I must admit that when the first shots of Pyro — or Spark as he was being called for trademark reasons – showed up near the end of March of 2010, I thought it was a joke.
Mostly because of the wild deco, but also because at the time, I didn’t know about the European exclusive G1/G2 “Obliterator” toys. Much like the Prime Ultimate class mentioned in my Predaking post, the Obliterator sub-group only contains two members, one Autobot and one Decepticon. Adding to my initial confusion, when images of the other BotCon Obliterator update, Clench, first showed up it actually was a joke. Getting understandably tired of toy images leaking before the announcement, they uploaded a rather convincing Clench based digi-bash of Universe “Tankor” (a.k.a. Octane) to be discovered by snooping fans.
As to be expected, hilarity ensued. Once the real images were uploaded and the set theme of “G2: Redux” announced, I was supremely happy. To get some fantastically, wildly coloured updates of these G2 and European G1 toys falls right into my favourite area as a collector: the weird and the unusual. Some, like G2 Redux Double Punch, in fact turned out so well that for me they became the definitive use of that mold. Another, Rapido, took a mold that I was lukewarm about and fixed the one part I disliked: the headsculpt.
During the… questionable Megatron Origin limited series, Clench showed up as the cruel leader and sometimes participant of the illegal gladiatorial arena in Kaon.
By the second issue he was dead.
IDW also had their take on Pyro. It followed the general IDW template; in a nutshell, “blah, blah, blah, I’m mentally unbalanced, blah, blah, blah, I’m dead”. No spoiler tag for this one, because it would only be a spoiler if he somehow didn’t end up dead in the IDW universe.
Either way, I much, much prefer the Timelines take on these two.
With both an application of a rather obscure G2 energy source and an explanation of the frankly amazing decoes inspired by the G2/European exclusive lines, the TFWiki does the best at summing up the basis of the BotCon 2010 comic book,
“Forestonite can be used to give Transformers assorted powers that others would consider to be supernatural, although this comes at the cost of an impossibly garish color scheme.”
Gaining limited precognition and postcognition, according to his bio, Pyro can now “perceive events a few seconds into the future, granting him preternaturally sharp reflexes” and “focus this power on an object to read events in its recent past.”
As I explained at one point in my Rapido post, most importantly, a well-grounded explanation of the concept of Generation 2 is established. Pyro — whose full name is actually Pyro Ignatius Spark — is the first of these Earth born Transformers to receive citizenship of a human nation. Pyro went so far in the service of his adopted nation as to receive knighthood for rescuing the Queen of England herself from Clench’s “Decepticon Syndicate”.
That’s right, that’s Sir Pyro Ignatius Spark.
As a straight repaint of Universe Inferno, Pyro uses one of my favourite larger Generations molds (perhaps second only to the oft-reused Generations (or Reveal the Shield) Jazz mold). However, unlike Double Punch, he is unable to steal “reason this mold exists” from its originator due to the impeccable Generations Hot Spot release.
G1 Pyro is one of those unfortunate sufferers of GPS which is a great pity, because owning his would be worth it just for his awesome headsculpt, with its very strong Optimus Prime look to it. (Original image from TFW2005).
My only complaint with him would be as a straight repaint of Universe Inferno, his update has a nose and mouth rather than the mouthplate and his face is painted gold rather than silver. That aside, I really, really, reeeeeeally like this headsculpt. It’s just so wonderfully G1.
His alt mode is a Carmichael Cobra, an airport crash truck like Dark of the Moon Sentinel Prime, a vehicle that comes in some pretty G2 colors in real life.
The update has the mold’s standard-ish firetruck, but does that fantastic paintjob that only late G1 European exclusives do.
Clench’s update takes the somewhat prosaic “flatbed truck with a box on it” alt mode and replaces it outright with a S.W.A.T. Assault Truck with bladed mine-digging scoops on the front and a rotating turret on the top.
His shield, sporting the G2 Decepticon logo, can be mounted on the top of his alt mode.
Two details really show the level of attention these updates receive. Clench’s G1 toy had a paintjob of very dark blue with sparkles throughout. His G2: Redux release recreates these sparkles as well as the lightning/wolf emblem that adorned his hood and the black and blue striped decal that becomes part of his torso.
One way he definitely beats his Autobot counterpart is providing a spectacular new headsculpt that matches the odd Darth Vader-esque triangular face vent of the original.
Another wonderful Generations mold, Clench holds his own in a pretty good three-way battle for Best of the Mold.
Granted, Hardhead only has a leg up due to his use of third party headmaster add-ons.
I had a lot of fun with the 2010 BotCon comic and set, really appreciating the slightly tongue-in-cheek approach they took to the Generation 2 concept. I hope to see that in this year’s pirate-themed set. Well, that and some pretty epic battle scenes.