Sunday, May 2, 2021

Not Your Father's Autobot - Episode #3 - Transformers: Generation 2 issue #3

For this episode of Not Your Father's Autobot, we're discussing Transformers: Generation 2 issue #3, cover dated January, 1994. This issue can be found reprinted via the Transformers: Dark Designs paperback, which may be purchased via Amazon. Listeners may also wish to try to find a copy of either the collected paperback or the issue itself via eBay (purchases through these links do not support the podcast in any way). 

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Space Case (1995)

When discussing toys as part of Generation 2, most fans agree that any toys that released in the US with the redesigned Autobot and Decepticon faction logos qualify for inclusion, even though Hasbro had quietly dropped the Generation 2 language on the packaging for the last year of such toys before deciding to revamp the entire concept for Beast Wars. Thus, the Cyberjets are not only considered part of "G2," but indeed are held up as some of the best toys in the entire line.

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Celebrating the 25th anniversary of Beast Wars with Rhinox

I'm giving a lot of attention to Generation 2 this year (hosting a G2-themed podcast and all...), but the fact is, while Generation 2 brought the Transformers toy line back from the dead, it really didn't save the franchise for the long haul. In fact, sales of Generation 2 toys were disappointing. To ensure the survival of Transformers for the next couple decades (and more?), the franchise had to undergo a major revision. This was the Beast Wars franchise, which celebrates its 25th anniversary this year (this post is timed to approximate the anniversary of the premiere of the Beast Wars cartoon, which was on April 22nd, 1996, but of course some of the toys came out before that date...). 

Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Happy Meal Tankor (2000)

In these days of increasing prices for increasingly underwhelming toys, I wouldn't be surprised to learn that people below a certain age have never seen a kids meal toy connected to the Transformers franchise that actually transformed. But for a few years around the turn of the century, this was by no means uncommon, and in the case of Happy Meal toys released to promote the Beast Machines line, the Happy Meal toys ironically tended to depict characters more accurately than the toys produced by Hasbro for regular retail. Tankor (the original character to use the name, before it was slapped on Octane) provides an example.

Sunday, March 21, 2021

Not Your Father's Autobot - Episode #2 - Transformers: Generation 2 issue #2

For this episode of Not Your Father's Autobot, we're discussing Transformers: Generation 2 issue #2, cover dated December, 1993. (Most of) this issue can be found reprinted via the Transformers: Dark Designs paperback, which may be purchased via Amazon (purchases through this link do not support the podcast in any way).

Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Generation Two Terradive (1993)

I can't really claim intentional holiday alignment here, choosing a robot with green in it for St. Patrick's Day. This was the natural item from my collection to highlight after beginning our look at the Generation Two Skyscorchers with Eagle Eye last month. Indeed, Eagle Eye has more green than Terradive does, which itself gets a bit to why I'm looking at Terradive now.

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Universe Tankor (Octane, 2008)

When I discussed Titans Return Blitzwing a couple of weeks ago, I alluded to Octane as another of the three original Decepticon Triple Changers, although I also referenced that I don't have the Titans Return version of that character. Indeed, this Universe toy from 2008 is the only Octane toy I own, and as the entry title suggests, it was sold under a different name entirely: Tankor. Long-time fans will recognize by now that certain Transformers character names are hard to trademark, and thus tend to be released under other names. IMHO, the Titans Return attempt ("Octone," note the second "o") was better, but since that name was also alongside additional language for the "Titan Master" partner that came with that toy, I'm not even sure that Hasbro could have gotten away with "Octone" for this release, even if they had the imagination to consider it at the time. Instead, we got a name previously given to another character (who I'll get around to discussing in a month or so). The IDW comics of a few years back had some fun with this by calling the other character "fat Tankor" and this one "tall Tankor." For the sake of clarity, I'll just refer to him as "Octane" from here on out, recognizing that the toy was sold as "Tankor."

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Titans Return Blitzwing (2017)

When discussing figures from the Titans Return series, the second part of the "Prime Wars" trilogy that was arguably the franchise's primary focus from 2015-2018, I'm more or less compelled to reference the homage to the Headmasters toys of the mid-1980s. Let's get that part out of the way quickly. The tiny robot that becomes Blitzwing's head is named "Hazard." If you really want to see a close-up of Hazard, here you go. Now let's focus on the main toy....

Sunday, February 14, 2021

Not Your Father's Autobot - Episode #1 - Transformers: Generation 2 issue #1

 

For this episode of Not Your Father's Autobot, we're discussing Transformers: Generation 2 issue #1, cover dated November, 1993. I am unaware of digital options to buy this issue today, but it can be found reprinted via the Transformers: Dark Designs paperback, which may be purchased via Amazon (purchases through this link do not support the podcast in any way).

Wednesday, February 3, 2021

Generation Two Eagle Eye (1993)

G2 Eagle EyeBefore the green tank version of Megatron came out to become the first all-new mold created for Generation Two, the line was populated entirely out of molds created previously. Not all of these were molds from the earliest parts of Transformers history, however. In fact, some of the molds to come out in Generation Two's first year were new to North America, having been used in Europe only a short time previously. Among these previously-European exclusive molds was a set of four small jets called "Skyscorchers" upon their European release. While the "Skyscorcher" name was dropped upon these molds' arrival in America, the toys themselves were unchanged.

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Serpent O.R. (2015)

Some toys have more complex backstories than others. This is definitely one of the more complicated ones, so let's just get started:

Back in the 1980s, the GI Joe franchise decided to shake things up by creating the character "Serpentor." Serpentor was essentially a cloned being, created by using a DNA combination of the greatest warriors and tacticians in history. The idea was to give Cobra an edge by creating a more effective leader than Cobra Commander had been. Fast forward through multiple iterations of both the Joe and Transformers franchises, and the concept was revisited in one of the several crossover series published by Devil's Due Press, who was also publishing the main G.I. Joe series of that era. The Serpentor concept was reborn as the "Serpent O.R.", the "Serpent Organic Robot." A hybrid of Cybertronian technology with human engineering, the Serpent O.R. was used by Cobra Commander in yet another bid to take over the world. Fast forward a few more iterations, and Fun Publications brought the idea back yet again, which brings us to this toy.

Sunday, January 10, 2021

Not Your Father's Autobot - Episode #0 - G.I. Joe issues #138-142

 

For this inaugural episode of Not Your Father's Autobot, we're discussing the five issues of Marvel Comics' G.I. Joe comic (issues #138-#142) that served as a prequel to the Transformers: Generation 2 comic. These issues can be found reprinted in IDW's G.I. Joe Classics, Vol. 14, which is available digitally via Comixology at https://www.comixology.com/G-I-Joe-Classics-Vol-14/digital-comic (purchases through this link do not support the podcast in any way).

Wednesday, January 6, 2021

Generation Two "Hero" Megatron (1994)

Although the period of time we now know as the Generation Two line was fairly brief, if understood as a fraction of the franchise's now more than 35 years of existence, I consider it an important time in Transformers history. I have thus decided to spend the next year (and change) giving some extra attention to that little window of Transformerdom. The main part of this focus will be a new podcast, which I'm calling Not Your Father's Autobot. This podcast will cover the whole run of the Transformers: Generation Two comic produced by Marvel Comics in the early 1990s. The first episode (well, actually, it will be "Episode 0," since I'm dealing with a few issues of the G.I. Joe comic that set up the actual G2 comic) will drop this Sunday. You can get it as it drops by subscribing to the RSS feed or, if you prefer, you can simply find it via this blog on Sunday. This blog will also be the primary place to leave comments on the podcast, as well, and I invite you to give it a listen! Thanks in advance.
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