Action Masters. I won’t belabor the point but needless to say: this subline’s name was ironic.
In fact, as non-transforming Transformers, they are just chock-full o’ irony, but their name is particularly ironic. Nothing about this toy line screams “Action!”. It would have been one thing if they had made them non-transforming Transformers with lots of articulation, but they didn’t even manage that.
With arms that swivel in only one direction, with no elbow joints, and legs that are the same, only with the benefit of knees joints; their range of motion is surprisingly limited.
“If you clearly dislike the line as a whole, why buy any of them?”
Glad you asked.
I own two. First was Shockwave. He is a rather decent recreation of his G1 incarnation but the real reason I bought him was that he was in perfect condition while being sold for under $5.
Second came Jackpot.
He was equally as cheap and in as good a condition (however, unlike Shockwave, he was missing his partner, Sights.) The reason I bought him, though, was due to characterization. Nothing in G1, mind you. He didn’t make an appearance in fiction until recently.
I haven’t been too big a fan of the Transformers Collectors Club’s “exclusive” online fiction offerings. Almost all of the text stories have been either poorly written or, more often than not, just plain boring.
2008’s Gone Too Far by S. Trent Troop & Greg Sepelak was the one story I actually enjoyed. Right off the bat, the great cover image used on the site caught my eye, a larger version of which can be found on page 3 of the story itself.
Troop and Sepelak’s stories suffer from far too many attempts to throw obscure Transformers history in at every conceivable turn; which someone should tell them does not translate well — or in most cases at all — in text form. This one, despite being set in the middle of one of the most confusing Transformers universes, Transtech, didn’t have too much of that. It could actually be followed without having to have the TFWiki constantly open for reference.
In it Jackpot and Hubcap accidentally find themselves warped to Axiom Nexus and the middle of the Transtech continuity. They naturally run afoul of the local criminal element and much excitement and a good deal of hilarity ensues. Jackpot is a risk-junky with an innate luck that borders on being a superpower. Luckily for his unwilling partner in crime, the amiable con artist Hubcap, the dangerous risks and the miraculous luck often cancel each other out.
This one is definitely worth a read. Enough to make me wish they would do an update of Jackpot. So far the only thing he’s gotten is a brief appearance, also in TFCC fiction, by his Animated incarnation.
More importantly, Gone Too Far was good enough to spur me into buying a toy of the one line I swore I would never allow into my collection. It was totally worth it to be able to reunite these two.