Target 2006: Part 5 - The Devil You Know... in which no one can believe what they're seeing. Starscream can't believe Megatron is leading the Autobots; Ultra Magnus can't believe they're letting him; Scourge can't believe he's bested by a bunch of has-beens; Jazz can't believe Galvatron is really Megatron; and the reader can't believe how utterly fantastic the artwork is now that GEOFF SENIOR has entered the arena.
Elsewhere, Cybertron: The Middle Years unbelievably fills in four million years of missing backstory in the space of five paragraphs; A. Parkinson of Leeds has read In the Beginning in the annual and can't believe that anyone could hack into the Decepticons' computer using a ZX Spectrum; and Grimlock reveals that the much requested fact files for the Special Teams will be included in Transformers Universe - two upcoming giant sized specials, the first of which would be on sale in November. How ironic that that was the one thing we all did believe.
I love the way in this issue the art bleeds right to the edge of the paper. The colouring is vibrant too - the art really jumps off the page now the definitive Transformers artist has joined the story. Hercules continues to astound me too. I've not read these stories since the first time round 30 years ago. I cannot believe in this issue he fights the flaming herald of Galactus until she finds out who he is, at which point she basically just says, "Oh right, shall we just shag instead then?" Cut to Hercules slipping out of her room later saying, "Well that put her fire out..."
Target 2006: Part 6 - Trios... in which Xaaron laughs at Impactor as he's beaten up by the Decepticon Autobot triple changers; Galvatron laughs at Jazz while spoiling The Movie for him; Jazz laughs at Galvatron when he discovers Megatron is out to spoil Galvatron in general; Shockwave doesn't laugh (it's illogical) but Hot Rod does quite dramatically after he manages a successful time jump to 1986 with Kup and Blurr; and from beyond space and time, a haunting, malevolent laugh foreshadows events to come.
Elsewhere, the editorial page is still insistent that Transformers Universe is coming soon, along with an adaptation of the movie; Hercules maintains his stance as a positive role model for children by slipping a Micky Finn in Galactus's drink; and an advert for the first Thundercats annual heralds the arrival of Lion-O and co in UK comics.
Target 2006: Part 7, in which Galvatron shockingly destroys the previously unseen Decepticon arrival ship just to test his new canon; his new best friend Starscream has a go at offing Megatron and Soundwave; stand-in Autobot commander Jetfire arranges a trade to swap Scourge for Jazz with unexpected results; and Kup info-dumps the story so far on Ultra Magnus, which leads the Autobots' greatest warrior to confront Galvatron in the hope that forcing him to return to the future will bring back Optimus Prime.
Elsewhere, Transmissions begins an interesting list of the currently available toys; Grimlock reveals The Movie has slipped from a November 28th release to December 12th (but is still adamant Transformers Universe will go on sale on November 20th); and Hercules concludes his sixteen issue run by giving Galactus a laugh and then... copping off with his herald again.
I got quite excited by the fact Transmissions printed a definitive list of toys currently in production in this issue and the next, but having just compared it to the UK 1986 toy catalogue poster I see all they've done is lift the names off that. They're even in the same order read left to right they appear on the poster. The only difference is that the comic lists Optimus and Megatron as still being available at this point 30 years ago, but they aren't on the catalogue poster. So this, 30 years ago, is what we were eyeing up for potential Christmas presents. This Christmas must be when I got Metroplex. Maybe I need to find one again for this year...
Terrible to be reminded of all those early casualties, Skids especially. I wonder how Hasbro decided which toys to cut from the original '84 toys for this year.
Ratchet, Mirage, Sideswipe & Jazz were all in the original 84 assortment the UK got (with Hound & Bluestreak)
Prowl, Sunstreaker, Trailbreaker, Ironhide & Wheeljack followed late 84/early 85, with the 7 85 bots following later in 85. None of these seem to follow discrete cases like nowadays, all were mixed together.
I was looking at that too. I think the 86 American catalogue must have come out later than the UK one did, because it features the rest of the movie toys we did get, but aren't on the UK 86 one. Having been seeing the toys slowly gaining promotion in the UK comic as I've been re-reading it, the movie toys on the 86 poster were in shops May/June time.
It does seem odd that with other toys they could have used, that Hasbro UK stuck with some of the 84 cars still. I think it also shows how limited the exposure was for the cartoon here, because if that had been the driving force behind selling the range then they'd not have kept Sideswipe and Jazz over Wheeljack. Ironhide would be there too, but being the same mould as Ratchet would lessen the chances of them both being kept.
If you look in the Where We Used To Buy Toys thread there's some photos of that year's selection in Zodiac as well as that year's Argos catalogue pages.
I'm always SLIGHTLY doubtful of the list in Transmissions as I'm not sure Op and Megatron were still available.
You've sent me off down memory lane again... That Autumn 86 catalogue just shows how dominant Transformers were at that point. Three pages of em, but several omissions as well as the original leaders. issuu.com/retromash/docs/argos-no26-1986-autumnwinter (page 295)
Getting off topic now, but Prime and Megatron were in the summer Argos Catalogue for 86, and rather interestingly the same three Autobot cars from the earlier waves as the autumn catalogue - Jazz, Inferno and Smokescreen.
Elsewhere, Transmissions tries to kindle excitement about the prospect of Marvel New Universe titles becoming back up strips in Spiderman/Zoids and Transformers, but five pages of Spitfire and the Troubleshooters douse that fire straight away, and Grimlock finally concedes that although the cartoon continuity makes a hash of what the comic does, it's actually alright to watch if you don't take it seriously.
I can't get at what I wrote for this week at the mo, so I've done a substandard fill in until I can.
30 Years Ago This Week: Issue #87
Target 2006: Part 9, In which all seems lost until Hot Rod, Blurr and Kup pull off a Decepticon deception that causes Galvatron to return to the future believing he is in the wrong dimension.
Elsewhere, Galvatron's profile expands massively on the original US version, but gives away half the plot of the movie in the process; Grimlock anticipates a story nine months distant by pondering what would happen if Swoop met Divebomb in response to a letter; and on the back page Golden Wonder advertise Sixth Doctor mini-comics free in multipacks of their crisps.
I remember collecting those Doctor Who comics. They may have been reprints of DWM stories, but anything Doctor Who related at the time was essential to have. It also made me think, this week thirty years ago was a good time. Vervoids starting on TV, Golden Wonder seeing Doctor Who as worth using to promote their product, Target 2006 climaxing in TFUK and the anticipation of the film being less than a month away... good times.
Target 2006: Epilogue, in which Unicron chortles his way through explaining Hot Rod and co were under his control all along; Ultra Magnus face palms as he realises he's missed his own party; Volcano fails to erupt because nine of the ten deadliest Decepticons ever are needed in next week's strip, however red shirt Macabre manages to get a shot off that leads to the most poignant moment in the story - Impactor sacrificing his life to save his leader.
Elsewhere, Transformation outlines the upcoming American stories in a bid to keep readers interested; Paul Darby of Urmston reckons he's counted 145 individual Transformer characters, but Grimlock discounts Gnaw because he's never heard of him; and Spitfire and the Troubleshooters continues to go absolutely nowhere, despite a bizarre moment in which Jenny Swensen's laboratory transforms into three articulated lorries.