Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Transformers G1 Return of Convoy: Sky Garry C-360

Today's post will be a combination review and learning lesson.  What I mean by that is this.  I've always taken my time when it comes to approaching making a purchase of a vintage toy.  I've always carefully looked at pictures of the item if it's an online auction, asked questions and made sure that everything was legit.  However in my excitement a few months ago I made a mistake.  Granted I wasn't able to ask the seller questions about the item (I had to use a proxy service to acquire the item) I'm educated enough that I should have been able to spot at least one thing that should have thrown up a caution flag.

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Back in October I had my own mini Japanese G1 haul.  Now my haul isn't near as impressive as what Heroic Decepticon is currently showing off on his blog, but none the less I was on cloud 9.  I'll eventually unveil some of the other items I acquired, but for now we'll take a look at Sky Garry.  First off, can you spot the "warning flag" in the above picture?  Do you see what is wrong?

It's got the wrong Micro Trailer.  Sky Garry came packaged with a black trailer with the number designation of 0.  The trailer inside the box is obviously not the correct one.  Stupid me for not catching that!

C-360 Sky Garry photo 100_4957_zps9b2385f9.jpgOutside of the wrong Micro Trailer, I was initially happy w/ my purchase.  Overall the box was in great shape and it still retained it's vibrant colors.

This isn't my first Return of Convoy release, but it is my first larger set. Sky Garry's large box finally gave me a chance to really appreciate the beautiful art that adorns the box.  I know Sky Garry isn't the most popular or desired of the exclusive Japanese molds, but he is one that has always intrigued me - even more after buying the Brave version earlier this year.  Then again it helps that I love Micromasters and I've always dreamed of making my own massive Micromaster city with the various playsets.

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If modern day Transformers featured artwork this cool on the packaging I'd be in trouble as I would never want to open the box!  Personally I think Sky Garry looks pretty tough and his red white and blue colors evoke a little Star Convoy feel.  Appropriate I assume since Sky Garry is supposed to be Star Convoy's right hand man...or bot.

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The red skis aside, Sky Garry has a very nice alternate mode and one that just screams Cybertronian.  Too bad the artist didn't include his Micromaster, Shotbomber behind the glass in the cockpit.

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I've got a few of the Return of Convoy Microtrailer releases in my collection and one of my favorite aspects of their packaging was the artwork.  Seeing a Micromaster being launched out of the trailer just looks awesome.  Here we have Shotbomber rushing into battle against the Destrons.  Love it.

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Speaking of great artwork, the back of the box features not only Sky Garry in action, but also Grandus and several random Micromasters!  One of these days I'll acquire Grandus and I'll be able to die a happy Transformer collector.

Towards the bottom of the box you can see the play mechanics of Sky Garry in vehicle mode.  If it wasn't already cool enough that he could carry and transport his include Microtrailer, he can be extended to carry an additional 2 trailers.  Oh and did I mention that he also transforms in a (tall) Micromaster playset?!

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Top and bottom of the box

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One side of the box

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Tucked away inside on a inner box flap you can find Sky Garry's tech spec rankings and robot points.  As you can see Sky Garry ranks pretty high in every category.  This means he ain't no push over.

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Once I slid the styrofoam tray out of the box my excitement level started to decline a bit.  While it isn't extremely noticeable, the left side of the toy was showing signs of yellowing.  Of course most vintage toy collectors are familiar with white plastic yellowing over time, but I really didn't even think about that when I placed my bid.  Whether it was intentional or not, the seller didn't include any photos of the toy out of the packaging and the box's window doesn't show enough of the toy to really gauge whether the white plastic has yellowed much.  Bummer.

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C-360 Sky Garry photo 100_4938_zps6b5ba91a.jpg   C-360 Sky Garry photo 100_4936_zpsc870c1ed.jpg

OK.  So the yellowing isn't that bad.  I'm sure I could use that do-it-yourself solution and bleach the plastic to restore the white...but 1) I fear that I'll ruin the toy and 2) I'm lazy.

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I don't know if it's just me, but do you think the large red Cybertron/Autobot symbol on his chest looks odd?  Perhaps it's the fact that the red seems to bleed over in the lower half, obstructing the white outline that defines the symbol.

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At first glance his two white guns don't look so bad.  We are dealing with Transformers however where there is More than Meets the Eye.

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Flip over one of the guns and you'll see that sometimes looks can be deceiving.  With no additional paint applications I would think this piece would be easier to whiten using one of the methods available out there, but again I'm chicken and I let the gun be.

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Even with the yellowing on one side of one of the guns, they still don't look that bad when Sky Garry is wielding them.  I still had a hard time with just knowing the white plastic was imperfect.

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Another drawback to my newly purchased Sky Garry was the fact that he was naked.  The auction's description did list that there wasn't any paperwork included, but I wasn't sure if that meant no sticker sheet or if the stickers had been applied.  After I made my decision to look for another Sky Garry in better condition, a collector buddy of mine, brr-icy told me that Reprolabels was making a sticker sheet for Sky Garry.

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Even with new stickers, you would still have to strategically position Sky Garry so as the yellowed plastic not to show.  I went back and forth trying to decide what to do and in the end I had to have a new one.  I was also happy to know that Sky Garry isn't the hardest or most expensive Japanese G1 figure out there.

Yellowing plastic aside, I really like his alternate mode.  In true G1 fashion, the toy is very simplistic.  Sky Garry does have a few "tricks up his sleeve" though.

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Using Sky Garry's included Microtrailer or one of the many other trailers that exist, he can effectively grab and transport them.  Open up the gray claws in the center and place any Microtrailer underneath.  Simple as that.

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Now as much as I love Micromasters and the bases and playsets, I gotta admit the designers seemed to have a hard time squeezing in a base mode into some of these toys.  I can't stand Sonicbomber's base mode and if I'm honest here, Sky Garry's base mode isn't that great either.  To transform from alternate mode to base mode, you basically stand the jet up on it's rear and fold down the arms.  There are two separate pieces that you must connect - a great platform and a black ramp.  You can place one of his guns on the newly installed gray platform and one at the top.  Load him up w/ Micromasters and you're set.  Oh yeah, the instructions show Microtrailers set up on each side, with the black trailer in the center attached to the other end of the ramp.

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Sky Garry's included Micromaster is Shotbomber.  He too has a Cybertronian form - a missile carrying tank.  Surprisingly this little guy is still pretty white and looks good.  The orange missiles on the top aren't removable, but you can rotate them up and down.

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The thing about Micromasters is if you've seen one, you've seem them all.  That isn't necessarily a bad thing though.  Shotbomber is a bit taller that most Micromasters and at least the orange missiles on his back up add some needed color into his white/gray color pallet.  Too bad the chest or head doesn't have some small paint apps as it would really go a long way.

All in all I love this toy and it really pained me to find so many things wrong with it.  In fact the only saving grace I had w/ this purchase was that I got it for cheap.  Now I know why I wasn't outbid and why the seller starting the bidding where they did.  I can't really say I regret the purchase though as it was nice to get my hands on the authentic G1 version of this mold.  In the end I just couldn't talk myself into keeping this toy and I eventually sold it on eBay.

So let this be a learning lesson to all of you other collectors out there if you are bidding online.  Do you homework.  If there aren't many pictures in the listing, ask for more.  Not sure about the overall condition, sticker quality, completeness?  Ask questions!  Now in my case I couldn't ask the seller questions, but that is the risk/reward of bidding outside of eBay.


  1. Well i guess you can just flip this and resell it to someone else and you might loose a little money on it but use it toward the purchase of another if you have not already.

    1. Already sold him. I think there was a sealed case find not that many years ago so Sky Garry is relatively easy to find and affordable.

    2. do you still have this, or any extra parts to him

  2. I think every collector has bought a TF at some point or anotherthat ended up being a lot less than what we anticipated it to be.....I know I have....twice. Like you said, research and questions are probably your best weapon. Unfortunately, sometimes lack of time or competition in bidding can take away from this.

    Glad you were able to sell it and looking forward to seeing the new one you get.

    1. Had this been an eBay listing I could have asked the seller questions, but that wasn't the case.

  3. Questions: Are there different colored Micro Trailers? Does having the wrong one mean that this is a KO?

    Either way, Sky Garry is a remarkable looking figure.

    1. The Micromaster teams were released w/ white trailers like the one that my Sky Garry came with. There are several different KO versions of Sky Garry out there, but I don't think any of them come w/ Micro Trailers.