The Reverend's review of Abominus
Abominus (Terrorcon Gestalt)
First Cartoon Appearance:
"Grimlock's New Brain"
Abominus transforms into the five Terrorcons. Has overwhelming destructive power. Likes attacking large or moving objects, climbing tall buildings, and sinking ships. Has no heart / soul and is nothing more than a killing machine. Abominus carries a sonic concussion blaster.
(Translated from the Japanese - Abominus carried no US Tech Spec)
Abominus appeared in the toy catalog at the same time as Predaking, which I suspect was no accident - the Terrorcons were probably intended as a low-cost alternative to the Predacons. And low-cost they were. They suffered much in the day as the gifts you forcibly gave to your ugly cousin to shut your mom up, and their cartoon counterparts didn't fare much better - I can only remember three appearances total by them, none of them particularly standout. Abominus also made his debut after Devastator, Menasor, Superion, Defensor and Bruticus, meaning that the initial "buzz" for gestalts had been played multiple times over at that point - and unlike Predaking and Piranacon (who would come a little later), he didn't offer any really eye-grabbing features of his own. In fact, the most impressive moment of animation I remember about Abominus was his nicely-rendered de-assembly sequence in "Call of the Primitives"!
So, this poor under-advertised creature named Abominus, suffering from a triple whammy of cheapness, non-promotion and poor release timing... what's to him?
Alternate Mode (Terrorcons)
Blot (Mutant Monster):
Function: Foot Soldier
"I'm not as bad as I look -- I'm worse."
The most disgusting of all Transformers. Wherever he goes, he leaves a trail of foul-smelling lubricant which is oozing out of several different joints at any given moment. Dumb, brutish, but loyal. In creature Mode, claws allow him to climb any wall. Breathes fire. In robot or creature Modes, uses slime gun to shoot stream of corrosive liquid. Combines with fellow Terrorcons to form Abominus.
Oh, Blot! Heheheh. I swear, if the Terrorcons had had a better "push" in the cartoon, Blot would probably be a huge cult favorite among TF fans. I'm not even going to try to identify his alt-mode - it's a hunched, clawed deformity with a trout's head jutting out of the middle. However, his poseability in this mode is actually really nice - he can lean forward on his clawed forelimbs (which have joints at both the shoulders and the elbows), his head can look up and down a little bit, his cutesy little legs move at the hips, and he does have a weapon to attach over his head. In robot mode, though, Blot folds up into a hilarious little dark blue/purple square with a head jutting out of the top and teeny-tiny little "arms" (actually, only the elbow to the fist) evident. That's his biggest problem - many people describe G1s as "boxy", but Blot is the ultimate box. In other words, you get a robot mode you're guaranteed to laugh at and an alternate mode you actually might really appreciate.
Rippersnapper (Amphibious Monster):
"Autobots are an error I intend to correct."
Any organic creature whose status on the evolutionary scale ranks higher than a slime mold, particularly Autobots, sends him into a ferocious frenzy. Hates the smell of carbon-based life forms. In creature Mode, claws and teeth can slice through almost any substance. Has twin, ground-to-air, voice-guided missile launchers. In robot Mode, has cyclone gun. Combines with fellow Terrorcons to form Abominus.
Rippersnapper, somehow, looks to me like what would happen if an mole had sex with a seven-gilled shark, aside from the water agitation and general absurdity of the concept itself. Like Blot, he's obviously bipedal, with a more rounded, fat white body, an obviously fish-like tail, rows of molded teeth, and forelimbs. Placing the blue missile launcher assembly on his fishy back adds a dorsal fin to him, which helps a little. His Tech Spec numbers indicate he's a bit wimpy, but he does have the aforementioned teeth and claws, even though his jaw doesn't open and his forelimbs are too short to claw anyone before his nose hits them. He is small enough to terrorize Wheelie and the Throttlebots with ease, which should automatically gain him SOME points. In robot mode, Rippersnapper is a short, stout little fellow, with all four of his monster limbs awkwardly hanging off the sides of his body (Sinnertwin suffers a similar issue), a block for legs, the huge mole/shark head sticking up from his back, and the teeny little elbow-to-hand "arms" that characterize almost all of the small Terrorcons. His overall color scheme is largely white with flecks of blue on his head and limbs, which actually isn't too bad-looking, even if it doesn't quite seem to suit a Decepticon.
Cutthroat (Winged Monster):
Function: Shock Trooper
"Compassion is the currency of losers."
Not a trace of mercy can be found among his microchips. Insatiable lust for destruction. In battle, lashes out with wings, beak, and claws to cut everything to ribbons. In creature Mode can leap 4 miles in one jump, breathes flame. In robot Mode, carries double-barreled magnetizer that oppositely charges any metal target so it tears itself apart. Combines with fellow Terrorcons to form Abominus.
Cutthroat looks quite a bit like a bird of prey, with a beaked head, claws on his thick, stiff wings, and intricately molded feet also suggesting talons. Because he's bipedal, he's a little more difficult to stand in monster-mode than some of his teammates, but he does seem fairly well balanced. His neck is jointed in two places, allowing you to pose the monster head somewhat - it can look ahead when he's standing on his two legs, and it can look straight up for a flattened, gliding pose. His double-barreled gun can be placed on the monster mode's back - which is cool, but it doesn't add any features to the monster mode (like Rippersnapper's), and it doesn't look particularly useful (Blot, Sinnertwin). His robot mode is probably the best of the smaller Terrorcons, featuring a set of FULL arms articulated from the shoulder and only two limbs to try to ignore sticking out of his lower half. His wings jut out behind him though, meaning that you probably want to be a little more careful with him as well - too much force applied to the wings and they'll probably snap right off, so don't step on him.
Sinnertwin (Two-Headed Monster):
"The sound of ripping metal is music to my audio modules."
Prowls the perimeter of the Terrorcons' lair looking for trouble -- and hoping to find it! Then he can show off his razor-sharp teeth, piercing pronghorns, and steel-shredding claws. Has flame cannon and flame breath in creature Mode, armor-piercing rocket-grenade launcher in robot Mode. Combines with fellow Terrorcons to form Abominus. Unnerved by small creatures like mice, insects, and mini-droids.
For some reason, this Terrorcon seemed to be the most available of the time period - I remember being annoyed at seeing him for sale at EVERY store I was ever in back then. His alternate mode is a mustard-yellow, four-legged beast with turquoise limbs, two heads and two purple tails. At first glance, his relatively wide body looks like a dog to me, but his limbs are sleek and have a more feline appearance. Naturally, no cat or dog has such a long neck (trunk like, but not snakelike), but the heads do still look more mammalian than reptilian to me, even with the two horns on each. Like the others, he comes with a large rifle to be placed on his back in creature mode, which does look fairly nice. In robot mode, Sinnertwin is a totally pitiful ambassador for the Transformers - aside from the already noted issue of teeny little arms, he has his alt-mode's big limbs hanging off his body (much more obvious than Rippersnapper's), the tails sticking out right behind his feet, and the alt-mode's head/neck piece dangling uselessly behind his back. To this day Sinnertwin gets pretty low marks from me as one of the WORST TFs ever made - in fact, his only saving grace appears to be that he's part of a gestalt! To his credit, thought, the alt mode is detailed fairly well (note the teeth, armored necks and lithe limbs).
Hun-Grrr (Two-Headed Dragon):
Function: Terrorcon Leader
"Eat only what you need -- destroy the rest."
He has two mouths to feed -- his own -- and spends most of his time doing it. Since his mouth is usually full, his orders are usually misinterpreted. Prefers eating non-living to living things... doesn't like anything that might still be wriggling about after he swallows it. Can refashion digested materials and spit them out as crude missiles. Has powerful sonic stun gun in robot Mode. Combines with fellow Terrorcons to form Abominus.
Now here's where things get interesting. After the parade of low-budget, low-imagination ugly-cousin-gifts that were the above Terrorcons, Hun-Grrr, on the other hand, might be the best designed "Scramble City"-style gestalt leader in the TF line. In his alternate mode, he's a two headed dragon, complete with three joints in each neck alone, four legs, a blunt tail, and molded "plates" and humps down his back. The creature heads themselves look like an old style "Godzilla" enemy character whose name I forget now - the jaws don't open, but I'll take that as a trade-off for the multiple joints. His front legs are purposely shorter than the back legs, which might sound rabbit-ish, but it adds to his look in alternate mode. In robot mode, the heads/necks become Hun-Grrr's feet and legs, which give him a lot of nice poseability for G1. The legs look a bit dainty due to how thin they are, but that's the price paid for the posing. He can also swivel his head from side to side and has articulated shoulders along with some elbow and "wrist" movement. And a nice rifle to wave around! You can also attach the included pink shield (actually Abominus' chest plate) to his arm, but it's a little oversized, so unless you like the novelty it might be better left off. He's a little top-heavy due to his design, but not overly so. Interestingly, where most G1 combiner leaders usually sported a bevy of stickers on their chests, Hun-Grrr has next to none, relying instead on the pink monster-humps and plates sticking out of his torso.
So here we have the Terrorcons. Essentially, a team of little monsters that resemble not much of anything in the real world - sorta playing off kids' fixation with dinosaurs, sorta not. Objectively, it might not be a bad idea. There is one interesting tidbit about them all, though. Check out the hand weapons of the Constructicons, Stunticons, Protectobots, Aerialbots, Combaticons, and even the Predacons. With the exception of some of the leaders and the Predacons' swords, they're usually just small pistols with minor details differentiating them from each other. Not so with the Terrorcons. While Blot's is nothing special, the others all carry relatively large, distinct weapons - if I knew more about firearms I'd probably spend more time describing them. That's not a selling point for everyone, but it does bear mention.
Robot (Gestalt) Mode:
The box art depicts Cutthroat and Sinnertwin as the legs, Blot and Rippersnapper as the arms. Which is perfectly serviceable - however, you're going to end up with Cutthroat's wings sticking out of the back of Abominus' leg, leaving them in a position to break if Abominus falls over backwards. A later Dreamwave image switches Cutthroat with Blot, which you can also do - however, this leaves Abominus having one large, wide leg and Cutthroat's wings sticking out on either side of the arm. This looks a little stranger to the eye in the toy incarnation, but it does protect Cutthroat a little better. Your choice. That aside, Abominus is a brawny looking fellow, with wide shoulders, a white-helmeted head and purple face (the cartoon reversed the colors), and Hun-Grr's monster heads sticking out over his knees, somewhat similar to Tantrum and Headstrong's heads being visible on Predaking. He has a monstrous pink piece of chest armor - although it's large, it does cover almost the entire front of Hun-Grr's body, giving Abominus a massively battle-ready look AND making his torso look better proportioned. In a strange twist, this aforementioned under promoted, under priced combiner happens to be one of the more poseable of the "Scramble City" lot due to Hun-Grr's jointed monster necks forming his legs. Because of the poor transformations of his limb units, he does have monster arms and legs visible all around - but he also has one of the most "I-Mean-Business" guns to hold among the G1 combiners, with its black coloring and high powered rifle look. And because of the fat, blocky forms of his limbs, he does look a tad more suited to high-powered brawling than some of his combining compatriots.
Ultimately, it's hard to take a man seriously who wears pink, especially 80's hot pink. The same is true for Abominus. Couple that with the fact that its easy to lose him in the gestalt parade, and the reason for his less than stellar exposure is pretty obvious. Still, if the idea of a combining assault team of monsters appeals to you...
3 - All five Terrorcons have overly simple transformations, with the possible exception of Blot - simply because of his appearance, it's hard to be sure you've done it right!
7 - Blot, Sinnertwin, and Rippersnapper seem relatively durable. I'd imagine Hun-Grr's neck joints get weak over time, though, and Cutthroat's wings seem very easy to breaking off.
5 - I'm iffy here. If you like the idea of a team of fictional monsters running around, you might like them. Their design seems overall misplaced and inferior even in the G1 line, but there's room for opinion.
You can get these little buggers for cheap. You'll find them in flea markets, rummage stores, and comic shops, always labeled "TRANSFORMER?" if they're even labeled. I found three tossed into a box of junk toys at a flea market.
It comes down to the alt modes. Do you like monsters? Or are you the ugly cousin?