Hard to believe that the last time I did a post about G1 Powerglide was six years ago. The reason it’s hard to believe is, other than showing up three years ago in the Dark of the Moon Powerglide post, his absence might lead you to believe the little-guy-turned-big-guy hasn’t received any other attention since his Universe release in 2009. The truth is just the opposite. Including that fantastic Dark of the Moon release, there have been eight Powerglide toys across six different toylines as well as a repaint and one of the best remold uses in recent Transformers history. All of this while being the only G1 Transformer to retain his original, real-world alt mode; the irrepressible “Warthog”, the Fairchild Republic A-10 Thunderbolt II, (well, in some cases setting aside a little bit of artistic license for… well licensing issues).
The 2009 Universe release and the 2011 Dark of the Moon toy aren’t everyone’s cup of tea. “Too big” and “too… movieverse” are common complaints, for those folks, I can’t imagine the next two sets of releases did much to fix things.
First up, 2012 saw two colour schemes for Powerglide in the Bot Shots toyline. The single pack release, has a darker red overall, a darker blue cockpit canopy, and light blue eyes in robot mode. The follow-up, from a three-pack with Jetfire and Skyquake, added some much needed silver paint applications, a lighter overall shade of red, and swapped for a light blue canopy and dark blue eyes.
While the adorable-ness factor is through the roof by this point, it would be another two years before Powerglide would get the Legends class update that some collectors were looking for all along.
I still very much like his minibot-goes-big voyager class Universe release, but this update is pretty much as good as they get. His robot mode retains all the style of his G1 toy with added articulation and detailing.
Oh, but that’s only half the story. Normally I think with a mold like this one, a mold that is so distinctly meant for one specific character it is super silly to attempt to repaint or give it a new head to turn it into another character. In this case, I’d be most unpredictably wrong.
This little guy actually took some tracking down, an actual old-school Target multi-store hunt but the moment he was announced I absolutely had to have him. G.I. Joe and I have a complicated history. There were many toys and toylines that came and went, but three toylines stayed consistent, my own holy trinity of childhood: Transformers, Star Wars, and G.I.Joe. This toy hits a whole bunch of my happy places: Powerglide, turned into a villain named Viper and done up like a Cobra Rattler, with a new headsculpt designed after the helmet of the best Rattler pilot, Wild Weasel.
The G.I. Joe line has had a hard time of it — causing one of Viper’s images on TFWiki to be captioned, “Pictured: Hasbro’s entire 2015 G.I. Joe line”. While the statement is humorous hyperbole, it’s not too far off from the mark, that’s one of the reasons why, to a fan of the 80’s G.I. Joe line, this figure is a really nice piece of homage.
The next release for the mold would be TakaraTomy’s 2015 release of Powerglide with a change to his grey parts to make them much whiter. This is of note due to the fact that it is part of the Transformers: Adventure line, making this Powerglide and the upcoming Dogfight repaint of the Viper version of the mold not actually G1 but instead in-continuity with TakaraTomy’s release of the current Robots in Disguise series. Odd.
Skipping over that brings us to Powerglide’s most recent release. If Viper was a surprise, G2 Powerglide was an even bigger surprise.
The thing is, there’s never actually been a G2 Powerglide. He wasn’t one of the toys released in the G2 line nor has there been any concept art of what he would have looked like. This Generations release is the first ever actual G2 Powerglide, which — when you think about it — is kinda nuts.
Released with the recent G2 Superion boxset (and purchased with the current 20% off + free shipping code from HasbroToyShop.com), he is a simple colour-swap; silver becomes red and vice versa. By making the red even brighter (what’s more G2 than brighter colours?) and stamping a great big G2 symbol on his chest, they have made a glorious anachronism.
Tardigraderanger of Tumblr did a quick digibash to give us an idea of just what an original G2 Powerglide would have looked like in theory.I am a little sad that Powerglide is missing his new G2 Aerialbot brother’s wing decals and doesn’t have his name tampographed across his wing in grand G2 tradition.