The latest G2 Protectobot ("G2" = "Generation Two," for the uninitiated. These are the early 1990's era Transformers, as opposed to the original Transformers of the 1980's, which are retroactively referred to as "G1") to be auctioned is G2 Streetwise. As of this posting, the bid for Streetwise is at $910. Last week, I predicted the final value for this toy would probably be a little lower than the $1825 that G2 Groove went for, but that future auctions would probably stabilize around Streetwise's price. We'll see if I was right....
For those of you who've been looking closely at the packaging for these toys, you'll have noticed that each one makes some claim toward "realistic styling." Now, an all-black police car such as Streetwise isn't by any means common, but it isn't too bad. Nor would an ambulance such as First Aid seem terribly out of place. But check that link for G2 Groove once again. Have you ever seen a bright orange motorcycle like that (with green trim, no less)?
This is a fairly common trend in G2 marketing. A great many of the G2 toys made some claim to "realistic" something or other. Before I criticize Hasbro for absolute bold-faced lying about the G2 Protectobots, I might theorize that the way that the letters, numbers, and "emergency vehicle" style insignias appear on these toys is at least mildly realistic, and certainly represents an effort beyond what was done for the original G1 Protectobots of 8 years earlier (see the SWAT logo on G2 Blades, presumably two weeks away from being auctioned himself, for example). Still, I'd hardly call the new designs "realistic," and I think this advertising is misleading.
But the Protectobots were hardly the worst case of misleading "realism" in Generation Two. Check out this example of one of the Combaticons, a group of military vehicles that also combined into a super-robot. Can anyone tell me what a space shuttle needs with camouflage? Yet, there it is on the packaging: "realistic camouflage graphics." (You'll have to click on the graphic of the front of the package to see it properly.) Some of the other G2 Combaticons weren't much better. A "realistic" camouflage pattern won't do much good against some of those eye-searing colors!
Unlike the G2 Protectobots, the G2 Combaticons were indeed widely released by Hasbro. Should anyone want one, there are plenty of deals to be had on eBay.