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Transformers Toy Review Archive (older series, 1984 to date)
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The Reverend's review: Mainframe

Name: Mainframe
Allegiance: Autobot
Function: Systems Analyst
Sub-Group: Action Masters

"A program is only as good as its programmer."

A walking, talking computer terminal. Would rather attack fourth order differential equations than Decepticons. Totally committed to his work. Views the galactic conflict as an inconvenience he must tolerate rather than a struggle in which he must participate. Is often compelled to flex his intellectual muscle, when needed. Equipped with 200,000 mega-byte capacity. His pugnacious partner, Push-Button, prefers converting to self-propelled proton rifle mode and disintegrating Decepticons over his assigned task of debugging Mainframe's various programs.

Robot Mode:
Before I go any farther, I have to descend to toilet-level humor here and point out that Mainframe's "Power Plan" on his packaging notes that he has a "foreign particle eliminator" in his lower body. Well geez, Hasbro, good to know that robots can "eliminate" just like people. Ha ha. That aside, like all Action Masters, Mainframe is well proportioned, mainly red and blue, with a visored, masked face under a tapered helmet, wide shins and grey forearms. The face does make him look mildly aloof, and his color scheme isn't as garish as some of his subgroup mates. He carries a double-barreled "vibro pulverizer" pistol, which actually looks fairly sharp. Too bad he's too big of a dork to make much use of it. Unlike many Action Masters, if Mainframe was originally envisioned as being able to transform into something prior to his Nucleon ingestion, I can't tell what it might have been from looking at him. Maybe he was an air conditioner unit or something. Anyway, I guess that in the rush to create new characters for the line, someone decided that the Autobots needed a bigger nerd than Perceptor around.

So, I wonder, do his best ideas come when he is eliminating foreign particles?

Mainframe comes packaged with a robot buddy who's probably the cutest TF in the line, Push-Button. He's a darling little treaded bot, bearing some resemblance to the popular "personal robot" toys of the 80s (Omnibot, Maxx Steele), with big round eyes and claws for hands, rendered in blue and bright green. (Actually, he really looks a lot like the "Dingbot" toy from that period!) A trigger on his back flips up the barrel for his transformation, and also gives him a funky cannon in his chest in robot mode if you like. He transforms into a big, blockish, plastic doohickey that attaches to Mainframe's pistol.... for no real reason, as Mainframe can't hold it pointing in any useful direction and the weight tends to topple them both over. This is why promo photos frequently show Mainframe using Push-Button's alt mode as a cane. The bio describes Push-Button's proton rifle mode as "self propelled". I'm not 100% sure what that means, but you CAN leave his treads in the "feet" position and attach Mainframe's pistol to him to create a sort of "howitzer" or some other shell launcher. It doesn't look like much aside from a cutesy robot with a gun sticking out of his chest, but it's at least a usable option instead of trying to make Mainframe hold said proton-rifle mode. Sort of like Action Master Grimlock's battle platform.

Transformation: 0/10. Mainframe doesn't have one, and the uselessness of Push-Button's makes this rating really more deserving of an "N/A" label.
Durability: 8/10. As an Action Master, Mainframe's certainly solid, and Push-Button's not fragile either. I hear rumors of the elastic band that holds them together breaking, but I've not had that happen yet.
Fun: 5/10. You love the Action Masters or you hate them. Just for missile fodder and Push-Button's cuteness, I'll give him the 5.
Price: 1/10. Cheap, although the pistol might require some tracking-down.
Summary: 2/10. Overall, there's a reason it was a shelfwarmer - an obscure character with a questionable gimmick. But his Targetmaster partner is cooler than some of the others.
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