Recently, a few of BotCon/Fun Publications' toy offerings have reportedly been suggestions by Hasbro. Like, "hey, this alternate head exists, and we have no plans, so we'd really like you to do this at your con." Like customization class Ratchet, allegedly. BotCon Reflector is one of those guys!
So apparently Combiner Wars Shockwave -- the tiny Shockwave toy that was designed so Combiner Wars Bruticus could hold him as a gun -- had an alternate Reflector head. Hasbro puts these alternate heads in most of their toy's engineering for a rainy day. Some we'll probably never know about because why would we? If it's not eventually used or doesn't accidentally show up on an instruction sheet, there'd be no discovery. It seems like the alternate Reflector head would have been one of those things, were it not for BotCon.
Besides, Shockwave's already purple and gray. Would Hasbro put that toy out in purple and gray again? Probably not. It was a weird idea to start with. But it's a perfect idea for a convention exclusive, because nerds like me will totally pay money to buy another purple and gray version (three times) of a toy we already have in purple and gray.
Honestly, this is the toy I was least excited about this year. It fills an otherwise vacant spot in my collection. I don't really have a set of three Reflector guys, and otherwise they're absent from my 1984/85 Decepticon shelf. And so they're NECESSARY to me, but only for checking off names on a list that's essentially completed already except for them. This is not to say these aren't swell guys, it's just that my interest in them pales in comparison to the bounty of combining Beast Wars dudes presented me.
There are many unofficial modes that attempt to combine the three into a camera, like the original Reflector. They can be pretty or they can stay together well, and no one's found a way to accomplish both yet. I've included a photo of my buddy Robowang's attempt. (Robowang is the guy I sent to BotCon in my place to pick up stuff for me.) His falls somewhere in the middle of that spectrum, and "falling in the middle" is a pretty apt way to describe most attempts to make a camera. Generally holding this guy in an unofficial camera mode is like trying to pick up and eat a slab of lasanga. It's gonna buckle and fall apart in layers in your hand.
Next and finally: TM3 Megatron!