Usually this stuff is completely random, but Tuesday’s Vector Prime post lead to me playing around with a couple of Mini-cons, which in turn lead to today’s post.
Given how much I like Micromasters, it was natural that I would love the Mini-cons when they were first introduced as the main gimmick of the Transformers Armada line. I was happy to see them carried over into the subsequent “Unicron Trilogy” lines of Energon and Cybertron. Of course, I am not a completionist, I can imagine Mini-cons (and especially the quantity of Japanese-exclusive Mini-cons) must be an absolute nightmare for the “Must Own Them All” folks.
With Cybertron we were introduced to the Recon Team, made up of three Mini-cons, these guys pretty much became the kid-appeal Transformers of the series, hanging out most of the time with the Cybertron kids, Bud, Lori, and Coby. Despite that, I like them anyway.
Mostly I like them because of their online bios, they’re kinda cute. Cybertron had a pretty cool feature where the Cyber Keys that came with the toys included a code that could be input on Hasbro’s website to unlock bios or more information about the character. Oddly enough, the Recon Team didn’t have a Cyber key but they had their own code, sh26, that was never printed anywhere associated with the toys.
There’s Jolt, the only one of the three that speaks in English (on the show the other two speak in the custom Mini-con language of beeps and other electronic sounds).
“Jolt is a TV junkie! That’s how he learned to speak English! He would work at home on the Giant Planet to try and pick up Earth TV signals on his computer and he would watch everything from cartoons, to sitcoms to dramas and movies. Don’t tell Bud, Coby, or Lori, but he really loves to watch soap operas!”
His toy’s most notable feature is that he is a bit of a bubble boy. When you transform him, you rotate his cockpit around to reveal his head inside. His most notable power in the cartoon is that he can teleport by spinning the rotors of his alt mode.
Oh yeah, and sometimes Primus, the Transformers god himself, speaks through Jolt.
In hindsight, maybe I shouldn’t have lead off with that tidbit, it kind of makes his teammates looks less cool by comparison. Reverb even has the least clever of the online bios:
“Reverb is the youngest of the three Minicons that travel with Vector Prime through time and space – so he is also the most impatient when Vector Prime tries to teach them to use time travel powers. Once, Reverb ended up stuck in the year 1955 and he had to hide as a hot rod car for three weeks before Vector Prime was able to rescue him!”
What definitely doesn’t pale in comparison is Reverb’s toy. He’s actually my favourite of the three toys in the set.
Transforming into a somewhat adorable pickup, he definitely shares at least one trait with Jolt. Neither Reverb nor Jolt’s name really makes any sense.
“When Six-Speed first met Bud, Lori and Coby he was confused about their clothing. Why did they need to wear outer shells? Autobots didn’t need to wear protective shells – why did humans? One day, Coby came to the hidden Autobot base and found that Six-Speed had snuck into his closet and “borrowed” some of his clothes to try and fit in! Six-Speed was wearing swim shorts, a clip-on tie; sweat pants on his head and socks on his hands!”
With the most standard “Mini-con with a car alt-mode” transformation possible, he’s kind of boring and not nearly as articulated as the other two.
But at least “Six-Speed”, as a type of manual transmission, makes some vague sense for a race car.
As I stated, I’m am not a completionist at all, but with Mini-cons I will definitely buy repaints if they are relatively easy to get — basically as long as they are available at retail in the U.S. This was made extra levels of awesome when the “repaints” of the Recon Team were actually done in translucent plastics.
As a sort of “stealth mode”, the Shadow Recon Mini-con team look great, especially my favourite of the three once again, Reverb.
Like tiny little ninjas.