In the year 1983, before Takara and Hasbro got into cahoots formally, Takara made a short-lived foray directly into the American toy scene with the release of a line called Diakron, whose namesake was obviously redacted from the Diaclone series. Red was supposedly meant to be included in the original 1984 G1 lineup and not the yellow Sunstreaker that we all know and love (or pity / hate if you read the comics) today. (The original Diaclone version was released in red, until Joustra released the yellow version. Ever wonder why Sunstreaker came with red shoulder stickers?) Sunstreaker is also supposed to be the first G1 car transformer design officially recognized by Hasbro, making him the original predecessor to the G1 cars. But these are all legends…
The springs on the arms were severely neutered for the safety recall-obsessed American market, making Red’s dreams as an Olympic missile shooter nearly impossible. Who needs Shoulder Rockets to fire anyway when your face is as handsome as this? Take a look at this face sculpt and tell me this isn’t the visage of an Egyptian robot pharaoh from the future?
Besides owning a piece of pre-TF history, the thing that really made the Diakron releases a huge score for any lucky buyer was the inclusion of the Diaclone DRIVERS! Transformers fans would sadly never know until the rumors were proven in internet forums decades later that the G1 cars were meant to come with these super cool little guys with magnetic feet.
Sadly, we will probably never see a reissue of G1 Sunstreaker, as an Encore, E-hobby, or other release, as HasTak has stated that the moulds are in too poor of a state to reproduce further figures. Some KO’s have sprung up here and there, but the quality of the reproductions fail to do this figure justice. Red isn’t one of the rarest of the pre-TFs, but he is definitely one of the finest specimens of a transitional fossil, a vestige of what was once purely a Japanese toy that evolved into a worldwide franchise 30 years old and growing.
I’m quite happy with this acquisition and can say I like him even more than the yellow TF release, which I never owned. But still, my all-time favorite has got to be the Diaclone Police Countach LP-500S. That one just makes my spark melt.