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Thread: When did Transformers toys first get released in Australia?

  1. #1
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    Default When did Transformers toys first get released in Australia?

    Quote Originally Posted by Skullcruncher View Post
    Transformers were on Australian store shelves in 1984.
    Sorry, I'm breaking the rules of this thread by correcting this because it's not a false fact. Transformers toys did come out in some independent stores in late 1984 but they didn't hit the majors until 1985. I know this because I bought my first TFs, Brawn and Huffer, from an Uncle Pete's Toys in Sydney CBD in the summer of '84. It was by fluke because my mum was taking my brother and I to watch a piano concert that neither of us really wanted to go and see, so to shut us up we swung by a toy store on the way - I grabbed Brawn and my brother got Huffer. We played with those toys intensely during that concert, so I very distinctly remember opening those toys and playing with them for the duration of that entire concert. Couldn't tell you much about the music.

    I know I wasn't the only kid who had Transformers at that time, and I've spoken to other Aussie collectors who've said that they got TFs around then as well. But it indeed would not be until 1985 when I saw Transformers appearing in major stores like Grace Bros, Target, Kmart etc., as well as in other independents like Toyworld (ahh, back when Sydney had Toyworld).
    Last edited by griffin; 25th May 2019 at 10:28 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GoktimusPrime View Post
    Harmony Gold is a subsidiary of Hasbro


    Sorry, I'm breaking the rules of this thread by correcting this because it's not a false fact. Transformers toys did come out in some independent stores in late 1984 but they didn't hit the majors until 1985. I know this because I bought my first TFs, Brawn and Huffer, from an Uncle Pete's Toys in Sydney CBD in the summer of '84. It was by fluke because my mum was taking my brother and I to watch a piano concert that neither of us really wanted to go and see, so to shut us up we swung by a toy store on the way - I grabbed Brawn and my brother got Huffer. We played with those toys intensely during that concert, so I very distinctly remember opening those toys and playing with them for the duration of that entire concert. Couldn't tell you much about the music.

    I know I wasn't the only kid who had Transformers at that time, and I've spoken to other Aussie collectors who've said that they got TFs around then as well. But it indeed would not be until 1985 when I saw Transformers appearing in major stores like Grace Bros, Target, Kmart etc., as well as in other independents like Toyworld (ahh, back when Sydney had Toyworld).
    Not the place to argue but I have confirmation from MB material and other independent material (retailer magazine) that no transformers made it to the shelves in Australia in 1984. Also totally separately I did an interview with a former MB employee several years ago which also confirmed this. They were expecting them before the Christmas period but they arrived late, so not in time to be distributed and put on the shelves.

    If you have any actual proof confirming these 1984 occurrences from these 'independent' stores it would be great, else I stand by this 100% and I would put these 1984 memories in the same basket as all the kids who remember having a blue bluestreak.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Skullcruncher View Post
    Not the place to argue but I have confirmation from MB material and other independent material (retailer magazine) that no transformers made it to the shelves in Australia in 1984. Also totally separately I did an interview with a former MB employee several years ago which also confirmed this. They were expecting them before the Christmas period but they arrived late, so not in time to be distributed and put on the shelves.

    If you have any actual proof confirming these 1984 occurrences from these 'independent' stores it would be great, else I stand by this 100% and I would put these 1984 memories in the same basket as all the kids who remember having a blue bluestreak.
    With all due respect to both you and Gok, this discussion is definitely one worth having, but not here. As this is the wrong facts thread, not disputable facts thread.
    Feel free to post a link to a more suitable thread for this discussion, as I would definitely like to get to the bottom of it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tha_Phantom View Post
    With all due respect to both you and Gok, this discussion is definitely one worth having, but not here. As this is the wrong facts thread, not disputable facts thread.
    Feel free to post a link to a more suitable thread for this discussion, as I would definitely like to get to the bottom of it.
    I believe that Gok believes! We do need hard facts to prove my statement incorrect, which I would love to have but I have't found a single piece of evidence to prove it. Continue!

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    I know I had a pre-rub stamp Starscream. I just can't remember the year. It was for Christmas and it predated the cartoon on TV.

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    AAAAAAAAARGH!
    I had just typed a really long post about this before my computer crashed! Anyway, I don't have the time to type all of that again, so this is a quick short version... *sigh*

    RE: Transformers in Australia in late 1984

    Basically I got my first Transformer (Brawn) in late 1984 and there were things happening in my life around that time that seared it into my memory. One thing I did as a kid was that I used my school teachers as chronological landmarks. Mrs. Hawkins was my teacher in 1984 and Ms. Rathke was my teacher in 1985; when I got Brawn Mrs. Hawkins was the most recent teacher in my mind and I didn't even know who Ms. Rathke was yet - long story short, 1984 was a very memorable year for me, and both were quite memorable teachers.

    And I'm not the only one who's made this claim; I have encountered a number of other Aussie fans who also recall getting their first TFs in 1984. But 2 things that I've found consistent with all of our stories:
    * Always from an independent toy store, not a major
    * Always late 1984

    But everything you're saying is anecdotal
    This is true. I cannot deny it. I was a kid. I didn't think to take a photo of Brawn with that day's newspaper. The most I did was make a database on my Commodore 64, but I didn't start doing that until 1985 and that file has long been lost. I know that I've been recounting the story of how I got this toy for years since late 1984. Remember that I've never stopped living and breathing Transformers so these memories have never become stale for me. This is also why I feel no nostalgia for anything Transformers. It's why I fervently believe that even original G1 toys should never sell for above RRP, why I think jacking up prices for a "vintage" toy is as ridiculous as doing it for current toys. Because I don't really see them as "historical." Yeah, I'm the guy who's never left the 80s. So you've all seen the more annoying side of my inability to let go of the past... but the upside is that I don't let go of the past! (I've just learned to keep my mouth shut when I see how much money people are paying for G1 toys; after I've picked my jaw up off the ground at least )

    How can you reconcile these anecdotes with other evidence?
    The other evidence is that Milton Bradley's records show that they did not supply Transformers to stores in 1984. But my recount and the recounts of others consistently state that we sighted and/or purchased Transformers in late 1984 from independent toy stores like Uncle Pete's Toys, Toyworld etc., and not majors like Target, Kmart, Big W, Grace Bros etc. The evidence proves that Transformers were not distributed in Australia by Milton Bradley. In light of this I would theorise that any stores that would've had TF stock in 84 must have received them from an independent source (not MB). And this isn't an unfamiliar thing. For example, small independent stores like Kings Comics, HobbyCo etc. were selling Power of the Primes and Siege toys long before they hit majors, and I know that they were sourced independently because when I mentioned Siege to Hasbro in January of this year they had no knowledge of it. I was told by a Hasbro rep that Siege was intended for release by the Xmas period of 2018 but there were problems with their ordering system which meant that it didn't arrive until months later. It sounds like something similar might have happened in 1984-85; and MB have said that they intended for Transformers to be available here for Xmas of '84 but issues with their ordering meant that stock didn't arrive until 1985. And it would be possible that other stores, not willing to wait for MB, went ahead and imported them directly because we know that in the United States that Transformers had already set a new record as the most successful debut toyline, making US$1.4 million domestically (F. Schodt).

    (gah, my modem just crashed... I am not having a good day with technology today!)

    Anyway, I'm not at all disputing MB's records, but the records don't necessarily disprove claims of the toys being available here. It just means that any toys that were sold here must have been acquired from another source. If I were to indulge in using the language of Mythbusters:
    • Transformers available in Australia in 1984: PLAUSIBLE
      It's unconfirmed but cannot be ruled out as outright impossible.

    • Transformers not distributed by MB in Australia until 1985: CONFIRMED

    • Blue Bluestreak exists: BUSTED
      As we all know, no sealed sample has ever surfaced. But another reason that's listed on tfwiki is "collectors who have been at it since the very beginning...have never seen one."; I would consider recounts from OG fans, and especially those of us who've never quit Transformers - who never allowed the 80s to become forgotten - as being more reliable as those who did


    Remember, I'm the kind of weirdo who still clings onto 80s RRPs. I definitely remember something far less trivial like when and how I got my first Transformer.

    Whatever. I still don't believe you.
    That's fine. I totally understand the skepticism as it is true, my evidence is anecdotal and I can't offer anything beyond this. So if you want to remain skeptical about this, then go ahead and do so. As I said, the best I can do is say that my claim is "plausible," but not "confirmable," and that's fine.

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    I know he won't read this, but the Piano story needs a little clear-up...

    Summer of 84.... recent teacher was the 84 teacher.

    Summer goes from December to Feb.

    So the "Summer of 84" could be early Jan 85, before the 85 teacher, but after Xmas 84.... or even squeezed into the tail end of 1984 by a couple of days. And to retailers, "being available for xmas" means sold like November while people are getting ready... Retail speak for "Missing xmas" can mean it was delivered 15th December, but most people would hopefully be all ready with the presents by then, so xmas was missed.

    Also the TV show started in September 84...

    The Comic started in May 84....

    The deal with Takara was signed Nov 1 1983.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GoktimusPrime View Post

    Remember, I'm the kind of weirdo who still clings onto 80s RRPs. I definitely remember something far less trivial like when and how I got my first Transformer.
    The self awareness grows

    I will have to side with Gok on this one, there were a lot of parallel imports back then so they wouldn't have been distributed through MB, I am sure the ex MB employee in correct for their own distribution history and as I remember the boom definitely came in 1985 in the toy stores, but the market was getting flooded with all things 80's toys around that time so for independent retailers to have TF's in 1984 is not a huge leap of faith.


    I specifically remember that there were signs in my local toy shop that mentioned TF's being toy of the year of 1984 or 1985, I am leaning to 1985, with the 1984 line coming out in September in the US it would be unrealistic for it to be given the award in Australia.

    I think until definitively proven otherwise we should go with soft (unintentional) release in 1984 at small shops and mass release in 1985.
    The later it gets, the less sense I will make (usually anything beyond 19:30 Qld time).

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    I'm inclined to agree that, for all intents and purposes, the Australian release of Transformers was practically in 1985. It's similar to how Skids is widely considered to be a 1985 toy, even though the toy was technically released in December 1984 in very few places. And really, as Transformers being locally distributed by Milton Bradley happened in 1985, I would say that trumps independent imports in late '84. So yeah, I'd be inclined to agree that, practically speaking, Transformers were released here in 1985.

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    Transformers were part of my life in 1985 for sure. I remember kids at school with them, bonding with one of my first crushes over Transformers in 1985, and I had proof from schoolwork I had Transformers in 1985.

    I went looking for proof on the weekend of anything from 1984 but no luck so far, so it's all memories for me.

    • Ravage and Rumble were a Christmas present for me.
    • I remember Ravage's tail being broken at my 6th birthday party in 1985 (a party at my house, the rest of my childhood birthdays weren't at home).
    • Therefore I conclude I got the pair for Christmas 1984.
    • It's very likely my mother purchased them from the Toyworld at the local shopping center.

    But for a long time though I thought of Powerglide and Gears as the first TFs I purchased (and I remember buying them from Target Waverley Gardens) in 1985.

    So if Ravage and Rumble were from Christmas 1984 I don't know why that memory wasn't as strong? I suppose it could have been at Christmas 1985 and Ravage's tail broke at some other time friends were over at my house.

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