November 15, 2010 01:27 pm
I remember, long ago, when I dared to dream of a world where Action Master characters would be given new toys that can transform. And not just, y'know, one or two, but a whole fleet of them, as if it were God's mission to give every single last untransformable guy a new transformable toy.
Ladies and Gentlemen, that world is now.
Axer was actually the first! True to the circumstances of the time, he was just a random redeco with his name planted on it. That's how it happened back then. He was a black motorcycle. Sort of fitting, since Axer was a nonstransformable robot who rode a transformable motorcycle, so it was close enough at the time. But he was in the wrong colors and, judging by how the original toy's sculpt looked, actually transformed into some kind of automobile.
So, woo, hey, hell yeah. About ten years later, Hasbro's given us our second Axer. Okay, he's called Axor now. And, being in the live-action film continuity, he's likely a different guy, though since the first Axer was a dimension-hopping fellow, I'm pretty okay pretending Axer and Axor are the same dude in my Personal Canon. They're both ruthless bounty hunters, though Axor's now got some sort of stalky/fanboy thing going on about Lockdown.
Axor represents one of the first instances of Hasbro's new mandate for Transformers toys: they all have to have alternate heads (and/or other parts) planned out ahead of time and put into the original tooling. That way, they can give more individuality to their redecoes, so that not every redeco shares the same noggin.
So Lockdown's tooling has not only his own head and his hook-arm, but also somewhere on the sprue there's a Axor head and an Axor axe. Depending on what toy is being produced, one set of those is gonna be gated off. (Or still produced and thrown back into the vat, who knows.)
Giving guys new heads used to be the territory of BotCon, but, whoops, now Hasbro does it constantly. It's got to be getting pretty tough for Fun Publications, now that Hasbro's cranking out all this stuff that used to be their bread and butter. Not even G2 is safe! Not even Pretenders or obscure Victory guys or comic-only characters are safe! Hasbro will scrape the bottom of the barrel long before FP even gets a chance!
So, yeah. New head, new axe, new deco. It's BotCon all year long now.