I love Powermaster Optimus Prime (PMOP). Yes he’s a brick, don’t care. He hails fictionally from the latter part of G1 (which is my favorite part of said era) and truly is where I first really started appreciating Optimus Prime (before he was just a cool toy and generic good guy in my eyes). He is my absolute favorite toy ever. Yes he’s a brick, still don’t care.
Seriously, why do people use the term brick as a reason to dislike a G1 toy? They were all bricks for the most part. It makes as much sense as discounting a Micromaster from 1990 on the basis that it doesn’t have the articulation of Sideburn, using the basis that technically it’s release in 2004 as part of Universe would mean it would be a more recent toy than the 2001 Sideburn.
That’s the kind of stupid you’ll find on the internet.
Now why would a blog entry with Godbomber in the subject line be about Powermaster Optimus Prime? Well unless you are extremely new to the game, you would know about the Japanese incarnation of PMOP as Ginrai. If not, then read this, and then continue.
Well, like many other TF fans, first discovering information about the various Transformers animated series and toy lines in other countries was a rite of passage. When I found out about how my beloved PMOP was handled in Japan. I admit I was pretty turned off at first, I mean WTF right? Then shortly after I accepted it and actually learned to love Masterforce for it’s uniqueness in the world of TF fiction. After all, Decepticons making zombies that wear little shorty shorts and t shirts emblazoned with the Decepticon sigil. Comic dudes love the Beyonder and his whitey fro. Me, I like zombies in 80’s jogging gear.
So of course I found out about Godbomber, and to be honest, at first I thought he sounded great. Extra trailer for PMOP that turned into both a robot and armor for PMOP. This sounds great, why wasn’t it included in the American version? For that matter, why was the Japanese version of better quality? (at the time, things like price points and the economics that go into Transformers wasn’t a well versed subject of mine) I gotta get one. At the time, the pictures I would find online made Godbomber were usually kinda small and grainy. For all I could tell, he looked pretty decent. I had reasoned that I would score a Godbomber and combine him with my PMOP. Partially to save on the cost of a complete Ginrai set, and also part of my middle finger attitude towards the whole Ginrai/PMOP situation at the time.
At BotCon, I had my chance. See, local conventions in Atlanta have pretty much ignored Transformers until the 2007 movie. Of course since then they have jumped on the bandwagon, but before then TF stuff was kinda odd to find. Dreamwave comics popularity made for more t shirts, but that was about it. So I usually had to wait until I could attend a BotCon to view some of the more hard to find stuff (you could find a million Sunstreaker fists on ebay, but no Godbomber I tells ya).
So there I was, at BotCon and there it was… Star Saber!
Man that thing was awesome, completely overshadowed this blocky looking dude that turned out to be Godbomber. I mean, wow Godbomber was a mess. I wasn’t too turned off by that, because hey… he’s an accessory. Well, that was the general feeling until every dealer wanted a little over a power bill’s worth of cash for the damn accessory.
Well I decided to pass on Godbomber for a few years based on what reality had presented me with. Not very long afterwards the whole God Ginrai gift set was reissued. Man, timing was perfect and thanks to timing I got it for $14 at Hobby Link Japan’s clearance sale. Man, Ginrai is really nice, man… Godbomber really sucks. Why did I want this so much? A little later Hasbro reissued Powermaster Optimus Prime and I jumped on it. The reissue was in fact just the God Ginrai gift set in American packaging. So now I had two God Ginrai gift sets, just one was Optimus with some blocky dude now named Apex Bomber. Man this PMOP was really nice, Apex Bomber really sucked.
So now I have two Godbombers, something that I once would have been ecstatic to say, now I’m just reluctant to point too. I still think I like my old PMOP better than the Ginrai set though. Not because of Godbomber, he is a kinda cool accessory that wasn’t executed well. Not because of the nice die cast metal and other features Ginrai offers. No, but because my old PMOP will always be the toy I had on my bookshelf next to my stereo. The classic PMOP will always be the robot I doodled on my Mead notebook instead of taking notes. Ginrai is just another dude, and the Apex Armor is just a new addition. PMOP will always be classic, and Godbomber is just a foot note I took a few minutes to blog about while stuck inside during a winter storm.