Earlier this year we were treated to the announcement that Lucky Draw Transformers were coming back for TakaraTomy animated. In fact, there have been more special exclusive items in Takara Tomy’s Animated line than almost any toyline in recent memory. One of the first announced exclusives expected to become a new Lucky Draw was a gold-chromed edition of Deluxe Animated Optimus Prime. Fast forward to this week and the figure is about to come to life but with an expected release batch of around 1,000. Come again?
KOtoys has posted a great gallery of the figure, which also means this rare “Lucky Draw” toy has been leaked from the factory like most other figures in the past 3-4 years. Put this all together and any seasoned collector will roll their eyes at the notion of this figure fitting into the lucky draw category.
Earlier this Summer, we were warned that the Animated Black Convoy would be of a sort of Lucky Draw status as well, but that turned out to be false. Prices fell and individual suppliers were easily able to meet the demand for this coveted Black Prime. Now for one of the first times, an originally advertised lucky draw figure is available on the Black market of Transformers.
So what’s the big deal?
Let’s start with what a Lucky Draw toy is. By definition, Lucky Draw toys are toys that start with a value of zero because they are given away free via a random drawing promotion. This is a very common practice with magazines or individual toy shops in Japan. Some collectors fiend over lucky draw toys and will pay prices into the thousands to obtain a figure that only a handful of other humans can possibly ever own. The point is that since there are usually under 20 of any one particular figure produced, their value is forever stratospheric and can become the cornerstone of any collection. The Lukcy draw market is small, with the various figures passing from hand to hand of a small Transformer elite (The TF Illuminati I like to call them).
That being said, the problem lies in that the term “Lucky Draw Transformer” equates to two ideals:
1- The figure is given away via random drawing to a limited quantity
2- That limited quantity is incredibly low in order to increase the desirability of the initially zero-value figure.
This second part of the equation is beginning to wane so much that a new term for these upcoming exclusives needs to be coined. Perhaps “Non-lucky draw” or “psuedo exclusive”. The term as it stands is obsolete. Lucky Draw should only refer to the method by which the figures are released, and a new term would indicate the hyper rarity of the figure.
If this really is the death of the lucky draw Transformer toy as we have known it, I will quietly weep. I love the fact that there are multi-thousand dollar toys to catch out there. Part of what makes collecting fun is that fact that not everyone can have everything. Even without the super-high dollar lucky draw toys, there are still other incredibly difficult-to-obtain figures coming out of Japan all the time. Just check out all the exclusives announced recently a Chara Hobby. It’s just maddening. X-P