Skip navigation.

Comprehensive 1990's G1 Reissue ID Guide

The purpose of this guide is to differentiate between the original 1980's G1 releases and the reissues released from 1989 through 1995, which come in near-identical packaging. Because the reissues look just like the originals, they are often confused with them. Even AFA often has not been able to tell the difference in the past--they've graded TONS of 1990's Chinese reissues as the 1980's US releases. Don't be fooled--use this guide to tell the difference!

The following are the three types of reissue Transformers that get easily confused with the originals.

If you think any information on this page is incorrect, please leave a comment at the bottom of the page to let me know, and I will look into it.

Early-1990's Chinese reissues
Background info: In 1989, Hasbro began releasing Transformers in China, but rather than starting with the current line of Pretenders and Miromasters, they reissued toys from 1984, 1985, and 1986 instead. For some reason, these Transformers were packaged in almost identical packaging to that of the original US releases (though, a couple came in Canadian, European, or Dutch packaging). The boxes had only tiny alternations and a small Chinese name sticker in the corner, making them very difficult to differentiate from the original releases, especially when the name sticker was removed. (This is unlike the G.I. Joe reissues in China from around the same time that used new packaging.) Chinese Transformers reissues continued to be released through 1995, with more toys being released each year, all of them almost identical to the original releases.

For a long time people thought that 1990's Chinese reissues were unlicensed knockoffs. However, they are in fact real Hasbro releases. There's lot of evidence to confirm this including, among other things, Takara selling the 1990's Chinese Aerialbots in Japan via mail order, and 1990's Chinese Transformers being found in the collection of a Hasbro employee. (However, there ARE Chinese G1 knockoffs that began being manufactured in 2005. To learn more about those and how to ID them, use my G1 Counterfeit ID Guide.)

Here's is a relatively complete list of Chinese G1 reissues compiled by TF expert Karl Hartman with some small additions by other helpful G1 collectors:

(Recent additions to the list are in italics.)

1984, 1985, and 1986 toys reissued in China out of order from 1989 - 1992 (AKA Series 1, 2, and 3)

  • Optimus Prime
  • Autobot cars: Hound, Jazz, Ironhide, Mirage, Smokescreen, Prowl, Wheeljack, Sunstreaker, Inferno, Tracks
  • Minibots: Bumblebee, Seaspray, Beachcomber, Hubcap
  • Dinobots: Grimlock, Snarl, Sludge
  • Megatron
  • Decepticon Jets: Starscream, Ramjet
  • Constructicons: All of them (individually packaged; not as a giftset)
  • Soundwave/Buzzsaw
  • Rumble/Ravage
  • Cyclonus
  • Triple-changers: Astrotrain, Springer, Broadside, and Blitzwing
    • (Octane and Sandstorm were also available, but only in gold box European Classics packaging)
  • Aerialbots: All of them (individually packaged; not as a giftset)
  • Stunticons: All of them (individually packaged; not as a giftset)
  • Protectobots: All of them (individually packaged; not as a giftset)

1987 toys reissued in China in 1993 (AKA Series 4)

  • Ratbat/Frenzy
  • Autobot Headmasters: All four of them
  • Decepticon Headmasters: All three of them
  • Horrorcons: Both of them
  • Scorponok
  • Fortress Maximus
  • Targetmasters: Pointblank, Sureshot, Crosshairs
  • Punch/Counterpunch
  • Pounce/Wingspan
  • Fastlane/Cloudraker
  • Sixshot
1988 toys reissued in China in 1994 (AKA Series 5)
  • Autobot Powermaster Cars: All three of them (but not Powermaster Optimus Prime)
  • Decepticon Powermaster Jets: Both of them
  • Autobot Small Headmasters: All three of them
  • Autobot Decepticon Headmasters: Fangry, Squeezeplay
  • Triggerbots: All three of them
  • Triggercons: All three of them
  • Squawktalk/Beastbox
  • Grand Slam/Raindance
  • Rewind/Steeljaw
  • Eject/Ramhorn
1989 Japanese Transformers Victory toys reissued in China in 1995
  • Multiforce: All three two packs (no giftset)
  • Brainmaster: All three Roadcaesar cars individually (but not Star Saber)
  • Breastforce: All six Liokaiser components, including Leozack. (Deszarus was not produced.)
    • (Note: There are conflicting reports about Leozack. I've seen photographic evidence of his existence, but first-hand accounts suggest he was basically impossible to find. Perhaps the mold broke mid-way through production, causing only a small number to be released.)
(Note: According to information from Chinese fans, the following toys were also released: Slag, Swoop, Blaster, Scourge, Thrust, Dirge, and the Insecticons.  Also, Sideswipe was probably released as well.  I'll add them to the list when I get further confirmation. If anyone has pictures of these, please let me know!) As you can see, they reissued about half of the first five years of G1, plus several toys from the Japanese Transformers Victory series. For years these have been leaking into the collector market. With the Chinese stickers removed, they have been difficult to tell apart from the original releases, and tons of them have been incorrectly graded by AFA as 1980's originals (especially Ironhides). But don't worry, because it's actually not too hard to tell the difference if you know what to look for.

A. Packaging differences

All Series 1 through Series 4 Chinese reissues have one very obvious tell. On the back of the box/card (bottom of the box for Soundwave), where the copyright and manufacturing text is usually written, the part that says "Made and printed in Japan. Manufactured by Takara" (or some variant thereof) is omitted. Sometimes there is a black bar over it, sometimes it is carefully removed--it depends on the toy. But either way, all that is left is the Hasbro copyright part of the string. Here's an example of a 1980's Seaspray and a Chinese reissue Seaspray. Note how much shorter the Copyright info is on the Chinese Seaspray:

Series 5 Chinese reissues have a slightly different alteration. They leave the "Takara" part alone, but instead of "Made in (Country) by Takara", it says "Made in China C-123A" where "123A" is replaced with some similar number/letter combination. However, it's important to note that some Series 5 Transformers, like the Powermaster cars, were originally manufactured in China in 1988, so if you see a 1988 G1 toy that says "Made in China" on the box without the "C-123" part, that's an original 1980's release, not a 1990's Chinese reissue. Here's an example:

Example of a Series 5 Chinese reissue. Note how they both say "Made in China", but the original 1980's one says "Takara" and the Chinese 1990's one doesn't. Plus, the Chinese reissue has the weird "C-168A" number at the end.
There are also some other packaging differences unique to certain toys:
  • Optimus Prime has two obvious packaging differences. First, the white boxes around the three toy pictures on the front of the box have been turned black. Second, usually the cut of the window is too high, such that it goes beyond the grey rectangle. (Note that the Mexican release, the Mysterious no-Hasbro-Copyright release (see below), and some Pre-Rubs have this change as well.)
  • Chinese reissue Autobot cars are factory sealed with thicker tape than original 1980's releases.
  • Skullcruncher, Mindwipe, and Apeface came in Canadian packaging with English and French text on the box. (There was a Canadian release in the same packaging, of course, so this alone does not make it the Chinese version. Look for the modified copyright/manufacturing text on the back to confirm.)
  • Soundwave came in European quadlingual packaging. (See note in line above.)
  • Nightbeat came in Dutch packaging. (See note two lines above.)
One other thing to note is that the Chinese Transformers Victory reissues from 1995 all had substantial alterations on the packaging, which replaced the Japanese Transformers logo with a Chinese logo, the character's Japanese name with his Chinese name, and the Japanese for "Takara" with the English for "Takara" (among many other differences). If you're familiar at all with the Japanese logo, these are really easy to spot.

Example of a TF Victory Chinese Reissue.
B. Toy differences

If your toy is out of the packaging or the copyright stamp is visible through the bubble, there's another way to identify them as well. For Series 1 through Series 4* releases, the part of the copyright stamp usually marked "(C) TAKARA Japan/Taiwan/Macau/wherever" is blocked out. (This is the same blocking out that was done on the European Classics releases from around the same time; they were made in the same factory.) Series 5 releases (i.e., Powermasters, small Headmasters), have a slightly different blocking out--they leave the "(C) TAKARA" part as-is, and only block out the manufacturing country.

Example of a 1990's Chinese Series 2 Copyright stamp compared to a US Series 2 Copyright stamp.

Example of Chinese Series 5 copyright stamp. (Note the blocked out country and intact Takara copyright stamp.)

The toys themselves also have other slight differences compared to the original 1980's releases. Here's a list of some of the known differences:
  • Soundwave: Buzzsaw has painted details on the cassette side instead of sticker details.
  • Ravage/Rumble: Rumble has painted details on the cassette side instead of sticker details.
  • Ramhorn/Eject: Ramhorn has painted details on the cassette side instead of sticker details.
  • Steeljaw/Rewind: Steeljaw has painted details on the cassette side instead of sticker details.
  • Ratbat/Frenzy: Both Ratbat and Frenzy have painted details on the cassette side instead of sticker details.
Cassettes with painted details are easy to spot in pictures, because their screws are visible, whereas cassettes with sticker details have their screws covered by the stickers. Check out Fred's page to see what they look like.
  • Pounce/Wingspan: Instead of specialized rubsigns, they have normal non-rubsign faction symbols.
  • Fastlane/Cloudraker: Instead of specialized rubsigns, they have normal non-rubsign faction symbols.
  • Punch/Counterpunch: Instead of specialized rubsigns, he has normal non-rubsign faction symbols.
Again, see Fred's page for pictures of these.
  • Triggerbots/Triggercons: They each have a rubsign where the original toys did not have a rubsign.
  • Nightbeat: His flame stickers have a thicker border and are metallic.
There are a lot of other minor differences as well beyond the ones I've mentioned above. In particularly there were a lot of slight color differences. I'm less familiar with these, so rather than give a halfhazard listing of them, I've omitted them from this guide.

C. Obvious giveaways -- Be careful!

Obviously, if it has Chinese name sticker in the corner on it, it's the Chinese release. However, these were apparently very easy to remove, since a lot of Chinese reissues show up without them. So be careful--just because it doesn't have Chinese stickers on it doesn't mean it's not a Chinese release. If it doesn't have a Chinese sticker, use the toy and box differences above to sort them out.

Also, another reason to be careful: if it has a big half-Chinese/half-English sticker over the logo, that's a Taiwan release. Some Taiwan releases are 1980's US releases, and some are 1990's Chinese releases. You'll have to look for the other differences in order to tell for sure. For example, even though this Nightbeat has the big Taiwanese sticker over the logo, it's clearly not the 1990's Chinese reissue (it doesn't come in a Dutch box, it has the normal copyright string on the back, and it does not have the thick silver-bordered metallic flame stickers).

Additional info

These were imported into a lot of different countries. Notably, a lot of these were imported into Europe. For example, the minibots were available at Woolworths in Britain, and there also appears to be a high concentration of Chinese reissues in the Netherlands. Other countries known to have sold Chinese reissues include Korea, Portugal, and Australia.

Back to Top.


1991 - 1992 Japanese mail-in exclusives
Like the US, Japan had mail-in exclusives you could get by sending in robot points with some money. In 1991 and 1992, their mail-in exclusives consisted of US-packaged reissues of older Transformers.
  • 1991 Aerialbots: All five of them.
  • 1992 Dinobots: All five of them.
The Aerialbots were simply the Chinese releases without the Chinese sticker in the corner. Thus, you can tell them apart from the original releases by using the methods describes in the Chinese reissue section above.

The Dinobots are a bit more of a mystery. According to the list above, only three Dinobots were reported to have been reissued in China, so at minimum the extra two (Swoop and Slag) may have been made exclusively for Japan.  Recent feedback from Chinese fans suggests that Slag and Swoop may have been released in China, which would solve the mystery.  One way to tell Japanese mail-in Dinobots apart from the original 1980's releases is that they do not have rubsigns. (Note that I'm not sure if the Chinese Dinobots didn't have rubsigns as well.) They also have the same abbreviated Copyright information on their boxes as the Series 1 through 4 Chinese releases (I've confirmed this.

There were also US-packaged Insecticons offered from 1987 to 1990, but it's presently unclear to me whether there are any differences between these and the original US releases. After all, several other US-packaged TFs were available as mail-in exclusives one or two years after their original release. The only thing strange about the Insecticons is that Takara continued to offer them as mail-ins for 4 years! I don't have any information that says they're any different from the US releases, but if I find out that they're different in any way, then I'll update this page accordingly. Recent feedback from Chinese fans suggests that the Insecticons may have been released in China. I'm skeptical of this, though. The timing doesn't real seem to fit, since the mail-in Japanese Insecticons were just in the process of ending when the Chinese line was starting up. After all, it could have just been old stock that was showing up in both China and Japan. But on the other hand, from 1987 to 1990 more and more Transformers in general were being made in China.  So for now I'm still not really sure about the Insecticons.

Back to Top.

Mysterious no-Hasbro copyright releases
These just showed up on Ebay in 2008, although they appear to be much, much older. Since they were made in Japan, they're clearly not 1990's reissues like the toys mentioned above, but I didn't really feel like they deserved their own seperate guide. As discussed below, they were probably made around 1986 or 1987.

So far there are only two of them: Optimus Prime and Astrotrain. Optimus Prime has "(C) Hasbro" blacked out on the back of the box. Astrotrain has ALL of the copyright/manufacturing information removed. Here are pictures of the altered Copyright strings of the two toys:

Why are these mysterious? Well, no one really knows what they are. Obviously, the removal of "(C) Hasbro" is very sketchy, but Chinese TFs have similar alterations, and they turned out to be legit. Thus far there are only a couple clues about these toys:
  1. Optimus Prime has black boxes around the the toy pictures on the front of the box. This is the same as the Mexican and Chinese releases, both of which came out around 1989.  A strange Pre-Rub release I recently saw also had the black boxes.
  2. The cases say "Made in Japan" and the seller claims they were originally purchased in Japan.
  3. The cases that they came in are marked "PEL" instead of "Hasbro". (Some normal Springers, Octanes, and Astrotrains also came in the cases, strangely.)

Since these were, apparently, made in Japan, they had to have been made between 1984 and 1987, since starting in 1988 almost no Transformers were being made in Japan anymore. The black boxes on the Optimus Prime suggest a later release, so these were probably made in 1986 or 1987. Given that they were made and purchased in Japan, maybe PEL is a subcontractor that Hasbro and Takara used to manufacture Transformers. Maybe as their contract was expiring, they manufactured and sold a few TFs under the table, but altered the Copyright markings in an attempt to avoid getting into trouble.

Another theory I recently thought of is that these could be transitional variants not intended for release.  That is, when Hasbro transitioned from "(C) Hasbro" to "(C) Hasbro Bradley", they had to alter the backs of their boxes by erasing the old copyright info and printing the new copyright info on top of it.  On Optimus Prime in particular, this involved adding a black bar over the old copyright info, just like the mysterious version.  Of course, the difference between the mysterious version and the Hasbro Bradley version is that it says "(C) Hasbro Bradley" on the Hasbro Bradley version.  So maybe during the change, they printed out a couple test boxes to see what the erased copyright looked like before adding the new copyright.  If that's the case, these aren't later reissues at all, but just weird not-intended-for-sale versions.

Anyway, whatever they really are, at least they're easy to tell apart from the originals. Just look for "(C) Hasbro" missing from the back of the box.

Back to Top.


  • Special Thanks to Fighbird/Martin from Autocon for providing me with the comparison images of Seaspray and Nightbeat. They were a big help in putting together this guide. Thank you!
  • Thanks to Karl Hartman for letting me use his extensive list.
  • Thanks to Megatoron from the Allspark for adding many toys to the list.
  • Thanks to George Bee for discovering the Chinese Sunstreaker.
  • Thanks to patobot for discovering the Chinese Tracks.

*I know this is true of Series 1, 2, and 3 Chinese reissues. I have yet to confirm/disprove it on Series 4 Chinese reissues, but I am pretty confident it is the same.

Article is protected by copyright. Please don't duplicate without permission. Information contained in article is freely distributable.

Prowl reissue

I have a Prowl that I'm not sure if it is a re-issue since I am new at collecting. The box looks like an original. The Prowl has a rub sign on the hood; however, the brand label on the bottom of the vehicle has a rectangular area covering up wording. Brand name showing is (C)HASBRO 1980.1984
I would appreciate any advice you can give me.

Did the 1990 Chinese reissue get imported to the UK by Hasbro UK

I've seen a few carded figures show up on ebay that look like the 1990 reissues but instead of having the chinese stickers they have two different stickers on the back. One is a new Barcode and the other is a Hasbro UK import sticker. Are these official product or a new wave of KO's


Dual languaged Nightbeat

Hi, its been a while since i last posted but I have seen on ebay a seller with several nightbeats. Now i know this seller has sold the chinese versions of fangry and nightbeat in the past as i have bought fangry from this seller already. But i have not seen nightbeat with dual language before, can you please enlighten me with my quandry??


ebay item no.260885683524

Re:Dual languaged Nightbeat

That's just the Chinese release.


Thought as much

Optimus G1 Mysterious no-Hasbro copyright releases

Hi Sir,
I would like to seek your advice on my transfomers Optimus Prime that i purchased back in year 1980s from Japan Habro. I have about 6 units that is unopen in original box in my store yard. All these primes have the BLACKOUT or (C) Hasbro" missing from the back of the box.Is this still consider ORIGINAL release? It is not a REISSUE for sure as the copyright infor is longer/full lenght compare to REISSUE copyright infor. Can i call it s special or vintage ORIGINAL release? And what do you all think that how would AFA grade it's identity?Pls advice.. Tq.. I am quite concern about it..

Re: Optimus G1 Mysterious no-Hasbro copyright releases

Hi Sugen, there is not a lot known about these mysterious releases. One opened unit has been found and the toy has the full Copyright on it, so it seems more and more likely to be legit. My best guess is that these were packaged specially for certain markets in Asia (maybe Thailand, Malaysia, etc.), which is where they have mostly shown up.

These are not reissues--Japanese production of G1 Transformers happened from 1984 to 1987. If it were a reissue of any sort it would have been made after then, and say "made in China" or "Macau" or "Taiwan" on it. If you are selling it, I would just disclose the blackout area, and explain that it's a variant probably for some markets in Asia released some time between 1985 and 1987 (it wasn't 1984, because it has a rubsign). Probably it will not be as valuable to some, but there is enough demand for MISB G1 Optimus that many people will still consider it very valuable.

AFA will probably grade it. They will probably call it "NO HASBRO VARIANT" or not call it a variant at all.

Do you have any more info on these that you can share? I always wondered what "PEL" on the cardboard cartons meant. Maybe something to do with the Philippines, where these may have also been released? Is there any story behind how you purchased them? Did you deal with Hasbro (the US Transformers company) or Takara (the Japanese Transformers company)? I realize it has been a very long time, but so little is known about these releases that any little bit might help unravel the mystery.


Hi, MightGaine. We import &

Hi, MightGaine. We import & bought direct with Japan Takara (The japanese transformers Co.) during 1980s. We are toy Co. in Malaysia that time and business end up later, and i still keep those stock at my backyard until today. Hope with this, it helps to find more clue.Thanks !

Hi MightGaine, I still

Hi MightGaine,
I still have 5-6 this type of Optimus Prime with me. I imported it directly from Takara JAPAN. And it is ship from Japan directly to me back in years 1980s.. Recently, i put it on Sales in ebay and end up with dispute between the buyer & me.. As, buyer is insisting that this is not ORIGINAL release.. Both of us refer the Mysterious no-Hasbro copyright releases infor from this website..What do u mean by "PEL" on cardboard cartons?U can email me if u want to find out more about my primes..


I remember something odd about my Clones from the period. I had the Decepticon set.

TFU shows the US versions:

but TF@TM have the Chinese versions in their archive:

The second rubsign is replaced by a faction sticker.

Fakes, reissues of G1 Japanese boxed figures

Posted a while ago about Japanese G1 figures but go no response. What I'm interested in is knowing there are fakes or reissues in japanes boxes other than the few from the victory series. I notice a lot of figures where some have the japanese takara symbol and others have takara inside an oval in English. Some explanation or info would be great.

There are no counterfeits

There are no counterfeits yet in Japanese packaging (except for counterfeit Encore Metroplex). The Japanese Takara symbol has changed over time, which is why sometimes it's in English and sometimes it's in Japanese.

Grand Slam / Raindance 90's chinese issues?

Unless I missed it you do not have Grand Slam/Raindance listed as a 90's chinese reissue. I found this one on eBay that appears to be missing everything after "all rights reserved" on the copyright. There is no chinese sticker on it. do you think this a 90's chinese reissue? i have pictures saved if the auction hs been taken down.

on another note i have two carded GS/RD's. One is a graded GS/RD and it has no text after "Takara Co, Ltd", my other GS/RD is carded but not graded, its copyright is the exact same except it says "Tokyo, Japan." after "Takara Co, Ltd". This second one still has a US price tag so i am assuming it is legitimate.

here is a picture of the graded one, i can send you pics of the other one if you want to see that.

Thanks and by the way this site is amazing and you have put together an invaluable knowledge base for transformers collectors everywhere..thank you for that.

Re: Grand Slam / Raindance 90's chinese issues?

Thanks, I appreciate the info! I'll go ahead and add them to the list. I had suspected they were released, since Squawktalk and Beastbox got Chinese releases, but I hadn't seen any since I started working on this guide.

G1 Inferno discrepencies

I just purchased a g1 inferno boxed and am very happy I finally got this guy. I was very careful by using this guide to tell if it was a knock off/reissue but after I purchased it I looked at other boxed infernos and noticed a very small difference. My inferno has ages: 5 & up, whereas a lot of others that I looked at were ages: 7 & up. I tried looking it up on google to see if there was any info but couldn't find anything. Are these both legit or is one of them fake (more likely to be 7 & up?). I saw on the knockoff's thread some transformers have ages: 6 & up but this is new to me and maybe to others. Some help would be greatful.

Here's the link to what I bought (click on the image to see it clearly):

Transform & Roll out!

Re: G1 Inferno discrepencies

The counterfeiters haven't made a KO Inferno, and the back of the box doesn't have the 1990's Chinese abbreviated copyright, so it's got to be real. Hasbro sometimes adjusted the "Ages - & Up" on the front of the box as a running change. This was the case with Swoop and also appears to be the case here.

Chinese Issue Megatron from early 90's

Just wanted to add, the early 1990s MIB Hasbro Chinese issue Megs (which is almost a dead ringer for the original 1984 and 1985 Takara/Japan boxed) has several tells. One, the styro has a "pointed star" pattern in it, 2, the instructions are a thicker paper and usually have a sort of light ring, or fog around the perimeter (like the Chinese Smokescreen that came out around the same time). Third, it has a rubsign on the CORRECT side of the handle like the 1985 "R" version. The toy is a dead ringer...I cannot find anything to differentiate it. BTW, the box also exhibits the "R" on it, so if you have a 'TM" box, you're in the clear completely.

Another thing that helps to tell these eraly 90's releases is the bubble cut. On the Smokescreen, Cyclonus, and Dinobots, the bubble cut is WAY closer to the toy and form fit around the toy pattern as opposed to the squared/flush cut (which had a LOT more glue under them than the close cut Chinese issued toys). The backer cards are also a brighter white, as opposed to gray or off colored cream/dirty white (the close bubble cut is why so many of the Chinese 90's issued toys have started to come off their backer cards) all the Rodimus Primes that popped up a few years ago, or Cyclonuses all falling off the backers. They too were left over Chinese issued toys.

Any idea?

Thanks for this excellent guide, very interesting read!

Perhaps some one can help me out with the following: A G1 Soundwave/Buzzsaw with painted-on tape details, quadlingual box, no text in the top left corner BUT with TM above the Transformers logo AND full copyright and manufacturing information: '1986 hasbro bradley inc., Pawtucket, R102861, USA. Made and printed in France by Ceji under license from Takara Co.,Ltd.,Japan.'

I see several mentions of European classics releases or UK-releases (on Fred's page) - I'm not familiar with these, but could it be one of these? And from which date would these originate?

Would really like to hear your opinions on this!

Re: Any idea?

Sounds like it's just an original Hasbro Europe release from 1986. The Chinese release would definitely have the abbreviated copyright/manufacturing string on the box. I'd heard that the original Hasbro Europe release had painted details like the Chinese release, but I had never seen one. I'll update the guide accordingly when I get a chance.

As for the European Classics, they all came in gold boxes, so this is definitely not that. :)

Thanks for the reply I knew

Thanks for the reply I knew 280usd was way too much for them after I found out they were chinese reissues. Your article helped a lot thanks man :). It saved me from a future of an "unfortunate & displeasing discovery" :p.

I bought some chinese reissues recently of the Brainmasters


I just bought some G1 headmasters from the japanese series Laster and Blacker off ebay. I got them misb for 280usd including shipping do you think I was ripped off or was this a fair price. I found these to be the chinese reissues and am wondering how much they are worth because as soon as I read your article I had realized I had made a terrible mistake and was confused what on earth to do. The seller was just a real pain in the backside and after repeated attempts to try and elude him that he is selling me reissues and not originals he offered a partial refund which at first i accepted but then decided to go ahead with the transaction anyway. Some help would be appreciated on how much chinese reissues would be roughly worth for these transformers and how much the actual originals would be worth misb for comparisons


Hey, I saw in your other

Hey, I saw in your other post that you got them for $100 each in the end. That's not too bad. I think they tend to go for about that much. For the Transformers Victory toys, the difference between the price of the Chinese and Japanese version isn't that much. (It's a much bigger difference with the US G1 stuff.)

$280 shipped would have been way over-paying, though, considering they're not even the original releases. Good job getting him to give you the partial refund.

(Sorry the first post didn't go through immediately. I used to have spam problems on this board, so I set things up to only post comments after I approve them.)

this was so helpfull and afa scewed up

Hi thanks for this amazing article, it has helped me to unfortunately uncover 2 reissues in my own collection. I have a misb fangry but it is date stamped 1987 yet it didnt come out till 1988. Also i have an AFA graded seaspray which was thought to be original but its not. I am happy to send you any pics of these items to use as reference.
And thanks to this guide i was about to buy a MISB headmaster but now know it is a reissue, so im not too sure if it is worth the price i was going to pay even tho i still want it. As they are still official Hasbro products, could they be they equivelent of the Europeon gold box reissues and therefore be worth the same?

Thanks Jamie



how do you conclude your fangry is a reissue?
The text at the bottom is still in line with an original.

with regards


hi sorry its taken so long to reply as i didnt even know my message had been posted on here. the reason why i know my fangry is a reissue is that the text is not in line with an original, it has the same text as the reissues currently shown on this website, therfore i conclude its not an original.



Could you post a link to a picture of the text? I've never heard of any Pretenders having Chinese reissues, so if it really is one, that would certainly be interesting!

re: this was so helpfull and afa scewed up

I'm glad I was able to help! :)

This is just my personal opinion, but I think that they should be worth more than the gold box reissues, just because the Chinese reissues have much better looking packaging that mimics the original package. Maybe the value should be something like half-way between gold box reissue and original. But that's just my opinion.

We'll never know what they're actually worth until everyone realizes what they are, since until then there's always going to be someone who's willing to pay the price of an original for it.

Another reissue


I've been collecting Transformers for a few months now and thanks to your guide I avoided many KOs. For some reason I didn't realize there was also a guide for reissues and when I read it I found out that 7 of my 25 Transformers are actually chinese reissues :( .. I'm glad they are not bootlegs but still I'll definitely be more careful about that in the future.

I have a series 2 Autobot Tracks which seems to be a reissue. Here's a link to a picture of Tracks: . The two Seasprays, the 3 Protectobots and the Stunticon all lack the Takara part so I guess they are reissues too. You can use the images for your guide if you want.

Do you have any idea how much less they are worth overall ?

Thanks again for this great guide and please keep it updated :)

Re: Another reissue

I'm glad you're finding the guides useful! Thanks a ton for the info about Tracks. I'll will add that to the guide shortly along with Sunstreaker and a couple others I found out about recently.

As for the price of the Chinese versions, it's hard to say, since most people on Ebay sell the Chinese reissues as originals.

(Sorry your post didn't go through initially--I have some spam-filtering software set up and it's been marking everything as spam recently... Gotta fix that...)

Chinese re-issues

Thanks for putting out a very informative web site, it has already saved me money. I have a question though, I own a misb Sunstreaker with only the Hasbro copyright part on the string. I notice that Sunstreaker is not mentioned in Mr Hartmans list of re-issues. Does this need adding?, I can send you some piccys if you require.


George Bee

Re: Chinese Reissues

Hey George: Oh, cool, thanks! Yeah, that definitely needs adding. I think some of these have been harder to find than others over the years, which is probably why Sunstreaker was missing from the list. (Megatron used to be missing from the list as well, but Himawari from Autocon found out he had one.)

If you could email me the pics, that would be great, just so I could have reference photos of it. (I've actually been meaning to update this guide with reference photos for a while. Hopefully one day I will get around to it.)

You have my email address, right? I'm Highendtfs on Ebay, so you can send it to the same address you sent payment to the other day.

I can remember buying

I can remember buying several TFs in the UK around 94/5 that I now suspect were imports from China - Headmasters, Autobot tapes, Decepticon Clones, Punch, Sixshot & Soundwave. The one thing that unites all these toys for me is that none of them came with a catalogue showing other Transformers which really wound me up as I was after a US 87 catalogue at that point.

I know Woolworths had the original Constructicons as an exclusive around this time - are these believed to be Chinese ?



Having come back to this article today I'm reminded that in 1994 I bought a Menasor giftset from an independant toyshop in Worcester Park in the UK.

I hadn't seen one for years before that, yet this shop had several

Now I suspect that this too is a Chinese one, but you don't seem to think giftsets were produced.

The packaging alas is long gone

Re: I can remember buying

Hmm.. I hadn't heard of the Woolworths Constructicons before, but they probably are Chinese, given the timing. Plus, like I said in the article, I'd heard Woolworths also had Chinese Minibots, so it fits the pattern.

Thanks for the info about the catalogs! That's something I hadn't thought about before.

Japanese reissues and ko's

I've been reading a lot here lately and haven't seen a lot on Japanese reissues or fakes in actual Japanese packaging. I collect mostly these and don't do a lot US G1 mainly for this fact. The thing that I have seen is the difference in the Takara label on the box being the original Japanese logo and the English Takara circle. Some help would be greatly appreciated. This is a great site for all vintage collectors! Superion130

Optimus Prime G1 Copyright Logo version

I'm seeing these on EBAY graded by AFA but named Copyright Logo. I see that there is a black bar where the copyright logo is but it says Hasbro Bradley inc. on top of it. When and where were these sold? Are they less desirable than the ones that just say Hasbro? I'm thinking of buying one. Thank you.

Re: Optimus Prime G1 Copyright Logo version

I think this is just your standard 1985 Optimus Prime sold in the USA. You could also say the 1985 version is a "Rubsign" version (like with other 1985 G1 toys), since it has a rubsign and the 1984 version doesn't. The reason the rubsign distinction isn't used much is because the rubsign would be hidden on the top of the cab, which is wedged into the styrofoam. So instead, people can tell if it's 1985 by the "(R)" symbol on the "TRANSFORMERS" logo on the front of the box. A 1984 Optimus Prime would have a "TM" instead.

The "Hasbro Bradley" alteration is just another change they made to the text on the box in 1985--nothing abnormal.

And one more thing--"(R)" means Registered Trademark, not Copyright--AFA doesn't know the different, I guess. :)

Computron differneces

A couple things you don't mention on the ko's first in the group photo on the ko Scattershot is upside down #2 on the third step transformation pic the red arrow pointing at it is almost 2 grid squares away and on the real one isn't.