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Friday, October 4, 2013

C-303 Minerva! Or is is Minelba?

For our final G1 Japanese chapter, we get the crème de la crème. In my mind there are two types of G1 Japanese figures: those that are relatively easy to find because they are either unpopular or have reissues, and those that are so incredibly rare you must pounce on them as soon as you see them otherwise you may never have another chance again. Obviously, Minerva is the latter.

So most everyone knows about Minerva, being the first official female Transformer has made her very popular with collectors. And since the figure has never been reissued, she's rare. Not to mention her base color is white which can yellow over the years if not cared for properly which makes a clean version super rare. This is further compounded by the fact that many people really enjoy the Super-God Masterforce cartoon adding just one more layer of "rare-ness"! So when you see a Minerva out in the marketplace, if you aren't quick you will miss out. Which has happened to me, many, many times.

I've been working on trying to find this figure for almost 12 years. The very first one I saw for sale was on eBay back in 2002. It was a MIB version, but the box and figure were almost MISB. Stickers weren't applied, no flap crease, perfectly white. And it sold for just under $400. Back then I was a very poor college student and I knew there was no way I could spend that kind of money on a toy. But I figured eventually I would get a job, I'd have some discretionary income and I would one day afford her.

Porsche Ambulance?
As the years went on I would very seldom see a Minerva pop up, especially one that hadn't yellowed, which was my primary goal. I decided early on I would need to get a "clean" one otherwise I would never be satisfied. But each time I saw her come up again, the price started to climb astronomically. All of a sudden she was a $900 toy, then she was a $1200 toy and it only got worse. My problem was I could never save up enough money at once to afford her, something else would come along beforehand that was a bit cheaper and I would purchase that instead of waiting for another one to come on the market, because at my core I am an impatient person. All the while she was only getting more and more expensive.

What a difference a paint job makes.

The change finally came when I started working on Charticon. I spent a full year on that show and in the meantime was purchasing very little because a lot of my money was tied up in the show. But once it was over in August I finally found myself with the discretionary income to afford a Minerva, and as a matter of good timing one just happened to pop up a couple weeks ago on TFW. This is what I would consider a perfect sample, even though the stickers have been applied all of the contents were there, the figure is bone white and there is no flap crease on the beautiful box. This was the Minerva I had been waiting for and the one I would finally own.

I cherish this figure now, not just because she is super rare, but because it feels so good to put such a longtime goal to rest. And it just so happens I finished a new display area for my Japanese figures the day she arrived, so now she has a very nice place on my shelf.

See also:
C-301 Goshooter
C-310 God Ginrai Giftset...Vintage!
D-306 Darkwings Gift Set


  1. Woot! That's awesome, man! I kinda makes me sick to think she used to be $400. I'm the same way with saving money for Transformers. Something else always comes along before the one I really want shows up for sale. I'm glad you were able to get her, finally!

  2. That's a great looking figure. I can't believe the price has shot up that much! This is making me dread when I finish my US collection and start on my Japanese one. Guess I need to buy stuff as I see it.

    1. That has been my mantra from the beginning. Purchase it now before it becomes more expensive later. My entire collection is an exercise in saving money, lol.

  3. My gosh, you are melting down my computer with the amount of sheer awesome-ness you been pumping up. Just when I thought you could not up the ante any further, you come up with this.... in my opinion, one of the most difficult G1 figures to track down and buy for all the reasons you mentioned.

    I totally get the part about being a poor college student, we were all there once upon a time. Back then, I had to pass up a $180 unused MIB Victory Leo because I could not afford it. Given its not extremely rare, but then it still sucks to have to pass something up and then see it appreciate (sometimes significantly) in price.

    Again, many many congratulations - putting 2 and 2 together from a random FB post of yours... was this something your wife bought for you?

    1. I never like watching things go by when I know I will be purchasing them in the future for more money, but you can't win them all at once, I'm just glad I got her before she becomes MORE expensive!

    2. it's bound to become more expensive. It appears the Takara has probably loss the mold for the later year TFs, so unlikely to have a reissue of this?
      But its a *really* expensive piece for what it is.

  4. ...and the gauntlet has been thrown down! Do me a favor and back off the exclusive stuff for're making the rest of us look insignificant!

    I'll have some stuff soon to share that will hopefully be as enertaining as your last few posts.

    1. No problem, for some reason there was a bunch of really good stuff all at once in the past month, but look who I'm telling that to, lol!

  5. Bodhar, I am guessing that this Minelba is the one I got 'touchy feely' with at Mandrake Akihabara.... LOL

    anyway, gratz Arkvander. Its an awesome piece and Im happy that you managed to get her. :)