(I wrote this review the first week of February but am just getting it posted now. The joys of moving.)
My brother Doug has upstaged me yet again. It was his birthday the other day which comes just 2 weeks after my own. For my birthday he gave me a Batman figure but he also told me that he ordered me up a little something online which hadn’t arrived yet. The Batman made for a great gift on its own so any add-on was just gravy. For Doug’s birthday I got him 2 of the Marvel “Famous Covers” figures which I recently discussed in my Iron Spider-Man review. Doug’s favorite super hero is Captain America so of course he already owned the FC version of the star spangled Avenger but what he didn’t have was Cap’s arch enemy the Red Skull and his teammate the Black Widow. At first I was only planning to get him the Red Skull but I decided I needed to go bigger to show my appreciation for the great Christmas gift he got me so I ordered the both of them.
We went out for lunch the other day and I presented him with the 2 dolls. I think he was pleased with them. He then gave me a small cardboard box containing the “little something” which has since arrived. Upstaged again.
Doug and I were in our prime toy collecting years in the golden age of 80s action figures. We witnessed the birth of toy lines like G.I. Joe, He-Man, and WWF. Perhaps the biggest new craze in boy’s toys in the 1980s was transforming robots. Everyone remembers the Transformers and some people remember the Go-Bots who played second fiddle on the transforming food chain. But beyond those two dominant toy lines there were a ton of other transforming properties and dollar store knock-offs. Doug and I had many of them.
I loved some of those generic old robots just as much, if not more than, some of my officially sanctioned Transformers. I suppose that’s why I held onto toys like Wagon Master from the Esso Robot Racers or my dump truck from the Motorized Robot line, despite selling off almost my entire Transformer collection. When we played Transformers most of those generic robots got in on the action as well. And while they may not have been worthy of being kept in the Transformers box under my bed they always put up a good fight in our frequent figure drawer free-for-alls where all of the generic figures we owned duked it out for supremacy by chucking everyone else of the bed, Royal Rumble style.
While I regret getting rid of my vintage Transformers I can take comfort in the fact that if I really wanted to replace them I could. They’re quite expensive now on the secondary market but they’re plentiful and many of them have even been re-issued. Some of the toys that I most regret getting rid of are the generic ones that aren’t so easy to replace. One such toy was a transforming silver spider I owned as a kid.
I couldn’t tell you anything about the figure other than what it looked like. I didn’t where it came from, if it had a name, or when I got it. It was just some cheap dumb toy I had for basically as long as I can remember. Doug owned a purple scorpion from the same line. I always assumed they came from a dollar store.
Many times on ebay I searched for my long lost transforming silver spider but to no avail. I even searched for the purple scorpion in hopes that it would help me identify the spider but no luck there either. I even found an online database, the sole purpose of which was to identify unknown miscellaneous transforming toys, and they weren’t there either. I had pretty much given up on it.
Well Doug found that spider, along with the purple scorpion, and a bat and a bird from the same line, and gave them to me as my birthday add-on. I’d been trying to locate this thing for a decade and he said he found it with a single search on ebay. Doug also provided me with some background information. The figures are from a line called Convertors and were made by a company called Select. This revelation immediately jogged my memory and I was able to research them online. There were a few other Convertors we owned as kids, like a cash register and a roulette wheel, which I had long since forgotten about.
My spider’s name is apparently Tenticus (great name) and he’s just how I remember him. He’s got a very classic 80s look about him. I’m very impressed that all his stickers are still in good shape but unfortunately his joints are loose as hell. This guy pretty much crumbles when you try and stand him up so I don’t think he’ll be displayed on my Transformers shelf. Every movable piece on this figure flops. The same is true of the other three. I couldn’t even get them to stand for a second to take a picture.
I love the colors of this figure. He looks amazing in both robot and spider modes. He’s got a vac metal head and spider legs and bright metallic green eyes. I’m really happy to have this guy back in my collection and you van be sure that I’ll be seeking out more Select Convertors. 7 out of 10.