Back around the start of 2010, a few inconspicuous and cool items showed up on the Ebay account of Blackaces. The items were “never released” versus sets of Starscream vs. Bumblebee and Megatron vs. Optimus Prime. These were two-inch playsets, similar to the 3-inch Titanium figures. Megatron was indeed his cannon-armed ROTF incarnation. On-top of the ROTF versus sets, there were some very interesting Generation 1 Chibli figures and some small headbusts of mainline characters such as Optimus Prime, Bumblebee, Starscream, and Megatron.
Being the good Collecticon that I am, I investigated. This was the first response I received from Blackaces regarding the validity and origin of these pieces:
Hello, and thank you. These are not customs. They are pre-production concepts for Hasbro licensing and never made it past the prototype stage. For the PVC production samples of bumblebee and starscream, that is 1 half of a set of 4 figures which were approved by Hasbro, but never made it into production. I do not have a sale price and just wanted to see how much collectors’ would pay for them, hence the auctions. The combined shipping price would be about —- I reckon, for all the items you’ve mentioned. Thank you.
So apparently, these were officially licensed at one time but were rejected or forgotten about in the midst of all of the Revenge of the Fallen toys being released. The creator of these items was ready to part with them and was just hoping to give these prototypes to a collector that wanted then, hopefully for a good price.
Ultimately, the auctions ran their course mostly un-noticed, however the Optimus Prime figures went for upwards of $20. Yours truely snagged both of the Starscream figurines for under $20 total! After receiving the figurines, I am very impressed with their execution. These painted samples are definitely something unique that I will cherish in my collection and a reminder of what could have been.
Check out a small gallery of the Starscream figurines below: