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Old 2006-01-17, 10:54 PM   #1
Nevermore
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Default Upcoming Alternators releases in Europe - got an hour or two?

Okay. To fully understand the problem, I'd suggest you to take a look at the list of confirmed European Alternators releases first, so you can see what a mess we are in already.

At last year's European Toy Fair, Hasbro UK confirmed they were going to release Windcharger, Swindle, Battle Ravage, Wheeljack and Prowl next.

Windcharger was already available in the UK by the time Hasbro UK made this statement.
Swindle came out in the UK in March (and in half a dozen other European countries as well afterwards, the last of them being Italy which just finally got Swindle a few days ago).
Ravage popped up in Italy in June and also came out in Belgium in August.
Wheeljack came out in Italy in June, in Belgium in July and in the Netherlands in August. Neither Ravage nor Wheeljack ever made it to UK stores.
The UK release of Prowl was confirmed cancelled last June. The alleged reason for this, according to Hasbro UK, was that "British kids wouldn't recognize him as a police car with that deco".

Last July, Shockblast surprisingly became available in UK Argos stores and was also available in Irish Argos stores in August. However, unlike the other European Alternators releases which come in hexalingual, European-specific packaging, this Shockblast was a straight US import and came in US packaging.

That was 2005.

Now we come to the 2006 craziness.

A few weeks ago, Swindle popped up in China in the new "bubble style" packaging. However, unlike the other new Alternators, Swindle was special: The box artwork was replaced by a photo of the toy (a characteristic of European Transformers packaging since the second wave of Energon combiner limbs and all Alternators from Windcharger onwards), sported a weird "2 in 1" graphic (two toys in one, for people who don't realize that the robot depicted on the box is the same item as the vehicle inside the packaging?) inside a prominent arrow (similar to the arrows found on European Alternators packaging beginning with Windcharger), and instead of product code/assortment number, the box just sports the product code (just like the recently surfaced European versions of the Micromaster Aerialbots in "Cybertron" packaging).

Today, Shockblast surfaced in the same packaging style, also "2 in 1". And since the endflap of the box sports multiple languages and lacks a number (a "12" in Shockblast's case), it can now be said with full certainty that this is indeed the European version of the new packaging.

So does this mean Swindle (who HAS already been released in Europe in the old packaging) and Shockblast (who has been available as a US import in the UK and Ireland) are coming out next in Europe?

Wait, there's more.

Franco Villa, who reported the Italian release of Alternators Swindle, also confirmed that according to an Italian store owner, the next Italian Alternators release will be... Decepticharge. Huh?

Still with me? Okay, here comes the real burner:

TFauctions got word from Hasbro UK that the next European releases will be a "Honda Civic" in March or earlier, a Dodge Viper (Sunstreaker?) in March and a Dodge Ram (Optimus Prime) in July. Later, tfauctions would also confirm that the "Honda Civic" was an error on Hasbro UK's behalf, and the toy will indeed be... Prowl. Yeah. Considering the reasons for Hasbro UK to refrain from releasing him earlier, it's possible he might come in a different deco than the US version, although I wouldn't hold my breath.

So what now? Prowl, Sunstreaker and Optimus Prime "confirmed" for the UK, Decepticharge "confirmed" for Italy, and Swindle and Shockblast already surfaced in new packaging?

Am I the only one to believe something's fishy here?
 

Last edited by Nevermore; 2006-01-17 at 11:00 PM.
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Old 2006-01-18, 12:12 AM   #2
Halfshell
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Just as a side note, Hasbro's preview material in the UK Toy Trade magazines ahead of the NEC Spring Fair says that Alternators are remaining an FOB-only item.

"What does that mean?" I hear you ask. Well, basically it means that Hasbro won't hold stock of the item and that any shop that wants to run it has to place a bulk order direct with the factory, commit to all that stock and deal with the distribution themselves.

Which probably means that Argos are gonna stay as the only chain carrying the line in the UK. There's an outside chance it might pop up in Woolworths, but I'd be surprised.

And for those curious, yes, the factory-direct arrangement does give the retailer a greater control over the assortment, as they can basically tell Hasbro "we don't like X design - we'll only order if you swap it out for Y"
 
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Old 2006-01-18, 12:52 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally posted by Nevermore
Considering the reasons for Hasbro UK to refrain from releasing him earlier, it's possible he might come in a different deco than the US version, although I wouldn't hold my breath.
I doubt it very much. Pretty much everyone watches American TV here, so the original reason was spurious bollocks. Heck, they could slap "US Police" or "NYPD" on the sticker or packaging and it'd probably sell better.

I might get Prowl and Sunstreaker if they show up, then. Certainly not things I'd ever bother importing, but moulds I don't own and quite like.

Shame we never got Hound rather than Swindle...
 
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Old 2006-01-25, 06:43 PM   #4
Nevermore
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It's all starting to make sense now. Scan courtesy of Prowlus here.

Silverstreak - old
Dead End - confirmed by TFAuctions
Swindle - restock in new European "bubble" style packaging seen online?
Decepticharge - confirmed from Italy
Optimus Prime - confirmed by TFAuctions
Rumble - confirmed by TFAuctions
Shockblast - restock in new European "bubble" style packaging seen online?
 
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Old 2006-01-26, 10:21 AM   #5
Angelophile
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The Civic in MARCH still not making much sense, since no prototype or anything's surfaced.
 
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Old 2006-01-26, 12:35 PM   #6
Nevermore
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Quote:
Originally posted by Angelophile
The Civic in MARCH still not making much sense, since no prototype or anything's surfaced.
Agreed.
 
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