Monday, 24 September 2012

#34: Groove (1986)

Groove was one of the many Generation One Autobots that was openly a pacifist, not wanting to fight, yet knowing they had to, to end the war they hated so very much. He joined such luminaries as First Aid, Beachcomber and Fixit, even the Pretender Monster Slog to a degree. Sadly, as with most of the component parts of any combiner in G1, Groove was almost faceless, and certainly characterless, even in the comics. Of course the commanders got a lot of face time, but the rest did not. Not unless you were Swindle, anyway. Or even the Aerialbots. Personally, I think that's a crying shame, I'd take a well done character study of Defensor and his components over anything to do with the Aerialbots, but there you go.

As usual with characters that get left behind sometimes, Groove would have been a good character to have a look at in depth, and see what makes him tick. A pacifist who fights to protect people? Who really just wants to explore the world he's in and not have to fight all the time? That, to me, would be a great thing to look into and examine. Sadly, I guess it doesn't make for an exciting kid's show or comic, and certainly wouldn't sell toys. Still, maybe one day IDW will give it a go. I live in hope.

Let's not mince words here; Groove's toy is terrible. It kinda has to be, it's a combiner limb. So by necessity it could haver have been an amazingly articulated and engineered toy, and especially not in 1986. But even given that, he's awful. The bike mode isn't too bad, although it's not exactly interesting; it's the robot mode that's the stinker here. The transformation is feet out, front of the bike down and rotate arms. Micromasters have more intricate conversions than that. Again, by necessity, but still. Not great.

The thing about combiner limbs is that you have to forgive them a lot, and therefore have to have a reason to forgive them. In Groove's case, it's the Tech Specs. Which is a case in point about why I love them so much. Without that, Groove would just be a poor toy with not a lot going for him apart from the fact that he's Defensor's leg. WITH the Tech Spec bio of course, he's a great and interesting character, which makes me like the toy a whole lot more. Tech Specs. Gawd bless 'em.

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