Action Masters Reborn: Part One
In the introduction of my "Action Masters Reborn" series I covered the figures that have already been made that have their origins in an Action Master character's design, deco and/or identity. In this article I will begin speculating on ways that the remaining Action Masters back into the "Transformers" toy line. This part covers those with names beginning with the letters A through R. For the purposes of this exercise, I assumed that a brand new sculpt could not be developed and that each reborn Action Master would have to be an existing sculpt with retooling and new colors. Several image credits go to the Transformers Wiki. I itemize the listings I borrowed from at the end of this article.
It is important that readers recognize these are just my own concepts for these hypothetical redecos and retools. Other fans have gone through similar exercises and used different tools and mold choices. It's all in good fun.
Action Master: Charger
Recommended Sculpts: "Cybertron" Downshift and "Arms Micron" Zamu
Charger's Action Master figure was pretty generic looking, but the chest gave some clues as to his former alt-mode. With rectangular headlight sections that extended outward a bit, he reminded me of Cybertron Downshift's retro vehicle mode. The sculpt would of course need a new head sculpt since Downshift's looks so much like Wheeljack's. To tighten up the Action Master association, his partner Fire Beast would also get an update. Fire Beast seemed to have been some type of horned beast (maybe a Triceratops?) so the Arms Micron Zamu figure would fit the bill.
Action Master: Mainframe
Recommended Sculpt: "Titans Return" Blaster
Mainframe was basically a bunch of rectangles and boxes stacked on top of each other, inspired by old style computer terminals. This same design principle also goes for Titans Return Blaster, making his sculpt a cool choice for retooling. Mind you, this would be a significant retool on the level of Springer to Sandstorm. Parts like the front panels of his legs and his chest would have to be changed so his alt form becomes more of a computer terminal instead of a radio. Of course he would also need a new head sculpt. His base mode would fit in perfectly since he could be seen as a library of some sort in that mode. A place where Autobots go to research and consult databases. Since he already has a Headmaster/Titanmaster figure he wouldn't need a partner.
Action Master: Over-Run
Recommended Sculpt: "Hunt for the Decepticons" Tomahawk
Over-Run piloted a helicopter vehicle in the "Action Masters" line and he definitely had aircraft elements sculpted into his body so it got me thinking that Tomahawk would be a nice synthesis of the vehicle he piloted and those aircraft design elements. The most obvious of these designs would be the cockpit on his chest. The figure would need a new head sculpt of course and possibly different feet if we want to go crazy.
Action Master: Powerflash
Recommended Sculpts: "Reveal the Shield" Lugnut with "Arms Micron" Ulma
When looking at Powerflash's robot form, it's always looked like he was some type of retro looking aircraft, perhaps a bomber plane. Going for a larger, less conventional choice I chose Lugnut since that sculpt has not been used to death and it's a really impressive looking toy in both modes. Powerflash would of course need a new head and if possible I'd suggest new hands (so he doesn't just have claws). For his partner I chose Ulma because he has a nice, boxy look to him that reminds me of Powerflash's partner Road Rocket. Ulma would be given a new deco to match Road Rocket perhaps adding in some sculpting that looks like rockets/missiles to make the association even stronger.
Action Master: Rad
Recommended Sculpts: "Reveal the Shield" Jazz with "Arms Micron" Jida
I know, I know, you're thinking "Hey Ben, that Jazz sculpt is great but hasn't it been used way too much?! And isn't Rad a motorcycle?" Well, yes but for this release I'd be calling for a very extensive retool. Of course you would start with a new head, but I would also want the entire piece that forms the front of the vehicle (and robot chest) swapped out with a new one. Rad had a distinctive chest design featuring a single strip going across in yellow and two curved pieces leading to it. This could be interpreted as a motorcycle front end, but it could also be a compacted car front end. I would also recommend retooling the shoulders to give them a similar layered, curved look as G1 Rad's. Using Jida as his partner mostly comes from him being the only feline sculpt from "Arms Micron". I think with a newly tooled head, it wouldn't take much to make Jida into a new Lionizer.
Action Master: Rollout
Recommended Sculpts: "Generations" Scoop with "Arms Micron" Dago
Rollout's G1 sculpt had a very distinct excavator shovel sculpted into his chest, so I started thinking of construction vehicles in the recent years and Scoop immediately came to mind. Mind you, the parallel isn't perfect since Scoop's shovel winds up on his back instead of becoming part of his chest, but I think if you tooled up a new head and other parts like his shoulders or lower legs, you could easily create a Rollout that resembles his G1 counterpart. For his partner I locked onto "Arms Micron" Dago because like Rollout's G1 partner Glitch, Dago has a single eye and looks slightly creepy in his robot form. I also like him becoming a huge weapon for Rollout to use.
Action Master: Rumbler
Recommended Sculpts: "Energon" Bulkhead
In G1 Rumbler was a redeco of Sprocket with no retooling. Both characters had similar details from a former-alt mode. The most obvious of these details were angled cockpit windows on their torsos. He also included a vehicle that could become an Exo Suit for the figure, so it got me thinking that "Energon" Bulkhead would be perfect for an updated Rumbler. He would need a new head sculpt of course but the rest of the figure could remain the same. The extra armor that comes with the Bulkhead sculpt forms an Exo-Suit so that acts as a nice callback to Rumbler's vehicle/Exo-Suit.
This ends Part One of this series. In the next part I wrap up my speculation on what sculpts will be used for the remaining Action Masters!
This article utilizes images from the Transformers Wiki Page. Check out the individual links below (arranged in alphabetical order):