The day began with planning days in the making. Toy amigos Julie and Kellie arrived at 8:30 to pick me up and take us first for Bridgehead coffee and then to the show. The plan was to grab My Little Ponies and other toys for Julie (she has a fondness for Starriors and TMNT!), mini donuts for Kellie, and general interesting plastic for me. Having arrived right on time at 9:00 a.m. (for the first time ever), we turned right from the entrance and headed to a regular at the end of the second row who usually has a few transformers. Alas there was nothing to be found, always a possibility, but I noticed that Julie was nowhere to be found. Turning to Kellie to inquire what happened to her, she pointed to the table directly behind me where Julie was digging with joy through a pile of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Which happened to be right beside the original 1985 Transformers train set.
I almost leapt the table to get over there.
The trainset, one of Tyco’s many licensed train sets from back in the day, had seen better days box wise. It was tattered and damaged, but it was intact. And inside appeared to be all the parts included originally in the set. The price was $30. With a bag of figures in my hand that I will talk about tomorrow, I figured why not grab the set. I mean, after all, what is the likelihood that I’m going to find other items of significant note. Oh how little did I know…
Now, the tfwiki does a better job talking about this find than I do. All I can really say is that the set was certainly loved. The cardboard cut outs that form the electrical station and towers are all intact, albeit clearly showing signs of being folded in the same manner for a quarter century. The mat itself though is in near perfect condition which is really the important thing. And all the paperwork is intact.
In terms of the train itself, the train tracks are showing the results of wear and tear, with some of the “wooden” sections snapped off over the years. The train itself is almost completely intact, save a radar dish for the command centre car, and, most distressing of all, the side panels (wings) and one set of wheels for the caboose. Here’s hoping another caboose can be found one day to substitute into the set.
Finally, we come to the robots, which you would think would be the highlight of the piece, given that most of the train itself has been recycled across Tyco’s licensed train sets. In fact, the “transformers” are completely non-descript, generic robots that someone thought would do the job. They could pass for many a cannon fodder robot introduced throughout the comic or the cartoon over the year, but there is no sign of Optimus, Megatron, or the others.
Frankly, given Hasbro’s penchance to reuse molds in the early years, the entire force could be rounded out by seekers, mini-spy volkswagons, lamborghinis and datsons. That said, it does appear the robots are all present and accounted for.
And that’s not bad for $30.