Wednesday, 8 March 2017

Transforming Designs Too Good To Be Transformers

- mantis nine nines

As I have discussed here before, the Transformers brand was founded on designs picked from multiple toy and animation properties. In many ways G1 is an all-star sampler of the best in late 70's and early 80's engineering. Using this foundation, Transformers has built its own identity, with the various design teams making subtle and not-so-subtle references to other franchises through the years. The result is over 30 years of great looking robots. A person who just collects Transformers would have a rich variety to choose from, but there is still some great stuff that would never make it to your shelves.
So let's take a look at some of the best robots that will never be Transformers:

The Garland (Megazone 23)

This sweet one man Mecha captures a realistic but sci-future vibe that is perfect to my taste. The design could fit into Patlabor, Akira, or a million other classic anime worlds. The bike mode looks fast and powerful, and comes in several different colors. The robot mode is a unique combination of vaguely Macross elements, and has a sweet pure industrial head design.

The closest Transformers equivalent is probably Cybertron Ransack. Robot mode is average, but his sweet little cyber-bike works for me in every way.

Ransack GTS photos by Ben Watson

VB-6 K├Ânig Monster  (Macross: New Horizon)
The VB-6 takes the most powerful and brutish Destroid in the Macross continuity and somehow turns it into a flying triple-changer. The star of these forms is what would normally be called the Gerwalk mode, a chicken-walking throwback to the original Monster. Not so much a tank as a battleship with legs, this thing bristles with more firepower than any Transformer I'm aware of.

 Blitzwing may have ordered from the same menu, but the VB-6 has a level of beef and scale that blows him out of the water.

The Orguss (Super Dimension Century Orguss)

Super Dimension Century Orguss has a unique art deco aesthetic I find refreshing in a sea of designs that are either square and blocky, or almost purely organic. The Orguss is fictionally huge, almost a city-bot, and it's a goddamn quad changer! The "tank" mode is the weakest with its exposed hands, but still has enough unique features to get a pass from me. Especially since the jet, gerwalk, and robot modes are so cool.

Sixshot may have 2 more modes, but still can't match the Orguss for pure artistic beauty.

The "Cyclone" Mospeada Ride Armor (Genesis Rider Mospeada)

There was never a chance the Cyclone could have been part of Transformers since it relies on an exposed human pilot in both modes. That fact aside, we can concentrate on just how gorgeous the design itself is. There are several different types of Cyclone, each featuring a different forearm weapon, and also a female model. Each has their good points, with my favorite being the Close Combat model with its retractable vibro-blades.

The closest TF parallel is Armada Sideways, though his rider integration is limited to more of a headmaster thing.

Sideways Photos by Ben Watson

So what do you think? Are these indeed too good to be Transformers? Let me know what bots you would have picked, and as always thanks for keeping it #Refined!

Follow Dan on Twitter @mantisninenines

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