Monday 19 October 2020

Broadcast 38 (Transformers Collection, 2006)

Collection 21
38 Cybertron Correspondent Broadcast

Function: Correspondent
Transformation: Radio Cassette
Ability: Can receive radio signals of all frequencies. Can detect radio waves as low as 1/1000,000 of a watt. Can produce powerful electromagnetic force waves. Equipped with an Electro-Scrambler Gun. Character: Loves sound and has a huge interest in Earthen music. Greatly trusted and has become the Cybertrons Communication Centre.
STR…8; INT...8; SPD...2; END...8; RNK...7; CRG...9; FPR...7; SKL...9; TTL...58 

The Transformers Collection #21 Broadcast (aka Blaster) was released in March 2006 for 4,275 Yen and this was the final figure from the series. Originally Broadcast was packaged alone however with this release he was packaged with his Micro Cassette partner, Steeljaw. This is the first reissue of Broadcast since his initial release in 1985, although there was apparently a Chinese reissue of Hasbro's Blaster in the early 1990's.

Steeljaw was originally released in 1986, then again in 1987 packaged with Twincast, a Japanese only release. Hasbros version saw Steeljaw packaged with Rewind. Steeljaw was a new mould created specifically for the Transformers although quite possibly it could have had origins in the Micro Change line. Steeljaw also comes with two weapon variants, one chrome the other a gold chrome. The original version I have features chrome weapons, this particular version I picked up in the early 90's and was an imported Chinese reissue. This reissue features the gold-chromed weapons.

Collection 21 C-65 Cybertron Tracker Steeljaw
Function: Tracker
Transformation: Cassette Tape
Ability: His sense of smell has a range of 1,280km. His powerful jaws can snap metal cables.
Character: Remains composed on missions, will relentlessly pursue his prey and will never give up. Very perceptive to smells. Weapon(s): Solar Powered Pellet Gun (x2)
STR…8; INT...8; SPD...2; END...9; RNK...6; CRG...9; FPR...1; SKL...9; TTL...52

The Data Files included with the set have extended bios of both Broadcast and Steeljaw, the translations of these are below. Unfortunately the character card for Broadcast features an error numbering him 83 instead of 38; additionally the Data File for Steeljaw titles him a Cassettron (a Destron cassette) instead of a Cassettbot.

Like most of the early Transformers Broadcast was originally from the Micro Change toy line and like the Collection Series, happened to be the final figure released in the series. This figure was called "MC-21 Sound Warrior Radi-Cass Robo". (Note: there was a homage to the Micro Change version in the Masterpiece line with MP-25L Loudpedal being released with a small radio called MC-21 Sound Warrior in the same colours as the Micro Change version.) 

Mock up of MC-21 with the head that would end up as Cassette Man / Soundwave

MC-21 blue version. Source: Yahoo Auctions

MC-21 red version. Source: Yahoo Auctions

MC-21 was released in two colours, blue & grey with a light blue sticker on the cassette door and red & grey with a dark blue sticker on the cassette door. MC-21 came with a working AM radio receiver which slotted into the cassette door and plugged into a Jack (the presence of this Jack meant the Micro Cassette Robots would not be able to fit inside). This AM radio has an on/off switch and is powered by an LR 44 battery. There is a dial at the side of the cassette door which operates gears that move the dial on the inserted radio to change the stations. The play and stop buttons also have a working function; when the AM receiver is switched on and plugged into the chest, the play button pushes up a lever to make the AM receiver turn on.

Source: Yahoo Auctions

Source: Yahoo Auctions

Only one of MC-21's legs was an actual speaker which was the left leg. The back of the leg also had a port so you could plug in the included earphones and on the inside of the leg or side of the cassette player mode there is a volume dial. The rear of the right leg has a battery compartment for x2 AA batteries and the front of the leg features an on/off switch. On the back of the figure is a hinged compartment to store the AM radio receiver when not in use. The large gun is also used to wrap the earphone around the stock with the bud being placed in the centre hole of the gun and its jack placed in the hole on the stock, as pictured on the back of the box.

MC-21 Back of Box. Source: Yahoo Auctions

MC-21 was also released in Italy by GiG called "Radio Robot". Apart from the box this release was identical to the Japanese release.

Magazine advert

Courtesy of killcoffee of

Courtesy of killcoffee of

When released in the Transformers series, Hasbro opted for a lighter red colour with a chest moulded in yellow plastic rather than use a sticker like the Micro Change version. All of the electronics were removed and the moving dials and switches were now moulded details. The 1985 Toyfair catalogue shows a prototype of Blaster looking closer to the Micro Change version with a yellow sticker on the cassette door rather than moulded yellow plastic. More than likely this was a hand painted Micro Change toy as the switch under the speaker on the right leg is intact and not moulded in. The face has been painted yellow and there are blue stickers on the upper legs which were from the blue MC-21. The red MC-21 featured red stickers which were used on the final version of Blaster.

1985 Toy Fair Magazine.

As the Jack was removed from the chest, Micro Cassette figures could now fit inside, however in 1985 there were no Autobot cassettes. For the 1985 Japanese release Takara renamed Blaster to Broadcast, other than this the figures were identical.

Blaster, Hasbro 1985. Source: eBay

38 Broadcast, Takara 1985. Source: eBay

A few of the early Hasbro releases did come with remnants from the Micro Change mould with the compartment on the back of the figure remaining intact, the cover however is slightly remoulded and when closed it looks like you cant open it. When you look closely when the cover is open you can see a post inside, this post is not present in the Micro Change version so this may have been an abandoned concept for the Transformer release. The copyright markings are also stamped on the back of the cover instead of on the inside like the Micro Change version.

Source: Unknown

Source: Unknown

In 1987 Takara released Twincast, a blue redeco based on the blue MC-21 Radi Cass Robo. Twincast would also see a reissue in 2006 as an e-Hobby exclusive to accompany the Collection Series Broadcast.

C-116 Twincast, Takara 1987

C-116 Twincast, Takara 2006

In 2010, Hasbro would reissue their own version of Blaster which was first made available at the San Diego Comic Con and later through the Hasbro Toy Shop. This release came with three Autobot cassettes, Steeljaw, Ramhorn and Eject.

Takara would release Twincast once again under the Transformers Encore line in 2012. This version came with a few minor paint application changes as well as two new cassettes, Nightstalker and Cybertron Stripes.

Hasbro would release Blaster again in 2015 in the "Autobot Intel Ops" set, once again Blaster would come with the three cassettes from the 2010 release as well as Perceptor. Perceptor however would come with a new accessory, a microscope slide case holding 6 slides and on each of the slides is a small image from the original cartoon. In robot mode the slide case can plug into Perceptors back.

Autobot Intel Ops, Hasbro 2015. Source: Hasbro

Hasbro would release Blaster again in 2020 in Walmarts Vintage G1 line, replicating the original 1985 box.

Blaster, Hasbro 2020


Below are the translations of the included Data Files.

Cybertron Broadcast
○ Function: Correspondent
○ Motto: “When the music is rockin', I'm rollin'.”
○ Profile:
Broadcast’s AM/FM stereo cassette deck can shrink in size more suited for humans. He can intercept radio signals of all frequencies and detect signals as weak as a millionth of a watt. He is the Cybertrons communications centre with his ability to transmit signals up to 6,400 km away. His ability to monitor radio transmissions has exposed him to many Earthen musical styles and he has become particularly fond of rock and roll. Above anything he likes to immerse himself in the sound of a guitar solo pointing out that "I hate changing channels in mid-song." He will however reluctantly do what he can for the Cybertron cause. His most obvious weakness is rock music. He will walk unwittingly into a trap for the promise of hearing some new tunes. His electro-scrambler gun emits powerful waves of electromagnetic energy. It can disrupt the operations of all but the most heavily shielded electrical devices.

-Released August 1984 “Practical use Microman / Micro Change” MC-21 Sound Warrior Radio
 Casse Robo
-Western release in 1985 “The Transformers” Blaster
-Released October 1985 “Transformers” 38 Broadcast
-Released March 2006 “Transformers Collection” Broadcast
Broadcast is a Cybertron warrior who transforms into a radio cassette based on “Microman” MC-21. His release allowed fans to pit him against the Destron's Chief Information Officer, Soundwave. There were two versions under the “Microman” series, one blue and the other red. Broadcast was released in a brighter red and the chest door was changed to yellow. The “Microman” version came with a working radio which plugged into the chest so you could actually listen to AM broadcasts through the earphone or the speakers in the legs. The Transformer release was partially remoulded and omitted the AM radio. However the small hole in the centre of the gun remained; this was used for wrapping up the earphone. 

Cassettbot* Steeljaw
○ Function: Tracker
○ Motto: “What the eyes don't see, the nose knows.”
○ Profile:
When Steeljaw goes on the hunt, the prey is as good as caught. He handles each mission with a cool professionalism. In lion mode he uses his built-in senses to either track or explore targets. The chemical receptor microchips in his nose are sensitive enough to pick up chemical traces in the air as faint as one part per trillion. He has a range of 1,280 km and requires little rest or maintenance. Additionally, Steeljaw's jaws can exert a force of around 27.2t of pressure on an area 2.5cm 2 and can snap a 30cm diameter steel cable. Anyone caught in its grip would find it next to impossible to break. In cassette mode, Steeljaw can electromagnetise himself so he can adhere to metal surfaces such as cars allowing him to hitch rides over long distances. Steeljaw must avoid wet environments since his body is particularly vulnerable to rusting.

*Incorrectly called “Cassettron” on the original 

- Western Release in 1986 “The Transformers” Steeljaw / Rewind
- Released March 1986 “Transformers” C-65 Steeljaw
- Released August 1987 “Transformers” C-116 Twincast
- Released March 2006 “Transformers Collection” 21 Broadcast
Overseas Steeljaw was sold in a set with “Rewind”, another cassette. The Cassettbots were designed with the international to fit inside Broadcast’s chest (the “Microman'' version of Broadcast, MC-21, has a pin plug in the chest so you cannot store the likes of Steeljaw inside). When Steeljaw was released in a set with Twincast in 1987, he came with a new sticker revealing the weakness of the Destron, Mega Zarak. There are also several variations of Steeljaw which include gold or silver plated weapons or the cassette tape side detailing either being stickers or painted on.

No comments:

Post a Comment