by Alan Kistler
The Transformers are known for being butt-kicking, gun-wielding giant robots able to disguise themselves as really cool vehicles and robotic animals. Still, some of these "robots in disguise" have not always had the best or most practical disguises. Especially compared to enemies who still have mobility when they turn into cars or planes and such. Seriously... what is a boom box supposed to do against a mac truck?
Michael Bay's "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen" is out today. Finally. So for your amusement, I've prepared a list of classic Transformers who have obviously been short-changed in life. At least Soundwave gets some redemption in the new movie. Confused? Don't worry... you'll see...
The evil Insecticons can consume anything in front of them. Concrete walls, steel doors, tanks... whatever. Adding to their creepiness is the fact that they all turn into giant robotic insects. Scary, right? Sadly, Kickback’s insect form has him looking like a giant grasshopper. Even if you’re big, robotic and armed with alien weaponry, you’re still a grasshopper dude. That’s just not scary.
Reflector is just weird. He's actually three Decepticon stealth/recon agents who operate with a hive-mind. Collectively, the trio has the power to shrink down and transform into a camera. This is supposed to help with spying, except Reflector has to rely on another Decepticon to actually operate his shutter and zoom-lens. What kind of recon agent is forced to rely on a giant, noisy robot for help during stealth missions?! It’s no wonder Reflector stopped showing up in the cartoon. Megatron probably shot the trio in their heads between episodes and used them for spare parts.
Now this is just a shame. Soundwave is the chief tactician to the evil Megatron and many fans consider him just as cool, if not cooler, than the main villain himself. He's cunning, merciless, stealthy and he has a creepy voice that makes him all the more memorable. And yet… he disguised form is... a boom box. So if the Decepticons had to get away from a battle really quickly in the original cartoon, Soundwave’s best option was to turn into a dinky little radio and hope that one of his flying or driving teammates would remember to pick him up. He's that guy! The annoying one who always needs a ride!
A keen-minded scientist, Perceptor could have been a very cool Autobot. His greatest faillng? The fact that he turns into a microscope. So like Soundwave, our boy often needs a ride to and from battles. Honestly, when they already have scanners built into their heads and advanced alien computers, why do the Autobots even need a guy who becomes a microscope? Yes, Perceptor is a scientist. So is Wheeljack. At least he can turn into a race car with a gun!
Okay, this sub-group of Transformers involves partnered robots. The main robots turn into cool jets and tanks while their secondary partners become… their chest-plates. Yup, these particular “robots in disguise” become boobs. Leading of course to the group earning the unfortunate nickname of “Breast Force.” Even if they weren't self-aware robotic chests, that name alone makes them worthy of being mentioned.
Well, that about does it, folks. Honorable mentions go to: Megatron who turned into a gun originally (meaning he had to trust one of his soldiers to pull his own trigger), Blaster (a Soundwave rip-off who spoke in rhyme), Scrounge (who turned into a high-tech unicycle) and any of the (too many) Transformers who turned into cassette tapes.