Transformers; Does Not Convert

Now, pretty much anybody with an interest in the Transformers Movie has something to say about the new robot designs; from Flames on Optimus to Megatron resembling a burst bag full of corkscrews. Me? Well, I recognise the need to update the robots… the original designs would perhaps appear a bit cube-y on screen. Anyways, thats not the point I’m making.

See, looking at the new robots, I can’t see how they transform… as in, I can’t make out which bit goes where, how they go from being cars and trucks to upright standing bipedal robots. Of course, up until recently, all I was basing my studies on were still images and the trailers, which only showed glimpses of transformations. However, I’ve seen the new movie… and still no further on. Transformations take place in seconds, and, although stunning don’t clearly show where legs appear from, or arms pop out. I’m maybe being a bit OCD about this, but I couldnt really fully enjoy the movie without being able to fully realise the robots in my mind. Bumblebee especially; he seems to grow limbs out of nowhere. All I thought was there is NO WAY all that fits into a Camero.

So, i said to myself theres only one thing for it; buy some new transformers toys, and play with them. Seems a reasonable thing for a 26 year old guy to do. I went out today with the intention of buying a Bumblebee and an Optimus Prime, so I could transfor them, and study what goes where, in an “ah I see, thats where that goes” kinda way. And here’s what I’ve found.

The new transformeres toys DO NOT TRANSFORM.

At least, I havent been able to find any that do. All I can find are “robot replica’s”, all of which, in the small print, at the bottom of the box, have these words;


Does not convert. What the…

For starters, transformers don’t convert. They transform. Hence the name; TRANSFORMERS. if they converted, they’d be called Converters.

And what do you mean, Does not Convert? Thats what I want the toy for! Thats it’s reason for being; Robot Transforming into Car. This sucks.

Seriously, is there any of the new toys that actually convert? Fuck, I mean, transform (they have me at this converting bullshit now). Best I can find is an Optimus truck that transforms into a Nerf-dart rifle, or something. Seems that the new robot designs are so complex, that toys are impossible (how would a toy of the new Megatron transform into anythng other than a trip to the ER?). I mean, I really expected that at least someone would produce one of those ridiculously expensive 22" tall Optimus Prime figure, imaculatley detailed, that transformed into a shiny truck.

So I could push it around and go BRRMM.

This is indeed a dark day in the Bubastis house.

I believe the “does not convert” warning is on their for people who believe that the Transformers are robotic missionaries.

My younger brother has the police car one that transforms. I was playing with it. It took me forever to figure out how to turn him into a robot, but damnit, I did.

Their other idea was just to call the series “The Proselytizers,” but they decided that just didn’t roll off the tongue.

I got my 6 year old a Ratchet, Skorpinox, and whatever that deceptacon helo that kicked ass in the beginning of the movie is called. They all transform between robot and vehicle.

links links links gimme gimme gimme

The helicopter is Blackout.

And the irony here is, Skorponok’s not actually supposed to transform.

There are many different versions of the movie Transformers toys, including a few “action figures” that don’t transform, and then other ones with different levels of difficulty – simplified transformations for younger kids, and much more complex ones for collectors. You’re in Europe somewhere, right, OP? You may not have gotten the same full selection of movie toys that we got in the U.S., but I assure you there are plenty of transforming Transformers out right now. (And no, I don’t like the designs so I haven’t bought any.)

There are several pages of Transformers toys for sale on Hasbro’s own website:

It looks like Cyber Slammers are the simplified, kiddie versions (ages 3 and up), whereas the ones you want are called the Deluxes (somewhat smaller, around $10 each) and Voyagers (larger, more in the $20 range). Robot Heroes are tiny, cute non-transforming figurines, and Real Gear are small robots that turn into everyday things like cell phones, mp3 players, etc. – I haven’t seen the movie, so I’m not sure if they were in it or not.

The really frustrating part for the unrepentant Transformers fan is that the transforming toys based on the movie pretty much suck compared to the recent Alternators series. When I heard about the movie I was really hoping they would use those designs for the robots, but when I saw the actual movie designs I immediately made the same face I would make if someone had told me that the refried beans in my burrito were actually laced with baby shit. Megatron looks like his alternate form should be a chandelier. and Frenzy has NOTHING about his robot form that suggests a radio OR a cel phone. Just too goddamn annoying. Not even getting into the movie itself, which I considered to be a whole new level of bad, but the robot designs themselves sucked ass.

Looks like you got the wrong ones buddy. I’ve no idea where you shop for toys but don’t go back.

Nonsense, Megatron obviously transforms into this attractive Gorham sterling silver flatware set for 12 with seafood forks, sugar spoon, cold meat fork and gravy ladle.

Check it out, it’s even monogrammed with an “M”! There’s really no room for doubt.

Sadly, Hasbro confirmed at last month’s Transformers Convention that the Alternators line is cancelled, and the similar Classics line (the updated versions of G1 characters) is on hiatus until late 2008, until long after the movie hype dies down.

I thought this was a warning about how you should never send the Transformers on a mission to Europe without a special adaptor.