Not exactly the greatest mystery of Transformers history, but definitely an interesting identity crisis. G1 and Dark of the Moon Spike Witwicky and Backfire

Most humans are not allowed in my display, let alone subjects of blog posts, but with the obvious exception of Minerva and Shūta showing up last week, I feel now is as good a time as any to take a quick look at Spike Witwicky; mostly spurred on by a Human Alliance release from early in the Dark of the Moon line (so there is an actual Transformer involved in this post too).

We start at the most recent release that actually represents the beginning of the cycle; last year’s Toys R Us exclusive Masterpiece Optimus Prime. Hasbro’s release of TakaraTomy’s MP-10 mold included the tiny Spike figure.

Spike Masterpiece

Faceless Spike is nightmare material.

He represents the beginning because first there was Spike from the original G1 cartoon.

Spike Cartoon

Actually one of my favourite parts of the entire G1 series, when the Autobots have given up hope and Spike grabs Optimus’ gun and starts blasting away at the Decepticon ship.

Followed by Spike from later in the G1 cartoon by way of the 1986 movie (or “Sparkle” in the hilariously bad Omni Productions dub of Headmasters.)

"Sparkle?!? Do I look like a lame would-be vampire?"

“Sparkle?!? Do I look like a lame would-be vampire?”

Which leads to the amusing little sidetrack homage of Spike from Animated.

Spike Animated

Separately from the cartoons, we have Spike from the original G1 comics.

Spike Comics

Who was caused by Spike from the G1 toys. By “caused” I mean he was inserted in the comic at the time pretty much to sell the new Fortress Maximus toy.

Spike G1

Previous to Spike’s appearance in the comic, there was just his younger brother, Buster.

No way I pass up an opportunity to use an image from Car Wash of Doom!

No way I pass up an opportunity to use an image from Car Wash of Doom!

Another amusing sidetrack, either Spike or Buster may or may not also be Butch from the Forest Rescue Mission coloring book.

Spike Butch

“I bet I can catch a big one, Dad!” says Butch.
“I bet I don’t know who the heck you are.” says Dad.

None of them is — or perhaps all of them are — necessarily analogous to Sam from the recent movies.

Spike Sam

Who I am assuming I must have a Human Alliance toy of, though I have no idea where he is currently.

Sam is given the nickname of “Spike” in the credits of the Latin American Spanish dub of the movie (presumably from an earlier draft of the script) but Sam Witwitcky can’t be Spike Witwicky. Mostly because this guy already is.

Spike DotM

Packaged in with Human Alliance Backfire, Spike Witwicky is definitely not Sam. Just to add a little confusion, Sam Witwicky was later packaged in the Autobot Daredevil Squad, which also includes a repaint of Backfire. How do I know Sam is not Spike? Sam can be described as a number of things (“twitchy” comes to mind) but Spike Witwicky is described as a “specialist in urban warfare”.

Spike Killer Sam

Sorry, Sam, I’m not buying it, I don’t think you have a place in the Spike Witwicky group.

"The little guy with no face is creeping me out."

“The little guy with no face is creeping me out.”

So, how did I end up on this ultimately fruitless path of trying to figure out where “Spike Witwicky” fits within the movie-verse’s Witwicky family? To make a long story short (too late!),

Backfire Robot

Told you a robot would show up eventually.

Initially there were a couple things that really caught my attention with this guy. First, he has great light piping in his head. Second, the two guns that he comes with are really freakin’ cool.

Backfire Robot Weapons

Third, his Can-Am Spyder Roadster alt mode is great. Just like Human Alliance Icepick‘s snowmobile, I don’t have any particular attachment to the vehicle itself, just that the sculpt is really well done.

Backfire Alt

The best part about him, though, is his third mode.

Speaking of Human Alliance Icepick, before I get to Backfire’s third mode, I need to clear up a moment of extreme stupidity on my part in my Icepick post. I derided him for his third mode, something I declared to be a “Hoverbike with a chainsaw”; which, as awesome as it sounds like it should be, doesn’t really make any sense.

DotM Icepick Weapon

Now I’m not saying I’m the smartest person on the planet, but normally I’m not this obtuse. Somehow, despite showing the shield mode of Drag Strip in the very same post, I managed to miss the post at the back of Icepick’s third mode. As in: the handle. The handle meant to be held by larger Transformers.
Targetmaster weapon.
And not just a Targetmaster weapon, a freaking chainsaw with guns. That is awesome. Seriously.

It finally dawned on me what the best point of the Human Alliance basics line really was when I saw Backfire’s third mode.

Backfire Weapon

I knew I had seen this before and a quick search of the Dark of the Moon concept art proved me right.

Film Title: Transformers

I think I’m actually going to go back, revisit this line a little more closely, and see what other awesomeness I might have accidentally glazed over.

Backfire Optimus Weapon

The biggest conclusion I have come to, though, is that I would have cared so much more (or at all, I guess) for the “Human” part of Human Alliance if they had used humans I cared about at all. By this, of course, I mean: why is there no G.I. Joe Human Alliance Transformers?

'Til All Are Mine.


4 thoughts on “Not exactly the greatest mystery of Transformers history, but definitely an interesting identity crisis. G1 and Dark of the Moon Spike Witwicky and Backfire

  1. Thanks for the weapon mode for OP. I hadn’t thought of that. I use Roadbuster for a weapon for Leader Ironhide, shoulder mounted using the 5mm peg. Didn’t know there was a pistol grip I could use.

    Also, great thought on the GI Joe Human Alliance. I guess the two franchises are decidedly separated, but I am sure someday someone will try to bring them together on the big screen.

  2. For the cannon I wrote for the Transformers Universe MUX, I decided that Ron and Sparkplug were brothers, making Sam the younger cousin of Buster and Spike Witwicky. 😀

  3. Pingback: The Year of the Really Big Autobots, Part Two… Part One. Gasket and Grommet (Cog), Spike/Cerebros, Cerebros/Fortress! Fortress Maximus! | 'Til All Are Mine

  4. Pingback: Double your robots, triple your fun! | 'Til All Are Mine

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