Tuesday, July 24, 2012

My Robot Kicked Your Robot's Butt!

“It’s a world transformed, where things are not what they seem.  It is the world of the Transformers…A world of Heroic Autobots and Evil Decepticons!”

My first "Transformer"
My introduction to the world of Transformers toys actually didn’t start with Transfomers per se, but with the original Japananese line called Diaclone that Hasbro eventually ended up “transforming” into the robots we know today.  Coming home from one of his business trips, my dad brought home a nice blue F-15 eagle jet that could amazingly change into a robot.  He even came with a tiny little man with magnets on his feet that could neatly fit inside the jet’s cockpit.  Now as cool as this toy was, what I found even cooler was this little booklet that came with the toy.  It was a catalogue of all the OTHER robots that were in the line.  As it turned out my little blue jet was just the tip of the iceberg.  There were 2 or 3 more jets like him, trains, dinosaurs, insects and a whole lot of cars & trucks that ALL turned into robots.  I was instantly hooked and I begged my dad to get me more!


pretty red car....
Around the same time, my neighbor who was my age also got his “first” Diaclone robot (maybe our dads must have been on the same business trip?).  His was a bright red Lamborghini Countach that also had a little man with magnets and also transformed into a robot.  But he had something else, information about this new cartoon that he rented from our local video store, called Sonix.  He told me that this cartoon starred the robots we owned, and that his red car robot was a good guy and that my blue jet was a bad guy.  And as if that wasn’t enough, he said his robot kicked my robot’s butt in the cartoon!   THIS was too much for me to believe!  I went straight down to Sonix and looked for this supposed new cartoon (at that point I didn't even know what it was called).  Almost immediately, I saw plastered on the wall  of new releases, a poster of this epic robot battle scene with MY jet robot prominently featured in the center (or at least I figured he was my blue jet, the poster was actually xeroxed lang, so black & white).  Oh yeah, my friends Lamborghini robot? Somewhere in the background off to the side :P

see if YOU can find Sideswipe?
Anyway that was the first time I saw the name “The Transformers” with their famous catchphrase “More Than Meets The Eye!”.  I think I stood there staring at the poster for what seemed to be an eternity, trying to soak up every single detail, every single robot.   After eventually gaining my composure, I handed in my allowance for the week (20 pesos) for my betamax copy of The Transformers, and went straight home to watch it.  Almost immediately I was lost in another world, an amazing world of heroic Autobots and evil Decepticons with such memorable characters like the Optimus Prime & Megatron, the scheming Starscream and monotonous ultra flanged (is that even a word?) voiced Soundwave, the cool cool Jazz and even the delusional Cliffjumper voiced by the very familiar Casey Kasem, they ALL made an impression on me that to this day I haven’t forgotten!

Oh, and it turned out, my friend was right, my jet robot turned out to be one of the bad guys, in fact he wasn’t a main dude but a lackey called Thundercracker.  And my friend’s car robot really was a good guy, Sideswipe. Although if you want to really nitpick, it wasn’t really Sideswipe that kicked Thundercracker’s butt…it was his twin brother, Sunstreaker….

It was the YELLOW car that did it!

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