Monday, April 10, 2006

Latest Rare Transformers Auction: G2 Groove

Apparently I misspoke when I said that the Hartmans were going to post a new G2 Protectobot or G2 Stunticon every day or so. Turns out they're looking to post every other Sunday. So, for the next several months, it appears as though I will have updates every Monday on how these auctions are progressing. Some weeks with the new auction, other weeks with the results of the previous auction.

The latest G2 Protectobot to be placed on auction is G2 Groove. Like G2 First Aid* before it, this is a toy that the winning bidder would be well advised never to take out of its package. I say this not because to open such a rare item will reduce its resale value (although it will), but because of what has been called "Gold Plastic Syndrome."

"Gold Plastic Syndrome" (sometimes referred to as "GPS") is a phenomenon that, in Transformers, afflicts mostly late G1 and some G2 Transformers. Only, but apparently all, Transformers with gold-colored plastic are afflicted, hence the name. Most plastics are colored by adding pigments to the plastic as it is being mixed. For gold plastic, a pigment with gold-colored metal flakes was added. For some reason, this pigment did not mix thoroughly with the rest of the plastic, and the result is visible random weak spots that cut right across areas of the plastic, making the gold plastic brittle and prone to breaking along these lines of uneven mixing. In the case of G2 Groove, this will likely not be a huge problem, as the main area of visible gold plastic is right along the robot's chest (not a moving part). In the case of G2 First Aid, the problem is far more serious. Check out the bottom picture of the toy at the link above. The places where gold plastic is placed on this toy correspond to the robot's head and the robot's legs. Not only do these parts move frequently during transformation and regular play with the toy, but the robot's head is a crucial part of the transformation of the five Protectobots into the super robot Defensor. If/when this gold plastic breaks, the owner will be left with not only a decapitated robot, but one incapable of combining with the other toys. These are collectors items best left packaged.

At the time of this writing, G2 Groove is selling for $760. However, if G2 First Aid's final auction value of $3050 is any indication, expect Groove's price to shoot way up as the auction nears it's close at the end of the week. Updates to follow....

*Since eBay auction sites are ephemeral, and will be taken down a month or so after an auction is expired, all links to G2 Protectobots after a given figure's auction close will come from www.cobraislandtoys.com, one of the few places I know of with pictures of these toys in their packaging. I'm still looking for a source for non-eBay images of the G2 Stunticons for when the time comes.

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