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Monday, June 23, 2014

Verzamel De Transformeerbare Robots

In the absence of collecting figures, I have recently taken to collecting paperwork. Whereas most Transformers released in different countries are more or less the same (with some notable exceptions such as Mexican Prowl or Canadian Slag) the paperwork is almost always different. So sometimes I like to seek out catalogs or comics released in other countries. My most recent acquisition was of a catalog/comic from the Netherlands, which I believe may have come packaged with the figures but I can't be sure. However the differences in this catalog are drastic.

If you'll notice from the cover that Optimus Prime has been replaced by Jetfire as the character facing off against Megatron. I first learned about this interesting variation from Mijo over at 20th Century Toy Collector. He has some very interesting articles on exactly why Jetfire is in Optimus's place, so I won't go into detail about that here, but it is a fascinating story. So this catalog was the first one released in the Netherlands in 1985, and during that time the Transformers were licensed by Milton Bradley for the European market. Take note of some of the drastic differences in the catalog below.

Obviously the biggest difference here is Jetfire is listed as the leader. Also notice Blaster is the Microman version.

Notice the absence of ALL the Autobot cars. And Swoop.

Even Bumblebee wasn't available.

None of the '84 jets, but the '85 line is well represented.

Note Diaclone Blitzwing and pre-transformer color Deluxe Insecticons.

I didn't bother translating any of the descriptions, we all pretty much know what they say anyway. The most interesting part is the comic, which I have scanned in full below and translated to the best of my ability from Dutch into English.

The most interesting thing I find about this story is they have taken an established story and replaced Shockwave with Soundwave to battle the Dinobots. They clearly are working with what they are given since Roadbuster & Whirl are seemingly Jetfire's right hand men.

All in all, I find this to be a very different take on my favorite transforming robots, and I often imagine how it must have been growing up with only this figures available (at first) and yet the show on TV being drastically different. I also have a 1988 catalog from the Netherlands but by then things had aligned and Hasbro had taken over so the differences are much more subtle. Perhaps that will be a future post.


  1. neat, i like the comic, It almost could have been a parallel story if it had not included dinos, blaster, and had the deluxe insects as the primary cons

    1. Yes, it's always interesting to see different takes on the same story. Especially with these types of constraints.

  2. That reminds me a bit of a toy catalog I picked up while overseas.

    1. Yes! That's exactly the other one I have that I mentioned above. I must have confused the German for Dutch.