Monday, July 31, 2006

The Final Hartman Transformers Auction: ATB Megatron

The last of the Hartman Transformers actions has started... and it's something of a disappointment.

While ATB Megatron, like all of the other G2 Transformers auctioned over the past few months, represents a Transformer that Hasbro stopped production on after having already made several toys, ATB Megatron has a somewhat different story than the others.

Of the auctions covered here recently, ATB Megatron's story is most like that of Laser Cycle Jazz, in that it is a repaint of a then-recently released G2 toy, now using the name of a classic G1 character. In this case, ATB Megatron is a repaint of G2 Dreadwing, which is widely regarded as one of the best toys to come out of the G2 era.

So why is an ATB Megatron auction a disappointment? For all of the other G2 auctions we've seen, the toys have been nearly impossible to find in these colors anywhere else. They are all extremely rare (as I indicated when all this began, they are arguably the rarest Transformers of all time). However, in 1998, Takara released BB as part of the "Beast Wars Second" line. Other than a few sticker changes, this figure is identical to ATB Megatron. Of course, since all of these auctions have been of the variety that no sane collector would ever take the toy out of its package, perhaps this doesn't matter much.

ATB Megatron is interesting for at least one other reason, though. A few years after G2 ended, Megatron was released as part of the short-lived "Machine Wars" line. The Tech Specs for this version of Megatron said that "Megatron once again 'takes to the skies in disguise' in his latest aerial-attack configuration." The problem is, no previous wide-release version of Megatron had ever had an "aerial-attack configuration." Only the unreleased ATB Megatron fits this category. Indeed, ATB Megatron's proposed Tech Specs, which you can read for yourself should you win this auction, also uses the line "takes to the skies in the disguise." Apparently, whoever writes these bios for Hasbro's toys had forgotten that one of the toys he'd worked on never actually made it to the stores....

Because this toy isn't nearly as rare as the others, the price is so far remaining low, with a bid currently at $51. I'll report its final value next week.

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