A missing Constructicon?
This green and purple Gears (Pick-Up) is from Brazil’s Optimus v. Malignus line manufactured by Estrela. Estrela held the license for Transformers in Brazil, and it manufactured and released many recolors of the Transformers minibots from the first G1 series. The releases of these mini-bots were split into two series, Robocar and the Optimus v. Malignus lines.
Optimus v. Malignus had good and evil factions, but Robocar did not. The members of Optimus were the equivalent of the Autobots while Malignus was comensurate with the Decepticons. Depending on what faction a particular minibot was part of, they had a distinct faction symbol. You can see the Malignus faction symbol being displayed prominently on the Pick-Up above.
It is believed that the toys from this line were available from 1984 to 1986. Interestingly, the figures from the second series have bright and unique color schemes and new card art.
In his robot mode, Constructicon Pick-Up has a lot more prominent purple on him than green; yet, his vehicle mode is almost entirely green.
It is possible that Estrela chose the green and purple color scheme for the evil Pick-Up character due to the Constructicons being very recognizable and symbolic of the evil Decepticons.
If you want to identify a Brazilian minibot, the “MADE IN BRAZIL” and “Estrela” stamping makes it easy to distinguish.
Beyond the color differences, a noticeable change to Pick-Up’s mold is visible in his faceplate. With Constructicon Pick-Up, his faceplate is made up of only one separate piece. Compare that to the original G1 Gears release whose faceplate is made up of three seperate pieces.
The original Gears is a unique minibot himself in part because he is one of the smallest.
For an idea of how many versions of Gears there are, the mold was released in unique recolors in Argentina, Brazil, Japan, Mexico, and Peru. Each of these countries produced a recolor of the mold that is exclusive to only that country.
All of these unique recolors command high prices on the secondary market, so collecting them is not feasible for everyone. If you have the money and the desire, finding Mexican and South American minibots for sale can be a daunting task. The most sought after recolors are extremely rare, and only occasionally show up for sale if ever. To compound the problem, new versions of the minibots from these countries are still being discovered… or should I say rediscovered as they were known about in their home countries during the early eighties.