Transformers Collectors’ Club

Transformers Collectors’ Club

In the the spirit of Thanksgiving I wanted to pause and remember the Transformers Collectors’ Club.

I was a member from the start to the finish and always looked forward to the annual membership exclusive figure.


Tomorrow will see the final mark-down in the closing sale of the TFCC store with everything dropping to 90% off. I’ve been following the thread on TFW2005 and some of the conversations there got me thinking about how much I’ll miss the Club. I’ve made three purchases from the clearance sale so far, only two of which have arrived, and expect to make one final purchase tomorrow.

Machine Wars Starscream
Botcon Zaptrap

Purchase #1 – Machine Wars Starscream, formerly attendees-only.

Purchase #2 – Diaclone Zaptrap with Spy-Eye and Beet-Chit.

While preparing this article, I took a look at my collection and realized just how many Fun Publications figures are still prominently displayed.

The Beginning

For me, it all started with Nexus Maximus and the translucent member exclusive figures that populated the first five years of the club. Here are Topspin and Breakaway from years 4 and 3 respectively.

TFCC Combiners

The other three members may be referred to as Bots-Not-Appearing-in-This-Blog.


The only Botcon that I was able to attend was the 2007 convention in Providence Rhode Island and it made a lasting impact. Not only was it the perfect theme for me with it’s continuation of Classics but it was close to home and allowed me to attend the premiere of the first Transformers live-action movie. Here are Dreadwind, Thrust, Thundercracker and Bugbite from that year’s set.

Botcon 2007

Still my favorite, toy-accurate, version of Thrust.


The Classics Seeker mold is still a favorite of mine. It was also a favorite of the club; not only did we get Thundercracker and Thrust years early, we also got the More Than Meets The Eye Rainmakers (Bitstream, Hotlink and Sunstorm), G2 Ramjet and Japanese G1 catalog inspired Nacelle!

Club Seeker

There is no other official mold with as many different versions available.


Generation 2 was a weird time in the franchise that not only spawned some neon repaints but also introduced modern levels of articulation. Botcon 2010 featured the Generation 2: Redux box set. Here we have Ramjet (not technically from Botcon but still G2), Rapido, Spark (rear), Streetstar and Breakdown.

Club G2


Botcon 2013 brought us several Diaclone figures including Lift-Ticket and Zaptrap (with Spy-Eye and Beet-Chit) and the Waruder set (not pictured).

Club Diaclone

Club Exclusives

TFCC Punch

Punch took a mold that I already loved, Sideswipe/Sunstreaker, and cleverly updated the double-robot-moded G1 spy.

TFCC Counterpunch

Side Burn from 2011 took another mold that I liked and gave it a new bluer life.

Side Burn

Subscription Service

I was very disappointed when the Reveal the Shield Demolition Rumble was cancelled and I’ve wanted to pick up the United UN-20 Rumble & Frenzy set for years but never pulled the trigger. The Club Subscription Service gave me an opportunity to finally own this mold when they released it as Rewind & Eject as part of Series 2.

TFSS Eject & Rewind

Based on an early prototype of Thrust from a G1 Japanese catalog, Nacelle gave me another opportunity to get the Botcon Thrust mold.

TFSS Nacelle

The Masterpiece

As mentioned in a previous post, one of their last exclusives (and the only Masterpiece figure that they released) was a Marvel Comics inspired repaint of the Ratbat mold, the only time this mold has been officially available in the US.

Marvel Ratbat

I should be in charge!

Shattered Glass

Probably the biggest thing the Club and Botcon added to Transformers lore was Shattered Glass, Transformers’ own “Mirror Mirror” evil doppelgangers. Not only was this revisited by the Club several times, there is even an official Masterpiece version of Shattered Glass Optimus Prime. Here we have heroic Decepticons Treadshot and Ravage.

Club Shattered Glass

Other Botcon Stragglers

Turbomaster (aka Scorch) and Spinister have also managed to remain on display over the years.

Scorch with Spinister

The Vitriol

Anyone who’s spent any time in any TFCC-related thread on the TFW2005 boards knows that there is a certain portion of the fandom that simply cannot help themselves but to express their deep hatred of the Club and their glee that it is no longer around. I will never be one of them. I feel that the end of the Club and Botcon is a huge loss for Transformers collectors and, I fear, we are unlikely to ever see the same breadth of obscure characters again.

Masterpiece Cassettes

With MP-15E/16E Cassettebot vs. Cassettron due out by the end of the year I wanted to spend some time with the previous Masterpiece cassettes.

Cassettrons cassette mode

The cassettes have been available as part of Takara’s Masterpiece line releases; MP-13 Soundwave with Condor, MP-15 Rumble & Jaguar, MP-16 Frenzy & Buzzsaw and MP-13B Soundblaster with Ratbat. In the US Hasbro released Laserbeak, Buzzsaw, Ravage, Rumble and Frenzy with their Masterpiece Soundwave set then again with their Year of the Goat Soundwave repaint. The Transformers Collectors Club brought the Ratbat mold to the US as part of their G.I. Joe and the Transformers box set (still available as of this writing as part of their going out of business sale).

Cassettrons group

I did not pick up the original US version of Soundwave since I had already imported the Takara releases.

Let’s go through them mold by mold:

The Cats

Ravage has always been my favorite cassette – the original G1 set with Rumble were the only cassettes in my collection the first time around.

Jaguar cassette mode

Jaguar is a great mold and I love the way that they managed to integrate the rockets into the cassette.


The Year of the Goat release (and all of the “year of the…” releases as far as I’m concerned) is an odd duck. The clear and grey plastic is certainly distinctive but also quite “love it or hate it”.

Ghost Ravage cassette mode

I tend to think of it these as “ghost” versions.

Ghost Ravage

The Robots

The robot cassettes are the only ones that have external accessories with their separate wing blasters and pile drivers.

Robots cassette mode

Ok, let’s just get this out in the open – I’m a “Rumble is red” guy. As I mentioned above, Rumble was one of the only two cassettes that I owned as a kid so the red toy color scheme made a stronger impression on me than the blue cartoon color scheme.


The Birds

This has to be my favorite of the Masterpiece cassette molds

Birds cassette mode

Like Ravage, the designers found a way to integrate the booster backpack into the cassette mode without sacrificing the look of the figure.


The Bats

For collectors in the US, this is the most difficult to acquire of the Masterpiece cassette molds since it wasn’t included in the US version of Soundwave. (I’m aware of the KOs but am specifically referring to official releases here)

Bats cassette mode

Like the other non-robot cassettes, Ratbat’s backpack is fully integrated into the transformation. Ratbat also holds the honor of being the only Masterpiece figure released in comic book colors.


Unofficial Bonus: Autoscout

Autoscouts cassette

Many years ago two versions of the one-hit-wonder Autoscout from the G1 episode A Prime Problem were released. I still include the TFC Toys version (on the left in the photos) from their Gears of War set in my Masterpiece display. I much prefer the transformation on this one over iGear’s version although iGear’s cassette mode has the better deco.

Autoscouts angle

Coming up…

When MP-15E/16E is released we’ll have another four members of the cassette army. I’m waiting…