Monday, October 8, 2012

Transformers Groove's Spanish Packaging

I've written before about the fact that Transformers have been sold in countries other than the United States and Japan. In fact, the brand is a world-wide phenomenon. This fact allows for a few interesting blips in the otherwise straightforward history of how certain toys come to be made. Take this Spanish version of Groove, for example. It did not come out at the time of Groove's original release in 1986, but rather several years later, as part of a European "Classics" sub-line that showed up around 1990 (not to be confused with the American "Classics" line of 2006, nor the similarly-themed lines which have come since that technically use different names, but which are often referred to in this way. Also note that "Classics" toys from Spain do not feature the "Classics" title, although most other European countries did feature such language).

The fact that this version of Groove came later than the original means that the packaging offers some unique features besides just the fact that the text is written in another language. For example, the original Groove came on a card with the traditional red and black design and the original Transformers logo. This version features the golden pattern of the later era alongside the now all-but-forgotten version of the logo from the tail end of the original toyline. This also means that the Tech Specs on the back of the card features the bar graph format, rather than the criss-crossing "heart monitor" pattern of the original format, which required a red plastic filter to read easily. The toy itself, so far as I can remember (I no longer have the toy, sadly. Only the packaging), was identical to the American release of the toy, with one exception. American versions still featured rubsigns when the original Groove came out, but the "Classics" toy did not have one (which is perhaps somewhat odd, as the original waves of "Classics" toys did have rubsigns, despite the American line having abandoned them a couple of years previously. However, by the time Groove came out, even this line had stopped using rubsigns).

I didn't pay especially much for this version when I found it several years ago, and imagine that one could be found again without having to break the bank too badly for it, provided you're fortunate enough to stumble across the distinctive packaging in the first place, but expect to spend a bit of time searching if you really want to get a "Classics" version rather than the original, and to pay at least a bit more for doing so.

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