Discussion in 'Transformers Toy Discussion' started by sevenlima, Mar 31, 2020.
Why the japanese trainbots wasn't released in US ?
There's no answer. Hasbro simply chose not to use that mold, and Takara decided to work it into their line later. That's all there is to it. Maybe Hasbro thought more trains wouldn't sell well. There is no real answer to be had.
What we do know:
1. The Trainbots were molds from the Diaclone line.
2. The Trainbots finally made it into the Transformers line but only in Japan in 1987. A similar situation happened with Reflector in 1985, although he at least was made available via mail-order in 1986.
1. Retailers can only allot so much aisle real estate to various assortments - resulting in some that don't make the cut. Unsure why he never made it to mail-away.
2. It might be that Raiden is more similar to the Constructicons and Hasbro may have felt like that was walking backwards in the line at a time they were concentrating on moving forward with Headmasters, Targetmasters and other Hasbro-inspired-designed assortments.
3. Raiden failed safety standards. (Why he might not have been available as a mail-away.)
4. Hasbro didn't want trains in their mainline as passenger trains in the U.S. were decreasing dramatically at the time. Intercity Air, Rail and Bus Ridership History (US)
Raiden was released in Japan around the time that Hasbro and Takara started to really diverge in terms of where to take the Transformers brand. Whereas Hasbro stopped producing a cartoon to try and sell the toys, it continued in Japan under "The Headmasters" and later "Super God Masterforce" and "Victory," plus the direct-to-video "Zone." Hasbro was also throwing gimmicks at the wall to see what works, hence we wind up with the Action Masters, and Japan was trying to make the most of it.
I don't know why they weren't imported when Devy was. No particular reason why, they just didn't. They weren't released as apart of the Transformers line until 1987, When Takara and Hasbro had really diverted the direction of Transformers.
When the trainbots was created and released in Japan ?
It's possible that an assortment of visually identical alternate modes (even moreso than the Constructicons) just didn't seem like something that would appeal to Hasbro's audience at the time. Raiden is a relatively subdued design and had it come out at the same time as Japan, it would've contended with a lot of more dynamic and out-there figures in the line. It might've been a case of too little, too late.
I think Hasbro could had created similar robots with some few differences.
Bullet trains were predominantly a Japanese thing, not something that resonated with Western audiences in the mid '80s.
We weren't as global then as we are now, no google, no internet. Just the odd episode of Tomorrow's World showing that one day trains might be faster in the UK (but we never even cracked the "be on time" part of trainlines).
Alright... I might not be 100% accurate on my facts but I am going to hope that I am close.
As of right now there is a speculative theory that Takara never did offer the train robots as an option. There is also the chance that Hasbro did not think it would sell. But seeing how they wanted the line to be big in both 1984 and 1985, the former theory is more sound. I cite this because when it comes to Daikron, Joustra's Diaclone, and Takara/GiG's Trasformer, none of them included these as an option. By the time 1986 came the last of the Diaclones Hasbro wanted to bring to the line were used. And instead of bringing them out as a rival for the Constructicons in 1985, they debuted the first Autobot-based combiner team in 1986. So from 1986 onward they used both original designed, retooled designs, and discontinued Diaclone designs. By the time it was 1987 the brand split and Takara used one of their last Diaclone sets while Hasbro didn't.
So if I had to make a solid guess I would stick with the idea that Takara did not offer them as an option. Because with the way Hasbro started the franchise these would have been used in a way that is similar to Astrotrain's appearances. But since they are limited to rails in regards to their alt-mode kids outside Japan would not have liked them like they did with the rest. And when it came to The Headmasters they had a use for them, which is why they debuted in 1987. But I am saying this based on what I have seen as a kid way back then, how different things are in the states versus how they are in Japan, and the fact they would have been the line's Aquaman if licensed. With that said I hope this helps in some way.
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