Mini-Cons first made their debut in the Armada series back in 2002. I never imagined that these little Transformers would be so plentiful and collectible. They seem to be the Pokemon of Transformers. While there have been plenty of repaints of the Unicron Trilogy era Mini-Cons & Microns, the new molds introduced in the Classics series wouldn't get multiple repaints until later on.
As part of a promo in Japan to help launch the Revenge of the Fallen movie toys in 2007, Takara released a few Microns exclusive to different stores. Torque Gain here was only available at Jusco stores in July of 2007. He was free with the purchase of ROTF Megatron or Starscream. I don't know how limited he was, but I couldn't find any active or completed listings for Torque Gain on eBay when I checked earlier today.
One of the changes I noticed with a lot of the Japanese exclusive campaign Microns is that they have now been aligned with either the Cybertrons / Autobots or Destrons / Decepticons. The Mini-Con faction seems to be no more. The mold Torque Gain is based off of was first introduced as part of Classics' Night Rescue Team. I love the helicopter, but the robot mode leaves a lot to be desired. At least the new color scheme is unified and looks pretty good.
For me this particular Micron is a good excuse of how easy it is to get caught up in collecting Mini-Cons & Microns. I usually only collect toys I actually like, but again that Pokemon "Gotta catch 'em all" mentality grabbed a hold of me and I found myself buying anything and everything Mini-Con related. While the helicopter mode is fantastic, it simply can't redeem the crappy robot mode. For that reason I displayed Torque Gain (and subsequent repaints) in helicopter mode while virtually every other Mini-Con was in robot mode.
I can whole heartily say this release is strictly for completionists.