August 10th, 2010

Smile

You really don’t want to know what’s being dispensed here.

Originally published at Shortpacked!. Please leave any comments there.

Thank god there are so few big-name early-G1 Decepticons.  Once you pump out Megatron and the Seekers, maybe a Triple Changer or two, and Devastator, sure, maybe fit in a Ravage somewhere… you start running out of options, you know?  So on the third round of Generation 1 Dudes Recreated Toyline, you’re gonna have to start getting creative.

Drop and slurp, fanboys.

So say hello to Straxus.  Okay, his toy’s called Darkmount, after his fortress, because of some trademark trouble, but who the fuck cares.  It’s fucking Straxus, god dammit. Jesus Christ.  Fucking.  Straxus.  The ferocity of my boner is incalculable.

Even though he’s twenty-five years old, Straxus has never gotten a toy before.  This is his first.  Back in 1985, the Marvel Comics showed us a peek at what life was like on Cybertron.  And it was pretty shitty there, if you can imagine.  And the shittiest place was Polyhex, particularly its capital fortress Darkmount where Lord Straxus ruled.  You know what he liked to do with his day?  Yell at people and throw them into the smelting pools.  And because that wasn’t enough Throwing People Into Smelting Pools, he had all his dudes round up everyone they could find so that they could also get thrown into the smelting pools.  He was an unstable, contrary dictator who could get his way simply because he was bigger and meaner than everyone else.  If the Space Bridge was malfunctioning, and marching guys into it to die wasn’t actually solving the problem, well, who cares, send more guys into there.  Maybe eventually one of them would magically fix it by walking into it and dying.  He had better things to do, like throw people into smelting pools.

He was pretty fucking great.

Beware his metal palm tree!

But he was only there for Blaster to kill him.  He wasn’t a toy.  He wasn’t somebody that Hasbro wanted to sell.  He filled a story need.  So he was terrible and horrible, and at the end of his second issue he got to die.  That was all he was fated to do.

Yet it wasn’t the end, weirdly enough.  Simon Furman, the Marvel UK writer, was trying to weave stories in and around the US material.  So he brought Straxus back as, well, a head.  A head in a jar.  And so for a while Straxus ran things even though he was just a friggin’ head.  Even Megatron showed up to Cybertron and was bossed around by this guy.  Straxus’s balls, even though they were severely fried and probably floating somewhere in unspace, were absolutely huge.  He talked in his creepy font as a head in a jar and told Megatron to bring him a friggin’ sammich.

Look at the size of that cockpit. He's huge.

Anyway, long story short, Straxus tried to steal Megatron’s body, but things got confused, and maybe Straxus was Megatron after that or maybe he wasn’t, and maybe Straxus was even the Megatron who eventually became Galvatron in the movie.  But that’s not important.

What’s important is Fucking Straxus Toy.

Straxus transformed once in the original comics.  He was a flying cannon thing, akin to Galvatron’s alt-mode.  The toy gives him an Earth mode that evokes it closely enough.  It’s a half-track tank!  (Or a self-propelled cannon, if you want to get fancy.)  And if that’s not close enough, it has a third mode.  Rotate the turret around and open the base of the tank into a tripod, and he’s an artillery platform.  Pretend it can fly.

Pick it up, fly it around, and go "fwoooosh!"

That’s not all that’s going on.  Starting with Recon Ironhide, a live-action film-style toy, some Transformer figures have sculpted bars and rods on their surfaces so that various weapons can clip onto them interchangeably.  Straxus comes with three such weapons, and they can move around to various points on his body.  Or you can swap them with any of the weapons that come with other contemporary, compatible figures.

But that’s just scenery.  The real deal is the robot mode.  I can’t believe the proportions on it.  They’re so perfect.  He has this giant, broad chest that looks like it was carved out of something bigger than God.  Powerful arms with big meaty fists sprout out of the shoulders.  When he stands, he looks like he’s a big wall of robot, as it should rightly be.  Too often the robotic proportions of a design are lost in the actual toy due to transformation needs.  Not here.  Straxus is built like Straxus.

It’s too bad he’s just a Deluxe.  Deluxe is the only size class that Generations is currently inhabiting, so Straxus didn’t really have a choice.  But, really, it’s a fucking Straxus, so I think I can deal.  Just don’t stand him next to anybody bigger than him.  (For example, I have him up on my desk shelf near BotCon Clench, and that just not flatter Straxus very well, no.)

"None of you guys are Voyagers, right? Good."

I seriously can’t get over him.  He has his trademark battle-axe, which he can hold in both articulated hands.  Despite the obvious compromises incurred on his design due to his need for an Earth mode, you can still see all of the little Straxus touches.  The triangles on his chest and legs.  The big round shoulders with the trapezoidal biceps.  The perfectly-sculpted serpentine head.

Oh, sure, he’s not a perfect figure.  His transformation sometimes requires objects to clip through each other.  (It’s pretty complicated, but only in a moderately annoying way.)  Oh, and the neck on mine is misassembled backwards.  It’s barely noticeable and doesn’t affect transformation, so it’s not a dealbreaker.  If the misassembly’s not a widespread problem I’ll just buy a second one later.  I need to support Straxus anyway.