Handels-Messerschmitt wrote:The planet keys, though? Oh my goodness. The worst gimmick in so long. A useless accessory that accomplishes nothing a simple button couldn't have done with far less hassle.
You took the words right outta' my mouth; Force Chips/Cyber Keys also don't display or store too well, leaving collectors like myself who hadn't discovered tackle-boxes at the time with dozens of misplaced accessories. Minicons? Easy to keep organized.
If we're comparing Unicron Trilogy cartoons
on the other hand, I'd be interested to hear any argument for Cybertron not blowing its predecessors out of the water, thanks to someone in Japan having the sense to cut ties with the end of Energon and do another 1 season = 1 continuity deal, like Car Robots.
Getting back to Armada, it's interesting that Cyclonus got judged a tad unfavorably, since he seemed to be a lot of people's first Armada toy; when the first Supercons came out, I'd routinely see pegs of just Hot Shot and Demolishor, and I doubt Cyc was shortpacked (though I held out to make him my first Bulk too). I think it's because his Minicon gave him the most visually obvious benefit before you even handled him: the front of his copter mode looked lame until you attached Crumplezone ("HUMP THAT TANK!") and made him a true gunship. Ironically, that first infamous mini-comic was the only time I recall him doing that in any media; he's attached that way at the beginning of the Dreamwave Armada profile books, but to his bulk's robot mode, giving Cyclonus a distressing beer gut. "AND I"LL TURN INTO SOME HUGE, DEFORMED THING!", indeed.
Never bothered with his neon green repaint, though. It started the trend of repainting every other new helicopter mold into Springer, which produced some neat (if non-triple-changing) updates for the Wreckers' leader over the last decade, but Powerlinx Cyclonus was not one of them.
Now, Demolishor did improve once you actually handled him, but it always bugged me that only one set of his shoulder missiles actually launched; it's Has/Tak's weird aversion to certain symmetrical action features that denied us an Animated Bulkhead with both wreckin' balls. Once I played with him, I also found it odd that he was most closely associated with the Land Military Minicons, since he works better with the later Air Military Team. His unique gun-finger design makes him one of many Supercons whose hands can't actually hold weapon-pegs, BUT they make him the only one who can actually hold Thunderwing in shuriken mode, and easily be posed like he's about to throw him! The Land Military Team looks better on Megatron anyway.
Did Armada end up 'forcing' adult collectors to actually play with
their toys than any other Transformers line? Perhaps that should be its distinction down the ages.