Autobots…Roll Out! (For Tres Leches Cake)!

Poor Corn Muffin.  We like her just fine.

Poor Corn Muffin. We like her just fine.

So, I got a recently released, 1980’s cartoon series accurate Transformer, Arcee, off of eBay the other day. I’ve been drawing Transformers a bunch lately, and I have been stuck on the subject of reference with the angles and so forth that can be seen online. Although there is a HUGE quantity of Transformers art on the internet…a HUGE amount…sometimes you need to see the way light hits something at an angle in the real world, or so forth.

The Arcee that I got was pretty cheap. Apparently she has a near invisible flaw in the paint on her right shoulder. I’ve been trying to figure out where that might be, and feel that there is most probably a collector of far more discerning scrutiny than me out there. She makes a fantastic art reference (see above), and is more fun than you can imagine to have your friends pose at the Mexican restaurant.

Unlike previous generations of Transformers, which had few joints and were pretty much a vehicle or a very stiff robot, Arcee has a ridiculous amount of articulation. In robot mode she can be made to climb glasses, prepare to hurl nachos, or perform ballet moves, to name a few of the events before we adjourned from our favorite dinner establishment. Whatever the cosmetic flaw in her shoulder might be, it doesn’t impair her in tiny tabletop superhero activities.

If I had colored the image though, she would have been yellow and white, unlike the actual robot, which is pink and white. Three things influenced that. The first, was that she lacked popularity in the series because in a primarily boy’s show, she was a pink girl robot. She wasn’t designed to be very accepted in that format. Secondly, I’ve been playing a whole lot of “Strawberry Shortcake: Berry Rush,” and in that very girl oriented 80’s license, all the characters have food or fruit oriented names. Thirdly, and loosely related to the second, after leaving the restaurant, we went to Albertson’s and I got some Corn Muffins, which were delicious.

It got me thinking of the naming conventions for Transformers. We all tend to remember the cool ones, like Optimus Prime and Megatron. Fair…those are cool names, to be sure. “Mirage” is cool too, so is “Soundwave.” Still…there is a great deal of FAIL in transformer names. For instance, there are a pair of Transformers names “Clench” and “Thrust.” Huh? Really? There’s an Autobot named “Flareup” (no joke) and one named “Powerhug.” I think that robot just needs some affection. “Drill Nuts,” “Huffer,” and “Discharge” are also all actual Transformers. Maybe none of them are going to be in the film franchise…go figure.

Even Ultra Magnus leaves something to be desired here. I mean, sure, it sounds cool…it also sounds like something you could find in the family planning section of CVS.

By contrast, Corn Muffin is downright cool. If the Autobots will hang out with all those other people, you have to wonder why Corn Muffin was crying on that chair. Still, if she wasn’t, and some collector didn’t find a near invisible flaw on the figure’s shoulder, I wouldn’t have a new articulated robot reference, Mexican food outings would be more boring, and the strip wouldn’t have a new character.

All that’s in the win column, Readers.

Next Issue: Truly Outrageous!

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