I decided that the first Transformer to catch my eye as I start the long, arduous task of unpacking would be today’s post. Quite randomly, we have the white version of the “Hunter Owl”, Maximal Military Strategist, and retroactive continuity nightmare known as Beast Wars Transmetal 2 Prowl.
In a misguided attempt at some fanwank, IDW used their limited series Transformers Beast Wars Sourcebook to retroactively assert that certain non-show characters from the Beast Wars toyline — like Prowl, Ironhide, and Silverbolt — were actually updates to their G1 namesakes. However, there were two Beast Wars Prowl characters and IDW decided to make the other Prowl into G1 Prowl. What resulted was a horrifying three-continuity pile-up.
One of the reasons this is so annoying is that, for example Ironhide has nothing in his toy’s tech spec to either support or refute IDW’s claim that he is G1 Ironhide, but TM2 Prowl’s tech spec includes the sentences,
“Prowl strives to find logic and reasoning in everything. A listener, not a talker. Has most sophisticated logic center of the Maximals. Able to analyze and advise on complex combat situations almost instantaneously. Fires highly corrosive acid pellets.”
This is almost a direct copy of G1 Prowl’s tech spec,
“Strives to find reason and logic in everything. A listener, not a talker. Has most sophisticated logic center of all Autobots. Able to analyze and advise on complex combat situations almost instantaneously. Fires wire-guided missiles and high-corrosive acid pellets.”
It even goes on to read,
“Believes himself to have been a great military strategist in a former life.”
TM2 Prowl was already meant to be G1 Prowl! Granted, the phrasing leaves it open to a number of possible explanations and provides a level of mystery to the character. Why does he “believe himself” to have been G1 Prowl? What does “in a former life” mean? Intriguing indeed. In my own personal canon, TM2 Prowl has a portion of the original G1 Prowl’s spark and the rest remains out there somewhere, waiting to be rediscovered. Maybe he reunites with it and becomes G1 Prowl again. Maybe the other part of his spark is given a new body and the two Prowls exist at the same time. Who knows?
The other reason I like his toy characterization a lot is because it randomly includes the line,
“Afflicted with ironic, dry sense of humor.”
As a condition I am also “afflicted” with, this is something with which I can personally identify. Either way, if any animal had to be used to embody the Maximal Military Strategist, the owl was a perfect choice.
I also love the fact that he is a Transmetal 2, that asymmetrical mash of organic and mechanical. Unfortunately, what is becoming abundantly clear with all of the Transmetal toys is that over time large portions of their vacuum metallized paintjobs have become excessively brittle and flake away without even being touched. Beast Wars does not currently have display space on my shelves. Pulling TM2 Prowl from storage in a plastic bin in a closet (where he has been for a number of years) you can see that the paint across his alt mode’s chestplate has cracked and fallen off. No matter how gingerly I treated him, even more came off in this photo shoot.
Other areas, such as his wings, appear to be just fine, but there’s no telling if that will last. Setting aside the “battle damage” to his paintjob, this is a great figure and reminded me how much I loved the Beast Wars lines as a whole. As I mentioned before, this is the white version, for reasons unknown there was a running change for TM2 Prowl in which he was released in a black paint scheme. This post has compelled me to try to locate that one too, check it for “battle damage”, and take some photos of it, so there may be more TM2 Prowl to come.