The toy and packaging variation oddity, mystery and discovery thread


Well-known member
Well, technically X-Brawn and Scourge haven't been officially called Spychangers either, though their redecos were.


Continuity Nutcase
Well, technically X-Brawn and Scourge haven't been officially called Spychangers either, though their redecos were.
Yeah, I meant mold-wise rather than character-wise.

Further helping the case of the X-Brawn and Scourge molds was their being designed to the exact scale of the other Spychangers, unlike the still larger Optimus and Magnus molds.


Continuity Nutcase
Found something else.

Transformers: The Ultimate Guide (2004) also used the single-word "Spychanger" spelling, and gave its own separate sections to the Spychangers and to the Basic class Ultra Magnus toy, the latter of which was also not called a Spychanger:




Well-known member
Here's an infamous one:

Power of the Primes Jazz.
POTP Jazz 1.jpgPOTP Jazz 2.jpg

When first released, the figure featured a tiny deco detail underneath the Autobot insignia on both doors that consisted of four glyphs based on the "Cybertronix" font.
POTP Jazz Maga 1.jpg

Using an existing cypher, those glyphs spell out the acronym "MAGA", which of course is the acronym for the motto of Donald Trump's 2016 presidential campaign, "Make America Great Again".
POTP Jazz Maga 2.jpg

A lot of fans weren't happy about this. Aside from the controversial nature of Trump himself, even some of his supporters were unhappy about the inclusion of political messages on a Transformers toy.

Some fans inevitably contacted Hasbro about this, which promted Hasbro to release a statement that the deco detail was added by a "vendor" (corporate language for a freelance deco artist) without Hasbro's approval.

Eventually, a running change variant of Jazz that was released as part of wave 3 of the Power of the Primes Deluxe Class assortment saw the issue fixed, with the Cybertronix glyphs removed and only a blank black space remaining.
POTP Jazz Maga vs no Maga.jpg

One issue remains, though: What about TakaraTomy's Japanese release of the figure? After all, Power of the Primes marked the beginning of the "brand unification", which saw mainline toys in their unchanged Hasbro decos released in Japan.

The official TakaraTomy stock photos for the figure do indeed show an unchanged Hasbro deco that includes the "MAGA" glyphs.
POTP Jazz Takara stock photo 1.jpgPOTP Jazz Takara stock photo 2.jpg

Apparently, TFWiki editors took this at face value and never bothered to check for photos of the actual released toy.

Well, I did.

I checked at least four different galleries/reviews of the figure that depict the TakaraTomy packaging.

First up is Chohenken:

Takara packaging... no "MAGA" glyphs.
POTP Jazz Takara packaging 1.jpgPOTP Jazz Takara no Maga 1.jpg

Next up is Hatena Blog:

Takara packaging... and no "MAGA" glyphs.
POTP Jazz Takara packaging 2.jpgPOTP Jazz Takara no Maga 2.jpg

Next comes this Goo blog:

Again, Takara packaging... and no "MAGA" glyphs.
POTP Jazz Takara packaging 3.jpgPOTP Jazz Takara no Maga 3.jpg

And lastly, Trans-Mind-Hobby:

Once again, Takara packaging... and no "MAGA" glyphs.
POTP Jazz Takara packaging 4.jpgPOTP Jazz Takara no Maga 4.jpg

I'd call this one settled.


Well-known member
Animorphs European packaging research:

Name changes.

Rachel remained unchanged on French/Dutch/German packaging, while English/Spanish/Italian packaging gave her the alternate Spanish name "Raquel".
Animorphs Rachel Lion FR NL DE 1.jpgAnimorphs Rachel Lion FR NL DE 2.jpgAnimorphs Rachel Lion EN ES IT 1.jpgAnimorphs Rachel Lion EN ES IT 2.jpg

I was unable to find French/Dutch/German packaging for Tobias, but English/Spanish/Italian packaging gave him the Spanish spelling "Tobías" with an accented "í".
Animorphs Tobias Falcon EN ES IT 1.jpgAnimorphs Tobias Falcon EN ES IT 2.jpg

Jake remained unchanged on French/Dutch/German packaging, while English/Spanish/Italian packaging gave him the alternate Italian name "Jack", but only on the back of the packaging for the tiger and the stingray figures. The bear figure is still named "Jake" in Italian.
Animorphs Jake Tiger FR NL DE 1.jpgAnimorphs Jake Tiger FR NL DE 2.jpgAnimorphs Jake Tiger EN ES IT 1.jpgAnimorphs Jake Tiger EN ES IT 2.jpg
Animorphs Jake Grizzly FR NL DE 1.jpgAnimorphs Jake Grizzly FR NL DE 2.jpgAnimorphs Jake Grizzly EN ES IT 1.jpgAnimorphs Jake Grizzly EN ES IT 2.jpg

Visser Three became "Visser Tres" in Spanish, alternatively "Visser III" (Mega figure) or "Visser Tre" (Ultra figure) in Italian, "Vysserk Trois" in French, "Visser Drie" in Dutch, and "Visser Drei" in German.
Animorphs Visser Three Mega EN ES IT 1.jpgAnimorphs Visser Three Mega EN ES IT 2.jpgAnimorphs Visser Three Ultra EN ES IT 1.jpgAnimorphs Visser Three Ultra EN ES IT 2.jpgAnimorphs Visser Three Mega FR NL DE 1.jpgAnimorphs Visser Three Ultra FR NL DE 1a.jpg
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Continuity Nutcase
This thread is for toy packaging discoveries, right? Well, it's been discovered that the Transformers Collection reissue of G1 Astrotrain has a prose story printed on its box that doesn't match up with any existing episode plot from the G1 cartoon. In other words, it's an original story that's gone undocumented after all these years!

Scan provided by TFWiki user Tigerpaw28:


With help from Google and DeepL, translating this text brings up the following story:

11) "Space Windmill (Part 1)"

A large locomotive suddenly attacks the Arrowden Research Institute. It was the Destron Astrotrain. He stole a large amount of silicon carbide and titanium nitride from the laboratory and returned to the Destron base on the sea floor. "Megatron-sama, is this acceptable?" With his eyes shining with the materials prepared by Astrotrain, Megatron, the Great Emperor of Destruction, coats a satellite, which he and the Buildron division had been building for some time, with dozens of layers of silicon carbide and titanium nitride. "The time has come to put this thing into orbit, Astrotrain! Don't forget to coat yourself as well." Towing the large satellite, Astrotrain transformed into a space shuttle and immediately left the atmosphere. Upon reaching the gravitational equilibrium point between the earth and the sun, he places the satellite into orbit and begins to control it from within. Meanwhile, on Earth, Cybertron Meister, who learned of the damage to the Arrowden Institute, realized that all of the looted items were heat-resistant materials. But they still do not know the Destron army's true intention. "This is a space windmill." Activating the aircraft, Astrotrain deploys wings with a radius of 10km built into a large satellite. Megatron and his team's goal was to catch the solar wind, or plasma flow, emanating from the solar corona with a satellite from a safe space and convert it into energy. Energon cubes are refined one after another in the satellite. However, the satellite was being watched by the Cybertron Adams. He and Drag discovered Astrotrain on their way back from another planet, and were listening to his movements from distant coordinates. Adams, who had expended his energy on the long journey, attempted to somehow contact the Cybertron warriors on Earth, but experienced significant radio interference. The Destron satellite blocked the solar wind, disrupting the Earth's ionosphere and affecting communications networks. "I don't like the idea, but I'm going in." As soon as Drag jumps out of Adams mid-flight into the vacuum, they infiltrate the satellite. At the same time, the radio interference caused disruptions in various parts of the Earth. This has forced many of the Autobots and Protectobots to engage in life-saving activities on behalf of the people of Earth, struggling without a moment's rest. Megatron's strategy was also to keep the Cybertrons' movements in check. "Because they show the humans a heart of mercy."
(Continued in Part 2)

Note the use of "Autobots" near the end is not referring to the whole faction, but simply the Autobot Cars.
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Well-known member
I know I haven't been around in a while. Yes, I'm still alive, and no, I haven't stopped collecting Transformers.

Anyway: A few days ago, I stumbled across something on TFWiki that caught my attention, so I looked into it and ended up having to fix an incorrect claim.

The Japanese release of Legacy Commander Class Armada Universe Optimus Prime didn't change his packaging - it simply added an outer sleeve to the usual Hasbro packaging with additional Japanese language stickers.

Here are some photos that illustrate it:

Takara Armada Optimus Prime with additional sleeve:
Legacy Armada Optimus Prime Japanese 1.jpgLegacy Armada Optimus Prime Japanese 2.jpgLegacy Armada Optimus Prime Japanese 3.jpgLegacy Armada Optimus Prime Japanese 4.jpgLegacy Armada Optimus Prime Japanese 5.jpgLegacy Armada Optimus Prime Japanese 6.jpg

Box with sleeve:
Legacy Armada Optimus Prime Japanese 7.jpg

Box with stickers, without sleeve:
Legacy Armada Optimus Prime Japanese 8.jpgLegacy Armada Optimus Prime Japanese 9.jpg
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Continuity Nutcase
Wake up, honey, new discoveries have been found!

We have NAMES for the two Autobot Flipchanger molds that were originally developed for Generation 2 but not released until Machine Wars:





Sadly, the same can't be said about the Decepticon Flipchangers:





Recall that these are the very same figures that Nevermore previously theorized were the long lost "Solarbots" and "Solar Jets", with the gimmick possibly having been glow-in-the-dark decos.


Well-known member
Here's one where I'm surprised it took me so long to nptice the resemblance.

Remember those weird arrows on Optimus Prime's forearms that are part of his character model?

They're not on his toy...
G1 Optimus Prime toy.jpg

They're also not on the package art...
G1 Optimus Prime package art.jpg

They weren't even there on the earliest known version of his character model either:
G1 Optimus Prime character model pre-final 1.jpg

They were added at an early revision stage, though, before the version that ended up being used for early commercials:
G1 Optimus Prime character model pre-final 2.jpgG1 Optimus Prime character model early commercials.jpg

From there, it ended up on Marvel model as well as on the final cartoon model:
G1 Optimus Prime character model Marvel.jpgG1 Optimus Prime character model pre-final 3.jpgG1 Optimus Prime character model cartoon.jpg

The first major toy that featured the arrows was the original Masterpiece MP-1 Convoy (aka "20th Anniversary Optimus Prime"), which also pronounced them more by coloring them yellow:
Masterpiece MP-1 Convoy.jpg

The arrows have since become a standard feature of Optimus Prime's design. They're also on Robotmoasters RM-01 Convoy...
Robotmasters Convoy.jpg

Masterpiece MP-10 Convoy...
Masterpiece MP-10 Convoy.jpg

Masterpiece MP-44 Convoy...
Masterpiece MP-44 Convoy.jpg

Robosen Optimus Prime...
Robosen Optimus Prime.jpg

LEGO Optimus Prime...
Lego Optimus Prime.jpg

And many more.

But where do these arrows come from? Did whoever was responsible for the character model just make them up?

I think I have found the answer:
G1 Bumblebee toy close-up 1.jpgG1 Bumblebee toy close-up 2.jpgG1 Bumblebee toy variants.jpgG1 Bumblebee package art.jpg

That's right! The distinct arrow design of a triangle facing down, with two horizontal stripes above it, appears on the forehead of the G1 Bumblebee toy's helmet! Since Bumblebee's head and helmet were completely redesigned for his character model (which included the use of a new, human-like face instead of the mouthplate). I guess they figured that they could instead use that design element for Optimus Prime?


I always assumed that detail was similar to Hound's rifle becoming a pistol for his character model because of the foreshortening used for the packaging art (where they looked at the detail on OP's forearm and decided they needed to put *something* there, but they couldn't tell what from just the package art, so they added the lines and triangle and called it 'close enough'), but I like this version better.
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Well-known member
None of the "test shots" are completely unpainted, so they indicate at least ideas for other decos, and Greasepit is the most complete-looking one.


Staff member
Council of Elders
Even if the test shot isn't indicative of the intended plastic colors, the tampos are obviously completely different. These are two different canceled Greasepits, in addition to the Go-Bot we already knew about.

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