BLUSTER & TRENCH
Series: Mech Ideas Really, these two bros. are essential to the war effort. If it wasn't for them, the sewers would be over-run. Pests, contamination, trash... you name it. Happily these brothers are up for the challenge. Only two dedicated 'Bots could tackle such a job. So it's best we thank those responsible. Kudos to them for doing something no-one else would. In celebration, we cheer them! Now, if only we had more like these. Sounds like a plan!
Legal stuff first as always. The Techno Toon Titans were not released by Hasbro or Takara-Tomy and thus are not legally Transformers toys. They hail from third party company Mech Ideas and are meant to depict Animated Huffer and Pipes (cosplaying as Nintendo’s Mario and Luigi), but for legal reasons they can’t be called by those names.
Bluster and Trench are not exactly repaints of each other, but the two robots share quite a few parts. Their torsos and heads are different, but the arms and legs are the same (except for the colors) and the truck cabins they wear as a rucksack are also identical except for one little detail (more on that later). Bluster has a shorter, wider torso and a head, while Trench is taller and thinner. In their standard configuration Trench also has longer legs, but you can give Bluster the same length of leg as well if you want, they’re just tucked in.
Both robots are sculpted to look like they’re wearing worker overalls and caps and they’re both sporting mustaches. Bluster looks pretty grim, actually, but that’s mostly because of said mustache, his packaging art makes him look quite jolly. Both robots are very nicely articulated and also have a pretty solid stance, thanks to unfolding heels (not unfolded fresh out of the package, mind you). Bluster comes with two tools that look suspiciously like a wrench and a plumber’s friend, while Trench has two guns / exhaust pipes that go onto his forearms.
Overall there is very little room for complaint here. Sure, these guys are small (about Scout-class sized), but very nicely detailed, articulated, and they look just great. So two thumbs up for the robot modes.
Bluster and Trench transform into Cybertronian trucks, somewhat similar in design to the vehicle modes of Animated Ratchet (Cybertron Mode)
, and the Autotroopers
. Bascially a vehicle cabin with four angled tank tracks. It’s really just the robots lying down on their stomach and tucking their limbs in a bit, but the transformation works just fine. In this mode there is really just one difference between the two (apart from the color), namely that Bluster has a bar on the rear side of his cabin where he can hang up his tools (he can store them there in robot mode, too), while Trench has room to plug in his guns / exhaust pipes. Not much else to write here. Nice little vehicle modes, working out just fine. No complaints.
I don’t normally write much about the packaging of a Transformers toy, but in this case let me just mention how much love went into this one. Not only does it look like one of the old Nintendo game cartridge packages, it also has screen shots of a (sadly non-existent) video game inside, featuring Bluster and Trench fighting their way through various Super-Mario-like game levels. Bonus points for this lovely nostalgia-infused box.
Animated was a Transformers series that was sadly cancelled before its time and only because Hasbro was all gung-ho about getting its own TV channel set up (which didn’t even last five years, just saying) and not wanting to pay Cartoon Network anymore (now they’re back with them for Robots in Disguise, just saying). The AllSpark Almanach showed all kinds of designs and ideas for a fourth season that never came, including character designs for the Animated versions of G1 Huffer
. These designs were realized by third party company Mech Ideas and – seeing as the designs already held a strong influence from a certain pair of famous video game plumbers – it was hardly a surprise to see them recolored into Mario and Luigi look-alikes.
This set was available exclusively at several Transformers Fan Conventions, including the German C.O.N.S. where I picked up mine. And given my love for Animated, as well as the fact that I am a big Super Mario fan, there is really no way for me to give an objective final rating here. I just love this set. It’s pricey, yes. You’re basically buying two Scout-sized figures for the price exceeding that of a Leader-class figure, but to me it’s absolutely worth it. Love these guys. So unless you are completely devoid of affection for Animated, Super Mario, and goodness and joy in general, you should really try to get your hands on these guys.