THE VINTAGE VIEW #16: Generation 1 Terrorcon Blot

Now that the dust has (finally) settled on our more recent Pretender focus, I figured it might be fun to mix it up by taking a gander at an entirely different part of G1 Transformers.

We’ll be back for more heroes (and villains!) in a half-shell before too long. Still, I couldn’t resist getting stuck into one of the classic combiner teams of the era in the meantime, especially as I’ve opted for a severely underrated roster in this case!

Yes, the Terrorcons frequently get short shrift when people pick out their favourite 1980s robots in disguise. Even amongst the Scramble City teams, everyone considers the Combaticons or the Stunticons first, and that’s saying nothing about big-name Big Men like Devastator or Predaking. It’s a similar story in the 1987 line-up, as these monsterish miscreants get lost in the shuffle a tad, the limelight often being stolen by the marquee Headmaster and Targetmaster toys introduced that year.

It’s a shame because the Abominus crew are an intriguing bunch, featuring some truly nightmarish alternate forms. Blot is the frankly bizarre specimen kicking us off, which, as you can likely see, has a very quirky robot mode, for starters.

In many ways, this is your atypical combiner limb lad, rocking a square peg head and a boxy body with thin slider thighs and kibble hanging off all over. Yet even these trademarks of the gimmick feel accentuated on Blot, as though all the oddities have been dialled up to the max somehow.

It doesn’t help his beast arms are just hanging off his backpack, nor that the legs are so unsubtly folded up on the sides of his robot form equivalents. These elements make it hard to say this is the most remarkable toy of 1987. Yet there remains an almost inherent chunky appeal with Blot which allows him to impress despite his apparent shortcomings.

It’s certainly true the stickers bring a very welcome pop of colour to the otherwise uniform dark blue and purple. It’s a palette that again doesn’t help the toy stand out against the rocking pinks and teals found amongst his 1987 Decepticon contemporaries, yet it works well enough on its own merit.

Blot features two accessories, both of which can be wielded in robot mode. The most notable of the two is the blue ‘slime gun’ that pegs neatly into either of his stubby arms. The second is technically just his monster mode backpack, but it works nicely enough as some sort of projectile weapon all the same!

One area this toy certainly doesn’t excel in is articulation, although, in fairness, it’s pretty consistent with the era in that regard. Besides the ability to move the arms at one joint (which, in truth, is hard to discern as either a shoulder or an elbow), Blot is a straight-up brick in every regard. You can forget your ab crunches and butterfly joints here!

However, it’s a different story altogether once you crank him into his alternate mode, which is surprisingly poseable for a toy of this time, and even versus the other Terrorcons. The arms have two points of articulation each, and the legs can be moved at the hips by the benefit of the transformation. It’s not much, but it allows for some play value here.

Overall, it won’t take long to clock how this mode is not all that discernible from the robot form, with the monster appendages now simply flipped out into the place, the humanoid legs truncated and the noggin folded out of view. It’s highly straightforward, especially given the prominent beast head placement on the robot chest, but again, it works.

As for what this form represents… well, it’s a monster… thing, isn’t it? A very classic case of non-descript nightmare fodder, if ever there was one. Perhaps it doesn’t matter, although it certainly stands out as a true oddity amongst the more perceptible alternatives elsewhere in the Terrorcon crew.

Of particular note is the weird, almost featureless face, which remains hard to understand even on a close-up examination. Blot is also rocking peculiar three-pronged claws, making for a truly outlandish monstrosity in many senses.

Another real signature of this mode, and one element I particularly enjoy, is how you can tab the backpack piece in at the rear and use it to position the slime gun above his head. He’s not the only Terrorcon soldier who can wield his robot firearm in such a fashion, but at least features one of the more distinctive solutions.

All told, I like this mode. It’s clearly the superior option of the two and helps to make more of a success of the overall toy. Ultimately, it’s still a very simple toy, and no doubt one that works better as part of a larger set than as a standalone competing against some of the giddy highs of the rest of the 1987 catalogue, but still, there’s enough to appreciate here.

Again, it is a shame that the Terrorcons are so largely forgotten about versus the more prominent prior year combiner teams, especially as I think Blot here makes a fitting addition to a Scramble City-style Decepticon line-up. Although there’s a definite template at play here, it’s surprising to see how different these examples can be.

In that regard, it’s also quite strange how well Blot slots into the Decepticon ranks of the earlier years of the franchise. I tend to think of a lot of 1987 onward toys looking quite distinct from their forebears, but in this case, I don’t believe it’s true. Perhaps it’s because the Scramble City concept originates from Diaclone, even if this specific toy design doesn’t, although I’m sure the muted colours help a bit, too.

That said, no doubt Blot feels equally at home next to his late-’80s brethren. During this time, there was a palpable shift towards more beastly designs, and the Terrorcons were a notable part of that.

It leaves Blot as an intriguing first specimen for the Terrorcon crew, although, as we’ll soon see, there’s plenty more peculiarity yet to come!

TTFN

About Sixo

Transformers collector from the UK, collecting vintage G1/G2, CR/RID, UT & Masterpiece/3P. Find me at twitter.com/SixoTF or on YouTube at youtube.com/SixoTF

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