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Sunday, January 22, 2012

D-48 White Astrotrain, another Space Shuttle!

As I have often mentioned, one of the best things about reissues is they make prices of the figures they are reissues of much more reasonable. I can't imagine what the the G1 toy landscape would look like if Optimus Prime or Starscream had never been reissued since the 1980's. Prices on those figures would be through the roof! In fact, I remember even in the late 1990's before a lot of the reissues had come out prices were already high. Fortunately today it is relatively easy to obtain a copy of the original G1 cast at a reasonable price (and in many cases the figures have been improved such as proper visor colors on Trailbreaker). At any rate, in 2004 the once rare and difficult to find 'White' Astrotrain was reissued by Takara as part of their TFC line. It was subsequently released in the United States in the Hasbro Toy Shop online store.

Which one is which?
Japan released the white version of Astrotrain as part of their original 1985 lineup in an attempt to make all the figures have real life vehicle modes. In 1986 Takara released the regular color Astrotrain that we are all more familiar with. When I discovered the Japanese exclusive Transformers in the late 1990's this was one figure that caught my attention immediately. I've always been a sucker for good repaints, and a real-world accurate Astrotrain fits the bill nicely. Personally I haven't seen too many purple locomotives, but I have seen plenty of black ones. And the all white space shuttle with NASA stickers really seals the deal. Of course Takara and Hasbro couldn't use the NASA stickers with the reissue to due copyright so they used ASTR in the NASA lettering instead.

I think I'll call you Endeavor and Discovery.
As you can see the older Astrotrain is a little yellowed from time, but the pictures make it look a lot worse than it actually is. In person it is barely noticeable and while photographing the figures for this post more than once I had to look at the copyright stamp to see which figure I was handling. 1985 Astrotrain shows a Japan copyright while the 2004 version shows China.

I know this figure isn't high on many peoples' lists (hence the excellent deal I got on it!) but in my ever-continuing goal of ridding myself of all reissues and only using original figures for my collection it was a big one for me.

Reissue, Original and Hasbro versions.

C'mon guys, giant Decepticon symbols make us less conspicuous!

Still don't see too many purple shuttles these days either.

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