Tuesday, 6 September 2011
E is for Erector
The Winning Toy
"Programmed to build and preserve. Reluctant to Destroy. Only fights when provoked. Often uses cunning and tactical manoeuvring to ensnare his enemies. A brave, respected warrior. Equipped with titanium belted, bullet-proof tires and alloyed exterior that's impervious to most armaments. Crane hook with hydraulic swing can pierce enemy armor with deadly accuracy. Converts to battle station with devastating photon canon and anti-aircraft machine gun battery."
Toyline: 1989 Transformers Line
Generation: Generation One
Size Class: Micromaster Transport
Function: Construction Engineer
Quote: "Everyone loses if there's nothing to win."
As Erector was designed during the later years of the original Transformers toyline (now more commonly known as G1) Erector has a very simple robot, which is made even simpler by the fact that he's a Micromaster, meaning that he only really has 2 points of articulation. In Erector's case these are located in his shoulders, enabling him to rotate his arms vertically 360 degrees each (ie he can move the left arm or the right arm, or both as needed. Erector's legs are also articulated at the knees, enabling him to take on a sitting down pose (as needed for one of his functions as noted later)
Despite Erector's size and the limited technology at the time, he actually does look good, mostly due to the details sculpted into him, and the good colour-scheme, with him being primarily a bright yellow with grey arms and upper legs. Erector's hands have sculpted fingers, but obviously can't do anything.
Unsurprisingly Erector's face is very simple, no light piping, no articulation (other than being able to fold in on itself and hide) However Erector does have some detailing on his face, including indentations for his eyes and mouth, but aren't painted to distinguish them from the rest of the face. He also has a chevron on his forehead, but his is purely for aesthetic reasons
Erector is able to interact with with his trailer. there is a small slot where you can connect Erector into, so he can stand there and give the illusion of holding his black cannon (he obviously can't hold the gun, despite it having handles, because of his limited articulation). Erector is also able to sit down and connect to the circular section at the back of the battle platform, as if he was on a throne or command chair for the battle platform
Erector's alternate mode is a small yellow truck cab used on construction sites. His cockpit cab windows are painted red with sculpted wind-shield wipers. As well as this piece of aesthetic sculpting, he also has bumpers, and various other random lines across him. Behind the actual cab are two short smoke stacks. Erector's wheels are able to move freely, but the forward 2 wheels are stiffer than the rear two (most likely due to them being connected to the arms)
The parts that become his arms also have some foot-holds to enable to the fictional driver to jump into the cab. On the back of the vehicle he has a circular connector that enables him to connect to any Micromaster Transport Trailer
Erector is able to connect to his own trailer to turn him into a Crane (much like G1 Hook) The colour-scheme is continued over from the cab mode and so it doesn't clash (luckily)
The crane itself is able to move around on the connecting section, and the crane arm is able to be raised up and down at about a 45 degree angle. The hook and wire is able to swing freely at about a 180 degree angle (and can also hold small, light things if needed). The crane has a molded cab as well, but obviously there's no way to actually use it or anything
The trailer has 8 wheels (4 on each side) so in total the combined vehicle has 12 wheels, all of which are able to roll freely
If you remove the crane part of the trailer, you can also use this trailer as a flat bed truck trailer (if you really want to) so go ahead and put a load of car Micromasters on his back if you want!
The trailer obviously has more appropriate markings on it, such as sculpted hydraulics and grips etc. Over all if looks like a reasonable representation of a fictional crane
And finally, as with all Micromaster Trailers, he has a third mode as well, in Erector's case, this is a Battle Platform. This mode has a large cannon on the middle that can be aimed at a 90 degree angle on an axis, but doesn't really fire any projectiles etc. Behind this gun is the control chair, simply created by raising up the cover. The sides open out and can be used as some stabilizing polls of some sort. from the polls you can pull out some stabilizing struts, so the Battle Platform won't fall over (due to being uneven with the wheels on the ground) and two move poles can be pulled out to act as antennae
Erector's crane can be connected to the small hole at the very front of the Battle Platform (the same hole it would have been in whilst in vehicle mode). After doing this, you can then fold back the cover of the crane to reveal a cannon, giving him more fire power
Oh Erector...the first point is probably the most obvious...he has a funny name that has been subject to many sexual innuendo based jokes in the past. Of course I'm above all that silly stuff and...and...penis...
Onto a serious note now. Erector has had a very short history, despite being from the 80's lines. He was released in 1989, but never appeared in any piece of media (and I don't believe he's even made an appearance in IDW or any other contemporary comic so far). However despite his lack of media he was the basis for the Movie 2007 figure Mudflap's colour-scheme (despite him being a Decepticon)
Now for the main piece of love he's received lately...he has been nominated for the 2011 Botcon Hall of Fame in an act of fan defiance against the more "important" characters from the franchise who seem to monopolize these sorts of things (here's lookin' at you 'Bee!). Unfortunately he lost out to Waspinator however (FIX! FIX!) Though Hasbro did make a mockumentary of how Erector is so important that he was supposed to appear in pretty much every other series, but was taken out for various reasons
Is he cool?
Erector is very, very cool. Not for his funny name or just because he's "Geewun!" but because he's a very good, underrated figure who deserves more love.
Despite his limited articulation, the figure is still very fun, with lots of interact-ability between him and his trailer
Also, a fun little thing that I noticed, but I haven't seen anywhere is that you can attach the actual crane section into his trailer connector so you can make him act as a smaller crane or a gun mounted truck (depending on what mode you have the crane section in. This doesn't hinder the movement at all, but you have to remove the crane before transforming him to robot mode, else he'll just fall over (as the crane extends past his feet)
If you can find this figure at a convention, car boot or Ebay then I suggest that you buy him, especially if you can get him complete like I did last year (at Auto Assembly 2010) He is worth every penny, trust me.