Thursday, June 25, 2009

Top 5 Rejected Ideas for Transformers

The Transformers sequel is about to invade theatres across pretty much the whole universe, with upgraded special effects guaranteed to make the big bots look better than ever (even if some early reviews say the plot isn't looking so great). Over the years, from the early days of the comics and cartoons in the 80's, to the revamped versions on TV in the late 90's and over the past couple of years, and, of course, the Hollywood extravaganzas in the theatres, it's always been interesting to see what kinds of shapes the writers and artists would tap for new robots to add to the Autobot and Decepticon armies. Take your pick of cars, jet fighters, guns, animals, and yes, even cities. But I was always left wondering what ideas might have come up during brainstorming that were ultimately tossed aside because they were just too stupid. Here are some of my ideas for vehicles that could be used as Transformers, but are probably best left in the discard pile:

5) Zamboni
Sure, this vehicle's got some mass to it, so it could probably make a squat, powerful, sumo kind of robot - possibly armed with a laser hockey stick and explosive pucks. Problem is, it would move very slowly - and only in circles and ovals - and would only be good for combat on ice.

4) Septic tank cleaning truck
Another big vehicle that would probably transform into a fairly large, tough mechanical brawler. But if robots have olfactory nerves, none of the others would go anywhere near him. Let's not even talk about his potential weaponry.

3) Riding lawnmower
Small, but with a lethal spinning blade, you might think that this Transformer would be a worthy addition to either army. Unfortunately, if it's on wet grass, or the grass is too long, the blade will get jammed, leaving the robot defenceless. It's weaknesses would also include sunny summer days when every fat dad in the neighbourhood would grab the wheel and a can of beer and charge into battle not against the Decepticons who might be sucking energon out of the hydro substation down the street, but against the dandylions in the back yard.

2) Segway
Granted, the size of a vehicle/machine/device/animal/construct/whatever has never had any bearing on the size of the robot in the Transformers universe, so this little sucker could conceivably become some ultra heavily-armed, 100 metre beheamoth with a foul temper. But in vehicular mode, there's nothing less intimidating than a pogo stick with two wheels. Come on, we're basically talking T-Bob from MASK here.

1) Ice cream peddle cart
Great for making kids happy during the hot days of summer; not so good in the potential offensive capabilities category for either vehicular combat or transformed robot hand-to-hand fighting. Sure, the ability to play the same nursery rhyme tune over and over and over again might drive some opponents to distraction to the point where they'd make fatal mistakes that could be exploited. But this one's ultimately a no-go because you'd never want a story that included an alien robot suffering the indignity of having some sweaty guy (possibly in a speedo - there were rumours in Winnipeg, once upon a time) riding around on it all day. Not cool.

What are your ideas for Transformers that are probably better left on the sidelines?

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