|Robots in Disguise. An Evolution in Transformers:|
Shortly after the end of this line, allowing only a few years for the original line to cool off, was Transformers Generation 2 released in the early 1990's. I must say that I for one was not impressed. After playing with GIJoe action figures for the remaining years of the 1980's I suppose I was spoiled by the articulation that action figures presented. So I didn't buy anything from Generation 2 even though I was an avid toy collector and Transformers still held a place in my heart.
In 1995 Transfomers underwent their third evolution: Beast Wars. Now I was torn. I purchased the early two-pack of Optimus Primal (bat) vs. Megatron (crocodile). I have tons of praise for the articulation presented in these toys. For goodness sake both of them could sit Indian style. I fell in love with the ball and socket joints that were present at the shoulders, elbows, hips, and knees. This is the sort of articulation I am dying to see incorporated into any action figure line. Unfotunately the line was a battle between animals that transformed into robots. Featuring the heroic Maximals against the evil Predacons.
My main beef with this match up is the fact that all the animals were out of scale with each other. You basically had something like a gorilla or shark be sized up against a frog or dragonfly. I'm sure it makes sense somewhere in the universe but that place doesn't include my mind. With the exception of a few off scale Decepticons like Megatron or Soundwave that turned into items that were scaled with the real world, most of the rest of the original Transformers were in a decent scale with each other. The reason for this stems from the pre-Transformers origin of the toy molds. The items like Megatron and Soundwave that were scaled to real world came from a Japanese toy line known as Microman. The cars and jets were scaled to fit pilots about the size of Micro Machine Action Fleet and they came from a Japanese toy line known as Diaclone.
If you're lucky enough you might own a Diaclone pilot that can drive Optimus Prime or pilot Starscream (a few Diaclone vehicles that weren't turned into transformers popped up in the States in the 1980's to compete directly with the popularity of Transformers, Robotech, and Voltron.) I happened to own one of these toys and I thought it was cool that the pilots fit into the Transformers. The roots of Transformers only recently came into light for me. Basically from my understanding the cars and jets were on one side opposed by giant mechanical monsters on the other, namely the Dinobots and Insecticons. It you ever bothered to wonder what those hatches were for on your Dinobots and Insecticons the answer is they are cockpits for Diaclone pilots.
During the course of the Beast Wars I saw glimmers of hope that Hasbro may return to the original roots of Transformers. The introduction of Transmetals was of keen interest to me because at least now the animal forms had a more robotic feel to them like the Original Dinobots and Insecticons. Unfortunately the toys continued to be grossly out of scale with each others.
2000, Beast Machines posed the final path towards the days gone by. Here we see the heroic Maximals return to Cybertron to face off against Vehicons. The Vehicons were close to Decepticons. I was very happy to see them get introduced into the toy line but slightly disappointed that they weren't called Decepticons. In this same year I found out about a Toy line in Japan known as Car Robots 2000. This line featured the Heroic Autobots facing off against the evil Predacons. (well actually in Japan it was the Cybertrons versus the Destrons) I managed to get my hands on the Build King set for Christmas of 2000. My girlfriend at the time had visited her family in Japan and was kind enough to get me this set.
Early in 2001 I heard great news from the New York Toy Fair: Hasbro was importing the Car Robots line to the US for late Summer/early Fall release. So here we stand on the threshold of the Classic days of Transformers. With only 1 season of the cartoon existing it's possible that rather than the Autobots waging battle against the Predacons we may soon see Autobots versus Decepticons. Actually later this year we will see some Decepticons: the Combaticons that form Bruticus, Black Battle Convoy, and two Machine Wars jets.
Personally I am avoiding the Predacon threepack, and Sky Byte. I hope to aquire the Decepticon cyberjets from Generation 2, and the other Machine Wars jets so that I will have the RID Autobots pitting battle against the Decepticons. Editor's note 8/29/01: I have aquired the Machine wars jets except Megaplex and I have aquired all three G2 cyberjets. My thanks to Joel for such a great deal. Anyone with a Megaplex at a decent price feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org . I am also still looking for the following G2 Go-Bots: Firecracker, Highbeam, Megatron, Optimus Prime, & Doubleclutch.
Well thats enough babbling for now. I hope to refine this site with some toy reviews and more of my opinions of where the line is heading, but for now this is it.
Thanks for reading. Catch ya on the flipside. SandmanLoganfive signing off.
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