Thread: 80's and 90's
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Old 2016-05-22, 01:00 AM   #16
Shooty Dog Thing
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Well! At long last I managed to perfect my temporal-displacement
machine! I'd been working on this for several months, and finally
figured out that the flux capacitor needed to be encased in old sausage
skins, thereby offsetting the porcine-Einstein equation...
Oh, listen to me, nattering on about that old stuff nobody cares about.
Unable to resist, I instantly transported myself in time to the ATT of
thirty years in the future, 2034, so I would be the first person in
THIS year to get the scoop on the latest Transformers products from
Future Hasbro! Because I am, besides being fabulously inventive, also
completely magnanimous, I copied a review from that era so you could
all read it as well. Enjoy!

. . . . .

From: Zobovor of the Five Thousand Cats (zobovor@aol.comettor)
Subject: Zob's Thoughts on TF Gigawar Deathwader
Date: 2034-11-08 17:25:57 PST

I finally picked up Gigawar Deathwader at WalMart and raced home in my
Toyota Hovercar 2000 to open up this massive offering from Hasbro. As
many of you know, I am not interested in the Gigawar cartoon on Cartoon
Network 3D (and who would be? CN's new holo-driver totally saps the
experience that Transformers used to be about-cars that transformed
into robots! Now you can't enjoy the story when you're encased in a
totally realistic, three-dimensional environment. It's just not the
same, and the story is suffering), but I've been graciously holding off
on reviewing the toys until I could purchase one out of pocket. Now
that the kids are in college, it's not as easy to come up with $5,000
in throwaway cash as it used to be.

And before I start, remember that this is MY OPINION! I don't want to
hear anybody say anything bad about it! I'm so tired of everybody in
the fandom jumping down my throat because of every little thing I say.
So before you think about flaming me, or writing a snarky e-mail, or
even questioning what I have to say, think again. I wish I didn't hold
so much power over everybody's opinions and feelings, but I do.

First, I have to say that right off the back, I found the packaging to
be sub-par. I know that everybody was so impressed when Hasbro first
started shipping their TFs in sub-space limbo-you know, like it was
this big homage to the original series... but I have to say that I
remain unimpressed. Yes, it's nifty that all you do is open the
package and punch in the purchase code, and the toy is transported
safely to your dimension, but in the end all you have is some nifty
technology and no creativity in the packaging. Without tech specs, you
don't know anything about the character! I chalk it down to laziness
on Hasbro's part.

Now, the toy. Deathwader stands (like all the Gigawar toys) to 1:1
scale: it's approximately two stories tall and, judging from the divots
in my front lawn, weighs about 4.5 tons. It's got some nifty markings
on it and what appears to be actual carbon scoring around the front
arm-cannons that are deployed when it's out of the box. Deathwader
arrives in robot mode... you have to transform him into his PT Boat
mode. He looks, I must admit, formidable, an aesthetic that is
completely negated because some incompetent designer at Hasbro gave him
boots that resemble armored hip-waders in robot mode. This would look
ridiculous even if President Bush had NOT sold all of the country's
national parks to oil corporations in 2007. As some people pointed out
from looking at the pirated photos on e-Bay, the pilot's cabin forms
the chest, and it actually rotates on a gyro so that when you ride
inside him you are always upright... even during transformation, a
feature I didn't expect.

I'd read a lot about the manufacturing defect where the toy's
shoulder-mounted cluster rockets accidentally go off, and was amazed
when it happened to me while I was looking at the toy. QC at Hasbro
has really taken a dive since Transformers: Oil Shortage. It's one
thing to watch stuff like this happen in the holo-movies... it's
another to see nuke-nosed RPGs, black smoke trailing out behind them,
destroying your neighbor's house. A five-year old who was crossing the
street peed his pants when it happened, but that's to be expected. The
Holovid action ceased and I found it relatively easy to recover the
rockets, reset the holographic timers, and have Deathwader reload them
into his launchers.

Transformation is annoyingly simple. You either order it to transform
by voice or set it into role-play mode, where it will respond to
certain play-acting at your whim. I chose to pretend that Decepticons
were coming over the hill and that I wanted to get to safer ground, and
Deathwader responded immediately... scooping me up in his surprisingly
gentle armored claws and placing me safely inside the cockpit before

A completely unexpected feature was the instant teleportation to the
closest large body of water. As a boat, Deathwader is, of course,
mostly effective when it's afloat, so Hasbro apparently decided I would
LIKE to take an unexpected journey without my assent. Yes, I was
instantly teleported back as soon as I expressed my displeasure, but
the fact remains that this little trip to Lake Lachrymose was akin to

I was greeted, upon my return back home, by one of the neighborhood
kid's Gigawar Megatron, which immediately engaged my Deathwader in
battle on my front lawn. Deathwader, even though at a lower price
point, held its own quite well, I must say. I was a little put out
when Megatron decimated him completely with his Fusion Gigacannon in
one fell swoop (are you telling me the Autobots don't have force
fields?), but I suppose a bit player like 'wader, realistically
wouldn't hold his own. After this performance, the toys restored
themselves and exchanged consumer information and e-mail addresses so I
could, if I wished, chat with this kid online about our mutual love of
Transformers, the kid and I shook hands, and then he left. I was
amused to see that Deathwader actually seemed despondent at the loss.

The toy is, obviously, a miserable failure. First of all, nothing
about this toy to me says "Transformers." I mean, you can slap a
sticker on a pig that says "chicken" and you still don't have poultry.
Besides an utterly ridiculous name that sounds a little bit like
"dumbwaiter," Deathwader in no way resembles the Generation One toys of
my youth. There just isn't the same design, or love of the toy, that
these figures used to have. Yes, it's a working, life-sized robot that
transforms into a PT Boat... big deal. The more that Hasbro insists on
being "creative," the more they stray from what Transformers is all
about! Where are the characters that made the show terrific? Remember
when everybody always talked about Optimus Prime and Megatron in grade
school, and the story lines were so involved and you really cared about
the characters? I don't care anything at all about Deathwader, no
matter how often he washes my hovercar or takes out the garbage.

I just don't understand why Hasbro can't seem to get it together.
They've been trying my patience with this sort of crap for twenty-five
years, it seems, and still they can't get it right. Don't even get me
started on this year's fiftieth anniversary Optimus Prime. They put
all that time and effort into designing a 1:1 scale Optimus Prime that
interacts with you and is actually approved by the Federal Highway
Commission for travel... and they design it as an EXTENDED cab! It's
like they don't even care.

Clearly I won't be watching any Gigawar episodes. I am going to TRY
and make the most of things by repainting Deathwader in Seaspray
colors, even though he doesn't look anything like a hovercraft. I'd
actually be done already, but he keeps wiping the paint off as I go and
giving me stern lectures about the positive benefits of change.


. . . . .

Wow! Pretty amazing, huh? Well, I'm off to the year 2045 to see if
my Sentinel Maximus has been put in the mail yet!



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