In 1984, it appears that Hasbro intended to release the Diaclone "Crane" figure as part of the first year of the Transformers toyline as a character named "Hauler". Packing cases for the 1984 Autobot Cars contained twelve figures, but only eleven toys were released (with an extra Mirage filling the empty slot, later replaced by Skids), suggesting that Hauler was to be the twelfth. For unknown reasons, these plans were halted, and the figure was held back and eventually released in 1985 as Grapple. However, this change came too late to remove Hauler's solitary cartoon appearance, in "More than Meets the Eye, Part 1". Following this episode, the character (who never spoke, and never transformed) promptly disappeared from the cartoon, and was never seen or referred to again. When the episode was dubbed for release in Japan, Hauler was not even referred to by name, and most fans assumed him to be Grapple. The 1985 Action Card depicting the scene also referred to Hauler as Grapple.
Nearly twenty years later, when Grapple's mold-partner Inferno was reissued as part of The Transformers Collection series, e-HOBBY decided to release an exclusive redeco of the Grapple figure. Someone at e-HOBBY, looking for a character that this toy could represent, found out about Hauler in Hirofumi Ichikawa's glossary info in the Transformers 2010 DVD box set and decided to turn the Grapple redeco into this Hauler character, now dubbed "RoadHauler". Ichikawa himself was then asked to write a bio for "RoadHauler", in which he explained the character's perpetual absence. Since Hauler as he appeared in the cartoon would not have actually been a redeco of Grapple (as they were both orange), it was decided to render RoadHauler in the classic purple-and-green of the Constructicons. The character's bio then established that he was a former member of that team (presumably in reference to the scene in "Five Faces of Darkness, Part 4" that erroneously depicted the Constructicons with two extra members; the second was later established to be Gravedigger), and justified his different coloration in the cartoon by explaining that he often changed his color scheme.
Not as complicated a history as some characters, but there you go.
The E-Hobby toy of Roadhauler annoys me on multiple levels and has done for many years. Thank you all for bringing this back to the surface and I will now be forced to vent on this matter!
For a start, as we've covered, it's not the same colour as the Hauler in the cartoon, mainly because "what's the point?" The Hauler in the cartoon IS Grapple.
Then there's the colours they did choose. If you're going to use a green like that on a crane, go the whole hog and whack a Decepticon badge on it too!!!!! (Where's my Scavenger repaint of Armada Hoist?)
E-Hobby toys irritate me in general by being unobtainable when they initially came out and now being "HOW MUCH??????????" but at there's a particularly odd phase round here where the E-Hobby Collectors Edition line - tfwiki.net/wiki/Collector%27s_Edition - is doing repaints of toys that haven't had a general release Takara reissue - Anime Streak, Clampdown and Hauler are repaints of Bluestreak, Red Alert & Grapple who had at that point only been done as limited exclusives and, as far as I can see, still haven't had a standard Japanese reissue but were done in the US Commemorative Series
If Hauler is his own person (which he was retconned to be) then a proper accurate toy of him needs to be orange.
On that note are Trailblazer and Sweep The Dinobot their own characters?
Is Skyfire Jetfire?
And are there four Rumble/Frenzy characters? (Actually, that would solve a lot of problems).
I will also always see Buster as just the comic version of Spike. I know Spike later turned up, but I just have trouble accepting it. It should have just been Buster becoming Fort Max - perhaps with the codename Spike if it needed to match the toy.
I guess if Hauler were to be treated as his own character and he looks identical to Grapple in vehicle mode - he could always have a completely different robot mode. Transforming in a completely different way. Toy wise there is no need for him to be the same mould as Grapple at all. Hasbro should do this and I'll accept him as his own person.
Post by Grand Moff Muffin on Jun 10, 2020 10:56:41 GMT
The guy in the original cartoon was blatantly Grapple going by the name of Hauler. Presumably Hauler was the name Uncle Bob had in mind originally, but it got changed before the toy came out. If Bumblebee can change his name to Goldbug, and Divebomb can change his name to Swoop, then Hauler can change his name to Grapple.
Green Hauler can be a different character to Grapple. But green Hauler wasn't in the cartoon.
Grapple is the False One here. Hauler was on screen and doing stuff long before the pretender to the throne appeared! He was named! He is as real as any of the other Autobots in ARRIVAL FROM CYBERTRON.
Grapple has done much more than Hauler in his life!
Let's see - Grapple has created buildings on Cybertron, built Omega Supreme, teamed up with the Constructicons and built a solar power tower, fought Scourge, used a massive grabby claw thing to clear rubble, Held a boulder above his head when captive for hours (rather than take the easy option of just putting it to one side), fought valiantly in the battle of Autobot City, talked, pulled Hound out of a pit and erm, existed.