Welcome to the Powet Top 5, where we explore the top (and bottom) 5 items we think are relevant to any of a variety of topics that span the imagination. Sit back, read, and respond.
In 2006, Hasbro unleashed Transformers: Classics. Featuring heritage characters re-imagined with modern technology, the line was an instant hit with collectors. Now, 6 years later, the idea behind the Classics line has been revisited again and again, with homages to vintage characters popping up everywhere. Today, we’ll take a look at 5 of the best updates to these classic characters!
5. Sideswipe & Sunstreaker
The Lamborghini Twins weren’t always identical. Although they shared similar vehicle modes, Sideswipe and Sunstreaker had very different robot modes designs. Due to their close association, modern homages to the pair trended towards making them simple redecos of one another – sometimes with a few new parts, but nothing too extensive. While this carries over onto the Universe releases, Hasbro had a few extra tricks up their sleeve. With a simple switch to the transformation steps and unique head sculpts, Sideswipe and Sunstreaker each manage to pull off their classic G1 look despite being made from (mostly) the same mold.
Like most of the original Transformers toys, Jetfire was originally from an unrelated Japanese toyline called Macross. Unlike the majority of the toys used in the original toyline, Macross was created by Bandai, a competitor of Takara. In an effort to refrain from advertising a competitor’s product, Jetfire’s cartoon model was completely redesigned. Classics Jetfire brings both of these disparate designs together, featuring a cartoon-style head and overall design, with removable armor that gives it a more toy-inspired look. No matter your preference, this figure gives fans an ideal representation of Jetfire.
While this isn’t strictly a “Classics” figure, Bludgeon was definitely intended to fit into a G1-inspired collection. A fan favorite character thanks to the Marvel comic series, creating an updated version presented a few challenges. Best known as a Pretender, Bludgeon spent the majority of his time in his shell – a very human looking samurai with a menacing skull face. As most Pretenders go, Bludgeon didn’t actually transform. Rather, his shell cracked open to reveal a small green tank which turned into a robot. Solution? Create a great realistic tank that converts into a robot form clearly inspired by the original Pretender design. Revenge of the Fallen Bludgeon even uses the movie aesthetic to its advantage, pushing the “skeletal samurai” theme even further than the original toy, and doing so in a way that doesn’t make the figure feel out of place on a Classics shelf.
2. Wreck-Gar & the Junkions
Nobody is going to argue that the original Wreck-Gar was a great toy. Wreck-Gar, perhaps worse than most other G1 toys, was a pretty poor representation of the animation model. And for a long time, it was our only Junkion – not an ideal situation for enabling re-enactments of “Transformers: The Movie”. Thankfully, this modern interpretation solves essentially all of these problems. Wreck-Gar is a great looking toy, taking a lot of influence from the animation model while still bringing in some modern design sense. Additionally, Hasbro was keenly aware of the redeco potential of a new Junkion toy, and made sure that the tooling included not just one but two alternate heads. Now, not only can you collect your own small horde of Junkions, but they can even ride each other in vehicle mode – just like in the film.
Perhaps the best re-imagined G1 figure to come out of the “Classics” style, this toy takes the original toy and cartoon models, and expertly combines them with the best today’s toy technology has to offer. Jazz is incredibly detailed, highly articulate, and captures the look and feel of the character with total perfection. Like many of these toys, Jazz features some inspiration from the cartoon’s portrayal of the character as well, featuring deployable speakers in both robot and vehicle mode. It’s hard to think of anything else Hasbro could do to make a more perfect representation of this popular character.