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Thread: Childhood Misunderstandings

  1. #1
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    Default Childhood Misunderstandings

    As a minor I initially misunderstood the depiction of various Transformers characters (in my case all G1). Usually my misunderstanding arose from limited information - either I had only seen the character flash by in a cartoon episode or had only seen the toy in package or shown in a catalogue. My imagination filled in speculative gaps, with the following results:

    - Megatron turned into a rifle, not a gun with extensions.

    - Shockwave turned into a fixed position cannon, not a handgun.

    - Rumble's only alt-mode was not a cassette, but rather those pile-drivers.

    - Wheeljack and Ratchet were the same character. Wheeljack clearly appears as a van in the first episode, and the lights flanking his face were presumably his ambulance mode emergency lights.

    - The hood-like structure over Huffer in robot mode looks like some kind of shovel so he must have been a construction vehicle.

    - Some years later, I read Scourge's tech-spec as saying he literally lead a 'wolf-pack' and imagined the Sweeps as a group of domesticated cyber-wolves.

    - Rodimus Prime and Hot Rod were something like uncle and nephew, a common relationship depicted in cartoons.

    Did anyone else make these sorts of mistakes, for whichever generation or toy line?

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    For the longest time as a kid, I thought the good guys were called "Transformers" instead of Autobots.

  3. #3
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    I think the biggest misunderstanding for me was the timeline of the cartoons. I was about 4 when I got into transformers and really started with the cartoons. I used to mostly watch them by hiring out the VHS tapes from the local video rental store. Most of the ones that I saw first were season 3 I think so I thought Rodimus was a Prime before Optimus as I saw all the Season 3 eps then ultimately the Return of Optimus Prime. It was a confusing time before the internet and the ability to figure out the watching order

  4. #4
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    It’s “more then meets the eye” right? Young Paulbot thought so.

    I called the Monster Planet from the movie Unicorn. Then I was reading #75 and noticed it said Unicron. And when I checked I realised I was always reading it as Unicorn despite what was on the page.

  5. #5
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    I initially thought that Spike Witwicky was just the cartoon name for Buster Witwicky (similar to how Jetfire was renamed Skyfire); I thought that, names aside, they were the same character.

    Before TFTM came out...
    * I thought that Hot Rod and Rodimus Prime were entirely different and unrelated characters. And I pronounced Rodimus as "Row-dimus" instead of "Roddy-mus."
    * I never thought that the Sweeps were just clones of Scourge. I thought that they'd be more like the Mayhem Attack Squad.

    Grotusque; saw this toy in the 1987 catalogue before seeing it in shops, and from the catalogue I thought that he was a retool of Snarl. I also mispronounced his name as "Grow-tuss-kew."

    I thought that the red Tracks on the 1985 packaging diorama was a separate Autobot called Lightning Strike and that he had Thor-like powers.

    I thought that the "M" on some of the Autobot Mini-Cars like Brawn, Huffer, Gears etc. stood for "Minibot."

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by GoktimusPrime View Post
    I thought that the "M" on some of the Autobot Mini-Cars like Brawn, Huffer, Gears etc. stood for "Minibot."
    You idiot, Gok. It obviously stands for Microchange and you should have known this as a kid.
    WTB
    Universe Ruination urban/arctic camo
    oversized KO of G1/G2 Brawl

  7. #7
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    For the longest time I thought Apeface's name was Ap-ee-face. Even though I was completely aware he transformed into a Gorilla! Took me ages to accept that it's actually Ape-Face.

    Also for some unknown reason, I instinctively type his name as Apreface.
    Every
    Damn
    time.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tha_Phantom View Post
    You idiot, Gok. It obviously stands for Microchange and you should have known this as a kid.
    Serves me right for not having Googled it on Wikipedia in the 1980s.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by DELTAprime View Post
    For the longest time as a kid, I thought the good guys were called "Transformers" instead of Autobots.
    This reminds me of the Japanese faction names of Cybertron and Destron. Both that and your misconception seem to suggest a greater claim to true identity or possession of territory for the heroes.

    Quote Originally Posted by Raider View Post
    I think the biggest misunderstanding for me was the timeline of the cartoons. I was about 4 when I got into transformers and really started with the cartoons. I used to mostly watch them by hiring out the VHS tapes from the local video rental store. Most of the ones that I saw first were season 3 I think so I thought Rodimus was a Prime before Optimus as I saw all the Season 3 eps then ultimately the Return of Optimus Prime. It was a confusing time before the internet and the ability to figure out the watching order
    The outer space setting of Season 3 also gives it a kind of timelessness compared to the Earth-bound older seasons.

    I was old enough to have seen it on TV and moreorless in sequence but, the time-jump and shift in style post-movie was a bit jarring. Mind you, I came to prefer Season 3 story-telling, even if I was less into the 1986-87 toys.

    Quote Originally Posted by Paulbot View Post
    I called the Monster Planet from the movie Unicorn. Then I was reading #75 and noticed it said Unicron. And when I checked I realised I was always reading it as Unicorn despite what was on the page.
    I swear to this day that, in the movie version of the theme song, Lion sing "the evil unicorn". Maybe they knew no better than that.

    Quote Originally Posted by GoktimusPrime View Post
    I initially thought that Spike Witwicky was just the cartoon name for Buster Witwicky (similar to how Jetfire was renamed Skyfire); I thought that, names aside, they were the same character.

    Grotusque; saw this toy in the 1987 catalogue before seeing it in shops, and from the catalogue I thought that he was a retool of Snarl. I also mispronounced his name as "Grow-tuss-kew."

    I thought that the red Tracks on the 1985 packaging diorama was a separate Autobot called Lightning Strike and that he had Thor-like powers...
    I sort of assumed Buster and Spike were the same too. I understand now that things of often more complex than that, but still think of them as the same character, with names that seem more like nicknames.

    Grotusque does look like he borrows a lot from the Snarl transformation and, overall, the Monsterbots seemed like Dinobot successors to me, in the same way Throttlebots were the new Autobot Mini-Vehicles.

    Where did you pull the name Lightning Strike from?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tetsuwan Convoy View Post
    For the longest time I thought Apeface's name was Ap-ee-face. Even though I was completely aware he transformed into a Gorilla! Took me ages to accept that it's actually Ape-Face.

    Also for some unknown reason, I instinctively type his name as Apreface.
    Every
    Damn
    time.
    I was too old by the time of Transformers to make that sort of mistake, but with the older Star Wars figures I definitely did. One of my more extreme misreadings was that the Ugnaughts from Cloud City somehow became "Unkajites" to me. Kids!

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan View Post
    Where did you pull the name Lightning Strike from?
    I just imagined that he the power to summon/project lightning bolts (like Thor, Zeus etc.) and gave him the rather unimaginative name of "Lightning Strike." About as silly as creating a Decepticon who can create thunder cracks and calling him Thundercrack. I should've called him Lightning Striker... now that would've been classy!

    Coincidentally I later saw this Ladybird Book in stores and then just assumed that it was the canonical debut of Lightning Strike. I later bought the book and read it, and even though there's no such character in the story I just assumed that Lightning Strike was in it (as part of the Autobot team)... just never explicitly mentioned or seen. Just "off screen" (or "off page") as it were... not seen or heard but present. Yeah, it makes absolutely no sense. I just imagined him to be in the story because I wanted this character to exist so badly.

    But this is also why I jumped on the eHobby pre-order for Road Rage and Crosscut. I was excited to see the red Tracks character finally being canonised.

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