You might remember when I posted pics of my friend Matt's Soundwave collection last year. It's always cool to see a collection that so completely explores just one toy in all its different variations. When we last left Matt, he was searching for two vintage Soundwaves: the European Milton Bradley Soundwave and the Japanese Grimlock vs. Soundwave VSY two-pack. Fortunately, he managed to score the latter and sent along some pics for us to enjoy! For the Soundwave laymen like me, Matt offered to fully expound upon this set himself. Take it away, Matt!
Takara produced three Transformers VS sets in Japan in 1985:
- VSX: Optimus Prime vs Megatron
- VSY: Grimlock vs Soundwave and Frenzy
- VSZ: Sunstreaker & Skids vs Buzzsaw
The VSX set is considered the most desirable to most collectors and is therefore the most valuable. However, the VSY set appears to be the most difficult of the three sets to find.
The Grimlock, Soundwave, and Frenzy figures included in the VSY set are identical to their USA counterparts.
Above: Japanese Soundwave
The Soundwave figure does not include the headphone and microphone attachments that were included in the standard Japanese Soundwave release (shown above). The VSY Soundwave comes packaged with metal foot Frenzy, whereas the standard Japanese release came with Rumble. The Soundwave included in the VSY set was prior to the Japanese mold change in which the cassette player buttons and the chest door hinges are external to the cassette compartment.
Unique to the VSY set are the cassette tape and comic book chronicling a battle between the Dinobots and Soundwave and his cassette minions.
The Grimlock side of the VSY instructions show a boy playing with the Grimlock and Soundwave figures while listening to the VSY cassette on his boombox.
Other documentation in the VSY set include:
- Japanese version of the Dirge S.T.A.R.S. mail-away promotion
- A small mail-away promotion for Warpath, Cosmos, Dirge, and a Watch that transformers into a robot and a car
- A small Transformers fold-out catalog
- A Takara customer feedback card
A few interesting notes about the catalog:
- Reflector is shown in the catalog as the figure was released as D-21 in Japan
- Rumble is shown only in tape mode in Soundwave's chest. The only other cassettes shown are Laserbeak, Frenzy, and Rumble, who were all released individually carded or boxed in Japan.
Thanks, Matt! That set is awesome, for both Soundwave and Dinobot fans. Take a look at that last illustration above. It looks very similar in style to the artwork featured on the boxes of the classic US Transformers, but I've never seen it before. Sweet!