Posts tagged with "stepper" - 1
Posted January 10, 2012 at 11:00 pm

Toys are a lot bigger these days.

Loooong ago, Japan had their very own redeco of Jazz which they gave Cyclonus's Targetmaster gun, and they called it Stepper.  It was very expensive to buy in America, once America figured out this thing existed.  Years later, it'd get released as "Ricochet" in America as a Toys"R"Us exclusive for $30, eventually clearanced to... less than that.  Long story short, if you bought an original Stepper as an investment or something, let's hope you sold yours before like 2002.

There's a new Jazz in town, and that means there's a new Stepper.  He's once again a Japanese exclusive, and once again he's stolen his concurrent Cyclonus's gun.  Given the circumstances, he'll probably be more hotly contested on the secondary market than the original.

Reveal the Shield Jazz, from whom this was redecoed, is a pretty fantastic, solid toy, so I'm happy to have a second character from it.  (And we're bound to get at least one, if not more, of this toy in various colors at BotCon this year.)  I don't have a huge fondness for Stepper/Ricochet the character, but I do love Targetmasters.  And I'm enamored with the comic which featured Stepper that came out earlier this year.

Maybe the Targetmaster partner can get his own little sidecar.

I do wish they'd taken the time to drill a 5mm hole into his roof so Nebulan/Nightstick had somewhere to go in car mode.  That seems like a missed opportunity.  And the white paint on half his knees doesn't quite match the white plastic on the other half.  It's a conspicuous difference in most lighting.  Otherwise, I'm pretty happy.  I also haven't gotten a new Transformer in what feels like an eternity, so I'm probably going to be a little happy regardless.  But I feel confident I'll still like him later.

Though, man, somebody update his flame deco, okay?
Posted August 28, 2011 at 1:24 am
This is what I miss about Transformers comics.

So there's a four-page Transformers comic in the latest "Generations" volume of Transformers infobooks.  It's a Japanese publication, despite the comic being by Simon Furman and Guido Guido.  Which I'm perfectly fine with, because they're two of my favorite people.  (I should scan that art of Ratchet that Guido drew me at last year's SDCC.  And somewhere he has an Amber sketch that is not even 10% as awesome as my Ratchet.)

Anyway, why do I like it?  It just feels like oldschool Transformers comics.  You know, back when they were about selling toys, and the choice in characters determined who was required to appear?  That's right, I'm nostalgic for being sold to.  But there's just something undeniably vintage Transformers about reading a Transformers comic and it focusing on guys in bodies that are currently available for sale.  IDW mostly avoids that with their comics.  They make up their body designs and choose their character roster as they please, with a few exceptions.

But I miss the old Eighties demand for relevant product placement.  Transformers has been graced with many talented creative types, and sometimes you squeeze the best material out of talented folks with some imposed guidelines.  Sometimes restrictions aren't bad.  And sometimes those restrictions force creatives to use folks they wouldn't have used otherwise, or make them consider other story or character alternatives.

Would Thunderwing or Bludgeon have become important characters if Hasbro hadn't mandated Simon Furman to use toys they were currently selling in his late 80s work?  Probably not.

That's why I like this story in the Generations books.  It's about Stepper/Ricochet, of course, since that's the exclusive toy that the magazine is trying to sell, but it's also about a bunch of other guys in the United toyline.   It's nice to see guys like Wheeljack and Kup and Scourge and Lugnut and Wheeljack and Bumblebee all in their most recent toy designs.  We don't see that often enough.  I like when I buy new toys of old characters, but there's something missing when I don't see those new toys in new stories.

And it doesn't hurt that Guido drew and colored his comic pages like the original Marvel comics material, either.
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