In case you’ve missed it, X-Transbots has been on a bit of a roll of reveals recently. We already discussed their new Omnibot line-up in an article just last week but that’s not even the least of it – not by a long shot. You might even say that some of what they’ve just unveiled really packs a punch!
Oh my days, a Masterpiece-styled rendition of fan-favourite double agent, Punch (and his alter ego, Counterpunch)! What a time to be alive and collecting, eh? Besides that, they’ve already shown off a take on the Battlechargers, Runabout & Runamuck, a whole host of new Junkions, more of their Protectobot line-up, their final Generation 2 Stunticons *and* some new Quintesson troops. Woof!
Anyway, it’s not like XTB are even the only third party pumping out these kinds of niche toy choices at the moment, is it? And with all of that going on, you might be left wondering just how many Generation 1 characters there are still to be done in MP style. Well, there might be more than you think, so we’re going to run through some of the big contenders, focusing on those that have never even been so much as teased before! Calling all third parties… instead of making yet another Springer, how about you give some of these a go, eh?
Let’s start with a line-up that most Transformers fans will be familiar with in name, even though the original crew is probably not who they might associate with it anymore these days! Yes, when I talk about the Wreckers, I am of course meaning the OG troops from the classic Marvel UK storyline Target: 2006, with the most obvious candidates for a souped-up third party makeover being the four of them that actually had toys back in the 1980s. Roadbuster, Whirl, Twin Twist and Topspin are all memorable designs that could look nothing shy of epic if done right in MP style, and that’s to say nothing of the unique-to-the-page character choices such as the idiosyncratic Rack’n’Ruin (plus some other associated ‘bots, but more on that later!).
WHICH THIRD PARTY MIGHT GIVE IT A GO? Fans Hobby have shown some love for the G1 comic already and they’d do a bang-up job at bringing these beefy brawlers to life.
I’m actually a little perplexed that here we are in the year 2021 and no-one, not a single unofficial outfit, has seen fit to even tease the idea of Masterpiece-styled Throttlebots yet. Imagine! And before anyone says it, yes, I’m well aware of the Toyworld set from some years ago, but here we’re talking a line-up of cartoon-accurate lads and nothing else. Even a standalone Goldbug would be something, although I for one won’t be satisfied until we at least see the sublime form of Chase done right.
WHICH THIRD PARTY MIGHT GIVE IT A GO? My money might be on XTB again for this one, given some of their recent character choices. They’ve shown they can do real-world cars justice, too.
Third party Terrorcons, there have been a few. Yet again, just like with the Throttlebots, there’s never been a set that feels like it was entirely accurate to the G1 cartoon source that made these lads so memorable. 3PMP combiners are an ever-so well-established thing by now, so it’s crazy to think that this idea is repeatedly passed up in favour of yet more Constructicons or Combaticons, but there you go.
WHICH THIRD PARTY MIGHT GIVE IT A GO? Maybe FansToys, although no doubt that Zeta Toys could make mincemeat of that Abominus combined form.
#27: Triple Changers
OK, ok, there have been *plenty* of third party triple changers by now. Endless Springers, a fantastic Astrotrain, a couple of Blitzwings and even an Octane. Yet there hasn’t been so much of a sniff towards a decent take on either Sandstorm or Broadside yet, which seems rather odd! Now yes, there was Unique Toys Sworder from some time ago, but that thing looked nothing like the orange cartoon model above and, perhaps more importantly, it was a nightmare to handle, so I’m discounting it for today’s purposes. Broadside is also an interesting one, as you have two potential toys in one there, given his very different comic-accurate look based on the original G1 toy prototype (which did also appear in some episodes of the cartoon, weirdly).
WHICH THIRD PARTY MIGHT GIVE IT A GO? FansToys have already put out excellent renditions of Springer and Astrotrain, so they might be a sure bet here.
I honestly think no-one really knows what to do with Pretenders. How else do you explain this incredibly memorable concept remaining absent from any modern toyline, official or otherwise, save for the slightest of nods with those tiny Power of the Primes figures? If any third party can crack the idea of Pretenders, they have a whole roster of amazing toys ripe for deployment, not least of which is the classic assortment above. Then there are important characters such as Metalhawk and also second wave examples such as Bugly, Iguanus, Finback and the elementally-themed Autobot trio. How should they scale? How would the shells work? What source should they be accurate to? All of these are important questions and I hope someone comes up with the answers soon!
WHICH THIRD PARTY MIGHT GIVE IT A GO? Really, it’s an open book on this one right now. Again, I might say that Fans Hobby are the ones with enough gumption, especially with their Masterforce focus of late.
This is another of those concepts that you might think is an obvious one for some enterprising third party to just bang out on a quiet day, yet here with are with no-one having given it a go thus far. After all, two identical robot modes, two seemingly quite simple alternate forms, and appearances that don’t deviate that much between cartoon and original toys. At the risk of saying it, just send in the clones already!
WHICH THIRD PARTY MIGHT GIVE IT A GO? This doesn’t really feel like something that’s on anyone’s radar right now but maybe X-Transbots?
#24: Pretender Monsters
Of all the many weird and wonderful ‘bots from Generation 1 to be given short shrift in the years since, the Pretender Monsters must rank pretty highly on the list, right? Such a cool concept that’s never been revisited since their 1990 debut, although again, it feels like once someone cracks the idea of Pretenders as a whole then these chaps wouldn’t be too far behind it. With quirky robot modes, exciting monster modes, outer shells and a combined form, this would be a tricky set to get right, but wow, could it really be something.
WHICH THIRD PARTY MIGHT GIVE IT A GO? Tough to say, especially with the combining aspect. It feels highly unlikely but for some reason, I can’t help but feel this one would be fun to see Ocular Max tackle.
Now we’re in “I genuinely cannot fathom this hasn’t happened already” territory, aren’t we? I mean, c’mon – Targetmasters. One of *the* go-to gimmicks throughout Transformers history! Sure, there have been a couple of attempts at the 1986 characters in their powered-up Targetmaster guises, but what about original creations such as the Decepticon trio of Misfire, Slugslinger and Triggerhappy? Even Maketoys never got as far as teasing these chaps.
WHICH THIRD PARTY MIGHT GIVE IT A GO? It may seem like the longest of long shots at this stage but I’d be well up for Maketoys finishing off what they started with their Contact Shot release and bringing us the Decepticon troupe too.
Here’s one that would be super fun to see! The maniacal Decepticon despot has found some resurgence in the franchise since his 1980s Marvel debut but still, it would be amazing to have him done up in full Masterpiece scale at some point soon. There’s already been a surprisingly faithful Legends attempt from Newage, so it’s not too much of a leap, although I’d love to see a bonus feature where you could store his head in a jar as well!
WHICH THIRD PARTY MIGHT GIVE IT A GO? This might be one for MMC to tackle although failing that, it may be another Fans Hobby job. Or hey, maybe Newage fancy another crack at the character, eh?
#21: Alpha Trion
Alpha Trion has become a bit of a franchise constant since first appearing in the G1 Sunbow animation, and even cropped up during the recent War For Cybertron series. There have been a fair few attempts to replicate him in toy form over the years too, although surprisingly none in a scale befitting the Masterpiece line at this point. Again, this feels like such an easy one to deliver in many respects, especially as there’s no need to even make it transform! Maybe it’ll happen eventually.
WHICH THIRD PARTY MIGHT GIVE IT A GO? Gonna go X-Transbots with this one as it seems in line with their Quintesson focus at the moment.
So that’s part 1! Be sure to join us next time when we’ll be counting down more characters deserving a bit of 3PMP attention.