Monday, August 24, 2015

All I Needed to Know, I Learned From the Autobots

A recent episode of the podcast, TFYLP (Transformers For Your Listening Pleasure) discussed the Tech Specs that used to come on packages of Transformers. For those who don't know, Tech Specs were biographies and statistics that were printed on the cards and boxes of Transformers figures. The formats have changed over the years, and there are some lines that haven't included such character data at all, but for those figures that have had them, Tech Specs have provided important information on the characters represented by the toys. Especially for toys under-represented in other media (cartoon and comics, for example), the Tech Specs are sometimes all that separate a Transformers toy from being "just another transforming robot" instead of a full-fledged character.

At one point in the episode, special attention was given to the mottos given to characters toward the top of their Tech Specs bio. One panelist pointed out that some of these mottos contained profound life lessons, prompting another to half-jokingly ask if he didn't have parents to teach him these things. But the point remains. The mottos give a window into the philosophies that govern these characters' lives, and some of them are indeed noble and worth following.

A few examples were given on the podcast, and rather than repeat their efforts, I'll suggest you head over there to find those directly. Here are some others, taken from Tech Specs in my own collection.

  • "The strongest tyrant cannot crush freedom of thought." (Brainstorm)
  • "Reach for the stars, but never leave your friends." (Cosmos)
  • "To know others you must know yourself first." (Goldbug)
  • "Weapons can win battles, but words can win wars." (Hubcap)
  • "A good shot is worth more than a good intention." (Warpath)
  • "Clarity of thought before rashness of action." (Shockwave, perhaps subverted when you realize he's a bad guy, but a worthy sentiment nonetheless)

Feel free to share Tech Spec mottos you think especially profound in the comments.

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