BY: Peter "PIERRIMUS" Phelps

Bootlegs, Knockoffs, copies, clones, whatever you want to call them they are usually much cheaper imitations of our favorite robots in disguies. If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then perhaps the Takara engineers should be extremely pleased with themselves.

Below are a few examples from my collection.(A good number of these have symbols that look like the originals, they're from sticker sheets that I bought from the Repolabels booth...and many of my KOs were bought at BotCon 2004 too.) As a side note: Just about every KO I've ever bought has needed some trimming with an Exacto Knife/raser blade in order to clean them up enough to transform or look right.

As promised, I have one of those cheap waxy plastic versions of Cyclonus:


Next is a KO of StarSaber of Japanese Victory fame, placed here because the plastic is somewhere between the waxy type and the original's quality. This is just the Jet and Brain Master. It did not originally come with the sword, which I spent $4 on at BotCon 2004. I took the nosecone piece off and did some modification, adding half a spring from a pen. This toy required a lot of time trimming before it could work correctly. Expecially in the region where the Brain Master guy had to slide into his head. The cockpit required some work too in order to actually get it to lock into place.




I bought this set of G1 knockoff Cassettes from a guy in Singapore through eBay. I really don't recommend these if you see them. I know they're only about $15 plus shipping, but the quality here is lacking big time.


The screws are such a soft metal that most of them seem to have been stripped out during assembly. The joints are so loose that you're lucky if they can stand up at all.


Then there's what they did to Rumble. I guess this was the part that totally pissed me off about the set when I finally got them. The images used for the sale do not really show the flaw, so I wasn't prepared when I opened it and found out. They decided not to stick with the spring loaded head, instead they just modified the head with a post to push the head up. OK, so perhaps that I could have forgiven, but having the head on backwards???


This odd colored Skullcruncher was an interesting find.


Take notice of the HeadMaster. It wasn't until later that I realized this was fashioned out of HardHead's head.

Another more disappointing, but cheap toy (I think I spent $2) I found was this Terrorsaur:


He's missing one of his arm/legs and his gun is a solid piece so it can't fold into the hide compartment. I mostly bought it because of the strangely copied Tigertron package. It has absolutely no copyright/trademark info on it.


The next few toys are examples of some of the better knockoffs available. For instance, this Double Dealer is nearly a perfect replica of the original and I didn't spend any time trying to fix his plastic since it was right out of the package.



This Blitzwing is a bit different in color, and no metal parts, but very good quality:


This Broadside is again one of the better toys, though the stickers are sub-par. The interesting thing with this is that it comes with a Flattop Micromaster. The aircraft carrier form of Broadside has been modified with a hole that allows Flattop to attach to it in his vehicle form.

This is a copy of the double-Target Master Quake, sans the targetmasters. It came in a box with another robot/gladiator type of toy and I bought it at Toy Liquidators in Folsom, CA. They sell off toys that don't go the first time out of Kaybee Toys.


I found these copies of the Constructicons at a Walgreens store in Folsom. I only could get about 4,
so the package and instructions will have to do.


Perhaps one of my best KOs is this one of G1 Megatron. The Decepticon stickers were added by me. This toy has all the functionality of the original Japanese version, in other words it shoots the red pellet bullets from both the gun and the cannon thing (actually, the cannon thing's spring fires the bullets much better than through the gun so be careful to know where it is shooting, I lost the first bullet I shot out of it). It comes with both the added hand gun and a big sword. I bought this for about $35 plus $15 shipping off an eBay seller. If you search for "Megatron Variant" you should be able to find someone still selling it there. He comes in robot mode in the package, so there's little trouble with the postal service thinking he's a gun when he goes through an xray. He does actually have metal parts just like the original.



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