It’s Transformers Thursday and today I’m turning the dial back to 2004 with a look at one of my favorite Deluxe figures from the Energon line. He’s Sharkticon, and while he was a single character on the show, the show’s fiction never meant much to me and I used this guy as an army builder. It seemed logical to me since the Sharkticons were Quintesson foot soldiers in the G1 continuity, but I actually paired these guys up with Energon Mirage to serve as his equivalent of The Sweeps. It may sound convoluted, but as a collector of the Unicron Trilogy toys that didn’t watch the shows, I was always looking to fill in the backstory for the new figures I got. I don’t have a packaged shot of this guy, but he was available in both the regular Energon card as well as the red Powerlinx packaging. Let’s start with his alt mode.
Sharkticon is a battle ship with some shark influences in his design. While I believe the intent was that he’s an ocean-going craft, I imagined these guys would be just as happy as a space-faring armada. I love so much about this toy’s design it’s hard to know where to begin. I think the elements of traditional battleship design are what appeals to me the most, particularly the rotating gun stations on top. He also has a bridge tower and two rotating gun turrets on the sides. The shark elements aren’t overdone and I think the fins on the back make him more credible to me as an air or space ship. Either way, it’s exactly this kind of wild imagination and creativity that makes me love so much of the Energon line.
The deco is quite striking. The hull is mostly black with silver paint apps used to accentuate some of the intricate sculpted detail. The purple accents work for me as does the giant Decepticon insignia plastered on the bow of the ship. I freaking love that! On the other hand, I could have probably done without the orange, it’s distinctive, but feels out of place. I also would have left the bridge tower black instead of the odd choice of white. But even a few questionable color choices can’t wreck this toy for me!
Ah, but just when you thought we’d seen it all and it was time to move on to the robot mode, Sharkticon has two little surprises. You can pull out the side panels on his hull to reveal a pair of hidden missile launchers. Cool!
The transformation here is nothing too complex and yet fairly clever for a Deluxe. The back of the ship unfolds into his arms, the legs are obviously part of the undercarriage and the bulk of the battleship folds onto his back. Everything locks together wonderfully making him a fun figure to play about with. Sharkticon’s robot mode is pretty slick looking. There’s a nice blend of boxy design with a little bit of curvy organic feel thrown in. It’s the kind of aesthetic that I associate a lot with the G1 movie and I love it. The torso is brimming with sculpted detail and he has an Energon port right in the center of his chest so you can give him an Energon chip. He maintains a lot of his shark motif in robot mode with fins coming of his arms and legs and even the head sculpt is a bit evocative of the underwater predator. Even Sharkticon’s balance is well engineered. He’s wearing half the battleship on his back and yet he’s still easy to stand.
The deco in this mode shows off less black and more orange and purple, plus there are silver and red accents. For the love of God, just look at how many paint apps are on this guy! And he’s a Deluxe! Nowadays you wouldn’t find this many paint operations on a Voyager. Surprisingly the orange doesn’t bother me as much in robot mode even though there’s more of it. He’s just gorgeous!
The best compliment I can pay this figure is that I just kept buying him whenever I saw him on the pegs. At one point I had six or seven loose and even a couple carded. But after some trades and sell-offs I’ve paired that down to a simple squad of three now. There aren’t a lot of figures in the Transformers Universe that lend themselves to army building, so this was a case where I just invented my own opportunity. Of course, Energon also gave us the Terrorcons, and I don’t even want to tell you how many of those I have laying around. Next Thursday I’ll be checking out Mirage, the Decepticon who commands these guys in my own crazy homebrew Transformers fiction.