There’s six days until Halloween, that means six days straight of Terror…(cons). To get it started off on the right note, here’s an absolutely true tale of horror.
It was a dark and stormy, ok, well, it wasn’t stormy but it was dark, I mean, it was night, it’s usually pretty dark at night. Where was I? Oh yeah, I was sitting on the floor in front of the Transformers’ shelves, trying to move the gestalts around to make room for a new inclusion, the terrorizing Abominus! Now, these G1 combiners can be a little loose sometimes. The one-size fits all connectors of the “Scramble City” style combiners – a name applied to the G1 combiners composed of a larger, center Transformer and four smaller Transformers that can form either a leg or an arm – tends to make them a little loose with age. It wasn’t too surprising when, as onto the shelf he went, his arm falls off. Oops. I pick up Rippersnapper, the errant limb and push the connector back in. Only it doesn’t go back in. Something is blocking the end from being inserted. I turn Abominus slowly and discover that what is blocking the opening is the tip of Rippersnapper’s connector – also known as his head. Rippersnapper’s robot head has snapped off inside the connector.
The shock doesn’t end there. In the attempt to extract Rippersnapper’s severed head, I strip his face clean off. So, no amount of superglue-powered reattaching is gonna fix this.
Thankfully I was able to replace him and, if you haven’t already been scared away by the tale of the headless robot, here we have one of the horrible Terrorcons to terrify you:
Ok. So maybe terrify is a little strong of a word. I actually kind of find him to be somewhat… cute. I know he’s meant to be some sort of “weird upright bipedal shark creature” with his finned weapon mounted on his back but all I see is a giant, toothy Salamander. His robot mode doesn’t do much to terrify either. Especially considering that he suffers from T-Rex syndrome, a.k.a. the inability to reach past his own chest.
I’ve always liked the weirder Transformers. The Monsterbots and the smaller Pretenders, Octopunch, Longtooth, etc., are some of my absolute favourites. Their robot modes may not be all that much to look at, but their “monstrous”, sometimes nonsensical, alt-modes are why the Terrorcons, and especially this little chomping Salamander of Doom rank right up there with the best. The fiction takes these vicious, grotesque alt-modes and adds in an unhealthy amount of psychotic tendencies. See, our toothy Salamander-Shark friend here has an inferiority complex. The first line of his tech spec sums it up perfectly:
“Any organic creature whose status on the evolutionary scale ranks higher than a slime mold, particularly Autobots, sends him into a ferocious frenzy.”
Of course it also states that he hates “the smell of all Carbon-based life forms”, but we won’t get into the self-loathing that should accompany that statement (it was the 80’s, actual science was hard). He does have one of the best quotes ever,
Mmmm, tasty, tasty Autobots.
Next up: What in the name of Primus is an Orthrus anyway? And they say you can’t learn anything from Transformers. Sinnertwin!