Tuesday, 16 October 2012

#46: Treadshot (1990)

Treadshot is one of those Action Master toys that I wish I'd picked up at the time, but didn't for one very good reason (at least what I thought was a good reason at the time); he wasn't one of the 'proper' Transformers characters, he was an original character, created to bulk up the Action Master line. Sadly for Treadshot, he came in at the wrong time for fiction; right at the end of the Marvel comics run, and well after the G1 cartoon had packed up and gone home. His fictional appearances in the G1 comic amount to standing with Soundwave and Crankcase as they attended the meeting regarding the state of Cybertron after Unicron's attack; clearing up debris with Soundwave and Crankcase; and standing with Soundwave and Crankcase as Grimlock wiped the floor with Fangry. I'm sensing a theme here.

Things didn't get any better for him in the IDW universe. He worked at a Decepticon space station; he was harpooned but survived; and then Impactor harpooned him again. He didn't survive this time.

That's it. That is everything Treadshot has ever done. Now, you could argue that them's the breaks, especially for a late era toy that really, nobody cared about. On the other hand, this guy is a GUNSLINGER. Yep, an actual, bona fide gunslinger. It states that is his function, and that he's really, really good at it on his Tech Specs. Now, to have what amounts to Billy the Kid on your roster of characters, and then just not use him at all? Unacceptable. I demand a Westworld type story where Treadshot goes haywire and stalks Transformers to their Jesse James-style deaths. This must happen.

Treadshot was an Action Master, and therefore came as standard. His articulation lay in his legs, head and arms; he was basically a Transformer version of a GI Joe. Personally, I think that this is awesome, and would have liked to have seen every single Transformer made into an Action Master at some point, complete with playsets and more vehicles. Sadly, the line just wasn't popular enough, and it ended before the really interesting stuff came along.

Above, is the toy that Treadshot seems to have been based on; the Highway Robo. Orignally made by Sunmayor Ohkawa, it transformed into a firing Smith and Wesson .357 Magnum, complete with scope attachments, just to make it look even more like an authentic firearm. You know, for kids!

To sum up then: Treadshot = gunslinger = wasted opportunity to make Lee van Cleef 'bot.

For shame, Hasbro.

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