Saturday, July 12, 2008
Happiness is a Happy Meal
I've been really enjoying the Transformers Animated series. The best part of the series is how it reinterprets classic Transformers mythology and puts its' own spin on it. It's similar to Smallville in this regard, but unlike Smallville it doesn't suck the other 98% of the time when it's not dealing with classic characters and storylines. Some of the stuff that's appeared in Transformers Animated include Blackarachnia as a corrupted version of Elita One, Waspinator as Bumblebee's rival, and Shockwave being able to transform into an Autobot and act as a mole. In the recent two-part second season finale they introduced the Seekers as clones of Starscream each with a single aspect of Starscream's twisted personality. Admittedly the show isn't perfect. I admire that they try to introduce original villains who are more along the lines of typical cartoon bad guys, but I don't think they're quite as effective as they could be. McDonalds currently has Transformers Animated transforming toys available as part of ther Happy Meals. They're definitely better than last year's Burger King toys for the live action movie. However they do seem to be designed to favor one mode over the other. So the robots that don't look so good, look better in vehicle form and vice versa. I think Optimus comes the closest to looking decent in both forms. I do find Bumblebee endearing for having nearly the same transformation as the classic Bumblebee figure. What you paid money for in the 80s is now free with a burger and fries in 2008. On August 15th McDonalds will have toys to tie-in with the animated Star Wars: The Clone Wars. The toys will be super deformed characters riding in vehicles, with a mix of Clone Wars era and Original Trilogy characters. The inclusion of the latter seems unnecesary but hey whatever. There are some odd matches between character and vehicle, like a Stormtrooper riding an AT-AT or R2-D2 in the Naboo Starfighter. I'm not sure what Wicket the Ewok is riding but I'm sure it's weird. Finally, there was a recent McDonalds DragonBall Z promotion in Japan featuring what appears to be figures inside cases. I don't think they're still available as the Japanese website now features toys of iDog and something called Mezzo Piano. At the very least it shows that DBZ still draws interest years after the series' end.