Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Transformers Feature: Shattered Glass Galvatron

Not all BotCon exclusives are created equal.

Now, there are probably any number of ways in which that statement is true. Probably most people will think of the fact that some exclusives are such absolutely brilliant ideas that of course they're going to be popular. While there's no denying that some exclusive ideas are more popular and/or inspired than others, that's not really what I'm getting at here. What I'm thinking of for the purposes of this post are exclusives that arise out of concepts that were not originally created with the express purpose of creating an exclusive toy in mind, but which were nonetheless demonstrated in a Fun Publications comic or other related piece of fiction, and which were only later made into toys available to those who attended the convention. Razorclaw and Elita-1 (sold together as the "BotCon Anniversary Pack" in 2009) were two such toys. Shattered Glass Galvatron is another.

Shattered Glass Galvatron first appeared in 2009 in issue #30 of the Transformers Collectors' Club magazine, which closed out the club's original five-year-long story arc with the long-awaited introduction of Nexus Prime. A couple of issues previously, the Megatron of the Shattered Glass universe had been attacked by his version of Cyclonus and was considered beyond hope (incidentally, Shattered Glass Cyclonus is another toy that was made well after the basic character design had been demonstrated in fiction, although in that case, one could notice some subtle changes in the design after it's first appearance, clearly made after it was determined that a toy would actually be produced). Much like the original Megatron was changed into Galvatron by Unicron in the animated Transformers: The Movie (setting a pattern that has been repeated numerous times since), Shattered Glass Megatron was reborn as Galvatron (in this case, through Nexus Prime's help).

Shattered Glass Galvatron was designed by Jesse Wittenrich, who has worked for Fun Publications as one of their "resident" artists for some time now. As the story goes, he had an extra Universe Springer toy he didn't want (I don't blame him. I only bought that set for Ratbat, myself, and sold Springer at the earliest opportunity). Presumably noticing that the mold's head was reasonably close to G1 Galvatron's iconic three-pronged crown, he painted it up using G1 Galvatron colors, and even observed that Shattered Glass Megatron's tank accessory could attach to the mold's arm.

A few changes were apparently made to the concept's color scheme before Galvatron actually appeared in the comic, and so the toy that was eventually made available at BotCon 2011 (alongside Shattered Glass/Action Master Thundercracker) actually does resemble the art from the character's 2009 magazine appearances more than Wittenrich's custom toy that it arose from. Did Fun Publications actually have plans to introduce the Shattered Glass Galvatron toy so many months before it actually became a reality? No one has confirmed that, to the best of my knowledge, but the evidence of the art does lean at least somewhat in that direction....

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