G1 eBay Abundance/Rarity Index

Discussion in 'Transformers Toy Discussion' started by Ultra Lagmus, Jun 9, 2014.

  1. Ultra Lagmus

    Ultra Lagmus Well-Known Member

    Aug 18, 2011
    Trophy Points:
    People can jump straight to the numbers if they want though I have to explain the methodology.

    * Background
    For 1 year, I collected data on the number of hits returned in searches for G1 figures on eBay.

    What I was going for was to try and quantify the relative abundance of G1 figures using eBay as the means for data collection, to put some number on them with which we can compare figures. Transformers (G1) did not appear to have any data remotely like this available. G.I. Joe had stats collected on Yo Joe.com from their users with a large enough data set to see how popular figures are and to derive how rare a figure might be (via how many have it and how many want it). I collected data on how many hits a figure produced and how many hits had an actual figure (as opposed to a part, accessory, reissue, different version, tech spec, whatnot).

    Initially, I just collected data on the number of hits returned by searching for a given figure. After a month, I noticed some figures had a lot more clutter in their searches from others, be it lots of accessories or tech specs or instruction booklets posted or reissues (legit or otherwise) and I felt this was obscuring how many of a figure there were.

    - Sample size:
    n=19 for hits
    Usually spaced apart by about 1 month or a few weeks. Once in the summer, I collected data on Monday and Friday the same week to get a sense of how the numbers might fluctuate. This means 19 whole rounds of searching for every figure and recording the # hits.

    n=8 for figure:hit ratios
    I collected 4 of these in the summer and 2 later in 2013 and 2 in 2014. Why did I not collect them more often? Simply put, it takes *a lot* of time to go through page after page of hits for (if my count is correct) 264 different figures.

    The data set was large enough that for hits, after a few months, the numbers for the averages were only budging by 1-2 for most figures and for the figure:hit ratio average, in the later months, the numbers weren't swinging around too wildly.

    - What this wouldn't cover:
    Something important to consider is this only covers figures that are put up for sale. If certain figures are sought after by more collectors and tend to be parted with at a lower rate than other figures, they would be relatively less abundant on eBay. I suspect this explains why certain figures have unusually low true hit values compared to their case assortment groups (Starscream, Jazz, Prowl). Fortunately, some of this shows through in the figure:hit ratio. Aforementioned figures have ratios well below the group they shipped with.

    * Hits
    This is simply the number of hits a search returns for a given figure.

    The search term used was this:
    Transformers G1 [character name]

    The ones that had modifications to this:
    Optimus Prime: -powermaster -action
    Megatron: -action
    Bumblebee: -pretender -action
    Prowl: -action
    Jazz: -pretender -action
    Wheeljack: -pretender -action
    Starscream: -pretender -action
    Soundwave: -action
    Blaster: -action
    Shockwave: -action
    Inferno: -action
    Tracks: -omega (to remove all the Omega Supreme tracks clutter)
    Grimlock: -pretender -action
    Snarl: -action
    Goldbug: -"Art Feather"*

    For their 1986 versions, Hot Rod, Blurr, Kup, Cyclonus, Scourge added -targetmaster to their search terms. For their 1987 versions, +targetmaster was added.

    For their 1988 versions, Grimlock, Bumblebee, Jazz, Starscream added +pretender to their search terms.

    *: I broke with tradition of not modifying search terms during this data collection with Goldbug when in December, I noticed the number of hits spiked up significantly. A release of a Goldbug figure by Art Feather was responsible. I decided to add -"Art Feather" to the search terms to try and keep the data set consistent.

    * Figure:Hit Ratio
    To sort through the inaccuracies of recording just eBay hit numbers, I decided to periodically go through counting all the actual figures that are among the hits, be they sealed or loose. Then, I would take that number and make a ratio or percentage out of it, the number of actual figures among the hits divided by the number of hits for that figure. These numbers don't vary as much as one might think, except changing over time (i.e. as the holiday season approaches, post-holiday season, etc).

    I did not go for 100% complete figures only. My criteria for counting a figure were: are they intact (i.e. no missing limbs, heads, etc)? Are they missing something crucial (like Pretender shells, wings in the case of the Seekers [because without them they just transform into pointy objects] or an equivalent part, etc)? Some figures with some damage were counted (like missing windshields or windows, and in the case of some 1984 figures missing a roof, but only if the damage looked minimal in those cases), but if the damage looked extensive enough, they weren't counted.

    I also ignored KOs and reissues when they were identified as such or blatantly looked fake. I also skipped over any entry listed as being from China or Hong Kong. Obviously I wouldn't be able to catch them all, but if something seemed too suspicious (like package too minty and perfect for a 26-30 year old box with too low a price for sale or the box's pic has the same identifying signs of a KO as the KO boxes have that the authentic boxes lack). I did the best I could.

    Some specific criteria:
    * Optimus Prime- Only counted if the figure & trailer were present. In the case of these, the vehicle mode is incomplete without it.
    * Seekers- They needed to have both wings present to be counted. Without the wings, they're just pointy sticks.
    * Rodimus Prime- Only counted if the figure & trailer were present
    * Omega Supreme- I counted each entry that had the body (that which turns into a tank), regardless if it had the claw or tracks.
    * Ultra Magnus- Only counted if both the white Optimus Prime figure and the car carrier shell + head were present.
    * Sky Lynx- Only counted if both halves were present.
    * Reflector- All 3 needed to be present to be counted.
    * Duocons- Both halves need to be present to be counted.
    * Headmasters- They needed the head to count.
    * Targetmasters- I counted them if they had the Targetmaster gun or not (they weren't as essential to the figure as a head would be).
    * Powermasters- They were counted if they had the Powermaster engine or not.
    * Powermaster Optimus Prime- Needed the figure, the trailer, and the larger head.
    * Pretenders- They needed the internal figure and both halves of the shell to be counted. For larger pretenders, they needed the extra shell/vehicle too.

    * True Hits
    What I was aiming for was getting a number that captured how many of a figure there were out there on eBay, factoring out clutter, reissues, and seasonal variation. Collecting data over 1 full year and getting the figure:hit ratio averaged over time should give us the best picture of their relative abundance or rarity. I call this number the true hit #.

    How true hits is calculated:
    [average of hits] * [average of figure:hit ratios]

    This averages all the hits for a figure collected over the course of a year with the average of the figure:hit ratio collected over time (which should bring the # hits to be in line with the actual number of figures present).

    One potential weakness is the figure:hit ratio data was collected unevenly- half the data was collected in Summer 2013 and then it was collected periodically after that. If someone wants to take the data and extrapolate data points for the missing months (which would add about 5 more months/columns) to correct for being a skewed towards the summer, they can do so. If someone among the fans here is very familiar with statistics and setting something like this up, they can do so to make the true hit # more accurate.

    * Questions
    - Why did I not include Micro Masters or Action Masters?
    The primary reason is there were too many of them and collecting all 1984-88 figures' data was a large undertaking. I decided to include Pretenders to have data collection for 1988 be complete and because I had to include Pretenders for that end, I felt obligated to include 1989's Pretenders. If I counted each Micro Master, imagine how many that adds to the search (a little under 100). That felt like too much effort for too little return. The problem with Micro Masters additionally is they are sets of figures, some of which might only be posted under their team name, not their figure name. And while there aren't as many Action Masters (27 IIRC), they just seemed of such low interest among the fanbase it didn't seem worth collecting the data.

    - Why did I not include combiners?
    It was too complicated for counting combiners as some people just collected the 5 or 6 members of the team and were selling them together, with or without key parts needed to make the combiner (like the head). Then, for the boxed sets, it seemed like there was a higher ratio of reissues, KOs to the original. And I didn't want to count boxed sets (MIB or CIB) since the data collection for the rest of G1 didn't include that criteria.

    If someone wants to collect eBay data on the boxed sets for combiners and to try and sift through authentic vs. fakes or reissues, they can do so.

    I also collected data for Beast Wars and Beast Machines, though the data sets are much smaller. Needless to say, they show less variation over time than Transformers G1 does and the figures don't seem to move nearly as much as G1. Maybe I'll post those sometime.


    * DATA

    All numbers listed are the True Hits stat for each figure.

    * BY YEAR

    * 1984
    67- Optimus Prime
    66- Soundwave
    55- Buzzsaw
    47- Brawn, Ravage
    46- Huffer
    43- Thundercracker, Skywarp
    42- Sideswipe
    41- Bumblebee, Cliffjumper
    40- Frenzy
    39- Gears
    38- Sunstreaker, Wheeljack, Trailbreaker
    37- Mirage
    34- Hound
    32- Megatron, Windcharger
    31- Ironhide, Ratchet
    29- Laserbeak
    26- Rumble
    24- Bluestreak
    22- Starscream
    21- Jazz
    17- Prowl
    6- Bumblejumper

    (Bumblebee includes red Bumblebees, Cliffjumper includes yellow Cliffjumpers)

    - Comments:
    I suspect Starscream, Jazz, Prowl might have high hold rates among collectors (i.e. relative to the number of figures out there, these figures collectors tend to part with less). Optimus Prime & Soundwave may have high hold rates too, but they have such a huge volume of figures available that the hold rate would go unnoticed. It's hard to imagine these figures not selling well, especially as they shipped for 2-3 years (Starscream shipped to 1986 along with a few other figures). Prowl is compounded by a breakage issue (which may affect Bluestreak about as much).

    Interestingly, behind Shockwave (23), there are the fewest Megatrons of any leader-type figure (Optimus Prime, original or Powermaster, Ultra Magnus or Rodimus Prime, Galvatron) out there.

    By the way, I didn't collect much data on the red Bumblebees & yellow Cliffjumpers. Only twice did I pay attention to it but here's the data I have on that.
    Yellow: Red Bumblebees- 35:23, 13:9
    Red: Yellow Cliffjumpers- 27:26, 15:21

    Yeah... they don't seem uncommon at all. It appears, if availability is any indication, that red Bumblebees & yellow Cliffjumpers were quite common in 1984. Bumblejumper is another story though.

    I decided to go back and do for the earlier years what I did for the later years... a breakdown of the averages for each group within that year:
    Optimus Prime- 67
    Soundwave- 66
    Autobot Mini Vehicles- 41.0
    Cassettes- 39.4
    1984 Autobot Jets- 36.0
    Megatron- 32
    1984 Autobot Cars- 31.9

    * 1985
    84- Topspin
    79- Perceptor
    77- Astrotrain
    76- Kickback
    74- Bombshell
    70- Warpath
    67- Twin Twist
    66- Blitzwing
    65- Mixmaster
    63- Jetfire
    58- Shrapnel
    53- Dirge, Seaspray
    51- Blaster
    49- Sludge
    48- Grapple
    47- Bonecrusher, Scavenger, Slag
    46- Long Haul
    45- Tracks
    44- Hoist
    40- Inferno, Beachcomber
    37- Thrust
    34- Scrapper, Powerglide
    32- Red Alert
    30- Ramjet
    29- Snarl
    25- Skids, Grimlock
    24- Swoop, Venom, Cosmos
    23- Shockwave, Omega Supreme
    17- Barrage
    16- Hook, Whirl
    15- Chop Shop, Ransack
    14- Smokescreen
    13- Roadbuster

    - Comments:
    LOL. Who would have thought Topspin was the most abundant Transformer from all of G1? Jumpstarters may have been shelfwarmers, but it seems like they also sold in large volumes, likewise Insecticons (imagine the kind of inventory was being ordered to sell very well and shelfwarm. Note that the Jumpstarters & Insecticons filled a similar price point, seemingly the sweet spot for sales. GI Joe had a similar spot, figures that came with their own 'chariot' (e.g. Zartan, Serpentor, gold-masked Destro, etc) and based on a similar, parallel set of data compiled from Yojoe.com, they sold extremely well for boxed vehicles based on the numbers).

    Perceptor shipped entirely in cases of himself (like Soundwave, Blaster). I wonder if his apparent educational motif (microscope) made him sell well as a gift? That principle didn't work well for video games though (e.g. the NES game Donkey Kong Jr. Math is among the console's rarest games).

    I suspect Smokescreen and Grimlock have high hold rates as well. Hook... maybe the figure is prone to breakage? That's the only potential reason that comes to mind for it being anomalously low.

    I would have thought Blitzwing would have been more popular and thus more abundant than Astrotrain, but evidently not. Both are extremely abundant for G1 figures though (3rd & 9th most common).

    Venom sold much better than the other Deluxe Insecticons. Not having a cheaper counterpart (i.e. Chop Shop/Shrapnel, Ransack/Kickback, Barrage/Bombshell) seemed to be the reason. As a whole, the Deluxe Insecticons are on the uncommon end of G1. It might be the lack of cartoon appearances combined with a 'deluxe' price, the availability of Insecticons around $7~10 cheaper, and the much more popular Dinobots occupying a similar price point (i.e. given the choice between Dinobots and Deluxe Insecticons, which would kids choose?). Not being in the cartoon certainly didn't hurt Jumpstarter sales!

    Yeah, the Deluxe Autobots (Roadbuster, Whirl) are quite uncommon.

    I decided to go back and do for the earlier years what I did for the later years... a breakdown of the averages for each group within that year:
    Perceptor- 79
    Jumpstarters- 75.5
    1985 Triple Changers- 71.5
    Insecticons- 69.3
    Jetfire- 63
    Blaster- 51
    Autobot Mini Vehicles- 44.2
    Constructicons- 42.5
    1985 Decepticon Jets- 40.0
    1985 Autobot Cars- 35.4
    Dinobots- 35.2
    Shockwave- 23
    Omega Supreme- 23
    Deluxe Insecticons- 17.8
    Deluxe Autobots- 14.5

    * 1986
    60- Metroplex
    52- Wreck-Gar, Drag Strip
    51- Steeljaw
    50- Kup
    48- Ramhorn
    47- Ultra Magnus
    45- Galvatron
    44- Hot Spot, Eject
    43- Swindle
    40- Onslaught
    38- Silverbolt
    37- Rodimus Prime
    36- Motormaster
    35- Breakdown, Wheelie
    34- Outback
    33- Swerve
    31- Octane, Razorclaw, Rampage
    30- Blurr
    29- First Aid, Groove, Rewind
    28- Hot Rod, Air Raid
    27- Divebomb, Dead End, Runabout
    26- Scourge, Springer
    24- Tantrum, Trypticon
    23- Sandstorm, Skydive
    22- Headstrong
    21- Cyclonus, Wildrider, Brawl, Runamuck
    20- Sky Lynx
    19- Gnaw, Slingshot, Blades
    18- Broadside, Blast Off
    17- Ratbat
    16- Tailgate
    15- Streetwise
    14- Fireflight, Pipes
    8- Vortex
    7- Hubcap

    - Comments:
    I suspect Hot Rod & Rodimus Prime divided the available pool of buyers back in 1986, which might explain why neither has a very high profile for the new Autobot leader. I don't know why Vortex is so low.

    Interestingly, there are more Ultra Magnuses available than Rodimus Primes, more Galvatrons available than Megatrons.

    Yes, I am surprised there are that many Metroplexes. I'm not surprised there are less than half as many Trypticons. Trypticon was about twice the price of Metroplex.

    Battlechargers fared the worst of their series of gimmicks/price point (i.e. Jumpstarters, Battlechargers, Duocons). Jumpstarters & Duocons topped their year, Battlechargers were near the bottom. There may have been a buyer's choice issue with them (why buy the slightly more expensive Decepticons cars with the pullback gimmick when you can buy the slightly cheaper Decepticon cars that can all combine together?).

    Ratbat is so uncommon by cassette standards because it was paired up with Frenzy, who had been available for 2 years at that point (with Laserbeak). It seems like people were less willing to pay full price for a pair of figures, getting a copy of a figure they already have just to get a new figure.

    Not sure why Vortex is so uncommon. It's hard to imagine Vortex (or Hook), as member of combiner teams being that unpopular to end up that scarce. I assume damage. Vortex's helicopter blades show up often enough (more often than the figure).

    Hubcap looks to have been a bad idea. Being yellow and similar looking to Bumblebee, it looks like he didn't sell very well because of being seen as another version of Bumblebee (Goldbug was on the low end too), leading to few copies out there (there are just slightly Hubcaps more than Bumblejumpers!).

    Gnaw is definately the odd shark out though it fared a little better than most of the 1985 Deluxe figures (only Venom was more abundant than him). It's not too much of an outlier from the Predacons (see below), which seem pretty reasonably spaced out (for a case assortment): 31 (Razorclaw), 31 (Rampage), 27 (Divebomb), 24 (Tantrum), 22 (Headstrong), 19 (Gnaw). The Predacons, even if Gnaw was included, cluster far more closely than other combiner teams (which often have outlier figures on the lower end), having a 12 hit spread. Gnaw I suspect faced a similar buyer's choice to the Deluxe Insecticons: why by this when you can buy something cooler? (Predacons, which can combine).

    I decided to go back and do for the earlier years what I did for the later years... a breakdown of the averages for each group within that year:
    Metroplex- 60
    Wreck-Gar- 52
    Ultra Magnus- 47
    Galvatron- 45
    Cassettes- 37.8
    Rodimus Prime- 37
    1986 Autobot Cars- 36.0
    Stunticons- 34.2
    Protectobots- 27.2
    Predacons- 27.0
    Combaticons- 26.0
    1986 Triple Changers- 24.5
    Aerialbots- 24.4
    Trypticon- 24
    Battlechargers- 24.0
    1986 Decepticon Jets- 23.5
    Autobot Mini Vehicles- 23.2
    Sky Lynx- 20
    Gnaw- 19

    Note that Wreck-Gar & Rodimus Prime shipped in the same case assortment while Gnaw shipped with the Predacons.

    The Autobot cars were *way* more popular than the Decepticon jets.

    If we look at the Autobot Mini Vehicles (23.2), they are *way* down compared to previous years (41.0, 44.2). Being mostly retools of the figures/vehicles from 1984 (which also shipped in 1985) looks to have been a bad idea. 3 sold pretty well (Wheelie [despite modern haters], Outback, Swerve) if abundance is an indicator of sales, 3 were on the bottom end of 1986's figures by abundance (Hubcap, Pipes, Tailgate).

    * 1987
    44- Flywheels
    40- Scattershot
    37- Hun-Gurrr
    36- Pointblank
    35- Sixshot
    33- Rippersnapper, Cutthroat
    32- Sureshot
    30- Wideload
    29- Chase, Rollbar
    28- Hardhead, Crosshairs, Pounce, Battletrap
    27- Doublecross, Overkill
    26- Fastlane, Freeway
    25- Scorponok, Nosecone, Sinnertwin
    24- Weirdwolf, Cloudraker, Lightspeed, Slugfest
    23- Skullcruncher
    22- Punch-Counterpunch, Afterburner, Blot
    21- Wingspan
    20- Strafe
    19- Slugslinger, Searchlight
    18- Apeface, Grotusque, Goldbug
    17- Fortress Maximus, Mindwipe, Snapdragon
    15- Chromedome, Brainstorm
    13- Highbrow, Triggerhappy, Hot Rod (Targetmaster), Kup (Targetmaster)
    12- Cyclonus (Targetmaster)
    11- Repugnus
    10- Misfire, Blurr (Targetmaster)
    8- Scourge (Targetmaster)

    - Comments:
    Who would have thought a Duocon would be the most abundant figure from 1987?

    Yeah, funny how the Clone pairs and cassette pairs can produce different numbers when they obviously sold equal numbers. Some figures seem more prone to being broken/lost.

    Hardhead was clear and away the most abundant Headmaster Autobot and Headmaster period.

    It's surprising there isn't as wide a gap between Scorponok & Fortress Maximus as there was between Metroplex & Trypticon. The price differential was even greater (about 3x vs. about 2x for the 1986 titans). I wonder if Sixshot being available split sales similarly to Rodimus Prime/Hot Rod. Note that Scorponok & Metroplex were about the same price.

    Doublecross was way more abundant than his Monsterbot peers. Double dragons fared quite well in 1987.

    A breakdown of the averages of figures by sets is actually kind of interesting:
    Duocons - 36.0
    Sixshot- 35
    Terrorcons- 30.0
    Technobots- 26.2
    Cassettes- 25.5
    Scorponok- 25
    Throttlebots- 25.2
    Clones- 24.8
    Punch-Counterpunch- 22
    Headmasters- 19.3 (Autobots 17.8, Decepticons 21.3) [excludes Fortress Maximus, Scorponok, Horrorcons]
    Monsterbots- 18.7
    Targetmasters- 17.6 (Autobots 22.0, Decepticons 12.4)
    Horrorcons- 17.5
    Fortress Maximus- 17

    Cassettes were popular still, but they took a big step down from 1984/86. 1987 was the first year no Soundwave or Blaster were available.

    Throttlebots (25.2) were up slightly compared to 1986's Autobot mini vehicles (23.2) but they were way below the highs seen in 1984-85 for that set.

    The weakening abundance of new versions compared to their counterparts of previous years was reflecting the diminishing popularity of Transformers. Cassettes, Throttlebots both underperformed (by abundance) vs. previous years. While combiner teams did quite well in 1987, I wondered how they might fare if compared to 1986's combiner teams. Now, if we sum all the true hit values for combiners, we get 281 vs. 1986's 559 (excludes Predacons. Trying to keep the sets as parallel as possible. Predacons were all boxed and priced more than even the boxed team leaders). If the base of buyers was close to the same size and the desire for combiners was the same, having fewer teams to choose from should have led to higher sales for those fewer teams. If we average those numbers 28.1 (1987) vs. 28.0 (1986), basically identical. The averages are the same for any given figure though the total abundance is lower.

    The Headmasters & Targetmasters are like a yin-yang. The Decepticon Headmasters were far more abundant than the Autobot Headmasters but the Autobot Targetmasters were far more abundant than the Decepticon Targetmasters. Horrorcons also are more abundant than Decepticon Headmasters. Perhaps we can derive that animal-based Decepticons fared better than vehicle-based Decepticons while Autobot cars fared better than futuristic aircraft?

    For being the core concepts of 1987, Headmasters & Targetmasters didn't rank very well among all of 1987's offerings. They fill the bottom half. Traditionals like combiner teams, cassettes, mini vehicles did well (Duocons fared great though).

    If you want a further look at the -masters of 1987 & 1988, look no further:
    1988 Targetmasters- 22.3
    1987 Headmasters- 19.3
    1988 Powermasters- 18.8
    1987 Targetmasters- 17.6
    1987 Horrorcons- 17.5
    1988 Headmasters- 16.5

    1988 Autobot Targetmasters- 27.0
    1987 Autobot Targetmasters- 22.0
    1988 Decepticon Powermasters- 21.5
    1987 Decepticon Headmasters- 21.3
    1987 Autobot Headmasters- 17.8
    1988 Decepticon Headmasters- 17.7
    1988 Decepticon Targetmasters- 17.7
    1987 Horrorcons- 17.5
    1988 Autobot Powermasters- 17.0
    1988 Autobot Headmasters- 15.3
    1987 Decepticon Targetmasters- 12.4

    The 1988 Targetmasters were considerably more abundant than their 1987 counterparts. Perhaps it was price, perhaps it was something about the figures that was appealing (Landfill, Scoop, Quickmix were quite abundant). Autobot Targetmasters were by far the most popular of the bunch.

    1987 Decepticon Headmasters performed the best of any set of Headmasters and the 1988 Autobot Headmasters fared the worst of that gimmick.

    * 1988
    44- Tentakil
    39- Powermaster Optimus Prime
    36- Snaptrap, Seawing
    31- Overbite, Grandslam
    30- Doubledealer
    29- Skalor, Landfill
    26- Scoop, Quickmix
    25- Beastbox
    23- Fangry, Squeezeplay
    22- Darkwing, Quickswitch
    21- Dreadwind
    20- Squawktalk, Slapdash, Joyride
    19- Nautilator, Quake, Fizzle
    18- Raindance, Cloudburst
    17- Nightbeat, Hosehead, Spinister, Needlenose
    15- Cindersaur, Landmine
    14- Sizzle, Waverider, Submarauder
    13- Bomb-Burst, Catilla
    12- Siren, Backstreet, Guzzle, Skullgrin, Roadgrabber
    11- Getaway, Sparkstalker
    10- Dogfight, Flamefeather
    9- Iguanus, Gunrunner
    8- Override, Ruckus, Groundbreaker, Bugly, Finback
    7- Horri-Bull, Sky High
    6- Crankcase, Chainclaw
    5- Splashdown, Carnivac, Snarler
    3- Windsweeper

    - Comments:
    5 of the top 10 from 1988 are Seacons. It looks like, since the 1988 combiner team average (32.5) is higher than the 1987 average (28.1) or the 1986 average (28.0, excludes Predacons), it seems like, when presented with 1988's offerings, more buyers opted for the combiner team, preferring it to all the newer features or groups. Seacons actally drive up the year's average. The total year averages to 17 but parsed, the Pretender side averages to 10, the non-Pretender side averages to 20. Without the Seacons that 20 drops to 18 (it's 19.8 vs. 17.8 going out 1 decimal place). 6 figures of a set of 38 pull the average up considerably. If you wanted to boil down what was popular in 1988 if abundance is any indication: Powermaster Optimus Prime, Seacons, Doubledealer.

    Yeah, if abundances are any indication, Pretenders were not popular. None were higher than 18 (Cloudburst). Of course, the Triggerbots/cons and Sparkabots/Firecons didn't seem to be very abundant either. That's odd because their price point in previous years tended to fare quite well.

    I have no idea why Horri-Bull is that rare. He's a major outlier compared to the other 2 Decepticon Headmasters.

    A breakdown of the averages of figures by sets is actually kind of interesting:
    Powermaster Optimus Prime- 39
    Seacons- 32.5
    Doubledealer- 30
    Cassettes- 23.5
    Quickswitch- 22
    Targetmasters- 22.3 (Autobots 27.0, Decepticons 17.7)
    Powermasters- 18.8 (Autobots 17.0, Decepticons 21.5) [excludes Optimus & Doubledealer]
    Headmasters- 16.5 (Autobots 15.3, Decepticons 17.7)
    Sparkabots/Firecons- 13.5 (Sparkabots 15.0, Firecons 12.0)
    Pretenders- 10.9 (Wave I 14.3, Wave II 7.5)
    Pretender Vehicles- 10.5
    Triggerbots/cons- 7.8 (Triggerbots 10.0, Triggercons 5.7)
    Pretender Beasts- 7.3

    Targetmasters were the most abundant, followed by Powermasters and finally Headmasters. Decepticon Powermasters, Autobot Targetmasters were significantly more abundant than their opposite faction counterparts.

    * 1989
    13- Pincher
    11- Bludgeon, Octopunch
    10- Stranglehold, Icepick
    9- Bumblebee (Pretender)
    8- Scowl, Slog
    7- Crossblades, Skyhammer, Jazz (Pretender)
    6- Wildfly
    5- Doubleheader, Longtooth, Vroom, Grimlock (Pretender)
    4- Birdbrain, Bristleback
    3- Starscream (Pretender)
    2- Roadblock, Thunderwing

    - Comments:
    Pincher was the only junior Pretender Autobot to be abundant (by 1989 standards). The others are on the bottom half of 1989's Pretenders. All 3 Decepticon Pretenders fared well.

    * Mail Orders
    40- Overdrive
    21- Powerdashers
    20- Reflector
    19- Camshaft
    13- Downshift

    - Comments:
    Despite the reputation, there are quite a few figures as uncommon or even more uncommon than Reflector. I did my best to omit counting KOs. I think what might be overlooked is, for as popular as Transformers was, there weren't many exclusives to be spending Robot Points on, not nearly as much as G.I. Joe, which for many years had great exclusives to use Flag Points on (hooded Cobra Commander, the original Sgt. Slaughter, the Fridge, Steel Brigade, Starduster, Super Trooper, Serpentor from 1988 on, and a whole bunch from 1992-94). And their selections of figures from yesteryear wasn't that great either (I've seen scans of the pamphlets).

    If the Omnibots were a race, Overdrive won. It's obviously no contest between a red car and a white or gray/metallic car.

    - General Comments:
    White is a weak seller. Be it Ramjet, Downshift, Runamuck, Searchlight. White vehicles always seemed to be weak sellers compared to other colors. Breakdown seems like one of the few to buck the trend. Red usually did well (Sideswipe, Overdrive, Chase). Burgundy Dead End also bucks the trend.


    84- Topspin
    79- Perceptor
    77- Astrotrain
    76- Kickback
    74- Bombshell
    70- Warpath
    67- Optimus Prime, Twin Twist
    66- Soundwave, Blitzwing
    65- Mixmaster
    63- Jetfire
    60- Metroplex
    58- Shrapnel
    55- Buzzsaw
    53- Dirge, Seaspray
    52- Wreck-Gar, Drag Strip
    51- Blaster, Steeljaw
    50- Kup
    49- Sludge
    48- Grapple, Ramhorn
    47- Brawn, Ravage, Bonecrusher, Scavenger, Slag, Ultra Magnus
    46- Huffer, Long Haul
    45- Tracks, Galvatron
    44- Hoist, Hot Spot, Eject, Flywheels, Tentakil
    43- Thundercracker, Skywarp, Swindle
    42- Sideswipe
    41- Bumblebee, Cliffjumper
    40- Frenzy, Overdrive, Inferno, Beachcomber, Onslaught, Scattershot
    39- Gears, Powermaster Optimus Prime
    38- Sunstreaker, Wheeljack, Trailbreaker, Silverbolt
    37- Mirage, Thrust, Rodimus Prime, Hun-Gurrr
    36- Motormaster, Pointblank, Snaptrap, Seawing
    35- Breakdown, Wheelie, Sixshot
    34- Hound, Scrapper, Powerglide, Outback
    33- Swerve, Rippersnapper, Cutthroat
    32- Megatron, Windcharger, Red Alert, Sureshot
    31- Ironhide, Ratchet, Octane, Razorclaw, Rampage, Overbite, Grand Slam
    30- Ramjet, Blurr, Wideload, Doubledealer
    29- Laserbeak, Snarl, First Aid, Groove, Rewind, Chase, Rollbar, Skalor, Landfill
    28- Hot Rod, Air Raid, Hardhead, Crosshairs, Pounce, Battletrap
    27- Divebomb, Dead End, Runabout, Doublecross, Overkill
    26- Rumble, Scourge, Springer, Fastlane, Freeway, Scoop, Quickmix
    25- Skids, Grimlock, Scorponok, Nosecone, Sinnertwin, Beastbox
    24- Bluestreak, Swoop, Venom, Cosmos, Tantrum, Trypticon, Weirdwolf, Cloudraker, Lightspeed, Slugfest
    23- Shockwave, Omega Supreme, Sandstorm, Skydive, Skullcruncher, Fangry, Squeezeplay
    22- Starscream, Headstrong, Punch-Counterpunch, Afterburner, Blot, Darkwing, Quickswitch
    21- Jazz, Powerdashers, Cyclonus, Wildrider, Brawl, Runamuck, Wingspan, Dreadwind
    20- Sky Lynx, Reflector, Strafe, Squawktalk, Slapdash, Joyride
    19- Camshaft, Gnaw, Slingshot, Blades, Slugslinger, Searchlight, Nautilator, Quake, Fizzle
    18- Apeface, Grotusque, Goldbug, Raindance, Cloudburst
    17- Prowl, Barrage, Ratbat, Fortress Maximus, Mindwipe, Snapdragon, Nightbeat, Hosehead, Spinister, Needlenose
    16- Hook, Whirl, Tailgate
    15- Chop Shop, Ransack, Streetwise, Chromedome, Brainstorm, Cindersaur, Landmine
    14- Smokescreen, Fireflight, Pipes, Sizzle, Waverider, Submarauder
    13- Downshift, Roadbuster, Highbrow, Triggerhappy, Hot Rod (Targetmaster), Kup (Targetmaster), Bomb-Burst, Catilla, Pincher
    12- Cyclonus (Targetmaster), Siren, Backstreet, Guzzle, Skullgrin, Roadgrabber
    11- Repugnus, Getaway, Sparkstalker, Bludgeon, Octopunch
    10- Misfire, Blurr (Targetmaster), Dogfight, Flamefeather, Stranglehold, Icepick
    9- Iguanus, Gunrunner, Bumblebee (Pretender)
    8- Vortex, Scourge (Targetmaster), Override, Ruckus, Groundbreaker, Bugly, Finback, Scowl, Slog
    7- Hubcap, Horri-Bull, Sky High, Crossblades, Skyhammer, Jazz (Pretender)
    6- Bumblejumper, Crankcase, Chainclaw, Wildfly
    5- Splashdown, Carnivac, Snarler, Doubleheader, Longtooth, Vroom, Grimlock (Pretender)
    4- Birdbrain, Bristleback
    3- Windsweeper, Starscream (Pretender)
    2- Roadblock, Thunderwing

    I'll post some additional stuff a little later.
    • Like Like x 2
  2. Chaos Mage

    Chaos Mage Madman

    Jan 31, 2003
    Trophy Points:
    Epic thread! Thanks for doing this research. I'll be studying this for a while.
  3. siccoyote

    siccoyote Worst side of the fandom

    Jun 14, 2011
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    Topspin, the most common G1 toy in existence, and one of my favs as a kid
  4. Chefdova

    Chefdova Nerd alert

    Sep 30, 2013
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    Cool stats
  5. ServO

    ServO Seeker (I look for stuff) Super Mod

    Feb 18, 2009
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    What an awesome thread!
  6. El Zilcho

    El Zilcho Well-Known Member

    Apr 9, 2014
    Trophy Points:
    Huh, that's some really cool analysis and neat reading. Thanks for all your hard work!

    Regarding some of the outliers:

    I picked up a vintage Combaticon set and ended up having to buy a second Vortex shortly thereafter. I forget exactly what happened, just that when I pulled the rear half of his helicopter mode out to transform the arms to robot mode, something in the figure's torso shattered and the arms just came off. I ended up buying a junker Vortex and swapping out some internal parts. Not sure if this is a widespread problem but, if it is, could explain why Vortexes (Vortices?) are harder to come by.

    And I seem to recall that Horri-Bull has a breakage problem. IIRC, the bull head can snap off at the neck joint; I think there was a repair/fix thread here for it awhile back.
  7. Ultra Lagmus

    Ultra Lagmus Well-Known Member

    Aug 18, 2011
    Trophy Points:
    * Average of all figures from a year (true hits):
    1984- 38
    1985- 42
    1986- 30
    1987- 23
    1988- 17 (Non-Pretender Avg: 20, Pretender Avg: 10)
    1989- 7 (Pretenders only)

    I've only been collecting Beast Wars data for half the time, but if you want some perspective on these numbers vs. other lines, the true hit #s for Beast Wars (subject to change with more data) are:
    1996- 26
    1997- 21
    1998- 28
    1999- 21
    2000- 10 (these are those 4 mutants with 2 beast modes, no robot mode)

    Beast Machines averages to 16 but that hides the steep decline it saw when we group figures by their release times:
    Dec 1999- 37
    Spring 2000- 19
    Summer 2000- 14
    Fall/Late 2000- 10
    2001- 7

    Anyway, the point of this was to give a sense of perspective. 30+ is really high. 20-30 is good, on par with Beast Wars levels of sales. 1984 & 1985 had stellar numbers, 1986 was still great, 1987 was weaker but still good in context. 1988 is where it starts to falter (Beast Machines territory). The Pretender/non-Pretender divide is telling.

    (Kinda fascinating Beast Machines had a great reception at its launch if the availability of figures is any indication. Beast Wars' best year was the year of transmetals & fuzors)

    Top 25 Most Common Figures
    1. Topspin (84)
    2. Perceptor (79)
    3. Astrotrain (77)
    4. Kickback (76)
    5. Bombshell (74)
    6. Warpath (70)
    7. Optimus Prime (67)
    7. Twin Twist (67)
    9. Soundwave (66)
    9. Blitzwing (66)
    11. Mixmaster (65)
    12. Jetfire (63)
    13. Metroplex (60)
    14. Shrapnel (58)
    15. Buzzsaw (55)
    16. Dirge (53)
    16. Seaspray (53)
    18. Wreck-Gar (52)
    18. Drag Strip (52)
    20. Blaster (51)
    20. Steeljaw (51)
    22. Kup (50)
    23. Sludge (49)
    24. Grapple (48)
    24. Ramhorn (48)

    - Comments:
    The breakdown of the top 25 are 3 figures from 1984, 16(!) figures from 1985, 6 figures from 1986. None from 1987, 1988 made the cut (both those years capped at 44).

    Top 25 Least Common Figures
    1. Roadblock (2)
    1. Thunderwing (2)
    3. Windsweeper (3)
    3. Starscream (Pretender) (3)
    5. Birdbrain (4)
    5. Bristleback (4)
    7. Splashdown (5)
    7. Carnivac (5)
    7. Snarler (5)
    7. Doubleheader (5)
    7. Longtooth (5)
    7. Vroom (5)
    13. Grimlock (Pretender) (5)
    ~ Bumblejumper (6)
    14. Crankcase (6)
    14. Chainclaw (6)
    14. Wildfly (6)
    17. Hubcap (7)
    17. Horri-Bull (7)
    17. Sky High (7)
    17. Crossblades (7)
    17. Skyhammer (7)
    17. Jazz (Pretender) (7)
    23. Vortex (8)
    23. Scourge (Targetmaster) (8)
    23. Override (8)
    23. Ruckus (8)
    23. Groundbreaker (8)
    23. Bugly (8)
    23. Finback (8)
    23. Scowl (8)
    23. Slog (8)

    - Comments:
    23/31 are Pretenders.

    Top 25 Least Common Figures Excluding Pretenders
    1. Windsweeper (3)
    ~ Bumblejumper (6)
    2. Crankcase (6)
    3. Hubcap (7)
    3. Horri-Bull (7)
    5. Vortex (8)
    5. Scourge (Targetmaster) (8)
    5. Override (8)
    5. Ruckus (8)
    9. Misfire (10)
    9. Blurr (Targetmaster) (10)
    9. Dogfight (10)
    9. Flamefeather (10)
    13. Repugnus (11)
    13. Getaway (11)
    13. Sparkstalker (11)
    16. Cyclonus (Targetmaster) (12)
    16. Siren (12)
    16. Backstreet (12)
    16. Guzzle (12)
    20. Downshift (13)
    20. Roadbuster (13)
    20. Highbrow (13)
    20. Triggerhappy (13)
    20. Hot Rod (Targetmaster) (13)
    20. Kup (Targetmaster) (13)

    - Comments:
    The breakdown of the top 25 (well, bottom 25) are: 0 from 1984, 1 from 1985, 2 from 1986, 9 from 1987 (5/9 are the retooled figures from 1986 reissued as Targetmasters), 12 from 1988 (6 are Triggerbots/cons, 3 are Sparkabots/Firecons), and 1 was a mail-order figure.

    Top 3 Most Common Figures from a Given Year
    1984- Optimus Prime (67), Soundwave (66), Buzzsaw (55)
    1985- Topspin (84), Perceptor (79), Astrotrain (77)
    1986- Metroplex (60), Wreck-Gar (52), Drag Strip (52)
    1987- Flywheels (44), Scattershot (40), Hun-Gurrr (37)
    1988- Tentakil (44), Powermaster Optimus Prime (39), Snaptrap (36), Seawing (36)
    1989- Pincher (13), Bludgeon (11), Octopunch (11)

    Top 3 Least Common Figures from a Given Year
    1984- Prowl (17), Jazz (21), Starscream (22)
    1985- Roadbuster (13), Smokescreen (14), Chop Shop (15), Ransack (15)
    1986- Hubcap (7), Vortex (8), Fireflight (14), Pipes (14)
    1987- Scourge (Targetmaster) (8), Misfire (10), Blurr (Targetmaster) (10)
    1988- Windsweeper (3), Splashdown (5), Carnivac (5), Snarler (5)
    1989- Roadblock (2), Thunderwing (2), Starscream (Pretender) (3)

    * Here is the total number of hits from each round of data collection (sum of all the figures monitored from 1984-89):
    E 6/13 19002
    L 6/13 17032
    M 7/13 16291 (lowest in the year)
    M 7/13 17312
    L 7/13 17205
    E 8/13 17028
    M 8/13 18366 (the numbers start to steadily climb from here on)
    L 8/13 19079
    M 9/13 19431
    M 10/13 19535
    E 11/13 22051 (the total really shoots up here)
    L 11/13 22474 (highest in the year)
    M 12/13 22033 (week before Christmas)
    M 1/14 21143
    M 2/14 19938 (the numbers start to come down from the holiday season)
    M 3/14 18506
    M 4/14 18588
    E 5/14 18815
    E 6/14 19319

    If the 2013-14 timeframe was reflective of how volumes of items available behave, then the volume bottoms out over late June through early August before steadily rising over August, holding steady until the start of November, when the holiday selling season begins. The peak is around late November. It remains high through January, though falls into February and holds at around the same level throughout spring.

    By comparison, Beast Wars' volume has been between 2596 & 3251. Beast Machines' volume has been between 877 & 1012. That gives you a sense of scale. They also show less variation month to month, with only the bigger moves of the cycle of the year pulling the numbers up or down more noticeably.

    * How many hits on average does each year have? Here is the sum of the average of the # hits (not true hits, that's elsewhere) for all figures from a given year:
    1984 5027 (27%)
    1985 4765 (26%)
    1986 3932 (21%)
    1987 2199 (12%)
    1988 2012 (11%)
    1989 633 (3%)

    The funny part is 1985 has a higher true hit average for its year, so this indicates the 1984 parts have more parts cluttering up searches or more reissues, whatnot. The purpose of posting this was just to give a sense of the volume of each year on a search.
  8. Ultra Lagmus

    Ultra Lagmus Well-Known Member

    Aug 18, 2011
    Trophy Points:
    Thanks for the info. I figured it had to be something. I was wondering if it was by design or by the nature of kids playing with it and the shape (e.g. kids throwing an aerial vehicle and a plane being more adept at landing with less damage than a helicopter). GI Joe had some gliders in 1983 that were horrendously bad and often broke after one throw which led to bad word of mouth depressing their sales (parents/kids telling other parents/kids how defective it was). It was cheap foam. In 1991-92, they revisited the gliders, but here they were made out of soft bendable plastic and didn't break like the old ones did (still didn't glide very well though). Hook has some metal clamp or part that seems to be prone to breaking, so I figured that's why he was so uncommon.

    Does Jazz have any breakage issues? I'm wondering why he might be so low besides the hold or retention rate. And was Prowl any more prone to breaking than his palette/mold swap, Bluestreak?
  9. strangeguy32000

    strangeguy32000 Well-Known Member

    May 23, 2012
    Trophy Points:
    Columbus, Ohio
    I'm not surprised to see Optimus as one of the more common toys. Every Kid had to have Optimus and when Every damn kid has to have a certain figure, that toy sells like you wouldn't believe and becomes really goddamn common. (Of course it doesn't help that Optimus Prime was reissued a million fucking times)

    Take for example, the original talking Buzz Lightyear toy from Winter 1995. He was the Star of the biggest animated feature of 1995 and every kid had to have one (myself included). If you guys recall Tour Guide Barbie's Quote from Toy Story 2: "this is the Buzz Lightyear aisle. Back in 1995, short-sighted retailers did not order enough dolls to meet demand.". Evidently, that wasn't the scriptwriter making shit up. I used to own an original talking Buzz Lightyear doll from 1995 (Got it that Christmas, as I recall) so I know Exactly what the figure looked like and it isn't as common as subsequent releases (subsequent releases had running changes like different or painted hands) on eBay.
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2014
  10. Ultra Lagmus

    Ultra Lagmus Well-Known Member

    Aug 18, 2011
    Trophy Points:
    And a little bit more:

    * Combiner Team Aggregates

    Team Averages
    Constructicons- 42.5
    Stunticons- 34.2
    Seacons- 32.5
    Terrorcons- 30.0
    Protectobots- 27.2
    Predacons- 27.0
    Technobots- 26.2
    Combaticons- 26.0
    Aerialbots- 24.4

    True Hit #s
    65- Mixmaster
    52- Drag Strip
    47- Bonecrusher, Scavenger
    46- Long Haul
    44- Hot Spot, Tentakil
    43- Swindle
    40- Onslaught, Scattershot
    38- Silverbolt
    37- Hun-Gurrr
    36- Motormaster, Snaptrap, Seawing
    35- Breakdown
    34- Scrapper
    33- Rippersnapper, Cutthroat
    31- Razorclaw, Rampage, Overbite
    29- First Aid, Groove, Skalor
    28- Air Raid
    27- Dead End, Divebomb
    25- Nosecone, Sinnertwin
    24- Tantrum, Lightspeed
    23- Skydive
    22- Headstrong, Afterburner, Blot
    21- Wildrider, Brawl
    20- Strafe
    19- Slingshot, Blades, Nautilator, (Gnaw)
    18- Blast Off
    16- Hook
    15- Streetwise
    14- Fireflight
    8- Vortex

    - Comments:
    Big picture, besides the Constructicons being a major outlier on the positive side from the pack, no matter what year they came out in, combiner figures tend to fare pretty similarly at the individual level. 1988's team (Seacons) came out in a year considerably weaker than previous years and yet you wouldn't be able to tell by looking at this list.

    Mixmaster is by far the most abundant combiner team member. He's also the 11th most common G1 figure. Seems the cement mixer was quite popular. Constructicons also seem to have sold extremely well if their abundance is any indication. 3 of the top 5 spots are filled with Constructicons.

    Swindle (8th) generally seems to be known as a popular combiner team member, but Drag Strip (2nd) and Tentakil (6th) also really stand out. Maybe Swindle's character left an impression or maybe jeeps are popular, but it seems like a non-conforming yellow race car and a tentacled monster made their figure stand out from the pack.

    The boxed team leaders of Scramble City-style combiners (i.e. everybody but the Constructicons, Predacons) tended to be more abundant than their regular team members. All leaders had true hit #s that were good by G1 standards (true hit #: 36-44). It is a bit surprising the powder blue fire truck (Hot Spot) was the most abundant combiner team leader.

    The gap between Nautilator (19) and the next lowest Seacon (29) makes me wonder, was that big a chunk of Seacon sales from the Piranacon giftsets?

    I was actually surprised Brawl wasn't as abundant. One would think the only modern army green tank (as opposed to red Warpath & Quake and desert color Blitzwing or futuristic Hardhead) would be quite abundant.

    Among team averages, it is no surprise the Constructicons are on top. What's interesting is the Aerialbots & Combaticons seem popular (at least, their gestalts seem to be) yet they are last & 2nd to last in abundance. The Combaticons are dragged down by some very low abundance figures (Blast Off, Vortex) while the Aerialbots just have a low average on the whole. The Stunticons are 2nd, the Seacons are 3rd. The Protectobots end up as being the must abundant Autobot combiner team. The Terrorcons also fare quite well (4th).

    The Constructicons as a set were considerably more abundant than other combiner teams. Part was likely innate popularity (evil construction vehicles with a unified color scheme) but part was definately the lack of competition from other combiner teams. 1985, 1988 released teams had the least competition while 1986, 1987 had the most. Also, part was likely due to 1985 being a peak year for Transformers and thus having more fans and thus more sales and thus more figures available (i.e. obviously a 1988 released figure would have the landscape set against them for having numbers comparable to the average or stronger side of 1985's data).

    Whether they came out in 1986, 1987, or 1988, combiner teams seemed to sell very well on the whole compared to other batches, especially as sales of the line's more primary boxed figures started to wane. 5/6 Seacons are among the top 10 figures of 1988 and the 2 team leaders in 1987 were the 2nd & 3rd most abundant figures from 1987.

    Gnaw is noted because Gnaw originally shipped with the Predacon assortment so everything could be even (i.e. 5 into 12 just won't go. 6 would).

    * What's in a Name? Would a Terrorcon leader by any other name be as ferocious?

    Hun-G_r was tricky to compile since his name is commonly spelled many different ways. I compiled his hits and true hits as a sum of the results from Hun-Gurrr, Hun-Grrr, and Hun-Grr, being mindful of duplicate hits. Anyway, here's the data on how many hits come up with each spelling, averaged over the course of the entire year:

    Hun-Gurrr: 27.06 (45%)
    Hun-Grrr: 22.83 (38%)
    Hun-Grr 10.17 (17%)

    While the official spelling (at least, the most prominent official spelling since -Grrr shows up on packaging & catalogs as well) is the most common, it doesn't even have a majority of the hits, just a plurality. Hun-Grrr comes in quite strong, just 7% behind Hun-Gurrr (about 3/8ths of all hits).

    * Cassettes
    55- Buzzsaw
    51- Steeljaw
    48- Ramhorn
    47- Ravage
    44- Eject
    40- Frenzy
    31- Grand Slam
    29- Laserbeak, Rewind
    27- Overkill
    26- Rumble
    25- Beastbox
    24- Slugfest
    20- Squawktalk
    18- Raindance
    17- Ratbat

    - Comments:
    The 1984 & 1986 (Autobot) Cassettes obviously did the best (Buzzsaw benefitted by being included with one of the top-selling figures) but the 1987 & 1988 Cassettes generally fared well vs. their years.

    Note that all Cassettes with a few exceptions were on sale for 3+ years (Laserbeak, Ratbat, and the 1988 Cassettes are the exceptions. They were on sale for 2 years).

    It's funny how far apart Ravage & Rumble are when they were sold paired up.
  11. Ultra Lagmus

    Ultra Lagmus Well-Known Member

    Aug 18, 2011
    Trophy Points:
    Optimus Prime also shipped in 1985 (Soundwave shipped in 1985 & 1986 too. Note that both shipped in their own case assortments) but unlike other figures from a previous year, where the number of cases ordered may go down due to expected decline in demand or Hasbro lowers their allotment (many figures shipped the next year often 1 per case. For example, 1984 Autobot Cars in with their 1985 counterparts, Dirge, Ramjet, and Thrust were in the 1986 Decepticon Jets case... along with Starscream for his final bow), if a figure is hugely popular, they may have been ordered at a volume equal to the past. Heck, it's possible there are *more* 1985 made/shipped Optimuses out there than 1984 ones (of course, unlike GI Joe, the packaging all remained the same with only a few exceptions or oddities [Ultra Magnuses with 1985 backs (later switching to 1986 backs), the 1985 Seekers and a figure here or there with 1984 backs, etc]). In the US, with the NES, there are actually more copies of many of the early "black box" games (games that first came out in 1985-87) produced in 1988 than there were in 1985-87 combined (something unthinkable now, for games to sell *more* 1-3 years after their release than in their original release year). Had to do with the NES really taking off over late 1987 and selling at a very brisk clip in 1988 compared to the previous years (though before Fall 1986, Nintendo was only in NYC & LA and possibly another test market or so. People see "Oct 1985" as its launch date and envision a nationwide launch then but that's actually not true).

    Of course, there's still some mysteries, like if the one-year only figures/cases (Shockwave, 1985 Autobot Cars, 1986 Triple Changers) exited as soon as the new figures arrived or if they hung around and disappeared a little later in the year (I recall someone mentioning the Blitzwing movie box, which was a rare one BTW, being purchased like in May 1987 or something like that and it wasn't being clearanced or dust-covered).
  12. [Wing_Saber-X]

    [Wing_Saber-X] Takara Fanboy Collector

    May 24, 2004
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    cool, would be appreciative if you did one for Japanese and Europe G1 and G2 TF's as well. It would serve the collecting community well. :D 
  13. Superquad7

    Superquad7 OCP Police Crime Prevention Unit 001 Super Content Contributor

    May 19, 2003
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    This is really cool. Your work here is admirable. :thumb 
  14. maz25

    maz25 Well-Known Member

    May 19, 2009
    Trophy Points:
    Skippack, PA
    2nd what Squad said. Bang-up job man.
  15. Mixmaster

    Mixmaster 4F 68 A0 54 69 74 73 21

    Aug 28, 2006
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    Impressive work, Ultra Lagmus
  16. El Zilcho

    El Zilcho Well-Known Member

    Apr 9, 2014
    Trophy Points:
    Both Prowl and Jazz are white, so maybe it's because they're more somewhat more likely to have problems with yellowing? Could explain the Prowl/Bluestreak difference, but just speculating here.
  17. alldarker

    alldarker M.A.S.K. Crusader

    Apr 3, 2008
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    This is just wonderful information! I've probably mentioned it before in other threads where you presented some of your findings, but your work in collecting this data is highly appreciated! I haven't had enough time to read through all of it, but it looks extremely thorough and well-though out.
    In the mean time, I can add these pointers to your info:

    Speaking from experience, I'd say that Jazz's 'innovative' roof sliding mechanism is indeed even more prone to breaking than the Bluestreak / Prowl / Smokescreen roofs. Not sure about Prowl though, although like El Zicho wrote earlier, the yellowing of white plastic might also have something to do with it.

    And regarding Headmaster JR Horri-Bull, there is also a comparable explanation for his relative rarity: his mold has an inherent flaw which makes it very easy for his head to break at the hinges if pushed too far back during transformation.

    I guess in general damage of any kind (due to mold flaws, yellowing or GPS) will make people throw away a toy much faster, making those toys relatively rarer to find.
  18. AzT

    AzT Moderator News Staff TFW2005 Supporter

    Jul 26, 2013
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    ^^^This :thumb  :bowdown: 
  19. El Zilcho

    El Zilcho Well-Known Member

    Apr 9, 2014
    Trophy Points:
    Also, people with a good copy of the figure would probably be more likely to keep it, reducing the presence of that figure on eBay.

    The other big factors appear to be if a figure has important parts that are easily lost or a built-in gimmick that can be easily damaged. Of the 25 least-common-excluding-Pretenders, 10 have gimmicks that can malfunction or degrade with age (Sparkabots/Firecons, Triggerbots/cons, Repugnus). Personally, I remember trying to find copies of Dogfight, Repugnus and Fizzle (not on the list) with functioning gimmicks and having a tough time of it. A further 11 figures on that list are Target/Power/Headmasters, where the important -master partners are easy to lose. People with 'complete' -master figures may be less likely to part with them, reducing the overall presence of these figures on eBay, even though -masterless Power/Targetmasters were counted as 'hits'. Of the remaining 4 figures, Roadbuster has a crapload of accessories and some are easy to lose. That just leaves Vortex (possible breakage issue), Bumblejumper (rare) and Downshift (mail-away).

    Looking at the two rarest toys overall, one of them (Roadblock) has significant problems with GPS. And 6 of the 25 figures on the overall rarest list are the Monster Pretenders, two of which have GPS and all of which have the potential for rot/degradation of their Pretender shells.
  20. Snake_eyes1975

    Snake_eyes1975 Well-Known Member

    Sep 14, 2010
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    holy shit...your so smart your hurting my brain.

    this is just impressive work...