Monday, March 14, 2016
Micromaster Battle Patrol (1989)
From left to right here (but not in the art above. Sorry), we have Big Shot, Flak, Sidetrack, and Sunrunner. Of these four characters, I think that only one has ever received a second toy (unless you count the Japanese recolors of 1990, and I don't for the purposes of this discussion. They're pretty much the same toys, just in different colors, released only a year later in a market that originally didn't get these versions. And given the utter lack of fictional characterization these guys were given in Japanese media of the time, they might not even be the same characters), and that one (Flak from the BotCon 2009 box set) was not only done by Fun Publications (who have made it a point to use obscure homage characters whenever possible), but had to be done in wholly different colors due to another figure already having used Flak's color scheme without attempting to use either the name or the character.
In keeping with other Generation One Micromaster releases, these four were created around a theme. As the name "Battle Patrol" might indicate, these four are all military vehicles. The Battle Patrol are fairly unusual among Micromaster teams in that they actually have some variety in their transformation schemes, but none are so complex that one would really need the instructions (which were included) to figure out how to get from one mode to the other. I often find myself missing the simplicity of these days, especially when having to wade through the dozen or more steps in modern instructions (which generally have no words... just often-confusing line art) just so that I can take a toy off of the shelf and turn it into another mode so it can be displayed differently.