My Holy Grail of collecting...The TYCO Transformers Trainset

Discussion in 'Transformers Toy Discussion' started by Autobot Burnout, Jan 7, 2020.

  1. Autobot Burnout

    Autobot Burnout Dukeup Nukhead

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    The TYCO 'Transformers Electric Train And Battle Set' is a fairly obscure piece of the franchise's period from its original golden age. One of five versions of what is essentially the same set of train cars with variations made by TYCO between 1985 - 1988 (the others being GI JOE, A-Team, MASK, and Rambo) due to heavy component reuse as TYCO was not doing well at all in the train market at the time, the Transformers set comes with a unique caboose that transforms into a 'hawkfighter' while also adjusting the wheels so it can still ride on the track...despite being, y'know, a plane now.

    Ah, the 80s.

    It came with some cardboard structures to simulate a generic power station complex (literally named 'Desert Power Station' in a fun little bit of self-awareness), a playmat, a collection of generic looking robots cast in two colors to be Autobots and Decepticons, a simple track oval, a basic power supply, and the train itself consisting of a generic diesel with 'search mode', a coal gondola that flipped the load to reveal a laser canon, a boxcar that unfolded into some kind of command center, and the aforementioned unique 'hawkfighter' caboose.


    As a Transformers fan AND an avid HO scale train moddeler, I have wanted this for more than half my life but the aftermarket prices usually were on the high side for what would simply be a novelty to me.

    However, after a discovery in a vintage toy shop near my workplace and as a birthday gift to myself...I FINALLY HAVE MY HOLY GRAIL.

    20200107_183723[1].jpg

    Original packaging (though I want to strangle the kid who probably poked all those holes in the awesome box art with a pencil), original paperwork, and only missing the interior wall piece of the secondary power plant building, the radar dish box that goes inside the boxcar, and some of the generic mini robot figures. And the locomotive is fully functional! Needs a little lubricant given it's nearly 40 years old but the light still works as does the motor.

    "But wait!" you might say, "the stickers are missing!"

    Yes, yes they are.

    That is why Reprolabels exists. And they have the reproduction sticker set available for order as a special printing.

    Needless to say, this is going to be a CENTERPIECE of my collection.
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2020
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  2. iacon45

    iacon45 Missing: One Custom Title

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    Very nice find. You definitely got lucky with that set with most of it intact. :) 
     
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  3. Hoptimus

    Hoptimus How I roll.

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    Fabulous! I hope you have a good place to set it up and display it. I've always been intrigued by this set, never seen one in person.

    Are you going to keep it original, or maybe display it with some Legends-class figs, maybe Omega Supreme? Congrats and enjoy.
     
  4. Autobot Burnout

    Autobot Burnout Dukeup Nukhead

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    Actually, I've gotten some spare Atlas SnapTrack 9" lengths and put the train on display on a new shelving unit I got for Christmas. It's going to be displayed by itself, most of the set staying in the box unless I get a gigantic display area for it in the far future once I get my own place (still slumming it with my parents to build up a nest egg). If it gets displayed with anything in the future, it'll probably be with other trains on shelves, with the joke of course being it's a "train in disguise".

    I'm actually lucky that the original stickers never appear to have been put on. It will make applying the Reprolabels that much easier, though the Hawkfighter wings I might leave intact for now as those stickers aren't too damaged with age.
     
  5. DesertDog

    DesertDog is a Limited Edition redeco.

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    Nice! That's one of my Holy Grails as well, I've wanted it since first seeing it in Sear's Christmas catalogue. Every time one turns up its either out of my range or it's snapped up before I can grab it.
     
  6. Autobot Burnout

    Autobot Burnout Dukeup Nukhead

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    Yeah, I got super lucky with this one. The guy was willing to give me a straight 20% discount (without realizing it at the time until I did some quick math later) from the price of $110, meaning I could have it for $90, but it was missing the stickers so I was hesitant.

    Then I learned that Reprolabels put that exact set of stickers up for special order on their site back in 2009! I even posted in the thread about it at the time, too!

    Originally I wanted to buy this on my birthday in two weeks, but the guy said he wouldn't hold it without a down payment of 50% of the price (he'd gotten stiffed a number of times so it was totally understandable), so I just went ahead and bought it today.
     
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  7. Fafnir72

    Fafnir72 Well-Known Member

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    :bowdown:  You actually found one!:buttrock 
     
  8. Autobot Burnout

    Autobot Burnout Dukeup Nukhead

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    What's great is that I've actually been able to source all the parts I'm missing...EXCEPT the interior wall of the power station chimney building. I was hoping to ask the two guys I knew who owned complete sets for a scan but neither of them have been around since 2012.
     
  9. analogue

    analogue 01110111 01100101 01100010 TFW2005 Supporter

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    I remember coming across one of these, complete and in the original box, in an antique mall in eastern Washington. I regret not picking it up then because they had it priced pretty low, I don’t think they really knew the value.

    Very nice find. Congratulations.
     
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  10. Canbot

    Canbot Well-Known Member

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    My cousin had this back in the day, it was AWESOME! I was really impressed back then with the overall fun we had with it, considering it was just a train set...but it was so much more with all the fun parts. Thanks for the share, I'm sure I haven't seen this in over 30 years!
     
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  11. Vector Oracle

    Vector Oracle I don’t scare, bear.

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    @Autobot Burnout, you have no idea how jealous I am right now. I’ve wanted that for over 2 decades.
    *stares at Burnout’s Electric Train and Battle Set longingly and sighs*
    *swaps out Electric Train set with cardboard cutouts and attempts to run off with it*
    *gets shot with tranquilizer dart by Burnout*
     
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  12. darqen

    darqen Well-Known Member

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    That thing is stunning
     
  13. transmasterc

    transmasterc Well-Known Member

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    I wanted the GI Joe one but never got it. This is actually pretty interesting.
     
  14. Soundwavelover2004

    Soundwavelover2004 Well-Known Member

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    Cool
     
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  15. cryotek

    cryotek Criminal Overlord

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    I bought mine 5-6 years and it was MISB. My brother and I had to play w/it. It's a fun piece to mess with. Some of the stickers came off its sheet but I didn't applied them to the trains. I forgot Reprolabels has a set for sell. Now I'm going to buy one. Glad you have your grail piece in your collection.
     
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  16. Flash1087

    Flash1087 Department of False Hope

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    Dude this is fantastic! I remember being fascinated with this thing when I read about it in some Transformers collector's book back in the 90s but I've never seen anyone actually own one and show it off, let alone ever see one for sale in the flesh. Congrats!
     
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  17. Predakwon

    Predakwon ...Green Lantern's light!

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    That's awesome!

    Just for my knowledge, are HO trains that are that old prone to not working now? If not, can they be easily fixed?

    Not sure how many moving parts there are.
     
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  18. Megatronwp38

    Megatronwp38 Nobody defeats the DEVASTATOR!

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    Wow, haven't seen one of these since mine when I was a kid. I don't know what ever happened to it as I kept all my other HO trains but not this set for some reason.
     
  19. Autobot Burnout

    Autobot Burnout Dukeup Nukhead

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    Model train locomotives at their core are simply motors inside of a shell, one side of the track supplies power from the control pack through the wheels, and the current drives the motor forward or backwards depending on the polarity applied (this is what the "direction" switch changes when flipped), then out the other side of the track back to the controller.

    Fixing the motor inside the engine can be fairly simple, you just need to make sure the wires are not worn and are soldered to the terminals correctly and that there isn't excessive lubricant or grease build up that would gum up the gearing. There can be more complex issues but those are on a case-by-case basis IE my Penn Line Midget industrial diesel switcher needs a complete engine transplant due to it's current motor having a bad commutator.

    In the case of the engine in this set, its internally a stock TYCO DDT Switcher and is "toy quality" as the product aimed at young kids is sometimes called. They're simple yet robust so they are designed to go fast as opposed to slower, scale speeds. Thus the motor is just a simple DC circuit with a light diode attached.

    To get to the question about age, as long as it isn't rubber band powered (because the rubber bands WILL rot eventually), any motor in reasonably good shape can be made to run again.
     
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  20. KraegorStark

    KraegorStark Well-Known Member

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    Awesome acquisition! I got my set a couple years ago on Ebay, but I only got the train pieces, tracks, and the little pack in robots.

    Growing up my dad and I played a lot with HO sets. There's still a giant green box he made for the sets hanging in his garage. It just got too big to set up and the garage got too full.

    I didn't get this set as a kid, but a friend did. We spent most of our time playing with the caboose shuttle.
     
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