The Japanese Animated 7-pack… what is it?

TakaraTomy's Animated 7-pack Giftset?

Think this is just a bulk order of each item in individual packaging? Think again.

So we all know that TakaraTomy is finally releasing Transformers Animated in Japan almost two years later. Big whoop. We have seen some photos and promo graphics from the line and it appears that most toys will have a metallic sheen to the paint job, which is in almost complete contrast of the matte vinyl toy look of their Hasbro counterparts. What we haven’t seen yet is the packaging, but if TakaraTomy is being their normal selves then they wouldn’t do any less than give us something completely new, original, and crazy.

Speaking of crazy, has anyone seen the prices on the new figures? The import fees seem to be insane! Well this Collecticon has found out a little bit of behind the scenes information regarding TakaraTomy’s animated toys. According to US retailers, demand is low and the fact that Takara is releasing “everything at once” is creating a lot of uncertainty amongst how well it will actually sell. Usually toylines are released in waves, so that it gives customers and fans a chance to spend a little bit of money at a time and still get figures they want in the long run. This time, TakaraTomy is releasing a whopping 32 figures to start the line!! This is putting a lot of retailers, especially ones in the USA, in a tight spot. If TakaraTomy Animated doesn’t sell well, they could be out a ton of money to start the year.

TakaraTomy Animated Starscream vs BumbleBee Giftset

These snazzy promo shots lead me to believe that we are going to see some really fun packaging when these finally hit shelves!

So what’s the solution?

Buy small quantities and hope you sell them all. This means that if TakaraTomy Animated is a hit, they are going to be VERY hard to get in the USA. Reorders are not likely to be an option and over 30 figures to start means that low numbers of cases are bound to be imported to the USA. It’s not a bad move to be wary of TakaraTomy Animated sales though. It is essentially a complete line of repaints, however it will include some figures that haven’t even seen release here in the USA including Blackout and Arcee.

One more thing… along with individual releases of the figures, a very expensive 7-figure bulk purchase has been made available at online retailers BigBadToyStore and TFsource.  The prices on these orders are quite high at $269.99 and $259.95 respectively.  Typically, one might think that this is just a store-made bulk-item for those that wish to buy the whole first wave of the line.  That is not the “case.”

Apparently, this is a huge item that is the only way to get these items before the launch date of all the additional figures.  TakaraTomy is not allowing retailers to purchase these figures separately until a certain date, but this bulk item is available well before the individual and battle packs.  So it’s difficult to know if this is meant to be some super-crazy 7-pack giftset, or just a especially shaped shipment case of voyagers and deluxes together. It’s not clear what the truth is, but if it actually is a 7-pack, you’ve think we would know about it by now.  If it has actually been kept a secret until now, this is likely to be the most valuable and rare Transformers set to appear on the market in some time.  Time will tell.

***UPDATE

Well TakaraTomy Animated has been released and it turns out that there was NOT a huge 7-pack.  Oh well, you can’t win them all!

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