Armada Wave 1 Reviews
In the Beginning:
The History of Online TransFandom
3H Enterprises at Wizard World East
Takara: On the Ball?
The Haiku-ed Trannies Ballot
Little Screen - Next Issue
Who We Are
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A SkyJammer Enterprises Publication
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Takara: On the Ball?
By Anthony Brucale
["On the Ball" is an article that combines fact with opinion, a
feature-length editorial. If you would like to see more "On the Ball",
please let us know.]
Oftentimes, the companies that bring us various Transformers items and
media have to walk a tightrope between pleasing both the longtime fans of
the series and their stockholders’ interests. This issue, we take a look
at the recent output of Takara, from the Beast Wars era to the present,
and digest their current state.
In 1997, a year after "Beast Wars" was in full swing in America, Takara hopped on the
bandwagon to release this series in Japan. Having to compete with domestic sales of the
American Beast Wars figures, Takara went out of its way to offer more stylized
packaging, better inserts, and more show-accurate colors on the toys. These changes had
the side benefit of sparking the interests of the American collector's market, giving
Takara a chance to prosper on two continents.
Japanese Tigatron (left) and American Tigatron (right)
This success would lead to "Beast Wars Second", an exclusive Japanese line built of
repaints and toys yet to be released in Japan. Takara once again tweaked the toys' colors,
changing them from their American counterparts. However, with no American equivalent
to the show, some of Takara's touch-ups did not draw the same amount of interest from
the collector's market. Enter "Beast Wars Neo", Takara's line for the first half of 1999,
with a show focused on a younger market and a toy line made of mostly new molds
aimed at both kids and adults.
At the tail end of 1999, Takara released "Beast Wars: Metals", an import of the second
and third seasons of the American "Beast Wars" show. The toy line was once again
tweaked to match the show, though much less than Takara's release of the initial Beast
Wars toys. However, with Metals, Takara also released one of the most sought-after
Transformer toys of recent history: Metals Ravage, a remold of the Transmetal Cheetor
On the heels of their success with Metals Ravage, Takara went one step further to market
towards the nostalgia market by launching a vehicle-based line (mixed with a small
handful of Beast Wars molds) of half new molds and half repaints with "Transformers:
Car Robots" (later to become "Transformers: Robots In Disguise" in the United States
and Europe). In 1999, to honor the 15 Year anniversary of Transformers, Takara began a
series of reissues of original Transformers toys, for both mass market and convention-
only sale. By the beginning of Transformers' 16th year, reissues were the company's sole
Transformer toy output. The regenerated interest in the original series then led Takara to
create PVC figures to compliment the reissue line.
Today, though the company continues to release PVC figures, Takara has decided to take
additional slants on Generation One figures by creating Mega SCF's and Choro-Q's,
while maintaining a steady output of reissues.
2: Repaints |