I never had an Optimus Prime...
I was what you might call the target demo for the Transformers toys when they first hit back in the 80's. What was I, 9 or 10? I had been playing and collecting "He-Man guys", but when those transforming robots came out, I got hooked big time. Every chance I got, I pushed for new Transformers. Good grade card? I'll take a Huffer thanks. Christmas? Mirage please. Saving up pennies and dimes? I remember begging my folks to drive me to Toys R Us one night to buy a Skywarp with coins I had saved up. Over time, I ended up with a great collection, including many of the big ones - Jetfire (my favorite to this day), Omega Supreme, Shockwave, but never did I manage to get the two top dogs, Optimus Prime and Megatron.
For some reason, those two were always out of reach. They never were on the shelves when I was at the toy store, or if they were, they were a few more dollars than my tiny toy budget could afford. A few of my friends had one, the other, or both, so I did get to see them in action, but I never had one of my own. I guess that always kind of bummed me out. It didn't matter that I was the only one with Omega Supreme...I didn't have Prime, and everyone knows he's the best.
Flash forward a decade or two. I'm playing/collecting Star Wars Attacktix, and I'm geeked to learn that Transformers are coming out in Attacktix form, but I find out that the first set are all the newer versions of the characters. Still very cool - I mean, come on, SUPER Optimus Prime - but just not the ones I grew up with. Well, guess what, as fate would have it, I joined the Attacktix team just in time for the design work on TF2, the first set to have "G1" figs in it. Wow. All of those years staging huge mock battles on my bedroom floor with every TF I owned...finally going to pay off! I'm sure my parents never saw that coming. (Can you imagine it? "Honey, time for dinner." "Just let the boy play, he may need to know someday if Grapple or Ironhide is better in a fight.") Even though I knew most of the characters fairly well, I still took the opportunity to do a lot of research on all of the characters, just like I do for every set. You never know when a small bit of the characters history will provide the spark for the perfect power combination.
(On a side note...notice that Captain America and Optimus Prime have the same power? Did you know they are going to be in a comic together when the New Avengers crossover with the Transformers? Weird. And by weird I mean cool.)
I always spend a little extra time on the starters, making sure they are as balanced and as fun as possible, because I know that the greatest number of new players will probably come into the game via that route. After all, they are clear packed, and usually have the big name characters in them. The Transformers starter is no exception. AND...it has both Optimus Prime and Megatron in it. This was my chance, to take back that tiny missing piece, and actually contribute to it. The artists, they did an amazing job...Prime and Megatron are probably two of the best translations of any Attacktix figures out there...amazing display pieces by themselves. And, for anyone that knows the results of TixCon, they play great too...contributing to the Transformers dominance over both the Marvel and Star Wars universes.
So...now I finally have my Optimus Prime and Megatron, sitting here on top of my monitor, ready to do battle at a moments notice. It's about time...
Two Tix Forward is a new weekly column by webhead, member of the Attacktix design team. Check in every Friday to see what is new!