Sep 15, 2010

[Transformers] Classics / Universe / Generations Love

Classics Astrotrain and Starscream
Classics Astrotrain and Starscream

I had stopped seriously acquiring Transformers after the last vestiges of the G1 line died out. Sure, like many other Transformers fans I dabbled in the Action Masters just for the heck of it and I got all excited about the repainted Generation 2 releases. I tried my luck with a few Beast Wars toys (which actually weren't that bad) and I even took a taste of the Armada line (complete with senseless Minicons. That was well and good and all but I never really got excited about Transformers all through the years.

A few of you might have gone for the movie toys, but the overall styling always seemed too messy to me. As much as I know they were meant to be somehow more organic, it just felt wrong to me and thus somehow now like Transformers at all. While I did invest money into getting the ROTF Bludgeon, I still ended up spending more on those crazy Transformers Animated toys instead.

Then in 2007 I finally came across a few of the Transformers Classics toys and fell in love all over again.

But just looking at the toys, can you blame me?

Classics Voyager MegatronImage via WikipediaThe Transformers Classics line started as a filler between the recently concluded Transformers: Cybertron line of ties (as connected to the cartoons) and the 2007 live-action movie. Or so Wikipedia tells me. Although this definitely makes sense - what other purpose could updated versions of classic 1984 Transformers design serve other than taking advantage of cartoon nostalgia? Plus these toys weren't just re-issues of the original G1 designs like Generation 2 was - they're actually totally new designs inspired by how these characters originally appeared in the 1984 Transformers cartoon.

Although I encountered the toy line rather late, I was still able to bag Starscream and Astrotrain from the original line, which was pretty cool. As you can see in the rudimentary photo above, I was happy to pose them just about anywhere, regardless of background or lighting potential from a photography perspective. But you have to admit - they're pretty darned cool and they better resembled the original cartoon characters. Well, in general they do - I know Astrotrain's color scheme is more like the original toy.

More recently I was able to get the 2-pack containing Grimlock and Jetfire / Skyfire, which still pretty much worked for me.

Then came the Transformers Universe line which sort of touched on reviving classic characters, although with more more liberal interpretations. While I understand the Universe line technically began before Classics, my introduction to the series really only started after the release of the 2008 line of toys. From this group I managed to get the ridiculously large Powerglide (but with cool sound effects!) along with the releases of Beachomber, Brawn and Prowl much more recently. I regret having missed my chance to get Sunstreaker and Jazz, who were out and about at the time but my budget was already maxed out at the time.

Transformers Classics / Generations
Mixed Classics and Generations Transformers

Now we've come full circle with the more recent Transformers Generations line, which has done a lot to continue reviving classic characters in new cartoon-accurate molds and some crazier releases. I mean come on, nobody really knew who Autobot Drift was unless you actually spent time reading the IDW comics that featured him. But as a toy you can't deny that he was designed to be cool with a total of 3 different swords / blades! Plus the more recent Thrust figure is pretty darned cool and nice addition to any collection (even though he's a blatant re-mold of Classics Starscream, but I don't mind).

Today I was ready to go crazy when I encountered not just one but four Generations figures during our weekly supermarket run. They had Cybertronian Bumblebee and Soundwave (ala Transformers War for Cybertron) along with Red Alert and Darkmount / Straxus.

I was torn between what figure I wanted to get (since it was definitely NOT part of the original grocery budget) and I ended up turning to my partner jokingly asking if he had a 4-sided die.

Being the gamer that he is, I had forgotten about his dice roller app on his iPhone, which did in fact have a 4-sided tetrahedron die option. So after a few test runs that most showed 2's and 3's and very few 4's, we decided to let the die choose for us and rolled.

We got a 4.

So I submitted to the will of the die at that time and loaded all four figures on the cart, already mentally computing if my credit card could support this in the long run. Not satisfied, I asked to roll again later on during the grocery run. He triggered the app. He got another 4.

So this was starting to get freaky, but I was cool with it and I knew that deep down, I really wanted the figures anyway. Finally at the checkout counter, I asked for one last roll. He got a 4. And jokingly he rolled again - ANOTHER 4! The gods of geeky fate had spoken I suppose.

So my credit card took a major hit because somehow he was able to roll a 4 fours times in a row - that's a 0.390625% chance! Who am I to argue against fate, right?

So I guess this has become another reason for me to love this line of toys - they just have an interesting way of finding their way to me. Despite all odds and other priorities at the time, I still managed to walk home with all four figures even when I though I'd certainly limit my purchases with a die roll.

Plus you have to admit - owning a toy meant as an homage to Straxus is still pretty cool. He even has his battle axe!

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