Posts Tagged Shattered Glass
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…
Some of the official Shattered Glass universe is clever repainting related to established characters with reversed personalities, some of it is traditional paintjobs of established characters with reversed personalities, and then there’s the 2008 Botcon exclusive Shattered Glass Sideswipe. He is neither a clever repaint related to nor traditionally painted like Sideswipe. Heck, he doesn’t even have a reversed personality. Also, he now has a cute little boisterous, loudmouthed Mini-con friend, ironically named Whisper.
First up: his paintjob is from G2 Drench, complete with “Turbo” stamped on his tail-end. Second: his personality is the reverse of Armada Wheeljack rather than Sideswipe. Second and a half: Armada Wheeljack is also where his toy’s mold comes from, explaining why he now has a Mini-con that triggers pop-up, gullwing-door mounted missile launchers.
So, why is this guy Shattered Glass Sideswipe?
Because he basically has G1 Sideswipe’s head. For reasons that still mystify, the Takara designers that made the original Armada design of this toy gave him a Sideswipe homage for a head, despite neither Takara nor Hasbro calling the character Sideswipe.
Fine, so that’s why he’s Sideswipe rather than Shattered Glass Some Other Guy. Why the non-Sideswipe related personality?
With it’s sliced through Autobot symbol and tacked on Decepticon symbol — the Armada Wheeljack toy is specifically created to be an heroic Autobot who has gone over to the evil Decepticon side. This detail being built directly into the toy, Shattered Glass reverses the colours on his insignias and becomes an evil Autobot that has joined the side of the heroic Decepticons.
Once again, fine, that why he’s the ex-evil currently good guy and not some kind of reverse G1 Sideswipe. I really am fine with that, G1 Sideswipe’s personality was an extreme rule-bender with a penchant for underhanded tactics, the reverse of that sounds remarkably boring. Though the toy is definitely not one of my favourites to come out of the Armada line, most of my complaints are with the robot mode’s lack of useful articulation.
His paintjob works best in alt mode anyway so that’s usually how I display him. Speaking of which, why the G2 Drench paintjob? Because Hasbro was going to release a repaint of Armada Wheeljack as G2 Drench as a part of the Universe “Battle in a Box” subline but never did.
Seriously, Botcon folks, you had me up until then. The head and the chest detail went together perfectly to give us a Shattered Glass Sideswipe that is more interesting of a character than he should have been, but the paintjob is just an odd choice. They did justify the colour choice in his bio. In fact, it and the explanation of how he came to find himself on the other side of the battlelines pretty much makes up his entire bio,
“Once part of Prime’s elite Seeker unit, Sideswipe was feared as the most ruthless of the trio. Drench, the team’s leader, believed that there should be a balance between a stern hand and compassion. Though there was a difference in philosophy between the two, there was also a mutual respect. However, for Optimus, these were not traits he found appealing in his sub-commander and when the opportunity arose, he had Drench killed. Sideswipe, though ruthless, was loyal and did not agree with the fate that had been dealt to his fallen leader. Sensing a conflict in Sideswipe’s “loyalties,” Prime let Sideswipe walk into a staged ambush in which he and a fellow Autobot were left to die. Though the companion, who had been there by mistake, was killed, Sideswipe survived and ended up being accepted into the ranks of the Decepticons. While Sideswipe fights for different reasons than his new comrades, he fights nonetheless. As a tribute to his former commander, Sideswipe has taken the colors Drench once bore as a constant reminder to Prime that vengeance is coming.”
…Okay. Nevermind. You got me with that one. Shattered Glass Sideswipe takes on the paintjob of his dead boss to remind the psychopath Shattered Glass Optimus Prime that he’s going to revenge-kill him one day?
Well played, Botcon folks, well played.
Though I’m sure the Drift haters out there were hoping that Shattered Glass Drift would be a klutzy, graceless hack of an Evil Autobot, the Transformers Collectors Club has shown us that even in the dimension of opposites, Drift is still kicking tailpipes, only now he’s doing it minus that pesky sense of morality and with a lot more guns to go with his blades.
With an splendid new red paintjob purposefully reminiscent of Deadpool’s outfit, this “Mech with a Mouth” (Transformers Collectors Club’s play on Marvel’s use of “Merc with a Mouth” to describe Deadpool) is just more of what makes the Shattered Glass universe so much fun. Like the goatee-wearing Shattered Glass Rodimus, Shattered Glass Drift is an interesting spin on the whole alternate universe thing. Being patterned off the weapons addict comicbook character, Shattered Glass Drift comes not only with the two handguns that come with the Blurr version of this mold, but also all three of the blades that come with the original Drift toy, including the super floppy “Great Sword”.
Unless I am over-thinking this, I am pretty sure that the newly added paint applications on Shattered Glass Drift’s smaller swords are meant to be Arashikage clan symbols like those worn on the forearms of G.I. Joe’s Snake Eyes and Storm Shadow. It’s even done in Evil Autobot purple rather than the normal red.
Of course, thanks to the upcoming Botcon exclusive Shattered Glass Soundwave and the “Cold Slither” image complete with Zartan head that he has on his alt mode, this wouldn’t be the only G.I. Joe reference to come out of the Shattered Glass universe. Speaking of alt modes, the simpler white and red of Drift has given way to a much more striking red and black with white highlights on Shattered Glass Drift that is even more prominent in alt mode.
As with all of the Transformer Collectors Club exclusives in recent years, the box he came in is almost as much of a display piece as the toy.
From top to bottom, he’s just a much more distinguished and compelling repaint of the Drift mold given an awesomely hilarious choice in personalities.
Just like the opportunity for Classics-verse Goldbug to battle Shattered Glass Goldbug, the upcoming “Invasion” storyline from Botcon 2012 leaves the door open for the battle of the Drifts.
Given Shattered Glass Drift’s job title as “Dimensional Fragment Eliminator (fancy talk for hunting invaders from other universes)”, a cross-dimensional battle with himself seems even more likely. I can’t wait to see how he is depicted in this year’s convention comic, how much of the Deadpool-like character gets shown off. I wonder if they’ll manage to work in Deadpool’s unnatural love of a certain Golden Girl?
In the 1986 Marvel comics crossover between G.I. Joe and the Transformers, imaginatively titled G.I.Joe and the Transformers, a case of mistaken intentions (a hallmark to this day of Marvel comics) has unfortunate consequences for Bumblebee.
Three issues later he is brought back in a newly created, more powerful body and declares,
Umm, alrighty then, Goldbug. Good luck on that respect thing.
Anyway, the following year Goldbug received a toy with a very distinct blue version of his original faceplated G1 toy headsculpt. Unfortunately — despite the “dignified” new name — this toy was a Throttlebot, falling somewhere between the simplistic small-child focused Cyber Slammers and Gravity Bots lines sold for the recent movie. About a year and a half later, when the Classic Pretender toyline was scheduled for release, the comic book writers had to get Bumblebee back into his original body. Having been deactivated half a year earlier by a superpowered Starscream, it wasn’t too difficult to have Ratchet rebuild Goldbug,
But why did Ratchet rebuild Goldbug back into Bumblebee? Was that the only schematic Ratchet had on hand to go off? Was there some sort of restriction due to how quickly he had to rebuild him?
No, Ratchet just liked old Bumblebee better than new Bumble-Goldbug-bee. For no other reason than “personal preference” Ratchet negated Bumblebee’s one attempt at “growing up”. That was effectively that for Goldbug. Ironically, G2 Bumblebee would be a little bit of an homage, intentional or not, being a literally Gold Bumblebee.
Another homage came in the form of Takara’s 2010 rerelease of United Bumblebee, also in shiny gold. I skipped over it as between Hasbro and Takara it was the fifth use of this mold for Bumblebee. I would almost regret that decision when two different 3rd party groups announced they were releasing upgrade heads to turn your gold United Bumblebee into Goldbug. Then, just before the release this year of Beelzeboss’ (the folks that did the awesome Cliffjumper upgrade head and weapons) “Growing Pains” set BigBadToyStore suddenly had the shiny gold UN-07 United Bumblebee in stock and for a price of $30! For an import at all, that’s pretty darned good, for a two year old import, that’s great, so I jumped on it.
Unfortunately the shiny gold paint used is prone to scratching and this toy has scores along the hood due to being packaged in robot mode.
Still, even with that flaw, he makes for a splendidly blinged-out Classics Goldbug, a figure we most certainly won’t see out of Hasbro due to Bumblebee’s new status as the flagship character of the Transformers brand. Of course, I say that but thanks to the somewhat recent IDW comics, Goldbug in their universe has been established as a completely different character unrelated to Bumblebee. Though this approach is understandable, it is a little bit disappointing in its disregard for the origins of the original Goldbug.
Beyond his stint in the Marvel and now IDW comics, Goldbug did make one more fiction appearance resulting in another wonderful toy. In an interesting twist, as part of the Botcon 2008 Shattered Glass set we get our Evil Autobot version of Bumblebee in the form of “an upgraded form and a new identity as Goldbug”.
Based on the Cybertron Hot Shot mold with a suitably blue new head mold, somewhat ironically it appears it took going evil for our intrepid young Autobot to actually grow up and get some respect from most of the other Autobots.
Also, with the theme for Botcon 2012 being the invasion of the Classics-verse by the Shattered Glass folks, this right here could very well happen some day.
Jetfire has a somewhat dramatic character history, but not nearly as dramatic as his toy’s history.
In the original cartoon, he was a scientist, friend to Starscream, and a Decepticon defector. In the Marvel comic series, he was a Decepticon construct given life by the Creation Matrix. In the Dreamwave series he is back to being a scientist and ex-friend of Starscream but never actually joined the Decepticon side. By the most recent series, the IDW comics, he is still a scientist, but his connection to Starscream or the Decepticons doesn’t resurface. Though his character’s history has become steadily less dramatic, his G1 toy’s history has not. As such, it is pretty much guaranted it will never receive a reissue.
Like Sky Lynx the following year, Jetfire’s original toy was actually a design Hasbro licensed from another company. Unlike Sky Lynx, Jetfire was a toy used in the very popular “Super Dimensional Fortress Macross” series – most widely known in the U.S. as one of the first of three Japanese cartoons that were dubbed and combined into the “Robotech” series. Due to the fact that Hasbro had licensed the toy in the U.S. for use as Jetfire, Matchbox was then unable to release it as part of their Robotech line. Because Hasbro had licensed a toy that was made by Takara’s competitor, just like Sky Lynx, he never saw release in Japan. An even bigger competitor of Takara, Bandai, now owns the mold, basically sealing the fact that there is no chance of a reissue. However, I am perfectly fine with this. Whereas I do want to add the mold to my collection, I honestly don’t want to own G1 Jetfire. For me, this toy will always be the VF-1 Valkyrie from the Macross/Robotech series and I will most likely pick up one of Bandai’s many reissues one day. I have always been very partial to Roy Focker’s VF-1S.
Mostly, I am fine with the lack of an actual G1 Jetfire in my collection for two reasons. First, being a predominantly white toy, he is very, very prone to discoloration or yellowing over time. Second, the Jetfire from my childhood not only doesn’t look like the Macros VF-1 but his name isn’t even Jetfire, it’s Skyfire.
Reportedly giving in to Takara’s unwillingness to promote a competitor’s toy, Jetfire received a drastic makeover in the cartoon. So drastic, in fact, that he even got a different name. No toy of this Skyfire model was ever made and, with the exception of a short appearance in toy form in 2001 as a Decepticon in Robots in Disguise, the name itself slipped into someone else’s trademark territory — it appears now to be owned by Skyfire Labs Inc., makers of some sort of mobile web browser.
So what do you do with this convoluted past? There was an attempt, as part of the ill-fated Titanium line. Titanium Jetfire was based on his appearance in Dreamwave’s War Within series and, to put it frankly, not a good toy. I owned it for a very short period of time before exiling him from my collection. Next he was included as a part of the Classics line in 2006. This time the designers decided to incorporate all of his patchwork past. To start off, his toy includes a removeable helmet that looks like the VF-1′s head.
Underneath is a robot head with a much more cartoon-accurate face.
This toy is just the ultimate in happy mediums between those that grew up with the original Jetfire toy and those who remember him mostly as Skyfire from the show. Along with the removeable helmet, his robot mode is a perfect amalgamation with his cartoon model’s gun, upswept wings, the placement of the vents on his chest; and his G1 toy’s backpack, prominent forearm guns, feet, and colour scheme.
When the Botcon organizers were looking for inspiration for their Shattered Glass version of Starscream, they didn’t have to go too far. With the original cartoon’s assertion that Jetfire and Starscream had once been lab partners, it made perfect sense to use Jetfire as the template for this noble, good version of Starscream.
He also adds a nice touch neither the G1 toy nor the cartoon had: cannons that flip out from his backpack that can be brought to bear for some extra firepower in robot mode.
There are some hints from the cartoon, like a squared-off rather than rounded nosecone, but his alt mode takes more strongly after the original toy.
Best of all, just like the VF-1 toy, the boosters can be removed and the toy’s wings mimic an F-14′s ability to sweep forward or backward.
Of course, this goes for robot mode as well.
Speaking of similarities to the VF-1 toy, I would a remiss if I didn’t mention GERWALK mode. In Macross (Robotech called it “Guardian mode”), the VF-1 had a third mode, the “Ground Effective Reinforcement of Winged Armament with Locomotive Knee-joint” mode. Basically a fighter plane with arms perched atop backwards bent (or “chicken walker”) legs. This mode was a half-step between “Battroid” (robot) and Fighter modes and used in the show as a defensive VTOL landing/takeoff configuration. The G1 toy, of course, being the actual VF-1 could pull off the GERWALK mode.
This lead to every vaguely plane related Transformer in history being put into GERWALK mode at one time or another. Classics Jetfire can do a pretty good imitation of it.
Of course, doing that is just making me want to go online shopping now and find myself a 1/55 scale VF-1…
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.