In more recent Transformers toy lines, Optimus Prime and Megatron have typically been the "big ticket items"--oversized high priced toys that people shell out for only on special occasions. The problem is you need Optimus and Megaton in your collection. They're the main characters! What a big-ticket item for for a toy line should typically be is a playset. But how do you accomplish that with Transformers, where by design every toy is both a vehicle and a unique character?
Trypticon here was released in 1986. He's a triple changer: his modes include dinosaur, battle station, and city. That's right: city. One of the most desired types of Transformers for the line's fans is the Generation One city robots, which essentially function as playsets for the other figures. It's definitely something I wanted to get my hands on for years. I was glad to have found this for sale one day in a local comic book store for $100 complete with the original box and all accessories, which was a huge bargain.
The problem is in base mode Trypitcon isn't big enough. I took some pictures of the city mode when I first bought it to show my brother, and I could barely balance my Starcream and Classics Megatron figures on the top. This a problem that also plagues his 1986 Autobot counterpart Metroplex (if you want a city-bot that can actually accomodate a number of average-sized Transformers figures, you're going to have to shell out $500 or so on eBay for the 1987 behemoth Fortress Maximus, the biggest Transformers toy ever made). Since the battle station mode is just a subtle modifcation of city mode, it faces the same problems. The irregular shape of both modes also makes it hard to display on a shelf. Dinosaur mode is fine, and it features a nifty walking action, but I didn't get this thing for that mode.
So Trypticon didn't turn out what I expected it to be. In the year I owned it, I took it out of the box twice. Still, it was fun to transform it between different modes, which is the purpose of a Transformers toy anyway. I recently had to sell this on eBay to raise some cash (I got nearly twice what I had paid for it), but I'm not too upset to have parted with it. Still, it was nice to have this big set piece in my collection if just for a short while.