Package Variants!

(See Also: The Many Theories of Overstock)

| G1 | G2 | Beast Wars | Machine Wars | Beast Machines | Robots in Disguise | Armada |

| Reissues | Universe | Alternator | Cybertron | Classics | Movie | Miscellaneous |


Autobots: Minibots

'84 carded in vehicle mode: Bumblejumper/Bumper, Bumblebee (red and yellow), Cliffjumper (red and yellow), Huffer, Windcharger, Brawn (face 1), and Gears. No rubsigns.

'85 carded in robot mode, without (than later with) Mini-Spy: Bumblebee (red and yellow), Cliffjumper (red and yellow), Huffer, Windcharger, Brawn (face2), and Gears. Rubsigns introduced. Seaspray, Cosmos, Beachcomber, Powerglide, and Warpath added to assortment.

NOTE: Warpath and friends did NOT come with Mini-Spies when added to the assortment in wave 2. (Pic | Pic 2)

'86 carded in robot mode w/patch: All '85 minibots. (Bumblebee in yellow only, Cliffjumper in red only) Wheelie, Outback, Hubcap, Pipes, and Swerve added to assortment, both with and without patch.

NOTE: Also, the only minicars that came with patch were the third group of 6, and the second group of 5 Mini-Cars (and Bumblebee, who is exceedingly rare.)

Tailgate: mispelled card, correct word w/ use of sticker, correct printing on card.

*It may be interesting to note that when Warpath was packaged in robot mode, they turned his tank turret sideways so he would fit on in the bubble. :)

*NOTE: Bumblejumper has only been confirmed on a Cliffjumper card, despite rumors that he came on a Bumblebee card as well...

*Final Note: The minibots were changed to robot mode at the beginning of 1985. They were first packaged with Mini-Spy, and actually, the cards with.

Mini-Spy had variations. The first ones had a TM after the Transformers logo on the front of the card, and it was quickly changed to a Circled R after the Transformers logo.

Autobots: Jumpstarters

Let's not forget the Jumpstarter tech spec variations (pics reversed for initial print run). '85 Topspin with Twintwist pic on tech spec, Twintwist with Topspin pic on tech. Fixed when?

Autobots: Regular Cars

'84 Ratchet: Cross-canopy versus non-cross artwork on box (which first?).

'86 HotRod, Kup, Blurr: Poster box, non-poster box regular Hotrod, vs reissue Hotrod package (86 vs 2002) color-change, no boxflap.

(What about the mail-in units? Mirage, Ratchet, Wheeljack, Sunstreaker, Hubcap? They came either boxed/carded in stores, or in a little bag through the counts as a package variant. :-) Anyone got the years?)

(See below for more on box variants, including tech specs. ;-)

Autobots: Misc

Well, I don't have a big collection of Jetfire boxes, but so far it looks like the Matsu ones tend to have the Tatsunoko Pro seahorse in the corner, and the Bandai ones tend to not. (Either that or vice versa...)

If anyone out there has a bunch of Jetfire boxes, it'd be cool if they could shed some further light on this.

'86 Rodimus Prime, Wreck-gar, posterbox, non-poster box.

'86 Metroplex, Ultra Magnus, Skylynx: Poster box, non-poster box.

Micromaster Transports: Silver background (89), green background (90).

TM Hotrod:
1) Error Box
2) Sticker Correction (Pic)
3) Printed Correction

Can someone explain case assortments to me again? Since when did the original cars come all the same to a case? Trickery? (Pic 1 | Pic 2) (Turns out, they're from China. Go to that page. Not American, despite the package.)

Autobots: Combiners

'86 Aerialbots, packaged individually, packaged as giftset, '87 packaged w/decoy.

'86 Protectobots, packaged individually, packaged as giftset, '87 packaged w/decoy.

'86 Technobots with decoy, without decoy, packaged as giftset.

Decepticons: Jets

'86 Cyclonus, Scourge: Posterbox, non-poster box. Blue-eared Cyclonus came in a non-poster box and is Japan stamped.

The blue-plastic Scourge was non-poster box (Japan stamped), the shiny blue-stickered Scourge was poster box (Taiwan stamped).

Starscream, unconfirmed error-box: Inserted into package wrong at factory. (Pic)

Decepticons: Combiners

'85 Constructicons, packaged individually, Packaged in Giftset.

'86 Stunticons, packaged individually, packaged as giftset, '87 packaged w/decoy.

'86 Combaticons, packaged individually, as giftset (not mass-produced), '87 packaged w/decoy. (Pic 1 | Pic 2)

'86 Predacons, poster box, non-poster box (no giftset in America).

'86 Terrocons, with decoy, without decoy, packaged as giftset (not mass-produced).

'88 Seacons, packaged individually, packaged in giftset.

*Piranacon giftset note: Piranacon is the only giftset not to be complete in the giftset box, but that's only the USA release that was 5 piece. The Japanese Piranacon giftset includes all 6 figures and has the word Targetmaster on the box. The box art is also a little different to reflect the 6-bot formation instead of the 5.

Note: There were 3 distinct package variants to the carded seacons. (Pic)

Decepticons: Misc

'84 Frenzy: Silver artwork (1st release), '86 gold artwork on pkg front and tech spec. (Note: More on Decepticon cassettes tech specs here.)

'85-86 Blitzwing: Posterbox, non-posterbox.

'85-86 Astrotrain: Posterbox (Pic 2), non-poster box.

'86 Galvatron, Trypticon: Posterbox, non-poster box.

'87 Scorponok: Incorrect tech spec, '88 correct tech spec.

'89 Micromasters: Card says 'Micro-Transformers'; card says 'Micromaster-transformers'.

Micromaster Transports: Silver background (89), green background (90).

(What about the mail-in units? Megatron, Thundercracker? They came either boxed in stores, or in a little bag thru the counts as a package variant. :-) Anyone got the years?)

TM Scourge:
1) Error Box
2) Sticker Correct
3) Printed Correct (Unconfirmed)

G1 Misc

Boxart in general was switched between 84/85 when Hasbro bought out Milton-Bradley. The two main box versions can be distinguished by (among other things) the copyright on the box, which will say either Hasbro, or the later Hasbro-Bradley. Or, to be more specific:

1984 - (c)1984 Hasbro Industries Inc.
Early 85 - (c)1984 Hasbro Industries Inc.
Later in 85 - (c)1984 Hasbro Bradley Inc. (Pic)
Even later in 85 - (c)1985 Hasbro Bradley Inc.
1986 - (c)1986 Hasbro Inc.
1987 - (c)1986 Hasbro Inc. and so on and so forth.

Note: The backer-cards that the bubbles attached to changed from gray to more of a white between 84/85. (Pic)

Note" *Also* note some of the major differences between the package styles above: I'll detail, among other things, the straight vs crosshatch tech specs. More...

(See Also: Euro-Classic Package Variants)

(See Also: Aase Assortments)

Bonus: What is the AP sticker on (certain tf packages) mean?

"AP stands for Ashi Productions. They worked in corporation with Fuji T.V. to bring you the series that aired in Japan between 1983/10/7 (Fri)-1984/7/6 (Fri). I believe it was shown once a week every Friday at 4:30pm. The Takatoku Toys Company had production rights for the toys along with orguss, Batrain, Macross etc...

Even the Pre-TF Pvelon Gazzette for instance you will find a AP sticker on the box, along with Ashi Productions in Japanese marked on the instructions and so forth. I'm looking at my Pre-TF Whirl now, and it has Takatoku on one leg, Ashi Productions on the other in Japanese. It's the same as how Sunrise has rights for a cartoon, but the toys may be made by Takara or Bandai depending on the toy. There will probably be rights to the animation company on the box or toy itself along with the toy manufactures name. Take G.G.G. for instance, you'll probably not only see Takara on there, but also Sunrise, and Nagoya T.V.!" -Maz

Note: "Okay, let's get this sorted out, Takatoku made both toys, but Dorvack and Beetras came from different studios, hence the different stickers and different company markings in Japanese on the boxes. Beetras was from ArtMic, the others which I mentioned before from that old message Maz dug up was from Asahi Productions Thanks." -Himawari

Catalog Scans

Reflector: Mailaway, 3 different versions. (Pic)

Original Catalog: 3 different versions. (Pic | Pic (Large))

It's interesting to note on the original catalogs, how the quality of the paper changed from each successive printing. The very first catalogs were on rough stock. Later ones, while switching to thinner paper, also refined the inking process.


Starscream and Ramjet: Missles packaged together, packaged seperately.

Megatron Tank (Large): Package 1, white insert, back panel printed upside down. Package 2, white insert, back panel was printed correctly. Package 3, yellow insert.

Constructicons: Originally sold on "bubble" cards identical to the Autobot cars and Decepticon jets when they were test-marketed at TRU. They later came on regular cards like the Combaticons etc.

Jazz: While comparing the paperwork on two of them, I found a significant difference in the instruction manuals! One is shadowed, one is not. One has the rifle listed (as 'weapon') while the other...does not! (Pic)

Cyberjets: 3 distinct package variants: (Pic)
-Small printed warning.
-Large printed warning.
-Large printed warning w/sticker.

Beast Wars

'95 Rock Blister, '96 Smooth Blister: Cheetor, Dinobot, Waspinator, Tarantulas, Iguanus, Razorbeast, Rattrap, and Terrorsaur. All others smooth blister from there on.

*Also of note is that the 2 pack was never released in smooth bubble, only rock, and smooth Waspinator is considered by some to be more rare than the rock.

*Dinobot was rather badly mistransformed to get him to fit inside the round bubble.

*Cheetor has gone through three card backers. The first, which shipped as a rocky blister, does not have a point specification in the assortment number. When it shipped in the second wave with red eyes, it became .01. When Cheetor continued shipping through the third Deluxe wave, Hasbro updated the card back to match the others in the assortment, making it .02.

'97 Airazor, Clawjaw: Packaged individually, packaged w/video.

Beastwars: Fuzors

Injector: Instructions changes .00 and .01. The artwork in Injector's transformation instructions was changed during production. The text was moved, but not altered. Steps 3 & 4 have alternate artwork. The .00 version shows the Fuzor legs on the chest, while the second .01 version has the legs behind the figure. In Step 2 on the .00 card, there is no mention of the rubsign, but it is mentioned on the corrected card.

Beastwars: Transmetals

'97 Depth Charge and Rampage: Thin box (1st release), thick box.

*Don't forget to mention that Depth Charge's original package called his vehicle an "all terrain assault vehicle" (leftover from Rampage's template evidently) while the later boxes correctly call it a space cruiser. There were also the starburst stickers applied to late-run Rampage packaging that touted him as "expert challenge level" and stickers over the "ages 5 and up" recommendation that changed it to "ages 7 and up." "Challenge Level" sticker is on the .03 box.

(Year?) Cloud (1st release) versus arrow front boxart on Optimal Optimus.

[Transmetals: inner bubble changes]

BeastWars: Transmetal Twos

'98 Transmetal 'II' (1st release) versus '2' sticker on bubble on 6 characters (Optimus Minor, Scarem, Sonar, Ramulus, Dinobot, Cheetor).

'98 TM2 Dinobot: Head packaged facing up, head packaged facing down.

'98 TM2 Cybershark: Altered boxart w/warning.

Tigerhawk: Spelling correction .00 and .01...00 box has the mispelled 'MISSLES' on the top and bottom. Corrected .01 box spells 'MISSILES' correctly. Unfortunately, 'Tigertron' is still mispelled in the Bio Card. I'm guess Hasbro will probably not fix it.

Beast Wars: Fox Kids Repaints

'00 Fox Kids Recolor Beastwars: TM Rhinox packaged with side flaps down; packaged with sideflaps straight out.

Machine Wars

'97 Starscream: With, and without tech spec on box.

MW Soundwave: Wrror-packaged into a sandstorm box.

The instructions for the initial shipments of MW Autobots (Hubcap, Hoist, Mirage, Prowl):
Type 1 card (Error)
Type 2 card (Sticker Correction)
Type 3 card (Printed Correction)

It has also been considered that Megaplex and Megatron were error packed onto each other's cards through the production run.

Does it bother anyone else that the Machine Wars Prime boxart was recycled from the G2 Laser Prime box? I mean, he doesn't even *look* like the Thunderclash toy he was recycled from...

Beast Machines

Optimus Primal: Facing straight, angled in running position.

Jetstorm: Straight nose, angled nose.

Tankorr: Turret facing straight, turret angled toward window. Also there are four versions of Tankor packaging AFAIK:
1. Front claws together, torpedoes, .0000.
2. Front claws separate, torpedoes, .0000.
3. Front claws separate, torpedo, .0000.
4. Front claws separate, energy bolt, .0100.

Cheetor: Standing, crouched position.

Blackarachnia: First releases of the toy (in the .0005 assortment, for those of us keeping track) were packaged with her facing left. Later assortments (such as the missing .0006 and the current .0007) have Blackarachnia facing right. This is a little tough to see simply when glancing through a peg of them. The only reason that Jon and I can come up with for this adjustment is for easy viewing of the spark crystal.

Scavanger error-packed on a Mirage card.

BM 2-packs: Some carded Longhorn/Gekkobot and Obsidian/Nightviper units were sold with a special-bound card board wrap. Wee.

Robots in Disguise

(See Also: Pressed-Package Stampings)

We picked up the initial releases of Optimus Prime and Ultra Magnus, and noticed that they both sported oblong, red-text-on-white, child warning labels, on the lower left front corner of their boxes. Silvy's Wal-Mart recently got a second shipment in, and now, Optimus Prime sports a smaller, black-text-on-white, child warning label in the same spot, while Ultra Magnus has no warning label at all in that spot. We didn't check to see if the warning was actually printed elsewhere on Ultra Magnus's package... We did check, BTW, and found that RID Ultra Magnus does indeed still sport a .0000 box, as does Prime--Magnus is now just shipping without any warning to parents that 'hey, we've got twenty-three different things for your kid to choke on in THIS toy!' ...shameful, yes. :) Silverwynde and Defensis Prime.

Freds additional Note: Latest versions both sport warning logos in the boxart.

Example of Prime box:
Type 1) No warning labels or boxart.
Type 2) Red warning labels (lower left corner, front).
Type 3) Black warning labels (lower left corner, front).
Type 4) Warning boxart (mid-front of pkg, and two more on back).

Megatron: Initially shipped with bat-mouth covering robot face, and small-limbs on belt pointing down, while later shipments came with the bat-mouth retracted, and the small-limbs on the belt pointing level.

Megatron: Packaging variation. I don't remember what the first version had on the bottom of the box, but the new version has the trains pictured on the bottom of the box. Also, his box is thinner front to back than the earlier release which showed Sky-Byte, Optimus Prime, and Ultra Magnus on the bottom..--Karl Hartman. (Note: First package had Optimus Prime, Ultra Magnus, etc on the box).

So the three possble versions are:
Type 1: Type one box, bat mouth covering face, limbs down.
Type 2: Type one box, bat mouth retracted, level limbs.
Type 3: Type two box, bat mouth retracted, level limbs.

Towline: Packaged with or without front grill of towtruck.

Type 2 card: Simple 'Combiners' logo on front of card. Combaticons pictured in robot-mode.
Type 3 card: Tri-logo 'Combiners' on front of card. Combaticons pictured in vehicle-mode.
Type 4 card: Tri-logo 'Combiners' on front of card, with '2 of 5', etc added to it. (Pic)

Oh yeah, The RID Trains had a package variation similar to the combaticons. First version had single language "Combiners" logo on front. This was seen briefly. Later versions have the standars tri-lingual 'Combiners' logo.--Karl Hartman.

RID trains:
1) Single-combiners logo, unpainted (gray) windows variant.
2) Tri-logo Combiners, unpainted (gray) windows variant.
3) Tri-logo combiners, blue-painted windows variant.

Skybyte: waning labels on side flaps, blank side flaps.

Type 1) Wave one pointing vertical in package, left one in robot mode.
Type 2) Wave two both in vehicle mode, both angled up and to the right.
Type 3) Wave? individually packaed. (Pic) | (Clear Kaybee Versions)
Type 4) Tiny tins versions (magazine). (Pic)

Note: Tiny Tins were also available during the late-run Armada series at various TRU/Geoffery stores, as well as Target.

Spychangers Error Pack: Prowl2/Sideswipe with a Sideburn/Daytonas label insert.

Super Brothers Error Pack: Sideburn on Xbrawn card, Xbrawn on a Sideburn card. Literally. The bubble, insert, and toy were sealed to the wrong cardbacks.

(Note: See also: RID Cardback Text-Changes (in-process))


(See Also: Pressed-Package Stampings)

*Note: The style change on all the symbols between the versions, from white to black stylized 'eyes'on the Autobot/Decepticon insignias...

*Note: Also on some packages, the 'O' in Transformers is printed upside down!

*Note: Finally, I'm not listing the Powerlinx toys as pack changes for the item, since the toys are technically, 'different' along with the new card backs. Now, should a Powerlinx toy come with a pack-change, I will of course list that (ex. Powerlinx Prime).

Deluxe Carded

1) Initial-release, clear tray w/warning label inserted into bubble.
2) Later-releases, no warning label on bubble.

Hotshot (Powerlinx):
1) Initial-release, with NEW sticker, solid red symbol.
2) No NEW sticker, solid red symbol.
3) No NEW sticker, white outline symbol.

Cyclonus and Demolisher:
1) Error stamped as Autobots. (Pic 1 | Pic 2)
2) Sticker correction to Decepticon. (Pic 1 | Pic 2)
3) Pack correction to Decepticon. (Pic 1 | Pic 2)

Demolisher (Powerlinx):
1) Standard Unicron Battles packaging, and NEW sticker.
2) No NEW sticker.

Optimus Prime:

1) With NEW sticker, and with warning Sticker.
2) Without NEW sticker, and with warning Sticker.
3) Without NEW sticker, and warning printed (also changes on the back).
4) Unicron Battles sticker, tampo-stamped logo on hood.
5) No Unicron Battle sticker, but retains tampo-stamped hood.
6) No Unicron Battles sticker, tampo-tamped hood, Warning sticker.
7) Unicron Battles sticker, warning sticker, tampo-stamped hood.

Nemesis Prime:
1) Standar Unicron Battles packaging, warning sticker, NEW sticker.
2) No NEW sticker.

Version 1: With NEW sticker, and with warning sticker.
Version 2: Without NEW sticker, and with warning sticker.
Version 3: Without NEW sticker, and warning PRINTED (also various changes on the back).

Thrust and Sideswipe:
Version 1: Standard cardback.
Version 2: With NEW sticker.
Version 3: Unicron Battles sticker.
Version 4: Unicron Battles sticker and warning sticker.
Version 5: Warning sticker only.

Hoist, Airrazor, Wheeljack: (Pic)
1) Unicron Battles card back, Unicron Battles sticker.
2) No Unicron Battles sticker.
3) Unicron Battles sticker and warning sticker.

Terrasaur, Rhinox:
1) Standard card back, no Unicron Battles sticker.
2) Unicron Battles sticker.
3) Unicron Battles sticker, and warning sticker.

Deluxe Carded Bonus Packs

K-mart has been selling bonus-packs similar to the Walmart ones, except in-place of two minicon packs, they have a supercon and a minicon pack. These are the ones I've found so far:

Blurr w/Mini-Con Race Team
Blurr w/Mini-Con Destruction Team

Hotshot w/Mini-Con Race Team
Hotshot w/Mini-Con Street Action Team

Sideways w/Mini-Con Destruction Team
Sideways w/Mini-Con Street Action Team

Deluxe-Carded Bonus Packs Redux

TRU/Geoffery is now selling Supercons with *one* bonus minicon in the bubble. At the 12.99 price point, this isn't much of a bonus at all...

Cyclonus w/Adventure Team Member
Hotshot w/Adventure Team Member
Sideways w/Destruction Team Member
Blurr w/Destruction Team Member

Deluxe Carded Bonus Packs Again

Apparently, some store had a special on Supercons being in packs with each other. I have no info at this time as to where these came from, or what was in the sets. (Pic)

Hotshot & Demolisher

Mini-Con 3-Packs

Air Defense, Street Action, and Land Military teams: (Pic)
1) Small type font.
2) Large type font, TF website logos moved.

The first three packs of Mini-Cons were released with the small type font. Later releases of those three-packs switched to the large type font. Presumably, no small type font of the second wave of Mini-Cons exists. At least, I've not seen it. In addition, artwork of an individual Mini-Con team member was added to the front of the package.

More on Mini-Con 3-Packs

The third wave (Sdventure, Street Speed, and Space teams) come with or without the NEW sticker on the package front. (Pic)

The latest releases of Night Attack, Street Speed, Adventure, Air Assault, and Space teams fall under the Unicron Battles banner as well.

Night Attack, Street Speed, Adventure, Space Mini-Con teams:
1) Without NEW sticker.
2) With NEW sticker.
3) Unicron Battles cardback.

Even More on Mini-Con 3-Packs

Walmart is selling them in sets of 6 (basically, two carded sets in a blister pack, with a 'bonus' sticker on them). These are the sets we've seen so far (note that they are all on Unicron battles card backs):
1) Air Assult Team & Sea Team
2) Air Assult Team & Night Attack Team
3) Space Team & Night Attack Team
4) Space Team & Adventure Team
5) Adventure Team & Speed Team

Zob Adds: "I took some notes yesterday and jotted down all the package combinations of the Minicon 2-packs of the ones at my store. Here's what I ended up with:
Air Military Team & Road Assault Team
Emergency Team & Air Military Team
Night Attack Team & Road Wrecker Team
Road Assault Team & Emergency Team
Road Assault Team & Night Attack Team
Road Assault Team & Sea Team
Road Wrecker Team & Emergency Team
Road Wrecker Team & Space Team
Sea Team & Emergency Team
Space Team & Road Wrecker Team

Some people on ATT have reported finding duplicates in the G.I. Joe 2-packs, so I guess it's theoretically possible the same could happen with the Mini-Cons, but I haven't seen any packs with two of the same Mini-Con team yet."

Yes, Even More on Mini-Cons

1) Mini-Cons have been included in small Bonus Pack trays with larger toys.

2) In Energon, certain Mini-Cons have been repackaged (this isn't counting recolored ones). For example, a set of 6-packs at Walmart, as well as Tinytins (see Rid Spychangers) at Target. Just one team can have several changes between both lines. Example:

Space Team:
1) Without NEW sticker.
2) With NEW sticker.
3) Unicron Battles card back.
4) Included in Bonus Pack with Jetfire.
5) Packaged in Walmart Bonus Pack.
6) Packed in Energon 6-pack with recolored Race Team.

Race Team (in Road Assault colors; forms Skyboom Shield)/Space Team; then Night Attack Team/Destruction Team (in Road Wrecker colors) teams have appeared in the Walmart Energon 6 packs, and TRU had a 6pk of Adventure Team/Sea Team. (Completely new packages, *not* like the leftover 3-packs stuck in a clear blister like last time) while the members of the Star Sabre team and the Race Team (original colors) have shown up in tiny tins. (Pic of Tiny Tin | Pic of E-6 Packs)

Boxed (Big and Bigger)

1) Small font, tank pic on back facing left.
2) Large font, tank pic on back facing right.

Galvatron and Jetfire: (Pic)
1) Standard packaging.
2) Bonus pack of Space/Night-Attack Mini-Cons on top (Target).
3) With CD!

Jetfire (Powerlinx):
1) Unicron Battles packaging with new sticker.
2) Unicron Battles packaging without new sticker.

Red Alert (Powerlinx) and Predacon (recolored TM Megatron):
1) Unicron Battles packaging.
2) Unicron Battles packaging w/bonus 3-Pack of Original Destruction Team Mini-Cons. (Pic)

Scavanger and Thundercracker:
1) Standard boxes.
2) With Bonus 3-Pack of Mini-Cons.

1) Standard packaging.
2) With CD!

Skywarp and Overload:
1) Standard packaging.
2) With NEW sticker.

Optimus Prime (Large Version with Sparkplug):
1) Small font, error box (comic 1).
2) Small font, sticker correction on bottom (contents).
3) Large font, printed correction on bottom (contents).
4) Comic 3 instead of comic 2.
5) With CD!

Optimus Prime (Large Powerlinx Version w/Corona Sparkplug):
1) Unicron Battles packaging.

2) Unicron Battles packaging with CD!

*It is interesting to note that a remolded-Prime is found in version-3 packaging. :-)

1) Error box (wrong language on front).
2) Sticker correction (on front language). (Pic)

It is interesting to note that Rollbar and Armorhide are misnamed and mis-arranged (vehicle vs robot) on the back of the box: (Pic)

The package is the same on the first four versions, but the toy changed. Then we have a further problem on version 5...which carries us into Energon, and thus a double-listing...
Type 1: Pegless wings, solid shoulders.
Type 2: Pegless wings, one shoulder slotted.
Type 3: Pegless wings, slotted shoulders.
Type 4: Pegged wings, slotted shoulders.
Type 5: Pegged wings, slotted shoulders (bonus pack of Dark Sabre Team).
Type 6: Pegged wings, slotted shoulders, Energon box.
Type 7: Pegged wings, slotted shoulders (recolor), Energon box.

Error?: Powerlinx Thrust has a picture of red Thrust (he's brown).

Error?: KB Scourge coming with a Bludgeon card. (Pic)


A price sticker does not a variant make: On Starscream, rumors abounded that there was going to be a disney exclusive version. This turned out to be false. The only noticable change is the price sticker on the toy (though some peeled off the stickers on the front, too). (Pic)

A note on Grapple: Why is Autobot spelled Auotbot on the sides? ;-)


Snarl, Silverbolt, Reptilion:
1) No CD.
2) With CD.

Note: It is interesting to notice how the shape of the cards differ between Silverbolt and Snarl packages (rounded vs square cards) (Pic 1 | Pic 2 | Pic 3)

Blackarachnia, Striker:
1) No CD.
2) With CD.
3) With poster.

Note: The reason for the three pack-versions depends on which wave the figure is found in. Since Blacharachnia and Striker are packed with wave 3 Ratchet and Inferno, they get a poster. :-)

Optimus Prime, Razorclaw: (Pic)
1) No CD.
2) With CD.

I would like to state how very annoying it is for them to have shrunk the bubble-size on the wave 3 toys (and the corresponding shipping boxes). I have a couple of wave 3 boxes, which won't fit my wave 1 or 2 toys... (For example, wave 1 Blackarachnia and Striker won't fit in a box w/wave 3 Ratchet.)

Error?: Universe Sunstorm has a pic of Armada Thrust on the box. (More 'erors' have occurred in Energon as well.)

Tankorr/Obsidion: Large box, narrow box. (Pic) (Just like when they shrunk Depthcharge and Rampage boxes back in Beast Wars...)

Universe Spychangers: 6 figures recolored and released as G1 characters in Universe were re-released in Dollar General packaging (Prime, Hoist, Silverstreak, Jazz, Wheeljack, and *). (Pic 1 | Pic 2)

Energon in Universe: Talk about getting chocolate in my peanut butter! Energon toys (Perceptor, Arcee, and Strongarm, specifically) were repackaged, without changes, into Universe packages, and sold at places like Biglots. Mostly because they hate us.

Cybertron in Universe: 2007 after thanksgiving, we saw 2-packs featuring Skywarp/Excillion and Downshift/Cannonball on Universe cards.

Energon vs Universe package. (pic in-process)

Cybertron vs Universe package. (pic in-process)


(Note: Energon Minicons: see Armada)

(Note: Energon Spychangers: see Universe)

1) Solid symbol shoulder, packaged with face up.
2) Outline symbol shoulder, packed with face down.

Type 6: Pegged wings, slotted shoulders, Energon box, Armada colors.
Type 7: Pegged wings, slotted shoulders, Energon box, recolor.

Error: It is interesting to note that the Ultra Magnus package still highlights the Street Speed team recolor, when it actually sports a Space team recolor...of-course, considering he still shows Overload on the box-back... :-)

(Note: Japan has a b/w sticker on their USA Edition, while Europe has a corrected box.)

1) Energon Magnus w/recolor Space Team, box shows recolor Speed Team.
2) Energon Magnus w/recolor Space Team, box has sticker correction (Japanese 'USA Edition').
3) Energon Magnus w/recolor Space Team, box shows Space Team (European box).

More errors:
-Energon Treadbolt has a pic of Armada Scavenger on his box.
-Energon Rapidrun has a pic of Armada Sideways on his card back. Defensis would say, "Hasbro's really hiding behind the 'color and products may very' slogan, eh?"

Repacks: The initial wave of Energon toys come backed with variant cards:
-Either you have a card with a tech spec (v1) or a bio (v2) or, in some cases, both (later on, they reverted back to wave 1 cards).

(Webmaster's Note: The 'Bio' cards are actually numbered as the last ten cards of the Fleer Armada trading card set and were intended as a preview of the Fleer Energon trading card set which was never produced.)

-In addition, several months into 2004, they updated the cardbackers from blue, to Powerlinx Battles red Hotshot, Inferno, and Starscream.
1) Packed with tech spec card.
2) Packed with bio card (Pic).
3) Packed with bio card card and Xevos ad.
4) Packed with tech spec card and Xevos ad.

Rodimus, Prowl
1) Packed with tech spec card.
2) Packed with tech spec card and Xevos ad.
3) Powerlinx Battles red backer card.
4) Recolored, renamed, 2-pack.

Snowcat and Demolisher, Energon Hotshot (silver), Towline, Downshift, Sharkticon
2) Standard backer card. (Pic)
3) Powerlinx Battles red backer card.

Jetfire, Ironhide
1) Packed with tech spec card.
2) Packed with bio card and tech spec card.

1) Packed with tech spec card.
2) Packed with bio card.

Shockblast: (Pic 1 | Pic 2)
1) Energon packaging.
2) Powerlinx Battles red packaging.

Hasbro sticker variants: In June of 2004, as the story goes, Hasbro reps prowled the large chain stores across the nation (Walmart, Target, etc) and placed these yellow stickers on most every carded deluxe and basic figure: (Pic)

Energon Megatron: (Pic)
1) Packed with bio card, and has Cybertron sticker on Package
2) Packed with bio card, without Cybertron sticker on package (unconfirmed).
3) Packaed with tech spec card, and without Cybertron sticker on package.
4) In red Powerlinx Battles packaging.

Energon Optimus Prime:
1) Packed with tech spec card, no cybertron sticker.
2) (Unconfirmed).
3) Packed with bio card, with cybertron sticker.

Perceptor, Arcee, Insecticon, Divebomb, Energon Strongarm, Offshoot: (Pic)
1) Energon blue backer card.
2) Powerlinx Battles red backer card.

Energon Bonus Packs: In an attempt to clear out stock, various stores (Walmart, TRU) has 'bonus pack' packaging installed around their TFs. That is, instead of getting one toy for a price, you got two of them. We've seen all size classes, as well as a mix of regular and Powerlinx Battles) packaging. Like the Armada Mini-Con bonus packs, there was no rhyme or reason to the basics packaging. However, the Prime and Megatron seemd to be quite consistant (I didn't see two Primes in a pack, for example) see:

Basics 2-pack (TRU):
Arcee & Insecticon
Insecticon & Signal Flare
Divebomb & Signal Flare
* All were in regular packaging.

Perceptor & Divebomb
Perceptor & Offshoot
Doomlock & Command Ravage
Divebomb & Command Ravage
* All in red Powerlix Battles packaging.

Mega-Deal (TRU):
Optimus Prime & Megatron
* Available in both Regular and Powerlinx Battles packaging.

Mega 2-Pack (Wal-Mart):
Ironhide & Jetfire
* Regular packaging.

Ultra 2-Pack (Wal-Mart):
Scorponok & Landmine
Scorponok & Bulkhead
Landmine & Bulkhead
* Regular packaging.

"There was also mention of an Alternators bonus pack from one of the Wal-Mart employees I talked to. However, they could not provide any evidense to support their claim." ~Richard

Bonus Packs

Error Pack: During assembly, some Energon toys were made minus a few key parts:

Terradive No Canopy | Pic 2


American Version of the Japanese Binaltech

20th Anniversary Optimus Prime:
1) Packed with grey gun.
2) Packed with black gun.
3) Packed with black gun and poster. (Pic)

Alternators: The bulk of them came first in the gray-blue box, which was switched (starting with Prowl) to a red box. In 2006, they switched to a bubble-style package. There have been transition units (Prowl and Tracks) who came in the red box and the bubble-box. Some toys come in the original grey box, but were reissued later in the line in the bubblebox (Shockblast, Meister).
1) Grey-Blue box (original).
2) Red box (2nd series).
3) Grey bubble (3rd series).

Prowl, Tracks: 2 and 3
Meister, Shockblast: 1 and 3


Sideways, Snarl:
-Packaged with DVD.
-Packaged without DVD.

Red Alert, Override:
-Packaged with DVD.
-Packaged without DVD.
-Packaged with recolored Mini-Con Race Team (1 Member Only) **

Hot Shot, Landmine, Thundercracker, Dirt Boss:
-Packaged carded.
-Packaged with recolored Mini-Con Race Team (1 Member Only) **

** And they didn't come with the whole bleedin' team, just one unit each, along with a corresponding Tiny Tin: Dirt Boss w/ Downshift, Thundercracker w/ Downshift, Hot Shot w/Mirage, Red Alert w/ Dirt Boss, Landmine w/ Dirt Boss, Override w/Mirage.

-Also note that in a lot of cases, people bought the regular color single-pack tiny tins from fleet farm that year, took out the recolored ones from the boxed sets and swapped in the regular ones, returning them to the store for a refund. A rotten practice, resulting in people thinking that the regular color Mini-Con team was a legitimate package variant. It's not.

-Also note that the boxes containing these (formerly) carded toys have altered/new tech specs (a pattern we'll sadly see repeated later on in the series).

(Note: There were two seperate releases of DVDs; the ones above, and a set later on in the 'Primus' series).

Mudflap, Leobreaker, Evac:
-boxed with Bonus minicon pair

*Mudflap had Shockwave & Tankor, Evac had Razorclaw & Steamhammer, and Leobreaker had Sky Lynx & Thunderblast. (Target exclusive, mostly)

Red Alert (large phallic missle truck):
-'Red Alert' on package
-'Cybertron Defense Red Alert' on package

BOGO packs:
Red Alert/Thundercracker
Override/Red Alert
Dirtboss/Red Alert
Dirtboss/Hot Shot
Override/Hot Shot
Recon/Backstop Pic

* Note that BOGO (buy one get one) packs can have any number of combinations. These were the ones we happed to find at the local TRU.

Win a Trip to SpaceCamp stickers:

This asst of toys came either with or without the 'SpaceCamp' stickers. Though once thought to have been placed on the packages prior to hitting the store shelves, it now seems that, as with the 11/4 Movie DVD (listed later on, below) these stickers were placed either by Walmart employees, or more likely roving Hasbro reps.

Toys to be found with, or without the 'spacecamp' sticker:
Scrapmetal (Red)
(more to follow)

Target-Exclusive Vs Packs:

-Different that BOGO packs (in which regular cards are inserted into a bogo wrap) these toys were pasted to the back of a new, largeer package, with altered/new tech specs (from the original carded toys).

Critical Path Pack: Sideways vs Red Alert
Drag Race Pack: Hot Shot vs Override
Ground To Air Blast Pack: Thundercracker vs Crosswise

Primus Unleased packaging:
Some previously-released deluxe carded and boxed figures (the March asst) had small Primus Unleased stickers on the top front of their packaging. Later assortments incorporated the Primus Unleashed logo into the main packaging

Crosswise, Downshift, OverRide GTS, Excellion with another E, dammit, Thunderblast, CD Hotshot, Sky Shadow
-Without PU sticker.
-With PU sticker.

-Without Unicron head.
-With Unicron head and pack-change.
-With bonus Classics Mini-Cons pack-change.

* Probably gonna wanna make note, if you haven't already, of the renaming of a couple of the Mini-Cons included with Primus...

The yellow & purple Decepticon-aligned motorcycle:
Cybertron: Offshoot
Classics: Dirt Rocket

The blue & yellow Autobot-aligned jet:
Cybertron: Nightscream
Classics: Thunderwing

Oddly, Nightscream will be the name of the dragon in the Clear Skies Team to which that jet also belongs. Wonder, why monkey with the names at all, and only two of the four, at that...

Primus Unleashed Bonus DVDs Inside:
-Note the difference between 'Bonus' DVD and the DVD which came out earlier) Cannonball, Brimstone, Ransack GTS, Downshift, Swerve, Wreckloose, Lugnuts, Minicon Team:
-Packaged with Bonus DVD.
-Packaged without Bonus DVD.

**'Mini-Con Team' is pretty generic, donchaknow... :) (Yeah, but I forgot the name of the specific team...I only wrote down 'Mini-Con' on my notepad).

20th Anniversary DVD stickers:

This assortment of toys came either with or without the 11-4 Movie Prime sticker. Like the Spacecamp stickers, these appear to be random stickers placed on whatever toys were on shelves at the time, (by either Hasbro reps or Walmart employees) so the list is incomplete at the moment (though I have to say, I saw a *lot* more Space Camp stickers on a tighter run of packages back in the day, so...). Some of the ones I found:
-Optimus Prime
-Ransack GTS

Cool Pallette-Pack note: in Nov 2006, shelves of tail-end deluxes showed up in pre-made shelf sets. The advert on the side showed Prime, Demolisher, Crosswise, and Unicron. However, the assortments I've seen came with Cannonball instead of Crosswise.

Super Value Pack: Not to be confused with a BOGO, this card featured 3 Deluxe TFs...and charged slightly more than full-price for them. :-) Similar to the Target-exclusive vs-sets, these toys were pasted to the back of a new, larger package, with altered/new cardback (from the original carded toys).

List of TFs in SVP (Super Value Packaging) at TRU:
-Sideways, Brimstone, and Thunderblast
-Snarl, Landmine, and Dirtboss.

Leader Class with Bonus figure: Also released in November were 3 Leader Class figures with a bonus figure attached to the top of the package:
-Megatron (with hardtop)
-GalaxyForce Prime (with Brakedown)
-Metroplex (with Clocker)




The Movie Bumblebee Listing. Too-many Bumblebees. Broken down as: Bumblebee (74)
-Packaged on card.
-In set w/Barricade.
-In set w/Bumblebee (concept). Evolution of a Hero set Target exclusive.

Bumblebee (Concept)
-On card.
-In set with Bumblebee (74). Evolution of a Hero set Target exclusive.
-In set w/small figures (2008).

Bumblebee (Cyberslammer):
-Packaged seperately.
-Packaged with ****.

Bumblebee (Ultimate):
-In box (square).
-In new box (round) w/Titanium Bumblebee.

-On card.
-In set w/Bumblebee.
-In set w/small figures (2008).

Real Gear Robots:
-Packaged individually.
-Packaged as giftsets (the first 6, Walmart).

* Too-much of a good thing. These warmed the pegs till christmas, at which point only the 2-packs warmed the pegs. :-)

Real Gear Robots Giftsets:
Brain Scrambler Team - Power Up VT6 (pocket game) & Zoom Out 25X (video camera)
Mass Media Battle - Speed Dial 800 (Cell Phone) Vs. Booster X10 (mp3 player)
Robo Recon Team - Spy Shot 6 (camera) & Longview (binoculars).

Movie Giftsets:
-First Encounter (Barricade/Bumblebee 74, Walmart).
-Evolution of a Hero (Bumblebee/Bumblebee, Target).
-Desert Attack (Blackout/Scorponok, TRU).
-Legends Exclusive 4-pack (Prime/Prime/Megatron/Megatron, Target).
-Legends Exclusive 6-pack (Bumblebee/Prime/Starcream/Megatron/Jazz, TRU)
-Sams Club 3-pack #1 (Jazz, Bonecrusher, Brawl)
-Sams Club 3-pack #2 (Battle Damaged Prime/Battle Damaged Arcee/Starscream)
-Robot Replicas ('Battle Damaged' Prime and Megatron, Walmart)


OTFCC: The 2003 exclusives came with mismatched weapons (Sunstreaker/Sideswipe). In addition, the vehicles could come with spoilers either upraised, or lowered (blame Crazy-Steve; "If Beast Machines Tankorr turret placement counts, so do these".) (Pic)

E-Hobby: The 2005 Cobalt Sentry packs came with either two right or two left Ravage guns. Takara offered replacements.

2007: Master Collector Botcon had Dirge and Thundercracker with mismatched guns (2 left, 2 right) in some of their boxed sets (they asked people to check at the con).