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Quotable Quotes! 10 Pairs of Transformers With Very Similar Mottos

November 29th, 2016 Leave a comment Go to comments

Back in 1984, the creators of The Transformers were tasked with giving identities to the disjointed robot toy figures of Japanese origin. They created Autobots and Decepticons, gave them interesting names and personalities, and assigned scores to various attributes that would make up the unique character behind the toy. All of this was captured in a Tech Spec bio on the back of the package box or card. One of the most clever things that would appear in a Tech Spec is the character’s motto. One little clever line of the motto, and you get a world of insight into the character’s persona. Pure genius.

However as the years went on, creators of Transformer characters had to write more and more mottos as Hasbro produced more and more toys. It was inevitable that some of the more forgettable characters in later years (and even some famous ones) would share mottos that are almost identical with another character.

They say being quoted is the ultimate honor. Perhaps some characters below are simply paying homage to someone else. Or Hasbro is just too lazy to fact check if a motto is already used, or they think no one would notice. Whatever the case, below I present 10 sets of similar mottos shared by more than one character. The sets are presented from highly similar to virtually identical.

Nightbeat

“Truth is revealed
in the smallest detail.”

Sparkstalker

“The smallest details reveal
the largest secrets.”

Here we have two characters that are unknown to all but the most hardcore G1-ers like myself. Nightbeat is a detective Headmaster that appeared in G1 Season 5. Sparkstalker is a Firecon that appeared in the same season. Neither character made a cartoon appearance. This motto makes sense for Nightbeat, as attention to detail is of utmost importance for successful detectives. But as for the Firecon, this is a strange motto to have. Firecons are a sub-group of transforming Decepticon monsters that like to set everything ablaze. So a detail-oriented pyromaniac almost seems like a oxymoron. I’m sure his tech spec bio explained this strange juxtaposition, but I doubt any of you reading this care much about Sparkstalker, so I’m not even looking into it. You would think Hasbro would not come up with two mottos that are so similar in the same season. Maybe they only paid for one tech spec writer and he cut corners here.

Afterburner

“Following leaders
leads nowhere.”

Fangry

“Leaders are for fools
who need to follow.”

I have mentioned many times that Technobots are my favorite Autobot combiner group. And Afterburner is my favorite Technobot. The first time I saw him on TV was in the G1 Season 3 episode “Money Is Everything” (I must have missed “Grimlock’s New Brain” the first time it aired). In the episode, I loved Afterburner’s persona, rebelling against his team and doing whatever he wants. I also loved his cool futuristic motorcycle alt mode. His motto makes perfect sense, and captures his essence well.

Before millenials made up hangry (hunger + angry, or so hungry you’re angry), there was Fangry (fangs + angry). I gotta give Hasbro props for coming up with these clever names. I don’t know much about Fangry, other than he’s a Decepticon Headmaster that came out in Season 5. Apparently he transforms into a winged wolf, and he’s just as much a rebel (if not more so) as Afterburner. Fangry’s personally is basically that of your average Decepticon; all about war and destruction and little else.

Crosshairs

“Don’t shoot until you see
the wires in their eyes.”

Dogfight

“Don’t fire ’til you see
the lights of their eyes.”

Crosshairs is a Targetmaster that appeared in G1 Season 4. I had the toy, and even today he’s in pretty good shape. I don’t remember if I bought him, or if he was a birthday gift. Dogfight is a Triggerbot that appeared in Season 5. I didn’t have any Triggerbots or Triggercons, their gimmick being that the figures have guns that flip out at the touch of a switch. The above mottos are so similar I think Hasbro plagiarized themselves. Crosshairs says shoot, while Dogfight says fire. Crosshairs searches for wires, while Dogfight looks for lights. Tomato, tomahto.

Blades

“War’s a dirty game – and I’m
a dirty player!”

Roadbuster

“War is a dirty business … and I’m
as dirty as they come.”

Blades appeared late in Season 2 in the G1 cartoons. But his toy didn’t hit the shelves until Season 3. Roadbuster‘s toy appeared in Season 2, but he never made a cartoon appearance. So it’s a bit unclear to me which of these characters came first. These two Autobot soldiers are obviously cut from the same cloth. They both express an intention of doing whatever needs doing to win the war, including activities that may be seen as unsavory. But the teams they’re on appears to be polar opposites. Blades is a Protectobot, a combiner sub-group united by their passion of protecting all life. Roadbuster is a Wrecker, an Autobot black-ops unit that handles morally disreputable missions too dangerous for the Autobots proper. It boggles my mind why they’re mottos would be so similar. Maybe Hasbro simply ran out of material here. If I was a TF story writer, I would retcon it so that Blades may have been a former Wrecker. Then he became disillusioned with their morally questionable activities and joined up with the Protectobots. That would explain his motto. Damn, Hasbro should pay me to write this stuff.

Ramjet

“If it flies, crash it!”

Growl

“If it moves, crush it!”

Either the same guy wrote these mottos, or someone copied an existing motto from 5 years earlier in a desperate attempt to come up with a new motto. Ramjet needs no introduction. He’s the most famous character in this post so far. [Sidebar: A quick search for Ramjet on this blog yielded no results directly related to Ramjet. That’s shameful! So he’s getting his 15 minutes of fame here.] Growl is a character that even I had to look up. He technically belongs with G1, but his appearance came so late it’s no longer relevant. But in case you’re curious, Growl is a Micromaster that was part of the Military Patrol. These two mottos are so similar it’s just embarrassing. The sentence structure is exactly the same. The action of crash vs crush differs only by one letter. And both mottos end on an emphasis with exclamation marks. If G1 didn’t already end 25 years ago, I ask that these tech spec writers be fired.

Bruticus

“The road to conquest is paved
with Autobot wrecks.”

Blackjack

“The road to victory is paved
with Autobot wrecks!”

Here we have two characters that just love to wreck havoc to Autobots. And the way they express that excitement is near identical. One cares more about conquest, while the other expresses more enthusiasm for victory (with a exclamation mark ! ). As one of the most powerful combiners among the Decepticon ranks, this motto makes sense for Bruticus. But for Blackjack? I dunno. He’s another Micromaster. I doubt he can cause any kind of damage that would hurt the Autobots. Maybe he’s like Rumble; small, talks tough, and can back it up sometimes. Or maybe Hasbro can’t come up with anything interesting after all the bios they’ve written by the time Blackjack rolled around that they resorted to rehashing old bios and mottos.

Cloudburst

“You can’t tell a bot by his cover!”

Bristleback

“You can’t tell a Decepticon by its cover.”

I hate Pretenders. I have made that perfectly clear. It’s such a stupid gimmick that even Hasbro has not tried to revive any likeness thereof after G1. None of the modern third parties, who have produced some awesome stuff in recent years, would go close to Pretenders. Its stupidity is further validated by the fact that Michael Bay jumped all over it in Revenge of the Fallen. And so here we have a pair of lame mottos uttered by two lame Pretenders. I guess this is a play on words, a variation of the famous “you can’t tell a book by its cover.” It’s really not that clever, but what makes it more moronic is that Hasbro saw fit to use this twice! First time by Cloudburst, one of the first Pretender Autobots (and I’m ashamed to admit I have the G1 toy) from Season 5. Then the following Season by Bristleback, a Decepticon Pretender Monster. In this case it really doesn’t matter who came first. It’s the exact same motto given the faction switch. I hate Pretenders so I’m not even gonna research why these two characters love to use their shells to hide whatever it is they’re hiding. Just know this: these shells cannot hide how dumb these toys are. Almost as dumb as this pair of mottos.

Blitzwing

“Destroy first, think later.”

Siren

“Act first, ask questions later.”

Predaking

“Destroy first, ask questions later.”

Here I present three mottos that form a collection. First we have Blitzwing, often considered the most famous triple changer in Transformer history. Then we have Siren, an Autobot Headmaster that came along when G1 is no longer relevant. Their mottos don’t look that bad when compared side by side. Sure the sentence structure is near identical, and the notion of acting first and cleaning up later may be similar, but the expressed actions are different enough that I’m tempted to give Hasbro a pass here. That is until I saw the motto for Predaking. The combined form of the Predacons is perhaps to most powerful combiner in Transformers lore. Predaking is a merging of 5 components, and his motto is merging of 2 other mottos! That’s right folks. Take the first part of Blitzwing’s motto, combine that with the latter part of Siren’s motto, and you get Predaking’s motto. Booya! Predaking is a combiner in more ways than one. If Blitzwing and Siren had a baby, it be Predaking.

Wildrider

“Either you’re out of my way
or you’re out of luck.”

Fastlane

“Either you’re out of my way
or out of luck.”

They say imitation is the ultimate form of flattery. But dropping one word out of a motto and claiming it as new is just plain lazy. Here we have a pair of characters that love to rev it up on the streets. Wildrider, perhaps the most famous of the popular Stunticons, is a psychotic speed demon with absolutely no regard for anything else on the road. Fastlane, an Autobot clone with a very minor appearance in Season 4 of US G1 cartoons, is a thrill-seeking but sane Autobot warrior. I guess this motto makes sense for both of them, but it’s obviously rehashed. Still, now I wonder what would go down in a race between Wildrider and Fastlane. Not only would they be racing for road supremacy, they would be facing off to claim rights to this cloned motto. Oh wait… Fastlane is a clone. So there you go. He cloned this motto from Wildrider. That must be the explanation.

Blurr

“The faster it is, the better I like it.”

Quickmix

“The faster it is, the better I like it.”

Hasbro is not even trying here. When I was looking through all the mottos for this post, I didn’t think I would find any that are identical to each other. Yet here they are. First we have Blurr, the fast talking Autobot made famous in the G1 Movie. Then we have Quickmix, a Targetmaster that came way too late to matter. So they both like it fast, but apparently in very different ways. Hasbro must be pleased with themselves for recycling this motto verbatim. Did they really think no one would discover this? Ok, maybe nobody noticed back in the 80s. But I am exposing this lazy effort, 28 years later. There is no statute of limitations on blatant copying of another Transformer’s motto. I find you… Innocent! (cue Quintesson creepy judgmental voice)

 

It’s kind of a shame that TFs produced today don’t have mottos on their profiles. But here is one motto that never grows old:
“Transform and Roll Out!”
And in true Hasbro fashion, let’s clone that again:
“Transform and Roll Out!”

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