You are most likely wondering what is going on? Why did I state in the title that Sunstreaker is the daddy of them all? No Sunstreaker did not sleep with all the fembots…. (Maury Povitron: “Sunstreaker in the case of one million babybots, you are the Father!!”)
The reason I say this is that Takara employee Kōjin Ōno designed the first fully fledged toy that could transform from an alternate mode (this case a car) into a fully articulate robot that would be released in 1982 in the Takara Diaclone line of toys as red No.1 Countach LP500S, and the white No.3 Countach Patrol Car Type (they added police markings and lights on top). The inspiration for him was the already available Takara toy from their Microman line, the “Cosmo Countach” from 1978, which could transform from a car into a half-robot, half-car hybrid but not a fully articulate robot.
For their 1984 release of Transformers Hasbro selected the No.1 Countach LP500S to be Sunstreaker but changed his color to yellow, since they selected the red No.15 New Countach LP500S to be Swideswipe (funny part here is that the Takara No.1 was only available in red but was changed to yellow, where the No.15 was available in red, yellow and black.)
Sunstreaker was my first Transformer way back when they first came out, He was ultimately destroyed by nieces and a nephew roughly playing with him. So not only was he the first Official Transformer, he was my first. I have since replaced him with the 1984 release but would love to get the red Diaclone No. 1 version. Often Sunstreaker and Sideswipe have been labeled as twins although they did not share a mold, (unlike Sideswipe and Red Alert who did but no one ever mentions they were triplets)…
The yellow 1984 Hasbro version was reused in the Japanese Takara 1985 three piece gift set (along with fellow Autobot Skids and Decepticon Buzzsaw the bird/cassette) and in the European markets in 1990 as part of the “Classic Heroes” line.
Sunstreaker was relatively overlooked until 2003 when he was produced as part of the Universe line. This time he was a Lamborghini Diablo (a retool of 2001 Robots in Disguise Prowl) but he was an exclusive, available only to those who booked their room at the Hyatt Regency O’Hare at the convention rate, the official hotel for the OTFCC 2003 convention.
In 2005 both Hasbro and Takara came out with two different versions of Sunstreaker. Both are fully licensed Dodge Vipers
- The first to the market was the Takara Binaltech Asterisk version
- A few months later, the Hasbro Alternators version was released as part of the standard Alternators line. This being repaint of a Decepticon Dead End (He originally would have been Sunstreaker first but for unknown reasons did not) and these two being a retool of Sunstreaker. (I have the Dead End version and he is really nice looking, doors and hood open, fully sculpted seats and such. a very nice looking toy.)
Again 2008 both Hasbro (Universe line) and Takara (Henkei! Henkei!) brought out Sunstreaker as a modified Lamborghini Gallardo but this time he was from the same mold in slightly different shades of yellow and other color applications between the two versions. (This mold was also used for Sideswipe. Red Alert, G1 and G1 Breakdown with slight retooling).
Although Sunstreaker has been mentioned here and there he has not seen many toys. It has been leaked that later on this year (2015) that Sunstreaker will be released as a repaint/retool of Combiner Wars Breakdown (a Lamborghini Gallardo) and will supposedly will retain Breakdown’s ability to form either an arm or leg of a combiner. (His name popped up on a list of upcoming products in a database of a Toys R Us, and a piece of art for an upcoming combiner, the arm was in yellow and looked just like Breakdown.) I know this maybe a stretch but my sources are rarely wrong in these matters but added that Hasbro loves to reuse molds as much as possible, it is within the realm of possibility that a combiner with Sunstreaker, Ironhide, Mirage and prowl as limbs will be a reality,
So Sunstreaker may have not had many variants of toys like others (**cough**Bumblebee**cough**) he still deserves his rightful place in Transformers history as the first of his kind. Without him we would not have Transformers. Thank you for reading and catch you next time.