Jump to content


Toggle shoutbox Squawkbox Open the Shoutbox in a popup

Please don't post Youtube videos in the chat box. The forums software auto embeds them. 

@  Maximus Ambus : (04 July 2020 - 10:41 AM)

Oh the end of the Ottoman Empire of course.

@  -LittleAutob... : (04 July 2020 - 10:14 AM)

*ahem* 4th of July....

@  ▲ndrusi : (04 July 2020 - 08:14 AM)

Nothing of importance has happened before, and nothing of importance will happen again.

@  Maximus Ambus : (04 July 2020 - 08:12 AM)

Nothing of importance happened today.

@  Telly : (03 July 2020 - 09:54 PM)

i want a "i survived 'rona and all i got was this lousy t-shirt"

@  TheMightyMol... : (03 July 2020 - 03:42 PM)

Slogan for 2021: "I Lived, Bitch."

@  -LittleAutob... : (03 July 2020 - 03:23 PM)

They should make the next book in the Survivors series 'I SURVIVED CORONA VIRUS 2020'

@  -LittleAutob... : (03 July 2020 - 03:23 PM)

YEEEE I'M A SURVIVOR-

@  Nevermore : (03 July 2020 - 06:59 AM)

Probably gonna assemble Devastator after work.

@  Nevermore : (03 July 2020 - 06:58 AM)

Ooooh. Overload arrived. He's surprisingly fun.

@  Bass X0 : (02 July 2020 - 04:00 PM)

He's sweeter than the average bear.

@  Maximus Ambus : (02 July 2020 - 03:14 PM)

Convert him to Maple Syrup.

@  Bass X0 : (02 July 2020 - 03:10 PM)

what would Canada do with Yogi?

@  Cyoti : (01 July 2020 - 12:51 PM)

We can deport Yogi back to Canada now.

@  Sabrblade : (01 July 2020 - 12:50 PM)

Jellystone National Pawk. A westful wetweat.

@  Rycochet : (01 July 2020 - 12:47 PM)

Jellystone. We're going to be plunged into a decade of poor animation. Fortunately we've been led by bad cartoon characters for years so we won't notice much difference.

@  Maximus Ambus : (01 July 2020 - 06:19 AM)

what next? YELLOWSTONE?

@  Nevermore : (01 July 2020 - 05:46 AM)

Thanks, dead person.

@  Bass X0 : (01 July 2020 - 05:06 AM)

congratulations to all survivors of the first half of 2020.

@  wonko the sane? : (30 June 2020 - 10:21 PM)

21 for me, but after numerous repetitions I got it down to 17 and a half.

@  TheMightyMol... : (30 June 2020 - 06:16 PM)

I transform in six steps from human to human sitting on my ass at the computer and back again!

@  -LittleAutob... : (30 June 2020 - 05:55 PM)

x-x when in vehicle mode we can travel much F A R T H E R-

@  wonko the sane? : (30 June 2020 - 05:52 PM)

Because despite the fact that we can travel around the world in the time it takes to get a good nights sleep and a couple of meals: people rarely wander more than 25 miles away from home for the duration of their lives.

@  Otaku : (30 June 2020 - 05:49 PM)

I don't know how many days that trip takes - especially while sightseeing - but explaining they're 3936 kilometers (2445 miles) apart gives an idea, paradoxically because it is too large to easily picture.

@  Otaku : (30 June 2020 - 05:44 PM)

Aye.  When I catch lay people discussing miles and not how long the trip takes, it is in an attempt to stress how far away something is... like NYC to LA.

@  ▲ndrusi : (30 June 2020 - 01:20 PM)

But I can imagine 45 *minutes* easily.

@  ▲ndrusi : (30 June 2020 - 01:20 PM)

I can imagine a mile, it's a distance I've run. I can't really imagine 45 miles.

@  ▲ndrusi : (30 June 2020 - 01:19 PM)

I think there's also an element of the thing where things that are much bigger than us all blur together.

@  Otaku : (30 June 2020 - 11:49 AM)

If you're not, then you're more concerned with how long it takes.  Actual distance doesn't tell you that very well.  Besides traffic and road conditions, you'll need to know what kind of driving (city/interstate/rural/etc.).

@  Otaku : (30 June 2020 - 11:47 AM)

Distance matters if you're being paid by the mile.

@  TM2-Megatron : (30 June 2020 - 11:44 AM)

Canadians are the same way, for the most part. If you're driving somewhere far, especially, it helps you plan out the day more than a distance in KM would.

@  Otaku : (30 June 2020 - 11:42 AM)

We use the time it takes to get someplace because that is what is relevant to us.

@  TheMightyMol... : (30 June 2020 - 10:55 AM)

Because even we can't figure out miles half the time.

@  Paladin : (30 June 2020 - 09:54 AM)

it's a big country with a lot of empty space. between our citizens' ears.

@  Bass X0 : (30 June 2020 - 09:52 AM)

Why do most Americans measure distance by hours of driving?

@  TM2-Megatron : (29 June 2020 - 07:26 PM)

And as a result the world's lone blu-ray release of the film, an Australian disc that came out 7 years ago, now goes for hundreds of dollars on eBay. Thanks Disney.

@  TM2-Megatron : (29 June 2020 - 06:21 PM)

Well, they censored Daryl Hannah's butt in Splash :rolleyes

@  Paladin : (29 June 2020 - 05:43 PM)

maybe New Mutants is too bad even for D+.

@  Steevy Maximus : (29 June 2020 - 05:00 PM)

X-Men films are coming to Disney+ next month. But will they censor Hugh Jackman's butt?

@  -LittleAutob... : (29 June 2020 - 12:44 PM)

Pft.

@  TheMightyMol... : (29 June 2020 - 11:59 AM)

Behold! Night Strike Galvatron!

@  Bass X0 : (29 June 2020 - 09:53 AM)

I will grant you a recolored body, and recolored troops to command.

@  Cybersnark : (29 June 2020 - 09:47 AM)

I don't want to be reissued. This body sucks, I wanna be updated.

@  Nevermore : (29 June 2020 - 09:43 AM)

I definitely don't intend to be reissued. Nobody would buy me.

@  Bass X0 : (29 June 2020 - 08:31 AM)

will anybody else attempt to be reissued?

@  wonko the sane? : (29 June 2020 - 07:51 AM)

*Gasp* Decepticons re-writing history to serve their own needs?!?!

@  Nevermore : (29 June 2020 - 05:48 AM)

The whole point of the DJD is that they're fanatical Megatron fanboys (especially Tarn) to the point of having their own headcanon taking priority of the actual canon, simply speaking.

@  TheMightyMol... : (29 June 2020 - 04:01 AM)

They didn't know the war was over until later. And then they denied it anyway.

@  PlutoniumBoss : (28 June 2020 - 10:47 PM)

"He's comin' right for us!"

@  Telly : (28 June 2020 - 08:40 PM)

was that even still in effect once the war ended?


Photo
- - - - -

1995: The year Hasbro discovered "waves"; updated with chapter 10: The Power Masters/Powermasters (page 4)


81 replies to this topic

#21 Nevermore

Nevermore

    Unionized and proud of it.

  • Supporter
  • 13399 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Germany
  • Faction::Autobot

Posted 16 June 2019 - 05:33 AM

Anyone here on Twitter? If yes, could you do me the favor and alert this user:
https://twitter.com/acdecepticon

to my request posted in the comments section here:
http://angrycanadian...devastator.html
aR2oX8u.jpg
Big thanks to my dad for playing along with this visual recreation.

#22 Nevermore

Nevermore

    Unionized and proud of it.

  • Supporter
  • 13399 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Germany
  • Faction::Autobot

Posted 16 June 2019 - 04:01 PM

Chapter 2: The Constructicons (1993)

The other 1993 assortment infamous for its color variants were the Generation 2 re-releases of the Constructicons. The initial (and more common) versions saw their Generation 1 predecessors' main color changed from green to yellow. Here are Bonecrusher, Scavenger, Scrapper, Hook, Long Haul and Mixmaster in their United States packaging:
Constructicons-Bonecrusher-yellow-US.jpg Constructicons-Scavenger-yellow-US.jpg Constructicons-Scrapper-yellow-US.jpg Constructicons-Hook-yellow-US.jpg Constructicons-Long-Haul-yellow-US.jpg Constructicons-Mixmaster-yellow-US.jpg

The second, less common versions changed the color again, this time from yellow to orange. It's been occasionally claimed that these were exclusively availabale at KB Toys stores in the United States (sometimes abbreviated as "KBTE" by eBay sellers); however, this has never actually been verified, and some people even recall having purchased them at other stores such as Mills Fleet Farm. What probably happened was that KB Toys was merely the chain that ordered the largest bulk, thus leading to the perception that they were "only" available at KB Toys.

Either way, here are the orange G2 Constructicons in their United States packaging:
Constructicons-Bonecrusher-orange-US.jpg Constructicons-Scavenger-orange-US.jpg Constructicons-Scrapper-orange-US.jpg Constructicons-Hook-orange-US.jpg Constructicons-Long-Haul-orange-US.jpg Constructicons-Mixmaster-orange-US.jpg

As you might notice, each of them keeps the same individual UPC barcode as the earlier yellow version, just like all three color variants of each of the G2 Dinobots kept the same individual UPC barcode. This lends more credence to the theory that they were not really exclusives.

According to Fred's variant page (>link<), there was also a test market release of the Constructicons (presumably the yellow versions) available at Toys"R"Us, with the figures being packaged in "clamshell" packaging like the Generation 2 versions of the Autobot Cars, the Decepticon Jets, the Dinobots, the 1994 "Heroes" and Silverbolt and Onslaught. I've never seen photos of those, though. The later, regular versions (depicted above) were instead packaged on blister cars like the smaller 1994 Aerialbots and Combaticons figure/"limbs".

The yellow versions were also released in Canada in bilingual English/French packaging:
Constructicons-Bonecrusher-yellow-CA.jpg Constructicons-Scavenger-yellow-CA.jpg Constructicons-Scrapper-yellow-CA.jpg Constructicons-Hook-yellow-CA.jpg Constructicons-Long-Haul-yellow-CA.jpg Constructicons-Mixmaster-yellow-CA.jpg

Interestingly, while four of them retained the alternate French Canadian names of their Generation 1 predecessors, the other two were renamed: Scavenger was still named "Excavo" (Spanish for "I excavate"), Hook was still named "Toubib" (colloquial French for "doc", as in "doctor"), Long Haul was still named "Costo" (both Spanish and Italian for "cost"), and Mixmaster was still named "Malaxo" (derived from the Latin verb "malaxare", which means "to soften" or "to knead"). On the other hand, Bonecrusher, previously named "Sadico" (Italian for "sadistic"), now became "Fracturos" (Spanish for "fractures"); and Scrapper, previously named "Bricolo" ("handyman"), became "Bagarro" (derived from the French word "bagarre" for "fight").

At the moment, it's unclear whether the G2 Constructicons were officially released in Europe; at the very least, I could not find any evidence of European packaging for them. However, I do vaguely recall having seen them at a local store in Germany back in the day, side by side with the earlier 1992 versions (more on those in a moment). I'm also sure that someone I knew owned both the yellow European 1992 versions and the G2 versions around 2005. Although I vaguely remember his G2 Constructicons being orange, I asked him and he thinks they were the yellow versions, but he can't tell for sure since he sold them a while ago. He does recall having purchased them at German retail, though (specifically at a chain named Karstadt).

One possible explanation that has been suggested to me is that the Constructicons might have been available in Europe as imports in US packaging, like the Aerialbots and "Mini Autobots" (aka "Mini-Vehicles") were. That would explain why there is no evidence of European packaging for any of them!

As I already mentioned, the Constructicons had just been re-released in Europe a year earlier, in 1992. Those versions had also been primarily yellow, albeit in a slightly different shade, omitting all the accessories needed for combining them into Devastator, and on top of that with several of them retooled to completely neuter their combining ability for whatever reason. Here they are in their extremely odd multi-purpose, mostly text-free European packaging that uses the same cardback for all six figures:
Constructicons-1992-yellow-EU.jpg

And just for the record, there had also been an even earlier European release of the Constructicons in yellow, this time with all the parts and without any notably retools. Those versions were released in 1986 as part of the original Transformers line, in French/English/Dutch/Spanish packaging, manufactured for Hasbro by French company Ceji. Those are supposedly much less common than both the non-combining European 1992 versions and the Generation 2 versions. Even more rare are packaged specimens, as I couldn't even find any photos for Hook:
Constructicons-1986-yellow-EU.jpg Constructicons-Scavenger-Scrapper-1986-y Constructicons-Long-Haul-1986-yellow-EU. Constructicons-Mixmaster-1986-yellow-EU- Constructicons-Mixmaster-1986-yellow-EU-

Color-wise, the Generation 2 versions differ from both European versions. The purple plastic, in particular, is brighter and veering closer to red, and the silver/gray plastic parts found on the European non-combining 1992 releases (at least some of them, since there are also variants with yellow instead of gray parts) are all yellow.

Here is a comparison of all three yellow versions of Scavenger. From left to right: European 1986 release manufactured by Ceji, United States 1993 Generation 2 release, and non-combining European 1992 release.
Constructicons-Scavenger-yellow-1986-199


Recommended additional reading:
  • Jeremy of Soundwaves Oblivion took last year's Devastator reissue as an opportunity to chronicle the entire release history of the Constructicons through the years, starting with Takara's Diaclone versions: >Link<
  • Angry Canadian Decepticon covered several versions of the Constructicons: >Part 1< discusses the orange Generation 2 versions, >part 2< discusses the European 1992 versions, and >part 3< discusses the yellow Generation 2 versions.
  • TransformersFR.com, featuring photos of Canadian-released Generation 2 toys: >Link<
  • Maz wrote several articles that touch upon the yellow European 1986 versions of the Constructions: "Europe's Strangest Attractions" can be found >here<, "French Connection" can be found >here<, and "Ceji G1 'Yellow Devastator'" can be found >here<.
  • A variant within the yellow European non-combining 1992 release of the Constructicons is documented in >this< TFW2005 thread.
  • Some more photos of the yellow European 1986 versions of the Constructions, including a comparison between all three yellow versions of Scavenger (European 1986 release, European 1992 release and US 1993 Generation 2 release) can be found in >this< TFW2005 thread.
  • More comparisons between the yellow Generation 2 versions of the Constructicons and the European 1992 releases can be found in >this< Ozformers thread.
Acknowledgements:

Edited by Nevermore, 06 April 2020 - 04:06 AM.

aR2oX8u.jpg
Big thanks to my dad for playing along with this visual recreation.

#23 Nevermore

Nevermore

    Unionized and proud of it.

  • Supporter
  • 13399 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Germany
  • Faction::Autobot

Posted 18 June 2019 - 04:53 AM

Minor update: The European releases of the Constructicons might have actually been available in Europe as imports in US packaging!
aR2oX8u.jpg
Big thanks to my dad for playing along with this visual recreation.

#24 Cradok

Cradok
  • Citizen
  • 858 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 18 June 2019 - 08:20 AM

I saw something on Twitter recently about there being variants on the non-combining Euro Constructicons, with the main differences being the parts molded in grey. Someone had unopened cases of each. I can't seem to find who it was, though. Maybe Spacebridge, who you're probably best asking about it anyway, if anyone knows, he will.



#25 Engledogg

Engledogg
  • Citizen
  • 2298 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Southwestern PA
  • Faction::Autobot

Posted 18 June 2019 - 09:15 AM

I saw something on Twitter recently about there being variants on the non-combining Euro Constructicons, with the main differences being the parts molded in grey. Someone had unopened cases of each. I can't seem to find who it was, though. Maybe Spacebridge, who you're probably best asking about it anyway, if anyone knows, he will.

 

I think he mentioned that in the "Recommended additional reading" section:

- A variant within the yellow European non-combining 1992 release of the Constructicons is documented in >this< TFW2005 thread.

Hmm...looking at the link, the shmax.com links are dead.  I just edited my old post on TFW2005 so they can be viewed.

 

MIKE

engledogg


Edited by Engledogg, 18 June 2019 - 09:16 AM.


#26 Cradok

Cradok
  • Citizen
  • 858 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 18 June 2019 - 09:31 AM

Well, that's two fails for me, one for not reading all the way to the end, and one for forgetting it was an actual friend who posted the info... (And a third, I guess, because I saw it on his Facebook, because I don't think Side has a personal Twitter.)



#27 G.B.Blackrock

G.B.Blackrock

    Autobot Ally

  • Supporter
  • 12920 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:South Pasadena, CA
  • Faction::RIRFIB

Posted 18 June 2019 - 01:19 PM

Thanks for doing all this work. I look forward to more.



#28 Marduk

Marduk
  • Citizen
  • 1739 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Faction::Maximal

Posted 18 June 2019 - 04:36 PM

I enjoy reading these, so thanks!

 

G2 Constructicons are, IMO, the superior version.  I know the green is iconic and G1 and all that, but man that yellow and purple is just *delicious*.

 

~Marduk



#29 Nevermore

Nevermore

    Unionized and proud of it.

  • Supporter
  • 13399 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Germany
  • Faction::Autobot

Posted 23 June 2019 - 08:00 AM

Chapter 3: The "Heroes"/"Combat Heroes" (1994/1995)

Although this is still originally a 1994 assortment, it actually constitutes the first instance of fully-fledged redecos to be released as running change variants... that is, they would have been released had they not been canceled!

One thing right out of the gate: That whole "Heroes" vs. "Combat Heroes" name confusion appears to be more of a difference between "original intent" and final product" than between "original deco" and "redeco". The television commercials for the toys that aired in the United States (>link 1<, >link 2<) referred to them as "Combat Optimus Prime" and "Combat Megatron" (without "Hero"), and an article published in Go Figure! magazine identified the figures as "Combat Hero Optimus Prime" and "Combat Hero Megatron".
Combat-Heroes-Go-Figure-Magazine.jpg

The final toys simply had a "Hero" logo on their United States packaging. Like the 1993 "Cars", "Jets" and "Dinobots" assortments, they came packaged in clamshell packaging rather than on blister cards.
Hero-wave-1-Optimus-Prime-US.jpg Hero-wave-1-Megatron-US.jpg

The European releases of the "Heroes" differ from their United States counterparts in several ways: First of all, the European versions did come packaged on blister cards, just like the European releases of the Dinobots. Second, the "Hero" logo was absent from European packaging, and thus, it isn't entirely clear what the official name for the price point was in Europe. I specifically say "price point" and not "assortment" here. More on that later. And third and most importantly, they were given new names! Optimus Prime was now an Autobot named "Sureshot" (a name reassigned from a Generation 1 Targetmaster), and Megatron became a Decepticon named "Archforce" (an entirely new name). Accordingly, their chest stickers were modified so they didn't say "Optimus Prime" and "Megatron Rules!" anymore.
Hero-wave-1-Optimus-Prime-vs-Sureshot-st Hero-wave-1-Megatron-vs-Archforce-sticke

Now as for why exactly Hasbro felt the need to change the two iconic faction leaders' identities is anyone's guess. Did they feel there were too many "Optimus Prime" and "Megatron" toys in the market already? (Then again, according to a disclaimer on the back of the French/Dutch/German packaging for Sureshot and Archforce, the larger, green Generation 2 Megatron was excplicitly not available in Germany, Austria and Switzerland, supposedly due to the whole "war" motif of his alternate mode. For more on that topic, see >this< thread.)

In any regard, here they are in English/Spanish/Portuguese packaging:
Hero-wave-1-Sureshot-EN-ES-PT.jpg Hero-wave-1-Archforce-EN-ES-PT.jpg

And here they are in French/Dutch/German packaging:
Hero-wave-1-Sureshot-FR-NL-DE-v1.jpg Hero-wave-1-Archforce-FR-NL-DE-v1.jpg

Note that there's a further packaging variant for Sureshot and Archforce! Both versions came in French/Dutch/German packaging, and the texts for both versions appear to be identical, but while the version depicted above uses the same packaging format as the English/Spanish/Portuguese versions, the other version features a rectangular cardback instead of a squared one, with numerous elements (such as texts, graphics and the EAN barcode) rearranged to fit the different dimensions.
Hero-wave-1-Sureshot-FR-NL-DE-v2.jpg Hero-wave-1-Archforce-FR-NL-DE-v2.jpg

Now why did I hesitate using the term "assortment" when talking about the European versions? Well, none of the European packaging variants list an assortment number! (The United States versions' assortment number is 80145.) And furthermore, each figure has its own individual EAN barcode, which is highly unusual for European releases from that period: Unlike US packaging, which typically features an individual UPC barcode number for each figure, European Generation 2 Transformers toys only had one single EAN barcode number that was used for every figure from the same assortment. The only differences in EANs from this era were usually between different language-specific packaging variants of the same assortment.

So, for example, as you will later see in chapter 7, every "Gobot" available in English/Spanish/Portuguese packaging had the same EAN barcode, as did every "Gobot/Turbo-Transfo" available in French/Dutch/German packaging, and also every "Tecnobot" available in Italian packaging. However, English/Spanish/Italian packaging, French/Dutch/German packaging and Italian packaging all had different EAN numbers. When European packaging was streamlined into one single multilingual version in 2001 (as previously elaborated on in part 3 of the introduction), EAN numbers were also completely standardized for every assortment, and in fact, individual EAN numbers for different figures from the same assortment didn't become the standard for European Transformers toys until 2017!

So with "Sureshot" and "Archforce" having their own individual EAN numbers in both trilingual packaging versions, as well as the complete lack of an assortment number, it would appear that Hasbro didn't distribute these two as an assortment in Europe, but rather as standalone releases that shipped in solid cases! Presumably, that might have been done so that "Archforce" could be skipped in the German-speaking markets (again that aforementioned "war toys" problem), despite featuring German texts on his packaging.

A poster distributed by Hasbro UK that features the European 1994 Generation 2 line-up depicts one "representative" toy for each assortment, yet features both "Sureshot" and "Archforce" by themselves, thereby further supporting my theory that the two were distributed separately. On top of that, this poster is also the only known instance of the term "Hero" being applied to the European versions, referring to Sureshot as a "Hero Autobot" and to Archforce as a "Hero Decepticon".
Hero-Sureshot-UK-poster.jpg Hero-Archforce-UK-poster.jpg

Anyway. For 1995, Hasbro had intended to release redecos of Optimus Prime and Megatron that supposedly never made it to the mass production stage. Hasbro's Toy Fair 1995 catalog depicted the figures in their new decos and referred to them by the originally intended assortment name, "Combat Hero Asst.". Supposedly, it was knowledge of this catalog in particular that prompted fans to commonly refer to these redecoes specifically as "Combat Heroes", thereby differentiating them from their original, plain "Heroes" releases.
Combat-Heroes-Toy-Fair-1995-catalog.jpg

A Hasbro representative at Toy Fair 1995 also referred to them as "Combat Heroes" (>link<), but used that name as if it had always been the name of the assortment ("Combat Heroes are back, in all-new colors for Optimus Prime and the evil Megatron!").

However, despite never being mass-produced, both figures did at the very least make it to the sample packaging stage. Here they are in their intended United States market packaging:
Hero-wave-2-Optimus-Prime-US.jpg Hero-wave-2-Megatron-US.jpg

A closer examination of the packaging reveals several interesting tidbits: First of all, the entire packaging design still firmly follows the format used for the 1994 releases. It even still sports the "Generation 2" branding, unlike the "proper" 1995 releases, which all lacked the G2 moniker. What's more, at first sight one might actually assume the packaging is simply reused from the 1994 "Hero" releases! Both the package art on the front and the photos of the toys themselves on the back still depict both characters in their original color schemes, the Hasbro product code and assortment numbers remain the same (80147 for Optimus Prime, 80146 for Megatron, 80145 for the assortment), and even the UPC barcode numbers remain unchanged (038976801475 for Optimus Prime, 038976801468 for Megatron). This suggests Hasbro was still treating these as running change color variants like the Dinobots and the Constructicons before, rather than fully-fledged separate products.
Hero-wave-1-vs-2-Optimus-Prime-US-UPC.jp Hero-wave-1-vs-2-Megatron-US-UPC.jpg

However, there are some differences: Most importantly, the packaging for the redecoed figures has been changed from clamshells to blister cards, like the European versions; furthermore, the dotted lines around the UPCs are now solid, the texts above the UPCs have been changed from simply "Optimus Prime" and "Megatron" to "Hero Optimus Prime" and "Hero Megatron" (not "Combat Hero"!), the "save for special Transformers premiums" texts next to the "Robot Points" are missing, and the part numbers (P/N) have been changed as well (44693202 instead of 44693201 for Optimus Prime, 44693102 instead of 44693101 for Megatron).

The name "Combat Heroes assortment" also appears on the green tags attached to these "Hasbro Standard" factory samples of the redecoed figures:
Hero-wave-2-Optimus-Prime-US-Hasbro-stan Hero-wave-2-Megatron-US-Hasbro-standard.

Again, all this means is that Hasbro's distribution and marketing departments were using the assortment name ("Heroes" vs. "Combat Heroes") inconsistently, not that they were intentionally trying to differentiate the redecos from the original 1994 releases by adding (or adding back) the "Combat" prefix. It's almost as if someone had decided to name the assortment simply "Heroes" and designed the packaging accordingly, but the rest of the marketing department had never gotten the memo and thus still continued to use the older name.

However, persistent use of the term "Combat Heroes" by Transformers fans, particularly when referring to these unreleased redecos, made it widely accepted to the point where it was even re-adopted by Hasbro themselves and officially used for toys that were actually released, first for "Combat Hero Optimus Prime" from the 2012 Generations "Ultimate Gift Set", and then for the 2019 Generations War for Cybertron Trilogy Selects "Combat Megatron", both of them featuring decos inspired by the unreleased Generation 2 redecos.
Generations-Ultimate-Gift-Set.jpg Generations-Selects-Combat-Megatron.jpg


Recommended additional reading:
  • Ryan of Seibertron.com wouldn't let me use any of his photos unless I agreed to post this whole series exclusively on his site, but I'd still be amiss if I didn't at least link his galleries of all six versions of these figures: The original deco of Optimus Prime can be found >here<, the original deco of Megatron can be found >here<, "Sureshot" can be found >here<, "Archforce" can be found >here<, the unreleased redeco of Optimus Prime can be found >here<, and the unreleased redeco of Megatron can be found >here<.
  • Philister of Transformers-Universe.com reviewed "Sureshot" >here< and the original deco of Megatron >here<, but incorrectly identifies Sureshot (lacking the "Optimus Prime" text on his chest stickers) as "Optimus Prime".
  • The Mapes Brothers of Transformers At The Moon feature galleries of "Sureshot" >here<, of "Archforce" >here<, of a packaged sample of the unreleased redeco of Optimus Prime >here<, and of a loose sample of the unreleased redeco of Megatron >here<.
Acknowledgements:

Edited by Nevermore, 12 August 2019 - 03:15 AM.

aR2oX8u.jpg
Big thanks to my dad for playing along with this visual recreation.

#30 Nevermore

Nevermore

    Unionized and proud of it.

  • Supporter
  • 13399 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Germany
  • Faction::Autobot

Posted 30 June 2019 - 04:47 AM

Chapter 4: The Laser Cycles/Lasercyles (1995)

Now that we've examined Hasbro's early experiments with running change color variants, and subsequently with fully-fledged same-character redecos also intended to be released as "variants", let's finally turn our attention towards the actual 1995 releases. As I stated right there in the title, 1995 was when the "wave" system as we know it today finally began to take shape, although many of those planned second (and sometimes also third) waves ultimately never made it to retail as a result of the cancellation of the Generation 2 line as a whole... and on top of that, all 1995 releases were only actually still branded as part of the Generation 2 line in Europe!

Be aware that there is no "perfect" order for these next four chapters, so please don't hold it against me if they don't all built upon each other in a logical manner, since Hasbro did a lot of experimenting, and they were all planned roughly around the same time. So whatever I do, it will always be somewhat arbitraty.


Aaaanyway. One of the assortments whose second wave never made it to retail were the Laser Cycles. Wave 1 consisted of an Autobot named Road Rocket and a Decepticon named Road Pig. Here they are in their United States packaging.
Laser-Cycles-wave-1-Road-Rocket-US.jpg Laser-Cycles-wave-1-Road-Pig-US.jpg

As you can see, the packaging has been completely redesigned compared to the 1993 and 1994 releases. Most importantly, as I already mentioned, there is no mention of "Generation 2" to be found anywhere on the packaging! It's all just "Transformers" again at this point.

I did manage to find a (tiny) photo of an opened Canadian cardback for Road Rocket, which reveals that the assortment had the additional French name "Motos Laser" for Canada, and Road Rocket himself had the additional French name "Motosprint". Until a Canadian cardback for Road Pig surfaces, I have no idea what his French Canadian name might have been.
Laser-Cycles-wave-1-Road-Rocket-CA.jpg

In Europe, meanwhile, the assortments' English name was spelled "Lasercycles" instead of "Laser Cycles", as one word without a space in between. You'll see more of these odd name and spelling discrepancies between the United States and Europe for the other assortments as well. The wave 1 figures Road Rocket and Road Pig were released in all three market-specific European packaging variants; however, when doing the research for this summary, I could only find packaging images for the Nordic/Scandinavian release of Road Pig in English/Spanish/Portuguese packaging (as can be seen by the yellow sticker on the back featuring legal information in Danish, Norwegian, Finnish and Swedish). I did find a scan of the trilingual bio for Road Rocket from the English/Spanish/Portuguese packaging version though, just in case anyone were to seriously doubt it exists.
Lasercycles-wave-1-Road-Rocket-EN-ES-PT. Lasercycles-wave-1-Road-Pig-EN-ES-PT.jpg

Note how even though the European packaging has also been redesigned, it still looks cosiderably different from the packaging used for the United States and Canada. Most importantly, the European packaging still features the Generation 2 branding! Also note how the characters' individual names are only featured on the back of the packaging, which applies to all 1995 releases that were distributed as assortments. One possible explanation for this is that Hasbro's European division probably didn't so much want to market these toys as individual "characters" for whatever reason, and thus put more emphasis on the assortments, while relegating the characters' identities to an "apropos" affair. For some reason, all European packaging variants for the "Lasercycles" also featured a "Ninja" logo/tagline on the front of the cardback that is completely irrelevant to the characters' bios.

For the French/Dutch/German packaging version, the assortment was given the additional French name "Motolasers" (as compared to the French Canadian name, "Motos Laser"), and likewise, the characters were given additional French names as well: Road Rocket became "Motard" ("motorcyclist" or "motorcycle cop"), and Road Pig became "Graisseux" ("greasy").
Lasercycles-wave-1-Road-Rocket-FR-NL-DE. Lasercycles-wave-1-Road-Pig-FR-NL-DE.jpg

For GiG's Italian packaging version, the assortment name was also translated into "Motolaser" (like the French version, only lacking the plural "s" due to Italian grammar rules), and likewise, the characters were renamed as well: Road Rocket became "Goblin", and Road Pig became "Molock" (an alternate spelling of "moloch").
Motolaser-wave-1-Goblin-IT.jpg Motolaser-wave-1-Molock-IT.jpg

Most of the 1995 assortments followed the same pattern: The initial wave 1 releases, all of which constituted the first iterations of those new sculpts, featured entirely new names for the most part, since none of those toys were originally designed to explicitly resemble any existing characters. However, the redecos that were (or would have been) released in the subsequent wave(s) were then all given the names of existing, well-known Generation 1 characters, even though oftentimes neither the sculpts nor the decos would particularly resemble those characters either (except maybe if you were to squint really hard).

This also applied to the Laser Cycles, whose planned wave 2 redecos were ultimately never officially released: Road Rocket would have become Jazz, and Road Pig would have become Soundwave, so the Autobot sculpt would have remained an Autobot, and the Decepticon sculpt would have remained a Decepticon. Both toys did make it to the sample packaging stage, supposedly with only a small number of toys made before all the 1995 assortments were canceled in favor of Beast Wars, and the few specimens out in the wild are guaranteed to catch high prices in the aftermarket. The only packaged specimens known to exist are all in United States market packaging, with no European versions ever having surfaced to my knowledge.
Laser-Cycles-wave-2-Jazz-US.jpg Laser-Cycles-wave-2-Soundwave-US.jpg

Note how these appear to be rather raw packaging samples, considering how the alignment for the graphics and texts is somewhat off. The back of that Soundwave sample's cardback is particularly notable since the "The Transformers" logo on the top, the "Collect all the exciting Laser Cycles" call-out and the bio are all positioned way too much to the left, with little to no black border remaining at all. Also note how all the packaged samples of these two figures known to exist have the "Hasbro Toy Group" logo on the top misaligned so badly that part of it is always cut off by the die cut hang hole!


Recommended additional reading:
  • Transformers At The Moon features a gallery of Road Rocket >here<, of Road Pig >here<, and of a packaged sample of the unreleased Laser Cycle Soundwave >here<.
  • Seibertron features a gallery of Road Rocket >here<, and of Road Pig >here<.
  • Soundwaves Oblivion features a tiny gallery of Road Rocket >here<, and of Road Pig >here<.
  • Mostly Transformers Redux features a packaged sample of the unreleased Laser Cycle Soundwave >here<.
  • z75sales features photos of various unreleased Generation 2 figures, including samples of the wave 2 Laser Cycles, in his Facebook album >here<.
Acknowledgements:
  • Big thanks to Transformerland.com for letting me use their photos.
  • On top of that, very special thanks go out to the Mapes Brothers of Transformers At The Moon, who even went so far and took all-new, high quality photos for me to use here!

Edited by Nevermore, 14 July 2019 - 08:09 AM.

aR2oX8u.jpg
Big thanks to my dad for playing along with this visual recreation.

#31 LV!

LV!

    A tendency to speak in jest

  • Citizen
  • 18378 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:The Bus

Posted 30 June 2019 - 10:11 AM

I can't prove it, but "Motard" was, strangely enough, Road Pig's French-Canadian name, my source for which is much jocularity in the aisles of the Zellers in Devonshire Mall in ~1998.



#32 LiamA

LiamA
  • Citizen
  • 3354 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:North Charleston, SC
  • Faction::Autobot

Posted 30 June 2019 - 11:56 AM

This article reminds me of someone else who would do long elaborate articles. Wish I could remember who it was. He would post on here links to his website and articles.



#33 MrBlud

MrBlud

    Goes down smooth...

  • Retired Staff
  • 52529 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Westlake, OH
  • Faction::RIBFIR

Posted 30 June 2019 - 12:27 PM

Maz I would assume.

http://tfsquareone.blogspot.com/?m=1

and

https://tfsource.com/blog/author/maz/

card-strongarm.jpg


#34 LiamA

LiamA
  • Citizen
  • 3354 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:North Charleston, SC
  • Faction::Autobot

Posted 30 June 2019 - 12:40 PM

 

I do believe that is who I'm thinking of. Thank you.



#35 Nevermore

Nevermore

    Unionized and proud of it.

  • Supporter
  • 13399 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Germany
  • Faction::Autobot

Posted 30 June 2019 - 02:10 PM

I've credited Maz several times in previous chapters!

I'm basically standing on the shoulders of giants here. :)

Edited by Nevermore, 30 June 2019 - 02:12 PM.

aR2oX8u.jpg
Big thanks to my dad for playing along with this visual recreation.

#36 Nevermore

Nevermore

    Unionized and proud of it.

  • Supporter
  • 13399 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Germany
  • Faction::Autobot

Posted 07 July 2019 - 10:00 AM

Chapter 5: The Cyberjets/Mini-Jets (1995)

One of the two 1995 assortments that actually had more than one wave released were the "Cyberjets" (or "Mini-Jets", as they were called in Europe). This is also where we can observe the exact point when Hasbro switched from "same-character running change color/deco variants" to "redecos marketed as separate characters".

As I mentioned in the previous chapter, nearly all wave 1 figures in 1995 were given entirely new names that hadn't been used by any previous characters. The first wave of the Cyberjets assortment consisted entirely of Decepticon figures: Skyjack, Space Case, and Hooligan. Here they are in their United States market packaging, again featuring the standard 1995 US packaging design lacking the Generation 2 title.
Cyberjets-wave-1-Skyjack-US.jpg Cyberjets-wave-1-Space-Case-US.jpg Cyberjets-wave-1-Hooligan-US.jpg

The second wave of the Cyberjets assortment consisted entirely of redecos of the wave 1 figures, and they were all marketed as Autobots, sporting the names of existing characters from Generation 1 despite not really resembling their namesakes, just like those unreleased wave 2 Laser Cycles. Basically, coupled with 1994's Generation 2 Dreadwind and Smokescreen figures (more on those two in chapter 9), this marked the beginning of a practice that would frequently be referred to by fans as "name-slapping".

In any case, the redecoed Skyjack became Air Raid, Space Case became Strafe, and Hooligan became Jetfire. Here they are again in their United States market packaging:
Cyberjets-wave-2-Air-Raid-US.jpg Cyberjets-wave-2-Strafe-US.jpg Cyberjets-wave-2-Jetfire-US.jpg

What's interesting is that both Strafe and Jetfire are equipped with stickers that sport the G2 Decepticon faction insignia, even though the packaging markets them both as Autobots!
Cyberjets-wave-2-Strafe-Decepticon.jpg Cyberjets-wave-2-Jetfire-Decepticon.jpg

My theory is that Hasbro initially intended for wave 2 to feature mere color variants of the wave 1 figures that would have been released as running changes, similar to what they had done with the Dinobots and the Constructicons before, and had also intended to do with the "Heroes". However, as I already mentioned several times before, all the 1995 assortments went from featuring new-name nobodies for their respective first wave to exclusively using the names of Generation 1 characters for all subsequent waves (whether those waves were released or not). One possible explanation would be that Hasbro did this simply to secure the trademarks for those names; another would be that this was basically a last-minute attempt to save the struggling brand by evoking nostalgia, using the names of well-known G1 characters. Since the decos had already been created by that point, all Hasbro could do was, well, slapping new names on those toys.

With the Cyberjets, Hasbro apparently changed their minds at the eleventh hour. Thus, the decision to market the wave 2 figures as separate characters was reflected on the packaging, but it was too late to change the stickers. As I explained in the introduction, the term "wave" didn't exist yet at that time (as the first documented official use of the term was the 2001 Robots in Disguise line); instead, the green tag attached to this "Hasbro Standard" factory sample of Air Raid refers to the case assortment as "Cyberjets refresh asst".
Cyberjets-wave-2-Air-Raid-US-Hasbro-stan

While this isn't particularly conclusive yet, the strongest evidence to support my theory is the way these figures were handled in Europe.

I couldn't find any evidence that the Cyberjets were ever available in Italian packaging, nor could I find Italian market names for any of the individual figures, so I can only show you the two trilingual versions. Here are the wave 1 "Mini-Jets" Skyjack, Space Case and Hooligan in English/Spanish/Portuguese packaging:
Mini-Jets-wave-1-Skyjack-EN-ES-PT.jpg Mini-Jets-wave-1-Space-Case-EN-ES-PT.jpg Mini-Jets-wave-1-Hooligan-EN-ES-PT.jpg

Like with the European versions of the "Lasercycles", the packaging uses a different design than the figures' United States counterparts, retaining the Generation 2 title and only featuring the characters' names on the back of the packaging.

And here they are in French/Dutch/German packaging:
Mini-Jets-wave-1-Skyjack-FR-NL-DE.jpg Mini-Jets-wave-1-Space-Case-FR-NL-DE.jpg Mini-Jets-wave-1-Hooligan-FR-NL-DE.jpg

As you can see, not only has the "Mini-Jets" assortment been given an additional French name, "Les Pirates du Ciel" ("the pirates of the sky"), but so have the indvidual characters: Skyjack became "Epervier" ("sparrowhawk") in France, Space Case became "Faucon" ("falcon"), and Hooligan became "Vautour" ("vulture").

Now the wave 2 Cyberjets/"Mini-Jets" are where it gets really interesting. Technically, Air Raid, Strafe and Jetfire all remain unreleased in Europe; hoooooowever...

In the United Kingdom, all three wave 2 Cyberjets were available at discount chains, as imports in English-only United States packaging.
Cyberjets-wave-2-Air-Raid-UK-import.jpg Cyberjets-wave-2-Strafe-UK-import.jpg Cyberjets-wave-2-Jetfire-UK-import.jpg

According to the import stickers on the back of the packaging, importing of these figures was handled by a Chorleywood-based company named MBC Ltd., which has a loooong history of importing Transformers toys to the UK spanning over two decades, with these G2 Cyberjets being among the earliest documented examples to date. The most recent instance of MBC-imported Transformers toys were the Titans Return wave 1 Titan Masters (which had previously seen an official European release) in mid-2017! Additonally, reports also exist of the wave 2 Cyberjets having been imported by another company, Peterborough-based Kingsley Paige PLC, which had previously also imported the Chinese-market Generation 1 Transformers toys from the early 1990s to the UK, and finally went out of business in 2005.

Meanwhile, the "Air Raid", "Strafe" and "Jetfire" Cyberjets redecos did see an official release in French/Dutch/German packaging... but the way they were handled lends a lot more credence to my above theory that the decision to market the wave 2 figures as separate characters was a last-minute decision:
Mini-Jets-wave-2-Skyjack-FR-NL-DE.jpg Mini-Jets-wave-2-Space-Case-FR-NL-DE.jpg Mini-Jets-wave-2-Hooligan-FR-NL-DE.jpg

As you can see, all three figures were available in packaging sporting package art that still depicts the original decos for those figures, and even identifies all three as Decepticons! Now as mentioned several times before, for some reason, European packaging at the time only featured the characters' names on the back of the packaging. Unfortunately, I don't have any photos of the backs of sealed specimens of "Air Raid" or "Space Case" in European packaging yet; the only ones I could find thus far were opened, but the packaging they were displayed with matches the packaging art shown on the front. And then there's "Jetfire", aka "Hooligan"/"Vautour". Yes, indeed, it appears these figures were indeed sold in Europe as running change color variants of the wave 1 figures they were redecoed from!

Now one might argue that this was a change specifically made for the European market, but coupled with the G2 Decepticon stickers used for Strafe and Jetfire despite being marketed as Autobots in the US, and that Hasbro Standard sample being identified as part of a "refresh assortment", my conclusion isn't that far-fetched: At the last minute, Hasbro had decided to abandon the established practice of releasing same-character "running change variants" in favor of marketing the redecos as fully-fledged separate characters instead.

Chapter 7 will feature even more evidence to support this theory.


Recommended additional reading:Acknowledgements:

Edited by Nevermore, 07 July 2019 - 10:59 AM.

aR2oX8u.jpg
Big thanks to my dad for playing along with this visual recreation.

#37 Msol

Msol

    Grade killer.

  • Supporter
  • 3734 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Vancouver

Posted 07 July 2019 - 11:35 PM

Were new bios written up for these name-slapped characters?

#38 Nevermore

Nevermore

    Unionized and proud of it.

  • Supporter
  • 13399 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Germany
  • Faction::Autobot

Posted 08 July 2019 - 02:59 AM

Were new bios written up for these name-slapped characters?


Just check the images. Yes, all the wave 2 (and 3) figures that had packaging produced got their own individual bios. I'm not sure how that proves or disproves anything? They also got recolored package art, after all.

Edited by Nevermore, 08 July 2019 - 06:08 AM.

aR2oX8u.jpg
Big thanks to my dad for playing along with this visual recreation.

#39 Nevermore

Nevermore

    Unionized and proud of it.

  • Supporter
  • 13399 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Germany
  • Faction::Autobot

Posted 14 July 2019 - 07:49 AM

Chapter 6: The Auto Rollers/Autorollers

Our next 1995 assortment are the Auto Rollers. These started out as two figures, both of them marketed as Decepticons: Roadblock the mining loader and Dirtbag the mining truck. "Roadblock" was actually one of the few 1995 wave 1 figures that did reuse the name of a Generation 1 figure, in his case that of an Ultra Pretender. In the United States, they were sold on blister cards:
Auto-Rollers-wave-1-Roadblock-US.jpg Auto-Rollers-wave-1-Dirtbag-US.jpg

In Europe, meanwhile, the assortment name was spelled "Autorollers" (as one word without a space in between, just like the "Lasercycles"), and instead of blister cards, the figures were sold in boxes instead, with the packaging design matching all the other European 1995 releases, complete with the retained "Generation 2" moniker. Here they are in their English/Spanish/Portuguese packaging:
Autorollers-wave-1-Road-Block-EN-ES-PT.j Autorollers-wave-1-Dirtbag-EN-ES-PT.jpg

Unlike the carded European 1995 releases, the "Autorollers" actually featured their individual names on the front of the packaging. Note how Roadblock's name is spelled "Road Block" (two words instead of one), while Dirtbag keeps his US spelling.

For the French/Dutch/German packaging variant, the Autorollers (still spelled as one word) were given the additional French market name "Auto-Transformers". Oddly, Roadblock's name was spelled as one word like his US counterpart on the front of the packaging, but as two words like the European version in English/Spanish/Italian packaging on the back. He also gained the additional French name "Bulldo" (presumably a wordplay on "bulldozer"), while Dirtbag was given the additional French name "Chantier" ("construction site").
Autorollers-wave-1-Roadblock-FR-NL-DE.jp Autorollers-wave-1-Dirtbag-FR-NL-DE.jpg

For the Italian packaging, GiG named the assortment "Excavators" (spelled with a plural-"s" on the front of the packaging, while the back of the packaging referred to the individual figures as "Excavator" in the singular form), with Roadblock renamed into "Macigno" ("boulder"), and Dirtbag renamed into "Rollo" (presumably a wordplay on the English verb "roll", and the English assortment name "Auto Rollers"). Not entirely unusually for GiG, both names had previously also been used for different characters: "Macigno" was previously the Italian market name for the Constructicon Long Haul and for the Micromaster Constructor Squad member Grit, whereas "Rollo" was previously the Italian market name for the Constructicon Mixmaster, as seen in part 3 of the introduction.
Excavators-wave-1-Macigno-IT.jpg Excavators-wave-1-Rollo-IT.jpg

Hasbro's 1995 Toy Fair catalog depicted intended redecos for both figures that would have presumably been released as the assortment's second wave: Both Decepticons would have been redecoed into Autobots (similar to what happened with the Cyberjets), with Roadblock becoming "Sgt. Hound", and Dirtbag becoming "General Optimus Prime". As far as I'm aware, that catalog image is all we have ever seen of these redecos, as they presumably never even made it to the sample packaging stage due to the discontinuation of the Generation 2 line.
Autorollers-Toy-Fair-1995-catalog.jpg

Note how the 1995 Toy Fair catalog also spells the name "Road Block" as two words, so apparently that odd alternate European market spelling didn't come completely out of nowhere.

The unreleased "General Optimus Prime" and "Sgt. Hound" figures later inspired Fun Publications to produce a souvenir two-pack featuring redecos of Generations Thrilling 30 Roadbuster and Scoop that was available at BotCon 2015:
Bot-Con-2015-Geneneral-Optimus-Prime-Sgt

On top of that, Hasbro had also planned to release a third wave of Auto Rollers. Along with the equally unreleased fourth (or third, depending on how you count) wave of the Go-Bots (which I will cover in the following chapter), this would have been the first instance of a new wave planned from the outset that would have featured entirely new sculpts, in this case an armored personnel carrier and a fighter jet. Due to the cancellation of the Generation 2 line, these never went into production. However, samples in what is assumed to have been their intended Generation 2 colors are known to exist in the aftermarket:
Auto-Rollers-wave-3-APC-2.jpg Auto-Rollers-wave-3-jet-2.jpg

It appears these never went far enough into production to be assigned names; internally, Hasbro simply referred to them as "Auto Rollers APC (Tank)" and "Auto Rollers FA18 (Jet)". A shipping invoice from Takara to Hasbro reveals that at least twelve samples have been shipped to North America, with another set of samples known to have remained with Takara.
Auto-Rollers-wave-2-samples-invoice.jpg

Since the toolings had already been created, Takara later released them as part of their Beast Wars line (specifically the portion marketed through the Beast Wars II cartoon in Japan) along with redecos of Roadblock (named "Autocrusher") and Dirtbag (named "Autostinger"), with the APC being named "Autolauncher" and the jet named "Autojetter". An early Takara Beast Wars toy catalog depicted the old Generation 2 samples to represent Autolaucher and Autojetter, whose colors presumaby hadn't been finalized yet by that point:
Auto-Rollers-wave-3-APC-1.jpg Auto-Rollers-wave-3-jet-1.jpg


Recommended additional reading:
  • Seibertron features a gallery of Roadblock >here<, and of Dirtbag >here<.
  • Transformers At The Moon features a gallery of Roadblock >here<, of Dirtbag >here<, of the unreleased APC >here<, and of the unreleased F/A-18 >here<.
  • Transwarped features a group shot of Roadblock, Dirtbag, the APC and the F/A-18, complete with a scan of a shipping invoice for the samples of the latter two, >here<.
  • z75sales features photos of various unreleased Generation 2 figures, including samples of the wave 3 Auto Rollers, in his Facebook album >here<.
Acknowledgements:

Edited by Nevermore, 22 July 2019 - 07:05 PM.

aR2oX8u.jpg
Big thanks to my dad for playing along with this visual recreation.

#40 Nevermore

Nevermore

    Unionized and proud of it.

  • Supporter
  • 13399 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Germany
  • Faction::Autobot

Posted 21 July 2019 - 10:45 AM

Chapter 7: The Go-Bots/Gobots (1995), part 1

Oh boy. This is by far the longest chapter of this series. Because of this, I'm going to split it up into several parts.


Next to the Cyberjets, the Generation 2 Go-Bots are the other 1995 assortment that actually had more than one wave released before the line was canceled. In fact, depending on how one counts, there were either two or even three waves released, with a third (or fourth) one planned but ultimately canceled.

Before I continue, a brief explanation regarding the assortment's name is required: In 1991, Hasbro bought out their former rival Tonka, whose GoBots (or "Go Bots") line had been the biggest competitor to Hasbro's Transformers during its early years. In 1993, as part of the Generation 2 line's first year, Hasbro released a redeco of the Aquaspeeder figure Jetstorm, which had originally been developed for the European-only continuation of the Transformers brand (and whose continuing success was the very reason why Hasbro had launched the Generation 2 line in the United States in the first place), as a "Color Changer" under the name "Gobots", a very obvious attempt at securing the trademark they had acquired in the Tonka buyout. Now none of the "Color Changers" in their US colors were ever released in Europe; instead, the Aquaspeeders in their original colors were re-released in Europe in 1994, this time in packaging sporting the Generation 2 branding. Those re-released Aquaspeeders in actual Generation 2-branded packaging appear to be extremely rare, to the point where I explicitly had to be shown a tiny photo of Jetstorm in that packaging version to believe it even exists in the first place.
Aquaspeeder-Jetstorm-Color-Changer-Gobot

Even more confusingly, this European Generation 2 Jetstorm is not to be confused with the Color Changer named "Jetstorm" released by Hasbro in the United States, who was instead a redeco of the European Aquaspeeder Aquafend, who in turn was also re-released in Europe in Generation 2-branded packaging in 1994. In the same fashion, the European Aquaspeeder Deluge was redecoed into the US Color Changer Drench, whereas the European Aquaspeeder Speedstream was redecoed into the US Color Changer Deluge. Confused yet?

Aaaanyway. We'll get back to the assortment name in a bit. Like all the other 1995 assortments' respective first waves, wave 1 of the Go-Bots consisted entirely of new characters: Firecracker, Blowout, Gearhead, Motormouth, Double Clutch, and High Beam. Here they are in their United States packaging, again featuring the standard 1995 US packaging design lacking the Generation 2 moniker:
Go-Bots-wave-1-Firecracker-US.jpg Go-Bots-wave-1-Blowout-US.jpg Go-Bots-wave-1-Gearhead-US.jpg Go-Bots-wave-1-Motormouth-US.jpg Go-Bots-wave-1-Double-Clutch-US.jpg Go-Bots-wave-1-High-Beam-US.jpg

I was also able to find photos of "Hasbro Standard" packaging samples of Firecracker, Double Clutch and High Beam:
Go-Bots-wave-1-Firecracker-US-Hasbro-sta Go-Bots-wave-1-Double-Clutch-US-Hasbro-s Go-Bots-wave-1-High-Beam-US-Hasbro-stand

Note how the green tags still identify the assortment as "Super Fast Asst". The name "Super Fast" would also appear on a proof card of the unreleased Power Master "Pothole" (more on that one in chapter 10). What's also interesting is that the tag identifies the factory that has produced these as "Jetfair". For those who don't remember, Jet Fair is/was the name of a Chinese factory that produced Transformers toys for Hasbro and Takara, and which made the news in 2010 for their alledgly harsh working conditions. So apparently by that point, Hasbro and Takara had already been employing Jet Fair's services for at least fifteen years!0

I was also able to find a couple of photos of packaging mock-ups for Firecracker, Blowout and High Beam. (Packaging mockups for the other three exist too, but I couldn't find any photos anymore.) For those who don't know, packaging mock-ups are commonly created by using whatever existing packaging is available lying around and then cutting it into the desired shape. In this case, we have parts of packaging from ToyBiz's X-Men and Kenner's Aliens vs Predator lines.
Go-Bots-wave-1-Firecracker-packaging-moc Go-Bots-wave-1-Blowout-packaging-mockup- Go-Bots-wave-1-Blowout-packaging-mockup- Go-Bots-wave-1-High-Beam-packaging-mocku

As mentioned before, Generation 2 figures in bilingual Canadian packaging are generally hard to find, presumably because Canadian collectors generally don't care for those and everyone prefers the English-only US versions. I did, however, manage to find photos of Motormouth on a Canadian card. The general packaging design stays very close to that used for the United States, and thus also lacks the title "Generation 2".
Go-Bots-wave-1-Motormouth-CA.jpg

While the assortment name, "Go-Bots", was allowed to keep its name, the individual characters got additional French names for Quebec, all of which were fairly literal translations or interpretations of their English names: Firecracker was literally translated as "Pétard", Blowout became "Crevaison" ("flat tire", so basically a "blowout"), Gearhead became "Engrenage" ("gears"), Motormouth became "Bagou" ("glibness" or "showmanship"), Double Clutch became "Embrayage" ("clutch"), and High Beam became "Lumen" (a unit of light).

Continued in part 2!


Recommended additional reading:
  • Ben's World of Transformers features a review of of Firecracker >here<.
  • Greg Gaub's Transformers Page features photos of Firecracker >here<, of Gearhead >here<, of Motormouth >here<, of Double Clutch >here<, and of High Beam >here<.
Acknowledgements:

Edited by Nevermore, 26 July 2019 - 06:45 PM.

aR2oX8u.jpg
Big thanks to my dad for playing along with this visual recreation.



Reply to this topic



  


0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users