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MB Transformers series – Part 5

Anyone familiar with the MB Transformers line will know that Jetfire was initially the leader of the Autobots and not Optimus Prime. If you’ve ever wondered why that was, you’re not the only one. There’s a theory going round that explains this anomaly as the result of a trademark issue regarding the name Optimus Prime in the Netherlands. I think this long standing theory is incorrect.

I’ve done a lot of research over the past few months on this very subject (yes, sometimes I worry about my own sanity…) and I have found nothing to support this theory. Quite the contrary. I have come to the conclusion that the exact reason why Optimus Prime was not  initially planned for inclusion in the MB line is because of a different reason altogether and I wrote it all down in this 5th chapter of my series of articles on MB Transformers. Why devote an entire chapter to this subject? Well, for one, it is one of the more interesting issues in the MB line in my opinion and, two, it needs to be supported by a sturdy foundation of important information, which significantly adds to the length of the article, so it was not an option to include more topics in this installment.

I understand some people will choose to ignore my take on this, preferring to hold on to the trademark theory, but that’s perfectly fine! I believe I have outlined my case with many supporting arguments and from what I’ve seen so far, I think the trademark theory is wrong. Then again, new evidence might pop up one day proving my theory or parts of it wrong! All I’m saying is, this is what I think happened, and here’s why…. :-)

Tell me what you think in the comments section or by emailing me. Please enjoy the fifth installment on MB Transfomers by clicking here!


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MB Transformers series – Part 4

Tonight is a small Anglo-Dutch party. My very good friend Maz from TF-1.com and I are proud to present to you some of our most interesting work to date. We hope you will find it is also some of our best work to date, because we’ve certainly poured our collective hearts and souls into it. Both articles that we’ve just finished writing go into amazing detail on a subject matter that we are pretty passionate about: European Joustra Diaclones and MB Transformers respectively.

First off, above you can see some of the graphical design for the latest installment in my series of articles on MB Transformers, which is now finally online! This fourth chapter examines the very close ties between the afforementioned two vintage toy lines from the mid-1980’s. This is the big one. Both in size and in message. Some numbers; the first two installments were around 2,500 words each. The third installment was the biggest one yet with approximately 5,000 words. The first draft of the fourth installment came close to the 9,500 mark! That was way too big. I also found the flow of the article was just too chaotic and I commenced on a 2-week long redesign, which ultimately saw this article end up with 7,500 words. Still quite large, but I now feel confident that it is ready for consumption and succeeds in getting my message across.

Content wise, this is why I embarked on this unholy mission of writing a series of articles on MB Transformers. The previous three chapters, while informative and enjoyable in their own right, were all leading up to the information that can be found in chapter four. It ties an important and relatively unknown portion of early European Transformers history together. This is the story I wanted to tell. This is what I think happened between MB and Joustra in 1985 and I think it’s very exciting. This is what I needed to get out of my system and share with fellow G1 Transformers enthousiasts on the world wide interwebs. I guess observant collectors will have put this together before, but to my knowledge this information has never been published online in such a comprehensive way and since it’s been more than 25 years, I thought it was high time it got told! I really hope you enjoy it!

Please don’t think that the rest of the series will be boring. Although I cannot deny that this is really the high point of the series, there is still much more to tell and you can count on my usual nerdy and meticulous methods of investigation and obsessive attention to detail for the remaining 6 chapters. I won’t give out an estimate for the release date of the 5th chapter, because I need an even bigger break than after the last chapter. It’ll be here when it’s here. For now, enjoy the “MB and Joustra Connection” by clicking here.


“Joustra Diaclone Lancia Stratos”

But like I said, that’s only one half of the party! As soon as you’re done reading the “MB & Joustra Connection” there is some further reading that I can heartily recommend from my favourite vintage Transformers site, TF-1.com.

Through an amazing bout of luck and coincidence my good friend Maz got his hands on a very, very rare Joustra Diaclone wave 2 item; Lancia Stratos, a.k.a. pre-Wheeljack! This is the first time a Joustra Diaclone Lancia Stratos has surfaced publicly complete inside his packaging! You can count on Maz to thoroughly examine this item and place it against the background of both its earlier and later incarnations, accompanied with many, many photographs in his trademark style. It’s the next best thing to owning one yourself! At this moment this is the only known Joustra Diaclone Lancia Stratos in the world of which publicly available, photographic evidence exists! Check out TF-1.com’s amazing scoop by clicking here.

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Coming soon! (Update)


The fourth installment of my series on MB Transformers is ready to go and will be published today at 2200 CEST (Amsterdam), 2100 BST (London), 1600 EDT (New York). There’s a reason behind this exact publishing time aside from trying to act dramatic, because a new and exciting article will be going live tonight at UK based TF-1.com around that same time. We’ve chosen to synchronize the publication time of our respective articles for practical reasons. All I can say is that TF-1.com has a real treat in store for fans of European Transformers. So that’s not one, but two pieces of new and original content on European Transformers that you can look forward to. Good times!



Regular visitors of this website will be familiar with my ongoing series of articles on the subject of European Transformers released by MB (Milton Bradley) and everything that surrounds it. So far I have published three articles on this subject matter and my goal is to finish this epikos with a mammoth total of 10 articles. A constant concern that I have in everything that I write for this site is that I want to strike the best achievable balance between hardcore geeky information that will appeal to the hardcore collector and content that is still digestible by the majority of visitors, who might have nothing more than a passing interest in the subject matter. To whichever category you feel you belong, I want you to feel welcome whenever you visit this site. That’s not always an easy task. But what continues to fuel my desire to keep on writing is the number of unique visitors that have read my MB articles so far and the number of visitors who are visiting this site on a regular basis. I’m quite humbled by the number of visitors and some of the reactions I have gotten so far. Very cool.

I know there are several of you out there who are very eagerly awaiting the fourth installment in my series on MB Transformers (Hi, Christophe!). I’m afraid it’s still not finished yet. The third installment was the biggest one yet and was twice the size of the second installment! Well, much to my own surprise, the first draft of the fourth installment was even double the size of the third installment! After walking away and coming back to it after a couple of days, it was clear to me that the fourth installment needed some trimming and improvement. I am currently wrestling with both the length of the article and the visual presentation. With so much information that I want to convey in this chapter, the visual aspect is more important than ever.

All I can say is that this fourth installment will be my favourite! And although it’s shaping up to be the most challenging chapter for me to write yet, I’m having lots of fun creating it. I hope some of that fun will be reflected in the article itself when you get a chance to read it in the near future. Transformers remain my number one passion….. and if you feel the same…. well, you’re in very good company here. :-)

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MB Transformers series – Part 2

Last week I published the first part of what’s going to be a long running series on my favourite corner of vintage G1 (Generation 1) Transformers collecting: MB Transformers!! I’ve had some very nice feedback on the first installment from a couple of visitors of this website, either via mail or through the comments, which was very gratifying. Thanks!

I’ve been working my butt off the past couple of days in order to complete the second installment and I can tell you it was quite the feat. I originally envisaged posting a new part every week or so, but this seems to have been a gross miscalculation on my part. I’m going to tone down the tempo and will publish subsequent installments “when they’re done”. Don’t worry, I am committed to finishing the series. All the installments are already laid out. I have the skeleton outline of the complete series done for a while now, they only need to be fleshed out for each installment. This takes a lot more time to do properly than I originally assumed, not in the least due to the attention to graphical design that I want this series to have.

The last thing I want you to think, oh hallowed reader of this blog, is that it’s a chore. I’m having an absolute blast of a time finally putting all my research down on paper and I keep getting new ideas for cool stuff for future installments. Knowing that even just one other person in the world will get the same kick out of reading this series as much as I had writing it, is what makes this totally worth it. So without further ado I would like to humbly present to you the second part of my series of articles on MB Transformers! I’ve gone ahead and configured our time machine for early 1984, location: Europe, subject: pre-Transformers! Click here and enjoy!

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Joustra Diaclone – Kronoform


Some more Diaclone from Joustra! Released in 1984 in Europe, as part of Ceji Joustra’s first wave of Diaclone toys, I present to you the Diaclone Kronoform! Now, what child of the 80’s does not remember owning or seeing one of these transforming wrist watches? I remember getting one for free as part of some toy store promotion here in the Netherlands somewhere in early 1986 or so. I can’t remember whether it was a true Takara product or whether it was just a knock-off. All I remember is that it was red and had the exact same transformation, so I’m pretty sure it was from the same mold as these Joustra Diaclone Kronoforms.

“Class of 1986”

Regular visitors of this site might remember my article on Beachcomber, which features a school class picture from 1986 with my best buddy wearing Beachcomber inside his chest pocket. For those that don’t remember here’s that picture again in full.

And here’s a close up of Beachcomber on that very same picture!

“Kronoform in da hizzouse”

Well, a couple of weeks after I originally published the afforementioned Beachcomber article, I had another long look at my class picture from 1986 and discovered something amazing! You see, it turns out that Beachcomber was not the only Transformer in this photograph! Another class mate of mine seemed to be holding something up to the camera. Upon closer inspection it turns out this is none other than the Joustra Diaclone Kronoform !! Check it out (click on the photo below for a larger view):

Holy crap! I have to admit I was über-excited when I found this out. Not only was this class picture basking in the glory of Beachcomber who was chilling out inside my best buddy’s chest pocket. But now, on the total opposite end of the photograph, we also have the Joustra Diaclone Kronoform kicking major ass while he’s being held up to the camera by another class mate of mine. Yes, life was THAT awesome back then. The photo is not too detailed, but just look at the closeup and have a look at the gold Kronoform below:

No doubt about it, it’s Kronoform!! How cool is that! After my mind came back to Earth I went to my collection room and dug out the Joustra Diaclone comic that was included with my Robocolt and had a look.

As you can see, Kronoform is pictured in the catalog in black. Joustra apparently did not only release this black Kronoform, because I have two Kronoforms in my collection. One of them is this black Kronoform that is pictured in the catalog above, but the other one is the gold variant that is also visible in the class photo above. There, possibly, also was a silver coloured Kronoform released by Joustra, but I am not sure, because I haven’t seen one yet in real life. Here’s a photo of both Kronoforms from my own collection (I removed them from the outer box):

Looking at the back of the box, a total of 7 different modes are depicted that little old Kronoform could transform into. Ranging from an interstellar launch platform to a lunar moon shuttle and everything you could think of in between. Wow! Well, not really. Most of these alternate modes were rather crappy, half assed transformations when you look at them. Have a look:

“It’s Kronoform Time!”

I have to admit I didn’t even realize Kronoform had these ‘advanced’ alternate modes when I originally had him in the 1980’s. It was a just a cool looking little watch that I could detach from its wrist band and easily transform into a neat little robot! I remember that I actually wore it to school many times (though sadly not in the above class picture, that would have been so cool) and would transform it into robot mode and put the robot on my school desk, feeling rather smug. As I now remember, Kronoform was quite the rage back then, because several class mates of mine had one, no doubt also as part of the same toy store promotion that I mentioned.

I originally wasn’t really looking to add these Joustra Diaclone Kronoforms to my collection. I picked up both the black and gold Kronoform as part of a lot that contained some other Joustra Diaclones that I was after. Now that I have them I’m really glad I did, because I had totally forgotten about owning one when I was 10 years old. Good times!




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