Saturday, 20 October 2012

#49: Grotusque (1987)

I can't remember anyone at school owning the Monsterbots. Now, that could be that they were never realeased in the UK, I have to be honest and say that I'm not sure if that was the case or not. I DO remember seeing pictures of them and thinking that they looked very cool indeed. I still think that, actually, and I've love to own any or all of them. Grotusque was always my favourite of the three, for two main reasons. 1. the name. It's very spiky, and I love Transformer names that are a play on words. 2. the toy, which looks horrid and a mish-mash, another thing I love. I guess that's why I never cared about Devastator that much; far, far too uniform for me.

Sadly, they were the only two things I ever had to go on, because the Monsterbots never appeared in the G1 cartoon, even the Rebirth (which mainly concentrated on the 'Masters'). They DID appear in the Japanese Headmasters cartoon, but I didn't actually see that until 2005.They did appear in the Marvel comics Headmasters stories, but again, the 'Masters' took centre stage there, with Grotusque et al being nothing more than background characters. In the IDWverse, Grotusque was part of the Monsterbot team again, being a mercenary that killed for both money and fun - after helping out the Dynobots and disappearing for a couple of years, Grotusque wound up being killed during the Chaos story arc. But who knows, we may yet see him again, in more of a starring role.

His Tech Spec bio is an interesting one, it depicts a soldier that is scared by his own appearance, and chooses to hide that fact by constantly joking about it. A good character piece, that's possibly held back by the toy's gimmicky nature a little.

Grotusque's toy is a fairly typical one of the time; sturdy, blocky, little articulation. He also resembles some of his Headmaster cousins somewhat. The alt-mode is fantastic, being described as a 'winged sabre toothed tiger'. There's so many things wrong with that it's not even funny. He's also got a common 80's gimmick; the cold spark. If you press a button on his neck, his mouth opens and sparks fly out. I like cold sparks. There so incredibly pathetic to look at, I can't hate any toy that employs them. Hence my love of the Firecons.
Grotusque is a victim of being the wrong toy in the wrong time; Hasbro cared more about the 'Masters' gimmick than they did three Autobot monsters, it would seem. I guess they felt they'd already done the Dinobots, why bother with more monsters? Ironic, considering where the Transformers franchise would be ten years hence. See Alanis, that's what irony actually means.

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