A bit of a South American flavour today. I went to the Post Office today to check my mail, and 3 Argentinean Transformers were waiting for me.
But before I got home with the boxes, I went on a bit of a toy hunt first. We have several mid-year toy sales this month, and a couple started last week, with three more starting later this week.
I didn't end up buying much because I couldn;t get BigW to price-match anything (they won't match any sale that hasn't started yet, despite another BigW in Perth apparently doing it), and Target don't have anything for sale that I couldn't get from Target (the two TFPrime Weaponizers) to use their catalogue to buy items that are elsewhere but not yet at Target (make sense? Don't worry, it's a toyhunting process - collect up catalogues and if a store without a sale has a new wave/items, you try to get them to match the cheaper price of the store that doesn't yet have them).
So I bought the two TFPrime Weaponizers (Optimus & Bbee), and will go back to BigW (for the Remote Control toys & Cyberverse Vehicles) when their sale starts.
I saw lots of Lego sets in stores... they certainly haven't taken a step back from the competition taking up market-share. They've been taking on the competition by sheer amount of choice.
And I get the impression that they are keeping their profit margins by limiting the amount of larger sets are available at more than one store-chain. Each store seems to have an exclusive of their own with the larger sets (especially Star Wars), which prevents any wholesale discounts to the stores to fund "catalogue sales".
I guess Lego saw it as the only strategy to combat the growing competition... they've become the "name brand", and people are wanting to pay for that brand, rather than the sets themselves or the theme/license/franchise. Kinda like people who won't buy generic brands or shop at kmart/BiLo.
So when I got home, I unpacked all the toys - both domestic and foreign.
I started with one of the big boxes, expecting something big in it... but buried under a heap of paper was two tiny carded mini-vehicles. They aren't in mint condition, so didn't need a massive box as if it would protect them any more than one half its size.
Carerra is the Cliffjumper mould, while Camaro is the Windcharger mould
The Sth American Minivehicles (in the first series) were:
Volks - Bumblebee
Carerra - Cliffjumper
Camaro - Windcharger
Jipe - Brawn
Pickup - Gears
Sedan - Bumblejumper
Note that they had six Mini-vehicles like the first year of Gen1, but instead of the Huffer toy, they had "Bumblejumper" (the toy that snuck its way into Bumblebee & Cliffjumper card-backs, but was never an official character toy of Transformers - assumed to be excess Japanese toy stock).
The confusing bit is that these minivehicles were released in Brazil and Argentina, but different ones in each country (but using the same names in both countries - which adds to the confusion when identifying/referring to any of them).
Brazil was the one that got all six moulds in several colours of each, while Argentina only got Volks, Camaro and Carerra.
My Jipe was obviously from the Brazil bunch, but the two I got today were from the Argentinean series.
But they are kindred spirits, so Jipe called on his friend Brawn, to help "liberate" the two new Sth American immigrants...
They were free!!!!! And Jipe did the introductions to some others who seemed a little familiar...
Introductions done, they transform and roll out...
But their job wasn't over just yet... they drive off to liberate a fellow comrade from Sth America...
He doesn't have a fancy character name, he is only known as "Radio AM Robot". Which is a shame, because it is a pretty darn decent toy for a 1987 Transformer that has a working radio inside it. It came in two colours, this one, and red/dark green.
Armed with a big sword too, he was able to help to cut himself out...
Compared to Blaster (I was surprised at how big and detailed it was).
It has a head and sword like Megatron, the arms have double-jointed elbows like Omega Supreme, and has legs like Soundwave (swivels at the knee before folding up the sides like Blaster). The chest compartment opens up for a 9-volt battery, while there are two knobs on its back (for volume and tuning). I haven't tried it yet though.
And in alt-mode...
And a group shot of today's toys...
That includes the two TFPrime Weaponizers bought today, and a Robot Heroes Dispensor figurine (front-centre), which I needed for the collection because the one I take travelling is getting very worn. The price finally came down on Dispensor to be worth buying a second one. I can now keep taking my other one around the world, without worrying about the damage it was suffering.