Special Allspark Art Showcase: Unused Headmaster Devcon with Slizardo Mock-Up Concept!
Goooooooood morning Allspark! It’s 0600 hours. What does the “O” stand for? Oh, my God, it’s been a long time since we’ve had one of these showcases! And we return you to this unregularly scheduled newspost with a very special Allspark Art Showcase of the week!
Our friend, and retired staff member, NightViper has shared with us an exclusive gallery and insight into this unproduced and unused mock-up custom concept of Headmaster Devcon with Slizardo that could have been produced through the Official Transformers Collectors’ Club. While the figure did not get produced by the club, this version of Devcon did receive reference in Club fiction through Star Dasher’s profile from the end of Beast Wars: Uprising‘s “Safe Spaces”
During my time as a contractor for Fun Publications – organizers of the Transformers Collectors’ Club and official collectors’ convention, BotCon – I was tasked with generating hundreds of digital concepts for potential Transformers exclusive product. Different colors, different characters, different toolings… whatever was needed to “sell” the ideas to those in authority to approve the final production of the pieces.
Occasionally, though, I would go beyond a digital mock-up in attempt to more fully convince that a redeco or retool would be possible or would capture the character. The first time I created one of these mock-ups was for a concept that eventually was produced in 2011 – Shattered Glass Galvatron. Although that mock-up has long since changed hands and is in a private collection elsewhere, I’ve found a number of other mock-ups in storage and wish to share images with fans!
The first mock-up that I wish to show has already been seen publicly at RoboCon 2016 in Cincinnati. However only the robot mode was displayed, so you’ll get a little “treat” seeing the alternate mode here!
In 2015 when Titans Return was hitting store shelves (and Fun Publications still held the Transformers license), I was eagerly waiting to buy two Deluxe toys in particular. Blurr and Brainstorm. Seeing the two figures being based on the same toy and visualizing how the parts might be able to be swapped to create a composite, I set to work. I wanted to prove that Brainstorm’s wings and forearms could be placed on Blurr’s body, resulting in a more wedge-shaped space craft with rear-mounted wings and a scoop-like funnel on top. I wanted to make G1 Devcon’s spaceship mode! The figure being a Headmaster-type and thus allowing for a Slizzardo companion mini-figure was also a big factor in my pursuing the concept.
Sometimes, though, retooled parts are not compatible with previous uses of the mold. The RiD Grimlock based on FoC Grimlock being an example (I’d wanted to put the Transmetal Megatron alternate head from the FoC use on the RiD tooling, but alas…). And so I had to show that it was possible. I also wanted to do an alternate assembly by attaching the folding seat in the opposite orientation from Blurr and Brainstorm so that the sculpted detail could be used to mimic Devcon’s stomach grill, and wished to clearly indicate this as well. I completed the mock-up, submitted images, and poised myself to fight for Devcon as the 2017 Club Incentive figure (the figure that collectors received for “free” after paying for Club Membership). Unfortunately, Hasbro passed on word that the license was not going to be renewed and my chance to push the concept further never happened.
That’s not to say that the idea didn’t get into official material, though. Writer Jim Sorenson was influenced enough by the photos to include mention of a Headmaster Devcon and Slizzardo in one of his text-based stories published by Fun Publications in 2016 during the waning hours of the Transformers license. The concept found life! More or less…
I have had this Devcon on display with other Transformers pre-production pieces and prototypes before it was moved into storage. In the past, I’ve felt that strongly that it should have been made. Time moves on, though, and I’m beginning to narrow my collection down into something far more manageable. I’ve decided to part with a number of these physical mock-ups from the Fun Publications days, and I’ve chosen to start with Devcon so he goes first and I can’t change my mind! I hope fans everywhere enjoy this look at the concept figure… and if there’s a collector out there looking to get a hold of a piece of Club/brand history, or is simply a huge Devcon fan, well, it’s my opinion that this is something that should belong to the fans!
Find this one of a kind old Transformers Collectors’ Club Mock-Up Concept, and perhaps other concepts, at RoboCon 2020, June 5-6 at the Galt House in Louisville, Kentucky.
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