As I told you way back in my Windchargerpost, I only kept 3 Transformers from my entire childhood collection. Windcharger, Gears and Thrust. These 3 weren’t necessarily my favourites so I’m really not sure how I came to that decision. I do really like these 3 figures mind you but I also used to own Shockwave, Soundwave, Devesator, and so many others. There is an incident that comes to mind that may have played into the decision somewhat. This is a little gross so I apologize in advance. When I was younger I kept my various toy lines in their own compartmentalized boxes. Only toy lines that I had only one or two figures from ended up in the miscellaneous figure drawer. My toy box ( which had 2 fluffy white kittens on every side of it) was packed full of my Joe vehicles. My Joe figures were in a shoebox in the closet. My Transformers were in a large cardboard box of which I had cut down the sides so that it could slide under the bed. One day I was home sick in bed, feeling quite ill. The sudden need to throw up crept up on me and there was no way I was going to make it to the bathroom. My mom had already placed a bucket beside my bed in case this very thing should happen. However I had forgotten that earlier I had pushed the bucket aside so that I could pull the Transformers box out from under the bed and fiddle with a couple of random figures. On a side note, I’m not sure if anyone else uses the term “fiddle” that way but it was a commonly used term between Doug and I.
I’ve told you before about how serious we were about our playing. We played with a purpose. We had continuing storylines and call backs to other times we had played, creating our own continuity if you will. On the odd occasion when Doug and I didn’t have time to play out a full storyline, like say if Mom told us we were all going to the mall in 20 minutes, Doug or I would turn to the other and say “Wanna fiddle?” Fiddling to us meant a more relaxed form of play, a kind of out of continuity else-worlds. We could just grab a G.I. Joe and a dinosaur and have them fighting on the staircase without any long term repercussions to our overall story. I realize how weird this sounds as I type it. Anyway, I had been fiddling with some Transformers earlier and forgotten about it so when I leaned over the side of the bed to puke into the bucket I instead puked into my Transformers box. Spaghetti puke. I was mortified. Transformers are not easy to clean. You can’t just throw them in a bucket of water, they have delicate stickers that can peel and metal parts that can rust. I had to take a wet washcloth and spot clean each of my affected Transformers, which was most of them. I remember that despite my best efforts many of them still had orange crust in their grooves and joints (I apologized in advance remember). Whoever ended up buying my Transformers at the yard sale that followed got more than they bargained for.
Now I’m not certain that the puke incident played a big part in my “Transformers to keep” selection but it may have. Thrust is one of Starscream’s team of seeker jets. There was also Thundercracker, Ramjet, Skywarp and Dirge. The toys of these figures were all the exact same save for the colors. I liked Thrust’s colors the best with the black and maroon so he was my favourite of the bunch. Even though the seekers were featured prominently in the cartoon and comic Thrust was actually the only one we owned. Another reason Thrust stood out from the pack for me is that he was one of two “conehead” seekers who kept their nosecone pointed upwards in robot mode where as the other 4 seekers flipped it down giving them the more recognizable Starscream like look. On the action figures you could give any of the seekers either look with a quick flick of the nosecone. Like all old Transformers figures I find the robot mode to be very stiff and when compared to my modern version the vintage Thrust is severely outclassed in every way.
It may have been common for neighbourhood kids to swap toys with one another but this was something that Doug and I never participated in, we loved our toys and kept them close to home. However in our elementary school there was this one kid named Dougie Dodman who made the most ridiculous offers and one time he made me an offer I couldn’t refuse. Something crazy like, if you let me borrow Thrust for the night I’ll give you two of my Transformers to keep afterwards. I agreed and when he was returned to me Thrust was missing a hand. Dougie had tried to make it up to me by replacing it with one of Starscreams blue hands but not only did it look stupid but now my Thrust had 2 left hands. I never should have let him out of my sight. Bottom line, the seekers were some of the coolest Transformers from the original line, good design, ruthless characterization and a decent representation of how the characters looked on the screen and printed page. Even with points deducted for his mis-colored hand he’s still a solid 6 out of 10.