Posted December 16, 2010 at 4:39 pm
It was getting to the point where I sat and thought to myself, how in Hell do I not own this thing? I have an insane love for Powermaster Optimus Prime. I love toys in orange. So why do I not own Fire Guts God Ginrai, which is Powermaster Optimus Prime in orange?
Okay, the real reason is that it came out ten years ago. I was a college student. I didn't have expendable income for $200 e-Hobby exclusives from Japan, especially ones that were just a same-character redeco of the $100 reissue I somehow managed to afford on my theme restaurant paycheck. Plus, well, at the time I wasn't of the mindset that crazy insane redecoes of things I love were actually desirable. My tastes have evolved over the years. I'm more easily romanced by the absurd these days.
So, anyway, Graham pointed out to me last week that there was one going for not terribly much on Ebay (less than what the original thing cost, if my memory's right), and now I have one. It's Maggie's fault. I asked her if I should consider getting it, thinking she'd tell me no. Instead, she enabled me. She's an enabler! Bad wife! Bad, yet awesomely good wife!
I am under no illusions that Powermaster Prime is a toy that holds up to the standards of today. No, my love for the toy is fueled largely by nostalgia. I didn't have an original Optimus Prime as a kid. And so over the next few years, my Transformers purchases were guided by trying to buy something as close to Optimus Prime as possible. Red and blue guys were the order of the day. It's why I chose Crosshairs. It's why I chose Cloudburst. It's why my Ultra Magnus cab was colored in red and blue washable markers that caused him to look like Easter Prime. But for Christmas 1988, I got the real deal! The first new Optimus Prime toy! And he was featured in all the comics I was reading, and in the intros and outros for the cartoon's Tommy Kennedy season. Powermaster Optimus Prime is, for all intents and purposes, My Optimus Prime.
But anyway, in Japan this toy was some kid named Ginrai. And he had a Transtector that looked suspiciously like Optimus Prime. And his Optimus Prime Transtector could combine with his trailer and form Super Ginrai. And Super Ginrai could combine with his other trailer, God Bomber, and form God Ginrai. And in the last episode, while fighting Black Zarak, he glowed orange with BURNING JUSTICE. And over a decade later, Japan decoed their toy in orange as e-Hobby-exclusive Fire Guts God Ginrai. And now a decade after that, I have it!
Fireguts God Ginrai substitutes the original version's blue for red and its gray and red for orange. None of the paint applications are altered, which is why the uncombined robot has silver-painted legs which you cover in red stickers. Thankfully, the colors of the stickers were changed. Sometimes this doesn't happen, like with e-Hobby Laser Ultra Magnus, where what you get is just the original stickers unaltered included with your redecoed toy. And, boy, are there a lot of stickers. Most of the stickers go on the Super Robot's armored battlestation mode's many flat surfaces. (I got Powermaster Prime and Fortress Maximus for Christmas on the same year. Yes, yes, feel free to hate me. I only mention this because I want to bring up how I spent like two hours putting their stickers on. Those were two sticker-heavy toys.)
We didn't get Godbomber in America until the Toys "R" Us reissue several years ago, and there's a pretty good reason. He's the worst Transformers toy of all time. You might say, dude, that is a big claim. I put it to you that it is nevertheless correct. He's a trailer, you see, that's made out of robot parts. You take him apart and peg him together. Neither mode looks remotely good, and one of them is a trailer. His whole reason for existence is to give Powermaster Prime/Ginrai/Whoever platform shoes, a new chest, and tiny stubby wings. Even at this he's not terribly adept. If you thought Prime had stubby thighs before, wait until you add giant new feet under his old feet!
God damn, Godbomber sucks. He sucks even more when he's entirely red plastic! Ah well. He's not what I'm here for. (Man, before he was reissued, some people would pay hundreds of dollars for Godbomber alone! We didn't get him over here, and so he was special, like some terrible Holy Grail! Have pity for these folk.)
To summarize: He's Optimus Prime. He's orange.