Monday, 13 August 2012

#2: Trailbreaker (1984)

These days, he's called Trailblazer, Trailcutter, or any other name that Hasbro chooses that week because they can't use his real name any more. But those of us who know the truth call him by his real name: Trailbreaker.

Trailbreaker's one of the characters in Transformers who gets no love whatsoever it seems. Not because he's hated, or that he's annoying. Just because, well, the G1 cartoon didn't have him around much (a few appearances here and there, mainly in the first three-parter "More than Meets the Eye" where he informs Spike and Sparkplug that he "may not be fast...but I'm tough!") and he never made much of an impact in the comics. But I always found his Tech Spec entry to be really interesting, a really good description of a character who, although they appear to be laughing and joking, hide an inner fear; that they may not be good enough. A character like many of us, who use humour as a defence mechanism. This is a biography for a kid's toy, lest we forget. Bold stuff for 1984.

The toy wasn't bad either, and would later be retooled and repainted as Hoist, who we'll talk about another time. Trailbreaker has always been a toy I wanted, mainly because I thought I'd won him once in a school competition in 1985; I didn't win him, but the desire remains the same. One of these days I'll snag the elusive bugger.

A quick word about box art for G1 Transformers. It's amazing. I know, I know, it's not to everyone's taste. But for me, it evokes such nostalgia, a calling card to a time when times were a bit simpler, a time when getting a new Transformer was a rarity indeed, and going to Toymaster or Woolworths in York meant that you'd get to see Transformers on the shelves, in all their varied and colourful forms. Ah, memories.

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