Posts Tagged Botcon
In both G1 and Animated the Stunticon’s greatest weakness, as a whole, is each other. Conflicting personalities cause endless bickering and fights that inhibit, if not completely counteract their ability to be effective soldiers. The one thing that both teams excel at is complete mayhem, in or out of their alt modes.
Speaking of alt modes, these are some pretty great G1 toys with such a wild assortment of colours and choice of vehicles, yet somehow they still feel like a team.
These toys were meant to be Menasor.
Of course, almost everyone with a set of Animated Stunticons is just counting down the days until some 3rd party group figures out how to make Animated Menasor out of them. In the meantime, they remain one heck of a… Stunti-convoy.
A G1 toy designed by a committee of six year olds, an Animated toy that looks like pure rock ‘n’ roll, Motormaster!
“The good thing about Transformers is that everyone is someone’s favourite.”
My friend said this at Botcon this year and I firmly believe it to be true. It’s a good portion of why the weak comic book writers killing off random characters left and right annoys me so much. Someone is going to care that you just killed off their all-time favourite Transformer.
The reason I bring this up is because I absolutely know that Motormaster is someone’s favourite. Heck, this guy painted his entire truck into a Motormaster homage:
So, to this guy and other Motormaster fans, I apologize for the following:
G1 Motormaster’s robot mode is sooooo bad. Suprisingly bad. Granted, I bought this set because I wanted the combined form of Menasor, but all the other Stunticons have such decent robot modes that I was frankly surprised by Motormaster’s. Keep in mind this is coming from someone whose favourite G1 toy is Powermaster Optimus Prime.
Motormaster, though… all those rectangles, the horrible proportions, the truck cab clown shoes; the whole thing reminds me of a child’s drawing of a Transformer made into an actual toy.
Ok, sorry, that was mean, let me rectify that by using his boxart instead.
Huh. I can’t figure out which picture is less flattering. Luckily his Animated incarnation breathes some much needed life into Motormaster toys everywhere.
Using the Voyager Optimus Prime mold, Animated Motormaster (occasionally called “The Motor Master” for copyright reasons) keeps the black while majorly playing up the purple in his colour scheme. More importantly, he retains his signature head-in-a-box look. G1 Motormaster’s head is somewhat bland and lifeless,
Animated Motormaster’s head is meant to reflect his “wrestler bad guy” personality, but from the day his new headsculpt was revealed, I have said that he is a dead ringer for Lemmy from Motörhead (I think I gave the right “o” the diaeresis there).
This, of course, means that I have been dying to put together this shot:
As the torso portion of his combiner team, G1 Motormaster carries Menasor’s weapons, a rifle and a sword. His Animated mold carries a cannon and replaces the sword with a gigantic double-bladed axe.
Alt mode is one area where G1 Motormaster is a decent toy. Unlike the majority of Semi Truck Transformers, he actually transforms into both the cab and the trailer. Unfortunately the one drawback of this is that his truck mode is rather small. Animated Motormaster uses paint applications along the sides of his axe that transforms into the back half of his alt mode to duplicate the stickers and Decepticon symbol on the sides of the G1 toy’s trailer.
Like the other “Scramble City” style combiner commanders G1 Motormaster also has a fourth mode, his base mode. This base mode is the perfect size for the “Roller Car” that comes with Motormaster and forms the chest plate of the Stunticons combined mode. “Roller Car” is what it is called in Motormaster’s instructions, but it is not referenced anywhere else, even missing as the chestplate of Menasor in every character model up to Dreamwave’s comic series.
Bob Seger lyrics as a post title? Really?
I can’t help it. Every time I hear Breakdown’s name, I think of this song, which inevitably leads me to Beverly Hills Cop II, which reminds me of the 1986 Ferrari 328 GTS from the movie, which is mistakenly swapped with a Ferrari 308 in one of the chase scenes, which is the alt mode of Breakdown’s fellow Stunticon, Wildrider.
See how I brought that back around to the point of the post?
I am nothing if not to the point.
Maybe I should just start this post over.
“When Breakdown is in his car mode, he thinks everyone else is staring at him. Not just living creatures such as other Transformers and humans, but humans’ cars, stoplights… anything mechanical”
Whereas this just translates into paranoia elsewhere, the interesting turn is that on Earth he’s actually self-conscious that someone will see through his disguise and that it might affect his job performance.
“He’d be happier if he were a human – that way he feels he could just anonymously fit in anywhere and be in a better position to help conquer the Earth!”
It’s like some kind of neurosis-inducing Decepticon job ethic? Love it.
I think he might be my favourite Animated Stunticon as well, but this time because of his toy more than his character. Personality-wise, his Animated toy bio only makes it as far as his severe paranoia, adding in that he is,
“Profoundly unlucky and saddled with an inferiority complex”
His toy, however is a remold of my personal favourite of the entire Animated line, Rodimus, with an all-new head. When they first announced him, my only concern was that, just like Animated Dead End, the weapon included with this mold, the energon bow, seemed very out of place for him. Somehow it seemed too… elegant a weapon for a Stunticon? Animated Drag Strip handled this by changing his/her personality enough to make the weapon actually make sense. For Breakdown, in the convention exclusive comic book, they went the opposite direction, highlighting how little finesse the Stunticon posseses.
I’ve typed it three times before and will type it again: Stunticons need guns.
Of course, don’t tell Animated Breakdown that the gun he’s holding is actually a Targetmaster. He would probably just think that Pinpointer there is judging him.
I totally lied yesterday when I stated that Wildrider was the only Animated Stunticon to provide a weaponized alt mode like their G1 limb counterpart. Though, given my feelings on Breakdown’s use of an energy bow, I hesitate to include it, here it is in all its strangeness.
G1 Breakdown transforms into a Lamborghini Countach, which this Animated mold’s “futuristic racecar” imitates quite well.
Unlike the rest of the Stunticons, Breakdown’s garishly coloured G2 toy was the only one to see official release: as the first ever Botcon exclusive in 1994 and then the next year at the Florida Extravaganza Collectibles Show.
Then, ten years later, at Botcon 2004 — the only unofficial Botcon — Breakdown saw his first unsanctioned Botcon appearance in the form of a Action Master G2 Breakdown.
This strange history made Breakdown too good of an opportunity to pass up when the whole Botcon boxset went G2: Redux in 2010. Still paranoid and worried about his job, he now has the added level of stress that is having the lunatic Galvatron as his boss.
“He’s afraid that without Menasor, he’s nothing, and that the only reason Galvatron hasn’t destroyed him yet is because the Decepticon leader can’t remember who he is.”
Along with doing his original personality quirk justice, they perfectly recreated his wonderful new G2 paintjob, all the way down to the great big G2 Decepticon logo on his hood.
The fourth Breakdown in the alt mode picture up there is actually not Breakdown but Brakedown.
Speaking of headsculpts, of the many heads of Breakdown, the most dissimilar are actually his G1 cartoon and toy models. So, where do the other homages and updates fall on a scale of Cartoon to Toy?
Animated is most similar to his cartoon model with RotF falling pretty evenly between the G1 cartoon and G1 toy. Of course, his G2: Redux is meant to be a straight update of his toy headsculpt.
Sheesh, you might see why a guy could get paranoid when he gets so much attention.
Either way, I am still going to have “Shakedown” by Bob Seger stuck in my head for the rest of the day…
Let me just start this post with a general warning: be very, very, veeeeeery careful when doing an image search using the keyword “Wildrider”. Kinda like how you have to be very careful doing a search using “Nexus Maximus“.
Animated Wildrider, using the Blazing Lockdown mold, replaces Lockdown’s skull like head with a saw-toothed, crazed-looking Frankenstein’s monster vaguely reminiscent of the Masters of the Universe character Trapjaw.
The spikes that are on this mold’s neck actually help to further the homage. Though missing on the G1 toy, the character model for the original Wildrider had two spiked protrusions on the sides of his head.
G1 Wildrider is one of many examples of character models being very different than the toy itself. Aside from the missing protrusions, Wildrider’s toy doesn’t actually have a face, but instead an ill-defined, corrugated faceplate type… thing.
The ironic thing is that, though Animated Wildrider’s head is the more lunatic looking of the two toys, it is actually the G1 character that is the crazier. Animated Wildrider is a case of “don’t judge a book by its cover”, looking like a crazed serial killer while he is actually the team’s talented, intelligent pyrotechnics director, “always brainstorming bigger, badder, louder, and more dangerous looking stunts, and he’s got the processing power to coordinate them flawlessly.”
On the other hand, for G1 Wildrider, ” those who know him better realize it’s not an act – he really is that nuts!”
“As his fellow Stunticon Breakdown puts it, “When he’s driving, I’d rather take a plane.”
While both Animated Dead End and Drag Strip look most like their G1 counterparts when in alt mode, the same can not be said of Animated Wildrider. Just like G1 Dead End has his single offset strip, G1 Wildrider has a very distinct feature in alt mode: a carbon fiber patterned hood, something Animated Wildrider doesn’t attempt to duplicate.
Truthfully, Animated Wildrider only has a passing resemblance to G1 Wildrider in both alt and robot modes.
What is a rather bright red colour on G1 has been turned into a — admittedly pretty — dark magenta on his Animated incarnation. At least this Animated Stunticon comes with his own gun so he doesn’t have to steal someone else’s.
Toy-wise, he only gets a pass because he has his fellow Stunticons to tie the whole thing together.
Possibly the biggest surprise of the “Stunti-Con-Job” boxset was Drag Strip.
Definitely not because of an unexpected alt mode choice; the Cybertronic “Rocket Car” is the Animated toyline’s closest approximation to G1 Drag Strip’s sleek six-wheeled Tyrell P34 racing car alt mode.
No, the surprise was a gender swap. This wouldn’t be an issue amongst adults, but a good deal of Transfandom, though chronologically adults, are emotionally about five years old. That’s why, shortly after they announced her, the internet rang with,
“*Drag* Strip. Get it? Huh? Huh? Get it? He’s in draaaaag. *giggle*”
Just like Dead End, Drag Strip is a straight repaint, this time of the wonderful Animated Arcee mold. Also just like Dead End, the TFCC folk used paint applications on the face to add character and distinguish Drag Strip from Arcee.
Overall there isn’t much to say about G1 Drag Strip. He’s your textbook “warrior appreciated for his skills in battle” but such a blowhard that,
“Even Decepticon Leader Megatron finds him insufferable and would sooner smelt him than talk to him.”
All things considered, Animated Drag Strip is a serious upgrade in personality. Gone is the obnoxious free-wheeling braggart, in his place is a… social malcontent with a “high lust for violence”. Ok, so more like a lateral move than an upgrade. Once again, Stunticons need guns, so Animated Drag Strip had to borrow some.
Though Animated Dead End’s accessory, the nunchaku, are woefully out of place on him, Drag Strip’s “laser swords” not only seem to fit well with her distressingly violent personality, they also complete a sort of secondary homage. Just before her official toy reveal, the Botcon Twitter feed linked to a trailer of the movie Kill Bill. Drag Strip’s paintjob is a nod to “The Bride”, Uma Thurman’s role as the main character of Kill Bill.
This week we have two times the amount of Stunticons, but still only one combiner! The five G1 Stunticons combine to form the devastatingly powerful, but violently unstable Menasor. The five Animated Stunticons combine to form… well, a traveling stunt circus act. Using the Crash Test Dummy symbol, the Animated Team Stunticon even has their own take on the Decepticon emblem.
First up, Dead End!
In G1 Dead End was portrayed as a rather interesting dichotomic personality. He is a rather stoic fatalist while remaining vaingloriously proud of his appearance.
“Sullen, fatalistic, sees little reason to continue Transformers’ war. Motivating him to fight is always a problem. Vain — Spends most of his time shining himself.”
This amusingly complex personality became perfect fodder when the Stunticons made their Animated appearance thanks to the 2011 Botcon’s “Stunti-Con-Job” boxset. In Animated, this “sullen, fatalistic” attitude reveals itself as a “Theatrically morose” beat poet who “composes poetry so bleak as to be farcical.” This all culminated in David Kaye’s hysterical portrayal of Dead End as nothing short of the Transformers equivalent of Eeyore. It was easily the highlight of 2011 Botcon’s “Stunti-Con-Job” Script Reading.
Animated Dead End’s paintjob is a wonderful homage to his G1 incarnation, though it’s really only apparent in alt mode.
Animated Dead End is a straight repaint of the Animated Jazz mold. This hearkens back — intentionally or not — to the G1 episode “Masquerade” in which Jazz is disguised… as Dead End. Circular homages are the best! Further reinforcing his beat poet personality, he sports a mustache and goatee.
The only real issue is in weaponry. G1 Dead End comes with a gun. Now Animated Jazz is a Cyber-ninja (I will never tire of typing “Cyber-ninja”), Animated Dead End is very much not. Though his mold retains the exhaust pipe nunchaku accessory, Dead End attempting to use them would probably resemble one of the many Youtube videos showing dudes knocking themselves unconscious while swinging around a pair. Now, his bio mentions something about “mini-bazookas” but I’m not entirely sure what that actually refers to, perhaps to the exhaust pipes attached to his arms? Anyway, in my opinion, the Stunticons need guns, big guns. A good portion of the “Stunti-Con-Job” storyline revolves around the Stunticons stealing extra weaponry and, luckily for the sake of taking pictures, my home is replete with extra weaponry.
When it comes to guns, G1 Dead End has the advantage in alt mode. All of the G1 Stunticon limbs include a massive double-barreled weapon that attaches to the back of their alt mode.
I’m not sure how many other musical theater Transformer nerds there are out there, but here’s hoping a few get the title of this post.
Just like Megatron, Galvatron just isn’t a Galvatron without a large cannon attached to his forearm. Remember, it was Shattered Glass Megatron that got himself shot in the face and killed, not his trusty, non-sentient drone, Rumbler the tank. Therefore, Rumbler was ready for duty when his boss miraculously returned to life as Galvatron.
So maybe “a tale as old as time…” is a slight exaggeration. Unfortunately “a tale as old as August 8, 1986″ isn’t nearly as charming or poetic. That’s the date The Transformers: The Movie came out in movie theaters. Of course, when it came out in 1986, the movie was actually set in “the future” of 2005. I guess technically that makes this tale only 5 years old, right?
All chronological tangents aside, 1986 was when we saw two momentous occasions in Transformers history that would from then on become recurring themes.
First, the death of Optimus Prime.
Second, the near-death reformatting of Megatron into Galvatron.
As we all are thankfully aware, Optimus got better, but went on to die at least once in many, many Transformers universes since then.
However, Megatron never “got better”. In that particular timeline he would remain in his new, more powerful, less mentally stable body. Subsequent Megatrons would choose a less death-induced version of this reformatting. In R.i.D., Armada, Energon, and Cybertron Megatron’s reformatting into Galvatron is actually an upgrade provided by consuming some sort of power source, not a bargain with the devil to keep himself from going offline like in The Transformers: The Movie.
This brings us to the reverse universe of Shattered Glass, and the heroic Megatron.
SG Megatron was one of the souvenir add-on toys, packaged with SG Rodimus and SG Divebomb, and sold at Botcon 2008. He is a remold of the Energon Megatron mold, replacing the head with a new headsculpt based off of G1 Megatron’s original concept art.
He comes with the original mold’s accessories, a small tank based of the design of Armada Megatron’s alt mode. The tank, called “Rumbler”, is an homage to Optimus Prime’s non-sentient drone Roller. Rumbler can be attached to Megatron’s arm, another homage, this time to G1 Megatron’s arm-mounted fusion cannon.
Just like other uses of this mold, he also comes with an energon blade that can be inserted in the back of Rumbler to serve as a blade weapon for Megatron.
Rumbler can then catch a ride on the back of Megatron in his space cruiser alt mode.
Turns out there is a traitor amongst the Decepticons and with one shot to the face Megatron is killed, dealing a terrible blow to the Decepticon forces. Of course, as history tells us, you can’t keep a good Megatron down, so Shattered Glass Megatron (the very definition of a “Good Megatron”) goes old school with his reformatting.
Unfortunately for the evil Optimus Prime’s assassination attempt, four of the five members of Nexus Prime are on hand to witness the betrayal. Their attempt to use their energon manipulation powers to resurrect Megatron results both in their reunification back into Nexus Prime as well as the bringing Megatron back to life as the mighty Galvatron.
Botcon 2011 saw the Transformers Collectors Club make up for killing their previous exclusive by offering SG Galvatron as a souvenir add-on toy, packaged with his fellow Shattered Glass Decepticon, Thundercracker.
A repaint of Cybertron Evac, this mold was destined to become Shattered Glass Galvatron from the moment a Fun Publications employee custom painted his own from a War Within Springer (itself a straight repaint of the original Evac toy.) Finding himself on earth after being brought back to life, Galvatron proves that looks can be deceiving, showing his new body to be even more powerful than his previous form.
A lot of the images online I have seen of this guy shows him not fully transformed. For some reason, people don’t like to rotate the sides of his alt mode’s tail down, which hinders arm movement. Being based on a Cybertron toy, he has missile launchers that flip forward when his cyberkey is inserted in either robot or alt mode.
Along with the deployable missile launchers, he also retains the toys other two gimmicks, button-activated spinning blades, and the aforementioned retractable string gimmick in his rescue hook. (Have I mentioned I love retractable string gimmicks?)
So, yeah, this week may still see another (very small) post with a picture of Galvatron sporting Rumbler on his arm.
It happens sometimes that a toy is released within one line but fits better in a newer line. Timelines Skyquake is one such toy, basically a toy ahead of its time. Released as a souvenir add-on as part of Botcon 2009′s “Wings of Honor” set, I never really had an interest in Timelines Skyquake. I am not a fan of that particular set altogether; which was quite convenient, as I did not attend Botcon 2009. The way I ended up owning him was: earlier this year, when I obtained Timelines Deathsaurus from the Botcon 2005 “Descent into Evil” set, I had decided I wanted, no… make that needed his “faithful” lieutenant, Timelines Leozack. Leozack had received an update as the free attendee exclusive for Botcon 2009. When I started looking around for one to buy, I actually found someone selling both Leozack and Skyquake for the price I was willing to pay for just Leozack.
Once I actually got Skyquake in hand, I am so glad I did.
See, Timelines Skyquake is an update of the original G1 Skyquake, a 1992 European market exclusive. If that sounds familiar (possibly from yesterday’s post?), then you can already guess where this is going. Put those protective goggles back on, it’s another attack of the 90′s!
G1 Skyquake suffers rather famously from the dreaded Gold Plastic Syndrome, and just short of spending money on a toy guaranteed to crumble to dust in my hands, the original mold will have to live on in the form of the repainted Universe King Atlas on my shelves.
That’s why, in hindsight, I am happy I ended up with his Timelines incarnation. With Leozack displayed next to his boss, Deathsaurus, Skyquake doesn’t have to be orphaned as the only other Botcon 2009 toy in my collection. He can just jump ahead a year and hang out with the 2010 G2: Redux toys. He certainly holds his own in the 90′s deco department.
He is a repaint of the Energon Starscream toy and comes with the sword and gun combo. As his original character didn’t come with a sword, I keep that part packed away and let him carry his very large gun. His wings flip up to be able to use his missile launchers in robot mode.
The only annoying thing about this mold is the damage detail that is very purposefully built into it. In the plot of Energon, Starscream was actually a ghost and the damage he displays plays a part in that. Every reuse of the mold since has had to deal with the damage. You can see it on his left wing and the left side of his tail in alt mode, which become his right shoulder intake in robot mode.
Other than the annoying “battle damage”, which has actually added to the bright paint scheme in this case, this guy will proudly take his place amongst the G2: Redux folks. It’s not too far of a stretch anyway, considering that G2: Redux actually occurs within the same universe as the Wings of Honor story.