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Top 10 G1 Transformers That Desperately Need An Update

April 22nd, 2020 No comments

We live in a great era of Transformers. When I came back to collecting the toys in 2004, it was returning from a 16 year hiatus where I paid little to no attention to what’s going on with the toyline. Now in 2020, I’ve been recollecting for 16 years, as long as my hiatus. Time flies.

Hasbro certainly did not forget us older fans that grew up with the franchise. CHUG (Classics, Henkei, Universe, Generations) draws inspiration mostly from G1. Many G1 favorites were updated in the line, sometimes multiple times.

CHUG obviously started with some of the most popular characters, like Optimus Prime, Megatron, and Bumblebee. And as the years went, more and more would be updated. Characters from the first 2 G1 seasons usually got earlier treatment. G1 Movie characters would soon follow. Even more obscure characters would later get updated. I wrote back in 2009 how I wished Sixshot would get an update, then in 2017 it became reality.

Now as I write this in 2020, and looking back, Hasbro has updated some TFs that seem as if they were reaching for the bottom of the G1 barrel. For example, they updated Jumpstarters (both Topspin and Twin Twist). They updated Duocons (Battletrap and Flywheels). Heck, they even did all the Monsterbots (Doublecross, Grotusque, Repugnus). I can think of way better G1 characters to update. And that’s where I got the inspiration for this post. I present below my top 10 G1 Transformers that desperately need an update today.

But first, some ground rules:

  • I am not including any Pretenders. They suck.
  • I am not including any Action Masters. They suck too.
  • This list is for G1 TFs that got no update whatsoever. Even if a TF got a lame repaint of something else, or got revived as a Micron (like Titan Masters), or got a completely butchered Movie-verse update, that counts as an update. Yes I know that not having a real G1-style update sucks, but not having being updated at all sucks more. This list is reserved for the latter.
  • There are G1 TFs where there’s no update now, but their update is coming. These TFs are not included.
  • I am not counting 3rd or 4th party products. Only official products are considered

Here we go.

10. Hosehead
Allegiance: Autobot
Sub-Group: Headmaster
Function: Emergency Rescue
Modes: robot, fire engine
 
 

You think there would be an update to Hosehead by now. He is a Headmaster that came around in Season 5, and he transforms into a fire engine. Hasbro LOVES making repaints out of something simply because two characters share the same alt mode. Inferno has been repainted into Hot Spot so many times that I lost count. How about giving some love to Hosehead. Yeah I realize no one outside of G1 has heard of him. But this is too easy to not do. And we all know Hasbro loves easy and quick cash grabs. Admittedly, I had Hosehead in G1. He’s still in pretty good shape. Yes I’m partial to TFs that I own, but this is my blog, so there.
 
 

9. Dogfight
Allegiance: Autobot
Sub-Group: Triggerbot
Function: Aerial Combat
Modes: robot, jet
 
 

I must have a Triggerbot or Triggercon on this list. In G1 there were 3 Triggerbots (the good guys) and 3 Triggercons (the baddies), and I never had any. My favorite out of the 6 is Ruckus, a Triggercon. I wanted to put him on here, but then discovered that he was technically updated. He had a lame Transformers Figure Subscription Service update, being repainted from Combiner Wars Offroad. And worse, they called him Grabuge. Seriously?! Can Hasbro make him anymore trashy? But that technically counts as having being updated, so I went to my next favorite in this group of 6: Dogfight. I don’t know that much about Dogfight, but I do remember him having a scene in one of the IDW comics. In that scene, he was talking to the great Optimus Prime. And Optimus seems to not know who he is, hahaha! It’s refreshing to see that not all Transformers know each other, a concept that the G1 cartoons never explored. Anyways, he transforms into a jet with forward-swept wings. Similar to Conquest X-30 from G.I.Joe and YF-19 from Macross. They could repaint Terradive or Space Case from the movie verse, with a new head mold. Though I would prefer a brand new mold with a more G1-esque robot form. And I want the trigger switch gun action on the updated figure! That never gets old.
 
 

8. Freeway
Allegiance: Autobot
Sub-Group: Throttlebot
Function: Saboteur
Modes: robot, sports car
 
 

I had to include at least one Throttlebot on here. I have all 6 Throttlebots. I know there was at least one update to Goldbug. There could be more. But what about the other Throttlebots? Anyway, Freeway is my favorite out of the six, so I elect him to get an update. I know ToyWorld produced updates to all 6 Throttlebots, including Freeway (which they called Highway). I have their update to Searchlight and Chase (Aurora and Trace, respectively). Speaking of Chase, I think Roadburn may be the modern update to Chase. Still, there is no update to Freeway. If Hasbro wants to be lazy, just take Roadburn and repaint him blue to be Freeway. Personally I rather see a real update with a new mold. C’mon Hasbro get on it.
 
 

7. Venom
Allegiance: Decepticon
Sub-Group: Insecticon
Function: Psychological Warfare
Modes: robot, cicada
 
 

Finally, a Decepticon on here! When I was compiling this list, I immediately saw that they were mostly Autobots. So I very consciously tried to include more Decepticons. But if playing with the rules that I laid out above, there are almost no Decepticons to include. When you exclude Pretenders and Action Masters, it feels like all G1 Decepticons got an update. I did’t specifically exclude Micromasters in my rules, but deep down I feel they are just not cool enough. Deluxe Insecticons never got any love in G1 in the cartoons. The toys came as early as Season 2, so I’m including one here. Out of the 4, Chop Shop is the only one to have had an update (a lame repaint of Generations Skarpnel). So I could have picked any of the other 3. I chose Venom to be on this list for 3 reasons: 1) I like his wacky head mold, 2) he’s technically the Insecticon leader, though realistically that’s Shrapnel, and 3) he shares the same function of Psychological Warfare as Bombshell, my favorite Insecticon. In G1 I never had any of the Deluxe Insecticons, and I don’t know anyone that did. Thus I have no idea if the toys were any good. But if HasTak chose to update them now, I bet they could do something pretty nice.
 
 

6. Slugfest
Allegiance: Decepticon
Sub-Group: Cassette
Function: Messenger
Modes: stegosaurus, cassette
 
 

Another Decepticon on here! Slugfest is one of the few that I could find without any kind of update. I have the G1 toy, along with Overkill. You get these 2 in one pack. That’s how G1 sold the cassettes. Again, I’m partial to toys I had, and I still got these 2 in pretty good shape. They repainted other toys to be Overkill a bunch of times, probably anytime Hasbro felt like making a repaint from another T-Rex for a quick score. Slugfest never got any love. The character does not exist past G1. That’s a crime. Slugfest is just as cool as Overkill, for G1 standards. If you wanna go the repaint route, take Power of the Primes Snarl and give that Slugfest colors (that would look kinda cool, actually). Though I like a new mold, that transforms from stegosaurus to cassette. While you’re at it, do Overkill too. A real update from T-Rex to cassette. Hasbro this is your chance to impress me.
 
 

5. Sizzle
Allegiance: Autobot
Sub-Group: Sparkabot
Function: Interceptor
Modes: robot, funny car
 
 

A Sparkabot or Firecon is required on this list. These 2 Sub-Groups feature another popular toy gimmick at the time. All figures have a friction-motor that produces cold sparks. For the 3 Sparkabots, the cold sparks fire out the rear exhaust in vehicle alt mode. And for the 3 Firecons, sparks come out of their mouths in the monster alt mode. Sizzle is my favorite out of this 6 (and again, he’s the only one I had out of this bunch). For most G1 Fans, Sizzle is the one that everyone thinks of when this group is mentioned. In his tech spec bio, he’s described as a daredevil of an Autobot, akin to Hot Rod, Fastlane, or Air Raid. He transforms into a cool funny car. I think Hasbro needs to update Sizzle for that reason alone; I can’t think of any other funny car Transformers. His color scheme is also quite unique, going from an ash brown in car mode to tangerine red in robot mode. I very much would like to see cold sparks in a modern day figure, though I imagine Hasbro would never do it.
 
 

4. Slapdash
Allegiance: Autobot
Sub-Group: Powermaster
Function: Interceptor
Modes: robot, F1 race car
 
 

I love Powermasters. I first mentioned that here, and probably elsewhere on this blog too. From a toy perspective, having a Mini-con that transforms into the engine to unlock the transformation is kinda cool. But from a story perspective, it’s kinda lame. Now that I think about it, all Master technology makes no sense. If I was a TF, no way I share my head, weapons, or transformation ability with someone else. Nevertheless, the Powermaster toys were all really good for G1 standards. My favorite Powermaster is Getaway, who was updated as Breakaway. So I’m going to include the other 2 Autobot Powermasters not updated. The first one is Slapdash. I really don’t know much about the character, and I only vaguely remember the toy. He transforms into a F1 race car. Hasbro could just be lazy here and repaint WFC Siege Mirage. But don’t be lazy, be cool. Make a new mold.
 
 

3. Joyride
Allegiance: Autobot
Sub-Group: Powermaster
Function: Warrior
Modes: robot, dune buggy
 
 

Joyride is the other Autobot Powermaster that was released with Getaway and Slapdash. I know very little of Joyride as well, other than that his toy was pretty cool. He transforms into a dune buggy. Off the top of my head, I can only think of 2 other Earth mode dune buggies in the entire TF Universe: G1 Beachcomber and G2 Jetstorm. I like the color scheme on Joyride as well. He kinda has the same color palette as Skullcruncher (or Skullsmasher in recent updates). This is a very unique color scheme that belongs only to these 2 TFs. Maybe this needs to be explored. Or not.
 
 

2. Sureshot
Allegiance: Autobot
Sub-Group: Targetmaster
Function: Sharpshooter
Modes: robot, Cybertronian buggy
 
 

I love Targetmasters. So in preparation for this post, I looked through every Targetmaster ever made in G1. As far as I can tell, all the Decepticon Targetmasters have had an update for some kind. As for the Autobots, there are several that could use some love. One of them is Sureshot. I don’t know much about the character. He appeared in “Rebirth”, but his role was next to non-existent, so you would only find him if you really squint your optics and look. I never had the G1 toy, and I don’t know anyone that did. But it looks pretty cool, based on pictures. HasTak can really go to town and make a terrific update of this character if they chose to. If they opt to be cheap, they could make one mold and use it for both Joyride and Sureshot. They are both buggies in alt mode. Make the head mold different. Give Sureshot a Battlemaster and Joyride some kind of engine accessory. This is almost too easy to not do. I’m almost confident enough to bet that this will happen.
 
 

1. Pointblank
Allegiance: Autobot
Sub-Group: Targetmaster
Function: Enforcer
Modes: robot, Cybertronian car
 
 

I can’t believe Pointblank has not been officially updated yet. Back in G1 Season 4 when Hasbro introduced all the “Master” gimmicks, Pointblank is widely regarded as one of the best figures produced for that period. Many G1 fans jumped on getting Pointblank very quickly. His Cybertronian car alt mode looks great, and the robot mode looks well proportioned too. The color combination of red and baby blue sounds hokey on paper, but on the figure it doesn’t look too shabby. I am told too that Pointblank has a bigger role in the Japanese TF Continuity after Season 4. I have the MakeToys update of Pointblank, called Contactshot. Overall, Contactshot is not a bad 3P product, but there could be improvements. He’s a big figure in robot mode, which presents scale issues, even for MP. And the transformation is more complicated than it needs to be for a character like Pointblank. It’s high time HasTak stepped up to the plate and gave us an official update. Pointblank should probably be deluxe size to scale with other CHUG figs. Modern HasTak figures of this size are all very playable, which is exactly what I’m looking for in a Pointblank update.
 
 

So what do you think of my top 10? I know if another G1 fan had to make a top 10 based on the rules I laid out above, it would be very different. Feel free to comment below.

Transform and Roll Out.

 

Categories: Top Ten

UPDATE: Shelter From Home Transformer Challenge

April 15th, 2020 No comments

It is now April 15th. Yes I am still doing the whole Shelter in Place thing. But more importantly, I wanted to give an update on how I’m doing with my Transformers Challenge that I outlined in the last post.

I was only able to complete 3 out of the 5 that I set out to do. A bit less than I hoped for, but a 60% completion rate is better than 0.

Fans Toys Roadking

Roadking is successfully transformed into truck mode. Pic below.

From an engineering perspective, this is a really impressive piece. Roadking (aka Motormaster) is only a bit taller than the MP-10 in robot mode, but this truck is equal in size to the MP-10 in alt mode with the trailer! That’s some awesome mass-shifting going on there. Lots of panels collapse onto itself in Roadking’s robot mode, and for alt mode they expand out and form the trailer.

I would say this is a challenging piece, but not impossible. On my next transform I will probably need the instructions again. But I feel like this process can be committed to memory if done repeatedly. At this point I am undecided as to if I would call this a fun transformation. I enjoyed the overall process, but lining up the panels in alt mode is more chore than pleasure.

Masterpiece Sunstreaker

Here is a figure that I had fun transforming back to alt mode. Sunstreaker is looking super sexy in his awesome Lamborghini Countach!

For this transformation back to alt mode, I resorted to using the instructions. But that was more because I didn’t want to accidentally break something (which I’ve done from time to time). Without the instructions, I probably could have figured this out in reasonable time.

Going back to alt mode felt about the same as going to robot mode in terms of difficulty. There are some really small pieces on this figure which makes for an intricate transformation. Engineering wise, Sunstreaker is probably the most impressive official MP Carbot made to date. Definitely a lot going on for a toy this size. One side mirror popped off during my transform back to car mode, and getting it back on took some effort. Other than that, the conversion process is a joy. I intend to transform Sunstreaker more in the future, because it’s fun and challenging. I would say his twin brother Sideswipe is still the better piece as far as being the perfect balance of toy and collector’s item, but Sunstreaker is the more accomplished figure in terms of TF engineering.

Fans Toys Rouge

You could almost say you’ve been to hell and back if you have successfully transformed Fans Toys Rouge. With much sweat and tears, I got this MP style Arcee back to her robot mode.

Looking at the instructions is a must for doing this piece. However, the instructions only show how to go from robot to car. Sure, just “reverse steps to go back” like what all instructions say. That is way easier said than done for something as frustrating as FT Arcee. There a bunch of pieces held together by thin plastic and metal poles. All these pieces move and rotate around these poles, so during transformation Arcee is one hot mess. There is one waist hinge that seems like it would totally break off if you bend her the wrong way. The instructions proved to be only marginally useful. I had to look at another transformation video of FT Rouge going from car to robot. Thank you Chosen Prime for putting that vid together.

The positive about this figure is that Arcee looks absolutely beautiful in both modes. I have no complaints about the appearance of either robot or car mode. She looks like she stepped straight out of the G1 movie. Fans Toys is really all about show accuracy and Rouge is no exception. FT engineers are to be commended for coming up with a figure that looks so good and so accurate in both modes, while the transformation requires no cheating (ex: parts-forming, fake parts, etc). But this figure is not fun at all. It is highly unlikely that I will ever transform Rouge back to car again.

At this point I still got about 3 weeks of Shelter in Place remaining, if plans don’t change. I will get to Megatron and Gewalt in later weeks.

Stay strong and stay home my fellow TransFans. We can beat this pandemic together. Transform and Roll Out (again, not literally out).
 

Categories: Pics, Uncategorized

Shelter From Home Transformer Challenge

April 5th, 2020 No comments

Here in the San Francisco Bay Area, the coronavirus pandemic has forced most of the local counties to adopt a Shelter in Place order. Everyone needs to “Shelter From Home”. In other words, only go out for essential activities, and stay home otherwise. All food establishments are in to-go only mode. Most other businesses are closed. Social Distancing has become the norm. Initially this order was only to go til April 7th, but now it looks like it will extend to May 1st at the minimum.

I have been working from home full-time since St Patrick’s Day. My wife has been working from home for even longer than that. I am busy doing real work at home, all the while trying to entertain a 2-year-old baby who’s stuck at home with us full time since her daycare is closed from the isolation order. It has been tough.

When you have a 2-year-old, life is always busy. I don’t have that much free time on my hands anymore. But when I do, I need to find different ways to pass the time as going outside is a non-option. I stumbled on this article suggesting 10 Transformers-related activities to beat the self-isolation blues. I am inspired by #8 and #9, and came up with my own challenge. I will select 5 MP-style Transformers that’s been lying around and untouched for some time (or never), and get them transformed! I am selecting these 5 below.

#1 Masterpiece Megatron (MP-36)

MP-36 Megatron is a Transformer that I’ve had since May of 2017, and to this day I still have not transformed him! This may be the only figure in my entire collection that I have opened but not transformed. Now, nearly 3 years later, I will attempt to get him to that awesome Walther P38. This might take a while, but it will be fun.

#2 Fans Toys Roadking

I got Fans Toys’ homage to Motormaster in January of this year. I still haven’t opened him, right up til before writing this blog entry. In preparation for this, I got him opened just now. The pic above is him posed with his sword and gun, in robot mode. I will get him to truck mode.

#3 Masterpiece Sunstreaker (MP-39)

MP-39 Sunstreaker is probably the most demanding piece in the entire MP Carbot lineup. I got him back in January of 2018. I opened him pretty soon after he arrived, and got him transformed to robot. He’s been stuck in robot ever since then. Now after 2 years later, I will transform him back to that superb Lamborghini Countach. Since I’ve gone through this once, I am mentally prepared to give my transforming senses a workout. It wasn’t easy going from car to robot, and I anticipate that going backwards will be even tougher.

#4 Fans Toys Rouge

I bought Fans Toys Rouge in May of 2019, about a year ago. I opened her pretty quick. She’s packed in robot mode, and I got her transformed to alt mode fairly soon after opening the figure. But I remember the transformation process being a nightmare. This is not a fun transformation at all. If I compiled a list of top frustrating figures to transform, FT Rouge would top the list. And because of that, Rouge stayed in alt mode all this time. Don’t get the wrong, both modes are fantastic. I salute Fans Toys’ engineers for making a figure that looks true to Arcee in both modes while requiring no parts-forming or puzzle-forming. But damn, the conversion process is not for the faint of heart. I’m hoping that going back to robot will be easier. We’ll see.

#5 DX9 Gewalt

DX9 Gewalt is another figure I acquired in January of 2018. Currently, most fans agree this is the best MP-style Blitzwing on the market. Gewalt is packed in tank mode. I transformed him to jet mode pretty soon after I got him, then transformed him to robot mode. He’s stayed in robot mode all this time. The transformation is not impossible, but definitely challenging. I will attempt to do the reverse transformations from memory, but most likely I will resort to looking at instructions or online videos.

There you have it. My self-imposed Transformer challenge for this Shelter From Home episode. I will attempt to get this challenge done by April 15th. Yes, I know that some of you out there reading this think you can do all this in less than a day. If you really can, then I congratulate you on all the free time you have on your hands. I am not so fortunate. Despite being sheltered at home, I still have a full-time job, and a 2-year-old to tend to. Time is not my friend.

What kind of Transformers related activities are you doing during this difficult time? Feel free to comment below.

Stay safe and stay healthy everyone. We will beat this pandemic together. Transform and Roll Out (again, not literally go out).
 

Categories: Uncategorized