Well, what a twist this has become … Thanks to a reader’s comment on my most recent post about Starscream – the treacherous leader of the Redecos I’ve discovered that my “vintage 1984 G1 Starscream” is not what I thought it was. After asking several collectors for advice and insight I was able to come to the conclusion that my Starscream is actually an early 1980’s Diaclone knock off by Kingdam company pictured below.
There is not a ton of information about this figure on the web so researching was a bit difficult. I’ve handled plenty of Transfomers KOs before and I can honestly say this figure stumped me. Not for one second did it cross my mind that this figure might be a KO because 1) it was purchased from a very reliable vendor that I’ve dealt with before and 2) many of my collecting friends didn’t take notice to this either.
The give away sign is the orange canopy. Although other G1 Seekers as well as reissues have this orange canopy, a reader of the blog pointed out that the orange canopy does not appear on G1 Starscreams. From there I started my research trying to identify other suggesting signs to determine if this was a case of a swapped canopy, reissue, or KO. The Diaclone KO is pictured just below, the follow picture is of my figure.
From what I can tell, all of Starscream’s parts (blasters, fins, wings) are vintage. I didn’t find anything to suggest otherwise, but I could easily be wrong. The body of Starscream though seems to be a very well done KO. Although I cannot be certain, I couldn’t find any relevant information to debunk this figure not being a KO. There is no date or copyright stamp on the figure and there are no signs suggesting there were modifications done to the cockpit area. Unfortunately, this one’s going in the books as a knock off.
As some of my collecting friends have pointed out, acquiring this figure actually isn’t the worst thing to happen. I’m very disappointed in myself for not being able to identify this figure as a Diaclone KO, but in a strange way this figure does hold a little bit of historic value. My research suggests this is pre-Transformers as it has no copyright stamp on the legs, so although it’s tainted a bit by it’s KO nature this is a little taste of what came before Transformers was officially established. This has now easily become the oldest figure in my collection and it’s very cool to think about just how many different owners this figure may have had. Someone originally bought this figure in the early 80’s as a KO and from there it’s undergone drastic changes: lost accessories, new cartoon accurate wings, fins, etc. and then a complete new set of stickers from me. This figure has come a long way to where it is now and it truly has my touch on it.
Regardless, this is a lesson learned in collecting and it probably won’t be the last time I’ll buy a KO unknowingly. My goal though is to have a collection void of KOs. Although it’s cool to have this figure in the collection, it’s back to Ebay, e-retailers, and sales threads to find a G1 Starscream again. Thank you to the reader who sparked this investigation; it really is appreciated.