Over the course of 32 years there have been some strange Transformers but we think this one has beaten all others!
The Transformers toy line has had it’s share of oddities like Pretenders, Headmasters, Beast Wars, Beast Machines and some dubious names along the way but the current Robots in Disguise line seems to have upped the stakes into the stratosphere when it comes to strange.
Transformers: Prime/Beast Hunters
Launched in 2010, Prime was an animated series that followed the standard humans-discover-big-honking-robots-that-turn-into-vehicles formula but after 2 series it evolved into Transformers: Prime: Beast Hunters. The premise of this series was the attempt by the Decepticons to resurrect the Predacons – an ancient race of Transformers who were predominantly beast-like in nature. Robots in Disguise is set years after Beast Hunters where the giant robot war has been forgotten on Earth until a ship full of Decepticon prisoners crash lands and the Autobots return to hunt them down. RID continues the theme of more beastly bad guys as most of the Decepticons have animal robot forms rather than humanoid ones.
A few months ago I heard talk of a character named Quillfire and he looked fairly interesting with ape like proportions and a creature type head instead of humanoid. Little did I know that this odd character was going to seem positively normal compared to the figure lower down this page.
Not knowing a huge amount about the current figures I ended up buying the One Step Changer instead of the warrior class version. The warrior sized one features plenty of articulation and is a decent looking figure, whereas the One Step Changers are aimed more at toddlers with their simplified and semi automatic transformation.
As you’ll see in the bigger version of the above picture, there’s only one step in the transformation process, hence the imaginative name.
The vehicle mode is kinda cool as it has those headlights reminiscent of eyes like something out of Stephen King’s Maximum Overdrive film although the robot’s feet are a little obvious.
The one step transformation gives way to….
This beastie isn’t easy to photograph due to his lack of articulation and hunched over posture. Honestly it’s a great toy for younger children who can’t manage the increasingly adult-baffling engineering of the deluxe class figures but for older collectors it’s a novelty figure and that’s about it.
The warrior class version of Quillfire definitely has a lot more going for it! However, this article isn’t about Quillfire….
By now you’ve all seen the video of the woman in the Chewbacca mask giggling away and so you can probably imagine the scene when I discovered Springload.
This neon green muscle car is an attention getter and the evil headlights are a little more pronounced on Springload than on Quillfire.
The one step feature involves pulling the back half of the car apart which causes the car’s front to flip backwards, revealing…..
AN EVIL FROG!!!!!!!
Oh my giddy aunt! I can’t even look at the thing without laughing!
How does a toy like this even get made!?! Did someone just throw it out there as a joke and the boss thought it was a good idea? What make this even more surreal is the box art.
Someone got paid hundreds of dollars for that bit of artwork! Genuinely this could be either the greatest or dumbest Transformer ever made…hell maybe it’s both.
No Transformer collector is ever going to rate this toy above the Masterpiece figures or anywhere close, but Springload is definitely the strangest Transformer of all time by a loooooooong way. Not just that but he’s a lot of fun and it’s impossible to look at him without a smile; even the most hardened of Transformers fan must be able to appreciate this guy on some level.
As always, if you enjoyed this article please give it a share on your favourite forum, Facebook group or knitting circle. An earlier version of this article incorrectly had the launch of TF: Prime listed as 2013.