Windcharger has barrel envy about Overdrive.

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So the Honda S2000 was introduced into the Hasbro Alternator / Takara Binaltech line recently.

Takara's choice of original 80s character was Overdrive (link), a minor non-anime appearing toy-only figure that was a free mail-order figure.

The S2000 was a perfect "modern" vehicle for Overdrive. Hell, I'm happy Takara even though to acknowledge an obscure, non-show character like this.

Binaltech Overdrive is pretty amazing. He's got a very different transformation scheme than previous Binaltechs and he's got this totally kick ass long barrel weapon that is created from his engine and exhaust manifold/exhaust pipe. Quite the imposing figure and a very welcome one into the line.

Omnibot Overdrive and Binaltech Overdrive

And then Hasbro of course decided to bring Overdrive over to the United States. And for some reason, everything Takara does right Hasbro somehow fucks up.

Case in point: Alternator Windcharger.

Yes. That's right. They didn't use Overdrive.

Hasbro seems to have had a major problem keeping names from the 80s. The Transformers brand has lost so many important character names that it isn't even funny. And man has this impacted the name choices given as an "homage" to the 80s.

G1 WindchargerHasbro apparently lost the trademark on the name Overdrive so they decided to name the new car Windcharger after the small G1 minibot that appeared in Season 1 and promptly got killed in 1986's Transformers: The Movie.

And Windcharger doesn't quite work for me.

You can see in the design of Binaltech Overdrive the nostalgia to the original Overdrive. The heads good. The color choice is of course dead on. And while the gun is not quite the same, it more than makes up for the 3 guns G1 Overdrive had. (Few TFs had more than 1 gun.)

As I mentioned, Hasbro decided to change the name and this is becoming more and more common place as it becomes apparent that they have lost tons of G1 names over the years to other toy lines.

The popular character Jazz had to become Meister (his Takara name), my favorite character Shockwave has been given the godawful moniker Shockblast, and Ravage now has to be called Battle Ravage.

Now they could have just added Decepticon or Autobot to the name, like they did with "Autobot Tracks", but at the Con last year they said they hated doing that. Why the hell do they hate that???

Shockwave is Shockwave. Not Shockblast. Shockblast means absolutely nothing in reference to the original G1 character.

Shockblast is the relatively lame TF Energon character and other than having a "laser weapon" as a hand and one eye bears no real resemblance to the real Shockwave.

But anyway, back to "Windcharger".

Windcharger and Overdrive comparisonIf Hasbro had decided to repaint some of the internal parts of Binaltech Overdrive, as well as the head grey, then perhaps I could say "ok, he's Windcharger" and leave it at that. (They could have called him Autobot Overdrive and made the whole TF world happy too!)

But he's a one-to-one duplicate of BT Overdrive.

Now there is something going on in Overdrive that bears mentioning. I don't know if it is indeed intentional or if it is purely coincidental but if you turn Overdrive upside down in bot mode you can see design shape very similar to the original G1 Windcharger's toy face plate. At least I can see it.

Now the gun barrel. Oh the gun barrel.

Now Alternator Windcharger was released about 2 months ago and the gun barrel was no present.

Hasbro stated somesuch thing about Honda not wanting the weapon on Windcharger and so he ends up with this stupid "force shield" thing.

But wait... Binaltech Overdrive comes out from Takara and has the frigg'n long ass barrel!!!

What the hell is going on?

The gun barrel is a design element that totally makes Overdrive very visually different from the other Binaltechs and yet for some reason we can't have this in the states? Too violent?

The US is the single most fucked up violent culture on the face of this 3 billion year old planet and yet we can't get a 3" gun barrel on our plastic version of the die-cast metal Overdrive, a toy aimed at adult collectors and not even children!

Something is just wrong here people.

What is it with Hasbro???

Just name the figures with Autobot or Decepticon before the name and keep the figure accurate with the Takara release.

If Honda can allow Overdrive to have the gun barrel in Japan why the hell not in the US? This just sounds like marketing bullshit on Hasbro's part.

Anyway.

I'm just waiting for one of my IT support staff so I'm bored and had nothing better to do than sit here in the staging lab and write this crap.

2 Comments

And I love the way Overdrive is flaunting is huge (weapon) shaft in the promo pic.

As far as the loss of trademark names, it could be worse. Supposedly Hasbro almost lost the rights to the name "Megatron." I forget the details. But Aaron Archer commented about it during one of the cons. I wouldn't put it past Hasbro to eff up something like that.

Awesome review on Overdrive. I thought I'd skip this Binaltech, wasn't thrilled with some of the initial production photos. But the final version looks good. Looks like I'll be putting in an order.

Great blog.

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This page contains a single entry by Nala published on March 31, 2005 9:30 AM.

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