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Top 10 Transfomers with No Mouths

November 3rd, 2009 Leave a comment Go to comments

The other day I happened upon an image of movie Optimus Prime, and seeing him with lips just don’t do it for me. That G1 mouthpiece is just too iconic, and seeing movie Prime yap his trap is just silly.

This got me to thinking, what do Transformers need mouths for anyway? Like all machines, they have infinite ways to communicate that humans can only dream of. If they feel the need to “talk”, or if audio transmission is only to communicate with humans, they can easily do it through other standard audio channels. They don’t need to eat. Ingest Energon maybe, but I’m sure they have other means to do so. A mouth for a Transformer simply serves no purpose, but it seems like most TFs have them.

But some clearly do not. So I got to thinking, what are my top favorite TFs that have no mouths? This includes TFs that either use a mouthpiece or is missing a mouth altogether. Below I humbly present my top 10 favorite Transformers that let their actions do their talking for them, instead of their pie holes.

10. Sixshot
Sixshot is unique in the TF universe for being the first TF with 6 modes (I think the only other one is Quickswitch). Truly a one-robot army, he came way too late in the US G1 cartoons to fully make an impact. In the Japanese continuation, however, he has a much bigger role. Sixshot lets all his transformations do the talking for him. It should be noted that his wolf mode does have a mouth, but that’s probably just there to bite all his enemies to shreds. I think my cousin had this toy when we were kids. I believe he was re-issued this decade in Japan, I should hunt one down. Better yet, I like to see a Classic update of this character. To accommodate 6 modes, he’s gotta be Voyager class or bigger. With the toy technology they have today, he would be so awesome. Oh man I’m getting excited just thinking about it.

9. Getaway
I have always loved the Powermasters. The idea that a Nebulan partner transforms into the engine, which then unlocks the Transforming mechanism of the TF, is… well… pretty stupid actually. If I was a TF, and I needed a partner to unlock what I could’ve done any time I pleased, I might as well shoot myself. However, the toys themselves were cool. Getaway made this list mainly because I had his toy as a kid (and I still do, complete, intact, and in good shape with tight joints), and I’m always partial to TFs that I own. But more importantly, the G1 Powermaster figures all had pretty good molds, with cool designs and robust construction. Getaway in my opinion was the best of the Autobot car Powermasters. His alt mode is supposedly a Mazda RX-7, and the robot mode looks nicely balanced. His profile is also unique for being the masterful escape artist, something not shared by any other TF to my knowledge. In the Movie line of toys, he appeared as Breakaway (repaint of Cybertron Excellion), a Walmart exclusive. Getaway did not appear at all in the US G1 cartoons. However, he appeared many times in the US Marvel Comics continuity, and has a significant role in Vol 3 of the War Within series (which is unfortunately unfinished).

8. Bombshell
I have always too loved the Insecticons. Transforming into insects is just too freakin’ cool. I also went into why Bombshell is special for me in a previous post. Bombshell is the only Insecticon without a mouth. Though all Insecticons feed like crazy so I guess they put the mouths in their bug modes to good use. Bombshell has the special ability to mind control his targets with cerebral shells. All 3 Insecticons (and maybe even the deluxe guys from G1) would be good to re-do in the Classic line. There shouldn’t be any licensing issues whatsoever, and with insects the toy designers should be able to get very creative.

7. Scrapper
The Constructicons are one of my favorite sub-groups of all time in the TF universe. They were the first Combiner group introduced, and Devastator gave the Autobots all they can handle. Not only powerful, the Constructicons are also master builders and engineers. It’s hard to say who is the most famous Constructicon, but Scrapper definitely deserves consideration. As the Constructicon leader, he’s always supervising the Decepticon’s latest construction project, whether it be a new weapon, space cruiser, command outpost, or whatever. He seems to take an evil delight in all his creative pursuits, and I love the way he orders the team to unite when the Autobots are about to kick their butt.

6. Wheeljack
The resident “mad scientist” of the Autobots, Wheeljack is always working on something when he’s not too busy helping Ratchet repairing their wounded comrades. Wheeljack is famous for being the first TF we see on screen in the G1 cartoons and for creating the Dinobots. He does not have a mouth at all. When he speaks, the two pieces to the sides of his head lights up, indicating he has communicated. This is actually how I anticipate TFs to talk. Rumor has it that Wheeljack is getting an update in the next wave of Classic figures, something I highly anticipate.

5. Bruticus
Of all the Combiner teams, the Combaticons are my favorite. I remember back in grade school, my classmates and I would argue over which is the best Combiner team. Many voted for the Stunticons, some liked the Aerialbots. They were both good choices, but my vote goes to the Combaticons. Let me explain why. For the Stunticons and Aerialbots, the figures that form the limbs are not at all diverse. All the Aerialbot jets transform the same way, and so does the Stunticon cars (though to a lesser degree). Once you bought one, it’s like you bought them all. The Construction toys were old and outdated by the time the newer Combiners rolled around. And the Protectobots, well, they were a bunch of wussies in the cartoon so I don’t think anyone liked them. Not counting the later seasons, this only leaves the Combaticons. They were powerful in the cartoon, many times beating the other combiner teams. And as for the toy, each limb component were truly unique from each other, in both transformation and alt mode. And they all transform into combat vehicles! I don’t think it’s any surprise that Hasbro re-released this figure set 6 times after G1! That in itself should prove this is the most popular combiner set. My first Combaticon was Blastoff, and I slowly collected the rest as time went. Finding Vortex back then was a real challenge, I think he’s the rarest one out of the five. I still have my G1 set, all complete, the pride and joy of my G1 collection (though Onslaught is getting quite loose). I think all the Decepticon combined forms has the same personality (strong and dumb), but Bruticus comes from my favorite team so I had to put him on here. And when I was compiling this list, it dawned on me that all the Combaticons except for Swindle have mouthpieces, but for the sake of variety I just let Bruticus represent all of them.

4. Shockwave
If I was re-born as a Transformer, this is how I want to look like, because no one would know what I was thinking or feeling. Nevermind not having a mouth, Shockwave is completely devoid of all facial features, except for his iconic cyclops eye. When he talks, the eye starts flashing in sync with his words. So is he talking through his eye? Does the round object on his face function as both eye and mouth? We may never know, but that quality of being extremely efficient matches well with Shockwave’s personality. In the G1 cartoons he is simply the guy waiting on Cybertron (for 4 million years!), but in the comics he is given a much bigger role, often taking command of the Decepticons and conducting unorthodox experiments, such as Triple Changing and Combining technology.

3. Grimlock
“Me Grimlock not kisser, me Grimlock no need mouth!” The bad-ass that is Grimlock represents some of the very best that the Autobots have to offer. Grimlock is one of the Autobot’s most powerful warriors regardless of which TF continuity you follow, but in the US Marvel Comics continuity (and extended in the comic prequel War Within), we see that he is also a very capable leader, even taking on role as Autobot Leader form time to time when Optimus is missing or deactivated. In the cartoons, and especially in the G1 movie, he is often portrayed as the comedy relief despite being very powerful. However, no one forgets that he was the first TF character to have a T-Rex as an alt mode, and that in itself is just too damn cool. Grimlock seems to enjoy his Dino mode a lot more so than his robot mode (in the cartoon anyway), perhaps because as a T-Rex, he’s got a much bigger mouth to chomp his enemies into itty bitty pieces.

2. Soundwave
Ask any true TF fan to name his top 5 favorite Decepticons, and Soundwave is bound to be on that list. The Decepticon communications officer earned his place in TF legend not by being the most powerful warrior, but through his exploits in stealth and cunning, his monotone way of speaking, his non-personality, and last but not least, his numerous henchmen that he can eject as cassettes from his tape deck. As far as G1 toys go, Soundwave is perhaps the most accurate to the G1 cartoon. Let’s face it, the cartoons made most characters look much better than their toy representations (I’m looking at you, Ratchet and Ironhide). Soundwave is the lone exception. If you looked at him in the cartoons and imagine in your mind how his toy would look, well, that’ how it looks. His G1 mold still holds up well today. In fact it’s so good that I don’t think a Masterpiece version can really improve on it, other than making him bigger and perhaps a little more detail.

1. Optimus Prime
Like I would put anyone other than Optimus Prime in the top spot. Optimus Prime is perhaps the most iconic Transfomer of all time. His dedication to the freedom and welfare of all living beings is unrivaled. Optimus has got it all, being both a powerful warrior and capable commander. He (along with Megatron) has appeared in every Transformer continuity and spin-off. The earlier renditions of Optimus all has him appear with the mouthpiece, but later versions of the character tend to give him the lips with the mouthpiece serving as some kind of lower face shield when he’s in battle (such as Beast Wars, the Michael Bay movies, and the Animated Series). I don’t know what is the reason for this evolution, but the G1 purist in me will probably never get used to seeing Prime with moving lips. And I think not seeing the lips gives a character more authority in appearance. This is the design I prefer for Prime. There are many Optimus figures where you can pose him with the mouth shield on or off. Guess how I pose mine?

Honorable Mentions: Warpath, Powerglide, Hoist, Seaspray, Cosmos

Until next time… Transform and Roll Out!

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