The year 2009 marks the 25th anniversary of the Transformers franchise. To celebrate this incredible milestone, Seibertron.com will look back at a quarter-century of great Transformers toys, bringing back into the limelight some brilliant figures that have fallen through the cracks over the years.
Once a week, a fan (be it a member of the staff or a user on the site) will have the opportunity to write about one of their favourite "hidden gems" of the Transformers Universe, and have their review posted on the site's front page.
We hope this feature will be a great success, and that many of you will be encouraged to look back at the last 25 years of Transformers and perhaps take a worthwhile second-look at some real unsung classics of the Transformers universe.
___________________________________________________________________Buried Treasure - Cannonball (Cybertron series - 2006)
Avast ye Transformer fans! For the inaugural "Buried Treasure" Review, I decided to pick a figure that embodies the very notion of "buried treasure." Pirates have not been all that common in the franchise, and for years only the Beast Wars II Seacons
could lay claim to that title. But all that changed during the amazing "Transformers Cybertron" line, when we were given a unique repaint of popular Autobot character.
The Red Alert
mold had been released in the first wave of Deluxe figures and, from my memory, had been a decent hit with the fans. The mold was a vast improvement over the Armada Red Alert
but still retained many of the character's traits. From the obvious "medic" element, to the sympathetic look on the head sculpt, to all the first aid tools and add-ons - it was obvious that the new Cybertron Red Alert mold was all-Autobot. Which is why many fans were so surprised to see the figure repainted later down the line... as a Decepticon!
Around the same time that the Autobot Red Alert got a massive upgrade
, the deluxe-class Decepticon Cannonball
was released. Perhaps the character, whose bio reveals him to be a looter of sorts, salvaged the old Red Alert toy and saw it as a good enough mold to use for himself!
It's difficult to write about any figure from the Cybertron line without mentionning the brilliant packaging. The series has come and gone, but it still had the most eye-catching packaging of any Transformers toy line I've ever seen. From the faction-shaped card backing to the brilliant character art, everything about the packaging was clean, sharp and just great to look at. With nice, dark colours and cool silver highlights, Cannonball
blends in beautifully with the packaging, making him a great piece for any MOC/MIB collector.
But the real fun starts when you get this little buccaneer out of the packaging. It's amazing what a little paint can do, isn't it? Looking at Cannonball
, it's difficult to tell he was once an Autobot ambulance (type thing). The dark colours give him a very menacing look, ressembling some sort of hearse, and the whole thing is beautifully decorated with sharp silver highlights, including silver trim and mag wheels, and wicked skull decals that really add alot of personality to the figure (as if a Transforming pirate wasn't cool enough already).
The old "Cyber Key" gimmick works just as well with Cannonball
as it did with Red Alert. Just stick it in the slot at the rear end of the car and watch as some cannons flip out, ready to blow any landlubber to pieces (should I stop with the pirate jokes? They're just so easy to write!). Not an amazing feature, but still added value, especially since the key gimmick really doesn't get in the way of the toy's functionality.
His transformation, like Red Alert's, is unique and shows alot of creativity in the engineering. Cannonball's body is basically made from the middle of the car, while the front and back ends come together to form the legs.
vehicle mode is wicked, but it's his robot mode that really makes him shine. I doubt many people thought "pirate" when they first laid eyes on Cybertron Red Alert, but it works so well in robot mode you would think that's what the designers were aiming for all along. Red Alert's "gun-hand" and add-ons just scream pirate-y hook hanks and the black "eye-patch" over the left side of his visor is a real nice touch. The colours work really well in this mode, with the nice silver detailing continuing over his chest, shoulders and legs and the clear purple windows of his vehicle look great in the proper lighting. And don't forget how cool those blue skeleton decals look in robot mode - two on his shoulders and the big skull on his back. Sweet.
He is fairly poseable in robot mode, but lacks alot of movement in his legs. It's ok though, he more than makes up for it by having cool, interchangeable pirate weapons (handy for shooting blaggards in the face), a great colour scheme with lots of unique detail and an awesome bio. Heck, he doesn't need to be super-poseable, he looks great just standing there! Cannonball
is a brilliant figure and one of the best, most original repaints in the history of the franchise. His unique personality makes him a great addition to any collection, and a must have for pirate fans... if you can ignore the fact that this pirate transforms into a car
of all things...
So set sail, collectors! This is one piece of Transformers treasure that should definately not
You can visit the complete Cannonball gallery on Seibertron.com by clicking here
, and find your own buried treasures by visiting all the galleries here
!If you would like to submit a review of an obscure or rare Transformer figure for our "Buried Treasure" feature, please contact me (Skowl) via private message!