Razberry Candy – Transformers: robots in disguise

It was the summer holidays and I was about 10 years old (so we are talking rather a long time ago), together with my Mum, and my sisters we were in the toy section of our local department store, armed with summer holiday pocket money, saved diligently for months (or at least weeks!)

before, we were there to shop and by that I mean toys.  The youngest of us was still too young to be choosing for herself, so Mum was off to the baby toys to choose something appropriate, which left me and my then about 8 year old sister to race off excitedly.  She hurtled off to the dolls section and was instantly beguiled by My Little Pony and the Care Bears.  I nearly followed her, I had my eye on a Barbie, having been bought Cindy, who was to be honest, rather dull – Barbie seemed like a glamorous foreigner who promised untold good play times, and I was hoping my pennies were going to also stretch to a Barbie Camper Van. Ever since we went camping as a family, I’ve been fascinated with nature, click here to see a few photos of where we hitched our trailer. Hopefully, we go back there soon.

Then something caught my eye, it seemed to be glinting in the sun and when I turned and headed off into what was most definitely then the “boys” toys section I could see instantly it was Transformers – Robots in Disguise, now I had seen them advertised on TV and thought they looked a little interesting, but now here in the flesh (or the plastic) they were amazing – so many to choose from and they all went from robot to vehicle in just seconds, they were brightly coloured and my pennies would have stretched to more than just one; instantly my mind was filled with fantasies of Transformer races and battles, I knew they would be happy living in my parking garage.

Suddenly my Mum was standing there and when I showed her the Transformers and explained how I had enough money for two, and would left with just the right amount for a Sherbet Fountain and some flying  saucers, she frowned and did that Mum thing where she asked if I was sure, if I bought these two Transformers, which really looked like boys toys and I regretted it, I would have spent all my money and would be left with toys I didn’t really want and I would regret the purchase so much, then she said that with the money  I had and the £1 pocket money from Nana, I really would have enough money for the Barbie and the Camper Van, and that she would buy me and my sister a Sherbet Fountain each if we carried on being such good girls today.  Of course I was sold, and I walked away from the Transformers, and bought the Barbie and the green Camper Van.  I have regretted that decision from then, until now some 25+ odd years later.  I cut Barbie’s hair within days and gave her war paint with felt tips which never properly came off, the Camper Van was annoying and my sister stole it as a stable for her My Little Pony.   

So in a homage, to my child self – who always wished she had stood strong – it’s Razberry Candy, Transformers style.  Of course I could have done Mark Wahlberg, who stars in the latest film, but well he is an actor, who acts in films…….yada yada, or perhaps Shia LaBeouf, who starred in the first three films, however life isn’t really going his way at the moment, poor love!

So who better than the Transformers themselves – those big ole hunks of machine and metal!   I do unashamedly love the Transformers films (if you manage to ignore Megan Fox’s and the other English bird who no one liked much lip gloss managing to stay on the entire time even at the point of almost certain doom, whilst those around them look like they have dragged both forward, and backwards through a bush)……..

The Transformers (NOTE: I have based all the information on the Transformers featured in the live actions film series, they are differences between both the animated series’ and the toys)!:

NAME: OPTIMUS PRIME

Optimus Prime is the leader of the Autobots (the good Transformers), he has starred in all three Transformer films (and of course will be in the fourth too), calm and kind, but with the ability to show anger and rage.  A brave and powerful but compassionate Prime, who holds the Matrix of Leadership, all the Transformers defer to him.   It is he who believes he has the task to keep mankind safe, and it seems that the Autobots protection of all life mantra comes from Optimus.    He transforms into a Peterbilt 379 cab, and each film sees him change just a little gaining a trailer, and growing larger (this was so that when he transformed to his Optimus self he was no larger than he was when in vehicle form).  Optimus is rather dashing; with red and blue styling, his body has windows, there are smoke stacks on his shoulders and his faceplate retracts enabling him to speak, by revealing a mouth.  He is of course well stacked with weapons, including ion blasters, a shell cannon.  Two energon blades extend from his forearms and there are also energon hooks on his arms and he has bladed knuckles.  When in his vehicle mode the trailer contains a shield, flight gear and an energy axe.  In all the films Optimus has been voiced by Peter Cullen.

NAME: JAZZ

Second in command to Optimus, where Optimus is serious and intense, Jazz is a slang speaking laid back music loving kinda Autobot.  The smallest of the Autobots, when in vehicle mode, Jazz is a customized hardtop Pontiac Solstice GXP, despite his smaller stature, Jazz is a fearless and effective warrior, not scared of taking on foes twice his size.  His weaponry includes an electro-magnet in his right arm, which can be used to disarm human of guns without hurting them, a shield and a shield mounted gun.  In all the films Jazz has been voiced by Darius McCrary.

NAME: BUMBLEBEE

Everyone’s favourite yellow Transformer!!  Bumblebee is sent in the first Transformer’s film to look after Sam Witwicky the hapless human teenager played by the Shia Lebeouf in the first three films, they become firm friends and Bumblebee continues on and off during all the films to be Sam’s bodyguard, friend and car!  Bumblebee originally appears as a beaten up 1977 yellow Chevrolet Camaro, which is bought as Sam’s first car.  Bumblebee was injured in battle and was rendered effectively mute, he  communicates through the use of selected playback of radio and television signals (he does get his voice back at the end of the first Transformers film, but continues to speak using radio and his voice through the films).  The 1977 Camaro is replaced by a newer 2006 Camaro Concept , which as with most of the Transformers subtly changes (alloy wheels added, a custom front bumper and a colour change to amber are just some of them) and improves through each film.  In the third film, Dark of the Moon, Bumblebee is able to use his weapons (which include a plasma cannon and missile launchers, he also has a stinger which he uses for close combat ) whilst in vehicle battle mode, without transforming totally, enabling him to still carry passengers!  Bumblebee is voiced by Mark Ryan.

NAME: IRONHIDE

Weapons expert Ironhide is an Autobot you don’t want to mess with! He is one of the oldest Autobots, with the battle scars to prove it; he has a large scar on his right eye, and in battle before arriving on Earth he broke his ankle!  He is Optimus’ oldest friend and Optimus keeps his gruff temper in check.  In vehicle code, Ironhide is a modified GMC Topkick C4500 pickup truck, standing at 26ft tall (although if you did the Maths it would apparently be 21ft).  Ironhide’s is well equipped for battle, with weapons which include an energy rocket launcher on his left arm and a plasma rocket launcher on his right arm. He has new weaponry  in Dark of the Moon, with two new cannons. Ironhide maybe the oldest but he a formidable opponent, and one of the Autobots best warriors, bested only by Optimus Prime (and Sentinel Prime and Jetfire).   

WHAT MAKES THEM RAZBERY CANDY: my 10 year old self would smile, throw her Barbie down the loo and happily have the Transformers battle over her Barbie Camper Van!