Non-affiliated, Non-lengthy, Non-articles about Transformers

Thursday, 17 April 2014

A Big Reveal (Reprise 1)

With the full story of the Gisima KO Spanish vintage minibots now told, any additional posts on the subject will purely be to show new variants, confirmations of assumed variants or maybe better pictures of ones already featured. This first reprise is specifically about two new Gisima Windchargers that have joined the current horde taking temporary residence at my home. We have the yellow/blue Windcharger which was previously photographed by Felix Arroyo and also the blue/cream Windcharger previously only seen in Scorponok's store display images.

Blue/Cream KO Windcharger and Yellow/Blue KO Windcharger

Notice all yellow front wheels on the dude on the right

Of the 9 different variants I have with me currently, 4 are Beachcomber, 4 are Windcharger and 1 is Seaspray, so there's no doubting which one's the hardest to find. I had already featured the all-black Windcharger and the Cream/Blue Windcharger in previous chapters in this series, but I only had contributed photos for the two you see above. Luckily, both of these new arrivals came in virtually untouched condition - which is important for delicate lower-quality KOs - and in their Gisima display cases.

Not entirely different from Iga Tailgate in this mode

But very different in vehicle mode

One of the things that makes these Gisima Windchargers pop is the two-tone colour scheme in car mode. Even the wackiest of G1 Windy variants are uniformly coloured in vehicle mode with the underbelly (robot torso) just hinting at the bizarre-ness underneath. With these bootlegs, though, the arms and torso are coloured differently, and as a result the vehicle mode has a different roof/hood colour to the doors and rear section. This does add to their appeal and novelty, but at the same time really brings their bootleg nature to the fore.

From this angle you can't see the renegade yellow wheel pin on the other side

The inverse of this will look much like the other WIndy featured

The Yellow/Blue Windcharger is quite lovely, but from a distance it's very difficult to distinguish it from the Cream/Blue Windcharger featured in a previous chapter.The stickers across all of the Windcharger variants from Gisima are identical. With these two specimens being as close to "unused" as one can probably get with these vintage KOs, it was evident just how careful I had to be to ensure they stayed mint. The hardest part is getting the feet to fold back and sit flush in vehicle mode. Some stressing of the plastic is needed to get things to line up and slide into place. The arms also do not extend perfectly outwards, they angle back once extended. The following images show just how similar the Cream/Blue and Yellow/Blue Windchargers are:

Sorry for awful pic quality - wrong camera setting!

The 4 Gisima Windy KO variants I've seen thus far

All that seems to be missing from the Windcharger line-up here is an all-cream Windcharger (at the absolute top of my Gisima wants list) and the inverse Blue/Yellow Windcharger. Mid-way hybrids are a real possibility too, I wonder if there are any half black/half cream ones for example. I'm still awaiting photographic confirmation of the red variant Felix mentioned in his first messages to me.

Packaged Gisima Windchargers

The inevitable group shot

The more I find of these little guys - and it's not like they are turning up by the sackload, more like the contributors agreeing to part with them - the more appreciation I have for them and the scale of their production and variety. Not only did Spain have them country-wide in the late 80s and early 90s, and then much more recently in gumballs, but something else extremely interesting came up as a result of my posting the articles on the Nordic TransFans Association forums. Here's a quote from Markus Hauta:

"I remember these Minibots being sold here in Finland as well! I had two of these: Seaspray (white front) and Beachcomber (yellow head). They came carded in cards of three, although many times the glue on the card was so bad that only the middle one was still on the card while the two on the sides had dropped off. Mine had Seaspray and Beachcomber still on it. I remember seeing at least two other cards at the same store but they had only one toy on them, because of the bad glue. They were sold around 1990s and early 2000"

Solitary Seaspray

Carded! Three to a card! In Finland!! I don't know about you, but if I had a time machine, Finland is looking like the 80s destination of choice for picking up vintage variants. You'd walk up to an R-Kioski in Helsinki and pick up a Black Diaclone Tracks, a Joustra Diaclone, Finnish Browning, Gisima KO minibots and possibly a sandwich! To be fair, Markus does suspect that the minibots were bought in Spain and then sold second-hand, so maybe not. One of the absolute nicest things about writing these articles and doing this research is that when I post them on the forums, I occasionally get a reply from someone who had a variant in their youth or still has something or other worth contributing, either anecdotal or photographic, which makes the whole thing worthwhile. I even had two Brits tell me they had them in the UK, but one of them was from a flea-market vendor selling second hand goods, so possibly purchased in Spain.

Either way, the story - and the hunt - goes on!

The End. Maybe. Who knows.

All the best

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