Crimson Eyes, Black Shadow

When the Classics/Universe version of Thunderwing was released (and we coincidentally updated his box art), there was already strong suspicion that his original Japanese-exclusive remold, Black Shadow, would also get his first stateside release. It wasn't just the knowledge that Hasbro likes to make easy money by repainting its figures and effectively selling the same toy to collectors twice: it was the fact that Black Shadow's head and chest were accidentally used in Thunderwing's instructions. But just because Hasbro intends to sell a repaint/remold doesn't mean they always get around to it. I am therefore very glad that they have indeed released Black Shadow (under the apparently more trademark-friendly name of "Sky Shadow") and I now finally have this sinister interstellar terrorist glowering at me with his ferociously malevolent eyes...

And just like with the Thunderwing release, we have new newly-improved box art for Black Shadow and his partner-in-crime, Blue Bacchus. Not just their outer "Mega Pretender" robot/shell modes, either, but also their inner robots! The scans are from the toy boxes and come courtesy of frequent contributor and fastidious completionist, heroic_decepticon. Thanks again, man!

Black Shadow
(outer robot)

Black Shadow
(inner robot)

Blue Bacchus
(outer robot)

Blue Bacchus
(inner robot)

Will Blue Bacchus ever get a release like Black Shadow? Very unlikely. Black Shadow had the benefit of being Thunderwing's retool, and Thunderwing at least had a strong presence in the comic books since the late 80's. The American toy from which Blue Bacchus was remolded, Crossblades, only ever appeared in one issue (in which he quickly and heroically died). If you want a Blue Bacchus toy, you're going to have to make your own.

Speaking of making your own... well, I'll save that for the next post.

Whoa, sweet! The box art is awesome. Did Ginraii edit them?
» Posted 12.20.2011 9:43:43 by heroic_decepticon [Website]
Thanks! No, I edited these myself with my own two claws.
» Posted 12.20.2011 18:45:13 by Botch the Crab - WEBMASTER
Kudos to your claws!
I just picked up Generations Sky Shadow yesterday. Any interest for side-by-sides with his vintage self?
» Posted 12.21.2011 9:29:17 by heroic_decepticon [Website]
Arkvader already did!
» Posted 12.21.2011 10:54:55 by Botch the Crab - WEBMASTER
I like Arkvander's shots, very nice.
since you both mentioned it, I'll chip in to say I think the chances of Blue Bacchus being released as a Generations is pretty remote - BB and Crossblades are both, unfortunately, quite obscure characters. However, I do think that the Crossblades / BB toys are actually much more fun than BS / Thunderwing...
» Posted 12.22.2011 2:27:53 by heroic_decepticon [Website]
Thank you both for the kudos! Crossblades was my first Mega Pretender and I always thought his play value exceeded Thunderwing and Vroom. Perhaps Crossblades will get more of the spotlight in the upcoming Regeneration One comics; and then perhaps a new toy? One can dream :-)
» Posted 12.22.2011 7:54:04 by Arkvander [Website]
I've been really on the fence with the new Thunderwing/Skullgrin figures. I liked the idea that they were bringing back these less mainstream G1 characters...but it keeps bugging me that they've conflated the inner robot modes with the pretender shells.

Box art is cool as always, though!
» Posted 12.22.2011 20:53:49 by Tresob
The robotic retooling for Blue Bacchus kind of makes the baggy sleeves of his original human-based counterpart stand out even more.
» Posted 12.23.2011 5:23:46 by Blot
@Tresob: Conflating the inner robot modes with the Pretender shells (which started in the Stormbringer series) is the genius of the recent Pretender redesigns! The recent Bludgeon toy is an effective and brilliant homage to both modes. I'd like to see this trend continue. Sadly, I don't see them doing any more of these, but one can hope.
» Posted 12.23.2011 11:00:32 by Botch the Crab - WEBMASTER
I second that! I love the new Pretenders. A perfect fusion, I think.

I own both Bludgeon and Thunderwing, and I'd love to see a new Doubleheader done in the same style. There's about a 0.0000007% chance of that actually happening, of course.

What I'd really, REALLY like to see is those super-articulated, 'skintight' Pretenders we all see in our dreams. With today's technology, surely a shell could be made that fits almost perfectly over the robot, and is jointed in an acceptable fashion. Removable armour and rubber skin would be a bonus.
With the BotCon MetalHawk coming soon, perhaps we'll see something along these lines in the future....
» Posted 12.26.2011 15:39:12 by Adam Prime
@Botch: I'm very much inclined to concede your point on Thunderwing and Skyshadow, especially since their shells were themselves transformable. Plus, I mostly identify Thunderwing with his shell rather than inner robot. Thunderwing, really, is like Ultra Magnus in that regard. One rarely sees him naked.
But Skullgrin's robot mode and shell are so far removed from each other that just sticking a Skyrim helmet on his robot mode doesn't quite do it for me personally...but I get why a G1 fan still likes the homage. And I agree that the new Bludgeon looks cool. Maybe the purist is getting the better of me.
» Posted 12.26.2011 18:49:50 by Tresob
I'm totally not even counting Skullgrin among these: a recolored Straxus with a remolded head does not a Skullgrin make.
But the fact that the Bludgeon toy successfully homages both the outer shell *and* the inner robot? That's just golden. And I highly recommend the head and chrome swords. They really make all the difference.
» Posted 12.26.2011 21:15:09 by Botch the Crab - WEBMASTER
Why does he have a penis?
» Posted 1.09.2012 21:47:54 by Blue Spider [Website]
@Blue Spider -- A number of the "classics" TFs seem to have...accessories. I think the first time I noticed it was Sunstreaker...
» Posted 1.10.2012 17:09:42 by Tresob

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