Monday, April 24, 2017

A to Z Challenge: Tigatron vs Trypticon


Given Hasbro’s penchant for recoloring molds to make two (or three) different characters it shouldn’t be surprising the same thing happened with the Beast Wars line. Tigatron was a recolored version of the Cheetor toy. As you might guess, Cheetor was a cheetah and Tigatron was a tiger—a white tiger.


Maybe as a way to save money for animation, both characters ended up on the TV series. Cheetor was part of the original crew and then Tigatron had his own spotlight episode. A device in the series was that there were “protoforms” or basically blank robots floating in Earth orbit, ejected by the Maximal ship before it crashed. When one of these protoforms crashed, both sides would try to be the first one there to reprogram it into a soldier for their side. The protoform had a scanner that would take on the form of a creature in its sensor range.



Tigatron’s pod crashed in the Arctic (or whatever since this was sort of prehistoric Earth) and both sides rushed up there. Megatron threatened to kill a couple of white tigers if the Maximals didn’t back off. When the Maximals complied, Megatron opened the pod only to find it empty. Then one of the white tigers transforms into a robot and shoots Megatron. Thus was Tigatron born.

But since no one was really there to program him, Tigatron felt more of a kinship with Earth and its animals than the Maximals, so he didn’t hang around much. At the end of the season he and the female Maximal Airrazor (a falcon) seemingly die in an alien attack, but later on we find out that they have been merged into Tigerhawk who was a Fuzor combination of the white tiger and falcon forms of Tigatron and Airrazor.


Tigatron was voiced by Blu Mankuma, one of those black guys with a really cool deep voice like James Earl Jones, Tony Todd, and Keith David. I think he also voiced the Tigerhawk character until the end of the series. I don’t think Tigatron (or Tigerhawk) has really appeared again, but he did have a good run in the mid-90s.


***


Speaking of beasts, Trypticon was probably the largest of the Decepticon toys. He was created in the third series of toys to oppose the Autobot city Metroplex. Trypticon turned into a battle station, city, and giant T-Rex. The giant T-Rex seems like kind of a lame robot mode and whenever he fought Metroplex, the lack of dexterity kind of hurt him. He did have longer arms comparatively than a T-Rex, though not by much.


He appeared in the third season of the TV series. He battled Metroplex in the fifth episode and was thrown into the ocean. After a few episodes he emerged and was rehabilitated by Octane before getting beaten by Metroplex again. He appeared a few more times, always getting bested by Metroplex.


He appeared in the Marvel comic a few times but not too often. In the IDW miniseries Monstrosity, a group of Autobots led by Jetfire discover Trypticon slumbering beneath Cybertron. He looks so cute all curled up like a kitty cat. You just want to say, “Who’s a cute monster? Who’s a cute monster? You are!” After which he’d probably devour you. Anyway, he predictably wakes up and goes on a rampage that’s stopped when he swallows Grimlock, who gives him a bad case of indigestion. In the following miniseries Primacy, Megatron revives Trypticon with a psychotic spark that of course goes on another rampage. This time Metroplex takes him on and defeats him.


The toy of Trypticon was reissued a couple of years ago, though I’ve still not felt any reason to spend the $80-$100 to buy it.


1 comment:

  1. I liked Tigatron a lot, but it seemed like they sort of wrote themselves into a corner with him and didn't know what to do with him so they offed him and Airrazor :(

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