The Transformers™ have been a part of many people’s lives as far as 1984. Collecting in Australia has some unique challenges, so we wrote this as an easy guide to getting you started (or restarted) with collecting Transformers.
Transformers are not just toys for kids, but a serious collecting hobby, with movies, comics, art, animated series, and more adult collector-oriented ‘Masterpiece-style’ toys and even statues. The sky’s the limit for collecting Transformers.
Transformers Collectors Club Australia (TCCA) is Australia’s largest not-for-profit Transformers Collectors Club. With an active online and real-world community, we work to help collectors across Australia come together and share all aspects of the hobby they love with one another.
How to Start?
There is no ‘right way’ to collect Transformers. There are so many choices from more than 30 years of the hobby. Some people collect organically with whatever they can get their hands on. Others collect with purpose: such as specific lines, a particular look (eg cartoon, comic or toy accurate figures only) or even only a specific character. Some collectors focus on the non-toy parts of the hobby too.
Common Collecting Terms
There are a lot of terms you will hear amongst collectors. This will help you with some of the more common phrases.
Bayformer/Bayverse: Movies and associated materials related to the live action movies directed by Michael Bay.
CHUG: An acronym for Classics, Henkei, Universe and Generations. These lines are often modern updates or reinterpretations of classic figures.
Custom: Figures modified with paint or structural changes by collectors.
Diaclone: Toyline owned by Takara that produced the ‘Car Robot’ toys that would be redeveloped into Transformers.
Generation One/G1: The original Transformers franchise from 1984, including cartoon, toys and comic books.
Hasbro: The American company that owns the Transformers brand (see Takara for more)
Knockoff/KO: Unofficial replicas of existing Hasbro/Takara Transformer figures.
Masterpiece: Hasbro/Takara’s highly accurate, detailed Transformer line.
Scale: Transformers come in all shapes and sizes. Newer lines try to provide consistent sizes to limit price-points and ensure figures are cohesive (eg voyagers scale, deluxe scale). Scale anomalies abound in Transformers and are the reason a space shuttle can be the same size as a motorbike.
Shelf-warmer: A figure that sits on a retail shelf for an extended period of time without being sold. Also sometimes referred to as ‘dust collectors’.
Takara: The Japanese company that produces the Transformers in Japan and many of the original designs that came to be known at Transformers before 1984. Takara and Hasbro have a complex relationship.
Third Party/3P: Non-official companies that produce their own interpretation of existing or their own Transformer-inspired figures. Only available from specialist retailers.
More than meets the eye…
Want to know more about collecting Transformers and the best places to find those figures you need? Check out TCCA!
Official Group: Facebook
Podcast: Off the Shelf – Voice of the TCCA (check out iTunes or PodBean)