We played with our Action Force in a pile of sand my Dad had got for some concrete he planned to make (but never did). Recondo was accidentally buried in that sand for 5-6 years. That trooper really went beyond the call of duty. He’s on the shelf behind me now, in his canoe with all his pals.
STE GE Chromia
She’s a heavy retool of Moonracer, most notably the ability to combine has been removed
Just as a matter of interest, do female Transformers always have boobs, and if so what’s the in-story rationale for this?
Not always! Airazor didn’t, but then she was designed as a male Transformers and only made female by the producers of the Beast Wars cartoon. And then the first time she got a figure after that it had boobs, so… erm…
Female Transformers is basically a huge fucking can of worms. There were no female characters in the original toyline, but a group of them showed up in the cartoon (each suggested to be a girlfriend of one of the terrestrial Autobots) in a couple of episodes of the cartoon’s first two series, and they all had lithe, feminine designs. Chromia is one of those characters . Arcee, who was introduced in the movies became a recurring character, but didn’t get a toy at the time. There were vague plans for a toy which would have been either 1: an original character made to look like the cartoon design; 2: a pink and white recolour of Chromedome, a coded male character; or 3: an Action Master (a short-lived line of GI Joe-style non-transforming toys. I know) based on her cartoon design.
The first toy of an explicitly female character was Minerva, a character in the 1988 Japanese cartoon Masterforce. While her design in the cartoon was again lithe and feminine, the toy was pretty indistinguishable from a male character - to the point that when it was released in the west, it was as a male character called Nightbeat.
When Beast Wars came around, there was a push for female characters in the show, and the initial two toys selected - Airrazor and Blackarachnia either didn’t have an assigned gender at the time of design, or was a redeco of a coded male one (respectively), but their later toys were designed with the feminine design from the show, and as such were lithe and had breasts. The character of Strika in Beast Machines was female, but had a bulky body that would easily have been assumed male.
Since then, it’s been a design factor in many female-coded Transformer toys. There were only a handful of female characters between 2000 and 2014, with them being a mix of feminine designs (such as various incarnations of Arcee, Prime Airachnid and Cybertron Thunderblast), or minor redecoes of male-coded characters (such as BINALTech Arcee), or in one odd case, the male Galaxy Force character Nitro Convoy became the female character Overdrive in Cybertron, the English dub/toyline.
At the same time, Botcon and the Collector’s Club both released toys of female characters, a mix of reuses of the handful of explicitly female characters, male characters with headswaps and new colour schemes, and sometimes just male characters with new color schemes and an explicit notation of gender identity
In the last few years, Hasbro have been doing a lot to try and have more female characters, including finally giving a main line Arcee toy (the pink robot on the right in the last picture I posted), Windblade, a new character, and the female Autobots from the old G1 cartoon (Chromia first got a toy in 2014, this new one is the third iteration of a mold first used last year). During the Combiner Wars toyline, 6 new female characters called the Torchbearers were released as a box set, each figure being a minor redeco of a male character from the main toy line. Off the top of my head, the only female character since Strika who has a non-traditional body and isn’t a redeco of a male character is Strongarm from the 2015 Robots in Disguise cartoon.
One thing I forgot to mention is that when Denny O’Neill and Bob Budiansky were working on the original concepts, they assumed that there would be male and female Transformers. Ratchet was originally written to be female (making the character name a gag on Nurse Ratched from One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest), but Hasbro decided to only have male characters in the toyline.
Ratchet… That’s kind of hilarious.
Interestingly enough, if you look at the original G1 character design, Ratchet sort of has “boobs” in that the chest/windshield protrudes from the chest.
Since the toy and character are both based on the same mold and design, was Ironhide originally meant to be female, too?
As far as I know, Ironhide was always meant to be a male character. Apparently Budiansky named him after the TV detective Ironsides
It took a while but Futurama did have a Nurse Ratchet robot:
I love the “need bad” notes.
The only one of those I ended up getting was Storm Shadow
Were they designed to come apart or were you a very rough child?
The only thing holding them together where his separated was a rubber band. You could actually mix and match pieces of figures if you were gentle enough to stretch it out and unhook it without breaking it.
The bands are 30 years old and become brittle. It’s very common with GI Joes. You can buy new bands that make them good as new. It was a very clever design which made the figures stand well and pose well. I don’t know if it’s used much today with modern manufacturing, but back in the day these figures were world class.
I’ve been following your Instagram Bobby. Nostalgia waves much like I get when I look at my own collection.
I think GI Joe still does, but Japanese action figures of humanoid characters tend to use a ball or swivel joint in the waist, and sometimes a ball or hinge in the upper torso to allow for an ab crunch. You can see it quite clearly on the Revoltech Marvel toys and on Figmas
My 40 year-old Kenner 18” Alien lost an arm recently. I think someone was handling it when I wasn’t looking and broke it. Need to see about fixing it one of these days.
Rubber deteriorates with age, so it’s not unusual for old toys that used internal rubber parts fall apart.
Joes switched away from o-rings with the 25th Anniversary line. They tend to have a solid pelvis and abdomen piece now, which means less waist articulation but traded off against slightly more stabilty and articulation at the chest.
I’m not sure if this is a commercial toy or some guy’s home build… but don’t you want one?