Tuesday, June 17, 2014

G1 Reflector Mail Away

So look what came in the mail.......okay, so maybe it wasn't that recently.  Hell, it didn't even happen in the last two decades, but come in the mail it did nonetheless.

Inside...a Transformer Not Sold in Any Store!

Reflector's role early in the cartoon makes it seem likely his toy was originally planned for inclusion in the initial 1984 line, a theory supported by the inclusion of a Hasbro product code consistent with the other 1984 toys. Why Hasbro decided not to release it so late in the game is unknown, as is the reason they later reversed that decision to make it a viable mail-away.

Ah, the good old days when you could buy your own build-it-yourself  camera in the mail.

Reflector was originally the "Camera Robo" from Takara's Micro Change sub-series of the New Microman line. The only noteworthy difference between the two releases, besides the whole missile-launcher-neuter-in-the-United-States thing, is that the Microman release has "MICROX" emblazoned on the center unit's decals instead of "REFLECTOR".

  • Reflector (Mail-away, 1986/1987; wide release in Japan, 1985)
    • Japanese ID number: 21
    • Accessories: Spectro's "Shutter Gun", Viewfinder's "Lens Laser", Spyglass' "Optic Blaster", flash cube/missile launcher, 3 missiles, telephoto lens.

Reflector was first sold in Japan in 1985 as an ordinary retail item. However, Hasbro delayed selling him in the US until 1986, and only then via mail-order from a direct-mail flyer promoting The Transformers: The Movie.

(Oddly, this came just as the character was being fully phased out of the fiction.) The toy would be a common offering in pack-in flyers from then on, at a cost of $10 and two Robot Points.

'86-'87 mail-order only.
“See and you can know, know and you can destroy”
Reflector loves to observe things : vegetation, architecture, Earthen topography, and particularly comrades’ mistakes.  Likes to blackmail his associates and is impressed with his own ability.  Has highly developed infra-red vision that can record images in darkness, through camouflage and at great distances.  In camera mode can emit powerful flash explosion that leaves enemies blind and disoriented for up to 15 seconds.

Spectro with  "Shutter Gun"
Spectro as the right-side component with the shutter button.  In certain variations, Spectro was available with a hollow rifle and a solid rifle.

 Viewfinder with "Lens Laser"
Viewfinder as the central component with the lens.

Spyglass with "Optic Blaster"
 Spyglass as the left-side component with the flash.

Double vision
By today's standards, his camera-alt mode is certainly still more inconspicous as compared to, shall we say Soundwave's tape player and holds up quite nicely with the modern DSLRs we use.  By all accounts, we can all agree it's certainly becoming increasingly difficult to find clean pieces like this and to probably pay less than $20 back in '86/'87 ($6.50 + 2 points from a figure) seems like a long-forgotten dream now.

A mail item like this would most definitely outweigh the bills being delivered alongside it.

Much appreciation to "M" for his figures!


Camera Robo MC-05 MICROX (c.1983) Micro Change Series (MIB)


- Angry Canadian Decepticon -


  1. Dude, that's sweet. I recently got a Reflector, loose, but still a great figure. I've really wanted to get one in the box, but I'm so worried about getting a KO.

    1. Thanks Optimal! It certainly is a nice set. I've been on a bit of a mail away kick lately.
      I certainly can understand in how you would be worried about getting a KO. That thought alone has certainly stopped me from buying from unknown foreign sellers when I've seen something that's been KO'd a number of times.


  2. What a beautiful sample. Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't the tech spec printed in the Instruction Booklet?

  3. Awesome piece, I recently picked up the Japanese boxed version, needs a couple parts, but I'm pleased. I had the ko one for a while, just didn't cut it

  4. I love how you are always piecing together complete sets of TF's. I wish I had that time and patience. In the end, I may have to start doing that to get some of the figures I want.

    I understand how that KO you had didn't cut it. A friend of mine had a bad experience with a KO Reflector set. Broke the first time he played with it; one of the pegs in the arms got stuck and couldn't be removed.
    Good luck completing your Japanese one.