Transformer Report: Robots In Disguise 1 Ultra Magnus

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'Car Carrier' Truck Mode

‘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.

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Mini-Comic Report: Transformers Armada vol. 3

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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

FOR: Hasbro

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

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Transformer Report: Robots In Disguise (2001) Optimus Fire Prime Convoy

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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.

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Comic Report: Transformers – Matrix Quest

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Transformers Matrix Quest

The second collection in UK company Titan’s reprints of Simon Furman’s US run, Matrix Quest is the completion of the same named story arc began in the first collection I reviewed. There was a time when I thought this was an okay collection of comics from Furman’s run, a run that I am not a fan of. Having re-read it however, my opinion changed. I still like the concept, but something was lost in the execution.

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Comic Report: Transformers: Primal Scream

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Transformers Primal Scream

Primal Scream is the first collection by Titan of Simon Furman’s run on the US The Transformers comic. It contains issues #56-62 of the Marvel Comics run, the first batch of stories Furman produced for the US version, having been a writer of the UK back-up stories. At the end of the article I will post links to my other site with reviews of these issues. Here we will discuss the trade itself as presented. I have the original four issues and Bob Budiansky’s run in the regular comic book form but the trade paperbacks were easier to find than the individual issues.

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Comic Report: Transformers & The Man Of Iron

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First I should apologize for no posting last week. I was sick, and when I recovered my efforts went to trying to get caught up on videos. The sell page will hopefully be done by the next report, but in the meantime, here are some Transformers comics that was a bit different from Marvel’s other issues.

At the time of the issues being reviewed today, Budiansky was writing the US comic, the Headmasters miniseries, and whatever else he might have been doing at the time. I don’t rightly know. So to ease his workload a bit, the first UK-exclusive storyline, “Man Of Iron”, was reprinted in the US. Since the UK creators didn’t have enough US stories to get a sense of the characters’ personalities (only the first four were produced, and the Transformers didn’t have a lot of personality in those stories) or Cybertronian history they made a few differences from what we’ve come to know. I usually put these two aside as a separate universe altogether from Marvel’s Transformers Universe. So how good is the story?

Transformers #33 & 34

The covers almost make it look like a time travel story. It isn’t.

The Transformers #s 33 & 34

Marvel Comics (October & November, 1987)

originally published in The Transformers (UK) #s 9-12

“Man Of Iron” parts 1-4
WRITER: Steve Parkhouse
ARTISTS: John Ridgeway (1&2) and Mike Collins (3&4)
COLORIST: Nel Yomtov (recolored from Josie Firmin (1&2) and Gina Hart (3&4), I can only judge Yomtov’s work)
LETTERER: Richard Starkings
EDITOR: Sheila Cranna

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Book Report: Transformers: Exodus

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Over on my other site I’ve been doing an article series called “Chapter By Chapter”, where I review a book one chapter at a time. My inaugural book was a Transformers novel, based off of a recent (and very good) Transformers video game, War For Cybertron. When I’m done reading the book there I will come here and give an overview with the thought of whether or not I’d like to read it again. (Reading a book again years later? Whaaaaaaaat?) So let’s take a look at this book and see if it is worth a re-read, or if it was ever worth reading in the first place.

By the way, if you want to see my chapter by chapter review, click here.

click for full-size image

Transformers: Exodus – The Official History of the War For Cybertron

WRITER: Alex Irvine

PUBLISHER: Del Ray (an imprint of Random Publishing House)

BOOK DESIGN: Elizabeth A. D. Eno

PUBLISHING DATE: 2010

FORMAT: hardcover novel

ISBN: 978-0-345-51985-6

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