Top 5 Best Homages and Callbacks in Transformers Toys

Top 5 Best Homages and Callbacks in Transformers Toys

Saturday, March 21st, 2015 6:04pm CDT

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Posted by: william-james88   Views: 65,999

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Every two weeks, Seibertron.com brings you a Top 5 list related to all things Transformers written by me, your fellow editor. These are my opinions (just like movie or game reviews hosted by sites are still just the opinion of one person) so what matters most is what you guys think of the topic or list, and I hope to see your own lists or comments on omissions and ranking. Let's have fun! All previous lists can be found here.

Top 5 Best Homages and Callbacks in Transformers Toys


One of the best parts of being a hardcore Transformers fan is to notice the homages and callbacks designers leave on a figure, they are always a treat. The main rules for selection in this list is that they were not updates to older toys part of the Transformers brand (let’s keep that for another Top 5 list) nor other versions of an older Transformers characters being reinterpreted for the latest new fictional universe (ie: Energon Optimus as an homage to G1 Optimus). The main thing here is that these are retail released figures featuring homages we did not see coming.


5. Transformers Generations Crosscut homaging Diacone No. 6 Honda City R

The whole figure is an homage in this case. Technically this is the first Crosscut figure ever released at retail and unlike other generations figures, it is not an update on a Transformers character from either the original G1 toys or the G1 cartoon. Instead this figure is an homage to the original pre-Transformers Diaclone version of the "Honda City R" mold (the one in silver in the image below) that was not licensed to Hasbro. Hasbro ended up using the "Honda City Turbo" model that would become Skids (the blue one on the very same picture). This robot toy also had a less human-like headsculpt than Skids and featured a mouthplate. This figure definitely gets a nod for going beyond the normal scope of an homage to reflect the origins of the Transformers brand (yes I know there was a reissue of the Honda City R introducing Crosscut to the Transformers Brand but a) it was not a retail release and b) I am looking at the bigger picture in terms of what this toy is homaging).

Transformers News: Top 5 Best Homages and Callbacks in Transformers Toys

Transformers News: Top 5 Best Homages and Callbacks in Transformers Toys

4. Transformers Cybertron Hot Shot (Excellion) homaging Transformers G1 1986 Hot Rod (Hot Rodimus)

The image below explains it all. What blows my mind is how I always assumed the main homage were the wing tips in the back to homage the Hot Rod animation model, but the true homage is actually the legs. They are directly lifted from the Hot Rod toy. I love how the Hot Shot toy shows how simple transformations akin to the G1 era could still give a great robot mode. The reason I chose Hot Shot over Excellion is because the Hot Rod homage goes just a bit too overboard on that toy while Hot Shot keeps some subtlety while retaining his own identity as a toy.

Transformers News: Top 5 Best Homages and Callbacks in Transformers Toys

3. Transformers Energon Omega Supreme homaging Action Master Elite Omega Spreem.

This is the part in a rock concert when the singer goes "this is for the most hadcore fans" because this homage is astounding simply for how far out it is and for how only a select group of hardcore fans would get it. Look at the two pictures below and check how similar the head is with the visor, the breathing tubes below it as well as the design of the upper chest. Now, the one at the left is the small transformer which turns into the head of Energon Omega Supreme (it is far more obvious when you see him from the back). For those who do not know, this Omega Supreme was the second Transformers toy with that name released in North America and he was a reinterpretation of the original G1 Omega Supreme for a new show. However, there was another Omega Supreme toy released in the G1 era as part of the Action Master line. This line offered small non transforming versions of famous Transformers characters and were meant to be more like action figures then transformers. However, there were some that actually could transform slightly, but they were never sold in the US, just Europe (in terms of the west). One of them was a version of Omega Supreme that for a "some reason" was called Omega Spreem. That is who the small yellow toy on the right is. So, when the designers made the new Energon Omega Supreme, they inspired themselves from the design of the small action master G1 version for the small robot that made it's head. So, like I said, it's an amazing attention to detail that shows how passionate some of these designers are, and yet most do not know this (until now hopefully). The fact that it is so minute makes it both a great homage but not something I feel comfortable placing as number one. Also, for many, the less we remember about the action master line, the better.

Transformers News: Top 5 Best Homages and Callbacks in Transformers Toys

2. Transformers Energon Megatron homaging Transformers G1 1986 Galvatron

Similar to the Hot Shot homage discussed earlier, Megatron exibits a bunch of characteristics from a G1 toy, this time Galvatron. This works perfectly since Galvatron is Megatron reborn and this new form of Megatron is seeping with hints at the toy he will eventually be. I am not referring tothe fiction but to the intertwined lore surrounding the characters and toys. Firstly, you have the fact that he is white, which calls back to the fact that the original Galvatron toy was made white instead of his show accurate purple. The toy is further referrenced through the barrel chest. Sculpted details keep the homage going with the designs found on the legs, the abdominal area, the crowned head and so much more. One look at the picture below and you will see this is the G1 Galvatron toy reborn.

Transformers News: Top 5 Best Homages and Callbacks in Transformers Toys

1. Transformers Reveal The Shield Lugnuthomaging Animated Lugnut

And here is the winner that disrupts the whole pattern and throws subtlety out the door. But it's worth it to mention such an odd and wonderful figure that is an homage as much as the others, albeit far more in your face. Unlike the entire classics line which consists of updating older toys and characters with modern engineering and an updated look, this was a figure taking cues from an extremely stylized animated model, of just a few years prior, and reimagining the look into a more realistic Flying Fortress. It is bringing this character into the Transfomrers Brand proper, as if based on a G1 character that never was (which is diferent from what they did with Lockdown who was reinterpreted as a movie character for the ROTF line). That is made more obvious by his wavemates in the Reveal the Shield line which was were all updated versions of G1 characters in a line meant to represent a continuation to the classics and universe line (of note, he was the only original voyager mold of that line). The fact that he can’t fit into anyone’s collection properly (please tell me with which characters you display him with, I am really curious) and that he is a total reversal of the usual process of toys and animated models (which take cues from older toys and models, usually G1), just comes to show how amazing an homage and figure this is. I still can’t believe it exists, and the fact that it also happens to be one of the best realized plane transformers to ever come out is just icing on the cake. So in short, this figure is not an update on an older toy, and is not a reinterpretation of an older character for a new media line. This guy is truly an homage (to animated Lugnut in this case), and an incredibly odd and amazing one at that.

Transformers News: Top 5 Best Homages and Callbacks in Transformers Toys

Transformers News: Top 5 Best Homages and Callbacks in Transformers Toys

Honourable mentions: Deep breath.... "Target Exclusive Predacon Rising Cyberverse Beast Hunter Optimus Prime" *exhale* which is a great homage to G1 Thunderclash.
And Cybertron Downshift is a great homage to Wheeljack, and I am surprised they didn't just call him that.


This article was last modified on Tuesday, April 12th, 2016 9:34am CDT

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Re: Top 5 Best Homages and Callbacks in Transformers Toys (1665275)
Posted by grimdragon2001 on March 21st, 2015 @ 6:40pm CDT
Nice one

Lugnut is actually in my classics shelves, specifically the Season 3 and beyond shelf (I need a Beyond G1 shelf)
Re: Top 5 Best Homages and Callbacks in Transformers Toys (1665279)
Posted by Tsutsukakushi on March 21st, 2015 @ 7:17pm CDT
5. Energon Dreadwing. Makes a nice update toy for G1 Scourge.
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4. Transformers Go Red Dragotron makes a great update toy for Beast Wars Transmetals II Megatron.

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3. Energon Scorponok makes a nice update for the G1 version.

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2. Energon Galvatron, Great update toy for G1 Galvatron.

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1. Target Lio Prime great update for Leo Convoy.
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Re: Top 5 Best Homages and Callbacks in Transformers Toys (1665286)
Posted by Burn on March 21st, 2015 @ 7:57pm CDT
Yeah I'd definitely go Energon Galvatron for G1 Galvatron over Energon Megatron. Sure, EG IS just a repaint of EM, but it does a much better job of being G1 Galvatron.
Re: Top 5 Best Homages and Callbacks in Transformers Toys (1665295)
Posted by padfoo on March 21st, 2015 @ 8:39pm CDT
Reveal the Shield Lugnut was an amazing figure. I wish I purchased him!
Re: Top 5 Best Homages and Callbacks in Transformers Toys (1665296)
Posted by Gallifreyan Autobot on March 21st, 2015 @ 8:41pm CDT
Age Of Extinction Hot Shot and its homage Generation 1 tracks

evasion Mode Optimus Prime makes a interesting update for G1 Prime

Armada Scavenger totally looks like a constrict-i-con

battle in a box Smoke Screen could be used for a G1 smoke-screen figure update
Re: Top 5 Best Homages and Callbacks in Transformers Toys (1665308)
Posted by Cobotron on March 21st, 2015 @ 9:35pm CDT
Great article WJ88.
Lugnut is reeking havoc with the rest of his Decepticon brothers on my Classics/Gen shelf.

This seems like a good venue to through out this idea. We all know that Transformers were born from the evolution of transforming robot toys that came from Takara's Microman toy line. Maybe I am just seeing what I want to see, but the similarities are uncanny. What if Optimus Prime himself is an homage?
Image
That of course is MP-01 standing next to Microman, Robotman. You'll notice Robotman has a Microman figure piloting him. If you take the notion that Diaclone Convoy came with a pilot that could ride in his chest, the similarities in color scheme, and really just some of the shapes in the two figures over all designs, I think this argument could have a little traction.

Photo courtesy of the Micro Heritage section of http://www.microforever.com
Re: Top 5 Best Homages and Callbacks in Transformers Toys (1665311)
Posted by william-james88 on March 21st, 2015 @ 10:04pm CDT
Burn wrote:Yeah I'd definitely go Energon Galvatron for G1 Galvatron over Energon Megatron. Sure, EG IS just a repaint of EM, but it does a much better job of being G1 Galvatron.


But then it's more of an update than an homage. That's why I preferred using Megatron.

I will have a best update list and it's more fodder for that one, for me at least. Just wanted to say why I picked one over the other.
Re: Top 5 Best Homages and Callbacks in Transformers Toys (1665314)
Posted by shajaki on March 21st, 2015 @ 10:24pm CDT
Love the list :APPLAUSE:
One of your runner-ups is one of my all time favs: Downshift.
He was the first figure before the revelation of the Classics line that me made gleefully squeal out loud "OMG ITS A G1 FIGURE". He has hardcore sharp boxy edges which pleases me in ways I would rather not mention. It really bums me out that he never got a G1 faithful repaint though. MMMMMMmmmmmmmm :x

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Re: Top 5 Best Homages and Callbacks in Transformers Toys (1665315)
Posted by Bumblevivisector on March 21st, 2015 @ 10:30pm CDT
I'm not the only one who sees Energon Megatron as an homage to Thunderwing as well, am I? Especially the appearance of his spaceship mode, which he can power up by attaching a smaller version of himself to, a (possibly coincidental) nod to the Mega Pretender gimmick? Add in the Galvy cannons jutting off both shoulders at adjustable angles (only this time they're functional in bot mode, more than you could say of Thundie's shell), and he's the best of both the Unicron-reforged Decepticon leader and the Matrix-affinity Decepticon leader!

Or maybe I'm predisposed to see him that way, since Geoff Senior made Galvy and Thundie look similarly dynamic in silhouette. Either way, I only shelled out for the $40 toy because I saw him as the Thunderwing I could never obtain, whereas the smaller mold serves as Energon/Superlink Megatron/Galvatron/General/Admission...? That is, I bought the Megatron/Deluxe Op 2 pack and Japan exclusive purple repaint with pink Dinosword, but not the Galvatron repaint of the big mold. It had too much tan anyway, a problem various Starscreams kept developing shortly thereafter.
Re: Top 5 Best Homages and Callbacks in Transformers Toys (1665317)
Posted by Nemesis Maximo on March 21st, 2015 @ 10:31pm CDT
Autobot tap out wrote:Age Of Extinction Hot Shot and its homage Generation 1 tracks

I think it's more appropiate to call that an homage to TF:PRID Hot Shot, as he had goggles on his head. So AOE Hot Shot is in the same category as Lugnut, reimagining a character for a different aesthetic. In turn, PRID Hot Shot was an homage to Cybertron Hot Shot. So it's a full circle trianlge.

So, I display RTS Lugnut with my Decepticons. I'm only displaying the "classics" toys riht now, and I have one shelf for bots and one for cons.he may not be a classic, but he's a great character, a cool figure; and I wish they would make a proper "classics" Lockdown.
Re: Top 5 Best Homages and Callbacks in Transformers Toys (1665332)
Posted by william-james88 on March 21st, 2015 @ 11:06pm CDT
Nemesis Maximo wrote: In turn, PRID Hot Shot was an homage to Cybertron Hot Shot. So it's a full circle triangle.



I love that sentence!
Re: Top 5 Best Homages and Callbacks in Transformers Toys (1665349)
Posted by prjkt on March 21st, 2015 @ 11:50pm CDT
Lugnut goes with my classics guys, standing next to ROTF Lockdown and the Prime Vehicons - need to pad out the balance between 'bot and 'con.
Re: Top 5 Best Homages and Callbacks in Transformers Toys (1665358)
Posted by TimothyR on March 22nd, 2015 @ 1:24am CDT
Cobotron wrote:Great article WJ88.
Lugnut is reeking havoc with the rest of his Decepticon brothers on my Classics/Gen shelf.

This seems like a good venue to through out this idea. We all know that Transformers were born from the evolution of transforming robot toys that came from Takara's Microman toy line. Maybe I am just seeing what I want to see, but the similarities are uncanny. What if Optimus Prime himself is an homage?
Image
That of course is MP-01 standing next to Microman, Robotman. You'll notice Robotman has a Microman figure piloting him. If you take the notion that Diaclone Convoy came with a pilot that could ride in his chest, the similarities in color scheme, and really just some of the shapes in the two figures over all designs, I think this argument could have a little traction.

Photo courtesy of the Micro Heritage section of http://www.microforever.com


You are definitely seeing what you want to see. The only similarity are the colors.. Otherwise, they're completely different.
Re: Top 5 Best Homages and Callbacks in Transformers Toys (1665360)
Posted by Emerje on March 22nd, 2015 @ 1:41am CDT
william-james88 wrote:And Cybertron Downshift is a great homage to Wheeljack, and I am surprised they didn't just call him that.

They couldn't, there was already a Wheeljack in AEC so their G1 tribute had to be renamed (after another G1 guy...). It wasn't even the best Wheeljack-cum-Downshift figure, that was (IMO) the Energon version. Not that it stopped me from buying the Cybertron figure twice.
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Incidentally, Hastak almost went really full circle and repainted Generations Wheeljack (with some Tracks parts, probably the wings and weapons) into a G1 Downshift figure but scrapped it.

I've always thought of Energon Megatron as more of a G1 Megatron tribute. It's basically a G1 Megs head with a crown. Some of the other parts that can be contributed to Galvatron can just as easily be explained as a byproduct of the Unicron incubation process. Energon Galvatron is definitely my G1 Galvatron homage, and not the ugly Takara one, gotta go with Hasbro on that.

For me a good homage is one that isn't incredibly direct (like Crosscut and Lugnut). RID Cryo Scourge is a nice homage to Cybertron Cryotek. Movie Fracture is a nice homage to GoBots Crasher. Three of the four Action Master Elites are homages themselves. You really don't have to look far to find a homage to something in Transformers.

And hey, not all Transformers homages are to other Transformers.

Image

Howabout Megatron before he was Megatron? Maybe not a homage, but still a cool origin for a toy.

015-the-man-from-u-n-c-l-e-theredlist.jpg


Emerje
Re: Top 5 Best Homages and Callbacks in Transformers Toys (1665381)
Posted by Va'al on March 22nd, 2015 @ 5:22am CDT
I always thought Thew's explanation for Lugnut's status was great (2:08 onwards). :D




In terms of oblique references, I like to think of AoE Scorn as a post-it note of love to the Beast Wars era: hand mouth, tail hand, teeth all over the place. If you listen closely, you can hear a tiny, muffled 'yeeeesss'.

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Re: Top 5 Best Homages and Callbacks in Transformers Toys (1665404)
Posted by NuclearConvoy on March 22nd, 2015 @ 8:43am CDT
I never got to see RTS Lugnut, or most of the entire RTS line, where I lived. I missed out on some awesome toys I really want... and that now cost a tonne...
Re: Top 5 Best Homages and Callbacks in Transformers Toys (1665408)
Posted by prjkt on March 22nd, 2015 @ 8:58am CDT
Va'al wrote:I always thought Thew's explanation for Lugnut's status was great (2:08 onwards). :D

Makes sense.

He also shows up in the pack-in comic with Battle In Space Rodimus & Cyclonus, putting him there in the original movie timeframe... Oh and there's a cameo appearance in one of the prequel comic series, Monstrosity I think, also based on this design.

So yeah, officially retconned as the G1 Lugnut we never actually saw...
Re: Top 5 Best Homages and Callbacks in Transformers Toys (1665417)
Posted by Nemesis Maximo on March 22nd, 2015 @ 9:24am CDT
prjkt wrote:
Va'al wrote:I always thought Thew's explanation for Lugnut's status was great (2:08 onwards). :D

Makes sense.

He also shows up in the pack-in comic with Battle In Space Rodimus & Cyclonus, putting him there in the original movie timeframe... Oh and there's a cameo appearance in one of the prequel comic series, Monstrosity I think, also based on this design.

So yeah, officially retconned as the G1 Lugnut we never actually saw...

Kinda like Alpha Bravo!
Re: Top 5 Best Homages and Callbacks in Transformers Toys (1665420)
Posted by Va'al on March 22nd, 2015 @ 9:27am CDT
Nemesis Maximo wrote:
prjkt wrote:
Va'al wrote:I always thought Thew's explanation for Lugnut's status was great (2:08 onwards). :D

Makes sense.

He also shows up in the pack-in comic with Battle In Space Rodimus & Cyclonus, putting him there in the original movie timeframe... Oh and there's a cameo appearance in one of the prequel comic series, Monstrosity I think, also based on this design.

So yeah, officially retconned as the G1 Lugnut we never actually saw...

Kinda like Alpha Bravo!


THE FULL TRIANGULAR CIRCLE IS SQUARED
Re: Top 5 Best Homages and Callbacks in Transformers Toys (1665423)
Posted by ZeroWolf on March 22nd, 2015 @ 9:36am CDT
What about CW prime who clearly homages Energon Prime.

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