Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Autobots Rewind and Steeljaw

Vintage G1 Rewind and Steeljaw

Here we have my other 2 mini cassette transformers, and these went with my Blaster figure (who is the Autobots tape deck). I never had Decepticon Soundwave, my brother did I think, but I always liked Blasters character from the Transformers animated movie. Steeljaw (the yellow lion) is defiantly the coolest one out of this set, and to me the best Autobot tape. Something about the robot mode Rewind never looked right to me, he looks kind of cheap with his lack of detail, diecast or anything cool really. The Soundwave's older tape robots (Rumble and Frenzy) were way cooler than Blasters.

In trying to research these toys a bit I found little info, except that the gold chromed weapons were the earliest and actually rare variants. I never knew they didn't come in gold, but they definitely look better in gold.

Steeljaw's transformation is nice, although being a cassette tape former he is very thin. There are nice details moulded in the "lion" side and he is very well proportioned. The legs are metal which is a nice contrast to the yellow plastic and gold gun packs. A strange thing I never noticed is on the "tape" side the graphic maine is flipped on the wrong side, if you flip over the tape to the lion side the colored maine is on Steeljaws back end.

With regard to Rewind, well there is not much to say about him. There is some nice articulation in the legs but over all this guy is pretty dull. The arms are bad, the head has little detail, he does have some nice shiny guns though.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Decepticons Laserbeak and Frenzy

Vintage G1 Laserbeak and Frenzy

Tape modes, these toys still impress me with the design and transformation. Also with the small size of these guys they were easily snuck into your pocket so you could have some Transformer fun anywhere you went.

Both robot modes have good articulation, especially Frenzy. The Frenzy (and other tape bot Rumble) are to me some of the best Transformer designs - to go from a thin square "tape" to these robots was and still is impressive to me. When you add in the nice chrome accessories and other details it's no wonder the cassette tape style transformers are huge fan favorites.

Frenzy sports nice gold chrome accents on his chest and waist, also cool silver foil stickers are seen detailing one side of the tape mode.

Just a simple shot of Frenzy showing off some of his mad G1 articulation skills!

Originally from the Microchange line "Micro Cassette Robo Condor", Laserbeak transforms into a cassette that can fit into the tape door of Soundwave (or Blaster). He was released in a two-pack with Frenzy. Frenzy's "Cassettron" mould was first released in Japan in 1984, but they were sold separately and each one came with a clear plastic tape case/holder.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Decepticon Venom

Vintage G1 Deluxe Insectacon Venom

Venom is my 2nd deluxe Insectacon, and for me the better of the two. His Robot mode is very good with articulation that puts many modern Transformers to shame. His whole chest is diecast, with the rest of the parts being plastic. The transparent wings still look great after all these years, only showing a slight amount of fogging. Another cool thing about the wings is the amount of movement/rotation they have.

The above pose shows off some of this nice G1's articulation, especially noted in the lower half.

Venom, like Ransack posted just before, is originally from Takatoku Toys Armored Insect Battalion Beetras toyline. His original release in Japan was 1984 - Hasbro release was a year later.

The bug mode here is the Cicada, which are the cool armored looking bugs that make unique chirping sounds that are very loud for an insect. As a kid I would find their shed exoskeletons and examine them, boys love to play with bugs! Robot bugs are right up there in awesomeness with robot dinosaurs, this Transformer is a perfect example.

Decepticon Ransack

Vintage G1 Deluxe Insectacon Ransack

This one has a pretty neat transformation and is well articulated, except for the arms which only pull out and can't rotate or bend at all. That said this is a well made toy, bot mode is fair but it's the bug mode that really shines here. The only issue with this figure is the one of the leg posts that attach to the body has gotten loose - still he stands well.

Ransack was originally designed by Takatoku Toys for the Armored Insect Battalion Beetras toyline. Takatoku Toys went out of business before the end of the Beetras line, Bandai acquired it and licensed Takatoku's Beetras molds to Hasbro in 1985 to make the Deluxe Insecticons.

Ransack's mold was originally scheduled to be released as the Beetras toy named "Beet Vadam". Takatoku went out of business before Beet Vadam was released, giving Ransack the unique distinction of being the only version of this mold ever released.