Work this week has been a bitch and I’ve been compensating by drinking even more than usual. That’s no small feat for me. The result is, I’m really washed out and was tempted to take a pass today. But the show must go on, so I’ve rustled up something quick and easy. Tiny Titanium Transformers! Alliteration… it’s fun!
Back around 2006, Hasbro was going totally apeshit with a line they called Titaniums. It was a nod back to the old days when certain people would have you believe that just the idea of adding diecast metal to a toy made it instantly great. I think the Titaniums originated with a line of Star Wars ships, a fitting use of the concept, but before you could say “cash-grab” Hasbro was spinning the idea out into all sorts of franchises and forms. You got big Star Wars ships, little Star Wars ships, shitty Transformers that actually transformed, statues of Star Wars and Marvel characters, Battlestar Galactica ships… eventually even Indiana Jones got in on the act.
Yep, that’s a f’cking Mutt Williams Titanium. It was a crazy time in the toy industry… a time when cocaine was obviously as plentiful as snow in winter. And before you denounce me as an insane monster, keep in mind, I don’t own the thing, I cribbed that picture off of Ebay.
Today we’re just looking at a handful of the little Transformers statues. I have no idea what the purpose of these were, but I bought a bunch of them so… bravo, Hasbro. You obviously won this round. On the other hand, I have no recollection of actually going into a store and buying them, nor can I imagine any scenario in which I would. I do remember what pissed me off about this line so much was the lack of cohesive source material. If they were all G1 guys, I would have probably bought them all, but instead what we got was a crazy selection of characters that meandered all over the Transformers franchise from Beast Wars to G1 to Energon and Cybertron. Keep in mind that these guys came with little Autobot and Decepticon insignia bases, which I have in a baggie… in a tote… somewhere.
Let’s kick it off with Bumblebee and Jazz. These guys are cool, but you can already see how this line is all over the place. Jazz is obviously G1 Jazz with a very animated feel, but Bumblebee looks like he’s patterned more off the original G1 minibot toy with a Sunbow head sculpt. Don’t get me wrong, Bumblebee is probably my favorite figure in this bunch for that very reason, but it’s still weird. There is actually some articulation in these figures. Bumblebee can move his arms at the shoulders and his wrists swivel. Jazz can also move his arms at the shoulders and his legs swivel below the knee. I should also point out that only the torsos and feet on these guys are made of diecast, everything else is rubbery plastic. Still, this is a nice pair of tiny figures with some impressive paintwork.
Next up is Sideswipe and Smokescreen. But wait, these are actually based off of the Alternator versions? THE ALTERNATOR VERSIONS??? That’s crazy! What could possibly possess Hasbro to do homages to the Alternators, when I could have had little G1 style Sideswipe and Smokescreen to go with my Jazz and Bumblebee? I just don’t get it. Oh yeah, I realize it looks like Smokescreen is urinating, but he’s supposed to be holding a gun and I can’t find it. Why Hasbro bothered to make the guns removable on these little figures is beyond me. The only value it adds is the ability to lose them, and that’s no value at all.
Last up is Starscream. I really like this one mainly because of the base sculpted to look like exhaust and out of all the figures, he’s the one that reminds me of a little statue. He’s a little chunky, but it’s impressive how Hasbro managed to capture all his douchebaggery in such a tiny guy. I know he was repainted as Thundercracker, but by the time I saw that one I came to my senses and stopped collecting this line. I can’t remember ever seeing a Skywarp.
I also have at least one Optimus Prime from this line somewhere, but if I took the time to find him then this wouldn’t be a quick and easy feature. I seem to recall these things being around $6 or $7 a piece, which once again begs the question, “Why the hell did I buy these?” And then I remind myself that once upon a time my Transformers addiction was so bad that I drove to a Walmart at two in the morning so I could spend $35 on a repaint of Armada Optimus Prime. Obviously, I was out of control. Even as cool as a couple of these little figures are, they still serve no purpose in my collection. In fact, I had to dig them out of my junk drawer where they sat in a heap of rubber bands, dead AA batteries and used up pens.