If you’re familiar with Transformers, then you know that the vintage toys were largely cobbled together from other transforming lines in Japan, a large portion of the coming from the Diaclone line. And Diaclone was all about the Lamborghini.
The very first Diaclone transforming car (and possibly the first transforming car-to-robot toy ever) was a Lamborghini. That’s not Tigertrack, it’s was red and it was Sunstreaker’s mold. Then there was a Police Car Countach. Then came the more traditional mold, vintage Sideswipe’s, which was also done in red (who doesn’t like red?), then, black, then yellow, and then a police car on the new mold again. Hold up, there was a yellow in there. Catch that? Well, that’s technically Tigertrack.
And if the story ended there, that would still make this figure really neat to me. One interesting difference between Sideswipe & Tigertrack was their faction symbol – Tigertrack doesn’t have one. There are stickers included – a honkin’ big Autobot symbol or a more modest-sized classic one, but they have to be applied if you want to make this guy part of your Autobots. I haven’t decided if I want to do that yet.
Takara wisely left that decision to the collectors because it allows for this figure to also be an update of that old “New Countach” Diaclone No. 15. And, in the myriad of collectors, I bet there’s more than a few out there who have eaten that up. I admit that I’m not some well-versed Diaclone fan, I just find all this interesting, including the custom option to leave this guy the way he was before Hasbro found him.
Speaking of Hasbro, there’s one more fun tidbit to Tigertrack’s story. Remember that when it came time to turn Diaclone into Transformers, there were two Lamborghinis. The tricked out version available in red and a police deco and then the standard version in red, yellow, black, and a police deco again. The rumor goes that the second, standard, mold, would be done in yellow and the original mold would keep its original red. To sum up, that’s a yellow Sidewsipe & a red Sunstreaker. – And, hey to make it even more confusing, Sunstreaker wouldn’t even be Sunstreaker, he would be Spin-Out. So, red Spin-Out, and yellow… Sideswipe. Just how close did we come to having “Tigertrack” thirty years ago? Would Takara be making red repaint of this classic MP now? Would all of our feelings be the same, just with a little bit of a switcheroo on the colors? I stay up at night asking myself these questions… *
* – Well, I stay up at night writing incoherent reviews. I ask myself the questions even later.
In the end, none of that may blow anyone else’s mind the way it does mine. Did I mention Spin-Out’s weapon would have been an “Electron Pulse Gun”, the very gun dear Tigertrack is said to carry? Okay, okay, I’ll stop…
Overall, yes, this guy is still an expensive repaint. I paid $90 to snag him from BBTS. I thought that was a pretty good deal considering he was a Tokyo Toy Show exclusive and only $10 or so over the regular price for Sideswipe. It was a lot of money, but I think he’s a fascinating toy to own and talk about. He’s also a great exclusive – if you’ve got the cash to spare you can snag him, and if not, he’s easily skippable.
I had to have him though. I love putting together this awesome Masterpiece shelf. Going back to my comment about the totems, I love Transformers and I’m thrilled to be getting amazing versions of Optimus, Soundwave, Sideswipe. I collect this line for the license, but that’s not the only reason. Heck, I also collect Transformers when they’re brave enough to get a little silly – I have F-15 Eagles in orange/yellow, blue, & neon green! And, yes, I’m happy to collect a few novelties in this line if they tell a great story. Tigertrack evokes a great back story, one we don’t even know all the details of, and, in a way, that helps him to transcend the very license he hail’s from? That’s awesome. I know some folks want MP to be serious business. I do too. They’re pricy and they come out slowly. And that’s not to mention that there are a ton of classic Transformers this scale could finally bring greatness too. But all that history and greatness, Sunstreaker, Tracks, Wheeljack – nearly anyone on my MP want list – spawned from Diaclone and it’s great to get a piece of that back, even in repaint form. And I find myself with a new character crawling his way up my MP want list. I hope Sunstreaker is a given for MP and I keep coming back to the idea that an MP Spin-Out would be an amazing companion piece to Tigertrack. That’s a full circle I can appreciate.
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