Monday, December 28, 2009
Some U.S. toylines from the eighties had a "toy that should not be"-the figure that got shown in catalogs but for whatever reason was made in such tiny numbers that none survive to this day. Or in most cases wasn't even released at all, yet everybody knows a guy who says he had one when he was a kid. For Micronauts it was the Gyrotron, Shogun Warriors had the mythical Combattra Zargon, for Transformers it was the blue colored Bluestreak and for GoBots it was the Renegade named Snoop. Snoop was an awesome toy that turned into an SR-71 Blackbird and got released in abundance overseas under the name Sky-Spy. GoBots collectors have resigned themselves to believing Snoop was not released in the U.S. and that only prototype carded samples exist. Since I wasn't paying attention when I was a kid I have no reason to doubt the established line of thinking, but boy finding this Spencer ad from December 12, 1985 messed with my head a little. At first I couldn't figure out what that thing was in the line art-was it some sort of space station or generic robot or maybe a stationary set? When I'm taking my pictures of these ads at the library there's no time to contemplate what I've found so I don't give it much thought and I move on. It was only later when I was processing the ad for inclusion at the GoBots section of the Vintage Space Toaster Palace that I realized it was line art of the unreleased Snoop! Now I don't believe this means Snoop was a Spencer exclusive and saw release through that chain of mall stores. Nowadays that would be like Hasbro releasing exclusive Transformers at Hot Topic (or Spencer since they're still around). Yet it kind of bothers me how unofficial and not as professional the art looks compared to standard GoBot line art-as if someone at Spencer was drawing it themselves based off a toy they had in front of them. Heck, I don't know what it means. I'm not going to worry about the implications of line art existing for a toy that there isn't supposed to be line art for. I'll just be happy having an ad that should not be.