Whatever's cool with me...

Whatever's cool with me...

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Henkei Ratchet & Ironhide: 'Anatomically-correct' Transformers!

Finally these two were given the 'rightful' treatment. Henkei's version is spot-on (pic above) and captured that G1 'cartoon look' perfectly IMHO. For over 25 years, fans of the original G1 cartoon series were left wondering what went wrong with the designs of the original robot-figures of both Ratchet & Ironhide released in the early 80s.

Why all the fuss you may ask? Read on.....

These 2 characters were released (under Takara TOMY) during the height of the G1 frenzy in the early 80s (circa 1983-1984), and now since re-released as 'ENCORE' figures, maintaining the classic original designs that most of us still recall. The funny thing is.....those figures did not have proper heads!!! NOW I remembered why I profusedly resisted me' dad's offer way back in the mid-80s to buy me those 2 G1 characters...heheh!
Just compare these 2 G1/ENCORE figures with the ones Henkei released (pic above) and you'll see what I mean... :p

Not only these figures do not possess any visible head (I always beckoned that the 'windshield' substituted for their heads!)...their body proportion is totally out! Heck, I can't even make out which is which....are there any legs to go with that body? All I know is, there is a pair of arms....heheh. Yeah, I'm pretty sure that a lot of collectors will probably bash/criticise me for the lack of appreciation towards these vintage designs, but hey.....I'm someone who likes to get hold of a 'definitive version' of something, action figures/robots alike. And looks like my 25-odd years of waiting for the definitive versions for Ratchet and Ironhide paid off.....bless those designer-guys at TAKARA/TOMY!
While these newer versions (Henkei's) have its own critiscms i.e the most prominent one is that in vehicle mode, both 'Ratch and 'Hide converts into a SUV rather than the traditional 'flat-fronted' van. Heck, even Optimus had his make-over man......he's no longer a squar-ish lorry nowadays (refer to the 2008 movie!). PLUS, in robot mode, they're WAYYYYY cooler than their predecessors (need I stress more on the essence of this current posting of mine...heheh).
Anyway, collectors having the original/G1/ENCORE figures are more on a nostalgic agenda nowadays, rather than to rue on the lack of anatomical accuracy of the figures once they get their hands on them. Modern collectors today are ever so lucky that technological advancements have enabled those cool uber-geek designers at TAKARA/TOMY to come up with the sleek, updated and most importantly; accurate robot-mode designs for the Transformers characters.
So, which are the ones that catches your fancy? Not wrong to have both versions. But like I said, my 25-odd years of waiting for the perfect/definitive SUV buddies has been worth it...
'Nuff said.

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