Posts Tagged Invasion
As unexpected homages and/or updates, Generations Sky Shadow ranks up there.
Black Shadow was a Takara exclusive released within the Transformers Victory line as a remold of the Mega Pretender Thunderwing with a new chest piece and head.
Now renamed Sky Shadow, he is a Hasbro exclusive released within the Generations line as a remold of Generations Thunderwing with a new chest piece and head.
Pretty awesome how this whole thing came full circle. Even minus the connection to G1 in a succinct update, he’d still be a pretty awesome figure on his own.
With great light-piping and detailing, his headsculpt and new chest piece are wonderful.
He retains the mold’s two missile launching cannons.
They can also be linked together to make one giant cannon that, thanks to his awesome articulation, he can hold with both hands.
He has the detachable drone to simulate his G1 mold’s Inner Robot’s Alt mode.
The best image I could find of Black Shadow’s inner robot was from Botch the Crab’s Box Art Archive site.
His Generations alt mode is an F22-ish jet
It becomes a little bit ungainly when you attach his guns under the wings.
As tends to happen with molds that get used in Botcon sets, once Metalhawk showed up that made three versions of this mold that I have all with different heads.
Luckily they are all distinct enough that the reuse doesn’t hurt them at all. That being said, the Black Shadow use is my favourite of the three.
Much like G1 Thunderwing, I don’t hold any delusions that his G1 figure will ever get reissued. Though unlike Thunderwing, at least Black Shadow made a cartoon appearance. Takara’s equivalent of Hasbro’s Mega Pretenders — Pretenders whose shell could also transform — the two Destron “Crossformers” Black Shadow and Blue Bacchus appeared in one episode of Victory. The pretty much tore up the planet Micro but were stopped when Greatshot, the Cybertron six-changer, showed up and destroyed their shells, sending them fleeing into space. A short, but fun appearance.
He’s got some great P.R. people working for him, somehow that short and injurious appearance has since been spun into a character that, according to his Generations bio, is “one of the most foul, dark-hearted Decepticons in the galaxy.” As if that wasn’t enough, it goes on to state “Megatron shudders when he hears the whine of jet engines in the distance, for it may be Sky Shadow coming for him!”
Granted the best part about Black Shadow is his original G1 function:
How awesome is that?
The showdown of the Overlord and the Pretender has been put on hold due to an Invasion! Botcon 2012 Gigatron and Metalhawk!
It’s the little things that bring the most joy. For instance, when I suddenly got it in my head that I must own Scoop it was because I wanted very much to recreate the following Botcon 2012 comic panel in toy form:
Once I got my 2012 Botcon set, I had that vital missing piece. Metalhawk. I had to borrow a couple weapons, such as Tracks’ odd little hairdryer gun and a sword for Metalhawk himself, but mission accomplished!
As for Metalhawk himself, I was very happy with how his toy turned out. A lot of others are not. Most of them were expecting the recreation of the inner robot form, like most of his U.S. appearances in fiction, not the Pretender shell. As I laid out in my post about Gilmer/Submarauder, though the human Pretender concept was handled poorly on Hasbro’s side, it was done correctly by Takara. I am nearing the end of Super-God Masterforce, the Japanese series Metalhawk appears in, and when I think of Metalhawk, I think of this guy,
Not this guy.
That’s why I am quite happy with this guy,
I am also very happy with the Botcon folks use of the Thunderwing mold, it fits the update perfectly. Well, maybe not perfectly. I did have to borrow a sword for him for the photo recreation of the comic panel. However, he makes good use of the mold’s two cannons. Of the three versions of this mold, I think he actually looks the best wielding the combined gun mode.
I might get strung up by Takara fans for this, but this mold has a far, far, faaaaar better alt mode than the original. Granted, that’s not too hard, considering how lackluster most Pretender alt modes are.
However, as controversial as the human-faced Metalhawk may be, it comes nowhere near the amount of foaming at the mouth that has occurred over the other “Classics-verse” character in the boxset.
Called Gigatron rather than the proper name of this particular update, Overlord, he apparently represents a very touchy subject for non-U.S. Transformers fans. Also from Super-God Masterforce (as far as my wife is concerned, the best name for any cartoon series ever), Overlord was a huge toy made up of a tank, driven by Giga, and a jet, piloted by Mega. One thing no one in their right mind could argue is that Gigatron’s alt mode is a spot-on update of the original G1 tank portion of Overlord.
The real issue then comes down to two main points:
- This is only half of Overlord.
- The mold that was used, Bludgeon/Banzaitron, is too Bludgeon and not enough Overlord.
I can understand both of these complaints. Granted, as far as 1 is concerned, yes, this is only half, the Giga half. His name is actually Gigatron, not Overlord. With 2, I can also understand the aversion to the skeletal samurai but the perfect alt mode, the colours, and the headsculpt overcome the skeletal thing. The samurai part was explained in his bio,
In robot mode, Gigatron carries an array of bladed melee weapons so that he may savor the damage he inflicts in a close-quarter brawl.
So, he’s a stabby-stabby kind of guy. Ultimately, to both of these complaints I say: meh. Which is easy for me to say, I know, but I don’t have the original G1 toy and at the point that I am in the series, I have seen far more Giga and Mega than Overlord. The Botcon folk anticipated this backlash and had Last Stand of the Wreckers artist, Nick Roche, do a promotional image for Gigatron basically stating that this was a version of the comic book Overlord, not the cartoon one.
To further reinforce this, the headsculpt was done specifically to be a recreation of Roche’s Overlord model. The end result is the best headsculpt on a Transformer. Ever.
I don’t care what your feelings are regarding the use of the mold, that head is absolutely beautiful. I am ok with everything about this toy. The homage to the comic book Overlord mixed with the homage to the cartoon Giga all wrapped up in a pretty fantastic paintjob.
And, oh, that headsculpt is just superb.
So that’s it, the Botcon 2012 Invasion boxset.
As usual, the box the toys come in is a work of art itself.
Of course, there were other exclusive toys, the Souvenir sets, but those will be posts for another time. Especially one in particular that is a great update that itself is going to get a little bit of 3rd party love here in the coming months so stay tuned for that.
As a surprise addition to the promised five (now six!) back-to-back posts, we have someone that was quite a surprise to me when I got him.
Mentioned previously in Transformers fiction only in a conversation between regular universe Cliffjumper and Shattered Glass Sidwswipe, we got a brief glimpse back in 2008 at what would eventually become the entire basis for his character,
“Straxus is insane, where you come from? I always liked his poetry.”
In the regular universe, the evil Decepticon Lord High Governor Straxus is a borderline lunatic and just an overall jerk. In the Shattered Glass universe, the heroic Decepticon Straxus is known as the Bard of Darkmout. Poet, philosopher, and all-around great guy, he was a surprising addition to my Shattered Glass display when he was given as the Attendance Freebie toy at this year’s Botcon. Usually the freebie toy is a repaint of one of the molds used in the exclusives, which Straxus was not. He is, of course, a repaint of the G1 Straxus toy released in the Generations line.
Given a rather bright paintjob, there was initially a lot of speculation as to the origin of his colour-scheme.
The answer proved even more surprising than his inclusion as a Botcon exclusive. From ’89 to ’92, a German comic book called Condor Verlag published Transformers Comc-Magazin, reprinting the Marvel US and UK comics jumping through the chronology quite a bit. What they were best known for were their wildly miscoloured covers. The cover to issue number 10 depicting Straxus’ floating head actually served as the inspiration for Shattered Glass Straxus’ paintjob.
You know I love me some obscurity. It doesn’t get much more obscure than that.
Character-wise, Shattered Glass Tracks is probably the least inventive of the Shattered Glass characters. He’s basically the exact same as regular-universe Tracks; remarkably vain and conceited.
However, depiction-wise, he is a wonderful head nod to the history and even pre-history of Transformers. Upon first seeing him, a lot of fans cried, “Road Rage!” from the exclusive red version of Tracks put out by the Takara affiliate store eHOBBY as the original G1 character Road Rage. In truth, Road Rage — who is incidentally a female Transformer — and Shattered Glass Tracks share a common homage, that of the original pre-Transformers Diaclone Corvette toy from which G1 Tracks’ toy came.
For reasons unknown, Hasbro eventually chose to put out G1 Tracks in a blue colour scheme, but the red paintjob could still be seen on the Transformers 1985 box art.
Though I much prefer him as Shattered Glass Tracks, it is nice that those that would like a Generations-style Road Rage can grab some Reprolabels and turn him into her.
The red detailing really works well with this mold’s alt mode too, perhaps even better than the blue deco.
Of course, flying car “attack alt mode” is there too.
So yeah, there’s not really much else to say about Shattered Glass Tracks. A pretty lackluster attempt at the evil incarnation of an established character, but a pretty spectacular implementation of Transformers pre-history resulting in a great toy.
As the polar opposite of the quiet, calm, calculatingly reserved Soundwave of our universe, Shattered Glass Soundwave is a “cheerful, optimistic, and headstrong” dude with an appreciation for grooving. So much so that, even though he shares his evil G1 counterpart’s function of “Communications”, Sir Soundwave (yes, he has been knighted for his good deeds) also has an added “and Morale Officer” tacked on.
He originally had the repurposed Sonic White” version of the Takara Music Label Soundwave for his robot and alt mode. Upon arriving on Earth with Heatwave, Soundwave ended up taking on an alt mode of a minivan complete with a G.I. Joe cartoon homaging logo of “Cold Slither”, a heavy metal band originally consisting of Zartan and the Dreadnoks, on the side.
As part of the Botcon 2012 Invasion boxset, he takes advantage of his alt mode to add bumper stickers further depicting his love of music.
The Cold Slither logo, with Zartan’s head added to the center for even more homage, is wonderfully recreated in toy form. It was also used as the graphic for this year’s “First Day Registrant” pin.
He is actually the third character to use this mold. Strangely, as much as I found the mold lackluster as both Ironhide and Ratchet, it works really well for this dude.
It’s also nice to reunite him with Botcon 2010′s G2: Redux release of the hyperactive, walking Attention Deficit Disorder Shattered Glass Ravage.
I have always liked Shattered Glass Ravage since his first fan-made appearance and was happy when he was made official. I actually liked him so much that I bought Glit, the toy he was repurposed from, to have a Ravage to put with my 2008 set. The three cassettes that came in that set are the only pieces of Kiss Players I have allowed into my collection (and my wife loves Rosanna).
Sir Soundwave’s green headband was a little bit of a controversy at Botcon. For some reason it wasn’t packaged with the rest of the box set and had to be purchased separately. They added in a trading card to justify the price (which I didn’t really find all that outrageous to begin with), but it certainly made a lot of people angry. If anything, the only part that annoyed me was it wasn’t a bright enough green. However, I took a tip from Sir Soundwave himself and just chilled, dude.
Early images of his headsculpt made it look much worse than it turned out to be in person. It looked strangely elongated in all of the promotional images Fun Publications put out. I was very happy when that turned out not to be so. Of course, he also comes with the mold’s dual-sided blade/gun weapon.
His headsculpt also fixed Ironhide and Ratchet’s flaw, allowing him to look forward rather than slightly down into his own chest.
I am quite happy with how this guy turned out and after having him appear in fiction sporadically since 2008, it’s good to finally have him on display. This gnarly, radical and righteous dude rocks in every sense of the word.
I am supposed to hate this toy.
I can hear the collective “BWAAAAAH?!?” now. How can I possibly hate a toy this phenomenal looking? An amazing paintjob, with a great new headsculpt, on one of the best molds to ever be created in Transformers history? Everything in my collecting DNA tells me I should hate it. That’s how.
To understand you have to be aware of the only correct answer to the question,
“What is the single worst robot mode in Transformers history?”
See, Shattered Glass Treadshot is actually a double-homage to two different characters in two different toylines that shared a single mold. Armada Side Swipe — yes, there’s actually a space in the name, *sigh* — and Universe Treadshot. His name, obviously, comes from the Universe toy as does, oddly enough, the silver striping down the length of his alt mode. The rest of his colouring in alt and robot modes come from the Armada toy.
So, what is the single worst robot mode in Transformers history?
As hideous as it is, a simple 2D picture of Armada Side Swipe doesn’t do justice to how bad everything is about him. Trust me, if you haven’t yet and get the chance to, look at this thing in person, it’s outstandingly bad. Then promptly throw it into a fire, for everyone’s sake. Of course, Hasbro wasn’t content to release this thing upon our collective collections, no, they revisited this mold three more times. Then they re-released the last version in a box set. Let me just state that once again: Hasbro put this mold out FIVE TIMES.
I don’t know what the fandom did to warrant one release, but we must have done something pretty horrible to justify five releases.
When there was news of a Heroic Decepticon Treadshot from the Shattered Glass universe being released in the Botcon 2012 Invasion box set, most, myself included, assumed that meant an update to the G1 Decepticon Action Master Treadshot. The Botcon folks do so love giving actual transforming updates to Action Masters so it made perfect sense. What didn’t make sense was an homage of a character that was horrible in the cartoon and had the most universally despised robot mode.
You know what makes even less sense? The fact that Shattered Glass Treadshot has managed to completely overcome the handicap of his heritage by being a positively awesome toy.
Also, he had a pretty good showing in the Invasion comic book.
Bravo, Shattered Glass Treadshot way to redeem the worst, dark corner of the Transformers toy universe.
Maybe this will even be enough to allow Armada Side Swipe out of his box of shame hidden in the farthest corner of the closet and onto the display…