Over the past 2 weeks or so I have been on the hunt for these special Toys R Us exclusives of the 25th Anniversary editions of Perceptor and Insecticons. Both are G1 re-issues. These have been released in Japan, but I believe this is the first time they are re-issued in the US. Being the G1 fanatic that I am, it is my mission to have these.
The above pic is not mine. I ripped this off the net somewhere. So no, I have not found them yet.
I already have a Japanese Perceptor re-issue. I think I got him at Anime Expo 2005. Here is a pic of him below with a Japanese Stepper reissue.
But I must have the US version too. I cannot call myself a G1 TransFan otherwise.
The Insecticon set here is comprised of 3 figures: Shrapnel, Kickback, and Bombshell. The Insecticons have a special meaning for me. In 1984 I moved from Taiwan to the US, and that was the year that Transformers came to be. As all true TransFans already know, what Hasbro did was assemble a whole bunch of transforming robots of separate lines, and re-branded them as Transformers here in the US. Hasbro was smart enough to give them a interesting back-story of Autobots vs Decepticons from Cybertron, and the rest is history. Anyway, before coming to the US, I already had some toys that eventually became part of the Transformers cast, including Jetfire and Slag, but these were Japanese versions purchased in Taiwan so they’re not branded as such. (There’s an interesting story with Jetfire, what I had was a Macross Hikaru Ichijo VF-1J without the Fast Pack. I know, not a Super 1S like Jetfire, but close enough I think. But that’s a story for another day.) So upon coming to the US in 84 and seeing Transformers as they are, I begged my mom to buy me some. And of course she wouldn’t. Finally in 85, I saw a Bombshell figure at Thrifty (remember them?) for $7.99 that no one was buying. It was on the shelves forever for some weird reason. One day I was there with my mom and she agreed to buy that for me. So, Bombshell is my first ever official Transformer figure. To this day I still have him. He’s still intact and complete, but the joints are so loose that I would rate him a C3 or C4. I would never sell him, too much sentimental value. But yeah, getting the Insecticon re-issues is a must for me.
As a kid I never saw anyone with Perceptor. I did not see him in the stores either back in the 80s. I guess I never really looked for him, even though I always liked him as a character. I liked the fact that he transforms into a microscope and he’s a scientist. He’s very unique in the TF universe. Most people don’t know this, but he does have a tank mode. You can kinda see it in the pic above. I guess this technically qualifies him as a Triple Changer, though we never saw the tank mode in the 80s cartoon, so maybe not.
These re-issues are priced at $34.99 each. Many fans complain that this is too much. Perhaps. I don’t know what Perceptor costed in the 80s so I can’t comment. But I beg to differ for the Insecticons set. Back in the 80s they costed about $8 each, so $24 for all three. It is about $35 for this set today. The difference is only $11. And if you use this inflation calculator, $24 in 1985 is $47.41 in 2008. So at $35 it is actually cheaper!
This afteroon I tried ebay for these, but lost the auction due to some last minute sniping. The Insecticon set I bid for went for about $42 shipped. Not terribly higher than MSRP and taxes, but I just hate paying more than I have to.
So until I find these… to TRU I will trek… Transform and Roll Out!