20th Century Toy Collector

By The Power Of Greyskull!

Blaster, Inferno & Sideswipe/Hasbro Europe (1986)

Europe was first introduced to the Transformers in 1985. These early releases were released here by Hasbro’s (then) newly acquired MB subsidiaries: MB International B.V. (Netherlands), Milton Bradley GmbH (Germany), MB France SA, MB Belgium N.V. and MB España S.A. (Spain). Of note is the fact that these early official releases of Transformers came branded with an MB logo on the packaging. The most likely reason why the Hasbro brand wasn’t used, was because MB was a very well known brand in Europe in the 1980′s and Hasbro was virtually unknown.

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Photo of early European MB Transformers

“Hasbro Steps In”

By mid 1986 or so the branding was switched to Hasbro. The various European MB subsidiaries were still responsible for the distribution of Transformers toys, but now the toys came inside Hasbro branded packaging. Most of the toys that were originally released under the MB banner in 1985 were re-released in 1986 inside Hasbro packaging. The packaging was identical to the MB releases with these exceptions:

  • MB logo was replaced with a Hasbro logo
  • The copyright notice on the back of the box was updated from “© Milton Bradley International, Inc” to “© Hasbro Bradley, Inc.”
  • On some of the releases German was dropped as a language and replaced with English

 

Here’s an example of Sideswipe in his early MB packaging from 1985 and his updated European 1986 packaging now with Hasbro branding:

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Sideswipe in European MB (1985) and Hasbro (1986) packaging

“The Clean Look”

What I personally really like about the European packaging is how much cleaner it looks from the front, because it’s missing the “Transforms from ….. to robot and back” text that is usually displayed on the upper left of the box front.  Anyways, as I am now inching every closer to completing my MB Transformers collection, I am slowly expanding to collecting the European 1986 releases. I’ve been casting my net ever wider in the past 6 months or so and I have found that although these Hasbro branded releases are a bit easier to find boxed than the early MB releases, this still pales compared to the amount of boxed vintage US G1 Transformers out there, which is too bad.

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Inferno in European Hasbro packaging (1986)

“Collection”

A couple of months ago I got really lucky and scored a boat load of vintage Transformers in European packaging (both MB’s and Hasbro). What really struck me was how nice and shiney the packaging of the European Hasbro packaging was. It looks very glossy. I recently made some photos of Blaster, Sideswipe and Inferno, which you can see here. I also scored a Jazz and Hoist in European Hasbro packaging. I hope to add some photos of these as well soon…

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Blaster in European Hasbro packaging (1986)

Damn…. Vintage G1 packaging never fails to evoke a strong emotional response from me. To me these are works of art. The design, the way the toy is presented in its packaging. Frickin’ awesome. Here are a couple of more snapshots of Blaster, Sideswipe and Inferno.

“Gallery”

 

posted by 20th Century Toy Collector in Transformers and has Comments (4)

4 Responses to “Blaster, Inferno & Sideswipe/Hasbro Europe (1986)”

  1. Arkvander says:

    Wow, these do look really nice! I’m sure you noticed a lack of copyright information on the bottom of the back of Blaster’s box. Is this a packaging variant, or just how this particular figure was released? I’ve never seen one with all the information missing before. I also find it interesting that if all these were released in 1986 they used packaging art from different years. I’ve never seen an Inferno with 1986 packaging art!

    • 20th Century Toy Collector says:

      Hi! Blaster’s box does have a copyright notice, but it’s located on the bottom of the box instead of the back, where it’s usually found (I assume this was standard on all Blasters and not a packaging variation for this specific Blaster, because I think I’ve seen this on some other 1985/1986 European TF releases as well).

      The battle scenes on the back of the European releases look like they’re all jumbled up, but there is a (logical) pattern. For Inferno specifically, although he was released in the US in 1985, his first official release in Europe was in 1986. Hasbro decided to use the new 1986 battle scene that was available by then for these new addition to the TF line up in Europe. Same goes for all the other 1985 cars that were released here in 1986 (as far as I have seen) like Hoist, Red Alert etc. Things were still seriously messed up in 1986 in Europe with promotional material, comic books and cartoon still very much out of sync.

  2. If you’re interested in selling/trading the Inferno I’d be very interested! Cheers Paul

  3. 20th Century Toy Collector says:

    Sorry for the late response, Paul. Busy with work and life in general. ;-)

    I already promised the first right of refusal to a good friend of mine. But if I ever sell and he passes I will gladly contact you!! Of course, if you ever manage to find an MB Transformer that’s missing from my collection I would be very tempted to trade/sell Inferno with you either way (after consulting with my friend).

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