Wednesday, March 11, 2015

1989 Pretender Review / Post

So, yesterday I was browsing ebay (it's what I do when I get board) and randomly decided to look at pretender prices. When I got home, I started talking to a couple friends about pretenders. Particularly the later ones who have SKY ROCKETED in price since I bought all mine. Good god have they gone up......

Granted, even back when I was buying these guys they were hard to find. But I don't think I paid more then $50 for any of them (loose and complete). I know the MOSC pretenders I paid about $80 - $100 for with Bludgeon being the most at $180 or 300 (took me the longest to find and I don't remember which price I got him for). But the MIB/MISB ones, the most I paid was $90 for Thunderwing. I got all 5 from the same seller back in 2002/2005ish. The tape is cut on Vroom, Crossblades and Thunderwing, but the bubbles are still sealed.

This particular sealed Thunderwing actually brought me a LOT of anger back when i got him. Like I said, I got all 5 from the same seller.......but I didn't know they were sealed when I bought em. I had loose versions of Skyhammer, Roadblock, Crossblades and Vroom at the time. But still hadn't gotten a Thunderwing yet. I was a fan of the 80's comics, so Thunderwing was of course a key player and I was excited to play with him. Well, I get the big ass box and take them all out. ALL 5 ARE STILL SEALED?!?!? Now, I was excited since they were in better condition then I thought.....BUT I WANTED TO PLAY WITH THUNDERINWG!!! It took a lot of restraint to not cut open the bubble and take him out. Now, if that was the only one I planed on owning, I would have opened him right then and there. But, since I knew eventually I'd have 2 loose ones.......I decided to wait till I found a loose one to play with. I think it took me at least a couple months before I got my first loose one. THAT was a great day. But even now, as much as I love having the MISB one, I look at him with slight distain since he was my first and I couldn't play with him. Yea yea I know. This is a dumb thing to be upset about.

But, now that I have them all..........well........LOOK AT EM!!! They are bad ass!

All three are beefy as hell and stand out (in my mind) against all the 1988 pretenders. The robots are NOT stick figures, the are actual robots. The shells all look cool and actually TRANSFORM. Turns out, my favorite of all three is still Crossblades (even after all my Thunderwing drama). I think it's all the weapons he comes with and how much nicer he looks once they are all on. But he looks like a fricken monster when all his parts are on!

Also, all three robots COMBINE to their shells to make......well, slightly larger versions of what they already are. Not cool enough in my mind to warrant owning 3 loose of each though.

Now, the Ultra pretenders.......not as much of a fan. This was the logical "next step" from 1988. Skinny stick figures inside of a larger (transforming) shell which fits inside another larger transport vehicle (Matryoshaka transformers anyone?) Now, the biggest problem today on these guys is the GPS. Both smaller robots have body's made of gold. And any G1 collector knows the cringe that gives you. But, take the GPS away, they are kind of cool (and a nice upgrade from 1988) but compared to the Mega and standard pretenders released this year, they kind of suck. Especially once you read the Dreamwave bio for Roadblock. Somehow, a tiny cute GPS ridden robot doesn't instill fear in me. I'm just saying!!!

Lastly for today, the awesome "standard" pretenders. The one who makes this series for me is (and always has been) Bludgeon!!!! I can't express how much I love this character and how good the toy looks. I wish he actually came with a sword like he did in the Marvel comics (all three of the Decepticons had melee weapons) but, they are still pretty cool as is. I'm still floored by how much a complete loose Bludgeon goes for now. Simply in awe........

The only real flaw in the pretenders is if you lost their vehicle weapons. Without their vehicle weapons well........ they can't transform. But it is nice that all parts and bits can be stored on or in the shell. That and all 6 have some of the smallest weapons EVER. Probably why these guys demand such high prices now. Everyone lost them!

I do have to say though, Octopunch.........without your helmet you are one UGLY SOB.

And just to show how much I love Bludgeon, he's probably my favorite piece of "official" artwork with him. Him jumping out of the Warworld to wreck havoc on earth in the G2 comic book. Bludegon only appeared on a couple of pages before he was killed. I'm lucky enough to own 5 of those pages original artwork :)

LOOK AT HIM!!! I would be shitting myself if that was coming at me. And again, all three have melee weapons and not guns.

Lastly, just for fun (and since I took it) Here's my "extra shell" shelf. Since all mine are complete and I don't need to actually display more then one shell per pretender, all the extras reside here, behind closed doors........

Hope you all enjoyed!


  1. I'm very fond and partial of the Pretenders. Perhaps it was because when I started collecting again in the mid 90's, the Pretenders were some of the cheapest G1 toys and I had originally quit collecting just before they were released. I was able to get most of them too on the cheap end, but now that the prices have gotten crazy out of hand, I'm not sure if I'll even finish them off since the two I need can be 2 of the most expensive...Thunderwing and Crossblades.

    1. I still remember seeing Pincher new on the shelf. I hadn't read the Marvel comic yet at that point, so all I could think was "who or what is this guy???"

      But yea, Thunderwing and Crossblades are both EXPENSIVE now :(