Warpath was an Autobot Mini Vehicle released in 1985 with the second series of Generation 1. Warpath transforms into a General Motors M551 Sheridan Armored Recon/Airborne Assault Vehicle, a lightly-armored Vietnam-era tank.

US Patent for G1 Warpath

Origins

His mold was very likely originally designed by Akio Kitamura to be included in Takara’s Microman: Microchange line, but was never released in this capacity due to the line’s cancellation in early 1984. Unlike Diaclone, the Mini CAR robo assortment of Microchange (of which Warpath was presumably to have been a part) were intended to represent toy vehicles rather than real ones, causing many of the figures to have somewhat distorted proportions. However, the M551 Sheridan was already a very small tank armed with a disproportionate gun, so much of Warpath’s toylike proportions are realistic. Warpath’s US Patent, titled Reconfigurable toy tank (aka Transformers G1 Warpath) was filed on October 25, 1984 (U.S. Patent No. USD290630 S).

Description

Warpath is mostly molded in a maroon red plastic with hardly any decorative color highlights, save for his silver plastic tracks and roadwheels. Warpath has hidden rolling wheels beneath his tank mode to allow him to roll despite his one-piece track and roadwheel details. Warpath was released exclusively with the inclusion of a rubsign. The rubsign is accommodated by a shallow, square depression on the front of the tank hull, unlike 1984 releases, where the rubsign was typically placed over existing details, causing them to look out of place. His transformation is simple, and very similar to some of the other 1985 Minibots. The front of the vehicle is extended, then rotated to form the legs and feet, the arms rotate straight down from the shoulders, and the head is flipped up from the hatch on the tank turret.
Date stamp location: Bottom of vehicle front
Rubsign location: top center of front tank hull

Collector Notes

Warpath is a fairly sturdy figure. The most common damage is a stress mark on the silver track through which the turret slides. These marks are caused by rotating the turret down into tank mode when it is not fully slid forward in the track. The main cannon is part of the lower turret piece, and can sometimes become bent or stressed downward, or occasionally broken completely.

Variants

Warpath clearly has two mold lineages, as a wide or narrow line spacing in the date stamp is preserved through the full production run. The painted mask is probably the very earliest production, as the US 1985 catalog shows the mockup Warpath having a gray-painted mask. The “bearded” warpath therefore probably indicates that the 1/2a/3a mold came first, followed closely by the 2b/3b mold. The Type 1 is exceedingly uncommon, with a fairly even distribution of the 2 and 3 types. There are also variants produced in France and Greece for their respective markets.
Type 1: Takara 1984 Japan (tight spacing), painted mouth, 2 under turret
Type 2a: Takara 1984 Japan (tight spacing), painted eyes, 1 under turret
Type 2b: Takara 1984 Japan (open spacing), painted eyes, 2 under turret
Type 3a: Hasbro 1984 ©Takara 1984 Japan (tight spacing), painted eyes, 1 under turret
Type 3b: Hasbro 1984 ©Takara 1984 Japan (open spacing), painted eyes, 3 under turret
Type ?FR: ??
Type ?GR: ??

Availability

Warpath was available worldwide in 1985, but only as a mail-away exclusive in Japan. He was also available from 1986 to 1988 as a mail-in exclusive. He continued to be available in the US and mainland Europe (this time likely supplemented by the Ceji-produced Type ?FR, see “Variants”, above), and was introduced in Greece (as the El Greco-produced Αχτύπητος [Achtýpitos, Unbeatable]) in 1986. During the early wave of 1986 in the US, Warpath was available with a random one of ten iron-on character patches.
Case Assortments (Item#/Asst#): 1985: Mini Vehicles Asst. 2 (F5903/5710), 3 per 24; early 1986: Mini Vehicles Asst. 3 with Prizes in Disguise Patch (5903/5711.05), 1 per 24; late 1986: Mini Vehicles Asst. 3 (5903/5711), 1 per 24
MSRP: $2.99
Mail-Order Price: $4 and 1 Robot Point (1986), $3.50 and 1 Robot Point (1987-88) OR $4.25 and 0 Robot Points (1987)
Packaging: Blister card with instructions and Tech Spec on back, white border around vehicle photo (early 1985), or gray border around vehicle photo (mid 1985-)
Robot Points: ½ Autobot
Paperwork included: none (1985), iron-on patch with “Prizes in Disguise” entry form (early 1986), “Look Inside for a Special Offer!” (late 1986), instructions with b/w tech specs (mail-away)

Redecos & Retools

Warpath was recolored as Treds in the e-HOBBY exclusive G1 Gobots set.