Posts Tagged G1
Part the Second is going to be less like a sequel and more like bookends for Part the First.
Sitting at work and watching the UPS Tracking link like a hawk, I was actually surprised how fast I got him. Sitting at work, I received a message from my wife,
“I have your box.”
I contemplated coming down with a sudden bout of Sluggish Cognitive Tempo disorder (I’m pretty sure that’s the medical term for “Lazy”) and heading home, but stuck it out — that’s the selfless kind of person I am. Just to give a sense of the size of his box, I put it up next to my one and a half year old kid.
He then dutifully and excitedly started pointing out the Autobot symbol, repeatedly saying “Ah-bot! Ah-bot! Ah-bot!” (I am quite proud of the fact that “Autobot” and “Optimus” were some of his first words). The box is huge. I was originally concerned that I didn’t know where I would store it, but have since decided the box itself is display worthy. I really, really, reeeeeeeally like the Takara boxart.
Not that Hasbro’s isn’t nice, it just lacks the dynamism of Takara’s.
As was widely reported, this release has put a little bit of a crimp in the style of the MISB collectors. Due to an undisclosed “QC Issue”, TakaraTomy was forced to open each box and then tape it back up, this lead to dreaded “double-taping” that sets most MISB collectors’ teeth on edge.
Not such an issue with me, I believe Transformers are meant to be transformed so I sliced right through that tape. Out slid what came to be something of another surprise with this Encore release. Long determined to be environmentally detrimental, the styrofoam used to pack many of the larger G1 toys has been all but removed from modern packaging. Fortress Maximus, however, comes packaged in a styrofoam coffin, similar to his original release.
Finally, it was time to see my very own Fortress Maximus.
First, we must go back in time for just a moment. Before there was a Fortress Maximus in my collection, there was Fortress Minimus.
When I was under the clear understanding that my acquisition of an actual Fortress Maximus was about as likely as a lasting Cybertronian peace treaty, I settled for the next closest thing I could find. By “closest” I mean “oddly well detailed at about one eighteenth the size”.
This miniaturized knock-off version of Fortress Maximus actually fit in well with my shelf of Primus and Unicrons, but could now be retired because he had been rendered remarkably redundant.
Meanwhile, back at the unboxing,
I pulled everything out of the box and inspected it meticulously; transforming him between his three modes to make sure. From armless Spike/Cerebros to a defective hip ratchet on Fortress Maximus himself, there has been a smattering of serious quality problems being reported on the forums. I am quite pleased to say that I found none, serious or minor, on mine.
Having relieved that particular anxiety, I was ready to set up the camera and take some serious photos. Oh… wait. What’s that colossal sheet of shiny silver paper that’s almost the size of Fortress Maximus?
Stickers. 55 of them to be precise.
Determined to push through my least favourite part of reissues, I actually found far fewer instances of needing to trim down improperly cut stickers than normal, which helped the process along. There’s been a couple posts on the forums about buyer’s remorse, but – just short of needing the money for an unforeseen life-saving operation — I can’t fathom how that could be. He is magnificent.
Does he lack articulation? For a G1 toy, not particularly. There are those that can truly be called “bricks”, like Powermaster Optimus Prime or Star Convoy (two of my favourite Transformers toys), but Fortress Maximus’ limited articulation is on par with a good portion of the G1 ’bots a fourth his size.
For someone big enough to just step on most of his enemies, even without counting his handheld dual laser cannons and photon rifle he is fairly bristling with weaponry. Guns rotate out all over the place.
He also carries the massive Master Sword.
No, not that Master Sword, this one.
An accessory exclusive to the Takara release, the Master Sword played a very prominent part in the Headmasters series as the weapon that allowed Fortress Maximus to finally defeat his rival, Scorponok. In the cartoon, they are roughly the same size, but in toy form, Maximus towers over Scorponok.
Had this been the scale used in the show, Headmasters would have been a very short series indeed. Probably the worst offender of scale tomfoolery in all of Transformers history, writers just didn’t know what to do with an Autobot this big. His fictional appearances mostly bring him down in size; how far down varies between different fictions and something even varies within the same fiction. His most recent appearances in the IDW comics put him at just a little bit bigger than the average Transformer.
I really like the sculpt on Fortress’ head mode, I was surprised to find that Cerebros was not necessary when attaching Fortress to Fortress Maximus, with the instructions even showing that he can be placed in the shoulder compartment to the right of the head.
When in robot mode, Gasket and Grommet can be parked in his feet.
Now, Fortress Maximus may have been intended as a city ‘bot, but out of all his modes Headmasters uses his third mode most often. The somewhat indeterminate “battle station” in the Hasbro instructions or the space-faring Battleship Maximus of the Headmasters release (or “Spaceship Bruce” as the hilariously bad Omni Productions dub called it) is the least convincing of the modes, despite being the one with the most cartoon representation.
Though this is the mode that makes use of the little cockpit at the top of the tower.
I was quite surprised by how low the price was when the Encore release was announced, but even as reasonable as I found it, unfortunately it’s still prohibitively expensive for a number of fans. This makes me sad because I can finally understand why this has been a grail piece for so many. I know I have already written it once, but magnificent is really the only word I can use for him.
Playing with toys.
This is a concept that is natural while mostly inconceivable to your average toy collector. This is how these toys were meant to be used,
But for a good portion of them, this is how they will be displayed,
Almost seems a shame. Well. Almost, until something like this happens,
That is the tiniest of holes poked in the sticker on the main ramp — stickers that go over molded detail are one of the many areas that the original G1 stickers fail as a concept. It was done by my son because all he wants in the world is to drive “truck” (a.k.a. Gasket) up and down the main ramp.
Which I will allow him to do all he wants.
When he is eighteen…
Or maybe never. The jury is still out on that one.
The Year of the Really Big Autobots, Part Two… Part One. Gasket and Grommet (Cog), Spike/Cerebros, Cerebros/Fortress! Fortress Maximus!
2013, which I have declared the year of the “most surprising, most glee-inducing releases in recent Transformers history” rolls on with TakaraTomy’s Encore Release number 23. Unless you’ve been living under a Transforming rock for the last six months, you are probably well aware of the identity of the most recent release in the Encore line.
Measuring 22 inches tall, Fortress Maximus was, until very recently, the largest Transformer toy ever made and an unattainable holy grail to many, myself included. Add in the fact that I had just finished watching the Headmasters cartoon series not too long before he was announced and I pre-ordered him so fast I was dizzy. Though I did not shell out the extra money for the “early shipment” that some online retailers were offering, I was champing at the bit to get my hands on him.
Never having owned his toy (I was 13 when he was originally released and was told I was too old for Transformers), the closest I have come to him is pictures on the internet or the few I have seen from a distance on dealers tables at Botcon. Not having the commitment nor the fortitude to stomach the cost necessary to complete a vintage Fort Max, I had pretty much resigned myself to the fact that the closest I would come to having him grace my display was the KO of Spike that I owned. His Encore release was as welcome as it was completely unexpected.
Encore reissues are, of course, completely a TakaraTomy affair — especially with this one as there’s just no way he can pass the Draconian “Drop Test” laws of Hasbro territories. One thing this means is that the smaller robots that come with the gigantic ‘bot aren’t the human Spike, binary-bonded with the Headmaster Cerebros, who in turn transforms into the head of Fortress Maximus. No, here we have the small robot Cerebros who forms the head of Fortress, who then forms the head of Fortress Maximus. That’s why, when referring to the toys themselves, I will be using their Takara release names.
As I wrote about at length in my Hardhead post, I fully support Cerebros being a robot in place of the squishy human Spike. As much as I absolutely love Headmasters, Targetmasters, and Powermasters; I still consider the use of highly modified organics for partners to be both illogical and painfully awkward.
As first impressions go, I expected Fortress himself to be larger, though I’m not sure why. Fortress Maximus is as righteously huge as I was anticipating, so the size of the robot that makes up his head should have been pretty easy to extrapolate.
Despite his smaller size, he still has the full three tumblers in his chest for his Tech Spec readout. Putting the “Max” in “Maximus”, he has all tens across the board.
Despite having Spike, I never really thought about just how very wrong the Marvel comics and US cartoon got his head model — shown in the bottom of the last panel in the comic book image above. Headrobots did do a set called “Centurion” that included updated versions (along the same lines as their “Hothead” G1 Hardhead update) of both the original G1 toy as well as the way he looked in the US fiction.
As much as I love Headrobots, I didn’t really feel the need to pick this set up. I can imagine it was awesome for anyone that had assembled almost all of a vintage Fortress Maximus but maybe missing Spike. Though I wouldn’t mind owning just the US cartoon accurate one, I honestly like Takara’s Fortress better than Hasbro’s Cerebros, they managed to get much closer to the look of his toy.
Another difference between the Takara and Hasbro releases is the inclusion of two versions of the Master Sword, the sword “given to the just ruler”. One of which is a smaller version, meant to be wielded by Fortress.
On the subject of things I wasn’t aware until I acquired him for myself included his third mode: ”communications room”.
Errr, well, it works better when he combines with his section of Fortress Maximus in city mode.
A good reason for me not knowing his second alt mode was that he actually transformed into an alt mode in the US cartoon’s “Rebirth“. That alt mode just happened to be a miniaturized version of Fortress Maximus’ full city mode.
That’s not too surprising, as there really isn’t anything consistent across any of his fictional appearances.
I’ve looked far and wide, but can find no evidence for or against Takara’s release using the same name as Hasbro for the two components, Gasket and Grommet.
By extension, as far as I know, Takara released their combined robot mode under the same name as well, Cog.
The part that I don’t understand is — beyond the application of wheels and tank tread stickers — no real attempt was made to make these guys transform or even look much like two separate alt modes. Gasket, the upper half, does marginally better; if seen from the side, he looks like a vehicle of some sort. He can also function as a heavily armed
wheelchair vehicle for Cerebros.
I still think he was meant to go the other way ’round. He looks like a torso on wheels the way the instructions show him. Reversed, he looks like a well armed pickup truck type vehicle.
Grommet on the other hand makes no attempt to look like anything more than a pair of Transformers legs with tank treads driving around.
It would have made so much more sense to put holes on Grommet to allow him to carry Cog’s arms as guns in alt mode.
That’s Fortress Maximus’ supporting cast, the primary inhabitants of this particular Autobot city.
I have to admit, Gasket and Grommet are a bit of a let down, though Cog is a solid enough combined mode. They are definitely no Scamper, Six-Gun, and Slammer, so that’s one area that Fortress Maximus loses out to Metroplex. Well, the only area. I’m saying this while being very partial to Metroplex, but Fortress Maximus is just a wonder in city mode.
As my kid will attest, this mode has non-stop play value.
One of the added benefits to leaving the guns off Gasket is that he’s able to fit into my favourite gimmick of city mode. I knew that Fortress Maximus had a somewhat awkwardly placed rotating handle on his crotch but never knew what function it served. In city mode, it sits in the back, tucked away behind the main tower and nestled between the two rear cannons.
Turning the crank raises and lowers an elevator inside the main section of the fortress.
Once the vehicle elevator has been raised, pushing the red button next to the ramp opening tilts the back end of the elevator platform up, ejecting the vehicle at surprisingly high speeds.
City mode has a prison for dealing with those dastardly Decepticons.
Also, a helicopter pad.
There’s a turning radar arrary, presumably powered by Fortress in his “communications room” mode. Of course, there’s also a million other nooks and crannies for the other inhabitants, ’cause this is a
Next up is part two of “The Year of the Really Big Autobots Part 2″ — Part 2 of Part 2? Maybe I should have just called them Part 2: Hyper Fighting and Part 2: The New Challengers.
Anyway, up next: the Big Bot himself.
With the Kreons, I have gained both a new appreciation as well as jealousy of the folks at Takara and Hasbro that design Transformers. It started with my experience bulking up and somewhat G1-ifying my Kre-O Wheeljack and has happened again with the new Kre-O Microchanger Combiners.
Before we get to that part, first let me go off on a bit of a tangent. With all of the announced Kre-O Microchanger Combiners — wait, back up: let’s start with the fact that the Microchanger Combiner teams based on their G1 releases even exist to begin with. Now, back to what I was typing about before my tangent went off on a tangent: even though each of the Kre-O Combined robots is only made up of four ‘bots; they are including the fifth ‘bot from the team as a single packed release.
Now I want one more person to tell me that Hasbro & Co. doesn’t love the fans. Just one.
There is absolutely no other reason they would include a single-pack release that is mostly indistinguishable to the average kid from the guys in the Combiner set other than for the fans.
For example, that way we (the fans) don’t miss out on Slingshot — released as Kre-O Quickslinger — with the rest of the Aerialbots that make up Kre-O Superion.
Quickslinger gets a different head and helmet from the rest of the Aerialbots, but other than that, has the same basic colour scheme as Firestrike — the Kre-O incarnation of Fireflight.
The remaining three are the ones that didn’t suffer a name change; Air Raid, the team leader Silverbolt, and Skydive.
Air Raid’s is pretty much the only one of the five of them with a semi-decent alt mode.
Mind you, this isn’t a complaint or a strike against these guys in the least bit for me. None of the Microchanger series and especially none of the Microchanger Combiners have been bought because they can actually transform. Just like the pre-Microchanger Kreons, they were all bought based on their robot modes and the awesome G1-ness of it all. Pretty much the same reason I own all of the widely released G1 Robot Heroes.
As much as I like Superion and the Aerialbots, I’m not too overly attached to them, which may be why I didn’t really feel the need — as so many other apparently did — to find a combination that included him in Superion. It wouldn’t be too difficult to do and still include a majority, if not all, of his pieces.
For some reason, I didn’t feel the same about Predaking and the Predacons. Not only did I feel the need to include the single-packed member of the group, Rampage, but I also felt compelled to correct the non-G1-ness of his combined mode’s legs.
For it to properly be Predaking, you have to have a rhino head for the left kneecap and a bull head for the right. What the instructions have instead is a — admittedly clever — single horn to represent the rhino and the double horned piece from Divebomb’s tail to suggest the bull head.
What I and countless others have done is to use the actual head pieces in place of the suggested ones. This presents a slight problem, because the combined mode uses the orange head piece for its head. All except Divebomb have an interchangeable helmet piece with holes to insert horns and make it into a rhino or bull head or left as is for the two cats. To solve this, I swapped out Rampage’s red head piece achieving even more G1 accuracy in the process. However, this wasn’t the end of the problems. As a further cheat, the red head for Rampage on Predaking’s shoulder is faked by using the red headpiece from the bull. I say “faked” because, remember, Rampage isn’t even included in the Predaking set.
I considered buying a second single-packed Rampage just for the headpiece, but for now I faked it even more by borrowing a couple of my extra red pieces for his shoulder.
By adding Rampage into the mix, I also made Predaking a little taller, which is appropriate given his comparatively hulking size in G1.
While I was adding extra pieces, I also increased Divebomb’s wingspan which in turn increased Predaking’s. Remember that appreciation and jealousy of the toy designers I mentioned? Divebomb is where a majority of it came from in this case. I had a lot of dislikes with Divebomb. First, his robot mode placed his wings directly on his arms, which is needlessly inaccurate. I moved those to his already existing backpack. I also used red for the wings rather than black in robot mode. I would have preferred a little more G1 accurate orange, but was lacking the pieces.
I also left his tail piece on his backpack. Speaking of his tail, that I changed completely. The double-pronged tail piece from the instructions just didn’t work at all. His entire alt mode was pretty much just him bending in half, it clearly needed further help. I kept the black wing pieces along with the added red and gave him a bigger wingspan and used the two slanting orange pieces from his combined mode’s legs to try to recreate his G1 tail. I also replaced the two horns with actual clamps to give his bird legs some actual clawed feet.
Still not perfect, but much better in my opinion. The appreciation for toy designers came in the fact that I would make improvements to his alt mode, but then it was too bulky and I was removing way too many pieces to convert him to robot. What I had to do was find a balance between a definitive alt mode and a clean robot mode without a pile of pieces left over. Luckily Kre-O has a precedent of a couple pieces left over after you transform them. A toy designer doesn’t even that much leeway. These days they have to try to make a convincing alt mode and a convincing robot mode and use all the same pieces for both. A mind-twisting exercise, but a fun one (which is where the jealousy comes in). With the exception of not putting the vest piece on Razorclaw, I left the other guys pretty much alone in both modes. The vest pieces have been particularly annoying because they cover up all the wonder detailing included on the Kreon’s chest.
I’ve left them off of any Kreons where they aren’t strictly necessary.
Despite the identical headpieces, the menagerie of animals for the Predacons has just enough differences. Though they still come off rather… impressionistic.
Once again, not a problem. The combined mode is where it’s at.
I have purposely tried to stay away from their Kre-O names because two of them are a bit of a mess. Razorclaw, Rampage, and Divebomb all retain their original G1 names, but Tantrum and Headstrong are no longer available. Hasbro replaced them with Torox and Headlock. Now, Torox has history, it is actually Tantrum’s Italian G1 name. The problem is that someone got confused and swapped their names along the way, with Tantrum being renamed Headlock and my favourite Predacon, Headstrong, being renamed Torox.
Either way, whatever they’re named, I seriously doubt anyone’s going to mess with them about it.
I’ve loved these guys since I was knee high to a grasshopper. The Insecticons Bombshell, Kickback, and Shrapnel!
All the way up to the most recent series, Transformers has been infested with bugs and it’s mostly these guys’ fault.
In fact, as far as I am aware, Robots in Disguise is the only continuity group in which we see no evidence of Transformers with insect alt modes. Even then, “Insecticons” are named in a couple pieces of dialogue of the English dub, though the references make them sound more like wildlife, like the “Petro-rabbits” from G1. X-Brawn opens episode 21 being chased by Decepticons and stating,
“They’re on me like an Insecticon on a power core.”
The three “original” Insecticons; Kickback, Shrapnel, and Bombshell weren’t the only Insecticons from G1 but because they were the only ones to make it into the cartoon, people tend to forget about the other four.
Back in my Windcharger post, I raved a bit about the wonderfully talented Matt Kuphaldt. Another piece that I particularly like is his Shrapnel image, showing off Shrapnel’s lightning powers.
Shrapnel was shown to be something of a leader of the Insecticons in the cartoon but is most often remembered as the guy that repeats the ends of his sentences, sentences (a form of palilalia I discuss in my Warpath post.)
All three of mine are original G1 that I hunted down separately — acquiring the last one right before Hasbro decided to reissue all three of them. My Shrapnel came with the later released gun variation that includes the panels in the back and the more detailed barrel.
Shrapnel’s alt mode is a robot stag beetle.
This was particularly funny when Shrapnel had his gender swapped in two foreign dubs, one in France and in Russia, seeing as only male Stag Beetles have those really big antler-like antennae. Together the three Insecticons originally formed the “Insecter Robo” releases of Diaclone, mechs piloted by the Diaclone villains, the Waruder. This is why they include cockpits in their alt modes.
This is also why all three received Diaclone-inspired repaints through E-Hobby in 2004. They also received releases in the uber-cute Robot Heroes line. Both Shrapnel (released as just “Insecticon”) and Kickback are battling it out for who can be the most cheerful Insecticon.
The only reason Robot Heroes Bombshell (released as Hardshell) isn’t in the running is because he has a faceplate rather than a big, cheesy smile.
He then passed on his new name to a couple Hardshells, both the lead Insecticon from Transformers Prime as well as an Insecticon clearly designed after G1 Bombshell.
Bombshell’s power has been one of the most widely used conventions in the history of Transformers fiction. Shrapnel’s electric attacks were nice, but Bombshell has the ability to implant mind controlling “cerebro-shells” into the heads of robots or humans using his “stinger”.
This is, of course, setting aside completely the fact that he is supposed to be a Rhinoceros Beetle therefore that thing in the front is a horn, not a stinger. It ends up over his head in robot mode, so he can take over people’s minds in either mode.
My favourite of the Insecticons is Kickback. Partially because of his alt mode, but mostly because his alt mode is what gives him his power. Shrapnel channels electricity, Bombshell controls minds, Kickback… kicks things. Really hard.
See, it’s ’cause he’s a grasshopper. In my book, that’s awesome. A Transforming Grasshopper. That definitely ranks up there with wonderful oddities like a transforming locust.
Kickback was one of a handful of G1 ‘bots to make it into the Sector Seven promotional material for the first of the live action movies. Though he appears at the height of an actual grasshopper, he demonstrates that kicking prowess of his by kicking a camera to death.
In a nice piece of engineering, his robot arms are formed from both of his front alt mode legs, but he still retains a little bit of elbow movement.
His Robot Heroes release has gigantic, awkward hands. He looks like he’s ready to gleefully assist Skywarp in pushing some folks down a flight of stairs.
Kickback would go on to be the only one of the Insecticons homaged in Fall of Cybertron to receive a toy release.
I’ve always liked the G1 Insecticons in general because rather than simply being a sub-group within the Decepticons, they spent a good portion of the cartoon considering themselves to be an entirely separate faction; forcing Megatron to bribe them into working for him. That takes some serious ball bearings.
Megatron most valued them because of their ability to clone themselves, creating drone-level copies as a swarm of Insecticons. This idea would get turned on its head in the IDW comics series, having the Insecticons instead be created by the Decepticons.
The process of creating the three hyper-intelligent Insecticons resulted in roughly three thousand mutated, seemingly mindless, Transformer-devouring Insecticons, collectively called “The Swarm”.
From the Swarm, however, came my favourite Insecticon of all time. Bob, the domesticated pet of Sunstreaker.
Isn’t he just adorable? Why have we never gotten a toy of Bob?
Not exactly the greatest mystery of Transformers history, but definitely an interesting identity crisis. G1 and Dark of the Moon Spike Witwicky and Backfire
Most humans are not allowed in my display, let alone subjects of blog posts, but with the obvious exception of Minerva and Shūta showing up last week, I feel now is as good a time as any to take a quick look at Spike Witwicky; mostly spurred on by a Human Alliance release from early in the Dark of the Moon line (so there is an actual Transformer involved in this post too).
We start at the most recent release that actually represents the beginning of the cycle; last year’s Toys R Us exclusive Masterpiece Optimus Prime. Hasbro’s release of TakaraTomy’s MP-10 mold included the tiny Spike figure.
He represents the beginning because first there was Spike from the original G1 cartoon.
Followed by Spike from later in the G1 cartoon by way of the 1986 movie (or “Sparkle” in the hilariously bad Omni Productions dub of Headmasters.)
Which leads to the amusing little sidetrack homage of Spike from Animated.
Separately from the cartoons, we have Spike from the original G1 comics.
Who was caused by Spike from the G1 toys. By “caused” I mean he was inserted in the comic at the time pretty much to sell the new Fortress Maximus toy.
Previous to Spike’s appearance in the comic, there was just his younger brother, Buster.
Another amusing sidetrack, either Spike or Buster may or may not also be Butch from the Forest Rescue Mission coloring book.
None of them is – or perhaps all of them are – necessarily analogous to Sam from the recent movies.
Sam is given the nickname of “Spike” in the credits of the Latin American Spanish dub of the movie (presumably from an earlier draft of the script) but Sam Witwitcky can’t be Spike Witwicky. Mostly because this guy already is.
Packaged in with Human Alliance Backfire, Spike Witwicky is definitely not Sam. Just to add a little confusion, Sam Witwicky was later packaged in the Autobot Daredevil Squad, which also includes a repaint of Backfire. How do I know Sam is not Spike? Sam can be described as a number of things (“twitchy” comes to mind) but Spike Witwicky is described as a “specialist in urban warfare”.
Sorry, Sam, I’m not buying it, I don’t think you have a place in the Spike Witwicky group.
So, how did I end up on this ultimately fruitless path of trying to figure out where “Spike Witwicky” fits within the movie-verse’s Witwicky family? To make a long story short (too late!),
Initially there were a couple things that really caught my attention with this guy. First, he has great light piping in his head. Second, the two guns that he comes with are really freakin’ cool.
Third, his Can-Am Spyder Roadster alt mode is great. Just like Human Alliance Icepick‘s snowmobile, I don’t have any particular attachment to the vehicle itself, just that the sculpt is really well done.
The best part about him, though, is his third mode.
Speaking of Human Alliance Icepick, before I get to Backfire’s third mode, I need to clear up a moment of extreme stupidity on my part in my Icepick post. I derided him for his third mode, something I declared to be a “Hoverbike with a chainsaw”; which, as awesome as it sounds like it should be, doesn’t really make any sense.
Now I’m not saying I’m the smartest person on the planet, but normally I’m not this obtuse. Somehow, despite showing the shield mode of Drag Strip in the very same post, I managed to miss the post at the back of Icepick’s third mode. As in: the handle. The handle meant to be held by larger Transformers.
And not just a Targetmaster weapon, a freaking chainsaw with guns. That is awesome. Seriously.
It finally dawned on me what the best point of the Human Alliance basics line really was when I saw Backfire’s third mode.
I knew I had seen this before and a quick search of the Dark of the Moon concept art proved me right.
I think I’m actually going to go back, revisit this line a little more closely, and see what other awesomeness I might have accidentally glazed over.
The biggest conclusion I have come to, though, is that I would have cared so much more (or at all, I guess) for the “Human” part of Human Alliance if they had used humans I cared about at all. By this, of course, I mean: why is there no G.I. Joe Human Alliance Transformers?
Some oddities and downright mistakes from the earlier years of Transformers have understandably perpetuated. The easiest example of this would be the accidental swap of Rumble and Frenzy’s colours. Those of us that knew them first as toys are used to Rumble being red and Frenzy being blue. Those that saw them first through the cartoon tend to expect the reverse. It makes sense that such a big discrepancy would still live on with the G1 cartoon being such a formative piece of fiction for a lot of fans.
The perpetuation of other mistakes makes far less sense. ”Minelba” is one. Minerva, an actual name that makes actual sense, has been consistently incorrectly transliterated or “romanized“ from Japanese into English on her packaging and bio card. The reasons for this are blatantly obvious to anyone with even a passing familiarity with Japanese, but the original intent of the name is clearly Minerva, named after the Roman goddess of (among many other things) medicine.
And so the error lives on. You’ll even find fans that insist the name is truly Minelba, despite all evidence to the contrary. Of course, this is the same fandom that can sometimes exhibit… inappropriate reactions to the fifteen-year-old girl.
Minerva only appeared as a Takara release in the Masterforce line and her lack of a Hasbro release leads to her commanding excessive sums of money on the secondary market. The most recent Ebay auction as of this writing closed at $570 for a toy with heavy sticker wear and missing her seat/helmet and two smaller blasters. The end result being that just short of a reissue, a Minerva would not be gracing my display any time soon. This made me sad as I had just recently watched Masterforce and liked it a lot.
Then at the end of 2011, Reprolabels announced it would be doing a free giveaway project of stickers for both Minerva and another Headmaster Junior, Goshooter. To remove the inevitable flood of these sets showing up on Ebay, they stipulated that you must own either of the toys to qualify for the free project. Due to the somewhat rare nature of the two, they also allowed those that owned the Korean knock-off versions to be eligible. To prove ownership, you just needed to take a photo of you holding one or both and e-mail it in. As the closest I would reasonably come to owning these two, I ordered the knock-offs and had my wife snap a quick phone picture and I was in.
The KO versions are certainly not without their flaws. Minerva has a black torso rather than white, a gold face with black eyes rather than yellow with blue eyes, and the guns on the side of the head have the handle at the wrong angle.
The difference in the face didn’t really bother me at all, in fact I especially like the gold, but the black chest had to go. So I tried my hand at a little painting and I don’t think it came out too bad.
One place that was difficult to lay an even coat was on the robot’s chest, due to the smaller details. It doesn’t really make too much difference, as the other thing the KO lacks is the tech spec mechanism in the chest altogether so there’s not really a reason to open it. Not that it stopped me from putting the SPD/STR/INT sticker in place.
Another difference with the KO is the lack of the tiny paint application on the face of the Headmaster figure itself.
A cool detail about the Headmaster Juniors, as well as their Hasbro counterparts, is that even though the smaller size of their robots didn’t allow for three separate tumblers for the tech spec reader, the heads still had the proper tooling. This means plugging Minerva into Brainstorm’s body will give you Minerva’s tech specs of SPD: 7, STR: 5, and INT: 8.
The Reprolabels sticker set really gets a chance to shine in alt mode.
Minerva’s alt mode would be considered an emergency rapid response vehicle — the smaller, faster vehicles used either along with an ambulance or in place of an ambulance in cases were transporting patients isn’t necessary. The KO has black windows in place of the original’s blue painted windows, but retains the hole placements necessary to weaponize this otherwise unsuspecting emergency vehicle.
Also still there is the opening roof to allow Minerva to ride along in alt mode.
Minerva’s fellow Headmaster Junior Shūta Gō has a little bit of naming confusions but only to those not familiar with the convention of using the surname before the given name. In Japan, his last name of Gō would come first; thus Gō Shūta gives way to his Transformer’s name of Goshooter. The KO of Goshooter has a much darker blue and he has a silver rather than light blue face.
In alt mode, Goshooter now sports a red and blue light bar, the original only had light blue on both ends.
Shūta rides along in alt mode.
He also has holes for weaponizing his alt mode.
Just like Minerva, Shūta is missing the paint application from his face.
If the KOs are any indication, Minerva and Goshooter are quite solid pieces. They are both very well proportioned and reasonably well articulated for Generation 1 era toys.
I just need to find Cab to complete the trio. Luckily there was no difference between the Hasbro and Takara releases of the Cab/Hosehead mold. Unlike Minerva and Goshooter, tracking him down actually seems reasonably possible.
The Year of the Really Big Autobots: Part One. G1 and Platinum Edition Year of the Snake Omega Supreme!
2013 brings three of the most surprising, most glee-inducing releases in recent Transformers history. Releasing in ascending height we have:
- Omega Supreme -”Year of the Snake” and second of the Platinum Edition exclusives (the first being last year’s “Year of the Dragon” Dark of the Moon Ultimate Optimus Prime), a retool of Energon Omega Supreme done in the style of Omega’s War for Cybertron incarnation with just enough G1 about him to make him at home in a Generations display.
- Fortress Maximus – the holy grail for many Transformers and now Encore Release #23 coming in March/April.
- Metroplex – An unexpected Toyfair 2013 reveal, the giant city-bot gets an update via the Generations line, with a somewhat Fall of Cybertron feel to him. At 24 inches tall, he will ever-so-slightly surpass Fortress Maximus as the tallest Transformer toy ever made. His release has been declared as “Fall 2013″.
Just one of these would make for a pretty awesome lead-in to the Transformers “Thrilling Thirty” 30th Anniversary celebration, but to get all three is as awesome as it is literally huge.
Part 1: The Last Line of Defense.
Omega Supreme has, hands down, one of the best retorts of the entirety of the Generation 1 cartoon. In The God Gambit, after crash landing onto a cliff edge on an alien world and finding himself stuck in place due to low energy, Jazz tells him that they will be back to help him, adding cheerfully,
“Just don’t move!”
The ever-pragmatic Omega Supreme responds with,
“Sarcasm: not appreciated.”
Along with being just a genuinely funny moment, this whole scene highlights the biggest (no pun intended) problem inherent with using Omega Supreme — or any of the Titans for that matter.
He’s simply too big and too powerful to be used regularly. He is relegated to the “last line of defense” because he could smash the Decepticon army almost single-handedly; which would make for a very short cartoon series. Granted, in a war for energy, keeping an energon-guzzler like Omega Supreme fully functional isn’t realistic, which helps mitigate the first part but that doesn’t really factor in when you are talking about the toys. It’s no fun taking your Skywarp into battle when the other kid has an Autobot that can solidly trounce you in one hit.
Due to their cost, most of the people I know only ever had one of the titans growing up. I am no exception; mine was Metroplex. I never even got him in-hand until he was reissued in the Encore line in 2008. Originally sold as “Super Change Robot Mechabot-1″ by Toybox — the same people that sold Sky Lynx — his reissue became possible when Takara merged with then-rival Tomy in 2006. It turned out that Toybox had licensed both of them from designs created by Tomy. Because Hasbro had licensed them from another company, Takara never released either of them in Japan until their somewhat-inaccurately-named Encore releases. The Encore attempts to give Omega Supreme a face in the previously vacant area under his visor.
Though the sculpt doesn’t really make it look any more like the cartoon head, I like it. He can also turn his head around to bring his cannon to bear.
Though, it wasn’t entirely necessary, as shown in many of his fiction appearances, he could still blast enemies without turning his head.
Also, as shown in many of his fiction appearances, he has really, really, reeeeeeeally cheesy dialogue. I guess you have a lot of time on your hands when you spend a good portion of the time as a base. Omega Supreme apparently chooses to use that spare time to come up with imposing one liners?
Due the nature of his “Tank with track around rocket base” alt mode, he is the very definition of a partsformer.
I’m sure this lead to a lot of Omega Supreme toys with missing pieces, especially the little yellow clips that keep his legs together. I like his alt mode mainly for the motorized tank that patrols the base’s perimeter.
In robot mode, the motor gives him an awkward, slow, shuffling walk which is pretty much the full extent of any leg articulation. His arms have very good articulation, though.
There’s a little bit of disagreement about his robot mode, namely his “wings”. In his instructions, he has the center pieces attached to his back.
However, most of his fictional appearances show him with the side pieces instead, a look that can be duplicated on the toy.
This attention to how the wings are placed becomes more apparent when you put the G1 Omega Supreme up against the new Platinum Edition release. If any true deficiency can be pointed out on this wonderful new update/homage, it’s that he has no wings at all.
Setting this aside is very easy to do when so much else about the new Omega Supreme is so very right. Whomever decided to take Energon Omega Supreme, give him a G1 paintjob, replace the Headmaster feature with a new headsculpt, and replace the crane arm with a proper claw arm is a genius.
I originally had Energon Omega Supreme but got rid of him when I became so very disappointed in a good portion of the Energon toyline. It was just too hard to look past his bad paintjob, gimmicky crane hand, and strange train engine with crane arm part of his alt mode. Unfortunately, the only part of it that makes me regret giving him up is the Headmaster part, which was removed in the Platinum Edition release. Happily the new War for Cybertron headsculpt is amazing.
Seeing pre-release pictures of him, I was concerned that the new headsculpt seemed too small, but once I saw him in person, I find I like it. It actually helps to give his body more of a sense of size. Of course, his actual sheer size also helps. The visor part of his headsculpt can be raised and a cannon flips out from the back of his head.
My major complaint with Energon Omega Supreme in both robot and alt mode, the crane arm, has been replaced by the articulated spinning claw hand/cannon from the game. This also fixes that half of his alt mode, as it is now a train engine pulling a massive cannon.
The battleship half of his alt mode is the same, but I never had any problems with it, it’s actually pretty cool.
The combined version of his alt mode, the “Cybertronian Armored Supertrain” is still complete nonsense.
For the most part, so is the “crane” transformation.
Ditto on the “artillery cannon” transformation.
None of it matter, though, when there’s already a decent alt mode made of the two vehicles and an absolutely wonderful, massive robot mode.
If you have never seen any of Omni Production’s dub of The Headmasters, Super-God Masterforce, or Victory — sometimes called “The Singapore Dub”, it’s the one referenced in my post about Billy-I mean, Blaster/Twincast – you are doing yourself a disservice. This dub is so horrifically bad, it’s awesome. Now, I’m in no way suggesting you watch all of the Omni dub, that can’t possibly be good for anyone’s sanity, but there’s enough of it up on the Tubes of You to give you a taste of the lunacy. One particularly note-worthy scene involves the translation of Sixshot’s function as “Ninja Officer”.
Now, does this mean he consults about ninjas? Or he is a ninja who also does consultations? On what? Or maybe he consults directly to ninjas? Mysterious. (Or ridiculous. Your choice.)
His single appearance in the U.S. cartoon was pretty much a straight advertisement for his toy and its unprecedented six modes.
He also only made an appearance in one panel of the second issues of the four-part Headmasters comic book mini-series. This meant that for a while, his involvement across Headmasters, the Japanese season 3 cartoon, was pretty much the entirety of Sixshot.
Most of that was being known as the guy that ruthlessly killed folks. First, we find out millions of years ago he killed Chromedome’s little friend Abel (get it? Abel, the biblical first victim of murder? Subtle Takara, real subtle.) Then he shows up in modern times, gets up to some pretty standard Decepticon hijinks and then, oh yeah, murders Ultra Magnus in episode 24, given the accurate-yet-spoiler-filled-title: “Ultra Magnus Dies!!”After he fires the fatal shots, Sixshot lets out one of the best evil, maniacal laughs in the history of Transformers cartoons. Four episodes later, he then murders yet another friend of Chromedome, Jack.
All of this seems to culminate rather unsettlingly in episode 32 “My Friend Sixshot!” in which Daniel befriends “Uncle Sixshot” when he convinces himself that Sixshot isn’t really that bad of a guy. Did I mention this is the guy that killed Ultra Magnus a mere eight episodes prior? Or that killed two friends of Chromedome, who Daniel is supposedly also friends with?
I never had Sixshot as a kid, I honestly don’t recall at what point I even became aware of his existence. Until somewhat recently, the real lack of a presence in US fiction lead to statements by many like,
“I generally like G1 figures but I don’t remember Six Shot at all.“
However, IDW changed that by having him take a very active role in a number of their comics. Unfortunately, at first they poured on the “I’m a super-awesome-uber-cool-tailpipe-kicking ‘bot” a little too thick for me.
Granted, that “unbeatable one ‘bot army” thing has been knocked down a peg. The last we saw of him, he had just been dealt with by Metroplex.
But even that couldn’t keep him down permanently, so I’m sure he’ll be making a comeback.
Hopefully his return will come as an actual character rather than the super-powered stereotype he’s been portrayed as so far. All of these appearances seem to have been enough to garner attention from Mastermind Creations, a 3rd Party group, who are soon releasing their highly articulated and highly expensive “Terminus Hexatron”.
While a very, very nice looking toy, it’s not really something I need in my collection. Though it is infinitely more articulated than the original, it doesn’t really do anything to actually update Sixshot.
While only having a single point of useful articulation (his arms swivel up) Sixshot’s G1 toy has one advantage, he is intimidatingly large.
Mine is the 2002 Takara reissue. There’s recently been a Hasbro Asia reissue, but as it was given a shiny new chromed and metallic paint deco, it’s actually more expensive to get ahold of than the upcoming 3rd party toy.
Hopefully the combination of the 3rd party stuff — there’s also a recent Justitoys “World’s Smaller Transformers” release of Sixshot — and the Hasbro Asia release will drive prices down on the original and the 2002 reissue for those that haven’t had a chance to add this guy to their collections. For those that do finally get him, my first piece of advice regarding the instructions: ignore a good portion of the instructions.
First, don’t fold his chest “fins” in.
I assume whomever made the instructions thought the chest fins should move completely out of the way of his one point of articulation, but his box art shows you how it’s really done.
I usually angle them out somewhat rather than just putting them flat out, but that’s personal preference. Ironically, Sixshot’s instructions came sealed with a sticker and presented the buyer with a challenge:
The reason this is ironic is that both the instructions and the photos on the back of the packaging mis-transform the armored carrier mode.
There’s a step that rotates the arms to move the wheels forward.
Another purported inaccuracy involves his gun mode. There are extra holes inside his legs. Not used in any of his official transformations, his gun mode would make much more sense if this were where his blasters should be put.
Unlike the correct positioning of his wheels in armored carrier mode and of his chest fins in robot mode, the presumably correct gun mode transformation didn’t make it into his fictional appearances either. Instead they all used his instructions’ placement, on the outside.
The two modes that are pretty properly described are his other two vehicle alt modes. First, there’s the tank, which is particularly cool for the command station that’s formed by folding out the wolf’s lower jaw.
Then there’s my favourite of his vehicle alt modes and the most cohesive, the “Attack Jet”.
My favourite of all of his modes is his wolf mode. However, even this mode doesn’t escape without a minor bit of scrutiny. If it is indeed just a wolf, then the instructions’ placement of Sixshot’s wings is fine.
However, his fictional appearances tend to go with a Winged Wolf, angling the wings up and out slightly.
One of the reasons the wolf is my favourite is that it even warrants a special call-out in his Tech Spec.
“Only the wolf creature has no need for Sixshot’s 2 hypersonic concussion blasters; the wolf mode prefers to rip apart enemy Autobots with his razor fangs.”
Of course, “Winged Wolf” isn’t to be confused with “Wingwolf”, the oddity of a “hidden” seventh mode he suddenly displayed in Headmasters.
I wonder if the reason this seventh mode is “hidden” is because he doesn’t want to get kicked out of the Six Clan? (Couldn’t possibly be because it’s completely made up by the producers of Headmasters and not actually a real thing… right?)
I don’t need this toy… I really don’t need this toy… Wait? Data discs? Ok, I need this toy. Fall of Cybertron Soundblaster, Frenzy, Rumble, Ravage, Ratbat, Buzzsaw, and Laserbeak.
There have recently been a couple glaring contradictions in my usual rules surrounding toy-centric versus fiction-centric names. To recap, this is Frenzy:
Despite the fact that this is Rumble:
Of course, in that same episode of the original series, this was also Rumble,
We’ll all be better off if we just pretend that never happened. As I pointed out at length in my “Rumble is red, Frenzy is blue” post, I adopted a toy-centric view mostly because I was exposed to the toys well before I was exposed to the cartoon. So, in my world RiRFiB (Rumble is Red, Frenzy is Blue) because that’s what the toys told me.
And this is Fall of Cybertron Rumble,
Which means so is this,
It remains to be seen if this is a decision to officially reverse RiRFiB for toys moving forward, but Hasbro at least ok’ed the FiR part as far back as 2011 with the eventually cancelled “Demolition Rumble” release of United Frenzy.
Though the Fall of Cybertron and Prime releases have continued making Rumble blue, it might just be because the game itself went that direction and as far as I know Hasbro is still pretending that Prime and Fall of Cybertron are all the same continuity (despite glaring evidence to the contrary).
This does nothing to change the fact that, despite what the packaging may read, I will never be able to think of this guy as Frenzy,
Ugh. RiRFiB/RiBFiR. Derailing conversations/threads/posts since 1984. Back to the only reason there’s new Frenzy and Rumble toys to fret about in the first place: Fall of Cybertron Soundwave.
At Botcon 2012, we got our first look at the return of voyager class toys to the Generations line. Quite a surprise — and to many, a disappointment – was the announcement of Fall of Cybertron Soundwave. Disappointment because rather than getting a new toy, we were getting a supersized version of a toy we already got once. War for Cybertron Soundwave, even at deluxe scale, was an awesome toy. As great as Fall of Cybertron Soundwave looked, he was effectively surplus to requirements. Left at that, this would have seemed a very bad idea on Hasbro’s part, no matter how popular Soundwave was. So, why release him?
The return of Soundwave’s army of Decepticon Mini-Cassette minions? Wonderful. Laserbeak comes with Soundwave, Buzzsaw with Soundblaster.
Of course, there’s the aforementioned misnamed Rumble and Frenzy.
Each comes packaged in a two-pack. We couldn’t have a set of deployers without loyal Ravage.
My favourite of the set just so happens to be my favourite original Decepticon Mini-Cassette, Ratbat.
And not just because his box art is absolutely adorable.
Of course, we can’t have a bunch of random little dudes running around pre-Earth Cybertron as cassettes. The answer? Cybertronian data discs complete with disc cases for the two-pack sets.
The return of Soundwave’s army of Decepticon Mini-Cassette minions as Data-Disc minions? Genius!
What started as an apparently risky proposition for Hasbro turned out to be quite the opposite. At this point I knew I was going to need this mold for the ”deployers” alone, an annoying proposition when I already had a Soundwave I was quite happy with (and who fit in better scale-wise with the rest of the War for Cybertron/Fall of Cybertron display shelf). Then Hasbro announced that we were getting a repaint as Soundblaster and my annoyance levels dropped considerably. Though the amount of work I had to go through to secure a Fall of Cybertron Laserbeak without buying Soundwave was tremendous, it worked out monetarily quite in my favour and I even ended up with Soundwave’s weapon out of the deal. Fall of Cybertron Soundblaster is actually a wonderful homage.
And Soundwave didn’t even have to die this time around to get upgraded… or did he? An oddity from Soundblaster’s toy bio gives the impression that Soundwave doesn’t really fare too well after the end of Fall of Cybertron:
Restored to a fully functioning state by the loyalty of his minions and
the arcane science of an alien world, Soundwave takes a new name to
reflect his new lease on life.
Alien world? Arcane science? I am intrigued. What happened? Will we ever know what the bio writer was talking about?
Beyond the inclusion of his chest being able to contain and eject up to 3 of his deployers at a time, there’s really no overall difference — other than size, naturally — in either mode from the original deluxe release. Originally described as just “Armored Vehicle Mode”, he is now labelled as transforming into a “Communications Truck”.
The ejection of the deployers can also be done in Alt mode, which is a nice addition.
The aforementioned “Operation: Ejection” gimmick is rather hit-or-miss. First and most important: the instructions show the data discs going into his chest with their little auto-transformation buttons facing out. UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES EVER DO THIS. EVER. They are meant to go the other way around and will almost certainly get jammed in there if put in backwards. That is not to say that putting them in the correct way is entirely pain-free. The tolerances on these things are razor thin, meaning… well, I can’t put it any better than David Willis over at Shortpacked did,
“Mostly these guys get stuck and then you push and push and push and use excessive force and then when finally one of them gives they all explode out of his chest at the same time, usually hitting you in the face no matter where your face is and then you have a scattering of half-transformed things everywhere.”
Most of mine fit pretty well, but the birds and bat are the ones that stick the worst. Speaking of the ejection gimmick, the homage does go a step further on the Fall of Cybertron figure than the original War for Cybertron. He has an ejection button on his shoulder that opens his chest compartment, exactly like the placement of original’s tape door eject button. A splendid step further, there’s molded detail in his right hand that I initially mistook for a trigger finger. Nope, just like in the G1 cartoon, he can reach up and push his own eject button.
Another oddity from both Soundwave and Soundblaster’s box, also shown in their instructions, is a second gun. Though no second gun was included, the gun depicted is actually G1 Optimus Prime’s.
So yeah, other than packaging photo strangeness and the mostly-not-working main gimmick, it’s an excellent mold. Had I not already owned the deluxe version, I would have happily bought both Soundwave and Soundblaster. Besides, even if it weren’t a good mold by itself, the new mold Deployer army alone would make it more than worth it.
Thanks to the Soundblaster repaint, no need to buy Soundwave again, I pretty much figured I had Hasbro beat on this one. Then they announced Fall of Cybertron Blaster. Oh, screw you Hasbro.
For the longest time, the only version of his original toy’s mold in my collection was my G2 Optimus Prime.
Much like my G2 Bruticus, basically I skipped over all the reissuesof the G1. I especially ignored the 2008 release when it was attached to the rather ridiculous price tag of $75. Even with the included reprint of the G1 comic (of which I already have the original), the dvd with all three parts of “More than Meets the Eye” (episodes I have multiple times in multiples formats), and the Autobot symbol with sound effects, G2 Optimus and his big honkin’ guns of death was doing just fine for me, thank you.
But as it often goes with collecting, something can come along and change your mind about a piece. This time it was a combination of somethings. First: price drop. Apparently a lot of people weren’t happy with the $75 price tag and by the time I decided to buy him, he was already half that, a very reasonable price for everything that came with him.
Second: nostalgia. I decided that even though I still didn’t need the toy of Optimus Prime only in brighter colours, I did need that trailer. Despite the fact that it disappeared and reappeared auto-magically in the cartoon, Optimus Prime’s trailer is about as iconic as he is. Don’t get me wrong, I love the black, “Optimus Prime” emblazoned G2 trailer. There’s just something about the original that puts a smile on my face.
You’ve got to respect a Commander that carts around his team’s mobile headquarters.
Since it wasn’t included in the instructions for the original Hasbro release, as a kid I never knew about the trailer’s third mode, the “repair bay”. Originating in Diaclone years of the mold, the repair bay mode shows up at about :12 and then the very end of this absolutely awesome original Diaclone commercial,
For the record, I have no definitive idea where I came across the two little Diaclone pilots I own. I know I’ve had them at least as long as I’ve had my G2 Optimus (personally purchased off the Toys R Us shelves in 1993) and I think I might have bought them at a garage sale. Strangely the metal of their feet are not magnetized. In fact, I’m not sure how, but the metal pieces on their feet (or at least they certainly feel like metal) don’t even stick to magnets.
So knock-offs or not, they technically count as the only actual Diaclone-only pieces in my collection. Strange.
Speaking of “the only one in my collection”, Optimus is the only Transformer I bought in the Smallest Transforming Transformers line.
I don’t remember which Botcon I picked him up at, but I didn’t bother hunting down his shortpacked trailer.
Until my most recent move and re-organization of my display, I displayed the G1 reissue set in its box (hence the unapplied stickers) as it sufficiently showed off the trailer that I bought the thing for in the first place. When I went to set up my new Optimus Prime shelf, I decided it was time this guy came out of his packaging and I didn’t stop there. I had another Optimus Prime that had been on display in box.
In 2007, to coincide with the release of the first movie, the PepsiCo “Transform Your Summer” promotion caused me some alarm. I badly wanted the Pepsi Optimus Prime that Hasbro had been selling at certain conventions, but short of buying one off ebay or entering codes from bottle caps to try to win one in the promotion, I was out of luck. Turns out I wasn’t as out of luck as I thought. My core problem was that, Pepsi or Coke, it didn’t matter because I don’t drink soda; at least not soda that hasn’t had some form of alcohol poured into it. Given this, the quantity of alcohol to go with the quantity of soda I would need to drink to get enough codes to ensure a win wouldn’t have been doing my liver any favours. Luckily a friend up at work drinks unholy amounts of soda, specifically Mountain Dew at the time. A pile of bottle caps would show up on my desk throughout the day, untold amounts of codes were entered. Not only was it enough to win, I didn’t realize I had won and kept playing. Shortly after my first Pepsi Optimus Prime showed up in the mail, a second showed up.
Pepsi Optimus Prime owes his origin to a somewhatr roundabout homage. He is basically a release of the 2005 promotional “Pepsi Convoy” from Takara with altered Pepsi logos and decals as well as the shortened smokestacks that have been standard for Hasbro releases. The interesting thing about Pepsi Convoy is that he is presented as being a different character from G1 Convoy.
Hasbro’s version has some paintjob differences, such as the change to the logo on his shoulder. Also Pepsi Optimus Prime is the same Optimus we know and love, only now able to (and this is a direct quote from his bio), “hook up his fellow Autobots with some free Earth delicacies they rarely get to enjoy.”
So, Pepsi Optimus Prime from Pepsi Convoy back to the original Pepsi Optimus Prime.
Only released in North America, the “Pepsi” part only comes from stickers that could be applied to the trailer of what is otherwise just a standard Optimus Prime toy.
One of the things I didn’t realize about the 2007 Pepsi Optimus Prime until I opened him, is that he includes the original, thicker version of Optimus Prime’s gun.
It may not be the convoy (ha! See what I did there?) that some have, but I quite like my little three and a third Optimus Primes.
Of course, it doesn’t hurt to have just enough to display at least one in alt mode with that beautiful trailer full of nostalgia.