Sunday, June 14, 2015

TF Fan Stories: What's an Autobot Pacifist?

06.14.2015 – Ever wonder what was your first Transformers? How did you acquire them or have a significant story that affects you personally? I got one story to share that has something about how Generation One toys was ahead of it time.

You see growing up it must be unnoticed to anyone but have you read the TECH SPEC cards found in the boxes of the figures? If you haven’t the way its written is rather complex for a 5 year old and yet interesting to realize their story…

When you’re nine years old you only cared about is acquiring the figure that you wanted without even looking at the character and its description. These days when Hasbro release the next Transformers toys the character description is short and fairly simple for kids to understand.

But back when they started to produce what Transformers was the details of each character’s description are intricate and well-detailed how their back story came to be. This was also applied to how Larry Hama wrote the profile cards for G.I. Joe and for that it makes the characters more believable and how they describe each Transformer is way ahead for its time.

In today’s generation some might take this for granted and never cared for the TECH SPECS or description for each character and all they cared about are the toys. This not only apply for the kids of today but collectors new to the brand. Yeah they can brag having all the Generations figures, but do they know each of these characters?

But for some degree back in the day a curious child of the 1980s would wonder and asked about the meanings they put in these file cards. When you grow up you tend to wonder back and read it again then realize how the character was portrayed.

One good example is Beachcomber an Autobot Geologist. Of course when you read his file card his function is a ‘Geologist’ and for a 5 year old kid it must be difficult to comprehend what it meant unless you know this Autobot studies the solid and liquid matter that constitutes the Earth in short interested in the study of geology.

Beachcomber’s characterisation on the classic animated series has an attitude of a ‘hippie’, who likes to talk to animals other than that he’s simply a ‘pacifist.’ An Autobot who opposed war and violence was quite a surprising for a character taking a form of a blue and gray 1982 M1040 Chenowth "Hellfire" Fast Attack Vehicle.

I recall acquiring Beachcomber for PhP 105.00 pesos ($2.33 US) at Anding’s Toys in Divisoria and back then distribution was not as what is today. But everywhere you go imported toys in the Philippines is easily acquired unlike now sometimes it’s difficult to see a retail store that’s fully stocked with fairly good choices.

When I first saw Beachcomber on the rack I already knew the character from the cartoons. He sounds groovy and pretty much a beach bum fun-loving Autobot, but no idea what his TECH SPEC card describes his character.

TECH SPEC courtesy of

But move forward to the present when you read his file card and check the full details in TFWiki.Net you find yourself scratching yourself that you picked an ‘Autobot Pacifist.’ When you’re younger you wanted an ‘Autobot Warrior’ with the likes of Sideswipe or a cool spy like Bumblebee. But an ‘Autobot Pacifist’ how can you win the war with one in your roster?

Hasbro was clever with detailed file cards and it puts every kid in the household to have such a vast imagination. No matter if Beachcomber’s function is a Geologist you just run with it and enjoy owning the character, and not because he looks or sound cool. For what it’s worth the old file cards where well-written and informative.

And at the end of the day you’ll still wonder what made you buy this character that seemed cool back then. Today if talk about Beachcomber you’ll just ever wonder if an Autobot Pacifist would have survived Unicron, because there was a scene where some claimed was one of the first ones to end up in smelting pool before Daniel Witwicky came to the rescue and saved Spike, Bumblebee along with Cliffjumper in the movie.

Perhaps we’ll never know or just pretend it was just another random Autobot. But still you’re still going to think again that in Optimus Prime’s team there was an Autobot Pacifist and its Beachcomber.

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