Saturday, October 27, 2007


Yeah, it's not really Halloween related. I had to drag this guy out of his comfy giant tupperware container for a few photos recently, and I figured I would post the good ones up here.

This big fella is Star Saber, better known in Japan as the guy who came to take over after God Ginrai (aka Powermaster Optimus Prime). Although he's in pretty good shape, truth is, I bought him some 15 years ago on a trip to Japan with my parents. We went in around 1989 or '90, which would have put the trip squarely in the middle of Transformer Victory's run of episodes. I still remember buying Star Saber in a small row of shops on the way from the train stop in Ueno and watching the shopkeeper pull it off of a high, dusty shelf.

When I think back about that trip, it amazes me as to the prices that Japanese Transformers command today. By 1989-90, the American market for Transformers was slowing down, but in Japan, it still had a couple of good years left with Transformers Masterforce, Victory, Zone and Operation Combination. Similarly, the toy line also diverged in Japan; Takara began recoloring American releases, and at the same time, started shifting the line toward more of a super robot style, with more outlandish colors and less realistic vehicle modes (although some might argue that believable alternate modes were dead after 1985). As a consequence, the Japanese toy shelves were chock full of toys that would never be seen in America- Galaxy Shuttle, Minerva, Deszaras, Dinoking and more that I probably can't remember. And although my parents were more than generous in what they allowed me to buy and take home, I can't help but think sometimes of the things that I passed up.

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