Count them. 275 Tranformers from the '80s. 101 Autobots, 81 Decepticons, 92 licensed products, some never removed from box, some mint-in-box, all ready for the mother of all battles. Sold for $1,000,000 at eBay in a story full of drama, love and cartoon passion that started out of pity for Starscream.
Like all good stories, this one starts small and by accident.
Back in 1984, my husband, Anthony, was recovering from a serious motorcycle accident, which mostly meant spending his days in front of the television. Being like most 26-year-old men I know, cartoons were among his favorite form of television entertainment, so when Transformers was introduced that year it instantly became his favorite show.
It just so happened we were walking around the La Mesa, California Toys r Us one fine day that year, shopping for a gift, when, lo and behold, we ended up in the action figure aisle, right smack in front of the Transformers section (which didn't take up an entire aisle back in the day.)
"I promise, I just want one," Anthony pleaded, as he slipped Starscream into the shopping cart. (He knew I felt sympathy for Starscream because Megatron was always picking on him.)
He got his one. And those trips to the Toys r Us kept on going until Anthony got his 275 Transformers. Sadly, he died of AIDS in 1988. He was infected with HIV during an anti-hemophilia treatment, while hospitalized for the bike accident in 1983.
But fear not, dear reader, because also like all good stories this one has a happy ending after the tears: thanks to his just-one-Starscream his widow is now getting just-one-million-dollars. And the lucky man with the Optimus Prime helmet in the third row is also getting two guns as a gift: two Megatrons that transform into gun replicas. Apparently, US law says "it is illegal for any business or individual to import or sell the MP-05 Megatron as it does not display a blaze orange safety tip on the end of the barrel," so she's giving them away to the buyer.