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  #1  
Old 25th December 2015, 11:35 PM
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Default JP Masterpiece Road Rage to be released at ToysRUs Australia

I can now finally reveal the next upcoming toy release from Hasbro Asia Pacific, and it is MP26 Road Rage!

Box front


Box back


Tech specs card (front & back)


Character bio & blurbs, Japanese version


Character bio & blurbs, English version


Instructions header, Japanese & English versions (now you all know what that little Latin saying in my signature means )


English translated instructions


Changes from the original source material

The biggest deviation in terms of text is the "Corvette Stingray C3 / vehicle mode" blurb. The Japanese version starts talking about the car itself, and then fleshes out the Road Rage character, whereas for the English version, I've opted to give a basic description of the origins of the Road Rage toy from a more Western POV; hence the mention of "Road Rage's" 'appearance' in the 1985 Hasbro diorama (which doesn't exist in the Takara version), availability of red Tracks in Europe, and a description of the eHobby figures which some more casual Western fans may not know about. The actual translation of the "robot mode" blurb is pretty close to the original and makes no discernible deviation.

For the smaller blurb images, I've replaced photos of the toy with:

  • This image from the OzFormers 2003 comic, as illustrated by (L-R) a Japanese fan artist known as Tiger Convoy, and two Aussie fan artists, SMHFConvoy and Jhiaxus. While this comic is non-canon, I wanted to insert this little nod to the Australian fandom

  • An image of Twincast from The☆Headmasters

The bio translation that appears on the instructions is actually a bit shorter than my original translation. I had to edit down the size of my original translation in order to make it fit into the allocated space. But here is my original unabridged translation of the bio:

====================
Road Rage fled the early Cybertronian Wars and became a member of the refugee community. Road Rage spent a lot of time among the many races and civilisations who were powerless against the Cybertronian wars. Drawing on her robotic strength and abilities, Road Rage took on the job of being a bounty hunter or guardian for endangered alien societies, earning her daily Energon. This experience deepened her knowledge of fleshling cultures and customs, giving her unique skills in dealing with aliens. While performing her duties on a space colony, Road Rage coincidentally saved the life of a Cybertronian diplomat who had gotten in serious danger, escorting him back to his official ship. Ambassador Crosscut is enamoured by the countless times that Road Rage has gotten him out of predicaments with her skills and wit. Road Rage has been designated as the Ambassador’s aid and bodyguard as he performs his secret duties on Earth. Returning to Cybertron after millenia, Road Rage undertook rigorous training and the Tech Specs Rating Test, officially becoming an Autobot. Crosscut’s mission was to form an alliance with the humans of the Transformers’ new planetary battleground. For Earth’s defence and as an Energon hub, secret negotiations for the construction of Autobot City were settled. As well as Decepticons, Road Rage mainly copes with attacks from human oppositional forces. After the alliance was formed, their balance of power changed quickly. Road Rage became involved in the war as the Flame Shadow, achieving quiet but spectacular results. When not performing her duties as a bodyguard, Road Rage often goes back to her old life as a bounty hunter. Her current mission is to capture Flipsides, the Autobot Cassette suspected of spying, and the fugitive who protects her, Twincast.
====================

As usual, this is all I know about this toy for now. No idea about when this toy will be released or what the price will be.
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  #2  
Old 26th December 2015, 12:30 AM
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This seems really random. Why would Hasbro/TRU want to bring over a non show character? The majority of collector's they are targeting would have already pre-ordered her ages ago. And the "nostalgia" customers aren't likely to buy it seeing as though she wasn't part of the original G1 roster. Seems like a strange choice to me.

Add to that the insane price they will slap on her, and I can't imagine many of these selling at all. And didn't Bumblebee shelfwarm quite badly? (I thought I read a comment about that somewhere.)
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Old 26th December 2015, 08:45 AM
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AFAIK...
  • TRU doesn't have any say in which characters Hasbro AP decides to bring over. Also, TRU ultimately set the prices for these toys, not Hasbro. Hasbro are aware that TRU overprices MPs though.
  • I think it's Hasbro HK who decides which toys they want to bring over, and as Hasbro HK and Hasbro AU are both part of Hasbro AP, Hasbro AU are given the opportunity to also distribute these toys. Hasbro then offers these toys to retail buyers, but so far only TRU have picked them up.
  • The majority of more hardcore fans have been pre-ordering their MPs since 2003. However, these toys are more appealing to more casual collectors who aren't into the franchise enough to keep track of these toys and pre-order them. Having said that, when TRU's prices begin to significantly exceed even the post-order price of MPs, then even casual collectors will still go online rather than considering the local prices. I think that $100 for an MP car is the most that TRU can get away with charging, as it's not too much dearer than post-order MPs and on par w/ aftermarket MPs. Although special promotions can bring the price down to that threshold.
  • I agree that this character wouldn't bring out as much nostalgia, however, there may be more nostalgia appeal than with say Star Sabre, as the red Tracks is something that would be familiar to Australian fans due to its appearance on the back of every 1985 diorama art.
    I have explicitly mentioned this in the booklet.

I think that our best bet for seeing more competitive prices for MPs in Australia would be for other retailers to stock these toys. Hasbro are willing to supply them to other retailers, but so far only TRU have placed orders. I spoke to an EB/Zing rep who said that he was personally interested in having them stock MPs, but he admitted that it would ultimately the decision of their retail buyers. So if EB/Zing don't stock them, then it means that their retail buyers have decided to reject his recommendation. If anyone has any contacts with retail buyers from any other stores (e.g. Big W, Kmart etc.), then you might like to talk to them about considering stocking MPs. There is clearly a big demand for these toys, but they sell poorly here due to TRU's high prices. If even one other retailer can sell these at a more competitive price...

Anyway, here's hoping that TRU will release Road Rage at a more competitive price. Although bear in mind that MP Tracks & Road Rage are ¥1000 dearer than other MP Cars in Japan, so it wouldn't be unreasonable for the local price here to be also more expensive (unlike TRU's MP Bluestreak which was just $30 dearer for no apparent reason ). If you purchased MP Tracks/Road Rage at full RRP and shipped it by cheap Standard International, the total price would be ¥7780 or about $90. So I think that $110-120 wouldn't be too bad a mark up. Yes, you would be paying $20~30 more, but you have the advantages of:
* Inspecting the condition of the box in hand
* Able to own the toy immediately upon purchase (who doesn't hate waiting for shipping?)
* Easy exchange/refund of the toy if there are any problems
$120 for a ¥7000 toy isn't much worse than $100 for a ¥6000 toy (which I als admit isn't a fantastic price) -- and certainly more justifiable than paying $130 for MP Bluestreak or $150 for Sideswipe!
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Old 26th December 2015, 09:27 AM
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Hmm looks plastic red than painted red, I be very disappointed
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  #5  
Old 26th December 2015, 09:49 AM
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Back on topic, nice work Gok. Is there an age recommendation (add on sticker?) for the Hasbro release? I can't seem to see one (using my mobile phone).
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Old 26th December 2015, 09:57 AM
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Great work Gok, especially on giving us some extra info on pricing and distribution, it does seem a bit odd that one of the big box retailers doesn't get into competition with TRU on these. I guess it does come down to what the buyers for these chains think the consumer wants, and if I were one of them wandering around a TRU to get some ideas now and then and seeing MP's shelfwarming for months on end I would think that buying a 1000 of them for my own store wouldn't be a good career move.
Anyway
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Old 26th December 2015, 12:34 PM
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Good work as always Gok
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  #8  
Old 26th December 2015, 12:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Megatran View Post
Back on topic, nice work Gok. Is there an age recommendation (add on sticker?) for the Hasbro release? I can't seem to see one (using my mobile phone).
I expect that there will be an "Ages 15+" sticker added. The image that I've posted was sent to me by Hasbro back in early October when all they had was the original source material from TakaraTOMY.
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Originally Posted by Jetfire in the sky View Post
Great work Gok,
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trent View Post
Good work as always Gok
Thank you for your kind words, gentlemen.
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  #9  
Old 26th December 2015, 02:09 PM
CaminusPrime CaminusPrime is offline
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Looking forward to this one! And i would totally be willing to pick up MPs from zing/eb their prices are usually fair
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  #10  
Old 26th December 2015, 04:39 PM
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Quote:
AFAIK...
I think it's Hasbro HK who decides which toys they want to bring over, and as Hasbro HK and Hasbro AU are both part of Hasbro AP, Hasbro AU are given the opportunity to also distribute these toys. Hasbro then offers these toys to retail buyers, but so far only TRU have picked them up.[/list]
Thanks for that info. I was always under the impression the MP's were TRU exclusives (ie: only TRU was allowed to sell them.) I didn't know that other retailers were given the chance as well. Glad to know that now

Quote:
  • The majority of more hardcore fans have been pre-ordering their MPs since 2003. However, these toys are more appealing to more casual collectors who aren't into the franchise enough to keep track of these toys and pre-order them. Having said that, when TRU's prices begin to significantly exceed even the post-order price of MPs, then even casual collectors will still go online rather than considering the local prices. I think that $100 for an MP car is the most that TRU can get away with charging, as it's not too much dearer than post-order MPs and on par w/ aftermarket MPs. Although special promotions can bring the price down to that threshold.
True. But a lot of the casual collectors would have no idea who Road Rage is. Optimus, Ultra Magnus, Bumblebee are all well known characters even to casual collectors. Most people who know the character od Road Rage would've already found her online. It just seems strange that TRU would want to offer her (and Starsabre.)

Quote:
  • I agree that this character wouldn't bring out as much nostalgia, however, there may be more nostalgia appeal than with say Star Sabre, as the red Tracks is something that would be familiar to Australian fans due to its appearance on the back of every 1985 diorama art.
    I have explicitly mentioned this in the booklet.
Fair enough. Just seem like a really obscure nostalgic reference to me though. I do think it was a pretty cool idea to point it out in the booklet translation.

They're just my thoughts. I know a few people were hoping that Road Rage came out at TRU, I just find it a really strange choice for TRU to pick up.

Of course, in saying all that, you've done a great job on the booklet again.
I would love to get the English booklets that you work on, but I just can't justify the high prices of TRU releases.
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