Tuesday, May 08, 2012

And now it's time for Toy Talk...

1.) Spotted on the shelf at Wal-Mart, and photographed before I was dragged away to look at Lalaloopsies. I did a doubletake when I first saw it, because The Hulk wearing khaki shorts instead of purple ones looks so wrong to me, akin to seeing Superman with a blue cape on. It's funny though; I just saw the movie the movie that this toy is associated with this past weekend, and I have no memory of what color pants Mark Ruffalo was wearing as Bruce Banner, or what color pants The Hulk was wearing during his two scenes.

2.) I spotted this poor bastard in a dollar store; I'm pretty sure it was a Family Dollar, but don't quote me on that. As you can see, he's a piece of sky-blue construction equipment allied with the Evil Decepticons, and looks like he may be a smaller cousin to the Constructicons. In vehicle mode, he' s a combination loader and excavator, so does he have a tough guy name like original, "G1" Constructicons Scrapper, a loader, or Scavenger, an excavator?

No. His name is "Pan-Handler."

Other Constructicons are named Hook, Bonecrusher, Long Haul and Mixmaster, but this poor guy is Pan-Handler, a term that refers to someone who begs for spare change on the streets. On the back of the box, you can see his robot form—
—he lacks hands, instead having big, scoop-shapes that would be impossible to hold a laser gun with, or push a button with, or hold the hand of the bot he loves with, and are suitable only for digging or holding out, upraised, awaiting spare change. Or spare energon coins, or whatever they use for currency on Cybertron.

I'm not very well steeped in Transformers lore anymore, certainly not like I was in fourth grade, so I can't be certain, but I think that, if his name indicates his role, Pan-Handler may be the first hobo Transformer. Which is strange, as I assume any hobo transformers would transform into a boxcar instead of a piece of construction equipment.

Perhaps Pan-Handler is a Transformer for the Recession? He has the ability to work, and work hard—his other self is, in fact, a vehicle that can only be properly used in the construction industry—and yet he can't find any work, and thus is forced to beg on the streets...?

UPDATE: Apparently Transformers, like Star Wars, is one of those things that's so thoroughly detailed on the Internet that there's no aspect of it that someone hasn't written more than you would reasonably expect to find out about it. For example, here's Pan-Handler's entry on tfwikilnet.

Apparently, Pan-Handler is:

as brave as they come. More, he's got the strength, durability and firepower to be a major force in any battle. Yet there must be a reason he remains at the bottom of the Decepticon ranks, homeless and unemployed.

Is it his hand deformity? And or his lack of thumbs?


One probably doesn't need to look much further than his profound lack of skill, ponderous slow speed, and aboslute abysmal stupidity.

Poor Pan-Handler. I didn't realize he was actually homeless. I should have bought him from that dollar store, and brought him back to my apartment to live with me.

UPDATE 2: Although, now that I stop and think about it, is it strange that a robot that can transform into a piece of building equipment should be homeless? Couldn't he, at least, excavate his own cave or sod house or hobbit-house to live in?

3.) Finally, here are two Transformers toys that my sister and nieces got me for my birthday (Please pay no attention to Playmobil Saint Nicholas in the background there). They're from McDonald's, and came in HappyMeals sometime around March 11th. I assume they're tied to the Transformers: Prime cartoon, and that the gray, Decepticon space-ship looking vehicle is Megatron, while the red and blue semi is obviously Optimus Prime.

I was shocked—shocked I say!—when I discovered that neither of these vehicles actually transform into robots, however. That is, like, the bare minimum of what a Transformers toy must do in order to be considered a Transformer toy, isn't it? Transform? They need not be overly complicated. I remember getting a few Beast Wars Transformers from HappyMeals when I was in college, and those only had, like, three points of articulation, but they did technically transform from robot animals to human-shaped robots ("Point of articulation," by the way, is Nerd for "a piece of the toy that moves").

These do each performa special function, though.
If you push Optimus' environmentally unfriendly-looking exhaust pipe thingees forward, his headlights, Autobot badge and the interior of his cab all light up red. And if you push Megatron's gun or jet thingee mounted on top of him forward, it lights up green (pyew! pyew!) and if you push the button right in front of it, the purple bit at the front of him fires off.

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