In 1984, Hasbro and Takara Tomy created a new line of toys with the ability to change from one form to another, essentially giving kids two toys in one. To build their world of alien robots, the Transformers were introduced as the heroic Autobots and their villain counterparts, the Decepticons. Quickly becoming favorites of kids everywhere, the Transformers world would expand into animation, comics, and, years later, a popular live-action film series.
As the Transformers franchise continues to thrive today, their toy origins are becoming highly sought by toy collectors. In Hake’s recent $2.5 million premier auction, they presented several of the rarest, most desirable toys from the 1980s line. Not only did they insight heavy competition with bidders, the Transformers lots set world records and crushed their estimates.
Transformers assembled a huge sale when the Series 1 Optimus Prime AFA 85 with the trademark logo sold for $34,461. The window box contains the Autobot Commander and features the trademark logo which is earlier and much rarer than the version with the registered logo. This is one of the most desirable Series 1 Transformers toys and is extremely difficult to find in the original factory sealed box. This sale set a world record for the figure and is the highest price paid at auction for any Transformers toy.
Transformers set another world record when the Series 2 Construction Giftset Devastator AFA 85 cleared $25,370, achieving a world record and surpassing the $20,000 estimate. The display box contains all six Constructicons – Bonecrusher, Scavenger, Scrapper, Hook, Long Haul, and Mixmaster – that combined to form the Devastator. This is the only giftset that features all six of the Constructicons, which were also sold as individual pieces.
Big estimate smashers included, the Series 2 Dinobot – Grimlock AFA 85, which is among the most desirable Series 2 toys, that realized $16,523, well above the $10,000 estimate. Even more impressive, the Series 4 Headmaster – Skullcruncher AFA 85 destroyed it’s $2,000 estimate when it sold for $11,328.
The Action Masters Wheeljack card original art by Jeffrey Mangiat more than doubled its $2,000 estimate when it sold for $4,248. The 10-1/8” x 14-1/4” Crescent illustration board with attached acetate overlay features mixed media/airbrushed art that was made for the upper right corner of Hasbro’s Transformers Action Masters Wheeljack box.
Sales highlights from early in the Transformers runs were also led by the Series 1 Jet – Starscream AFA 85 (with rubsign) for $7,210, the Series 2 Constructicon – Hook AFA 85 (with trademark logo) for $4,720, and the Series 2 Dinobot – Sludge AFA 85 for $4,354.
Additional top Transformers sales included the Series 1 Soundwave AFA 80 (European with rubsign) for $3,309, Generation 2 Fireflight card original art by Mangiat for $3,251, Series 1 Car Prowl AFA 85 (with rubsign) for $3,173, and Series 3 Combaticon – Blast Off AFA 85 for $3,028, over the $2,000 estimate.
All of the top sales from Part I and Part II of Hake’s Premier Auction #237 can now be viewed at hakes.com.