Transformers: Someone thought it would be cool to make the Throttlebots cool!
Let’s face it, when it comes to Transformers and people ask about big piles of suck from back in the good old days Throttlebots tend to gurgle pretty high up.
What are the Throttlebots, you ask? Is this some sort of robot kink thing? No… Not really. Throttlebots were a strong sign of good ideas going downhill and a theme that eventually suffocated the line outside of Japan until Generation 2 and Beast Wars. They showed up in the “rebirth” miniseries that murdered the original TV show and were delightfully characterized in the Marvel comic series.
Let’s chat about some bots that “throttle”, but more importantly a new development that makes Hasbro look like a bunch of losers even during their own annual convention!
After the cut!
Lately Hasbro just uses their names for repaints. Bumblebee died to be their spokes-bot becoming the Throttlebot Goldbug and then this whole line of silly pull and go figures were released in the post-movie era replacing the otherwise beloved Minibots like Cosmos, Huffer, Gears, Windcharger, etc.
Throttlebots were cars that were flipped up from their car modes exposing their pull-back motor to become stiff, inarticulate things with flippers for arms and a hood pulled back exposing a puny head with their car hood becoming their feet.
The Throttlebots are still kind of fan favorite despite their significant limitations and certainly fans wouldn’t mind a decent, highly articulated update to the squad of throttlers.
Knowing this, some generous and wise souls banded together to do something Hasbro still struggles to do with its own brand: Create a highly articulated and screen accurate version of a figure that we’ll happily pay human monies to acquire.
The first of their works is Rollbar as a roughly deluxe sized figure giving the formerly throttling warrior a significant upgrade. He looks like he walked out of the show, but with some delightfully essential detail thrown in for giggles making him look pretty bad ass.
Rollbar alone looks amazing, but he won’t be alone for long. Toyworld, the heroes responsible for the figure, tell us that the whole group is slated for release.
Thus continues the rampaging phenomenon of little fan-based toy companies blowing “official” efforts out of the water. While I know Hasbro still has its many “costs” to see to, the extent to which their own intellectual property is escaping them is nothing short of amazing. They sat on things fans wanted for SO LONG and bandied about excuses about costs and what MIGHT have been released that the wallets they should be draining are being seen to by other folks already within the fandom.
I certainly don’t have a problem with it. I would prefer Hasbro took the hint and the recent announcement of their collector’s subscription service is certainly a nice thing, but… Hasbro let themselves get kicked in the dick on this matter. Banning third party toys, ruffling lawyers and fucking pretty much everything up with their only current flagship line makes them look like assholes. That’s probably because they ARE assholes, but its the appearances towards their fanbase that make it so.
I find the timing for the announcement of Rollbar and the Throttlebots to be a boon to the franchise, but a massive kick to the dick for Hasbro since they fuck around with the fans so much and all they have to display are mostly things already on store shelves, some exclusive store stuff most folks will have to fight for and then a few things we’ve already seen in photos and at Toy Fair.
Rollbar is BRAND FUCKIN’ NEW and totally out of left field, while we were all pretty well prepared to Hasbro playing it safe. Again.
See Hasbro hides shit, lies through their teeth and only ONCE every 25 years or so asks what we want to buy. Why not be honest? They can’t hold onto character names to save their lives and now when they’re trying to cash on on the success of prior Hasbro success and yet they keep cutting releases and even primary characters from toylines.
Toys that, I should add, the Japanese often seem to get. Transformers Animated and Dark of the Moon figures being among the most recent in baby punching disappointments wherein’ highly sought after figures are just dropped entirely after Hasbro spent time and dollars in creating significant demand. Transformers Prime is barely into its second season and the toys literally just showed up on shelves, a pretty big fumble since Hasbro cancelled the “First Edition” toyline in the USA. Hasbro is already making excuses and avoiding questions about figures that still aren’t on shelves.
So again, Hasbro needs to seriously quit fucking around. This new collector’s club subscription service is a step in the right direction, but it’s only fair that I would have doubts that they’d manage to avoid fucking that up as well. I pray I am wrong and I hope they take into account their online store as a means of sales for things they can’t push on walmart so that they stop leaving money on the table and sell their wares that they already invest money in producing.
Edit: Bit thanks to Vicegrip X for pointing out my crazed ranting going a bit too far. Transformers Prime is NOT canceled and the toyline lumbers onward, however unsteadily. The cancellation I referred to was of the First Edition toyline that saw little or no exposure in the United States while the show was on the air.