Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Micromaster Sports Car Patrol (1989)

There is a sense in which, once you've talked about one of the Generation One Micromaster patrols, you've talked about them all. This is part of why I've only done so twice before in more than a decade on this blog (the Race Car Patrol and the Battle Patrol). That said, these are fun little Transformers that deserve more attention, especially now that Micromasters are making something of a comeback in the current War for Cybertron: Siege toyline. Having done two Autobot teams already, it's time to give some Decepticon Micromasters some love. While I could focus on a patrol that has a new release in that toyline (as has been the case with both of the aforementioned Autobot patrols, although only two members of each team have actually been released), I'm going to stick with these guys, who have yet to be announced for a modern update (a Combiner Wars release of Blackjack notwithstanding), but who hold a special place in my heart due to their role in a Marvel Comics storyline that brought both Ratchet and Megatron back to the limelight... if only for a moment.

From left to right, these are Blackjack, Hyperdrive, Detour, and Road Hugger. Like all of the original Micromaster Patrols, this four-pack was gang-molded in such a way that it comes in two pairs of swapped-color robots. Thus, Blackjack and Road Hugger and black and purple (with opposing parts for each color), while Hyperdrive and Detour are both blue and yellow (with similarly opposing-color parts).

Here they are in their vehicle modes. While most Transformers of this era had foregone "real world" vehicle modes in favor of completely made-up vehicles, these Micromasters all represented cars that actually existed somewhere in the world (if perhaps not in these colors). Blackjack is a Ford Probe GT Turbo, Hyperdrive is a Mitsubishi X2S concept car, Detour is a Chevrolet Corvette Indy sports car, and Road Hugger is a Ferrari 408 Integrale concept car (thank you, TFWiki!). I don't believe that any of these were actually licensed from the actual car companies, and so am left to assume that either those companies were less litigious in the late 1980s, that the bizarre colors were considered "enough" to avoid infringement, or some combination of these factors.

Will the Sports Car Patrol join the Race Car Patrol and Battle Patrol (or, at least, half of each of those teams) in getting a modern toyline interpretation? Only time will tell.

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