It’s the TMW Christmas Quiz!

Yes! It’s just like a pub quiz – but in your home. Magic! If you want the “full effect” of being at the pub, Toy Meets World offers a deluxe quiz where we’ll come round and knock your drink all over your desk. We’ll also deliver a range of salted snacks and suspiciously piss-like craft beers. Let us know your score in the comments!

QUIZ

 

Advertisements

5 Moments from TRANSFORMERS We’d Rather Forget

1. SHOCKWAVE’S SHOCKER

Shockwave is kind of like the Mr. Spock of the Transformer world, but whereas ol’ elf-ears relies on the Vulcan nerve-pinch to dish out the smack, Shockers can simply change into an enormous laser gun and blow his enemies away. Read on to find out why his toy is “packing” more than just heat!

shockwavecartoon

Eye, Eye! Shockwave costs the Decepticons a fortune in fairy lights.

The original toy of Shockwave was not actually produced by Hasbro. Instead it was made and released independently by a Korean company called ToyCo. This toy – nicknamed “Shackwave” due to being primarily available at Radio Shack in the US (very clever) – hit the market just slightly before the more famous Transformers version. Apart from lacking the Decepticon badges or any other branding, it has another rather obvious… point of difference:

Shocker

You’ll have someone’s eye out with that thing.

Yeah. Despite being a completely faceless robot, Shockwave still seems really pleased to see you. Luckily Hasbro got rid of the offending member when this mold was eventually snaffled for the Transformers line in 1985, making this the first time in history a robot was cockblocked by a Rhode Island-based toy company – but not the last.

Continue reading

Missing my Nemesis

Everyone needs a nemesis. Superman has Lex Luthor, He-Man has Skeletor, and Peter Popoff has James Randi.

When two polar opposites eventually throw down, it’s going to be something special. More than just another fight, this is a clash of irreconcilable ideals that will reverberate throughout the universe. TMW takes a look at the best clashes of good and evil throughout the ages.

Darth Vader Vs Obi Wan/Luke Skywalker

Speaking objectively, the first Star Wars film is great, even if behind the scenes George Lucas was going bald from stress and Alec Guinness was renegotiating his contract every five minutes. It introduced us to classic characters and ideas that will forever be embedded in our hearts and the hearts of our grandchildren.

"Daddy! Why won't you hug me!?"

“Daddy! Why won’t you hug me!?”

Obi Wan Kenobi’s fight with Darth Vader is remembered as one of cinema’s great moments. Or should that be misremembered? Watching it today, in Space Year 2015, the whole thing seems a bit of an anticlimax.

The lightsaber battle is dull – I’ve seen slicker moves when my grandma sweeps the kitchen floor. And the old wizard decides that while he could use his Jedi magic to drop a spaceship on Vader’s shiny black noggin, he’ll just stand there and die. Although the concept of death in the Star Wars universe doesn’t seem to be clearly defined.

What’s the disadvantage of death, exactly, if you can come back as a sparkly ghost and perv on Leia taking a shower? You know you would, don’t lie. Lies lead to the dark side.

"Strike me down and I will see more boobs than you can ever imagine"

“Strike me down and I will see more boobs than you can ever imagine”

The later battle in Return of the Jedi between all growed-up Luke and Vader is pretty hardcore by comparison, even if he does spend twenty minutes being called chicken-shit by Mumm-Ra The Emperor.

It all gets pretty heavy when poor old Papa Vader kicks the bucket, but it’s a happy ending after all when Han Solo, two robots and the semi-incestuous Jedi twins have a dance with the teddy bears.

Optimus Prime Vs Megatron

This is when most of us learned that heroes sometimes fail. You probably learned this with tears streaming down your face, your tiny little hands balled into fists in a display of smoldering, primal rage.

"Oh, and Santa Claus ISN'T REAL. Mwhahaha!"

Back in the 80s, film characters stayed dead, kids.

This was the battle of the decade – after all those years of threats and posturing, Prime finally gave Megs the fight he asked for. And boy, did he give him a whupping. Optimus takes Megatron apart – it’s like watching Muhammad Ali take on that Mr. Glass guy from Unbreakable.

For all of us watching, it was intensely satisfying. Prime saves the day, and he has Megatron at his mercy. It was all going to be okay…

In 25 years, people will see how much of a pussy Megatron is in HD!

In 25 years, people will see how much of a pussy Megatron is in HD!

So mere human words cannot describe the horror of seeing the cowardly Megs take a hostage and blast Prime in the face with a concealed handgun.

Prime dies in an awfully protracted deathbed scene that mentally scarred 50% of the pre-adolescent population in 1986. For many of us, it was the day our childhoods died. For the rest, that probably happened some time in the mid nineties when they got their first modem.

The Shredder Vs Splinter

There was always a bit of “will they won’t they” with Splinter and the Shredder. Mortal enemies, their paths rarely crossed. So when they eventually did meet, you knew some serious shit was about to go down.

"No! It's step, jump, THEN sashay!"

“No! It’s step, jump, THEN sashay!”

Shredder always seemed to have an unfair advantage over Splinter. He was about four feet taller and covered in blades, for a start. But Splinter is like Yoda. Small, wrinkly, but still able to kick an ass or two.

Their first proper battle in the Technodrome sent our pulses racing, even if it was a proper rip-off of Star Wars. Shredder even seems to pull a sword from nowhere (he’s never again seen using one), furthering the obvious parallels.

"Your powers are weak, old man!"

“Your powers are weak, old man!”

Still, we didn’t care. The Shredder was one of the great cartoon villains – just hammy enough that you could laugh at him when the Turtles threw custard pies at his metal-plated face, but just scary enough that you took him seriously.

Of course, in the Turtlesverse good always triumphs over evil, and any adventure usually ends with high-fiving and delicious pizza. Except in the 2003 cartoon, where Leonardo cuts Shredders fricking head off. But that’s a story for another time.

"Hmm"

“Sounds like a pain in the neck”

We all know that Master Splinter is the real hero of the series, anyway. He taught us all that it’s not what’s on the outside that counts, but what is in your heart… As long as you have serious kung-fu skills. If you don’t, then you’re just a HIDEOUS FREAK.

He-Man Vs Skeletor

He-Man fought his nemesis all the time. It was like they had a playdate or something. They’d meet outside Castle Grayskull every Wednesday, exchange puns – occasionally waving a sword or staff menacingly in the others’ direction – and then go home.

"Take THIS!"

Spare a thought for the poor bastard on the tower in the background

Let’s not kid ourselves. No-one in the He-Man universe ever hurt or wounded anyone else. He-Man’s Sword of Power could have been used to slice and dice the entire evil horde, but instead he just used it to deflect lasers or cut conveniently-placed ropes.

Not that he even needed his sword at all; He-Man could rip Skeletor or any one of his minions in half like a Jelly Baby and feed them to Cringer. But he doesn’t. Because he’s a goodie, and with great power comes great… Uh… wimpiness?

Anyway, was Skelly really all that bad? In the He-Man Christmas Special, Skeletor kidnapped some children (admittedly a little bit evil) but then made lovely winter coats for them so they wouldn’t freeze to death (not at all evil). He even takes the time to cuddle the green robot puppy.

"Nyaa!"

“Nyaa!”

However, in the 2002 series, Skeletor was plenty evil, and made sure to keep his place on Evil Monthly’s Top 20 Maniacs list by throwing the reigning monarch off a cliff, throwing the crown prince off a cliff (the guy likes cliffs), and beating up He-Man’s pet cat.

Naturally, He-Man goes ape shit over that last one [Ape-Shit? I don’t remember him – Luke] and single-handedly takes down Skeletor’s entire army in an act of vicious but censor-pleasingly nonviolent retribution.

Sonic Vs. Super Sonic

Fleetway’s Sonic the Comic was awesome. We’re dead serious. Given the loose premise of Sonic the Hedgehog – in that there wasn’t one – the creators were free to do as they wished, and they crafted an unimaginably deep and dark universe for the Fastest Thing Alive.

Shit!

Not even Superman can make a 90 degree turn in mid-air!

It’s not too surprising that Sonic ended up with an evil alter ego – the concept is everywhere in the world of comics and cartoons – we have Judge Death, Bizarro, Captain Pollution, and Faker to name but a few.

Where Sonic is a cool, easygoing character, his opposite persona Super Sonic is enough to turn your blood to ice, despite having a slightly redonkulous name.

Super Sonic lived inside regular Sonic (or Sonic: Original, take your pick) and would come to the surface whenever he got stressed or angry. Sonic was basically a ticking time bomb, like Bill Bixby but without the flares.

Uhh, Bob Holness?

Uhh, Bob Holness?

Unstoppable, insane, and with an appetite for carnage and destruction, Super Sonic gave plenty of readers nightmares and caused all sorts of problems for Sonic and his chums. Things hit a high point when the ‘Super’ was split from Sonic and given form all his own, creating a menacing villain who was present 100% of the time, and hit a low point when Super Sonic lost his memory and went on lovely adventures with a magic cat lady and her friend Pajamas.

For real.

Depth Charge Vs Rampage

This one had us on the edge of our seats.

Beast Wars was high on character development, low on toy advertising. It’s the Star Trek of Transformers franchises, and despite the lack of ‘red shirts’, the creators of the show weren’t scared to blow a brother away.

The evil robot Rampage is introduced early in the second season, and he lives up to his name. Apparently indestructible, he’s a sadist who loves killing, maiming and listening to One Direction. He turns into a big crab which is a lot less stupid in practice than it sounds on paper. He has a long-term rivalry with goodie Depthcharge, and they clash several times throughout the series.

Crabs are like Super Spiders.

“Which one of you dickheads ordered the crab!?”

Eventually, the two meet for their final confrontation, and it’s a shocker. After a long battle, the warriors end up locked in a deadly embrace. In stalemate, Rampage gives up, calling our hero’s bluff. So what does Depthcharge do….?

He plunges the sword straight into his enemy’s beating heart. The resulting explosion kills D.C and presumably doubly-kills Rampage.

Funny Fact: Beast Wars was called “Beasties” in Canada because they thought the title was too violent. Makes you wonder what they made of this episode.

“Face your tiny”

Reader Beware!

ResponsiveLogoTrimTiny

Goosebumps were a phenomenon in the mid nineties. The books, you understand, not the skin condition. Author R. L. Stine has sold something like 400 million copies, and was still publishing new stories as late as 2012. In fact, the original books are still in print.

People collected them as you would football stickers or Pogs. They were cool, and were a symbol of playground status and wealth. You always had the sad kid who showed up to school with a satchel full of “Chillers” or “Gorse Bumps” books, though. Poor bugger.

The covers were always fantastic, regardless of the content. They were playfully grotesque, but never really frightening, sort of like the Halloween section in the supermarket. They were just creepy enough that you felt like a bit of a maverick with them on your bookshelf, but not so disturbing as to give you nightmares.

The artwork was probably the best thing about the books, and certainly will remain in the memory long after the stories themselves are forgotten. The UK got exclusive new covers, and they were great. They usually showed a monster or object from the book sinking in a bubbly, neon-coloured goo.

They were embossed, so naturally you would run your fingers over the cover as if it were Braille to gauge the books’ scariness. To save money on embossing dies, the publisher later replaced the covers with cheaper, identikit ones that simply put the American artwork in a new frame. Boo.

Compare the two species. Below we have a selection of UK books. Note the abstract nature and bright colours.

dfg

It’s a bit like the end of Terminator 2. But not.

These covers were clearly deemed too visually stimulating for the Americans, whose books had a distinct, almost puritanical, style of their own:

Creepy for all the wrong reasons

Creepy for all the wrong reasons

The Merch

Goosebumps merchandise was popular, and was plastered with the trademark logo and stock art of many characters. Chief among these was Curly the Skeleton, although to my recollection he never actually appeared in a single book, but was nontheless the brand mascot. I figure that he’s meant to represent Stine himself. He looks pretty smug for a dead guy, anyway. He was your typical, garden-variety skellington in every way except for his tiny Scrooge McDuck reading glasses and his purple Mohican.

Curly moonlights as a Scout leader

Curly volunteers as a Scout leader in his spare time

Recurring characters included Slappy the dummy (a possessed ventriloquist doll, natch), Monster Blood (more on that in a sec), the Haunted Mask, and The Horrors. These guys, and all the Goosebumps characters for that matter, were quite tame. They certainly weren’t on par with Freddy Kruger or Jason Vorhees. But that was probably the point; you don’t sell many children’s bedsheets that way.

The Books

Monster Blood

Monster Blood

Nein! Der Pumpelkins!

Evan gets shipped off to his estranged great-aunt for the summer, because his parents are going to Georgia to look at houses and we all know that children will spontaneously combust if made to set eyes on a new house.

Aunt Kathryn is an eighty year old widow, profoundly deaf, and never learned sign language or how to properly spell her own name. So naturally she’s a good choice to look after a young boy. Evan spends his days walking his dog, getting duffed up, and going to toy shops with Andrea, the only girl in the neighbourhood.

Evan and ‘Andy’ end up in possession of an ever-enlarging, hungry blob that came from a tin of green slime called ‘Monster Blood’. First it outgrows its tin, then a coffee can, then a bucket, and then the bathtub. It eventually goes on a rampage, a bit like in the film The Blob. Okay… exactly like in the film The Blob.

The twist at the end is genuinely surprising and I shan’t spoil it here in case you’re twelve years old or have only just learned to read.

The Curse of the Mummy’s Tomb

The_Curse_of_the_Mummys_Tomb

Delete my internet historryyyyyy!

Young Gabe goes to Egypt with his parents. Presumably, they’re there to pick up the Arab Parent of the Year Award, as they promptly leave him alone in the middle of Cairo, and allow him to get kidnapped by a stranger who uses the classic “Your parents sent me to get you” line.

Gabe carries around a tiny little mummy hand in his pocket that he calls his “summoner”. Did the ancient Egyptians make mummies in miniature? Shouldn’t it be in a museum, and not the trouser pocket of a neglected 12-year-old?

Anyway, Gabe is put under the care of his slightly less negligent uncle, and together they get into all sorts of scrapes inside the Great Pyramid of Giza, where they discover an ancient tomb full of treasure and mummies that come to life. Gabe’s family act like he just found some pennies down the back of the sofa, and they all ignore it like it never happened and go for ice cream instead. The end.

One Day at Horrorland

9780590558365

“Tastes like wee”

This is probably the one Goosebumps book that I found truly unsettling. It begins with a family on vacation, driving around in the middle of nowhere looking for Universal Studios or something. They come across “Horrorland” instead and decide to go inside.

Immediately, their car explodes so they’re stranded there. The theme park is staffed by “Horrors”, little gremlin things that the family assumes are midgets in costumes. They’re mean and unhelpful, and deliberately separate the kids from their parents in order to expose each to a series of ever more deadly attractions and rides. Each time, the kids and their parents escape death by the skin of their teeth. It’s quite distressing, really. Would you like to think of your mother being locked in a suffocating coffin and sent down a raging river? No, that’s just not funny.

Maybe Stine had a bad experience at Disneyland as a child. Or maybe he really hates his parents. Probably both.

A Shocker on Shock Street

0590139681.01.LZZZZZZZ

“Red means STOP, asshole!”

 

In a way, this book is similar to One Day at Horrorland, as it involves two kids in a theme park (this time an actual parody of Universal Studios) where the attractions go a bit loco. For example, the children get chased by real monsters on the spooky filming set, zombies actually come out of the ground in the haunted graveyard, and the Cave of Creeps has… uh… worms in.

The kids generally spend most of the book pissing themselves in fright, but it’s left quite ambiguous whether the monsters are really real or not. That would be weird – who would build a theme park and fill it with dangerous monsters?

But if it’s all in the kids’ imaginations, that would be weirder still, because (SPOILER ALERT) it turns out that they’re not really kids at all, but sophisticated robots built to test the park. This one left us scratching our heads, to be honest.

How I Got My Shrunken Head

0590568760_01_SCLZZZZZZZ_

Don’t lose your head! Arf!

Some would assume that the title refers to the author describing to us how his head had been shrunk. Like “How I Broke My Leg” or “How I Got Dysentery One Summer”. But that’s not the case.

It’s revealed that “chubby” 12-year-old Mark was given an actual shrunken head by his aunt, which isn’t really scary at all. Weird, maybe, but then aunts and uncles are known for giving weird presents.

(One time I was given a “Jurassic Park” basketball shirt my uncle brought back from the Philippines. It was a beautiful shade of purple and about eight sizes too big. Of course, we all remember Jeff Goldblum’s sick dunks from the film, don’t we? – Adam)

Mark’s parents are presumably in Egypt with Gabe’s, picking up their award, as they allow Mark to fly to the jungle island of Baladora (not an island) with a stranger. When he arrives, he’s kidnapped and held hostage. Showing good sense, he flees into the rainforest, presumably intending to live out the rest of his life in the infinite wilds with Tarzan.

On the way, Mark discovers that he has “jungle magic” – a power that he doesn’t seem to have direct control over, nor does it influence his surroundings in any way other than to advance the story. It’s not exactly the Power of Grayskull, is what we’re saying. At the end of the book, when he’s home and safe, his aunt takes away his jungle powers because they’re too dangerous for a boy who lives four thousand miles away from the nearest jungle to have. Except when they weren’t. Because she gave them to him in the first place.

What does it all mean?

We can’t see many kids reading these today, to tell the truth. Times have changed. Most of the adventures described in the above books just wouldn’t be possible in today’s world. Kids tend to Google or Facebook their way out of every situation now. Or at the very least use their iPhones to call the rozzers when kidnappings loom.

Goosebumps had that kind of patronising “Look kids! Reading is COOL!” feel to them. Sometimes it feels like we have to trick our children into picking up books – as if it might be a surprise to them to find that there’s words beneath the shiny embossed covers. But if the hype and the fad got just one kid to go to a library, or become a proficient reader, then it was all worth it.

Or so says R. L. Stine from his solid gold, ruby-encrusted palace. It’s very easy to be philosophical when you’re a bazillionaire.GB_Logo2013

“Dog Getting Duffed”

Treat Time #2

Following on from our previous Treat Time, Adam once again travels back into the past to tantalise his tastebuds with sweet (and salty!) nostalgia…

Sonic Biscuits

biscuits_zps28404465

“Wear sunscreen, kids!”

Memory is a funny thing. I can’t remember a single thing from my college education, but I can still taste these biscuits. It was the height of Sonic Mania, some time in the early nineties… A friend had a bag in his lunchbox and charitably let me have one.

They tasted good, and my brother begged my mum to pick them up by the case at the supermarket. But on the lips of every Sonic fan (in addition to biscuit crumbs) was the question – why is Sally pink?

She looks somewhat denuded. Sally was, very briefly, this colour in the American comics but they soon brought her in line with the cartoon that launched alongside it, where as we’ve mentioned before, the pretty princess was a tasteful tan and brown with a shock of red hair. Burton’s obviously didn’t get the memo.

Sally was otherwise unknown on merchandise in our part of the world, and even America for that matter. Strangely enough, the distant land of Australia went Sally crazy – all kinds of dolls, clothes and other products were available. She also became the mascot for Segaworld Sydney. Upon hearing this, Luke changed into his swimming trunks and headed for the estuary, figuring to ride the E.A.C. straight into Sally’s waiting arms. If you see him out in the English channel, wish him Godspeed.

Ghostbusters Crisps

real ghostbusters packet

“WoooooOOOOooooOOO!”

Lunchtimes were great when I was in first school (yay for three-tier education!). I had a Super Mario Brothers backpack stuffed with Transformers toys, a Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles lunchbox, and Ghostbusters crisps.

They weren’t just Ghostbusters crisps, though. They were REAL Ghostbusters crisps, if you know what I mean.

That’s a funny distinction to make, and the more you think about it, the less it makes sense. The REAL Ghostbusters were the dominant form of Ghost Buster, but of course they weren’t actually real, being a cartoon. But no-one called them the “real” Ghostbusters. You just said “Ghostbusters”.

If you did say “real”, you were normally talking about the movies, which you probably hadn’t seen because they had swearing in and Gozer the Destructor had serious cameltoe going on in that Gozerian leotard. Roll on the new movie, when people will have to say things like “Have you seen Ghostbusters? No, not the cartoon. No, not the Extreme Ghostbusters. The new ones. The real ones. No, not the “real” ones. The real ones!! ARRRGGH!!”

Fiendish Feet

30_1_b

“WoooOO – Oh, we did that one already”

There’s something about yoghurts that attracts novelty. I don’t know why, it just does. I recall that most yogurts for kids had sweets or sugary confections inside, and some had Kinder Surprise-like toys in. Even grown up yoghurts like Muller Corner (and its sister product, Muller ‘Captain of your ship’ Rice) come in any number of tooth-rotting varieties. They always say “low fat”, too, don’t they? Like that’s a benefit when you’re spooning condensed sugar into your mouth.

Fiendish Feet were awesome not because of the yoghurt, but because of the pot. They had FEET! What madness!
Of course, as we all know, feet are a sure sign of the devil’s work so the yoghurts were declared “fiendish” by the manufacturer and appropriately decorated to resemble vampires, mummies, werewolves and so on.

These faces are etched into my memory, displacing those of family members and loved ones. At each family reunion or gathering, I look around dumbly like Mr Magoo, squinting at people as they pass. But I can recognise Fangs A Lot from a hundred paces. Weird.

Turtles Apple Pizza

2241407367_bb339fed5b

Introducing the 5th Turtle: McCainangelo.

Turtles was on everything in the late eighties and early nineties. I had a Turtles woolly jumper, Turtles slippers, the aforementioned lunchbox… One time my friend even came to school in his Turtles pajamas.

I’m not sure if I ever tasted these pizzas, though. It’s not the sort of thing my mum would buy… Anything that came in a box with branding (or even colours) on was ignored in favour of the own-brand, no-frills stuff. I can scarcely believe that they’re really apple flavour – that was pretty extreme even for the time.

If anyone still has one of these lurking in the freezer, please send it in to our usual postal address. I need to taste it. On a side note, last night I had perhaps the most vivid, lucid dream of my entire life: I was a Teenage Mutant Hero Turtle, and along with the rest of the gang had been kidnapped by Shredder and bundled into the back of a van. He took us to Krang, but we soon busted out and kicked Shredder’s ass. Interestingly, either because of my own gentle nature or because of the standards set by video censors in the late eighties, we only fought Shredder by doing silly things like pulling his cape over his eyes and dishing out ridiculous puns like “Have a nice trip, see you next fall!”

I’m dead serious.

Sonic Pasta

sonic-hp-pasta-shapes-1a

HP up!

Pasta was cheap. So we ate a lot of it. In fact, I still eat a lot of it. Morisson’s recently had a deal on My Little Pony pasta shapes, so I filled a trolley like I was playing Supermarket Sweep. There weren’t any giant inflatable bananas in the aisles, though. Only shame.

You could argue that this is one thing that hasn’t really changed much over the decades. We still have pasta shapes, they’re still relatively cheap and they still come in cartoon varieties. The tins are smaller, though. About one quarter of the size. This is either because:-

a) the cheeky buggers want to sell you less product for more money, or –

b) Government guidelines limit the amount of salt and sugar you can give to kids in one meal. Being primarily composed of both, the pasta serving size was reduced. But most likely –

c) All of the above.

Join us again for more shenanigans, folks. And we’re not kidding about that Turtles pizza thing.

“Denuded Sally”

I Clean My Gun and Dream of Galvatron

Next year marks the 30th anniversary of the animated Transformers movie, and the masterminds at Takara have promised to celebrate the event the only way they know how: by making more awesome toys. So far revealed for 2016 are new figures of movie posterboy Hot Rod – which makes sense – and menacing Decepticon Shockwave, which makes far less sense when you consider he has exactly two lines in the movie and is quietly squashed out of existence in the final act.

Both are part of the reinvigorated Masterpiece line, which aims to correct the mistakes of the past and produce new figures of existing characters improved with today’s toy technology. So why the hell have we not got a Galvatron yet?

vlcsnap-2014-06-18-03h35m47s112

“Who’s a guy got to disintegrate to get a new toy around here?”

In the movie, Galvatron was created by Unicron from the remains of Decepticon boss Megatron. His job was to cover Unicron’s considerable ass by hunting down any pesky Autobots who would seek to destroy him. Unbelievably, Unicron was voiced by Orson Welles – whether or not the animators modeled the foul-tempered planet-eater on Welles himself is not certain at this time. Galvatron sets out to capture the Autobot Matrix for his master, but not before getting his own house in order by challenging Starscream for leadership of the Decepticons. And by “challenging” we mean straight-up terminating his ass in one of the movie’s most brutal scenes.

vlcsnap-2014-06-18-03h34m44s240

Our faces looked just like this when Starscream carked it.

The character of Galvatron came about, in real-life terms, because of a number of factors. Changing gun laws in the United States meant that the continued production of Megatron – who turned into a perfect replica of a P-38 Walther handgun – just wasn’t viable. The toys had been on the shelves for two years by this point, so it was decided to shake up the ranks of the Autobots and Decepticons with two new leader characters. The new, improved version of Megatron would now turn into a futuristic-looking laser gun, and if need be further transform into a static laser cannon.

FriedmanAuctionGalvatronModelEdit

The battles of the future will be fought with… these things.

Galvatron’s original animation model was designed by artist Floro Dery with little consideration for how it would work as an actual toy – leaving the people at Hasbro to do their best to make a transforming action figure from his sketches in short time. The resulting finished toy has a good amount of weight to it, and even fits nicely in an adult’s hand in laser gun mode. It’s also one of the first – if not the first – Transformer to have electronic lights and sounds. Alas, this figure of Galvatron is probably best described as the phrase “you tried” manifested in physical form.  If you squint a bit it kind of looks like him. Or at the very least it looks like a random Transformer in a home-made Galvatron Halloween costume.

$_57

“If you do just 50 crunches a day, you can have abs like these!”

It would take Hasbro 22 years to muster up the willpower to crank out another toy, and you can guess how that went. This time Galvatron was a tank – a mandate by Hasbro deems that all new TF lines must contain at least five tanks because “kids love that war shit” – but the figure has vestiges of some kind of third mode, a symptom of being drastically scaled-back in both size and complexity at some point in production. The result is a figure that not even a God of Chaos could love.

ugalvatron2

Tanks, but no tanks.

And that’s how Galvatron’s story ends. These days, the name has variously been applied to new characters in the live-action movies and comics, and by all accounts Hasbro is more than happy to leave Megatron’s alter ego well enough alone for another 20 years. In the words of gravelly-voiced old timer Kup, it’s not the end we’d wish for, lad. Someone at Takara needs to put this right!