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Monday, October 24, 2011

I'm Raiden your hard earned cash! Yes...yes you are.

Around roughly the same time I discovered Road Caesar I also discovered Raiden. The year was 1999 and I was just starting college. Access to a constant T1 Ethernet port had opened up the entire internet to me and I was beginning to learn about all of the exclusive lines and toys in Japan. Raiden really stuck with me because I have always been a big fan of trains. I used to go down to the rail yards with my father and just watch the trains come and go when I was little. Cabooses were my favorite and I was most disappointed when they were retired from rail service. Unfortunately Raiden has no Cabooses, only engines. But they are still very cool little engines.

The trainbots that make up Raiden are a bit of an oddity. They were part of the original Diaclone line (much like the constructicons) but were not brought over with the rest of the toys due to what Hasbro deemes "cultural differences". Anyone who knows anything about Japan knows that trains are just a part of life over there, unlike here in America where air travel is the prominent method. Personally I think if they had been brought over earlier as part of the '85 or '86 line of figures they would have worked just fine. Kids obviously love trains, especially when they all combine into a giant robot. Unfortunately the trainbots never made it to the US so Raiden became a Japanese exclusive as part of the Headmasters line. And that makes him very expensive today. It took me over eight months to find all six figures in good condition.

From left to right: Shoki, Suiken, Kaen, Getsui, Seizan, Yukikaze
Shoki, leader and upper torso of Raiden
Getsui, Night Warrior (aka ninja) and right leg
Yukikaze, Cold Warrior and left leg
Suiken, Tactical Warrior and left arm
Seizan, Mountain Warrior and right arm
Kaen, Hot Warrior and lower torso
The Thunder and Lightning Warrior, Raiden!
I still think this guy would have been a great adversary to Devastator (rather than the Dinobots) not to mention successful in America. Back in 2001 Takara pulled this move again when they released JRX as part of the Car Robots line; another combining set of bullet trains. Those figures were released under the Robots In Disguise line in America and as far as I know sold just fine.


  1. I'm surprised that the Transformer versions of these guys don't come with a train track. Are the fists spring loaded?

  2. No spring loaded fists on these guys. Yeah, unfortunately no track but I think they fit on any HO standard size train tracks. Which versions have the spring loaded fists?

  3. Still looking for the last 3 to finish off my Raiden set. It's taking me a lot longer than 8 months!

  4. ah, very nice. I'm very fond of Raiden myself. I was very pleasantly surprised at how intricate and slightly complex the combination process was because given that they are just 6 trains, I expected something fairly straight forward and boring.

    Did your set not come with the stickers for the chest shield.

    The pre-Transformers release comes with the spring mechanism (it's very strong). It can either shoot Raiden's fists out or shoot the train heads out in train mode. In fact, the tab from the train head that plugs into the launcher is why the box art for C-128 and C-129 appear to have antennas on their backs (its a representation of the tab).

    1. You're right, I made sure to use the instructions (which I never do for G1 figures!) to make sure I didn't screw it up!

      I bought each figure individually but whoever comes with the chest stickers (Shoki? not 100% sure) has his stickers unapplied. I don't know if I'll apply them or not, Kaen's are pretty messed up.