1984 Box art theory?

Discussion in 'Transformers General Discussion' started by Gazmondo, Oct 11, 2012.

  1. Gazmondo

    Gazmondo Member

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    Hi guys, I was looking at the picture on the back of a g1 1984 box the other day and noticed how starscream is pictured facing prime almost as the main good/bad guys. Also megatron is pictured small and insignificant in the background. This got me wondering if starscream was meant to be the leader of the decepticons at the time of the pic being made and megatron more of a lower ranked decepticon.
    Just a theory, if anyone has any thoughts it would be interesting to hear them.
     
  2. Murasame

    Murasame CHIMICHANGAS

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    No, Soundwave was to be leader before they decided that Megatron would be the leader.
     
  3. G1Prowl

    G1Prowl Prick, apparently

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    Just like Prowl was originally supposed to be the Autobot leader. Which is why the Bot and Con symbols look similiar to the faces of Prowl and Soundwave respectively.
     
  4. HugeBadWolf

    HugeBadWolf XO in charge of radishes

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    But if you turn the Auotbot sign upside down it looks a bit like Megatron with his mouth open...

    Cheers,
    Doug
     
  5. Gordon_4

    Gordon_4 The Big Engine

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    That explains a lot actually.

    It does?
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    .
    .
    .
    By jingo! It does too!
     
  6. Autobot Burnout

    Autobot Burnout Hammer of the Gunplas

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    Holy crap I can see it.

    Although it looks like Megatron has a moustache and Mr. Popo's mouth to me as well...
     
  7. Ryan F

    Ryan F Transform and Roll Out! TFW2005 Supporter

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    I thought the Prowl thing was a fan-myth? Have you got a source? After all, Prime, Megatron and Soundwave were all unique moulds in the first year of G1, and 'stood out' as toys amongst their other Year-One peers.

    It's difficult to imagine such a bog-standard toy (average size, shared a mould with Bluestreak) being advertised as a leader? Surely Hasbro would want to promote the bigger toys as faction leaders, make the bigger figures sell more units, make more money?

    Hasbro made a lot of cash out of that first Prime toy, not just because he was a cool figure but because he was the Autobot leader in the comics and the cartoons.

    Surely it's unthinkable they would have promoted Prowl as a leader when they would make a shedload more cash by making kids shell out for the most expensive toy!
     
  8. Gordon_4

    Gordon_4 The Big Engine

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    Abridged Popo?

    Mr. Popo says Bye - YouTube
     
  9. DPrime

    DPrime Well-Known Member

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    That doesn't preclude the possibility that Starscream was also considered at one point.

    There was almost certainly a lot of ideas being thrown around in the early stages.
     
  10. Autobot Burnout

    Autobot Burnout Hammer of the Gunplas

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    Who else?:lol 

    Wrong.

    Optimus, Megatron, and Soundwave were not unique molds. The original version of Optimus was known as "Battle Convoy" IIRC in the Diaclone line, and the evidence still remains on every version of a full G1 Optimus reissue in the otherwise useless seats found in the trailer base and on Roller, which in the original Diaclone line were useable by the little men who were the pilots of the robots (the original G1 Prime mold also retained the actual seats inside the chest compartment for a while until they retooled it for Matrix of Leadership storage).

    Megatron is also from Diaclone I think, namely in that his silencer and stock extension could be combined into a cannon emplacement that could be manned by Diaclone miniature men.

    Soundwave is from the Microchange line, as is his original set of minions (Laserbeak, Buzzsaw, Rumble, Frenzy, and Ravage), where he was known simply as "Cassette man". It's easy to see how the G1 Decepticon symbol is obviously based on this toy, as its head is NOT a match to the one on the show. The telltale feature is the eyes: unlike the single red visor on the show, Toy Soundwave has a much more angular visor, colored yellow, that clearly gives him eye-shaped triangles in the same place as the Decepticon symbol.

    None of the 1984 Lineup was original molds, they were taken from both the older Microchange and Diaclone lines. The first TF to be designed, allegedly according to its designer, is Sunstreaker, and he dates back to the mid 1970's in development IIRC.

    Hard to say. You have to remember, this is back in the 80's when Transformers was still a brand new concept. They didn't know if it would work or not. For what it's worth, Hasbro didn't even come up with the Optimus Prime name, that was from the Marvel comics, and Megatron was originaly rejected as a name because it "brought up images of nuclear bombs" but then was accepted when it was pointed out it was the name of the BAD guy.

    Source?

    Again, this is back in the 80's, when things were much different about the line than it is today. Size classes didn't exist, so prices were all over the board and set per figure, and the original 1984 line up was EXTREMELY small in comparison to how big it got in the following years, so you can't pin just one toy being the top seller.
     
  11. Ryan F

    Ryan F Transform and Roll Out! TFW2005 Supporter

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    Ah, I think perhaps you misunderstood my point?

    I'm aware that all the 1984 Transformer moulds were co-opted from previous toylines and thus none of them were truly unique.

    But just taking the Year One Hasbro Transformers into account, you had three seekers, two Fairladys, two condor-cassettes and so on. The Hasbro Prime, Megatron and Soundwave toys were larger, more recognisable and more distinct than any of the other toys released as part of that initial batch of Transformers.

    Transformers may have been a new concept in the 80s, but it was common to see 'leader' action figures generally being better than other toys in the same line. Just off the top of my head I can think of the Lion-O and Mumm-Ra toys with the glowing eyes, Battle-Armour He-Man and Skeletor, Matt Trakker and Miles Mayhem having the biggest MASK vehicles and so on. I have no insider knowledge, of course (and I realise there are exceptions), but it just seems counter-intuitive that Prowl's toy was seriously considered a candidate for faction leader.

    However, I'm prepared to be proven wrong if someone can provide a link or something. Perhaps Hasbro might have mentioned it a Botcon one year? I'm genuinely interested to know if this is true or not, or just merely a case of fans putting 2 and 2 together and coming up with 5 because his head sort of looks like the Autobot symbol.

    I've got nothing but anecdotal evidence, sadly. But it seemed to be a common trend amongst my friends that the 'important' characters were the ones that were most desired as toys. Even though they were identical figures, all of my friends preferred Starscream to the other seeker figures. Bumblebee was pretty unimpressive as a toy, but we loved him because he was central to the cartoon and TV show. I think it's pretty much a given that a character's portrayal in the fiction influences people's opinions of the toys.
     
  12. G1Prowl

    G1Prowl Prick, apparently

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    Source? It's on the TFWiki
     
  13. Ryan F

    Ryan F Transform and Roll Out! TFW2005 Supporter

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    The wiki was my first port of call, but I couldn't see anything about it on the Prowl (G1) page. (Unless, of course, I'm going blind!) A direct link would be much appreciated, cheers.
     
  14. SemiOmegaPrime

    SemiOmegaPrime Well-Known Member

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    Megatron was from the Microman line: MC-13 U.N.C.L.E.

    New Microman Series - Micro Change Gun Robo
     
  15. SMOG

    SMOG Vocab-champion ArgueTitan

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    That's also the first time I've ever heard that about Prowl. I'm curious about the source too. According to every story I've heard, Optimus Prime was always supposed to be the leader for Hasbro, and not surprisingly, since he was one of the largest toys in the line). I don't think there was much fiction for the Diaclone line (other than the bots just being non-sentient mecha driven by Diaclone pilots).

    Definitely, I've heard the story about Soundwave, which does make sense. He was the biggest "bad guy" mold, and he had all those sweet minions... butt I guess there's only so much menace a tape recorder can convey. :) 

    I'm actually a big fan of Prowl (who was also my first Transformer) so this would be a cool thing for me. It just sounds dubious.

    I don't disagree, but technically Transformers predates a lot of the examples you're giving for 80's toy line logic, and Battle Armour He-Man and Skeletor were later additions to the line, and cost no more than regular figures. Also, the largest Mask vehicle when the line debuted was Bruce Sato's Rhino truck (though Matt Trakker did come with it too as a co-pilot). However Matt's main vehicle was the relatively small Thunderhawk flying car.

    But I agree...the logic with Transformers was self-evident...the important characters that they were pushing were the larger figures like Prime and Megatron (and Soundwave). It seems really unlikely that Prowl would have been designated as leader.

    Of course, we're talking about the early, early stages of the line, so we might be reading too much into it. The actually line-up of toys was already decided on when Hasbro came to Bob Budiansky and got him to create characters to go with the toys. Prowl probably didn't exist (conceptually) until he named him and wrote the bio. I suppose that at a very very nascent point in the development (maybe before they decided to bring in the bigger figures) they might have considered the police car the prospective leader.

    zmog
     
  16. G1Prowl

    G1Prowl Prick, apparently

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  17. SMOG

    SMOG Vocab-champion ArgueTitan

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    Someone on the wiki observing that the Autobot symbol "seems to be based on Prowl's head" doesn't not suggest or corroborate any theories that Prowl was to be the original leader of the Autobots. That's a bit of a leap.

    I think many of us noticed the Bot symbol looked like Prowl (or alternatively Bluestreak) way back in '84, but it could be as simple as a graphic designer being handed the assignment to design insignia for two opposing good and evil robot factions, and being given a box of product to look at. Taking aesthetic inspiration from some of the toys is not the same as narratively or commercially putting Prowl in the top spot.

    Without anything more to go on, I'd chalk this one up to speculation.

    zmog
     
  18. G1Prowl

    G1Prowl Prick, apparently

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    Then I guess whomever mods that site should kill it, no?
     
  19. 1984forever

    1984forever Banned

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    Prime was the most sought after. I saw him once right before Christmas in 1984 and never saw him again despite the fact that he was on sale for 2 years straight. My Grandmother called every TRU in NY and NJ before finally finding one in Conneticut. His original price was $25.
     
  20. SMOG

    SMOG Vocab-champion ArgueTitan

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    Kill what? It just says that the Autobot emblem seems like it might have been based on Prowl. That's ALL. There is nothing wrong with that comment, as the "Notes" section of the TFwiki is usually reserved for random trivia.

    The issue is that statement doesn't say anything about Prowl being considered by Hasbro for leadership of the Autobots at any time. That all came from you, not the TFwiki. I don't really know why you jumped to that conclusion. Am I missing something here?

    zmog
     

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