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@  ▲ndrusi : (04 July 2020 - 10:47 AM)

(And the 0th anniversary of the last time I couldn't do math.)

@  ▲ndrusi : (04 July 2020 - 10:46 AM)

Today is the 24th anniversary of the day we fought off an alien invasion with the help of Will Smith.

@  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.


Photo
- - - - -

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


81 replies to this topic

#41 Nevermore

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Posted 21 July 2019 - 10:55 AM

Chapter 7: The Go-Bots/Gobots (1995), part 2

In Europe, the Go-Bots were available in the usual three different packaging variants, all of them adhering to the general packaging design used in Europe at the time, retaining the Generation 2 title and with the names of the individual characters only printed on the back of the cards. Now as I mentioned before, there was some bizarre naming confusion going on that resulted from Hasbro's repeated attempts at securing the name "Gobots" they had acquired when they bought out their former rival Tonka. We have the US Color Changer "Gobots" (who was never officially available in Europe), whereas the 1995 assortment's name is spelled "Go-Bots"... but in Europe, the assortment's name is also spelled "Gobots" as one word, similar to what happened with the "Lasercycles", the "Autorollers" (which I covered in chapters 4 and 6, respectively) and the "Powermasters" (which I will cover in chapter 10)! Here are Firecracker, Blowout, Gearhead, Motormouth, Double Clutch and High Beam in English/Spanish/Portuguese packaging:
Gobots-wave-1-Firecracker-EN-ES-PT.jpg Gobots-wave-1-Blowout-EN-ES-PT.jpg Gobots-wave-1-Gearhead-EN-ES-PT.jpg Gobots-wave-1-Motormouth-EN-ES-PT.jpg Gobots-wave-1-Double-Clutch-EN-ES-PT.jpg Gobots-wave-1-High-Beam-EN-ES-PT.jpg

And here they are in French/Dutch/German packaging. Unfortunately I couldn't find photos of Gearhead in this packaging version, and although I did manage to find a photo of the back of Firecracker's packaging, that one will see use further down below for reasons that will become obvious later.
Gobots-wave-1-Firecracker-FR-NL-DE.jpg Gobots-wave-1-Blowout-FR-NL-DE.jpg Gobots-wave-1-Motormouth-FR-NL-DE.jpg Gobots-wave-1-Double-Clutch-FR-NL-DE.jpg Gobots-wave-1-High-Beam-FR-NL-DE.jpg

For the French-speaking markets, the assortment was given the additional name "Turbo-Transfo", and the characters were all given odd, rather technical alternate French names as well, which all differ from the Canadian French names listed above: Firecracker became "Turbo-Diablo" (because his alternate mode is a Lamborghini Diablo), Blowout became "Turbo-Comete" ("turbo-comet"; a slight misspelling, as the French word "comète" should actually be spelled with a grave accent above the first "e"), Gearhead became "Turbo-Stockcar", Motormouth became "Turbo-Porteur" ("turbo-porter"), High Beam became "Turbo-Libero" ("libero" being a word of Italian origin that refers to someone who is "free"; in both French and German, it's a well-known term for special positions in two different sports games, namely a volleyball libero and a "sweeper" in the game of football aka "soccer"), and Double Clutch became "Turbo-Indy".

And lastly, here are the six in Italian packaging complete with "GiG" branding:
Tecnobot-wave-1-Saetta-di-Fuoco-IT.jpg Tecnobot-wave-1-Leon-IT.jpg Tecnobot-wave-1-Ariete-IT.jpg Tecnobot-wave-1-Bufalo-IT.jpg Tecnobot-wave-1-Sprinter-IT.jpg Tecnobot-wave-1-Puma-IT.jpg

For the Italian market, the assortment name was changed to "Tecnobot" (no plural-"s" because of Italian grammar rules)... which was also the Italian name for the Generation 1 Technobots! And that's not the only name reuse for the Italian figures: Firecracker became "Saetta di Fuoco" ("Arrow of Fire"), Blowout became "Leon", Gearhead became "Ariete" ("Aries"), Motormouth became "Bufalo" ("buffalo"), Double Clutch became "Sprinter", and High Beam became "Puma"... which was also the Italian name of Generation 1 Tracks, at least the 1991 European-only Action Master figure.

Continued in part 3!


Acknowledgements:

Edited by Nevermore, 31 July 2019 - 04:56 AM.

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

#42 Nevermore

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Posted 21 July 2019 - 11:01 AM

Chapter 7: The Go-Bots/Gobots (1995), part 3

Now here is where it gets even more confusing: For their initial release, Firecracker and Blowout had featured transparent (or "clear") red and gray car shells, respectively. Because all six figures in the first wave were "gang-molded" (as in, parts of one figure were created from the same toolings as other parts of another figure, hence making them share plastic colors), that resulted in their wave-mates Gearhead and Motormouth also featuring parts in the same clear plastic colors. For whatever reason, Hasbro then decided to change all the plastics from clear to opaque (or "solid"). Subsequently, they also decided to paint Firecracker's head blue and give him a silver face, and sell the new, "solid" versions of Firecracker and Blowout as separate characters, using the names of existing Generation 1 characters like with the wave 2 figures from all the other 1995 assortments. Thus, Firecracker became "Optimus Prime", and Blowout became "Megatron".
Gobots-wave-1-Firecracker-vs-wave-2-Opti Gobots-wave-1-Blowout-vs-wave-2-Megatron

Due to the gang-molded nature of the figures, this also resulted in Gearhead and Motormouth trading in their "clear" plastic parts for "solid" plastic, but unlike the other two, Hasbro decided to let them retain their original identities, resulting in "running change" variants rather than new characters.
Gobots-wave-1-vs-wave-2-Gearhead-clear-s Gobots-wave-1-vs-wave-2-Motormouth-clear

The "clear" and "solid" versions of Gearhead and Motormouth are easy to tell apart even inside the packaging, since the relevant parts are usually visible from the underside of the blister bubble (unless they're covered by an inconveniently-placed instruction sheet).
Gobots-wave-1-vs-wave-2-Gearhead-clear-s Gobots-wave-1-vs-wave-2-Motormouth-clear

Here are the Go-Bots versions of Optimus Prime and Megatron in US packaging. Note that while the package art for Optimus Prime was amended to reflect the altered paint colors compared to Firecracker, Megatron's package art is completely unchanged from Blowout's.
Go-Bots-wave-2-Optimus-Prime-US.jpg Go-Bots-wave-2-Megatron-US.jpg

I did also manage to find a photo of a packaging mock-up (or proof packaging sample?) of "Optimus Prime", which unusually features a near-final cardback with the correct name and package art colors, but the toy inside still has Firecracker's clear red plastic!
Go-Bots-wave-2-Optimus-Prime-packaging-m

Double Clutch and High Beam had never featured any "clear" parts, therefore the wave 2 versions of those two are virtually identical to the wave 1 versions... but there is one detail that sets all the wave 2 figures' packaging apart from the wave 1 figures' packaging: The cross-sells.
Gobots-wave-1-vs-wave-2-cross-sell.jpg

The wave 2 cross-sells identify the figures in the middle column as "Megatron" and "Optimus Prime" rather than "Blowout" and "Firecracker", but if you look closely, none of the colors in that wave 2 cross-sell have been changed! Both "Megatron" and Motormouth still feature very obvious clear parts, and even more obviously, "Optimus Prime" still has Firecracker's white head and blue face!

Since the "Gobots" were reportedly rather rare in the United Kingdom, it's unclear if these were ever released in English/Spanish/Portuguese packaging at all (or Italian packaging, for that matter); however, the "solid" versions were available in French/Dutch/German packaging. Just like with the wave 2 Cyberjets/"Mini-Jets", however, they weren't sold as "Optimus Prime" and "Megatron", but rather as "Firecracker/Turbo-Diablo" and "Blowout/Turbo-Comete". Even the package art for "Firecracker" keeps the original colors for the head. I don't have photo of the back of the packaging for that "Blowout", but since the eBay seller identified him as "Blowout" rather than "Megatron", I feel safe to assume that this is indeed the name printed on the back of the packaging.
Gobots-wave-2-Firecracker-FR-NL-DE.jpg Gobots-wave-2-Blowout-FR-NL-DE.jpg

Continued in part 4!

Recommended additional reading:
  • Greg Gaub's Transformers Page features photos of Optimus Prime >here<, and of Megatron >here<.
Acknowledgements:
  • Big thanks to Transformerland.com, Shmax.com and M Sipher of TFWiki for letting me use their photos.
  • I repeatedly tried to contact Ben Yee of BWTF through multiple channels and never got a response whatsoever. Ben, if you're reading this, please let me know if you have a problem with me using your images! It's all done in good faith.

Edited by Nevermore, 07 August 2019 - 03:45 AM.

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

#43 LV!

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Posted 21 July 2019 - 11:02 AM

"Libero" generally refers to someone or something that is free, which is why there's a libero in volleyball (for example) who is "free" in an entirely different way from how a sweeper in soccer is "free". So I wouldn't assume High Beam's name is a sports reference instead of generally referring to his ability or tendency to go anywhere.



#44 Nevermore

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Posted 21 July 2019 - 11:25 AM

"Libero" generally refers to someone or something that is free, which is why there's a libero in volleyball (for example) who is "free" in an entirely different way from how a sweeper in soccer is "free". So I wouldn't assume High Beam's name is a sports reference instead of generally referring to his ability or tendency to go anywhere.


Well, keep in mind that this is his French name, not his Italian name. The French Wikipedia disambiguation page for "Libero" tells me it's alternatively the title of an Italian magazine, the football position, the volleyball position, or an Italian film that came out in 2006 and therefore is irrelavant to the topic at hand.

Is the Italian term frequently used in French outside the sports context?

I amended the paragraph in question to also acknowledge the volleyball usage, but at least going by German usage of the term, "sports" is really the only context I can think of.

Edited by Nevermore, 21 July 2019 - 11:26 AM.

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

#45 Nevermore

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Posted 21 July 2019 - 02:45 PM

I just noticed that the French word for "firecracker" apparently contains a term that is considered rude in the English language, and therefore auto-replaced by the swear filter. It's the old Scunthorpe problem all over again. Is there any way to adjust the swear filter so it doesn't censor perfectly innocent foreign words that just happen to contain English words I wouldn't even think of using on their own?

Edited by Nevermore, 21 July 2019 - 02:49 PM.

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

#46 Nevermore

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Posted 28 July 2019 - 06:28 AM

Chapter 7: The Go-Bots/Gobots (1995), part 4

Following this half-baked second wave featuring two minor plastic color variants and two barely-redecoed figures sold as separate characters, Hasbro then decided to release a third (or second, if you count the previous one as "wave 1.5" or whatever) wave of Go-Bots. This time, all six figures were given completely new colors and decos (as well as recolored package art), and all were assigned new identities, each being given the name of an existing Generation 1 character: Firecracker/Optimus Prime now became "Sideswipe", Blowout/Megatron became "Frenzy", Gearhead became "Soundwave", Motormouth became "Ironhide", Double Clutch became "Mirage", and High Beam became "Bumblebee". Once again, most of them don't particularly resemble the characters they're named after, neither in terms of sculpt nor in terms of their color schemes and decos. Here they are in their United States packaging:
Go-Bots-wave-3-Sideswipe-US.jpg Go-Bots-wave-3-Frenzy-US.jpg Go-Bots-wave-3-Soundwave-US.jpg Go-Bots-wave-3-Ironhide-US.jpg Go-Bots-wave-3-Mirage-US.jpg Go-Bots-wave-3-Bumblebee-US.jpg

I also managed to find photos of "Hasbro Standard" samples of the entire wave. Like with the wave 2 Cyberjets, the green tags on the back of the packaging refer to the figures as a "refresh assortment", and like the wave 1 Go-Bots, they were also again manufactured by the Chinese Jet Fair factory.
Go-Bots-wave-3-Hasbro-Standard.jpg Go-Bots-wave-3-Mirage-US-Hasbro-standard

Once again, I was not able to find any evidence that the redecoed Go-Bots were ever released in English/Spanish/Portuguese or Italian packaging. They were, however, available in French/Dutch/German packaging, and this time they were given a very bizarre treatment, being both assigned the same new English-name identites as their US counterparts (complete with recolored package art) and retaining the oddly technical alternate French-speaking markets names for the original wave 1 releases. Firecracker became "Sideswipe" in English but remained "Turbo-Diablo" in French, Blowout became "Frenzy" in English but remained "Turbo-Comete" in French, Gearhead became "Soundwave" in English but remained "Turbo-Stockcar" in French, Motormouth became "Ironhide" in English but remained "Turbo-Porteur" in French, Double Clutch became "Mirage" in English but remained "Turbo-Indy" in French, and High Beam became "Bumblebee" in English but remained "Turbo-Libero" in French. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to find actual photos of Frenzy, Ironhide or Mirage in French/Dutch/German packaging, but at least I did find scans of their trilingual bios.
Gobots-wave-3-Sideswipe-FR-NL-DE.jpg Gobots-wave-3-Frenzy-FR-NL-DE.jpg Gobots-wave-3-Soundwave-FR-NL-DE.jpg Gobots-wave-3-Ironhide-FR-NL-DE.jpg Gobots-wave-3-Mirage-FR-NL-DE.jpg Gobots-wave-3-Bumblebee-FR-NL-DE.jpg

Hasbro's Toy Fair 1995 catalog depicted figures from all three waves side by side, but with a few oddities: Aside from several odd name spellings ("Iron Hide", "Gear Head", "Motor Mouth", "Side Swipe", "Bumble Bee" and "Sound Wave" all spelled as two words instead of one), the catalog also depicted Optimus Prime and Megatron with their opaque parts, Megatron's silver car shell and Optimus Prime's painted blue head, but "Gear Head" and "Motor Mouth" are the wave 1 versions featuring "clear" parts, even though their wave-mates Firecracker and Blowout are omitted in favor of their aforementioned redecos, Optimus Prime and Megatron!
Go-Bots-Toy-Fair-1995-catalog.jpg

Takara later used these sculpts again for their 2000 Car Robots line, all of them redecoed into different characters as a new group called the "Spychangers". When Hasbro released the Car Robots toys outside Japan under the title Robots in Disguise beginning in 2001, the Spychangers were also among them, but even though they were the feature characters of an entire episode of the Robots in Disguise cartoon (titled "Spychangers to the Rescue"), it wasn't until the much later "clear" redecos (initially exclusive to KB Toys, but later also available at Target stores) that the toys were actually identified as a distinct subgroup on their packaging, now spelled "Spy Changers" as two words.


On top of that, there was actually another Go-Bots product that was planned for 1995 but ultimately never released at all due to the cancellation of the Generation 2 line: "Greasepit", a racing-themed redeco of Gearhead/Soundwave, would have come with the "Racing Rig", a large truck (similar in concept to the Generation 1 Micromaster vehicles released just a few years prior) that would have opened up to reveal a working launching ramp, complete with accessories such as "oil drums" (made of plastic) and a cardboard "ring of fire" with a plastic base. Both Greasepit and the Racing Rig would have sported large "95" markings, indicating the year the toy was intended to be released. Though samples of the whole set exist, all specimens of Greasepit are supposedly just production Gearheads painted over. How exactly this would have worked considering the gang-molded nature of Gearhead and his wave-mates is anyone's guess. Then again, Hasbro was later able to release redecos of the wave 1 figures as "Spychangers" under the Universe line without all their wave-mates being released at the same time, so who knows.
Greasepit-Racing-Rig.jpg

Packaging art of both Greasepit himself and the Racing Rig was also produced, and he even had a bio written that was sold on eBay back in 2008. Oddly, the name "Racing Rig" is misspelled "Raceing Rig" with an extraneous "e".
Greasepit-Racing-Rig-package-art.jpg

Continued in part 5!


Recommended additional reading:
  • BWTF features a review of Sideswipe >here<.
  • 'Til All Are Mine features photos of Go-Bots Frenzy (and Soundwave) >here<.
  • Transformers At The Moon features the unused package art for the unproduced Generation 2 Racing Rig >here<.
  • TFW2005 has a news story featuring the bio for the unproduced Generation 2 Greasepit >here<.
Acknowledgements:

Edited by Nevermore, 18 August 2019 - 05:36 PM.

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

#47 Nevermore

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Posted 28 July 2019 - 08:04 AM

Chapter 7: The Go-Bots/Gobots (1995), part 5

On top of all that, Hasbro even had plans for a fourth (or third, depending on how one counts Optimus Prime and Megatron) wave of Go-Bots. This one would have finally ditched the redecos of the wave 1 figures and introduced six entirely new sculpts: A military SUV, a modified fourth generations Chevrolet Camaro, a first generation Dodge Viper, a Mercedes Benz SL500 sport coupé, a Porsche 962 Le Mans-style race car, and a 1995 Chevrolet Caprice police car. Unfortunately, these ultimately fell victim to the cancellation of the Generation 2 line. However, all six made it to the painted sample stage, and thanks to the decos, the intended characters for at least two of them could be identified: The SUV would have been Hound, and the Camaro would have been Rumble.
Go-Bots-wave-4-Hound.jpg Go-Bots-wave-4-Rumble.jpg Go-Bots-wave-4-Viper.jpg Go-Bots-wave-4-Mercedes.jpg Go-Bots-wave-4-4-X.jpg Go-Bots-wave-4-911.jpg

Oddly, there even appears to be a slight color variant for Rumble, with multiple samples of each version having ended up in the possession of collectors: One version has the words "Pizza" and "Jerry's" from the fictional sponsor decals painted yellow, and the other version has them in unpainted white. (And for the record, the sponsor decals are intended to read as "Vinny's Pizza", "Jerry's Motors" and "Pro Stock", not "Vinny's Pro Stock" and "Motors Pro Stock". Supposedly, "Vinny" and "Jerry" refer to former Hasbro employees Vincent D'Alleva and Jerry Palmer, or possibly longtime Hasbro employee Jerry Jivoin.)

Proof card samples of all six figures also exist, with all of them using the cardback of the wave 1 figure High Beam:
Go-Bots-wave-4-Hound-US-High-Beam-card.j Go-Bots-wave-4-Rumble-US-High-Beam-card. Go-Bots-wave-4-Viper-US-High-Beam-card.j Go-Bots-wave-4-Mercedes-US-High-Beam-car Go-Bots-wave-4-4-X-US-High-Beam-card.jpg Go-Bots-wave-4-911-US-High-Beam-card.jpg

On top of that, the 2014 book Legacy: The Art of Transformers Packaging by Jim Sorenson and Bill Forster even features unused package art for Rumble, Hound, the GTP racer aka "4X" and the police car aka "911".
Go-Bots-wave-4-Rumble-package-art.jpg Go-Bots-wave-4-4-X-Hound-911-package-art

Considering all the numerous test shots and samples for these six unreleased Go-Bots that have surfaced in the past two decades, I'd be willing to argue that any of the released figures from the first three waves in bilingual Canadian packaging might actually be rarer than any of the unreleased wave 4 figures! But that's because nobody really cares for Canadian packaging...

Hasbro later used four of these unreleased Go-Bots for their 2001-onwards Robots in Disguise line: Rumble was redecoed into Side Swipe (now actually spelled as two words), the Dodge Viper became Side Burn, the Porsche 962 racer became Daytonus, and the police car became "Prowl 2". Additionally, Side Swipe and Prowl 2 were later also available as part of the "Tiny Tins" line-up. (As I already mentioned in part 4, the packaging for the KB Toys/Target exclusive redecos of the original six RID Spy Changers was the first instance of those toys actually being identified as "Spy Changers". Thus, no versions of Side Swipe, Daytonus, Side Burn or Prowl 2 were ever referred to as such on their packaging.)
RID-Side-Burn-Daytonus-Prowl-2-Side-Swip Tiny-Tins-Side-Swipe-Prowl-2.jpg

On top of that, the police car was later also released under the 2003-onwards Universe line as "Prowl" (but in a deco inspired by Generation 1 Red Alert), and all four of them were later redecoed again for a KB Toys exclusive wave of Spy Changers (now actually called as such) simply branded "Transformers", with their decos based on Generation 1 characters: Side Swipe became "Silverstreak", Daytonus became Wheeljack (or "Autobot Wheeljack" on the back of the packaging), Side Burn became "Autobot Jazz", and Prowl 2 became Prowl again (this time in Prowl's actual colors). Those four figures were later also re-released in different packaging (but with unchanged toys) as part of the 2003-onwards Universe line, this time available from Dollar General and Family Dollar stores.
Universe-Optimus-Prime-Prowl-Spychanger. G1-Spy-Changers-Silverstreak-Wheeljack-J Universe-Spy-Changers-Silverstreak-Wheel

For whatever reason, Hasbro never released the SUV and the Mercedes-Benz sculpts again. One common hypothesis among fans is that the toolings for those two figures got damaged; however, that is at least somewhat questionable, since the gang-molded nature of these figures means they both share plastic colors with their wave-mates: Not only do the Mercedes's car shell and arms come from the same tooling as Hound's head, inner torso and lower legs, but so do the police car's lower legs, the section underneath the car's front and the weapon. Additionally, Hound's car shell, arms, lower legs and weapon come from the same tooling as the police car's head and upper legs, the Mercedes-Benz's head, inner torso and lower legs come from the same tooling as Rumble's car shell and arms and the GTP racer's lower legs and weapon, and the Mercedes's lower legs and weapon come from the same tooling as the Viper's car shell and arms and Rumble's head, inner torso and lower legs. It's possible, of course, that specifically only the portions of the toolings that would have been used for Hound and the Mercedes got damaged, and the portions used for the other figures remained in a usable state.

Essentially, the Go-Bots assortment embodies everything about the 1995 assortments in a nutshell: We have a first wave consisting of entirely new sculpts with all the characters sporting all-new names, a second wave featuring running change variants marketed as the same characters as their wave 1 selves (Gearhead and Motormouth), redecos originally intended as running change variants of the wave 1 figures but then changed into separate characters using the names of existing Generation 1 characters at the eleventh hour (Optimus Prime and Megatron), a third wave consisting entirely of redecos of the wave 1 figures, all of them marketed as separate characters that use the names of existing Generation 1 characters despite not resembling them at all, and an unreleased fourth wave that would have featured entirely new sculpts again.


Recommended additional reading:
  • BWTF features a review of Hound >here<, of Rumble >here<, of the Dodge Viper >here<, of the Mercedes-Benz >here<, of the Porsche 962 >here<, and of the police car >here<.
  • The book Legacy: The Art of Transformers Packaging by Jim Sorenson and Bill Forster is getting a paperback re-release leater this year. >Amazon link<
Acknowledgements:
  • Big thanks to Transformerland.com and Shmax.com for letting me use their photos, and to Jim Sorenson for letting me use the images from his book.
  • I repeatedly tried to contact Ben Yee of BWTF through multiple channels and never got a response whatsoever. Ben, if you're reading this, please let me know if you have a problem with me using your images! It's all done in good faith.

Edited by Nevermore, 28 July 2019 - 02:56 PM.

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

#48 Nevermore

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Posted 28 July 2019 - 04:26 PM

By the way, the entire gang-molded nature of the Go-Bots/Spy Changers led me to a conclusion many, many years ago regarding BotCon 1995 Nightracer: For those who remember, the character's creator, Raksha, had wanted the figure to feature blue parts, and then complained about the final figure's "godawful yellow", which Hasbro claimed couldn't be changed. (Raksha misinterpreted that to mean Hasbro had somehow deliberately screwed her over since High Beam, whom Nightracer was redecoed from, had featured different plastic colors. In fact, what Hasbro probably meant was that they couldn't choose specific plastic colors for this particular production run.) Many fans had assumed that Nightracer was actually just a production run Go-Bot Bumblebee with a repainted car shell and face; my own theory, however, is that Nightracer was actually made from leftover parts from the same production run as the Japanese Go-Bots Optimus Prime, Megatron and Soundwave!

As keen observers might notice, Hasbro Soundwave wasn't part of the same wave as Hasbro Optimus Prime and Megatron; thus, the Takara version actually features the lime yellow from Soundwave's car shell and arms, but the other plastic colors are instead pretty much the same ones used for the Hasbro wave 2 "solid" version of Gearhead (red instead of light blue, gray/silver instead of purple), as they're shared with Optimus Prime and Megatron. Likewise, Takara Optimus Prime features the same lime yellow plastic as Soundwave's car shell and arms for his lower legs and "under front" instead of his Hasbro counterpart's more orange-y yellow (which he shares with Gearhead's car shell and arms). Thanks to the gang-molding, that meant that the respective parts for the other figures were also produced. That, in turn, means that all the parts necessary for assembling Nightracer already existed... and that aforementioned "godawful yellow" used for Nightracer's head, inner torso, upper legs and weapon corresponds with the yellow used for Takara Soundwave's car shell and arms! Likewise, Nightracer's black car shell, arms and lower legs correspond with Takara Megatron's head, inner torso and upper legs. For whatever reason, though, Nightracer features a different set of wheels that are usually used for the Double Clutch/Mirage sculpt. So basically, since the only plastic color that's different compared to Hasbro's wave 2 is Soundwave/Sideswipe/Bumblebee/Nightracer's lime yellow instead of Gearhead/Firecracker/Optimus Prime/High Beam's more orange-y yellow, that would leave Motormouth and Double Clutch in pretty much the same plastic colors as the Hasbro wave 2 versions, except that Double Clutch's wheels would be missing, and there would instead be a set of unused High Beam/Bumblebee wheels.


Additionally, several years ago, over at TFW2005, Tripredacus and engledogg were discussing variations in the hole sizes for the wheels that can be found in international versions of the Go-Bots, the US versions and even the Robots in Disguise Spy Changers. I think I have a very simple explanation for that as well:

The wheels were simply applied at random. There are two different "general" wheel designs for the wave 1-3 Go-Bots/original Spy Changers: "Three spokes" or "five holes". The "three spokes" versions are typically used for Firecracker/Optimus Prime/Sideswipe/R.E.V./Eagle Killer, Motormouth/Ironhide/Ox and High Beam/Bumblebee/Crosswise/X-Car, and the "five holes" versions are typically used for Blowout/Megatron/Frenzy/Hot Shot/Artfire, Gearhead/Soundwave/W.A.R.S./Wars and Double Clutch/Mirage/Counter Arrow. The only exception is BotCon 1995 Nightracer, who got the "five holes" wheels intended for Double Clutch/Mirage instead (since the other two sets were already used for Takara Megatron and Soundwave, if my theory that they were all made from the same poduction run is right).

Because of the gang-molded nature of these figures and the fact that they always all have black wheels (except for the Jusco exclusive clear Car Robots Spychangers, which all have smoked gray clear wheels instead) regardess of what plastic colors the figures have otherwise, I assume the entire set of 24 wheels is made from the same tooling. However, the "five holes" wheels are not all identical; there are some notable differences in the hole sizes. I assume that means the factory workers didn't pay these comparably minor differences much attention, and simply stuck any "five holes" wheels on any of the figures that were supposed to have them, thus leading to those aforementioned variants.

Edited by Nevermore, 28 July 2019 - 04:31 PM.

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#49 Blot

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Posted 28 July 2019 - 04:39 PM

File photo of Nevermore:

tumblr_o16n2kBlpX1ta3qyvo1_1280.jpg

#50 Nevermore

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Posted 28 July 2019 - 04:50 PM

Also, regarding the discussion about the term "Libero"... it only just dawned on me that "Turbo-Diablo" refers to Firecracker's alternate mode... a Lamborghini Diablo. High Beam's alternate mode is supposedly an as-of-yet unidentified concept car, so could the term "Libero" actually refer to that?
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#51 LV!

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Posted 28 July 2019 - 06:00 PM

High Beam is a Hot Wheels car.

EDIT: This one.

https://hotwheels.fa...i/Speed_Blaster

Edited by LV!, 28 July 2019 - 06:04 PM.


#52 Nevermore

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Posted 28 July 2019 - 06:06 PM

Ooookay. WTF.

Why is this information not on the wiki yet?

EDIT: Looks like the Speed Blaster came out in 1995. Is there any change it and High Beam are based on the same real-life inspiration?

EDIT 2: Okay, my bad. The Speed Blaster is just the more common name of a toy that was apparently first released in Malaysia in 1991 under the names "Back Burner" and "Sonic Special". Huh.

Edited by Nevermore, 28 July 2019 - 07:35 PM.

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#53 LV!

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Posted 28 July 2019 - 07:09 PM

I thought that for a long time, based on that information, and wondered if it could have been some kind of industrial espionage or something.

However, as it turns out, and as you can see on the page I linked, the mold that became known as Speed Blaster was actually released under two different names for the first time in 1991's Cap Blastin' assortment.

#54 Nevermore

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Posted 28 July 2019 - 07:35 PM

So it's just plain IP theft, then.

Okay, added it to this:
https://tfwiki.net/w...bro_does_it_too

Edited by Nevermore, 28 July 2019 - 07:44 PM.

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#55 LV!

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Posted 28 July 2019 - 10:32 PM

By the way, that "Malaysia" in the chart means that's where it was manufactured, not sold. I mean, it might have been sold in Malaysia. I don't know a lot about toy sales in Malaysia in the 1990s.



#56 Nevermore

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Posted 04 August 2019 - 03:43 AM

Chapter 8: Laser Optimus Prime/Laser Rod Optimus Prime

Following the longest chapter comes one of the shortest ones: The only released figure from the 1995 line-up without a redeco planned for the Generation 2 line, it was considered the pinnacle of Generation 2 engineering and the best Optimus Prime toy for at least a decade.

In Hasbro's Toy Fair 1995 catalog, the toy's name was spelled "Lazer Optimus Prime" ("Lazer" spelled with a "z"), which is either a case of X-treme kool letterz that were all the rage in the 1990s and early 2000s (see also Beast Wars "Lazorbeak" and Robots in Disguise "X-Brawn" and "Skid-z"), or whoever was in charge of the write-ups for the Toy Fair catalog simply couldn't spell "laser". Case in point: The sword is also referred to as a "lazer sword".
Laser-Optimus-Prime-Toy-Fair-1995-catalo

In the United States, the toy was sold as "Laser Optimus Prime" ("Laser" spelled with an "s"), again without a Generation 2 moniker on his box. There were actually two packaging variants: The first version features a call-out for the included "Real Action Pop-Ups 3-D Transformer Trading Card" on the front of the packaging.
Laser-Optimus-Prime-US-1.jpg

The second version not only drops the call-out, but also has some of the descriptions of his various features on the back of the packaging rearranged to make room for a lengthy "caution" note.
Laser-Optimus-Prime-US-2.jpg

I also managed to find photos of a "Hasbro standard" factory sample. The green tag attached to the back simply identifies the toy as "Optimus Prime", but otherwise, the packaging appears to be identical to the first variant.
Laser-Optimus-Prime-US-Hasbro-standard.j

In Europe, not only did his packaging follow the standard packaging design for 1995 European G2 packaging, complete with the retained Generation 2 title, but his box was also a different format, much higher than its US counterpart. Additionally, he was sold as "Laser Rod Optimus Prime". Here he is in his English/Spanish/Portuguese packaging:
Laser-Rod-Optimus-Prime-EN-ES-PT.jpg

This particular specimen came from the same Swedish seller as the English/Spanish/Portuguese packaging version of "Lasercycle" Road Pig previously seen in chapter 4; and indeed, a yellow sticker like the one found on that aforementioned Road Pig's packaging can be glimpsed on the underside of Laser Rod Optimus Prime's box as well, featuring legal information in Danish, Norwegian, Finnish and Swedish.

For the French/Dutch/German packaging, he retained the name "Laser Rod Optimus Prime" on the front, but the bio on the back gave him the additional, highly odd name of "Optimus Primus" in addition to his standard name "Optimus Prime".
Laser-Rod-Optimus-Prime-FR-NL-DE.jpg

GiG's Italian packaging added yet another oddity to this little line-up of bizarre alternate names: Back in 1985, the original G1 release of Optimus Prime had been renamed into "Commander" for the Italian market. When GiG released the Generation 2 version of the G1 figure in 1994 (a year later than in the US), they kept their old name for him and sold him as "Commander" again. So what did GiG do with the Laser/Laser Rod figure? Well, since the toy has his English name "Optimus Prime" written all over it, and Hasbro probably wouldn't make any alterations to the stickers just for the Italian market, GiG combined both names and sold him as "Commander Optimus Prime"!
Commander-Optimus-Prime-IT.jpg

Recommended additional reading:Acknowledgements:

Edited by Nevermore, 18 August 2019 - 09:17 AM.

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#57 LV!

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Posted 04 August 2019 - 03:34 PM

GiG's Italian packaging added yet another oddity to this little line-up of bizarre alternate names: Back in 1985, the original G1 release of Optimus Prime had been renamed into "Commander" for the Italian market. When GiG released the Generation 2 version of the G1 figure in 1994 (a year later than in the US), they kept their old name for him and sold him as "Commander" again. So what did GiG do with the Laser/Laser Rod figure? They combined both names and sold him as "Commander Optimus Prime"!

 

That doesn't seem that surprising to me, because they probably wanted to keep calling him "Commander" but also the toy says "Optimus Prime" all over it.



#58 Nevermore

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Posted 04 August 2019 - 04:49 PM

GiG's Italian packaging added yet another oddity to this little line-up of bizarre alternate names: Back in 1985, the original G1 release of Optimus Prime had been renamed into "Commander" for the Italian market. When GiG released the Generation 2 version of the G1 figure in 1994 (a year later than in the US), they kept their old name for him and sold him as "Commander" again. So what did GiG do with the Laser/Laser Rod figure? They combined both names and sold him as "Commander Optimus Prime"!

 
That doesn't seem that surprising to me, because they probably wanted to keep calling him "Commander" but also the toy says "Optimus Prime" all over it.


All right, added that, and also a packaging variant of the US version. Turns out the "Hasbro Standard" factory sample is identical to the earlier released version, while the one I originally had as the "final" US release was in fact a later variant.
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#59 Have a Pickle

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Posted 05 August 2019 - 09:08 PM

I love this thread so much. I want Nevermore to host a Space Ghost Coast to Coast style show with LV as his captive musician.

#60 ThunderWear

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Posted 05 August 2019 - 09:34 PM

GnG5twv.jpg

 

RH52nvp.jpg


¯\_(ツ)_/¯




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