This week, we’ll be taking a look at the Turbomasters, a quick one each day, and then a recap and group shots at the weekend. They are firmly G1, sometimes known as Euro G1.5 and occasionally mistaken for G2 figures. Some people know a few of the molds from Machine Wars and even the Universe line of repaints, but not all the molds have been re-used.
The Turbomaster Cars for instance, were released in 1992 in Europe by Hasbro, and they were also released by Takara as part of the Operation Combination series in Japan later the same year, but they never saw release in the United States, ever, and to date have never had any repaints, retools or reissues.
The gimmick for this series (other than Transforming, of course) was missiles! Lots and lots (and lots, seriously) of missiles. Their rivals are the Predators (sometimes called the Predator Jets, who we will be looking at next week) also has the same gimmick, but with much more generic – and fragile – launchers.
First up, we look at Sub-Commander of the Turbomasters; Boss.
As a robot, Boss looks simple enough. His paint job and stickers don’t do much for him, and only a few things make him stand out from the crowd; One is his incredibly Prime-esque head and faceplate – possibly a case of primus apotheosis, and the second is his pink windshield / chestplate, which may be what confuses some people into thinking of him as a G2 piece. His over-sized weapon also looks quite boss in this mode.
It’s his alt. mode and the simple but fun transformation that make this guy shine. The Turbomasters each have unique missile launchers which can be integrated into their vehicle modes and in the case of Boss this is very much essential to his transformation. His spare missiles can be stored on his alt. mode as pictured and while they can be stored the same way in robot mode, the results are not quite as photogenic.
Like a lot of the toys from this era, I love this guy. Away from any “Master” gimmicks, be they action, target, head, micro or shell based, and just fun transformations that look like cool cars and fun robots.
Boss has had relatively few fiction appearances, other than a never resolved Dreamwave sub-plot and some appearances in the IDW continuity, certainly nothing that has showcased him like some of the other European figures such as Pyro.
Boss is also known by the name Blizzard in France, and Mach Road in Japan where he was packaged in a two-pack with Flare Jet (Snare) in some of the best packaging I’ve seen, packaging so nice I did start to try and collect them even though I’m a loose collector and I already have both the toys. I’ll try and get some good photos of some of at least one of these two packs for the final article. While nothing about the toy was changed for this release, his packaging artwork was reworked to give him a more toy accurate face.
To date, Boss has had no re-imagining (despite how easy it would be to release him as a retooled CHUG Blurr – are you listening Fun Publications?), third party or official, and his name has not even been re-purposed. He remains a woefully under-used part of the TF lore.