Sunday, January 13, 2008

Optimus vs. Capitalism

[The Pepsi Convoy: Ripping off retro]
Written by GL

I wonder if fans will remember a while back a few certain DVD stores around the country that sold the Pepsi Convoy shown above. If you ask me it was a terrible attempt at marketing to collectors and an even more terrible insult to good old Optimus.

But, on top of that, have you ever wonder how much it really costs in terms of it's collector's value? I have, and it is with that basis that I decided to write this blog entry. Before heading into all the semantics, allow me to pass down a little bit of background to the whole thing.

Pepsi Convoy (who is often referred to as Pepsi Prime in the U.S.) is an actual character in the Transformers toy line.

He's (or she's) an Autobot Campaign Commander considered part of the GI issue line. Obviously, Pepsi Prime was a repaint of Optimus Prime and Ultra Magnus. The trailer shown above (also called the Bottle Station) is a totally original trailer made by manufacturers to fit bottles or cans of Pepsi on it. I suppose, Pepsi in Japan decided to direct their marketing to the more national otaku-ish crowd and, at the same time, tap into the Transformers' popularity; and they came up with Pepsi Prime.

Pepsi Prime comes equipped with a soda gun (which will either rust metal or cause severe diabetes - kidding). The Bottle Station is considered a mobile headquarters that carries large cola bottles (a 20 ounce Pepsi bottle or several Pepsi cans) and other stuff.

And there's a story-line too: back in the day, NASA secretly developed two things; a hero named Pepsiman as well as a new type of 'living' metal that fell into the hands of the Autobots. Pepsiman was miraculously re-born into the body of the Autobot's legendary commander - but unlike Optimus Prime, Pepsiman loves freedom, peace, and the refreshing sensation of Pepsi, and considers it his mission to cure people's thirst.

This is wrong on so many levels.

Funnily enough, this character is considered vintage and (here it is) the market rate for this figure currently stands at US$60 (or B$87). This means to say that the figure is close to becoming a collector's item. As it gets harder and harder to find, the price is sure to appreciate, so my best advice would be to buy if you want it or let is slide if you don't.

[Pepsi Prime: No !]