September 7, 2007
Quick Change Dinobots — Part 1!

The Transformers madness continues on Scary-Crayon with A Crayon Haiku #67 and the first part of our Quick Change Dinobots review. Okay, so the QC dinos aren’t technically Transformers, but still. As noted in the article, I really didn’t anticipate having quite so much to say about them, so Tricera-Bot and Tyranno-Bot (also known as Dregs and Gravelatch!) will be discussed at a later date. Hopefully not too much later, though.

Regarding Universe Triceradon in the haiku — I partially blame him for my current compulsion to buy Transformers on eBay and anywhere else I can find them, because it was his temporary unavailability that pretty much started me checking online toy stores and eBay listings as a matter of routine. Now that I’ve got him, he’s popping up everywhere. Go figure. Action figure, that is!

Feel free to note the cuteness of the newspaper clipping, btw! I don’t know why I felt compelled to black out all of the instances of my name — it’s not like it’d be that difficult to figure out if you really wanted to. 😛

Also, in a comment over at Wesoteric — where I first posted images of Triceradon, since he’s a pretty good representative of my current obsession — De asked whether Slag or Triceradon would win in a fight. Sounds like something worth discussing over here, no? So here are my thoughts:

A quick comparison of the tech specs of both Slag and Triceradon suggests that they’d be about evenly matched — if Triceradon didn’t have the upper hand. Slag’s superior endurance and firepower mean that he wouldn’t go down easily, but I suspect that the smarter, faster, braver, and more skillful Triceradon would be able to triumph in the end despite the former’s much nastier disposition. That said, it also bears mentioning that these two fighters are from different eras: I’m not sure exactly how far in the future Beast Machines takes place, but I think that Slag’s time predates Triceradon’s by millions of years. Therefore, if one assumes that Transformers continued to get stronger and stronger over the years — and that the numbers denoted by the tech specs are more/less relative to the average power levels of the times — one would have to multiply each of Triceradon’s stats by some figure over 9,000 (!!!) to get an accurate comparison. Triceradon would crush Slag.

However, given that Triceradon later fights alongside the future Grimlock in a reformed Dinobots team — and that Slag is the only absent member of the original team — I’m going to suggest that perhaps Triceradon is Slag, albeit much older and wiser. Perhaps his temper cooled a bit over the millions of years, such that he toned down his firepower a bit in favor of increasing his speed and strengthening his mind. Perhaps, as he matured, he grew more courageous and skilled — and perhaps, recognizing that, his comrades gifted him with even higher ranking and respect. Perhaps he lost a bit of his stamina due to old age. And perhaps he changed his name because “Slag” was too nasty for his more mellow temperament. At any rate, if we assume that Triceradon and Slag are one and the same, it stands to reason that, with millions more years of training and experience under his belt, Triceradon would best his younger self in combat.

Or perhaps Slag is absent among the reformed Dinobots because he was killed at some point, which — because Triceradon is his successor and presumably survived where Slag fell — would still suggest that Triceradon is the superior warrior. De went with Slag, citing his impressive showing against Unicron, but my analysis seems to confirm Triceradon as the victor.

The floor is open for you to add your thoughts to this pointless — but fun! — debate. 🙂

-posted by Wes | 6:43 am | Comments (11)
  • Perhaps he briefly possessed the Matrix of leadership. It turned Hot-Rod into Rodimus after all.

    Pretty good article. For $1.50 they don’t sound all that bad.

    But for the record, you don’t know the life of a Pok?mon trainer until you’ve traveled all around with a feisty redhead that brings you down a peg whenever your ego gets too big and a wise but lecherous “big-brother” figure!

    Anyway, one of my recent interests has been this site which features a variety of National Parks presented through (rather well executed) 3D photography. (Red/Cyan 3D glasses required).

    The Cool thing (besides the gorgeous scenery brought to my computer in full 3D glory) is that they share their method for creating these images here.
    Which is awesome because while I did have a method of creating Black+White 3D images, this method works with color! (And, yes it’s working as well with drawings as with photos).

    The reason I’m telling you all this (Besides that it’s cool) is that it relates to a dinosaur toy project of my own.

    In addition to doing 3D drawings (which will mostly be Buddhist deities, mythical creatures and cute manga girls) I’m also planning to do 3D photos.

    But, the only thing I’m all that interested in photographing is cheap dollar-store dinosaur toys! I’ve got a whole little bag of them, and I’m hoping to make little dioramas of them and photograph them from 2 angles each to make the 3D pics.

    The only problem is I have no idea what else to include in the diorama. Do I try to replicate historically (or PREhistorically) accurate settings? And, if so, with what?(I don’t want to use actual dirt, too messy). Or, do I just go wild with the off-beat settings? I’ll probably do both.

    Anyway, fun article, but just one little nitpick: Isn’t the “Brontosaurus” now called the “Apatosaurus”?

  • Wes says:

    I have to manually approve all comments with two or more links in them anyway, so I fixed the backslash thing and removed the second (now unnecessary) comment — no worries. 🙂

    Regarding the brontosaurus/apatosaurus thing, that was pretty much what got me featured in multiple newspapers. (I even got a full color photo on the front page of the Baltimore Sun, which goes to show you that we were living in simpler times!) Try enlarging the image and you might be able to make out the text — but if you can’t, here’s the gist of what happened:

    Back in the day the postal service issued four dinosaur stamps — but because one of the stamps bore the name “brontosaurus” and not “apatosaurus”, a bunch of scientific types were having a fit. Not understanding what the big deal was, I was like hell-o, they’re the same damned animal! Sure, apatosaurus is the more correct term because it was published first, but with brontosaurus being the more widely known name of the animal it made perfect sense that the stamp would bear the more popular name. Also, anyone who would be bothered by the use of brontosaurus clearly knows that apatosaurus and brontosaurus refer to the same creature, so where’s the foul? So that was pretty much the post office’s rationale, the point that I put forth in the letter that I wrote way back when, and the take on the issue that I maintain to this day.

    Also, I assume that the toy was referred to as Bronto-Bot (or Bronto Bot) in its carded form — and not Apato Bot — so that’s reason enough to use brontosaurus when talking about it! 😛

  • Thanks for the edit

    I still consider Pluto a planet so it’s not like I blindly follow the scientific community either. So, yeah, no biggie.

    And, those were indeed simpler times. I was once in my area’s local paper myself, for participating in my school’s mother’s day pancake breakfast. Nowadays, I imagine any reporter even suggesting devoting page-space to some kid flipping flapjacks in his classroom would be laughed out of the office.

    Damn, I feel old now.

  • looking at the packaging for the Quick Change set reminded me that at a real lousy Save-A-Lot grocery I once got a Quick Change grasshopper/robot.. – don’t know where it’s at now.. but i recall it being hard to handle and pretty frail..

  • Wes says:

    Tetsu: That stuff still shows up in papers — I hope! — just not on the front page. Now it’s all about the war in Iraq and celebrity gossip. And you think you feel old? I still remember when the Weekly World News was the most popular tabloid around! Batboy 4eva.

    RtW/Brian: Oh, believe me, they’re coming… I’ve got all eight of the Quick Change Insecticons (thanks, Big Lots!) plus four that I found at a local generic dollar store packaged as the Transformer Robot Team. Between the two lines — there’s some overlap — I’ve got all but one of the mysterious bootleg insect robots: the red stag beetle. You can see him here:

    I’m almost tempted to bite just for him, but these things totally aren’t worth that much. And at first I hated Hopper-Bot — the one you mention — but the TRT version (which is slightly different!) has kinda grown on me. Still dislike the QC version with its floppy insect legs, though.

    But yeah, more on that later. 🙂

  • Oh believe me, I remember the Weekly World News glory days too.

    At least it’s still around and still funny (maybe not *as* funny, but oh well).

    BTW have you seen the Batboy comic strip they print in there now?

  • RADIX says:

    The life of a Pokemon Trainer went as thus for me: Mom or Dad would buy the figures from a store (didn’t matter where; these were the days when it was practically illegal not to carry something Poke-related), and then I would try and earn whatever it was they bought with good grades and manual labour. OK, maybe not manual labour, but it sure as heck felt like it. In this way, I was able to more easily bond with my ‘Mons than if they had simply been given to me (but then, back then I could barely get along with humans). I, too, had that instilled desire to CATCH ‘EM ALL.

    With that out of the way, your vast knowledge of dinosaurs amazes me–I was interested, yes, but I could never tell anyone the difference between two similar breeds of dino, or just why Tyrannosaurus-Rex was such an efficient killing machine other than “they were a huge breed of dinosaur”. You, sir, have excellently detailed the functions of these QC Dinobots in regards to actual dinoasaurs.

    And this article once again reminds me: I’ve always wanted to find some decent “knock-off toys” for comparison reasons (among other things), but I don’t, out of fear of being arrested. [Yeah, maybe there’s not a lot the authorities can do to me, but then, I don’t know much about pirate laws other than “it’s illegal and saps money from the hardworking OFFICIAL distributors.” Well, there’s plenty of crappy official toys as well…] Mostly for Megaman, because when I work with that series, I tend to go crazy.

    One thing about Rawr: Yes, those “solar panels” are pretty flimsy when you try to place him in nature and make him work, but isn’t it possible that they could retract to reveal more guns, if Rawr ever found himself surrounded? That would come in handy then, but the panels probably wouldn’t be very practical otherwise.

  • Wes says:

    Tetsu: A Batboy comic?!?!? I clearly have not seen this! Damn, now I might actually have to pick up a copy of the mag. I don’t think I’ve ever actually bought one — I’d just flip through it while my mom was in line or read it if one of my relatives happened to have an issue sitting on the coffee table. Man, a Batboy comic! And I suppose the mag itself could make for a good SC print review, eh?

    I always thought writing for the Weekly World News would be an awesome job. 🙂

    Also, I just reread your comments about the 3D photography and checked out the links — that does sound pretty cool! It’d be even cooler if I had a pair of 3D glasses around here, but yeah. Some of those dollar dinos are pretty awesome, too — I saw this one brontosaurus (!) that was reared up on its hind legs the other day at a Family Dollar. I was like thiiiiiis close to getting it, but somehow convinced myself that I couldn’t afford to spend the dollar on it. Wish I’d been able to do that regarding the insane amount of expensive Transformers I bought this weekend. 🙁

    RADIX: I don’t think there was all that much in-depth dinosaur knowledge in the piece, but thanks! Admittedly, working on this feature makes me want to pull all of my childhood dinosaur books off of the shelf and reread them again. Perhaps this will result in more print reviews as well! 🙂

    (As if there aren’t a thousand other articles I have sitting on the backburner, not the least of which is the Shanghai recap…!)

    Regarding knockoff toys, hopefully the following sentiments will allay your doubts and fears and permit you to pick a few up.

    Buying knockoff toys does NOT sap money from the hard-working official distributors. It’s different with, say, bootleg movies or music CDs. Buying those generally does hurt the industry because these items are typically still in production and are currently being sold. But with knockoff toys, the item is usually long gone — say, in the case of a knockoff Grimlock — or is so much different that it is effectively a separate product.

    In many, many, many more ways than one (more like in all ways except them both being robotic transforming stegosaurs), Rawr is not Snarl — but even if he were, Hasbro wouldn’t be losing any money because the G1/G2 Dinobots haven’t been sold in stores since the early ’90s. Nor will Hasbro lose any money on reissue figures, since apparently the Dinobot molds have been lost altogether.

    Secondly, when people buy knockoff figures, they generally do so with full knowledge and intent to buy knockoff figures. For the most part, it’s not as if knockoff figures are made to trick people into thinking that they’re getting legitimate versions, nor is the quality remotely comparable to the legitimate versions (unlike, again, bootleg movies and CDs). With the exception of shady people who buy knockoffs with intent to sell them as originals to unsuspecting buyers on eBay (or thrifty parents who give them to small children who know no better), nobody gets knockoffs with intent to pass them off as the real deal. I’m not sure precisely what the laws are on the subject, but for that reason I’m fairly certain that nobody really gives a crap about knockoffs. They’d be more problematic if there were confusion — or if they were current enough to draw buyers away from the official retail versions still being sold in stores — but since that’s generally not the case you probably shouldn’t worry about it too much. Unless you’re using the typically hollow figures to smuggle drugs, nobody’s going to come knocking at your door with a pair of handcuffs to drag you away for buying knockoff toys.

    There! Now that you’re more comfortable with buying knockoffs, go to it! And remember that you are welcome to submit guest reviews to SC if you come across any cool ones that you’d like to review for our information and entertainment. 🙂

    If Rawr’s plates could somehow retract to reveal even more guns, he’d be the greatest toy stegosaurus ever.

  • You know, in high school a dear friend of mine founded a Weekly World News styled tabloid that we distributed at the school.

    I did have a lot of fun writing for it

    Anyway, I got my main pair of 3D glasses from a “Fruit By The Foot” box I don’t know if they still make the kind that comes with that or if that was just a limited time thing. Also, I have a few extra pairs that came with the “Heroscape” ads that ran in various Archie-comic titles for a couple months. I have alot because I read about 3 Archie-published comics a month (Sonic, Sonic-X, and Sabrina).

    I guess none of this helps you get a pair of your own.

    Well, you can always but colored cellophane and make a pair (That might make a good “Arts & Crafts” article too).

  • Albert says:

    Unfortunately, the Weekly World News has ended.

    Also, for some reason, I had a dream Grimlock was stalking me the other night.

  • Parabuzzy says:

    Hey, I remember having the top-left one in the first image.

    …I mauled it horribly though, There’s still an arm or two lying around somewhere…

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