Monday, November 25, 2013

The Transformers Thunderous Thirty #18 - Frenzy

Long before "Cliffjumper's Identity Crisis," Frenzy was often the victim of mistaken identity.

As I described when discussing Frenzy's brother Rumble, the toy colors for the two were swapped on the cartoon, leading to endless "Frenzy is Red, Rumble is Blue/Frenzy is Blue, Rumble is Red" debates. But the confusion doesn't end there.

Frenzy's identity was so thoroughly subsumed under Rumble's in the cartoon that Frenzy also picked up Rumble's characteristic earthquake-making pile drivers, rendering him little more than a Rumble-clone. To make matters worse, Frenzy even used the same voice actor as Rumble (the legendary Frank Welker).

This was, to put it bluntly, not the original intention. So if the only Frenzy you've ever known was from those appearances in the cartoon, the character I'm about to describe will be entirely new to you....

Unlike his brother Rumble, Frenzy's powers are much more explicitly sound-based. He attacks via high-pitch sound waves designed to disrupt circuits in robots, and (although not explicitly stated in his original Tech Specs) which are often depicted as causing balance issues in humans. Frenzy is also a bit mentally unbalanced. While Rumble is certainly aggressive and hot-tempered, Frenzy is positively devoted to causing chaos. He has no particular attachment to being a Decepticon. If being an Autobot somehow enabled Frenzy to destroy more of the universe around him, he'd probably sign up over there instead. It's all about what team allows him to feed his lust for war. This devotion to creating havoc is also Frenzy's primary weakness. He doesn't think any of his attacks through. He's a blunt instrument that just wrecks everything in his path. An opponent who has a cool enough head to think things through can usually figure out a way to stop Frenzy fairly easily.

There was one, brief, time in Frenzy's history where there was little danger of his being confused with Rumble, and I've decided to devote the actual toy images of this entry to that fleeting moment. Toward the end of the Generation Two toyline (so close to the end, in fact, that the toys actually didn't have the "Generation Two" labeling anymore), Frenzy was released as a redeco of one of the Hot Wheels-like "Go-Bots." Being the only former cassette-bot to receive such treatment (a Rumble Go-Bot toy was designed from a different mold, but was never released), Frenzy was finally his own 'bot. Unfortunately, no official fiction related to this form has ever been released,* leaving this short period of Frenzy's uniqueness to be little more than a quirk of history. For those interested, I did do a bit of speculative fan-fiction about this version of Frenzy some time back. You can find that here.

*Some recent club fiction repurposes this toy to be a clone of the original Frenzy, but since that's not the same character, I don't count it.

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