[updated 5 September 2011]
Note: I usually only buy Japanese Transformers if there is not US released equivalent. This is the reason there appears to be gaps in my Japanese collection. As of today, the only piece I need to complete all the Japanese exclusives is D-310: Blue Bacchus.
Osaka Trip Haul
Giftset Gathering! (not all the I have, but those I could grab for this photo)
The communicators and cassettes!
Japanese Laser Discs
2004 Transformers Generations: Deluxe Lucky Draw Prize - God Primus MISB
1984 - Fight! Super Robot Life
16 - Megatron MIB
17 - Soundwave MIB
The Japan 1985 line up very much mirrors the US releases, except that they came in Japanese boxes. As a result, I do not have many 1985 Japanese releases if there is an equivalent US release.
38 - Broadblast MIB, unused
39 - Perceptor MISB
47 - Grapple MIB
I have this 49-Shockwave, in a very banged up box because back in 2000, US boxed Shockwaves were shockingly expensive. Shockwave in a Japanese box was special enough for me back then because this is not a Takara mold but yet Takara released it as a Transformer, under its own brand name in Japan.
Japanese S.T.A.R.S. mailaway exlucsive in mailer packet
1985 Transformers LP
1986 - Transformers 2010
Quite similar with 1984 and 1985, the 1986 Japanese releases mirrors the US releases. Again, I don't have too many Japanese boxed pieces from this year. What I do have are pieces from my brother's and my childhood.
C-60: Pipes, who according to Shmax.com, is rare
D-70: Cyclonus belonged to my brother until I appropriated it from him in 1999!
The Japanese boxed Predacons were something that my mum bought for my brother and I back in 1988/89 when Transformers' popularity was declining and major retail stores wanted to clear these for cheap. Back in the day, each MISB boxed Predacon cost S$6.90 (the equivalent of about $4.50 Australian dollars).
D-73 to D-77 MIB, unused Predacons
This year saw the release of Transformers: The Movie in Japan. To commemorate the passing of the leaders of both factions, Japan saw the release of the "goodbye" sets - "Goodbye Convoy" (which contains Convoy, Ligier and Alert) and "Goodbye Megatron" (which contains Megatron and Starscream).
Goodbye Convoy giftset
Goodbye Convoy giftset #2
Goodbye Megatron giftset
Goodbye Convoy and Goodbye Megatron
1987 - The Headmasters
The Transformers cartoon ended in the US in 1987. However, Transformers continued in Japan in the form of the Headmasters series, which was exclusive to Japan but also aired in a number of Asian countries.
This is the year that Takara upped the ante, so to speak. Where they did not simply mirror US releases but began to release figures that were specific to the Japanese market - in other words, Japanese exclusives. These Japanese exclusives were never released in the US or in the West, but were common enough in Japan and in many parts of Asia. Due to their exclusive nature, many Japanese exclusives are considered rare today and command higher than normal prices relative to US releases in that same year.
Exclusive Headmaster heads (no Japanese ID numbers)
C-83: Sandstorm, unused MIB
C-100: Doublecross MISB
C-108: Artfire MISB (details of acquisition, here)
Multiple C-108: Artfires!
C-112: Autobot Clones MIB, unused (acquisition details, here)
C-114: Fortress Maximus. This is essentially a US Fortress Maximus but with a master sword and a Master Sword and much better looking box art. This piece, easily costs the equivalent of an average Singaporean's income in a month.
C-116: Twincast MIB, unused
C-121: Gurafi MIB
C-122: Noizu MIB
C-123: Dairu MIB
C-124: Zauru MIB
C-121 to C-124 pictured together
C-121 to C-124 with C-116: Twincast
C-38, C-116, C-121 to C-124
The beautiful C-131: Raiden giftset. I got this from Tokyo in January 2010.
D-98: Sixshot MIB, unused
1988 - Super God Masterforce
The 1988 Japanese Transformers were markedly different from their US counterparts and there were many notable original mold releases as well as key recoloured US molds. Looked at as a whole, Super God Masterforce was something entirely different from the 1988 US releases. This year, while having its share of already rare Japanese exclusive figures, also contains a number of rarer than rare figures, which are today, extremely difficult to locate and also incredibly pricey - for example, Go-Shooter, Minerva, Grand Maximus and Black Zarak come to mind.
I bought this from Hong Kong back in 2001 for US$70, a real bargain price back in the day and even by today's standards.
C-201: Metalhawk MIB
C-301: Go-Shooter, which I bought from a fellow TFW2005 member
Go-Shooter comparison with its USA counterpart, Siren
C-302: Carb, from my January 2010 Tokyo trip.
C-303: Minelbal/Minerva. Unfortunately, I only have this loose, complete and with unapplied sticker sheet. Would be nice to also have the box... but one can hope...
Got a boxed one!
Minelba compared with its USA counterpart, Nightbear
The 3 'headmaster juniors' - Go-Shooter, Carb and Minelba
C-304: Lightfoot, , from my January 2010 Tokyo trip. This is identical to the US release, Getaway.
C-305: Ranger MIB (a recolour of Joyride)
C-305: Ranger MISB (sealed and unused)
C-308: Doubleclouder, from my January 2010 Tokyo trip.
C-310: God Ginrai giftset (acquisition details, here)
C-311: Grand Maximus, which was MISB until I opened it for inspection. I got this piece from Hong Kong in 2002 for a very good price.
Got these from my April 2010 Hong Kong trip. Hardspark and Hotspark being the Japanese exclusive recolours here.
The 3 rare Japanese exclusive Powermaster engines
D-306: Darkwings giftset
D-307: Overlord MIB
Needs no introduction. This is Overlord, the Decepticon Ambassador of Destruction.
D-308: Browning MIB. This belongs to E and is one of her favourite TFs.
D-311: Black Zarak MIB
D-319 to D-321: Guzzle, Sizzle and Jabile
Guzzle is the rare one here and the Japanese exclusive repaint. I got these 3 as a set together with the Cybertron Sparkbots above.
1989 - Victory
This year features even more original mold toys that the US never got. It is very different from the 1989 US releases and notably, has a lot less Pretenders. In 1989 Japan, we were introduced to another 2 new concepts - the Brainmasters and Brestforce (or Brestmasters, but that sounds terrible). I see this as an evolution of Transformers rather than US 1990's devolution into ActionMasters. I dearly love the Transformers from this year and remember staring doe-eyed at the TV every Sunday morning for my fix of Transformers: Victory.
Like 1988, while having its share of already rare Japanese exclusive figures, this year also contains a number of rarer than rare figures, which are today, extremely difficult to locate and also incredibly pricey - for example, Galaxy Shuttle, Dinoking, Black Shadow and Blue Bacchus.
C-319: Landcross giftset MIB, unused
I bought this MIB, unused Road Caesar giftset from OZ Former member kelvinchang99.
MISB individually boxed Road Caesar members.
C-324: MIB Star Saber in C9.5 box.
C-325: Greatshot MIB
C-326: Galaxy Shuttle MIB
Multiple C-326: Galaxy Shuttles!
C-327: Victory Leo MIB
One of the gems of my collection, the C-328: Victory Saber giftset, which I exchanged a VF-1S Super Valkyrie giftset for (something that was considered far rarer than Victory Saber before all those Bandai reissues were released).
Well, I really like these guys. So I buy set after set of them. I must have almost 6 sets in total presently.
Victory Hero Giftset (this is actually a set of Classic Pretenders but without their shells). A very nice set with complete paperworks and unapplied sticker sheets.
D-309: Black Shadow MIB
D-310: Blue Bacchus MIB
D-309 and D-310 together
The very rare D-328: Dinoking giftset which I bought from a TFW2005 member.
Brave DX Red Geist MIB (a Deathsaurus recolour)
D-329 to D-334: I bought these from a Hong Kong seller on eBay. Pricey, but very minty and very unused.
These are my other Liokaisers. One set was from eBay, another was obtained in exchange for a complete Triggerhappy and the last set was from a seller on the Singapore Classified Ads.
1990 - Zone
At this point in time, Transformers was really dying out, even in Japan. Only one episode of Zone was ever made and the rest never made it to air but were played out in various magazines and manga. While having a large number of Micromasters, not unlike 1990 US, there were a good few Japanese exclusive pieces that came out of this year - Dai Atlas, Sonic Bomber, Road Fire and Metrotitan.
C-341 to C-344 MIB, unused
C-345: Landshaker and C-346: Sky Hyper MIB, unused (acquisition details, here)
Big Powered in individual boxes
C-347: Sonic Bomber MIB
C-348: Dai Atlas MIB
C-349: Road Fire MIB
C-350: Rabbicrater MIB, unused
C-351: Construction Patrol MOSC
C-352: Air Patrol MOSC
D-341: Race Track Patrol
D-360: Metrotitan, the only other Decepticon toy release other than another Micromaster Race Track Patrol - Metrotitan.
1991 - Battlestars (Return of Convoy)
In summary, this year consists of of 3 large Transformers and a host of Micromasters. Other than Star Convoy, Sky Garry and Grandus, this is not a very interesting year to me.
C-360: Sky Garry
C-370: Sixliner MIB unused
C-371: Grandus. Bought this from a fellow TFW2005 member. Very minty piece, C9.5 at least, complete paper works and unapplied sticker sheet.
Dug Base from the Takara Brave series. This is a Grandus retool
1992 - Operation Combiner
TF-02, TF-03, TF-05 and C-370
TF-04: Guard City MIB, unused
TF-07: Scorch & Falcon giftset MIB, unused
TF-07, TF-08 and TF-09 MIB, unused
TF-10: Battle Gaia MIB, unused
MC Axis Model Kits
Misc bio card lot (loose)