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Monday, January 16, 2012

United Stepper and his Armada (I mean Nebulon)

Stepper is one of those obscurish characters that most fans don't even care to know about, especially before his recent reissues in the Takara TFC line and the Commemorative series by Hasbro. Prior to these releases Stepper was an ultra rare Jazz redeco released at the tail end of Headmasters in Japan and thus wasn't on shelves long. Along with his case-mate Artfire this figure would routinely sell for over $1000 in the early 2000's. When the reissues hit everyone who wanted one got one and the rest sat on the shelves forever until they were eventually discounted. This is what happens when companies try to reissue obscure characters: there just isn't enough interest to sustain the market. The Stepper reissues can still be found relatively cheap and even the original doesn't command the prices it once did. Artfire is another story though.

So I think Takara-Tomy learned their lesson. For the United line (basically the most current adaptation of the Classics figures in Japan) they decided to release Stepper as a mail-away through their Transformers Generations book. In direct homage to the original, this Stepper uses the Jazz mold and Nebulon is a redeco of the Cyclonus targetmaster Nightstick.

Overall this figure is beautiful, mimicking the original Stepper nicely while keeping a modern aesthetic to it. The gold is very nicely done and not too garish. I was also surprised at the size of the box he came in, it was very minimal and doesn't waste space with any frills.

And of course because the Jazz mold has speakers built in to the mold, Stepper gets them as well, only in Sonic White.

Nebulon is nicely re-decoed from previous versions:

From L to R: RTS Nightstick, Nebulon, Rocketbot and Universe Nightstick

Unfortunately I don't have the original Stepper in order to compare this figure, perhaps I can rectify that situation in the near future :-)

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