Saturday, June 19, 2010

Transformers Countdown #1, Springer

Transformers: War for Cybertron is out this Tuesday, unless you go to Sears apparently. There are lots of reports of them breaking street date. I didn’t even know Sears still sold video games. Anyway, to celebrate what looks like it is going to be an awesome game I’ve been counting down my favorite Transformer toys I had as a kid. The list started with Thundercracker, then went to Sideswipe, Tracks, and Slag. Finally we are down to number one. Released in 1986 along with the Transformers Movie, my all time favorite Transformer is Springer.

I was 10 when the movie came out, exactly 10 because it came out on my birthday. The movie did many things that probably explain why I’m so strange, but that is better left to another discussion. The important thing it did that we’re talking about today is that it introduced Springer. All of sudden the Transformers were shoved into the far future of 1995. Of course the movie introduced a bunch of new Autobots who never took the form of Earth vehicles; they were all futuristic looking Cybertronian vehicles. And in my mind Springer was the coolest.

More triple changing after the jump.

Springer’s File Card:
Function: Aerial Defense
“Strength is more than physical”
A wise-cracking, sharp witted adventurer. Powerful Autobot fighter with massive physique and easy-going manner. Possesses incredible “springing” power in his legs. Travels long distances with pogo-like motion. In robot mode, carries a laser that produces giant wind tunnels. Helicopter blades transforms into a light saber that can cut through concrete. Optimistic and good humored.


Springer is a triple changer; he turns into both a helicopter and an armored car like thing. Triple changers weren’t a new concept; the Decepticons already had AstroTrain and Blitzwing. Springer was released at the same time as the other two Autobot triple changers, Broadside and Sandstorm, which explains why the three of them are sometimes grouped together. You’ll notice while looking at the pictures that his car form look an awful lot like his helicopter form.

In his robot mode Springer’s helicopter blades turn into a sword. At least in the one I had, the sword had a problem staying up. It wasn’t very impressive looking when the blades fell down to the side every time you were trying to chop someone up. He was only articulated in his arms; his tiny, little arms. His file card mentions a huge physique, and he has such puny arms in toy form.

I’m not making a very case for what is supposedly my favorite Transformer am I? As a kid, it didn’t matter. I picked up the toy and I overlooked all its flaws. I loved that the helicopter could still hold his rifle. Or driving over the couch in car mode and then popping on the rotor blades and turning into a helicopter before crashing to the floor below. Even with his tiny, T-Rex arms Springer managed to take down all my Decepticons in hand to hand combat. It didn’t matter that he didn’t have knees, he kicked ass.

In many of the Transformer continuities Springer leads a suicide squad of Autobots called the Wreckers. In fact IDW just finished a limited series called Last Stand of the Wreckers in which Springer plays a pretty important part. If you missed the books the collected edition comes out in August. I can’t recommend it enough if you are a transformer fan.

Springer has remained my favorite Transformer character, even when faced with the awesomeness of new characters like Lockdown. Luckily for me a company called Fans Project made a third party figure called Warbot Defender. This bad boy is the Springer toy I’ve always wanted. He hangs out on a shelf in my living room with the animated Arcee, cause that’s how he rolls. The incredible company Reprolabels just sent me some stickers for him but I haven’t had the chance to sit down and put them on yet. Again, pictures of the old toy come from, check them out.

There is no chance for him showing up in War for Cybertron; early interviews with the team said there are no triple changers in the game. So it looks like I’ll have to pick one alt-mode in the character creator, color him green and yellow, and just call him Springer. Hopefully you enjoyed my countdown; although the number one pick probably wasn’t a surprise to those who know me. Expect a game review Wednesday or Thursday. If you get a moment drop down to the comments and put in your favorite Autobot or Decepticon.

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