G1 Commemorative Series Showcase

The Hasbro Collectors Event has given us our most comprehensive look at the Generation 1 Commemorative Series to date. With the next three waves of the Series on display we can see all the action figures that are slated for release through August 2003. Introduced last summer as Toy R Us exclusives, the Commemorative Series I was an overwhelming success with the initial offering including the Generation 1 re-issues of Optimus Prime, Rodimus Major (a renamed Hotrod) and Ultra Magnus. Just recently fans have been finding the Commemorative Series II figures Power Master Optimus Prime and the G1 Starscream at Toy R Us stores across the country. With so many toys to choose from, fans have been speculating a lot about what's coming in the future and this event answered all our questions about what we will be seeing soon.

Series II - February 2003

Hasbro is shipping Series II to Toys R Us now. So it was appropriate that we saw both Power Master Optimus Prime and Starscream on display. The Powermaster Optimus Prime with Apex Armor set is actually a re-release of the Japanese God Ginrai (C-310) set that packages the original Powermaster Optimus Prime figure together with the the Japanese God Bomber (C-309) as one set to give us the Powermaster Prime Ampex Armor at a $49.99 price point. The G1 re-issue of the Starscream figure was also on display.

Series III - March 2003

Fans will be glad to know that the third wave in the commemorative series brings us more of your favorites with two more vehicles and another of the seekers. Those that have been waiting on some of the racier Transformers molds have not waited in vein when they hear that Jazz ($29.99) and what has been confirmed as the Anime painted version of Bluestreak, Sliverstreak ($29.99) will be in Series III. Continuing with what is hopefully an effort to fill out the Seekers team, Hasbro has introduced yet another of the jets with the inclusion of Thundercracker ($34.99) as the third figure in the set. I was happy to see that unlike some of the images we've seen before with the smoke colored cockpit, the figure on display does in fact show Thundercracker with the amber colored cockpit cover.

Something to note about Commemorative Series III is a shift away from the cut away image flap with the introduction of a book style cover we see now. The new boxes have full-size cover flap that hides a full size display window behind it and features images of upcoming G1 re-issues.

Series IV - June 2003

Michelle Field said they make the Commemorative Series so they will move through the stores quickly by releasing them in limited quantities. The faster release cycles allow them to release other G1 re-issues sooner. Its pretty apparent that Hasbro has every intention of delivering a lot of figures this year with the preview of Commemorative Series IV on display we're hardly catching our breadth and we've got more G1 must-have's on the map boring us to a eight new G1 releases for the year.

Series IV adds the black jet Skywarp ($34.99) to the roster of seekers to come. The one on display was shown inside the newer book style packages. Looks like Hasbro is sticking with the new boxes. The interesting thing about this figure is the change in the missiles... I know a lot of you will be happy to know more race cars are on the way. Come June, you should be able to get your hands on a nice new Red Alert ($29.99) or Prowl ($29.99) figure. Judging from how quickly the Takara Prowl re-issue sold, these figures that are sure to go over well with the American fans.

Series V - August 2003

Also on display was a peak one of the Series V toys. I know many fans will be surprised to see that Hoist ($29.99) will be released in the fifth wave. The popular green tow truck figure is back. Hasbro also announced Tracks ($29.99 ?) and Inferno ($34.99 ?) as part of Series V.

There was also a brief mention of a 20th anniversary figures that will be announced for release in 2004.

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