You know what the internet is just jam-packed with?
Luckily there’s still some room left, because here’s one more: I ♥ Beast Hunters. A lot.
Not the “Beast Hunters” which was the original working title of Beast Machines.
Now, this opinion, much like most of the opinions across the internet, is not equally shared. (A division among the Transformer fandom?!?! How shocking!) I am eagerly awaiting season three of Transformers Prime, perhaps more than I have anticipated either of the first two seasons. Now don’t get me wrong, I have quite enjoyed seasons one and two of Transformers Prime. I even own them both on Blu-ray (sooo pretty in HD). However, with a cast size limited by CGI budget, things can get stale rather quickly. This was something that Beast Wars fully embraced. By introducing Transmetal, then Fuzors, then Transmetal 2, they managed to keep the show moving and changing throughout all three seasons. In fact, in a great interview for the LATimes “Hero Complex” Pop Culture blog, executive producer Jeff Kline admits,
“What we discovered early on, especially in Season 2, because we kept getting bigger and bigger, we wanted it to get more epic and the idea of having every episode be self-contained became impossible. And we burned through our three years of story early in Season 2.”
The full interview can be found here. The end result is that they needed to toss things up and where it all landed was on the concept of Beasts. And I couldn’t be happier. How do you keep things interesting? Throw this into the mix.
Dragons!!! I love me some dragons and as I said in my Cybertron Scourge post, I freaking love transforming dragons. A new, ruthless faction of ancient Transformers called the Predacons all with dragon alt modes is the kind of game changer the series needs right now. Lazerback himself comes with some great personality straight off his portion of the “Tales of the Beast Hunters”:
LAZERBACK refuses to serve under anyone, not an OVERLORD like MEGATRON, or a conqueror like PREDAKING. Instead, he is determined to see CHAOS made king by the destruction of two tyrants who stand in his way.
It’ll be nice if that particular detail makes it into the cartoon. Though it took some initial getting used to (and there isn’t much imagination in the transformation from alt to robot mode), I definitely like that his robot mode really is a completely different aesthetic than we’ve see so far from both the Decepticons and the Autobots of Prime. Sidenote, his packaging and a majority of his online postings declare “Includes 2 missiles” and “Fires 2 missiles!”, however, this appears to be a simple case of mistakenly thinking his Toxic Strike Blaster’s “Acid Missile” is actually two separate missiles.
Not that it matters too much, as he’s a member of what may be the first entire faction that will be displayed in alt mode.
As far as Beast Hunters as a whole, thanks to the promos we know at least the leader of Predacons will be showing up on screen, however the one thing I seriously hope makes it into the cartoon is at least some of the new armored forms of the Autobots.
The biggest division in the fandom over Beast Hunters appears to be the new spiky Mad Max-inspired changes to their alt modes. Once again, I fall firmly on the side of that division that has big, giant smiles. Wheeljack’s new design makes his first Transformers Prime release look almost prosaic.
The added weathered details are remarkable and intricate. Now, I can’t say I actually understand Wheeljack’s new winged robot mode — from lone wolf Wrecker to avenging angel? — but I can say that I am loving it.
The argument that so many have tossed around; “I can’t believe it’s a line made up of mostly repaints of toys we already bought!” is invalid. Unlike lines such as Transformers Armada‘s “The Unicron Battles”, Beast Hunters isn’t comprised of simple repaints. Least noticeable, but most significant for the subtlety, are the mold changes to his headsculpt.
Beyond just the subtle changes, the more noticeable remolding done to Wheeljack is seriously amazing. This time out, Wheeljack has ditched the swords in favour of a mean looking new blade, the Falcon Spear.
Contained within the Falcon Spear is a “capture disc” for him to (presumably) hunt some beasts.
If the cartoon incorporates half of the stuff coming out of the toyline, this is going to be one intense season.