Transformers Japanese Pencil Board Guide

A Shitajiki or Pencil board is a stiff piece of card or plastic that is placed under paper while writing / drawing to prevent damage to the table surface below. In Japan these boards are commonly used as advertising tools for children's properties like Transformers. Starting with Fight! Super robot life Transformers several of these boards where released usually spread out over a year to advertise different promotions. Below you will find examples of all the Transformers related ones I have found over the years. Some examples are photos as no full scan is available yet and will be replaced if better scans are found.

Fight! Super Robot Life Transformers

The first Pair of FSRL Pencil boards where fairly plain with no product guide just a few shots of the Box art Drawings.

 Convoy Version


Megatron Version

This later Pencil board is closer to what they would look like going forward with one side devoted to showcasing the characters available. This one is advertising the Telephone promotion where you could either call the Cybertron or Destron lines and get a short message from the corresponding side. I believe these are the messages included in the Laserdisc audio CDs in the media section of the site.

 Telephone Promotion

The first separate promotion for the series was the Scramble City line. Along with the OVA, several commercials and manga/magazine promotions this pencil board was used to promote the new combiners joining the line.

Scramble City Guide



Transformers 2010


The first 2010 pencil board was used to showcase the changing of the Commanders in the line with the artwork being a mirror of what the commercials where showing at the time with prime dead and a new leader on the way. The board also advertises that you can learn more about the new leaders by calling the Cybertron or Destron phone-lines.

 2010 Telephone Promotion

The second pencil board I found for 2010 was specifically designed to promote the Destrons with the focus being on the combiners including the latest one Predaking.  

 "Destrons Counterattack" Promotion

Transformers The Headmasters

From what I have found the Headmasters had 3 pencil boards each promoting a specific play pattern. The first one released focuses mainly on the Headmasters showcasing the new figures in the line and promoting a limited Cassette introducing the characters to those lucky to win one of the 700 available. A rip of the audio from the cassette can be found in the media section of the site.

 The Headmasters Appear

The Second board i've found covers the Target Master figures being added to the line along with a very early promotion for the Pretender Landmine titled "Mysterious Transformer Present".


Master Warriors Great Battle

The final board for Headmasters showcases the large city Transformers Fortress Maximus and Scorponok and their upcoming final battle.

The Universe's Greatest Confrontation

Even during the Headmasters era combiners where a big part of the line. Much like Scramble City a separate promotion with a commercial was created to promote the latest combiners titled "The Decisive Battle of Scramble" The Commectial for this promotion can be found in the media section of the site.

"Decisive Battle of Scramble" Promotion

Transformers Super-God Masterforce

So far i've only found one pencil board for Masterforce which showcases the early figures in the line including the Pretenders and the Headmaster Jr's. Like the Target Master pencil board it promotes the Pretender Landmine as a mail away again with the promotion being re-titled "Lander Present Campaign" 
Masterforce coming soon to TV

Transformers Victory

Similar to Masterforce I have only found one Victory specific board which showcases the early figures in the line and the still running Transformers Telephone lines.

 Early Victory Line

At the same time that Transformers Victory was on the air the series celebrated its 5th anniversary. As part of the celebrations Transformers The Movie would finally be released in Japan, first as special charity screenings followed by a VHS and laserdisc release. For this release a pencil board was made as part of the promotion.

 Movie Promotion

Transformers Zone

Transformers Zone was the last G1 Transformers line to be supported by any video media with a single OVA being released in a Gift set along with the Micromaster Rabbicrater and a pencil board. This pencil board was unlike the others showcased was actually a type of backgammon known as "Sugoroku" in Japan which you would use the Micromasters as counters and provide your own dice to play.

 Sugoroku Game

The second Zone board showcased the Micromasters in the line with the opposite side acting as a playmat for the figures and playsets in the line.

Micromaster Playmat

Transformers Operation Combination

The final G1 Transformers line in Japan had very few pieces of media associated with it. The story was told through pages in TV Magazine and Toy inserts but it did get a pencil board to showcase the figures and play pattern for the line.

 Figure Guide

Transformers Beast Wars

Pencil boards didn't stop with G1 with new ones being released during the beast era. The Beast Wars one showcases the rivalries of the Cybertrons and Destrons of this generation.

 Showdown Guide

Transformers Beast Wars II

The first Beast Wars II pencil board acted as a handover of sorts with the new Lio Convoy being introduced by Primal on one side. The other side of the board showcases the early figures released in the line.

 Beast Wars Handover

The second board for Beast Wars II showcases a x-ray style image of the leaders on one side with the other being a updated product guide showcasing the figures added to the line around mid point of the season.

 Xray mid-season Guide

Transformers Beast Wars Special

As part of the promotion for the theatrical release of Transformers Beast Wars Special in Japan this pencil board was released. This one featured the movies poster on one side and the same figure guide as the later Beast Wars II board.

 Movie Poster

Transformers Beast Wars Neo

The last series i have found that had a pencil board was Beast Wars Neo with the design going back to the verses setup of the original Beat Wars board with every Cybertron having his own Destron as a enemy with 2 packs being sold of these rivalries.

Neo Showdown Guide

This is in no way a complete list of all the pencil boards released as im sure more where available for Masterforce, Victory, Battlestars and Beast Wars Metals. After the Beast era pencil boards appear to have died out as I have seen none for the later shows but if i ever come across them or any others that are missing I will update the guide to include them.

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