So, I did it. I payed eBay scalper prices for TFP: FE Cliffjumper.
But Octavius, why would you pay 4x the MSRP for a retail deluxe? This isn't some Botcon exclusive we're talking about.
True, FE CJ is a retail deluxe. Problem is, he's not going to be a retail deluxe here - in the US. Cliffjumper, part of wave 1. 5 for the First Edition line, made it to Canada (and maybe a few other markets, not counting his Japanese Takara release). However, the fandom received word about a week and half ago that the remaining releases for the FE line were cancelled! Even online preorders through retailers like BBTS had to be cancelled since BBTS would never end up getting the shipments.
Obviously, this sucks. There wasn't much to the FE line, but we only ended up with three of its toys on American shelves - the deluxes Bumblebee, Arcee, and Starscream that I've detailed elsewhere. The remaining toys - Cliffjumper, the Eradicon drone, Terrorcon Cliffjumper, voyagers Optimus and Bulkhead, and the Optimus/Megatron Entertainment pack - will never see the inside of US store. In fact, Terrorcon CJ and the Eradicon will never be released, whereas the others did get out out in Canada.
I can live without most of these toys. The newer Powerizer version of Optimus is in most ways, to me, better than the FE voyager, and we've yet to see Powerizer Bulkhead, so he could also be better than his FE counterpart (as good a mold as that appears to be). I think the entertainment pack deluxes will still find their way into a US release, either still as a 2-pack (Optimus/Megatron 2-packs are popular with Hasbro; they've done many over the past several years) or as individual releases. The newer Eradicon mold is way better than the FE one, so no worries there. Terrorcon CJ would have been nice, but I can get on without it.
But regular CJ? He's leaps and bounds better than his newer TFP mainline mold. He has his flip-out tri-barrel arm cannons (some of the best arm cannons in TF history), his transformation is accurate/doesn't cheat, and his car mode isn't a smidgen bigger than RtS Windcharger. Also, he just looks better overall, particularly in bot mode. While Hasbro came out this week and said they're looking to get these FE molds released somehow (and BB and Starscream will be in another, different Entertainment Pack, so this hope is at least somewhat realistic), I decided to hedge my bets and go ahead and get this guy before he disappeared from the secondary market. Even if FE CJ does get US release, we don't know how long into the future that'll be, nor can we be sure that it'll feature the same deco or be easily attainable for a decent price (it could end up, like the Seacons reissue, a BBTS exclusive). And, honestly, even though Toyfair is in 2 days, we probably won't hear anything about this until Botcon at the earliest.
So, yeah. I paid like $44 for FE CJ. But, at least, that included shipping (which was like $15). I'm looking forward to getting him and adding him to the collection, and (sort of) hoping that he doesn't get released here in the US!