Posts Tagged Titanium
In 1986, with the release of The Transformers: The Movie, Hasbro had decided it was time for a new cast and new leaders for both the Autobots and Decepticons. They would set up this new leader of the heroic Autobots as someone you could relate to, a “turbo-revving, young punk” who would grow to maturity right before our eyes.
Then, all of the employees of Hasbro’s ”Good Ideas Department” went for a smoke-break. That’s my contention, at least.
Within 30 minutes, this brash new hero we are supposed to love becomes partially responsible for the death of Optimus Prime. And he’s pink.
Fine… ”magenta”, whatever, all I know is that there’s a reason the people who made his toy did not go with cartoon accurate colouring. I like to think that was when Hasbro’s “Good Ideas Department” came back from their smoke-break, just in time to keep this from going out the door.
My wife is not a Transformers collector, she couldn’t tell Metroplex from Big Daddy. However, any time my wife sees any incarnation of Hot Rod or Rodimus Prime she says, “That’s Rodimus, he is inadvertently responsible for the death of Optimus Prime.” That one, catastrophically horrifying (well, for a kid, at least) incident is a lot of people’s first introduction to him and therefore he is intensely disliked by a large portion of the fandom.
That isn’t how I met Hot Rod, though. I met him in a store on R.A.F. Upper Heyford. Living in England in 1986, I had no idea there even was a Transformers movie killing off my beloved Optimus. All I knew was that one day, after having saved enough to buy a new Transformer, I walked into the Base Exchange and was greeted by a bunch of Transformers I had never seen before. Futuristic cars, jet planes, spaceships, all original molds staring back at me (not that I could have known that part at the time, of course.) I remember walking straight to Hot Rod, forsaking every other toy on the shelves.
This fiery red sportscar with the personality to match quickly became one of my favourite Transformers. It would be years before I would finally see The Transformers: The Movie and by then it was too late to dent my love for this toy in the slightest.
After losing my entire original collection to the dreaded, contagious, and highly imaginary disease “Growing Up”, my current Hot Rod is the 2002 Commemorative Series reissue, now named ”Rodimus Major” due to trademark issues. I was then very, very happy in 2006 when Hot Rod — now named “Rodimus”, ohhhh, trademarks — was announced as part of the Classics line. The ‘bot so nice, I bought him twice. You may have recently seen a “Recent Acquisitions” picture here on ‘Til All Are Mine of the new Battle In Space 2-pack, with Classics Hot Rod sporting a new “Cartoon Accurate” paint job! (And by “Cartoon Accurate” we mean Hasbro still refuses to accept that they originally made Hot Rod pink.)
Hasbro even included a little flip-out saw blade to reenact the mechanical Squid attack portion of the movie.
I very much like this mold, though some say it doesn’t look enough like Hot Rod. I suspect they mean it doesn’t look enough like the cartoon version they are used to. At least in alt-mode, there’s absolutely no denying who this is.
So that wraps up Hot Rod…
Oh wait, I almost forgot one. One of the best things about collecting Transformers is I am constantly being surprised. In 2005 Takara announced a magical reissue: Star Convoy! I didn’t know much about Star Convoy at the time and I certainly didn’t know that he came with a Micromaster version of Hot Rod.
And, until Hasbro gives us a date for the release of Masterpiece Hot Rod(imus), that wraps up Hot Rod for now.
When I finally got to see The Transformers: The Movie (man, am I tired of typing that name out), I was less shocked by Hot Rod’s involvement in Optimus’s death than I was in the end of the movie. Remember how Hasbro’s “Good Ideas Department” had gone on smoke-break? Well, to further engender this magenta (pink!) possible co-conspirator in the death of Optimus to us, Hasbro decided to make him old. And a Winnebago.
The sleek, hot rod was now a nice, responsible piece of camping equipment. Upon encountering the Autobot Matrix of Leadership at the Autobot’s ”Darkest Hour”, Hot Rod was transformed into Rodimus Prime.
Though I guess the picture above is technically Rodimus Convoy, being the 2001 Takara reissue. Like Optimus before him, Rodimus Prime’s robot forms the cab and the rear portion transforms into a battle station. Unlike Optimus, the cartoon didn’t like dealing with Rodimus’ trailer at all, awkwardly folding it into his legs as part of his transformation.
In 2007, the Titanium Series did something pretty cool and actually made a Rodimus Prime (one of the few Titanium pieces I actually let into my collection) whose trailer actually does become part of the robot mode.
Also, this incarnation of Rodimus Prime had an alt-mode that was more futuristic truck and a little less space-Winnebago.
At last! Some redemption for the poor, beleaguered Rodimus.
Up next: Thursday, homages galore! We-
*Gulp!* Up next: Make that Wednesday… Surprise eeeeeeeeeeeevil.
In the beginning Primus created them… or maybe it was the Allspark. And there were 13… or 7.
And one betrayed them… or they all betrayed each other… and one of them became Unicron’s herald… or maybe he didn’t, maybe he just wanted power.
And he killed his 12 or 6 brothers… or maybe all but one… and he was locked away in another dimension… or it was the Seal of Primus… or maybe he just fell asleep.
See, here’s the problem with moving into the realm of Transformers God- or Demigodhood. You become what is known as a Multiversal Singularity and exist across so many dimensions, you inevitably contradict yourself. Singularities are entities that either exist all at once across all dimensions, such as the Transformer’s creator and god, Primus; or they exist once and inhabit only one dimension at a time but have the ability to flit between dimensions the way a person changes channels on a T.V. To date, Hasbro has identified at least sixteen such Multiversal Singularities: Primus; his evil twin, Unicron; the life-giving supercomputer, Vector Sigma; and the original thirteen Transformers.
The original thirteen were the Primes and they all served a function. Amongst them was the “Overseer of Entropy”, basically the guy in charge of making sure stuff broke into chaos, basically the Transformers equivalent of the Hindu deity, Shiva. Oh, no, I can’t possibly forsee any problems with putting one immensely powerful entity in charge of the very nature of chaos itself. Much like some interpretations of Shiva, Megatronus was to shepherd destruction as a preparation for creation, but he grew too fond of the concept of destruction for the sake of destruction. He sided with the Dark God, the Chaos Bringer himself, Unicron. For this, Primus banished them both by chucking them into a black hole. For a God, Unicron sure falls in a lot of black holes these days.
The above story now serves as the prelude to a comic book series called “Transformers, The War Within: The Dark Ages” produced when Dreamwave had the Transformers license. The worst comic book artist to ever hold the Transformer’s license, Dreamwave president and head swindler, Pat Lee, did one thing of note in this mini-series. Mr. Lee’s single contribution was the design of the lead bad-guy, a new character called, The Fallen. Granted, Mr. Lee’s normal style of “Transformers with Elephantitis” was prevalent and the concept came out looking bloated and bent.
Luckily by the time The Fallen made his appearance within the pages of the comic book itself — sadly Pat Lee continued to do covers for the series – he had laid off the steroid use and was replaced by an imposing figure, perpetually aflame, with a furnace for a heart. Fiction has since given a reason for his constant state of conflagration but, per the writer of War Within, Simon Furman, the original reason was “because it looks cool.” (Another reason we love Simon Furman.)
And this, along with the entire bankrupted and dissolved company of Dreamwave would have been merely history in the Transformers archives, had someone at Hasbro not decided that this character deserved a toy. In 2007 the Transformers toy line, the Titanium Series, had already seen releases of other War Within designs. In wave 6 we received the first ever toy incarnation of The Fallen (now just called “Fallen”). He was actually based mostly on the Don Figueroa design used for Pre-earth Megatron in the Stormbringer mini-series,
The Fallen’s toy would change the head and add some flames.
The Titanium Series was a collector’s series, made partially out of diecast metal. This meant great little details were added. Look closely at his arms, legs, and chest to see stress marks and chips that can accumulate over the eons. They were also packaged with a display stand emblazoned with the figure’s name and faction symbol. Now, Hasbro is a company that understands the importance of branding, putting Autobot and Decepticon symbols on characters that are neither but that happen to be evil or good characters, e.g. the “Decepticon” Animated Lockdown. Surprisingly for The Fallen they eschewed the use of the Decepticon symbol. The Fallen actually has his own head, set ablaze, as his faction symbol on both his base and the side of his alt-mode.
Though never shown to actually transform in any incarnation in any media so far, that wouldn’t sell too many toys, so The War Within The Fallen transforms into a tank.
The War Within incarnation of The Fallen was stricken down by the hand of god himself. While trying to revive Unicron, Primus… well, he pointed angrily at The Fallen and The Fallen dissolved into energy. Oh, how the mighty have Fallen, once again.
Up next: A new story, a new weight loss regime, and a new colourful wardrobe, but the same old The Fallen.