The showdown of the Overlord and the Pretender has been put on hold due to an Invasion! Botcon 2012 Gigatron and Metalhawk!

It’s the little things that bring the most joy. For instance, when I suddenly got it in my head that I must own Scoop it was because I wanted very much to recreate the following Botcon 2012 comic panel in toy form:

Once I got my 2012 Botcon set, I had that vital missing piece. Metalhawk. I had to borrow a couple weapons, such as Tracks’ odd little hairdryer gun and a sword for Metalhawk himself, but mission accomplished!

As for Metalhawk himself, I was very happy with how his toy turned out. A lot of others are not. Most of them were expecting the recreation of the inner robot form, like most of his U.S. appearances in fiction, not the Pretender shell. As I laid out in my post about Gilmer/Submarauder, though the human Pretender concept was handled poorly on Hasbro’s side, it was done correctly by Takara. I am nearing the end of Super-God Masterforce, the Japanese series Metalhawk appears in, and when I think of Metalhawk, I think of this guy,

Not this guy.

That’s why I am quite happy with this guy,

I am also very happy with the Botcon folks use of the Thunderwing mold, it fits the update perfectly. Well, maybe not perfectly. I did have to borrow a sword for him for the photo recreation of the comic panel. However, he makes good use of the mold’s two cannons. Of the three versions of this mold, I think he actually looks the best wielding the combined gun mode.

I might get strung up by Takara fans for this, but this mold has a far, far, faaaaar better alt mode than the original. Granted, that’s not too hard, considering how lackluster most Pretender alt modes are.

However, as controversial as the human-faced Metalhawk may be, it comes nowhere near the amount of foaming at the mouth that has occurred over the other “Classics-verse” character in the boxset.

Called Gigatron rather than the proper name of this particular update, Overlord, he apparently represents a very touchy subject for non-U.S. Transformers fans. Also from Super-God Masterforce (as far as my wife is concerned, the best name for any cartoon series ever), Overlord was a huge toy made up of a tank, driven by Giga, and a jet, piloted by Mega. One thing no one in their right mind could argue is that Gigatron’s alt mode is a spot-on update of the original G1 tank portion of Overlord.

The real issue then comes down to two main points:

  1. This is only half of Overlord.
  2. The mold that was used, Bludgeon/Banzaitron, is too Bludgeon and not enough Overlord.

I can understand both of these complaints. Granted, as far as 1 is concerned, yes, this is only half, the Giga half. His name is actually Gigatron, not Overlord. With 2, I can also understand the aversion to the skeletal samurai but the perfect alt mode, the colours, and the headsculpt overcome the skeletal thing. The samurai part was explained in his bio,

In robot mode, Gigatron carries an array of bladed melee weapons so that he may savor the damage he inflicts in a close-quarter brawl.

So, he’s a stabby-stabby kind of guy. Ultimately, to both of these complaints I say: meh. Which is easy for me to say, I know, but I don’t have the original G1 toy and at the point that I am in the series, I have seen far more Giga and Mega than Overlord. The Botcon folk anticipated this backlash and had Last Stand of the Wreckers artist, Nick Roche, do a promotional image for Gigatron basically stating that this was a version of the comic book Overlord, not the cartoon one.

To further reinforce this, the headsculpt was done specifically to be a recreation of Roche’s Overlord model. The end result is the best headsculpt on a Transformer. Ever.

I don’t care what your feelings are regarding the use of the mold, that head is absolutely beautiful. I am ok with everything about this toy. The homage to the comic book Overlord mixed with the homage to the cartoon Giga all wrapped up in a pretty fantastic paintjob.

And, oh, that headsculpt is just superb.

So that’s it, the Botcon 2012 Invasion boxset.

As usual, the box the toys come in is a work of art itself.

Of course, there were other exclusive toys, the Souvenir sets, but those will be posts for another time. Especially one in particular that is a great update that itself is going to get a little bit of 3rd party love here in the coming months so stay tuned for that.

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6 thoughts on “The showdown of the Overlord and the Pretender has been put on hold due to an Invasion! Botcon 2012 Gigatron and Metalhawk!

  1. The LSoTW-rendition of Overlord is what motivated me to pick up G1 Overlord in 2010 — I imagined him being voiced by Clancy Brown of “Highlander” and cartoon Lex Luthor fame — and despite my deciding not to pick up this Botcon-Gigatron I’m glad that the headsculpt and alt-mode do this version of the character such justice!

    Metalhawk’s the only one of this year’s set that I’ve sought out so far, despite my reservations about the human head. I liked that they stuck to the classics-pattern of homaging the shell rather than the robot, but was really worried about all the “herp-derp” looking photos of the head that had surfaced. Of course it varies case-to-case, but it’s not bad at all in person!

    … And your previous post and photos of SG-Tracks have made me want to track him down as well. United Tracks was such a slick-looking figure and deco, but it looks like SG Tracks might give him a run for his money!

  2. I really want to like this guy, and I can tell his designers did as well, but I just can’t. They took a character riding a new wave of popularity and gave him one of the best molds of ’09, but the two really don’t mesh at all.

    Overlord’s design was all about being clean and understated. He’s got a very straightforward robot mode without any real kibble (ignoring the jet), especially compared to his counterparts, Scorponok and Deszaras. Meanwhile, Bludgeon’s a Bayformer, which are the exact opposite: experimental designs, heavy on kibble. Bludgeon’s also pretty squat for a Voyager, which is a bit of a problem when you’re updating one of the tallest Transformers ever.

    Really, though, I feel like they kind of wrote themselves into a corner when they picked him. There aren’t a lot of toys released today that could reasonably sub for Overlord; the big ones are usually Bayformers, and Generations has the right look but the wrong size. When you read his comic and bio, you definitely get the feeling that they had to change a lot of Overlord to make him work with Bludgeon. It’s a bit bittersweet, really; all the craftsmanship is there, and that altmode is perfect (though Giga isn’t hard to copy), but then you transform him and you have the perfect Overlord head nestled in Bludgeon’s kibble.

  3. Pingback: Name change courtesy of copyright or political correctness, you decide. Black Shadow (Sky Shadow)! | 'Til All Are Mine

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