Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Fall of Cybertron Wreckers (2013) Part 1: Impactor and Roadbuster

Throughout the history of the Transformers franchise, there are a handful of special gimmicks (beyond just the ability to transform) that keep coming back again and again. Arguably one of the most popular such gimmicks has been the combiner robot, where three or more individual robots join together to form one, even larger robot (technically, there are two-robot combiners, but I've never heard the term "combiner" used in this way, so I'm going to define the term for the purposes of this discussion). In 2012, a video game called Fall of Cybertron was released, and Hasbro released several toys under the Generations sub-line, based on designs used within the game (this phenomenon is not unique to this game, but it's actually fairly uncommon). Fall of Cybertron rather heavily featured the Combaticons, a classic Generation One combiner team re-imagined in Cybertronian forms, and Hasbro released toys of these designs.

This entry is not about the Combaticons.

It has long been understood that, in order to maximize production costs, new molds are often planned to be released in several different color variations, allowing the release of multiple distinct toys without having to create an entirely new mold for each one. Although the Combaticons themselves were released in several different color variations, Hasbro also released the Fall of Cybertron Combaticon molds as non-Combaticon characters in 2013. In fact, these toys were released as an Autobot team called "the Wreckers."

More casual fans may not be familiar with this team, which finds its origins in the Marvel UK version of the Transformers comic of the 1980s. Long story short, "the Wreckers" are (usually) Autobots who are a bit rougher around the edges than your typical good-guy robots, willing to go where others might not dare to go, and to do whatever needs to be done to achieve success. Impactor, seen in these images on the left, is the leader of the Wreckers, and reuses the mold created for Combaticon leader Onslaught. Roadbuster, seen on the right, reuses the Swindle mold. All members of the Wreckers were given new heads, using designs that homage these characters' previous toys (or, in the case of Impactor, his appearances in comics, as this is actually the first toy ever created for this character).

I'll have more to say about the Wreckers, and about the individual team members and toys, in two weeks.

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