I must again remind Phil that this was the era before the fixed idea of character names/colours became a thing.
Other posters/lurkers may cross off the appropriate square in today's game of Hub Bingo.
To be fair on two points: • Phil never said anything about the wrecker in G1 Hoist colors as being a G2 toy. Just that it bugged him that in the history of the mold, it never happened like Mirage did. • The cancelled lasercycle Soundwave was blue, and Jazz was white. Gobot Optimus was red, and Megatron was silver.
Yeah, I actually have a theory about that, too. I think there are three forces at play here.
1) This toy is intended to be this legacy character, as such, it has a deco that evokes said character. • Gobot Optimus Prime, Bumblebee, and Megatron • Hero Optimus Prime and Megatron (yeah, Megs is purple instead of green, but aside from that it's undeniable it's deco is based on the earlier green tank) • Cancelled Lasercycle Jazz and Soundwave (may or may not be this, or...)
2) This toy deco has similar colors to a legacy character, so let's recycle the name on it. • Cyberjet Airraid • Cancelled Lasercycle Jazz and Soundwave (may or may not be) • Gobot Frenzy, I believe is an example of this
3) Let's just use this popular legacy character's name to generate more interest in this redeco. • Cancelled Autoroller General Optimus and Srg. Hound • ATB Megatron and Starscream • Cyberjet Jetfire and Strafe • Gobots Mirage, Soundwave, Ironhide, Sideswipe
Edit: Gobots Frenzy and Sideswipe actually may have been name or color swapped, now that I think about it. SIDESWIPE IS RED, FRENZY IS BLUE
I spend way too much time puzzling out the thought process of G2. But like... I'm convinced there really is an internal logic behind the decisions they made. Because if you really think about it, in context with the time period, and ignore fan misconceptions, it really does start to make sense.
Most of the "weird" G2 decisions make more sense than whatever acid trip they went on to design the glorious Actionmaster Thundercracker, the king of my collection
Beast Wars saved TF from cancellation and was doing great, but Hasbro was obviously unwilling to give up on Autobots and Decepticons. But G2 was selling super-poorly at the end. Kids didn't care about more G1. MW was clearly a test. But still...
At BotCon 1996, Hasbro rep Anthony Gaud told fans a LOT of details about a G1 return in the "works". Pretty much NONE of it ever happened. Presumably this was all super-early concept stuff, not even close to an actual planned line.
Did MW get cranked out because of this? Maybe!
A small line of already-made molds, most gang-molded, with only some mild retooling to one of them would certainly be ready a LOT faster than if they'd started from scratch, and convincing just one retailer to carry it would certainly go faster than mass-releasing it.
MW came and went as such an odd blip. We never heard from Mr. Gaud again, and we never really got any explanation from Hasbro as to what the deal was afterwards.
It's unlikely we ever will, really. But hey. It is these weird corners that make TF such a fascinating franchise.
Gang-molding is a money-saving technique. Making steel molds is VERY expensive, plus Has/Tak effectively rent time on the plastic injection machines. So if you can get 4 toys out of 3 toys' worth of molds & machine time, hot dang.
And in late G2, they NEEDED to save $ badly.
The racer's head shares plastic with the Thunder/Sky main body, the seat with the wrecker body, and the shoulders/spine with the Megas' inner robot parts.
Thunder/Sky's head shares plastic w/ the wrecker body, and inner robot bits with the wrecker's biceps & waist/tow-arm.
And of course they all share the translucent (or in the MW toys' case, pearlescent gray) plastic for the optics/windshield/canopies etc. And the two ground vehicles likely share the wheel sprue.
So Prowl/Thundercracker/Hoist/Megatron are one mold-set, with Mirage/Skywarp/Hubcap/Megaplex being the other set.
...except Mirage and Prowl swapped seat plastics, presumably because yellow would look weird against all that blue.
Huh. If all four are a complete set, then I wonder why only the jets were used in BWII, and only the cars in CR?
And I wonder how FP got away with only using the Thundercracker mold in DoFP? Because that was when Takara was supposedly being ginormously shitty about doing toys for botcon/club stuff. (At least according to known liars Pete and whatsisname who owned FP)
Megatron we've seen before. A bit mad but it works.
Which leaves the Mirage..... PURE G2 Juice. Oh yeah.
I am wondering about the Hoist though - is it Hoist or perhaps Optimus Prime?
Are any of the Photoshoppers in the house able to do a shop on decent pictures of Hoist in both modes? The main colour to Hoist's dark green, the waist, upper arms & tow hook to orange and something appropriate for the windows.....
Yeah, but those are all still very much just name reuses that are completely divorced from the mold or deco. And half of those are just trademarks and have zero relationship to the original namebarer (jetfire, dreadwing, smokescreen, and others. And many others like Ironhide had no intended connections until TFWiki said so)
In all of G2, the only released molds that were intentionally designed to represent preexisting characters were the normal and hero Megatron, and Laser Rod and hero Optimus molds.
There's the flipchanger Megatron and Mirage who were both obviously designed to be Megatron and Mirage, but nothing about G2 ensures that's who they would end up being. The tow truck wasn't model;ed on anyone in particular, and it may easily have ended up as a Decepticon.
For the record, going by trends, my speculation is they would have all been used twice. And Megatron, Optimus, and Starscream would have been applied to them at some point. But G2 set no precedent that shows with certainty this is what would have happened.
I mean if Soundwave was about to turn up as a motorcycle, and hound was set to be a piece of construction equipment, then the lime green racer could easily have been Inferno, and the dark wrecker Cliffjumper.