The title of this post could have also been “Hot on the trail of the Transformers Unicorn”.
2 years ago on April Fools Day, a big-time collector reignited an old gag he instigated long ago to fool a fellow collector. The gag consisted of providing photographic evidence of the existence of a very, very rare, (so rare in fact, its very existence is in question to this day!) Transformers Generation 1 gift-set of the Combaticons. Many of the G1 combiner sets were repackaged into full gift-sets to save parents the hassle of locating all of the individual figures. One of the most common is the G1 Devastator gift-set, followed by the G1 Aerialbot gift-set. Almost all of the gestalt (combiner) teams came to the USA in the form of large gift-set boxes, save for a few that were only released in Japan. These include the Combaticons, which form Bruticus; and the Predacons, which form Predaking.
As the Transformers fanbase was being cultivated online over a decade ago, many fans and collectors were sharing stories of sets they had seen in various parts of the world. Back then, and even still today, it was difficult to know without a reasonable doubt whether claims of a certain version of a toy or packaging really existed. The Hasbro G1 Bruticus gift-set was one of those mystical items that people would claim existed, yet never be able to prove as they “no longer possessed it.”
Up comes an industrious and mischievious “super-collector”, who decided to have a bit of fun. In this thread that I recently stumbled upon while browsing TFW2005.com’s Junkion Exchange, user TheSpaceBridge recalls how he actually created what he dubs “the infamous photoshop.”
It’s an old photoshop I did years ago to wind up Karl Hartman. Its made from an Italian Bruticus gift-set and a US Menasor gift-set.
For April Fool’s Day 2008, TheSpaceBridge had posted the photoshopped image from years ago and passed it off as his own and for sale. What a rare piece to nonchalantly be parting with! To top it off, at the time it seemed reasonable to believe he would be parting with it due to a large sell-off of many of his rare one-of-a-kind pieces. Quite a few collectors who knew a thing or two walked right into the thread and the trap was sprung!
Before TheSpaceBridge revealed the April Fool’s Day gag, he claims to have received offers ranging from “…under $100 to $5000.” Not too shabby.
Antics aside, this story illustrates the power of lack of supply and excess of demand in the world of vintage Transformers. The G1 Bruticus gift-set serves as the perfect example of a Transformers Unicorn (not to be confused with Unicron!). The set exists in Japan, it exists as a Italian GIG even. The molds have been reused numerous times. The logic seems sound enough to infer the existence of the G1 Bruticus set. For what reason could there NOT be one?
This inferred expectations for such a set to exist have driven the price up incredibly high… that is if any ever happens to get ahold of this horned pony.
The disappointing truth is that we must finally admit that this set truly is a work of fiction, only existing in the rampant imagination and photoshopping talent of TheSpaceBridge. This is not the only example of the fanbase being lead astray by a clever photoshopped image, but it may be one of the only times the culprit was benevolent enough to let us all in on the joke before riots poured into our city streets.
So thanks for the laugh TheSpaceBridge, and we’ll await the completion of the new spacebridge.net to see your smorgasbord of unicorns made flesh and then some.