), as did what appeared to be a Hasbro version of WSTF Optimus Prime.

    Optimus:
    http://s33.photobucket.com/albums/d75/binalternator/unreleased/optimus_prime_mini_optimus_prime/
    http://www.pbasehk.com/AMONtheBrave/POWERLINK_GRAND_CONVOY

    Megatron:
    http://photobucket.com/albums/d75/binalternator/unreleased/energon_megatron_repaint/
    http://www.pbasehk.com/AMONtheBrave/BLACK_GALVTRON
    http://tfkenkon.com/g/?mode=album&album=transfan2%2F%2FEnergon+Megatron+2

    At OTFCC 2004, Hasbro considered releasing WSTF Optimus and Soundwave as part of the "Universe" line.
    http://tfarchive.com/community/showthread.php?s=&threadid=25273

    At San Diego Comic-Con 2005, Hasbro confirmed that they had no plans for WSTFs.
    http://forums.transfandom.com/invboard/index.php?showtopic=30045&st=40&#entry282100

    Which was confirmed again at BotCon later that year. The reason given was safety issues.
    http://www.physics.ohio-state.edu/~sstoneb/tf/tidbits/botcon2005.txt

    In July 2005, we heard that Dan Khanna had confirmed at Cybercon that he had done artwork for the Energon Prime and Megatron repaints.
    http://www.allspark.com/forumarchives/index.php?s=&showtopic=66214&view=findpost&p=1536873

    Now... why am I listing the Energon leader repaints and the Hasbro WSTFs together?

    In a surprising twist of events, Hasbro's revamped Transformers website contains an updated checklist that includes entries for lots of unreleased toys.
    http://www.hasbro.com/transformers/default.cfm?page=Collectors/Checklist

    That confirms that the Energon Optimus Prime repaint would have been packaged together with WSTF Optimus Prime, and the Energon Megatron repaint would have been packaged together with WSTF Soundwave.

    --

    Energon Built to Rule Inferno, Skyblast, Starscream, Ironhide, Scorponok and Optimus Prime:

    It's been confirmed by various reliable soures that the Energon BTR line has been officially cancelled by Hasbro. A small number of toys was released to a test market in Cincinatti, Ohio in October/November 2004 and popped up on eBay a few months later, and at Tuesday Morning stores together with overstock of the Commemorative Series reissues several few months after that.
     
  4. Nevermore

    Nevermore It's self-perpetuating a parahumanoidarianised!

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    Part 3: UNIVERSE, CYBERTRON & CLASSICS

    Universe was probably the line with the most changes, cancellations and all. Hope I didn't forget anything. The Cybertron section is still short, since the line isn't over yet.

    --

    Skyjack:

    Found listed in Wal*Mart computers in March 2004.
    http://web.archive.org/web/20041103184839/http://www.tfw2005.com/boards/thread40935.html

    According to the product code number (80957), that was a placeholder name for the Universe Air Raid & Wind Sheer set:
    http://tfarchive.com/toys/checklists/universe_robot_masters.php#unideluxe

    --

    Wal*Mart exclusive Leatherhide vs. Blackarachnia (Beast Wars Mutant Soundwave repaint and original Beast Wars Blackarachnia repaint) and Nightprowler vs. Waspinator (original Beast Wars Cheetor repaint and Beast Wars Transmetal Waspinator repaint):

    Test shots for all four toys originally surfaced in May 2004.

    Leatherhide vs. Blackarachnia:
    http://s33.photobucket.com/albums/d75/binalternator/unreleased/leatherhide_vs_blackarachnia/
    http://tfkenkon.com/g/?mode=album&album=transfan2%2F%2FUniverse+Tarantulas
    http://tfkenkon.com/g/?mode=album&album=transfan2%2F%2FUniverse+Soundwave+MUTANT

    Nightprowler vs. Waspinator:
    http://s33.photobucket.com/albums/d75/binalternator/unreleased/nightprowler_vs_waspinator/
    http://photobucket.com/albums/v185/Transfan2/TF2%20x%20COLLECTIONS%20PICS%20%20for%20recent%20pics/Collection%2054%20Universe%20TM%20Waspinator%20Part%201/
    http://photobucket.com/albums/v185/Transfan2/TF2%20x%20COLLECTIONS%20PICS%20%20for%20recent%20pics/Collection%2055%20Universe%20TM%20Waspinator%20Part%202/

    UPDATE! In a surprising twist of events, Hasbro's revamped Transformers website contains an updated checklist that includes entries for lots of unreleased toys.
    http://www.hasbro.com/transformers/default.cfm?page=Collectors/Checklist

    That not only finally gives us names for those toys, but also confirms that they were intended to be... Wal*Mart exclusives. Which would kind of explain why they got cancelled.

    The Cheetor and Blackarachnia (Tarantulas) molds have since been used for the Beast Wars 10th Anniversary line, with distinctively different decos.
    http://www.seibertron.com/toys/gallery.php?id=768&size=0&start=0
    http://www.seibertron.com/toys/gallery.php?id=828&size=0&start=0

    --

    Target exclusive Battle in a Box Drench with Wind Sheer vs. Smokescreen with Jolt (Armada Wheeljack & Wind Sheer repaints in G2 Drench colors, Armada Hot Shot & Jolt repaints in G1 Smokescreen colors):

    Test shots surfaced in April 2004.

    Drench:
    http://tfkenkon.com/g/?mode=album&album=transfan2/Universe+Drench+with+Wind+Sheer

    Smokescreen:
    http://tfkenkon.com/collection/act222/

    Both:
    http://photobucket.com/albums/d75/binalternator/unreleased/drench_vs_smokescreen/

    Confirmed as a BiaB set by Aaron Archer at OTFCC 2004.
    http://tfarchive.com/community/showthread.php?s=&threadid=25273

    According to an update of the checklist at Hasbro's official Transformers website that included entries for lots of unreleased toys, they were intended to be... Target exclusives.
    http://www.hasbro.com/transformers/default.cfm?page=Collectors/Checklist

    --

    Piranhacons:

    We saw the first test shots in July 2004.
    http://photobucket.com/albums/d75/binalternator/unreleased/piranhacons/
    http://photobucket.com/albums/v185/Transfan2/TF2%20ACTS%20%20%201%20to%20Present/Universe%20Seacons%20Nautilator%20and%20Overbite%20ACT%2026/
    http://photobucket.com/albums/v185/Transfan2/TF2%20ACTS%20%20%201%20to%20Present/Universe%20Seacons%20%20Seawing%20and%20Skalor%20ACT%2027/
    http://photobucket.com/albums/v185/Transfan2/TF2%20ACTS%20%20%201%20to%20Present/Universe%20Seacons%20Snaptrap%20and%20Tentakil%20ACT%2028/
    http://photobucket.com/albums/v185/Transfan2/TF2%20ACTS%20%20%201%20to%20Present/Universe%20Seacons%20PiranhaKing%20ACT%2029/

    In July, Hasbro confirmed them during their OTFCC 2004 panel slideshow, with Skalor, whose name was unavailable due to trademark issues, being given the working name "Archerbot" as a nod to Aaron Archer (who was surprised by this as much as was everyone else).
    http://tformers.com/ig.php?mode=view&album=otfcc%2FHasbro+Panel&pic=DSCN7567.JPG&dispsize=800&start=25

    In April 2005, Hasbro confirmed that they were "pushed back".
    http://forums.transfandom.com/invboard/index.php?showtopic=27923

    Apparently, Wal*Mart, who were supposed to carry them as an exclusive, had decided to back out of the deal. So they were now without a store willing to carry them.

    At San Diego Comic-Con in July 2005, Hasbro opened the possibility of them getting released exclusively via the Hasbro Toy Shop.
    http://forums.transfandom.com/invboard/index.php?showtopic=30045&st=40&#entry282100

    According to the Hasbro panel from BotCon 2005, they're working hard on trying to find a new home for them. In fact, Jerry Jivoin was said to spend "at least an hour every week" trying to find a store willing to carry them (which apparently caused one particularly impatient fan to say something along the lines of "Try harder!").
    http://www.physics.ohio-state.edu/~sstoneb/tf/tidbits/botcon2005.txt

    BotCon 2006: Seacons *probably* coming this year, depending on whether Hasbro find a partner or not.
    http://www.allspark.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=72&Itemid=20

    --

    Sonar, Optimus Minor, Optimus Primal and Thrustor:

    Listed in a Chinese distributors' listing from April 2004.
    http://www.seibertron.com/news/view.php?id=2400

    Apparetly, those would have been the next wave of Universe Ultras after Bonecrusher/Scavenger, Long Haul/Hightower and Overbite/Repugnus. But whatever these toys were supposed to be, it doesn't appear they ever even made it to the test shot stage.

    --

    Spacewarp with Comettor and Space Team (Armada Jetfire redeco in G1 Astrotrain colors with Armada Space Team Mini-Con redecos):

    The Jetfire repaint has been rescheduled to come out in January/February 20007 as a Collectors' Club exclusive named "Astrotrain", with a new G1 Astrotrain head sculpt designed by Dan Khanna.
    http://www.tfw2005.com/boards/showthread.php?t=115885
    http://www.transformersclub.com/clubex07.cfm
    http://www.transformersclub.com/clubex07-astro.cfm

    Whereas the Comettor repaint has been renamed "Starcatcher", the other Mini-Cons Astrotrain will come with (Astro-Hook, Astro-Line and Astro-Sinker) are repaints of the Cyertron Giant Planet Mini-Con Team. Takara claim that the molds for the Space Team have turned into a state beyond repair due to excessive use.
    http://www.tfw2005.com/boards/showpost.php?p=839116&postcount=3

    Which means the Space team will probably never see a release in the colors of these test shots we first saw in April 2004.
    http://photobucket.com/albums/d75/binalternator/unreleased/spacewarp_space_team/

    --

    Universe Ramjet's Air Military Team

    As depicted on the back of the box. Also seen in the a box insert on TRU Canada's website (image's long gone from the site).
    http://s33.photobucket.com/albums/d75/binalternator/unreleased/universe_ramjet_amt/

    Colors are noticeably different from the final toys.

    --

    Cybertron Landslide (Mudflap repaint) and "Armor Scattorshot":

    This is going to be a long story.

    A long time ago, back in August 2005, I was shown a list (names only) of Galaxy Force toys and their Hasbro counterparts. The list was supposedly based on the list Hydra was talking about at the Allspark in January of the same year, although the version I got was limited to show characters only, and had noticeable gaps in the numbering where molds such as Hardtop, Armorhide, Shortround or Downshift would have had their entries.

    One entry from that list occurred to me as pretty weird even back then. Its internal number was "Mega R03" (= Mega-sized, redeco #3), and its original working name was listed as "Scavenger". Since he was listed directly after "Mega N03" (new mold #3) Demolishor (Mudflap in Cybertron), and a "Mega R05 Lio Scourge" toy (which sounds like an early working name for Dark Ligerjack) was listed directly after "Mega N05 Lio Breaker" (final name listed as "Ligerjack"), I assume that "Scavenger" would have indeed been a redeco of Demolishor/Mudflap.

    However... the column that would usually list the final name for a toy simply stated "no anime appearance" for "Scavenger". So apparently, Takara had planned a redeco of Demolishor/Mudflap but ultimately decided to cancel it.

    Which brings us to... the Hasbro version.

    In January 2006, Cosmic Rust gave us a large bulk of new listings from Wal*Mart's internal computers. Most of those toys have been released since, whereas a small number of them still have to be considered "mystery entries".
    http://www.cosmicrust.com/news/2006_01_01_index.php#113710241276953729

    Among those listings, two of them are important for us right now:
    TRA CYBER N06 ARMOR SCAT - 81149
    TRA RO3 CYBERTRON - 81155 (Description is "TRA CYB MEGA")

    And just to avoid any confusion in advance: "Armor Scattorshot" is NOT Cybertron Defense Scattorshot (whose product code number is 80918).

    So obviously, I quickly concluded that "Mega R03" would be the supposed Mudflap redeco from the old Takara listing.

    The next hint for uncovering this mystery popped up in March 2006, when a large number of those internal Wal*Mart entries were discovered listed at Wal*Mart's public website, most of them still as placeholder entries.
    Two of those listings were:
    "TFs Voyager R03 Cybertron Me"
    "TFs Voyager Armor Scattershot"

    From there, it was a case of several minor updates that slowly uncovered the mystery.

    The first update occurred in April 2006, when bios were added to both the "Mega R03" and the "Armor Scattorshot" listings. "Mega R03" was clearly identified as "Vector Prime" by his bio, whereas "Armor Scattorshot" was identified as "Quickmix".

    A few days later, the "Mega R03" listing was once again updated, this time with Hasbro stock photos that depicted a golden Vector Prime repaint. No packaging pics were shown yet, and no final name was listed.

    Again a few days later, in early May 2006, TFW2005 and TFormers posted official Hasbro stock photos of Cybertron Quickmix in and out of packaging.
    http://www.tfw2005.com/boards/showthread.php?t=98749

    The product code number on the packaging was "81149", which confirmed once and for all that "Armor Scattershot" had been - presumably - nothing more than an early working name for Cybertron Quickmix (maybe Hasbro originally intended that mold for the Scattorshot upgrade rather than the one they ultimately ended up using?).

    Finally, in June 2006, TFW2005 and TFormers posted official Hasbro stock photos of the Vector Prime repaint, whose official name is "Galaxy Force Vector Prime".
    http://www.tfw2005.com/boards/showthread.php?p=704766#post704766

    Recently, Wal*Mart updated the entries again, this time not only adding stock photos of Quickmix in and out of packaging, but also changing the names of the entries themselves, which now read "Transformers Voyager Armor Scattorshot Quickmix" and "Transformers Voyager R03 Vector Prime". And this is what those entries currently look like:
    http://www.walmart.com/catalog/product.do?product_id=4725783
    http://www.walmart.com/catalog/product.do?product_id=4725784

    So "Mega R03" was merely a placeholder name for the Vector Prime repaint? Wait, there's more to it. Here is where things get interesting:

    In March 2006, I was shown a Chinese distributor list, which contained mostly names of toys we already knew about (the names were listed in English). Only one exception: There was an entry for a toy named "Landslide". I soon realized that the list was sorted by size classes and waves. It went like this:

    So, even if we take into consideration the oddity of all Giant Planet toys listed by the names of their respective Mini-Con parters, "Landslide" would still be in the Voyager (Mega) Class region. And additionally, the same list also contained a separate entry for "Kobushi vs. Landslide", so this entry was certainly not for the Mini-Con two-pack.

    In April 2006, a Hasbro website update indirectly revealed a small number of "hidden" placeholder entries. One of them was named - you'll guess it - "Landslide".
    http://www.hasbro.com/transformers/default.cfm?page=browse&product_id=17578

    And finally, in June 2006, Allspark members who were playing around with the Cyber Key code for the "Galaxy Force Vector Prime" repaint on Hasbro's website discovered that the Cyber Key code content page (which had been up for a few days at that point) had briefly been replaced with a placeholder page for "Landslide", only to be changed back to its proper form a few hours later.
    http://www.allspark.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=9625

    So... was this mysterious "Landslide" an early working name for Vector Prime? Or is there more to it?

    In May 2006, SAGE2764 of the Hong Kong newsgroup talk.transformers provided a color guide for a redeco of Cybertron Crosswise as a G1 Smokescreen homage.
    http://www.tfarchive.com/community/showthread.php?s=&threadid=35177

    Additionally, he also provided the following revelation:

    So, from all this evidence, I have come to the conclusion that both Hasbro and Takara apparently planned a redeco of Demolishor/Mudflap at one point or another, with Takara's working name being "Scavenger" and Hasbro's being "Landslide". Presumably, he was ultimately cancelled in favor of the Vector Prime repaint because the original Mudflap was already warming many a shelf.

    UPDATE: I've since gotten confirmation for the accuracy of my deductions from a reliable source.

    Also, Hasbro apparently showed several proposed color guides for Landslide at BotCon.

    See all the details here:
    http://transformers.wikia.com/wiki/Landslide_(Decepticon)

    As for the true story behind "Armor Scattorshot" vs. Quickmix, I can't tell for sure.

    --

    Classics Deluxe Class Optimus Prime without trailer, Voyager Class Optimus Prime with trailer and Voyager Class Soundwave?

    In February 2006, the Cybertronian Enquirer reported a tentative lineup for the Classics line:
    http://tformers.com/article.php?sid=5555

    In May, we learned that Classics Prime would only come in the Voyager assortment, without a trailer.
    http://www.tfarchive.com/community/showthread.php?s=&threadid=35177

    At this year's BotCon, we learned that Classics Soundwave had been scrapped in favor of the Soundwave reissue.
    http://tformers.com/BotCon-2006-Hasbro-New-Product-Unveiling/6609/news.html
    http://www.allspark.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=72&Itemid=20

    --

    Classics Cosmos:

    Concept designs were shown at BotCon 2006. Might possibly happen if Hasbro ever get around to do another wave of Classics.
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/naladahc/256976144/
    http://tformers.com/ig.php?mode=view&album=6589&pic=IMG_3447.jpg&dispsize=800&start=20

    --

    Abrams tank Megatron:

    Color guide surfaced on a Hong Kong message board in May 2006.
    http://www.allspark.com/content/images/news/toys/hasbro/alternators/altmegsart.jpg

    Many people speculated it might be part of the long-rumored larger Alternators price point.

    However, at BotCon 2006, Hasbro revealed that this was merely an "experiment" by one of their friends outside the company.
    http://tformers.com/BotCon-2006-Hasbro-New-Product-Unveiling/6609/news.html
    http://www.allspark.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=72&Itemid=20

    Anyone who is paying attention to certain people posting on a certain board will probably have an idea who this "friend" might by (his name is actually mentioned in this very thread). He claims responsibility for this and a few other, genuine leaks:
    - Cybertron Smokescreen color chart
    - Internal Hasbro information about Classics Optimus Prime not having a trailer and the Cybertron Mudflap redeco being cancelled in favor of the Vector Prime repaint
    - Classics Grimlock color guide

    So yeah, big ha-ha. Even though it seems there are still some people in denial who insist that the Abrams design MUST absolutely have been genuine despite what Hasbro claim now.
     
  5. Nevermore

    Nevermore It's self-perpetuating a parahumanoidarianised!

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    Part 4: ALTERNATORS

    Like the reissues, the line is also supposed to be on hiatus for the time being, safe for Rumble and Ravage who were both at display at this year's BotCon. The list of toys we didn't get is quite long, even if one would only consider the ones that were actually confirmed havong been planned at one point or another.

    --

    Rumble (Honda Civix Si) and Ravage (Jaguar XK):

    Displayed by Hasbro at BotCon 2006, test shots surfaced as well:
    http://s33.photobucket.com/albums/d75/binalternator/new_toys/alternators/ravage/
    http://s33.photobucket.com/albums/d75/binalternator/new_toys/alternators/rumble/

    These two are supposed to be the only new Alternators releases for 2007. However, the originally slated assortment has been cancelled, and no packaged samples have surfaced thus far, which makes their fate somewhat uncertain by this point.

    We've recently seen official pics of Ravage in packaging, but this appears to be the European version (with a photo of the toy replacing the box artwork drawn by Marcelo Matere). There will likely be no European Rumble.
    http://www.tfw2005.com/boards/showthread.php?t=118671

    --

    Cadillac XLR:

    The Cadillac was originally rumored by the Cybertronian Enquirer in January 2006.
    http://72.14.221.104/search?q=cache:KYQV3VISYjEJ:www.insidepulse.com/articles/46207

    I seem to recall having read an actual rumor (other than mere fan speculation/wishful thinking) that claimed the Caddy would be Megatron, but I couldn't dig up anything.

    Anyhoo... the XLR eventually popped up in a Wal*Mart listing.
    http://www.cosmicrust.com/news/2006_07_01_index.php#115196021079011760

    And then he was found listed at Toysrus.com (but called "Camshaft"):
    http://www.toysrus.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2264779

    Finally, at this year's BotCon, Hasbro confirmed that the Cadillac was cancelled, and would indeed have been Megatron if it had come out.
    http://tformers.com/BotCon-2006-Hasbro-New-Product-Unveiling/6609/news.html
    http://www.allspark.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=72&Itemid=20

    --

    Ford Mustang redeco or re-release:

    Originally found listed in Wal*Mart's computers in January 2006, together with the Honda Civic that we already knew would be Rumble by that point.
    http://www.cosmicrust.com/news/2006_02_01_index.php#114012855239126169

    Listed at Wal*Mart's public website ever since March 2006.
    http://www.walmart.com/catalog/product.do?product_id=4725765

    I'd say it's safe to assume that the toy has been cancelled due to the Alternators hiatus, but it's up to anyone's guess whether it would have been another redeco or a straight repackage of Grimlock or Wheeljack in the same fashion Tracks and Meister (and technically also Prowl, even though he was actually merely a carry-over from the last wave of the old assortment) have been re-released in new packaging.

    --

    Scion redeco:

    Found listed in Wal*Mart's computers in July 2006, alongside the Jaguar (Ravage) and the Cadillac (the cancelled Megatron).
    http://www.cosmicrust.com/news/2006_07_01_index.php#115196021079011760

    Suffice to say, he went the same way as the mystery Mustang. Still curious whom Hasbro would have repainted or remolded Skids into.

    --

    Mitsubishi:

    First rumored in August 2004.
    http://www.tformers.com/article.php?sid=3390

    Another rumor for a Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution, also from August.
    http://web.archive.org/web/20041028024350/http://www.tfw2005.com/boards/thread54546.html

    Finally, a Wal*Mart listing for a Mitsubishi and an Acura (which eventually turned out to be Prowl), from November 2004.
    http://web.archive.org/web/20041120150352/http://www.tfw2005.com/boards/thread61129.html

    I guess it's safe to say it's cancelled by this point.

    --

    Dodge Neon:

    Originally reported/rumored by a Brandweek article in February 2004, together with the Dodge Ram that eventually ended up as Optimus Prime.
    http://tformers.com/article.php?sid=2517
    Full article can be read here:
    http://www.tfans.com/talk/index.php?showtopic=19877&view=findpost&p=353226

    A few days after that, Collectable Kingdom put up preorders for the two toys. Just to show how reliable those preorders are: Collectable Kingdom later also featured "Sunstreaker" for a brief time, and they still have "Wheeljack as a Tracks repaint" up. Check the date for when they added "Wheeljack". What happened on that day? This. So - Collectable Kingdom preorders obviously mean jack.

    In May 2004, TFW2005 (re)discovered the Collectable Kingdom preorder, although there was nothing particularly "new" to it at that point.
    http://web.archive.org/web/20041103083804/www.tfw2005.com/boards/showthread.php?t=45975

    At OTFCC 2004, Hasbro stated they had "no plans for a Dodge Neon".
    http://tfarchive.com/community/showthread.php?s=&threadid=25273

    Finally, in February 2005, we got confirmation that the Collectable Kingdom preorder was simply made up.
    http://web.archive.org/web/20050313175813/www.allspark.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=64468&st=0&#entry1232277

    However, Collectable Kingdom later rejected that and claimed that it was merely premature information from a Hasbro representative that evidently didn't pan out.

    Status: Cancelled, apparently.

    --

    MINI Cooper:

    Ah. Just for the fun of it. :) 
    There's still some people who are not aware of the full extent of the story.

    It all started in March 2004, when this obscure "project" website was discovered:
    http://web.archive.org/web/20040401123415/http://www.r50rd.co.uk/research/internal/v2i/engin/

    In June 2004, the same robot suddenly showed up on MINI's intro page.
    http://www.miniusa.com/crm/mini_entrance.jsp

    Also, there was that giant billboard in NYC.
    http://web.archive.org/web/20041028052155/http://www.tfw2005.com/boards/thread50901.html

    Okay, so this obviously was all part of MINI's new advertizing campaign. But was there going to be a licensed Transformers toy?

    In July 2004, BBTS put up a preorder for an unnamed MINI, supposedly to be based on the robot from the campaign. Now, since BBTS had just fallen for the infamous "Tracks to be remolded into Wheeljack" hoax a few months before that, people were initially sceptical.

    Still in July, we got a preorder listing from Japan - Swindle, Grimlock and the MINI.
    http://tformers.com/article.php?sid=3245

    And yet, at SDCC 2004, Hasbro insisted that they had not yet attempted to obtain the license from MINI.
    http://www.transformertoys.co.uk/headlines.php?Headline=1103

    Several people, including myself and the guys running Transformers @ The Moon, were repeatedly contacting MINI in order to find out more. All responses were deliberately vague and ambiguous ("we do not plan on releasing this", i.e. no word about Hasbro not releasing it, "this is not an official MINI product", i.e. it could very well be a licensed Hasbro product, etc.).

    Then, at OTFCC 2004, Hasbro said that they were still "trying" to obtain the license from MINI.
    http://tfarchive.com/community/showthread.php?s=&threadid=25273

    Finally, in August 2004, BBTS cancelled the preorders for the MINI and confirmed that Takara had not been successful trying to obtain the license form MINI.
    http://web.archive.org/web/20041028022424/http://www.tfw2005.com/boards/thread53625.html

    So, what happened? This is where details get sketchy. Some say that it was all just a hoax similar to "Tracks remolded as Wheeljack", or a misconception based on the MINI campaign. However, other people cite "inside sources" claiming that Hasbro/Takara had indeed planned to do a MINI (allegedly, he would have become Bumblebee, with the remold being Bombshell). According to those rumors, they did even produce a prototype, but apparently, they made a huge mistake: When they first approached MINI about the license, MINI said "Okay, you can do it, but please - no guns." Hasbro/Takara then designed the prototype, but they gave him the standard engine/gun accessory. Therefore, MINI decided to revoke the license.
    As I said, this is in no way to be taken for face value, it's just what I have gathered from various sources. It's also very well possible that those who claim it was simply the follow-up to the "Wheeljack" hoax might be right after all. We'll probably never know for sure.

    In March 2005, we got another clue: MINI are now offering their own (non-transforming) version of the robot.
    http://motoringfile.com/2005/05/10/mini_robots_hit_us_dealerships/
    http://www.mossmini.com/Shop/ViewProducts.aspx?PlateIndexID=48162

    And in April 2005, Michael Smith (the guy who did the transforming VW New Beetle video years ago) revealed more about the original campaign: MINI didn't want a transforming robot in the first place, but just a robot made from MINI parts.
    http://home.comcast.net/~msmith1015/VWVideo.htm

    So unless we ever hear anything solid on this matter directly from Hasbro, we'll probably never know for sure.

    --

    Citroën C4:

    Anyone who hasn't seen the TV commercial yet that debuted in November 2004 has probably spent the past 17 months under a rock.

    I myself instantly contacted the German branch of Citroën about it, and they responded that there were "currently no concrete plans" for a C4 Alternator - but it wouldn't be completely impossible either.

    In January 2005, at the European Toy Fair, Hasbro hinted that they had to "expand on the alternator range" because of the Citroën commercial, although that doesn't actually say whether a Citroën Alternator is in the works or not (link no longer working).
     
  6. Nevermore

    Nevermore It's self-perpetuating a parahumanoidarianised!

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    PART 5: ALTERNATORS (continued)

    --

    Smokescreen #7:

    Originally considered by Hasbro for late 2004/early 2005 in their December 11, 2003 website Q&A.
    http://www.hasbro.com/transformers/default.cfm?page=news&newsid=CFE66F82-D56F-E112-48A7C7A396B28C76

    Considering the countless #8 Smokescreens clogging the shelves, and furthermore considering Hasbro didn't even release the Smokescreen GT remold, it's hardly a wonder they never followed up on this one.

    --

    Yellow Tracks:

    The first unpainted test shots we saw in January 2004 were yellow.
    http://www.tfclub.com/tffiles/toy/toynews/200401220005.shtml
    http://www.tfclub.com/tffiles/toy/toynews/200402080001.shtml

    In February 2004, Hasbro displayed a hand-painted test shot at ToyFair, which was also yellow.
    http://69.93.119.2/photos3/showgallery.php?thumb=1&cat=509
    http://www.alteredstatesmag.com/gallery/view_album.php?set_albumName=toyfair-2004-hasbro-tf-alt

    In March 2005, Hasbro previewed Tracks on their website, and since they were using Takara stock photography, the toy was also yellow.

    And lastly, still in March, the first painted thest shots surfaced, also still in yellow.
    http://photobucket.com/albums/d75/binalternator/unreleased/alternators_yellow_tracks/

    Then, in July 2004, Diamond's Previews catalog suddenly depicted Tracks in blue. Even though Hasbro's customer support, when contacted about this, initially still insisted that their version of Tracks would indeed be yellow, the first painted blue test shots popped up only a few days later.
    http://lestorsphotos.fotopic.net/c268885.html

    After that, it went pretty quick. Hasbro displayed blue Tracks both at SDCC and OTFCC, previewed the new color on their website, and the blue Takara version was also officially confirmed shortly afterwards.

    But what happened to yellow Hasbro Tracks?

    At OTFCC 2004, Hasbro confirmed that they had originally planned to release Tracks in yellow first, with a running change to the blue version following later. But there were problems with the interior parts showing through the plastic, so they decided to cancel the yellow version and immediately start off with the blue one instead.
    http://tfarchive.com/community/showthread.php?s=&threadid=25273

    There's been various rumors following that about Hasbro actually having initially shipped Tracks in yellow, but then recalled the toy. Some people claimed having seen a case full of yellow Tracks toys in the backroom of their local Wal*Mart (an entire case completely filled with one and the same toy?), while another person claimed that yellow Hasbro Tracks had popped up in Mexico. However, for some reason, the people reporting these rumors were always unable to purchase one of them and post a receipt, or at least take a photo of the toy as evidence. The last thing I heard was a rumor about a polaroid showing yellow Tracks in a Hasbro box sitting atop a case labeled "return to sender". Personally, there's numerous problems I have with this rumor, and as it stands, there has been no evidence that yellow Tracks ever made it past the painted test shot stage, which is where the problems with the yellow plastic were said to have shown. If anyone actually manages to provide a photo of yellow Tracks in a Hasbro box that does NOT look like a glaring photoshop, that'd be a huge sensation. But as for now, "yellow Alternators Tracks in a Hasbro box" is the modern-day equivalent of "blue G1 Bluestreak in a Hasbro box" - an internet myth.

    So, will Hasbro ever release yellow Tracks? Probably not. Although the problems with the shine-through yellow plastic didn't stop Hasbro from releasing Sunstreaker, the fact that the blue verison was what fans had wanted in the first place, coupled with the fact that Hasbro recently re-released the blue version (which had previously been a rarity at least in the USA), makes it seem rather unlikely that they will ever release a yellow version of Tracks.

    --

    Trailbreaker:

    Dead End was not the only Alternator who got changed from Autobot to Decepticon at the last minute. However, unlike with Sunstreaker/Dead End, this is not nearly as obvious in Swindle's case. To make a long story short: When the first prototype pics surfaced in June 2004, people were desperately trying to identify the head.
    http://community.webshots.com/album/155986759laFxgh

    Many of them yelled "Beachcomber", until Might Gaine of The Allspark and David "It's Walky" Willis identified it as a toy design/cartoon model hybrid version of G1 Trailbreaker's head, which was looking surprisingly similar to Trailbreaker's head as depicted in 3H's "Universe" comics.
    http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d75/binalternator/other_stuff/stuff/diagramforweirdos.jpg

    This is further backed up by Binaltech Swindle's system description, which explains that Swindle's "body frame" was, just like Dead End's, originally planned to to serve for an Autobot. One feature of the body originally intended for said Autobot was a "force field emitter", which is a dead giveaway for Trailbreaker.
    http://www.bwtf.com/binaltech/swindle/booklet.shtml

    For those who still refused to believe this, the Japanese "Transformees Binaltech & TF Collection Complete Guide" depicts a control drawing of the toy design with the name "Trailbreaker" in English being written next to it.
    http://tfkenkon.com/g/?mode=view&album=BTC+Complete+Guide&pic=BTC3-03.jpg&dispsize=1000&start=25

    Additionally, an early version of the character artwork that was eventually used for Binaltech Swindle's character card, also depicted in the Japanese guide book, sports a head design that still looks a lot more like G1 Trailbreaker's toy head:
    http://tfkenkon.com/g/?mode=view&album=BTC+Complete+Guide&pic=BTC-complete11.jpg&dispsize=1000&start=0

    Better yet, the book even depicts the toy in both "Trailbreaker" and "Swindle" color schemes side by side (only in b/w, unfortunately).
    http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d75/binalternator/other_stuff/color_guides/trailbreaker_colors.jpg

    Now, I got conflicting reports again, claiming that at one point, Hasbro had planned him to be called "Searchlight" (take into consideration that Grimlock was originally listed as "Freeway").

    I mean, G1 Searchlight's head is indeed not to too dissimilar from that of Alt Swindle, plus you have the white parts on the prototype. Might indeed have been a backup plan on Hasbro's behalf that didn't pan out. Oh well.
    http://www.transformertoys.co.uk/mainreview.php?MainReviewID=76

    I also have an unconfirmed rumor from a so-called "inside source", dating back about two years, claiming that Hasbro were indeed planning Sunstreaker for the near future (which they were indeed, as we know by now), but didn't actually care much for Trailbreaker.

    Of course, Hasbro did eventually release a straight recolor of Swindle... in orange. Named "Rollbar".
    http://www.seibertron.com/toys/gallery.php?id=790&size=0&start=0

    A possible reason might be that Hasbro apparently don't own the name "Trailbreaker" at the moment. After all, the Universe Spychanger whose color scheme is an obvious Trailbreaker homage is named "Ironhide" on the packaging.
    http://www.bwtf.com/universe/magnushide/index.shtml

    Also, according to the hidden information you get when entering the code from Cybertron Overhaul's planet key code (s9d7) on Hasbro's website, Overhaul was originally planned to be named "Trailbreaker" (which explains why his upgrade is named "Leobreaker"), even with several head sculpt concepts that were clearly based on G1 Trailbreaker.
    http://www.hasbro.com/transformers/default.cfm?page=codes
    http://www.hasbro.com/common/unlockCodes/transformers/Overhaul.jpg

    And lastly, there are rumors that Hasbro also intended to release a repaint of RiD X-Brawn as Trailbreaker as part of the Universe line. In fact, that would explain why Trailbreaker shows up in the Universe comic alongside Sunstreaker and Sideswipe, but only the latter two eventually get updated bodies as repaints of RiD Prowl (which were released as OTFCC 2003 exclusives).
    http://cyberstore.decepticon-matrix.com/comicstfuniverse.html

    According to one rumor, the Trailbreaker repaint of RiD X-Brawn was supposed to be a BotCon Europe 2003 exclusive, but according to another rumor, 3H were told by Hasbro that they couldn't do it because Hasbro already had plans to release the toy themselves, as a mass retail Universe Deluxe toy. The latter eventually came out as "Autobot Ratchet" instead, with a completely different color scheme.
    http://www.bwtf.com/universe/ratchet/

    None of this, however, explains why these toys couldn't just be done as Trailbreaker homages but given another name (as was the case with Ironhide). A similar case occurred with the BotCon 2005 exclusive repaint of Energon Strongarm, who was intended to be a new version of G1 Outback. However, Hasbro's legal department didn't approve the name "Outback", so the name "Fallback" was chosen as a substitute.

    Status: Probably not.

    --

    Red Alert (Acura RSX):

    In November 2005, a mystery listing for an "Acura RSX - Red Alert" toy popped up. No images were shown, but fans instantly jumped to the conclusion that it would be the inevitable redeco of Prowl.

    However, the listing (now gone from the site) was changed from "Red Alert" to "Prowl" within 24 hours, and images (of Prowl) were added shortly after that. So what's the story?

    Let's take a look at the control drawing from Takara's Binaltech Prowl booklet, shall we?
    http://www.fantofan.jp/photo%20gallery/binartech/bt-15/bt-15b.jpg

    Notice anything unusual? The head sculpt is drawn with thinner lines than the rest of the body. Previously, this was always an indication of a redesign (as was the case with Dead End/Sunstreaker, Swindle/Trailbreaker, Ravage, Laserwave, Wheeljack, Lambor - wo was originally designed as Tracks - and Smokescreen, who has been confirmed to be redesigned from Streak, even though they were released in reversed order).

    So Prowl was originally supposed to be someone else? Yup. The final piece of evidence is this image used by Takara for their solicitations to online retailers.
    http://www.fantofan.jp/earlybirdsp/bt-15.jpg

    Note the color guide in the lower left. Not the close-up shot of the head; rather the full body shot which is basically a colored version of the control drawing.

    Note that despite being colored like Prowl, the head isn't actually his. The horns sticking out to the sides, as well as the crest/vent on the forehead which is a different shape and in a different position than on the Prowl lineart, are characteristics of G1 Red Alert's head sculpt.

    So, as a conclusion, it would appear that Prowl was originally designed to be Red Alert, but then Hasbro and Takara decided to relase him as Prowl instead. And later, Hasbro's web team forgot to change the name on the placeholder page before linking the listing from their main page.

    Status: Another case of identity change halfway through the toy development.
     
  7. Nevermore

    Nevermore It's self-perpetuating a parahumanoidarianised!

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    PART 6: ALTERNATORS (continued)

    Windcharger's gun:

    It's 100% official now, thanks to the Q&A from the Hasbro design panel at BotCon 2005:
    Honda USA demanded that Hasbro had to remove the gun barrel from Alternators Windcharger. Honda Japan, meanwhile, had no problem with Takara releasing Binaltech Overdrive with the full barrel. That's the truth. No "choking hazard" nonsense.

    We also have an explanation for the lack of any "Copyright Honda" markings and the omission of the Honda logo from Overdrive's (and Prowl's, too) Japanese booklet, bio card and packaging, thanks to Hirofumi Ichikawa: Apparently, Honda thought that the inclusion of the logo on the packaging would make people believe Overdrive and Prowl were official Honda products and not just licensed merchandise by Takara. Oh yeah.
    Ichikawa confirmed, though, that Overdrive is fully licensed by Honda regardless.
    http://groups.google.com/group/alt.toys.transformers/browse_frm/thread/5d6d41f6d6b3f57e/

    --

    Windcharger as a Ford Mustang:

    The Japanese "Transformees Binaltech & TF Collection Complete Guide" features a control drawing of the head sculpt that ended up being used for the "Decepticharge" remold of Windcharger (the Honda S2000).
    http://tfkenkon.com/g/?mode=view&album=BTC+Complete+Guide&pic=BTC-complete16.jpg&dispsize=1000&start=0

    Note the name "Windcharger" (!) in English next to it.

    Also from the book, we have a blueprint of the Ford Mustang body with the "Windcharger" head on it.
    http://tfkenkon.com/g/?mode=view&album=BTC+Complete+Guide&pic=BTC-complete18.jpg&dispsize=1000&start=0

    It's hard to see in that photo, but the info box in the lower right corner says "Wind Charger" in English again.

    So, what's the story?

    Apparently, Hasbro originally planned the first version of the Ford Mustang to be Grimlock (although early store listings had him named "Freeway"), with the remold being supposed to be Windcharger, in red (and yes, the head does not really look like Windcharger at all... even less so than Swindle looks like Trailbreaker).
    Then, they decided to make the second Mustang Wheeljack instead. The head sculpt was given to the remold of the Honda S2000 (the original Honda was designed to be Overdrive, the Omnibot, which is what Takara called their Binaltech version).
    Then, Hasbro either realized that they couldn't get the "Overdrive" trademark, or Honda didn't approve the name being attributed to a toy based on one of their cars. So they decided to use the already secured "Windcharger" name on the original version of the Honda instead, while the remold got changed into a Decepticon. The name "Decepticharge" was apparently a last-minute decision which somehow reflects the origins of the head sculpt ("DECEPTIcon with a WindCHARGEr head"). Other rumors claim that "Decepticharge" was the only name Honda would agree upon (they allegedly rejected "Drag Strip", "Breakdown/Brakedown" etc.). Think of him as Frankenstein's Alternator, and you get the idea.

    So, to sum it up, we have:

    a) Ford Mustang original mold: Designed to be Grimlock with Grimlock head sculpt, named "Grimlock" by both Hasbro and Takara.
    b) Ford Mustang remold: Designed to be Windcharger with "Windcharger" head sculpt (which doesn't actually look a lot like Widncharger), then given a new Wheeljack head sculpt. Named "Wheeljack" by both Hasbro and Takara.
    c) Honda S2000 original mold: Designed to be Overdrive with Overdrive head sculpt, named "Windcharger" by Hasbro and "Overdrive" by Takara. Takara version has a gun barrel, Hasbro version has not.
    d) Honda S2000 remold, Hasbro version: Not sure whether he was originally designed to be someone else, but was given the "Windcharger" head sculpt that was originally planned to be used for the remold of the Mustang. Named "Decepticharge" by Hasbro. Lacking a gun barrel again.
    e) Honda S2000 remold, Takara version 1: More or less simply the Takara version of Decepticharge, supposed to be named "Wildrider". Name encountered trademark problems, and deco didn't appeal to Takara's ideal of "realism". Unreleased.
    f) Honda S2000 remold, Takara version 2: What was originally going to be "Wildrider", now with a new Transmetal Blackarachnia color scheme in robot mode. Supposed to be named "Black Widow". Unreleased.

    See part 7 for Takara's unreleased "Wildrider"/"Black Widow" version of Decepticharge.

    --

    Hasbro Red Alert as Subaru Impreza "Fire Department" redeco, blue Acura RSX "street racer" redeco, Meister/Jazz with new G1-accurate "#4" deco:

    Rumored in September 2005.
    http://forums.transfandom.com/invboard/index.php?showtopic=31246

    Debunked the same day (link no longer working).

    --

    Jet and motorcycle Alternators:

    Big fan favorites. But what do the facts say?

    OTFCC 2004: Whatever Hasbro are going to do next (Jets? Motorycles?) will depend on the results of the survey.
    http://tfarchive.com/community/showthread.php?s=&threadid=25273

    At BotCon 2005, Hasbro stated they would be meeting up with Takara to discuss non-car Alternators right after the convention.

    Status: Undetermined.

    --

    Hummer H2:

    Originally coming from the same "inside source" that told me about the MINI Cooper gun affair thingie, the planned "Bombshell" MINI, the "Hasbro didn't tell Honda about Windcharger's gun" thing and some other stuff, all of them reported to me in mid-2004. The Hummer is allegedly based on the commercial with the "transform yourself" slogan.

    The same source that told me about the Hasbro designer from OTFCC 2004 hinting a "full size pick-up truck" at a new $30.00 price point also told me that said designer confirmed to him that Hasbro had obtained the license for a Hummer. He's supposed to come out in 2005, also at the new $30.00 price point. As for characters, said source evidently asked the designer whether they could do a regular version as an Autobot and the redeco a military version with a big gun, as Megatron. The designer allegedly laughed at that and called it a "really good idea". Again, take it with a pinch of salt.

    September 2004: Hasbro got the license for a Hummer, coming up at a new price point? (link no longer working)

    September 2004: Hummer to be Megatron? (link no longer working)

    January 2005: Motormaster as a Hummer H2?
    http://www.tfans.com/talk/index.php?showtopic=17753&view=findpost&p=312441

    Now, with the Dodge Ram Alternator having become true in the form of Optimus Prime, the fate of the Hummer is pretty much up in the air: Optimus is still retailing at the standard Alternators price point, but stretching the limits of that price point to the extreme, to say the least. So unless Hasbro decide to introduce a higher Alternators price point for a single toy, we probably won't see a Hummer anytime soon.

    Status: Undetermined.

    --

    Windcharger repaint in "Suzuka Blue Metallic":

    Reported in December 2004.
    http://www.seibertron.com/news/view.php?id=4418

    Status: Highly unlikely, considering we already got a Windcharger remold since then, and it came in yellow.

    --

    Breakdown (Brakedown):

    At OTFCC, Hasbro allegedly said they were planning a toy based on the Breakdown character for the Alternators line (link no longer working).

    However, since the name "Breakdown" is obviously unlikely to be accepted by car companies, it would have to be modified.

    Possible alternative: "Brakedown", as used for the Cybertron toy.
    http://www.tfu.info/2005/Autobot/Brakedown/brakedown.htm

    Status: Uncertain.

    --

    Bumblebee & Cliffjumper as Volkswagen New Beetles:

    Not sure who was it, but someone from the TFW2005 staff told me that Aaron Archer had confirmed backstage at OTFCC that VW had denied them the license (something along the lines of "NO, and please NEVER bother to ask us as again!").

    March 2005: Pics of control drawings were printed "hidden" under the dust covers of the Japanese "Transformees Binaltech & TF Collection Complete Guide" book.
    http://tfkenkon.com/g/?mode=view&album=BTC+Complete+Guide&pic=bumblebee01.jpg&dispsize=1000&start=25
    http://www.fantofan.jp/news/bt-tfcguide11.jpg
    http://tfkenkon.com/g/?mode=view&album=BTC+Complete+Guide&pic=cliffjumper01.jpg&dispsize=1000&start=25

    Failure trying to acquire the license was also confirmed in the Takara interview published inside the same book.
    http://www.tfarchive.com/fandom/interviews/alternators_binaltech/takara_binaltech_interview_translation.php

    SDCC 2004: Hasbro said they were still attempting to get the license from VW.
    http://www.transformertoys.co.uk/headlines.php?Headline=1103

    OTFCC 2004: Hasbro said they really want to do Bumblebee and try to get him done.
    http://tfarchive.com/community/showthread.php?s=&threadid=25273

    The latter part could also refer to the MINI Cooper, which, as I mentioned above, was allegedly also intended to be Bumblebee.

    --

    Porsche 986 Boxster:

    According to an interview with Binaltech designer Hironori Kobayashi, the first car actually designed for the Binaltech/Alternators line was supposed to be based on a "certain well-known German sports car" (dead ringer for Porsche), but the car company rejected any attempts by Hasbro/Takara to get the license.
    Interview:
    http://www.takarahobby.com/kaihatsu/0312tranceformer/index.html
    English translation:
    http://toyboxst.inwards.com/phorum/read.php?3,97799

    And here, we even have former Hasbro designer Joseph Kyde confirming having seen the original prototype at Hasbro's offices in 2002.
    http://www.allspark.com/forumarchives/index.php?showtopic=66214&st=20&#entry1268290

    March 2005: Photos of the prototype were depicted in the Japanese "Transformers Binaltech & TF Collection Complete Guide" book.
    http://tfkenkon.com/g/?mode=view&album=BTC+Complete+Guide&pic=BTC-complete13.jpg&dispsize=1000&start=0
    A fellow German fan (who recently quit the fandom, unfortunately) who happens to work for Porsche confirmed that it's based on a 986 Boxster (he said that with 99% certainty, baseds solely on the pics).

    Failure trying to acquire the license was also confirmed in the Takara interview published inside the same book.
    http://www.tfarchive.com/fandom/interviews/alternators_binaltech/takara_binaltech_interview_translation.php

    June 2004. Long before knowing about the existence of the prototype, that same German fan got in touch with Porsche's licensing department. Unfortunately, their response was once again "no".
    http://tfarchive.com/community/showthread.php?s=&threadid=24622
     
  8. Nevermore

    Nevermore It's self-perpetuating a parahumanoidarianised!

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    Part 7: THE TAIL END OF TAKARA'S RECENT LINES

    For some reason, Takara often tend not to release the last few planned toys from most, if not all, of their more recent lines.

    --

    Smallest Transformers:

    Wave 3 - Skids, Tracks, Hot Rodimus (Hot Rod), Megatron parts, and... Cliffjumper? Anime Megatron? Ramjet or Dirge?

    First of all, we have a preview for what was originally planned for wave 2 back in June 2003. There's Skids, Tracks, Hot Rodimus (Hot Rod), Prowl, Meister (Jazz), and Megatron with his gun accessories.
    http://tformers.com/article.php?sid=1423

    Meister, Megatron (without extra parts) and Prowl were released in wave 2. Hot Rodimus came out as part of wave 2.5.

    Finally, there was a rumor for wave 3, from April 2004. Supposed to include Skids, Tracks, Hot Rodimus (again), Megatron ("anime" accurate redeco), Cliffjumper and Ramjet or Dirge.
    http://web.archive.org/web/20050204094533/http://www.tfw2005.com/boards/thread43912.html

    Resin protos of Skids and Tracks were also featured at the BotCon 2005 "Rare Toys" panel.

    A reliable source in Japan told me that the "wave 3" listing has never been reported in Japan, and Tracks, Skids and the Megatron parts are indeed confirmed cancelled.

    --

    Superlink:

    Overdrive/Cliffjumper and Landmine redecos (Beachcomber and Landquake): Upgrades debuted in Superlink episode 38 (aired September 2004). Redecos were released by Hasbro, but never by Takara. According to one source, Japanese magazines identified the show upgrades as "Overdrive B" (Burst) and "Landmine Q" (Quake), but a reliable source from Japan disputes that, claiming that they were never identified by name in Japanese magazines.

    Sixshot (Shockblast repaint): Laserwave's brother debuted in Superlink episode 40 (aired October 2004). Redeco was released by Hasbro, but never by Takara.

    --

    Galaxy Force:

    Armbullet:

    A listing from March 2005 included listings for "GD-14 Dark" and "GD-15 Arm".
    http://www.tfarchive.com/community/showthread.php?s=&threadid=29651

    "Dark" was most probably Dark Liger Jack, who ended up as a TRU Japan exclusive with the new product number EX-01, whereas "Arm" was for the Landbullet/Crumplezone retool "Armbullet", who debuted as an upgrade of the character in Galaxy Force episode 34 (aired August 2005). The toy has been released by Hasbro as "Dark Crumplezone", whereas a Takara release still hasn't been confirmed.

    --

    Beast Wars Returns:

    There were some conflicting listings about the Japanese version of Beast Machines.

    The first of them, from November 2004, is mostly spot on listing the toys that were show characters (even though the numbering isn't the same one as used by Takara), but the last three are odd: "BR-14 New Convoy", "BR-15 New Cheetas" and "BR-16 New Megatron".
    http://www.tformers.com/article.php?sid=3829

    BR-12 ended up being Megahead Megatron (repaint of RiD Megatron Megabolt in show-accurate colors), with Vehicon Strika and Vehicon Obsidian being BR-13 and BR-14, respecticely. There was a Cheetas repaint exclusively available as a lucky draw prize from the Perfect Choice website, though it's rather unlikely that a non-show repaint that came out as a lucky draw prize would have originally been considered as part of the main line.

    Other possibilites for "New Cheetas" would have been the Supreme Cheetor or the Night Slash Cheetor mold. As for "New Megatron"... well.

    Another listing from March 2005 included an entry for "BR-15 Megatron Super Mode".
    http://www.tfarchive.com/community/showthread.php?s=&threadid=29651

    Some people speculated this might have been intended to be Powered Convoy (Optimal Optimus) with a remolded Megatron head, as seen in the last episode of Beast Machines. Nevertheless, this listing was never officially confirmed, and as it stands, Beast Wars Returns ended after the third wave, with BR-14 Vehicon Obsidian being the last release from the line.

    --

    Second Minibots reissue set:

    Included in the aforementioned March 2005 listing as "TFC-20 Mini Bot Set 2".
    http://www.tfarchive.com/community/showthread.php?s=&threadid=29651

    Of course, TFC-20 eventually turned out to be "Future Cybertron" (Kup & Wheelie).

    In August 2005, Supercow Import Toys reported that TFC-21 (no name confirmed yet) would be due out in October 2005.
    http://www.allspark.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=78371

    I checked back with ChemNerd and got word that TFC-21 was rumored to be the second Minibot set, but that one was cancelled.

    --

    Shockwave (Laserwave) reissue:

    Rumored by Epic Heroes in July 2005.
    http://adctalk.com/index.php?showtopic=1995434

    There's been lots of debates about the current ownership of the Shockwave mold. Originally, the toy was produced by a company named ToyCo and released under the name "Astro Magnum". However, unlike the other non-Takara molds Hasbro released as part of the G1 Transformers line (Jetfire, Omega Supreme, Sky Lynx, Roadbuster, Whirl, Venom, Chop Shop, Barrage and Ransack), Takara actually released the toy as part of their "Fight! Super Robot Lifeform Transformers" toyline, as 49 Laserwave.
    http://tripredacus.net/tf/jp/fsrl_1985.html

    One rumor claims that the rights to the mold are currently owned by Tomy, who recently merged with Takara, but that appears to be based on a simple confusion between ToyCo and Tomy.

    In fact, it appears that ToyCo was Korean company and simply licensed the toy to both Hasbro and Takara back in the day.
    http://www.allspark.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=5483

    Either way, there's never been any follow-up confirmation on this rumor.

    --

    The Takara version of Alternators Decepticharge:

    In April 2005, online stores originally solicited the Binaltech version as "Wildrider".
    http://www.ultraactiontoys.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=290
    http://www.tfsource.com/Reissues/BT-16/bt-16.htm

    Other online retailers were listing him as "Wild Laser" or "Wild Lazer", which there might be an explanation for after all.

    In June 2006, Hobby Link Japan revealed that his colors would be different from the Hasbro version.
    http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d75/binalternator/unreleased/binaltech_black_widow/black_widow_01.jpg

    Still in June, Zinc Panic reported that they had discovered a listing for "BT-16 Black Widow" (Japanese name of Beast Wars Blackarachnia) in Takara's computers.
    http://www.zincpanic.com/article/23137.html
    http://www.zincpanic.com/character/23135.html

    People quickly pointed out that the color scheme as revealed by HLJ does indeed look a lot like Transmetal 2 Blackarachnia:
    http://www.tfu.info/1999/Maximal/Blackarachnia/blackarachnia.htm

    And like Beast Machines Blackarachnia too:
    http://www.tfu.info/2000/Maximal/Blackarachnia/blackarachnia.htm

    Then, in July 2005, Binal Convoy discovered another Japanese store listing for "BT-16 Black Widow", described as a "female character from Beast Wars".
    http://www.ojiisan.co.jp/pitem/52113889

    Finally, in August, HLJ, Fan to Fan and other online retailers confirmed that (s)he had been "indefinitely postponed".
    http://s10.invisionfree.com/allspark/index.php?showtopic=753

    A few weeks later, Hirofumi Ichikawa then finally explained what had happened.
    http://groups.google.com/group/alt.toys.transformers/browse_frm/thread/5d6d41f6d6b3f57e/

    To sum it up: The "Decepticharge" deco didn't appeal to Takara due to its derailing from Binaltech's ideal of "realism", so a distinctive color scheme was chosen, and the name "Wildrider" was selected. However, that name encountered trademark problems (which might explain the alternate name "Wild Laser"), so Takara eventually decided to change his identity altogether and make him Black Widow/Blackarachnia instead. Eventually, though, Takara came to the conclusion that too many redecos at the same time were a bad thing, so it was decided to postpone Black Widow and release her in a "separate line" later down the road. However, with Ginrai and Black Convoy cancelled and no new Binaltech toys scheduled for release, her future is pretty much up in the air.

    --

    "Binaltech" Black Convoy:

    Originally slated for a March 2006 release as Binaltech Asterisk BTA-04 Black Convoy with "Melissa", together with Binaltech BT-17 Ginrai. Both toys were cancelled, and Ginrai ended up as Kiss Players Convoy, whereas the Black repaint thus far only saw a US release in the form of the Hasbro Toy Shop/San Diego Comic-Con 2006 exclusive Nemesis Prime.

    Now, it seems that Takara have finally decided that they want to release Black Convoy after all. The toy's been slated for a February 2007 release now, this time as a Wonder Festival 2007 Winter exclusive, reportedly to include diecast parts.
    http://fantofan.jp/news/mag/figureking/fk107-2.jpg
    http://fantofan.jp/news/mag/hyperhobby/hh2-3.jpg

    --

    "TFBT" sets: Included in the March 2005 listing.
    http://www.tfarchive.com/community/showthread.php?s=&threadid=29651

    They were listed as:
    TFBT-1 Radar Set
    TFBT-2 Control Set/Control Tower Set
    TFBT-3 Airport Building Set
    TFBT-4 Gasoline Station Set
    TFBT-5 Garage Set
    TFBT-6 Signal/Traffic Lights Set

    It was briefly speculated that those might be Binaltech dioramas, but eventually, it turned out those were an old cancelled idea from the tail end of Generation 2, called "Block Town", with lego-like sets.
    http://www.skyjammer.com/wiigii/blocktown.jpg

    All of the jets are redecos of G2 Skyscorchers, and the vehicles are redecos of G2 Axelerators.

    The "Radar Set" jet is a redeco of G2 Afterburner/Snipe, the "Control Set/Control Tower Set" jet is a redeco of G2 Terradive, the "Airport Building Set" jet is a redeco of G2 Windrazor/Tornado, the "Gasoline Station Set" car is a redeco of G2 Rapido, the "Garage Set" car is a redeco of G2 Zap/Windbreaker, and the "Signal/Traffic Lights Set" truck is a redeco of G2 Turbofire/Hotrider.

    So, no Binaltech dioramas.

    Needless to say, nothing has been heard of those since.

    --

    Hybrid Style Master Megatron:

    The listing from March 2005 included an entry for HBS-02 Master Megatron.
    http://www.tfarchive.com/community/showthread.php?s=&threadid=29651

    However, as we know by now, the second release from the Transformers "Hybrid Style" line is actually G1 Convoy, which was released in March 2006.

    So - cancelled? Postponed? Or just a false listing? Undertermined as of now.

    --

    Mega SCF:

    The last Mega SCF PVC figure by Takara was #13 Starscream (Micron Legend/Armada version), released in August 2003.

    The March 2005 listingcontained an entry for "MEGASCF TF14 Jet Fire", which could have been mean to be either G1 Jetfire (though "Skyfire" would have made more sense, since the Japanese fans would be a lot more used to the show character) or Micron Legend Jetfire.
    http://www.tfarchive.com/community/showthread.php?s=&threadid=29651

    Either way, nothing has been heard of it since.

    --

    Universe USA Editions:

    Most of the Universe toys released as "USA Editions" in Japan were e-Hobby exclusives, with the exception of Skywarp (released in April 2004) as a TF Station exclusive and Nemesis Prime (released in August 2004) as a Jusco exclusive, thus being the first and only Universe release that was a store exclusive in the US with a "USA Edition" counterpart. The last e-Hobby "USA Edition" of a Universe toy was #21, Swerve with Roadhandler. The last two waves of Universe Deluxes - Longhorn, Night Slash Cheetor, Frostbite and Blastcharge - were never released in Japan.

    However, there was a listing for "USA Edition Wedge & Grimlock" and "USA Edition Heavy Load & High Tower" from March 2005.
    http://www.tfarchive.com/community/showthread.php?s=&threadid=29651

    Many assumed those were meant to be the long-delayed Bonecrusher & Scavenger and Long Haul & Hightower two-packs (the RiD Build Team in G1 Constructicon colors), which have since been released in the USA as Target exclusives.

    However, nothing has been heard of these since.

    --

    Robot Masters:

    In March 2005, we got a listing for "R/M Real Color Starscream", "R/M Real Color Beast Megatron" and "Robot Master Limited Ultra Magnus".
    http://www.tfarchive.com/community/showthread.php?s=&threadid=29651

    Needless to say, nothing has been heard of these since. It's possible they were cancelled when Takara decided to put an end to the Robot Masters line.

    --

    Revoltech:

    G1 Convoy, G1 Megatron and Superlink Grand Convoy. Articulated action figures that look as if they were based on Pat Lee's renditions of those characters. Previewed in Figure Oh! (Figure King) magazine in October 2004.
    http://www.fantofan.jp/news/mag/figureking/fk82-6.jpg
    http://www.fantofan.jp/news/mag/figureking/fk82-7.jpg

    Convoy is now coming out as part of Kaiyodo's Revoltech line, albeit somewhat improved using the superior Revoltech engineering.
    http://www.amiami.com/shop/?vgForm=ProductInfo&sku=GDS-5906B&template=review.html
    http://www.fantofan.jp/news/mag/figureking/fk106-5.jpg
    http://www.fantofan.jp/news/mag/dengekihobby/jan2007-1.gif
    http://www.fantofan.jp/news/mag/hobbyjapan/jan2007-2.jpg

    Needless to say, there's also going to be the inevitable Ultra Magnus repaint.
    http://hk.myblog.yahoo.com/jw!_veuUfCRGAWrg4Yh5fHHppkdSmv8eCE-/article?mid=2408
    http://www.amiami.com/shop/?vgForm=ProductInfo&sku=GDS-5919&template=review.html
    http://www.fantofan.jp/news/mag/figureking/fk106-7.jpg
    http://www.fantofan.jp/news/mag/hobbyjapan/jan2007-1.jpg

    A release of a Revoltech Megatron has been hinted in the latest edition of Hobby Japan magazine.
    http://www.tfw2005.com/boards/showthread.php?t=118227

    --

    Beast Wars Reborn BWR-02 Magnaboss set?

    Originally rumored in January 2006.
    http://www.tformers.com/article.php?sid=5506

    Apparently, this originated from a listing put up by the Bo-Ya Rakuten Shop.
    http://www.rakuten.co.jp/bo-ya/505496/590351/677447/

    However, that was the only store ever to list a preorder for that toy. This, coupled with the fact that Magnaboss was from Beast Wars II, not from Beast Wars Neo (as the listing claims), the outright insane price point (which is more than twice the price of the original toys) and the fact that the original toy was already show-accurate made this story initially seem highly unlikely.

    And thus, it wasn't actually that big of a surprise to anyone when the Magnaboss reissue was reported as having been put "on hold" one month later.
    http://www.tformers.com/article.php?sid=5636

    --

    As a bottom line, I've been informed that a lot of DragonX76's bizarre listings are apparently the result of poor Japanese language skills, being unable to differentiate between genuine listings of upcoming products and deliberate fun with false listings (similar to our April 1 pranks).
    UPDATE: It seems that the original version of the March 2005 listing was at least somewhat accurate, either actually revealing toys that would eventually come out the way they were listed, or at least indicating Takara's original plans that got changed later (Dark Ligerjack and Armbullet as mass releases, the Galvatron reissue as part of the TFC reissue line, a second Minibot set that was later also rumored by a separate source), whereas the updated listing with Robot Masters Ultra Magnus etc. appears to be a complete fabrication. Sadly, without access to his sources, thereby being able find out whether all the listings came from the same source or different details came from different people, we will never be able to tell for sure.
     
  9. Nevermore

    Nevermore It's self-perpetuating a parahumanoidarianised!

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    Updates:
    - Expanded and consolidated the entries for various unreleased Hasbro reissues
    - Added a new entry for unreleased Armada Street Speed Team repaints
    - Added a new entry for the rumored Takara Magnaboss reissue
    - Takara Primus out in stores
    - Target exclusive Universe Bonecrusher/Scavenger, Long Haul/Hightower and Overbite/Repugnus out in stores
    - European versions of Micromaster Aerialbots in stock at UK store The Entertainer
    - Red Armada Powerlinx Thrust surfaced in the UK
    - Mystery "Kiss - Transformer Convoy x Melissa" listing added to Binaltech Ginrai/BTA Black Convoy entry
     
  10. Nevermore

    Nevermore It's self-perpetuating a parahumanoidarianised!

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    Updates:
    - G1 homage Spychangers entry expanded
    - Micromaster Aerialbots out in the Netherlands
    - Images of "Transformer Kiss" Convoy seen
    - More details about the G1 Shockwave toy added
    - Alternators Optimus Prime out in stores
    - e-Hobby exclusive "USA Edition" Blender and Moledive announced
    - Unnamed action figure line Convoy = Revoltech Convoy?
     
  11. Nevermore

    Nevermore It's self-perpetuating a parahumanoidarianised!

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    Updates:

    The minor stuff:
    - Universe section updated to include Cybertron entries as well
    - Alternators Mirage out in the USA
    - "Kiss Player" Convoy on its way

    The big one:
    - Entry for unreleased "Landslide" redeco of Cybertron Mudflap added
     
  12. Nevermore

    Nevermore It's self-perpetuating a parahumanoidarianised!

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    Updates:
    - Revamped Hasbro website contains updated checklist with entries for lots of unreleased toys, including:
    - Reissues Ramjet, Trailbreaker and Ironhide
    - Universe Leatherhide vs. Blackarachnia, Nightprowler vs. Waspinator, Drench vs. Smokescreen, Spacewarp with Space Team, Piranhacons
    - Energon Optimus Prime with Mini Optimus Prime and Megatron & Soundwave
    - Because it was demanded: Universe Ramjet Air Military Team in different colors
     
  13. pmoverlord-1972

    pmoverlord-1972 the enforcer of all

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    what's going on with the seacons repaint's
     
  14. Somebody

    Somebody ReBoot

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    Couild you shorten the bloody Piranhacons links? They stretch the window ridiculously in Firefox....

    And a lot of the links - especially to Hasbro and this very site - are dead.
     
  15. Nevermore

    Nevermore It's self-perpetuating a parahumanoidarianised!

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    Read the thread. What I know is what I posted.

    *sigh*

    I hate when this happens. I just fixed all of them them a few months ago.

    Might need to make use of the Wayback Machine again...
     
  16. Golden Age

    Golden Age BATTLE BEAST

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    Why wouldnt Has/Tak release molds that they have ready and waiting?
     
  17. meetoblivion

    meetoblivion aka chazzy

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    Ebay:
    Simple really... if you can't sell it for profit, why make it?
     
  18. Defensor

    Defensor Well-Known Member

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    In regards to HasTak no longer having certain G1 moulds:

    Why can't they just make new ones using some of the old toys???

    It can't be that hard can it?
     
  19. REDLINE

    REDLINE longer days, plz? Veteran

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    supposedly its really expensive to do.
     
  20. Kickback

    Kickback Proud father Administrator Super Mod News Staff

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    Dan K from OTFCC days (now BotCon) did some artwork for unreleased Energon "Aerialbots" repaints. Same for a RID Train Bros. repaint.

    He had them in color but not with him.
     

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