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Wednesday, October 16, 2013

C-374 and C-375 Return of Convoy Micro Trailers

Even though G1 Japanese month is over that doesn't mean I'm going to stop making new acquisitions in what has become my new favorite category. I've decided it is time to stop screwing around and finally complete this section of my collection before things get even more expensive in the future. A small (albeit important) part of that goal includes Micro Trailers #11 and #12 from the Return of Convoy line.

I decided early on that I wasn't going to collect the entire Japanese G1 line as very much of that would be redundant to my already existing American G1 collection. So I figured the best thing would be to collect only those items that were never released in America either by mold or by color. Unfortunately this rule tends to include some very expensive repaints but the flip side of that coin is there are a couple of items that really tend to fly under the radar for a lot of people.

With their American counterparts, the Decepticon Sports Car Patrol.

Enter C-374 and C-375. These sets are straight re-releases of Micromaster Patrols that were released during Zone a year earlier in Japan. They also happen to be the only two Micromaster Patrols that were re-colored for the Japanese release from their American release. It also happens that C-375 changed factions on their transition across the Pacific. Of interest not only do these sets sport their normal ID numbers common to all Japanese releases, but they also sport a second set of numbers identifying their Micro Trailer (MT) release. The only difference between these sets and their earlier Zone releases is the inclusion of the trailer, which affords them new numbers in the ordering system (vs the Zone id's of C-332 and C-333).

I prefer the Japanese colors especially on this set. Not a big fan of the yellow even if it is more realistic.

I've had my eye out for these guys for a while, they don't come up often because not a lot of people are actively searching for them, but the Zone versions sold on eBay a couple months back. However I found these on Yahoo Japan with the aid of two different people, a liaison and friend here in my hometown, and his Japanese contact who subsequently won these at auction for me and was kind enough to have them shipped to his home (because Yahoo Japan does not allow bidders outside the country) and then send them to me.

And frankly, I was floored at their condition when they showed up. MISB, no flap crease and unpunched. These things are pristine, so much so they could probably be graded by AFA and receive at least an 80. For vintage Japanese items, this is hard to come by. They probably sat on a shelf in a small store in Japan forever. Or who knows, maybe they were in the home of a collector all this time. All I know is this is the least I have ever paid for two MISB vintage Japanese figures, so I am very happy. But it leaves me with a small problem: to open or not? My entire Jpn G1 collection is MIB, or loose with box, because I like to display the figures outside the boxes. Many of them are so different from the American versions it is striking. But I really have a problem with opening vintage G1 figures for the first time. I've only done it once or twice in the past. I mean, what if these are the last two sealed versions of these figures on the planet? I don't know if I could deal with that. First world problems amirite?

Do I dare remove them from their plastic prisons?
So anyway, for now they will go with my other Return of Convoy items and maybe I'll take votes on whether to open them or not. Any opinions?

See also:

C-370 Sixliner, the First Micromaster Combiner
The Return of Convoy
Japanese Exclusive: Sky Garry


  1. That's a tough question. One of the main reasons why I've never bought a MISB figure on the secondary market is that I know I'd be tempted to open it meaning I paid an inflated price for nothing. Then again, there's the joy of opening a new toy and comparing it to a previous version. On the other hand, there's the prestige of owning what I'm sure a rarity. How many MISB vintage Japanese TFs are really out there? But, I've always been a "don't imprison your toys" kind of guy. Man, this is a tough one.

    1. I know, it is tough. But I guess everything is going to decay one day, and I don't really collect MISB so I think I know what I'll probably do. Plus, with H_D's analysis below it probably isn't that much of a loss.

  2. Once again, tip of the hat man. You are right to say that these things are obscure and not many people look for them, even if in fact they are re-colours. Your sets look to be in super condition, but to be honest, these sets usually are in that condition! Main reason could be because people don't generally play them?

    I used to have nearly a full set of Zone, and all of them were MOSC, or for the boxed ones sealed onto cards at least. It became all too much for me after awhile, there were just too many and I ended up selling all my MT sets.

    If you are aiming for re-colours, there is a "Battle Patrol" that comes in the colours you have here, BUT with yellow treads for certain robots. That's a quirky variant to look out for.

    1. Well that makes me feel a little better then, maybe I should just go ahead and open them for my ROC display. I've heard about the other version but have never seen it, do you have any pics?