April 30, 2017
Transformers & GoBots
Megatron, Transformers: Robots In Disguise (2001)
It’s time for the last of the leadership from the original Robots In Disguise Transformers line. (I didn’t get Sky-Byte because, fun as the character is, I hated the Transmetal II Cybershark figure from Beast Wars whose mold Car Robots used for his counterpart, Gelshark. Instead we’re looking at Gigatron, or rather his Hasbro incarnation, the third character to be called Megatron (the first outside of G1 continuity and no I don’t care what controversies are going on in the fandom–I read it and it doesn’t matter to this discussion so don’t bother!).
What separates this Megatron apart is that he has multiple modes. In addition to robot mode he has numerous modes added in, and because Hasbro used the later “Devil Gigatron” mold (saved time using the same mode for both Megatron and his suped-up “Galvatron” state) this figure can do those extra modes as well. Because apparently six modes wasn’t enough. While they were left out of the Megatron instructions a scan for the Galvatron instructions reveals the other modes and how to form them. So while I will spend time on the robot mode, I’m going to breeze through the alt modes or you’ll be here all day. I, however, WILL be here all day because I have to transform and photograph all those modes.
April 23, 2017
Transformers & GoBots
Black Convoy, Car Robots, Decepticon, Hasbro, Scourge, Transformers: Robots In Disguise (2001)
Scourge (Transformers) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
For whatever reason Takara loved making evil versions of Optimus Prime around the time of Car Robots. So we got Black Convoy, who in-story was an Autobot protoform (ask a Transformers fans) who was merged with Gigatron’s spark and Fire Convoy’s design. The toy was actually a redeco of Optimus Prime…from the Generation Two line. Laser Optimus Prime had a light-up gimmick removed from Black Convoy as well as Scourge, the name used for the original Robots In Disguise line by Hasbro. For whatever reason, Scourge was a Toys R Us exclusive figure because none of the other stores wanted to sell him if memory serves. He’s an evil Optimus Prime from when G2 started to finally improve on Transformer articulation, so I don’t understand why. Especially since they did sell the Decepticon combiner team that was redecos of old Generation ONE figures with terrible articulation. I mean, what the heck guys?
April 16, 2017
general organizing/cleaning articles
I could have sworn I had written about an earlier attempt to clean this shelf, but I can’t find it. I can’t even find pictures of it. Well I did, not that you can tell from the image above. It’s kind of a mess. There are things I’ve tossed up there just to get them out of my way for a moment and then they ended up there. So this week I decided to fix it up. Originally I was going to continue the RID 1 leaders by looking at the villains, but last week I was sick and this week I was drawn to this project.
I thought this was going to be a quick project report, because it didn’t take long to do. But then I redid it. Two times.
March 26, 2017
Transformers & GoBots
Car Robot, God Magnus, Optimus Prime, Transformers: Robots In Disguise (2001), Ultra Magnus
‘Car Carrier’ Truck Mode of the original Ultra Magnus (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I did the last Transformer report to do this one.
Let me clear up one thing right now before some angry Transformers/anime fan comes barging through the comments. NO, Robots In Disguise (1) Ultra Magnus did not get his name changed from his Car Robots non de plume, God Magnus, because they didn’t want to “upset Christians”. Please stop blaming us for changes in symbols and naming styles we were never even asked about or even care about. It was changed because a) the culture in the US and other Western countries, where the concept of a “god” in fiction is more powerful than it is in Japan (“people do what I say and I shoot a fancy laser beam, so I must be a god”–I think Goku is the first one who came close to the Western “god” concept in any anime I’ve ever watched), is different and calling a character “god” wouldn’t fly as well in a Western market and b) Hasbro wanted to keep “Ultra Magnus”, one of their famous G1 character names, under their copyright while reaching out to collectors who don’t follow what’s going on in Japan, or didn’t at the time. Why do you think Fire Convoy was renamed Optimus Prime for the first Robots In Disguise? They thought truckers didn’t want to think about their rigs being on fire?
That rant out of the way, Ultra God Magnus’s big toy-related gimmick is that he’s a replacement for Fire Optimus Convoy Prime’s usual armor. In the show he’s the jealous brother who thinks he should have been given the Matrix because he’s that awesome and is a huge jerk for most of his appearances. You know why you’re not Prime, Maggie? BECAUSE YOU ACT MORE LIKE A DECEPTICON! Anyway, back to his gimmick, because a good gimmick can help or hurt a toy, at least as a display piece if not as a play toy. Ultra Magnus works as a play toy. As a display piece, however, he has some huge problems and one of them even messes with his play status.
March 19, 2017
Air Defense Team, Galvatron, Jetfire, mini-comic, Mini-Cons, Minicomic, Optimus Prime, Transformers Armada
I was supposed to review a toy today, which was written on Saturday. The problem is I was so tired all I wanted to do was sleep and I don’t know why. So here’s another mini-comic review from my other site, BW Media Spotlight, that at least stays with the Transformer and Mini-Con theme of this month. I wish I could have done more.
With last week’s Mini-Con article over at The Clutter Reports, I thought for this month’s Free Comic Inside I’d take a look at what the Mini-Cons are up to. Plus I said in the last one I would be going back to this series. Hey, I remembered! This is when Dreamwave was still making minicomics for Hasbro, which would continue into the Energon toys before Dreamwave crashed. There is one good thing this round: no more trying to fit three translations of the same sentence into the word balloons.
“Maybe my bad donkey impersonation will stop them!”
No, this time it’s all one language, and luckily for me I got the English one. Let’s see what happens this time.
What are the odds we could get a Star Saber for “Man At Arms: Reforged”?
Transformers Armada vol 3
CREATED BY: Dreamwave
WRITER: Chris Sarracini
ARTIST: Guido Guidi
COLORISTS: Shaun Curtis, Gary Yeung, & Rob Ruffolo
COVER COLORIST: Ramil Sunga
(geez, even in a mini-comic they can’t have just one colorist)
LETTERING: Dreamer Design
March 12, 2017
Transformers & GoBots
Autobot, Car Robot, Fire Convoy, Optimus Prime, Transformers: Robots In Disguise (2001)
You could say he’s forward-compatible with Mini-Cons.
As part of last week’s Mini-Con article I broke out Fire Prime, the Optimus Prime version of Car Robot’s Fire Convoy. While “Robots In Disguise” probably fits the new toyline better, it’s confusing to have two toylines and a comic called Robots In Disguise that are so disconnected to each other. To avoid confusion, I’ll refer to the original RID line as RID1, and this take on Optimus Prime as Fire Prime, since this is the US toy and thus not Fire Convoy. It’s why I call this guy Fire Prime in my collection to begin with.
Car Robots was not intended to be a toyline and cartoon outside of Japan. It was a filler line as they waited for Beast Machines to gain enough episodes to properly promote the line. For a time you could only get Fire Convoy at Japanese import stores, and I really wanted to get him, at the height of my Transformer collecting, but the price was way too high, and I had bought Japanese Transformers in the past. I think he went for $80, but you have to factor in not only import prices from Japan but bringing them across the country to Connecticut and that the store needed to make a profit.
And it’s a good think I passed. The next intended Transformers toyline from Hasbro was dropped for whatever reason and Car Robot, redubbed Robots In Disguise, was given a US release to take its place before the next intended US line, which turned out to be Transformers Armada, where the Mini-Cons came from. So let’s take a look at Fire Prime to see if he is worth to be a Prime. Click on the images for a larger view of each mode, because he has quite a few.
March 5, 2017
Transformers & GoBots
Mini-Con, Robots In Disguise, Transformers Armada
I love Mini-Cons. Well, I’m not a fan of the current Robots In Disguise versions. They’re just little Transformers that link to certain bigger robots that have an awkward launcher tossed in. But the original Mini-Con concept are some of my favorite things to come out of the Transformers toyline. You may have seen them around my Christmas tree displays and I reviewed one group previously, but now I want to talk about the gimmick itself.
Debuting in Transformers Armada the Mini-Cons are “smart tools” that enhance the power of a larger Transformer, especially the ones in the Armada line because the gimmick was that the little guys would activate certain features on the figures. We’ll come back to that. And until they were re-conceptualized for the current RID line the originals were the coolest things. Little Transformers with a robot AND vehicle mode that could add play value to future Transformers while standing on their own. They were even compatible with a few past Transformers as I’ll demonstrate later. It’s too bad the fiction failed them.