Wednesday, 15 August 2012

#4: Chromedome (1987)

Obviously I can't speak for everyone. But for myself, the concept of the Headmaster toys was cool. Very cool. So cool in fact, that I was the coolest guy at school inasmuch as I didn't have any Headmasters Transformers (until I got Fangry later on, but that's another story for another time).

In the west, the mythos was that small groups of Transformers (Autobots and Decepticons naturallement) landed on a planet called Nebulos (or Nebulan in some of the fictions), and started warring all over again. Some of the natives got involved, and, through some convoluted storytelling, became either the weapons (Targetmasters) or the heads of some of the bigger robots. In Japan, this got simplified even further (little robot becomes big robot), but let's stick to the west for the moment.

Sadly, as cool as the concept is, the toys weren't ever that good. I liked them a lot, but even I'll admit, some of them were a bit naff. Chromedome, it has to be said, is pretty high up the naff list.

See what I mean? Even by G1 standards, he's a bit of an unarticulated brick, with only arm swivels at the shoulders. Plus, he's beige. Nothing exciting is ever beige.

Oddly enough though, there was a glimmer of hope for Chromedome. Because his Tech Specs are very interesting. They tell of a geeky computer programmer, only actually fighting in the war because his place of work was wrecked by the Decepticons, who is, by fate itself, paired up with someone who only really cares how they look in the mirror. Intriguing stuff, almost a buddy cop movie plot, in actual fact. Can these two get along? How will the cool popular guy be able to cope with the computer nerd, and vice versa?

We never found out. Sadly, because the cartoon demanded speed of character introduction over plot and character development, we never saw how any of that could have played out. As for Japanese Chromedome, well. let's just say that boring beige was the right colour after all. It's a good job that the 1988 Transformers Annual in the UK had a text story from Stylor's perspective, or we might not have any fiction at all that fits into Chromedome's Tech Specs. So Marvel UK, you came up trumps again.

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