This guy’s freaking death in the movie DESTROYED me. More than almost all the rest, even though it was off screen. I just loved Wheeljack so much on the show. The crazy mad scientist, he was such a great character. And then to be casually discarded like nothing was a gut punch and a half. Blink and you miss it. And then you’re like: “W-wait, was that Wheeljack lying dead with a hole in his chest?” Heart wrenching. His toy was also a ton of fun despite all his small accessories. He’s got so much metal!! And he is one of the few characters without a human face who I really liked, especially how his ears lit up when he spoke. I mean this guy came up with the Dinobots! How could you not love him??? #transformers #tfg1museum #G1 #autobots #decepticons #actionfigures #toys #collectors #vintage #1984 #wheeljack #lanciastratosturbo #transformersthemovie #dinobots
TRANSFORMERS MASHUP PROGRESS
While He-Man, Ninja Turtles and Star Wars were my main jams as a little kid, I did have a couple armfuls of Transformers and G.I. Joes that have stuck with my collection through the years. And in recent years my love for architecture, complex armor design and actually building props has reawakened my love for the Transformers.
Fortunately I received the perfect commission request recently for just such a massive mashup of Autobots vs Decepticons. As with my TMNT and Masters of the Universe collection puzzle boards (scroll my ancient feed for write ups)- I see these toy/cartoon mashup pieces as my way of taking a walk down memory lane. Of transporting your full childhood collection onto a single image along with all the adventures, stories and memories those entail. They have to feel “toyetic”. Like you’d want to hold them in your hand and so they are to the scale of the action figures themselves. It’s a way of giving that gift of reclaiming your childhood through the osmosis of art even if you lost those relics or never had them to begin with.
We didn’t have a lot of money growing up so most my toys were garage sale treasure finds or more memorable birthday and Christmas loot hauls. Large expensive die-cast metal toys were not in the budget. So I didn’t end up tracking most of them down till adulthood.
Some of my earliest concrete memories are of waking up from naps and watching HeMan and Transformers. Show and Tells at Preschool. Those are bound to the psychological artifact of the toys and their persistence in memory. I recall particularly cherishing my Boombox Soundwave, puple jet Skywarp and the Stag Beetle Insecticon Bombshell. I still have these.
I see these toy/cartoon mashup pieces as my way of taking a walk down memory lane.
They have to feel “toyetic”. Like you’d want to hold them in your hand and so they are to the scale of the action figures themselves. It’s a way of giving that gift of reclaiming your childhood through the osmosis of art even if you lost those relics or never had them to begin with. Re/Memory might be the best gift we ever give.
Display for the new Transformers Bumblebee movie due out in December.
Grimlock (left): “Me munch metal” Grimlock (right): “That sound good”
Arcee. The Leia hair buns were big back in the day.
“Power flows to the one who knows how. Desire is not enough." - Megatron “Time makes all things possible. I can wait.” – Starscream
I’ve always believed children of the 70’s and 80’s form instant bonds over our fandoms precisely because we essentially shared a childhood experience. There were few cartoons to be into but we all had the same exact toys. No matter where you lived, but particularly in the Midwest with its 6 month long winters trapping us indoors- imaginative play was a matter of survival. So when I meet a fellow fan, there is an inherent mutual respect. I see the passion in the swag they are carrying at cons, the prints they pick up from me, the tattoos shown like a trophy case. Hopefully we even share the same moral compass from those end of episode Reagan mandated “Knowing is half the battle” clips. That’s same heroism is alive and well today precisely because we were raised by heroes.
What I make is a time capsule of an age that had talent and workmanship. Back in the 80’s large mashup painted art pieces displaying the whole collection were the way these were marketed. Beautifully designed and painted artwork told the stories. Nowadays animation and toys are cheap and quick and everything looks like globs of chewing gum cute. Because it’s a disposable product in a sea of them. At cons artists would rather sell a bunch of one character headshots that appeal to the simple cash grab. Packing 30 or 40 characters into a layout is a challenge. Everyone has their particular favorite and they deserve the limelight. While many casuals could only name Optimus Prime and Bumblebee- the true fan can tell the often simple paint redecos apart by name. It’s a certain kind of kid that became the Transformers fan. They are more than meets the eye but they also have THEE eye.
By the same token, most artists aren’t of a technical sort. They can draw people mostly, landscapes if they’re lucky but inorganic geometry is the realm of designers and architects. Its the rare artist who would care to excel or be willing to draw piles of robots. There may be the temptation to make them stiff, for all that metal and ink- It’s gotta have heart. I gotta earn my namesake!
See that black ink under the Transformers: The Movie logo? That's only the signature of Stan "You've Got The Touch" Bush!!! You can win, if you dare! Thanks, @orbazz
“Me Grimlock GREATEST warrior!”
Skyfire: “I am a Decepticon now!”