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Spy Shot 6 package

It’s not unusual for Japanese and US versions of Transformers to differ in some way. Hasbro has always been keen to keep the production cost low while Takara tends to add a few touches here and there to make its figures stand out in the highly-competitive Japanese toy robot market. (See this translated interview with Okude Nobuyuki for details.) Sometimes the differences are minor (e.g. packaging) and sometimes there are major differences (e.g. the use of diecast for the Binaltech line.)

The most recent example is the deluxe Bumblebee figure from the movie line. Takara Tomy’s version has a few differences (1, 2) that make it look slightly better than its Hasbro counterpart.

I was eagerly looking forward to Transformers Real Gear Robots Spy Shot 6 so I was delighted to finally receive it by courier today. I opted to get the Takara Tomy version.

I’ll post about the toy itself later — brief review: lovelovelove — but I’d like to first go through the packaging.

Externally, the packaging is largely identical to Hasbro’s. There’s no question Takara Tomy wanted to get the movie-related figures out in the Japanese market as soon as possible.
Transformers Real Gear Robots Spy Shot package
The front of the packaging has a sticker with the “Transformers” logo in katakana done in the same style as the movie logo and an exhortation (in English) to “See the movie.”

The bottom of the package has another sticker. This one has the manufacturing details and product warnings in Japanese including this standard one:
Transformers Real Gear Spy Shot product warning kuchiniirenai
“Pac-Man cries when fed squares” is a warning we all need to heed.

(I’m kidding, of course. It’s actually kuchiniirenai or “don’t put in mouth.”)

The rear of the packaging is identical to Hasbro’s. That often-overlooked line “Manufactured under license” is still there in tiny type but these days it reads “TOMY Company, Ltd.” instead of Takara.
Transformers Real Gear Robots Spy Shot Manufactured under license
(In case you’re wondering about the names, after the merger between Takara and Tomy, the supaa gattai form of the two companies is known as “Takara Tomy” in its domestic market and “Tomy” internationally. This is to take advantage of the fact Tomy is better known internationally while Takara has stronger brand name value in Japan.)

The contents include the toy itself and a plastic baggie containing the instruction sheet, a catalogue and a small sheet containing a code for a present from an official product site. To get the present, you will to have to key in the code as well as the UPC from the bottom of the package and provide your e-mail address. I did all this but I’ve yet to receive anything. So much for that.)

The one-sided single sheet instruction sheet is in Japanese but Spy Shot 6 has such an easy transformation (rated 2 on a scale of 1 to 5), the illustrations alone suffice.

The double-sided single sheet Japanese catalogue is interesting. The front shows the movie lineup. Or at least the Transformers action figures. (There are simply too many movie products for one catalogue.) Leader, Voyager, Deluxe, Basic and Real Gear figures are shown. The Optimus Prime voice changer and Cyber Stompin’ figures are Tomy Direct figures.
Transformers Real Gear Robots Spy Shot Spielberg x Bay
The movie roadshow is mentioned and amusingly, there’s “S. Spielberg x Michael Bay” next to an image of the movie poster. I was amused by this because I was under the impression the “A x B” notation was shorthand for something else entirely. A possible explanation for how Bay got the gig? I will leave it to you to decide.

The back of the catalog has several paragraphs of Transformers history beside an image from G1 (circa “More Than Meets the Eye”).
Transformers Real Gear Spy Shot G1 history

You can see the Ark pursued by the Decepticon starship after it leaves Cybertron, Prime facing Megatron as well as Jazz, Wheeljack, Brawn, Huffer, Sideswipe, Hound, Soundwave, Starscream, Thundercracker, Ravage, Rumble and Reflector.

Below that there are photographs of eight Transformers: four from the past and four from the present. G1 versions of Convoy, Bumblebee, Brawl and Scorponok are shown next to their movie namesakes. The movie versions understandably look more detailed but the older designs look more elegant despite (or because of) their simplicity.

Finally, there are photos of the Transformers Sports Label transforming shoes and unpainted prototypes of the Music Label figures.

And that’s the packaging.

Posted in Reviews, Toys, Transformers.


2 Responses

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  1. Iconoclasm says

    Are you a Malaysian?

  2. Gobi says

    Yes.



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