Friday, May 27, 2011

Transformers Feature: BotCon 2010 Rapido

Winding down the pre-BotCon 2011 features on last year's exclusives, we have a look at Rapido.  Unlike the toys previously mentioned here, the original version of Rapido was indeed sold in the United States under the Generation Two banner (although like Clench and Pyro, Rapido also originated in Europe in the days before Generation Two started in earnest)

Rapido has been the beneficiary of perhaps one of the oddest glitches in the history of the franchise.  In 1993, the year the original Rapido toy came out, Optimus Prime himself was only given a rank of "9" on the Tech Specs that were released with the toy, yet Rapido, a mere "Platoon Commander," was given a rank of "10!"  Only Grimlock (among American released toys) shared this distinction in 1993.  The BotCon 2010 story paid homage to this quirk by suggesting that Rapido was given authority by Optimus Prime to assume command of any Earth-based unit in an emergency.

For many years, there was some debate about how Rapido's name should be pronounced.  Did the name rhyme with "torpedo" (which would indeed have been in keeping with the names given to numerous other characters), or was the name instead the Spanish-language word for "fast"?  BotCon 2010 put this debate to rest once and for all with Rapido's backstory.  Being one of the first Transformers created on Earth, Rapido was actually created in Spain, and Rapido therefore has a personality in keeping with "growing up" in such a culture.  In fact, according to the "Generation Two: Redux" story, most Transformers created on Earth are actually citizens of the nations from which they originate, just as much as any human would be.  In keeping with this backstory, and because the Fun Publications folks take seriously the "fun" part of their name, the Tech Specs that come with BotCon Rapido are actually written entirely in Spanish.  For those of us who can't read Spanish, an English language version was made available online shortly after the close of the convention.

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