Saturday, April 25, 2015

Micromaster Constructicon Devastator (2003)

In the early part of the 21st century, a lot of old molds from the Generation One era were beginning to be reused, often for the first time, to create new toys for a new generation of collectors. The usual pattern for such mold reuse was almost always the same; Takara, the makers of Transformers in Japan, would find and refurbish a mold for their market, and Hasbro would then use that mold again for the American market (and possibly elsewhere). Many of these molds had never been used for American toys originally, such as with the Japanese Micromaster six-teams.

As readers of the Superion and Sixliner entries on the old blog may remember, the Micromaster six-teams featured six Micromasters that, when combined with kibble (never attaching directly to another actual Micromaster, however) would form a "larger" robot (still barely taller than the average "Deluxe" toy of today). So far, Constructicon Devastator (as the combined form was called at the time for trademark reasons) is like others of its kind. This toy is not a straight reissue, however. The original Sixbuilder (as the toys from this mold were originally called) was an Autobot team with members in a variety of colors.*

Constructicon Devastator represents an early form of another pattern that was only beginning to emerge at about this time: taking construction-themed toys (often originally released as Autobots) and giving them green-and-purple redecos in homage to the original Constructicons. While in this instance, this color-scheme decision also originated in Japan before coming to the United States, I'm dealing with the American version here. Some of the toys were given the names of the appropriate original Constructicons with similar alternate modes, but some changes had to be made for trademark reasons. Thus, from left to right, these are Bonecrusher, Buckethead, Hightower, Long Haul, Quickmix, and Scavenger.

It is by no means uncommon for homages such as this one to take advantage of a similar alternative mode, but if one were to compare the robot modes side-by-side, one would find little in common after discounting the homage color scheme. Still, just making them green and purple accomplishes quite a lot, and I'm actually impressed at the coincidence that gives Quickmix (an homage to Mixmaster) rocket launchers on his head.

Another thing that Constructicon Devastator has in common with most of the other Micromaster six-teams (the notable exception being Sixliner and its repaints, which were designed earlier) is that its combiner kibble (which uses the same molds as the other teams do, excepting for the head) can combine into a kind of jet accessory. It's a neat little play factor to add in to an admittedly pretty static set of toys.

Sadly, none of the Contruction-homage versions of these toys were ever released (either in America or in Japan) with tech specs, so I took it upon myself a number of years ago to create my own. To the best of my recollection, I simply adapted the G1 bios and stats, offering simple explanations for the name changes where necessary. These are by no means official. I apologize for the lack of a Devastator card. I simply couldn't find clean artwork for the combined form that I felt I could Photoshop green with my limited skills!








*Micromaster Superion wasn't a straight reissue, either, but at least it stayed the same faction as the original!

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