Lunchtime Specials

In the vein of, 'heard it from a friend who heard it from a friend who...' I was told that a 'reliable source' was quoted as saying that the clear toys that have been popping up are the remains of a cancelled contest/reward program. Take everything with a grain of salt, I say...these still could have been snuck out the backdoor of a factory on someone's lunchbreak. :-) More on that argument at the bottom. (For more information on Chinese TFs, and why it is important to these, click here...).

In January of 2003 Tin-tin put a 'lunchtime special Prowl' on ebay (see: Crystal Prime). It's interesting to note that the molding on these, unlike the Prime, seem to be of the Takara-reissue. Note the will recall that Prime has shortened-smokestacks and safety missles for the USA market, while this Prowl seems to have the japanese-dreamwave missles (chrome, versus the black usa-reissue missles). (Of course, the box on Prime is kind of a giveaway too, eh? As I have seen no boxed pics for these, I cannot further speculate).

See below for a further sampling of clear toys, and what different people think they really are (testshots, etc).




CrystalCrackers :-)

Well, who knows which jet it's supposed to be, eh? (Pic 4)



Not to be confused with the E-Hobby Ghost Starscream, which had quite-a-few more colored-parts.


Big Convoy

Again, like Sixshot, someone stuck it in a regular toy box.

The Argument Continues! (Discussion Between Endemion and Argus.)

So what's up with all the lunchroom crew? How come we have 3 new Sideswipes, and no prototypes escaping the factory? That's 3 possibilities for proto-test-shot-lucky-draw-tintin-mega buck items to escape and surface on Ebay. So why haven't any surfaced yet? Takara has gotten strict or people stopped paying because they're now a dime a dozen? Curious if anyone has any insight. -Endemion

Keep in mind that, according to the gospel of me, there are no true lunchtime specials. What we've seen so far are ALL testshots or mock-ups of some kind. Some used for unproduced variants, some just to give an idea of a given product at some stage during pre-production. Testshots for USA Tracks etc. can all be found for auction right now. E-Hobby releases are a different story. Those puppies follow a different set of rules for some reason. Different people involved etc. I don't have any contacts in that line either BTW. -Argus .. hence the 'lack' of E-Hobby related stuff since day 1.

Yes, and the one confirmed source of this "confirmed" information is also the same person soliciting they can sell custom pieces at a quite exhorbitant fee. I see a sort of conflict of interest here, which considering the amount of money that can be made doing so, it's quite easy to just pass over the line. I also see no proof, or evidence, to date of the legitimacy of these items. Having worked with several Japanese manufacturers, and visiting many plants, I can say I have never met one that would authorize any prototypes, test shots, etc. getting out of the plant at all unless it's within the property rights holder themselves. Having items leak out ruins the integrity of the company and I highly doubt that Takara is an exception to this rule. Our plants have extremely tight security, and never allow any product to leave the premesis. Anyone shy of the founder of the company can't get in, and to say that they freely let such test shots, or whatever grow legs and cross the rather proposterous.

I highly doubt any of those items left the plant in an authorised manner. Takara has however been extremely unhappy concerning with security and quality issues over the last few years. The quality part has gotten alittle better but, so far, security issues persist. Takara's new chairman (son no.2) probably doesn't fly over to China to inspect every testshot of every toyline he puts out. It simply can't be done really. A lot of stuff does, on the other hand, need to ship to for instance the USA for inspection by Hasbro. There's a major hole right there. (Same goes for shipping it to Japan, but that's a different hole.) A lot of items go missing right there. You'll notice a lot of Fu2's items are exactly the same as versions that turned up at Hasbro's latest for the usual plant security. Alas, this isn't Japan, and that's really the major problem. I highly doubt we'd be seeing this if the plants were in Japan.

Regardless if they are test shots, supposed test shots, concept pieces, or what they are, they're definitely not supposed to leave the factory. I don't see any evidence pushing that these are not legitimate test shots, but also there is no evidence contradicting that they are not lunchtime specials. All I see is that they are leaking out, though unscrupulous means. Now, where is the answer to my question about the Sideswipe? That was the point. E-Hobby's, Tigertracks, and the mainstream release...should be fertile ground for these growing legs and passing through the customs check point in the Szenchen border...

I saw an unpainted one, but I think that's it. Which is sort of normal. We never saw more then this for say Skids or Tracks either. Well I didn't anyway. :) Riddle me this. How would one go about walking through half a plant making an arm here and a leg there, getting screws, wheels etc. during lunch without anyone knowing? ;) None of these items are coming from the workfloor. More...

...and so the argument continues. :-) Actually, in a way, it does. Click here for a discussion of lunchtime specials with regards to the type of plastics used to make them!


Oh look! Lunchtime Special Smallest Prime! :-)

(Note: For those wondering...the term, 'lunchtime special' was originally coined by members of the Autocon group. :-)

And speaking of Lunchtime addition to clear testshots, and colored clear testshots, we're running into chrome toys that can't be catagorized. :-) Like the campaign cars of old, we've got an unknown chrome Prime, and an unknown Japanese Beast Wars dragon in chrome. Until I can get confirmation on the prize version (if any) an these, I'll assume they were made for fun. :-)

Prime 2 | Prime 3 | Prime 4 | Prime 5