1912 You Can’t See Heaven When You’re Standing Tall.

Comic Vote

Nina’s last line is her singing a bastardization of a line from They Might Be Giant’s Thunderbird. The title of the page comes from the same song. It might also be the longest title for a page so far… I’m pretty certain this isn’t the first time someone has mentioned the song, but I forget the last time it happened.

The other day at the store they had reissue transformer toys on the shelves. Hot Rod & Starscream. I don’t have much use for the reissues. Newer versions are so much better at representing the characters but… I had Starscream as a kid. I got him on my 12th birthday along with Jazz and I played with them to the point that they were totally ruined. I was very careful with them too, but the old toy designs were really weak and not suited to being played with even in the ways they were supposed to be. Jazz’s arm broke while being transformed. I wasn’t being rough it was just weakly made. Transforming is a basic function of the toy and doing it actively added to it breaking. It’s not like that now. So kids can really get rough with these things and just stick the arms back on the ball joint when it pops off in most cases. Anyway, I replaced Jazz with a reissue almost 10 years ago now? It was on clearance at a toys r us on a very rare trip to a place where there was one. I wanted to replace Starscream but he was always far away and too expensive. So having one just kind of appear opened a door I hadn’t thought about walking through in almost a decade.

Honestly I didn’t need the toy. I’m not going to play with it, I’m just going to have it and remember my original one. Still, that was enough to rationalize the expense. It’s not even an exact duplicate. They fixed some of the problems with the original toy, like the blaster missiles. They are much sturdier. Mine broke off and eventually got lost somewhere. These are thick enough that you’d have to really try to ruin them. The hands also have special pegs so he can hold a tiny Megatron in gun mode he comes with. The original had no such item included. In fact it couldn’t hold anything at all but the new fist parts have peg holes that are one of the standard sizes for all transformer toys. They also changed the sticker sheet so there are no eye stickers. They are painted gold already in the box. The eye stickers were the first to go on mine because they were just not up to the task.

Anyway it was a purchase based on sentimentality and nostalgia. I spent almost all my childhood entertaining myself, and the stories I made up while doing so are a big contributor to may ability to tell stories today. As the only bad guy I had for years Starscream has a mythic status in the cannon of my version of Transformers. Strangely my version of him is essentially identical to the Prime universe versions of him where he’s extremely capable, but is his own worst enemy, while also being craven, manipulative, and deceitful. He had to be to take on the 15 or so autoboots I had all on his own. At least until Astrotrain showed up.


Starscream was my first Transformer as a kid too. Got him at a Woolworth’s in Killeen, TX. Being a fan of fighter jets even at that young age, he was one of my favorites.

I really want one of those Starscream toys but I feel like they are trying to take advantage of me with pricing it so far above what modern Transformers cost. Also it’s really expensive and I don’t have a ton of money right now.

That first Christmas I got Hound and Brawn. My brother got Optimus Prime and a bunch of the mini bots. At some point I remember getting Wheeljack, Sideswipe, Thundercracker, Soundwave, and some of the cassettes. Nostalgia!

Heh….I have an Optimus Prime I got got for Christmas in 1984(5). I have to look around and see if I can find his gun though. It may have finally got lost, but I have all the rest of the little parts (even a golden Zoids pilots I figured out would straddle the little rectangular pegs in Roller..so yeah, I actually had a Spike Witwiky). I know what you mean about them just naturally being a little fragile. My brother had a Jetfire that is starting to come apart where the little screws stripped out. Transformers were definitely not up for the abuse our GIJoes were capable of withstanding (I would have never tries parachuting any of the Transformers). I don’t know that to make of the price of the new issues. I think even way back in the day they were expensive (part of the reason I didn’t have many). I saw a Metroplex at Sears around 1986/7 and it was $40. Well $40 for a toy in those days was a lot (a Huffy bike at Sears wasn’t much more). That said, I think they do charge a bit of ‘nostalgia tax’ on those of us driven by hours of playing with toys that were probably too fragile to play with in the first place.

“it was a purchase based on sentimentality and nostalgia”

That’s like 90% of Transformers toy collectors right there. I collect for the same reason.

Jackie, as a suggestion, perhaps you could blacken the musical notes in the last panel? I honestly didn’t even notice the musical notes around Nina’s speech bubble until I looked at the panel the third time. It looked the color of the notes just blended with the background.

All Jackie’s speech bubbles have about a 5 px. black outline. But the one where Nina is singing is blue, and so caught my eye right away. Colour profiles on monitors vary wildly. (Also widely, but wildly is more accurate, in this case).

Looking at Jackie’s twitter feed-
I was sorry to hear that the animator, + claymation animator, Mr. Will Vinton, had passed on.

Will Vinton did the animation, for the John Fogerty music video: Vanz Kant Danz.

You can find the video, Vanz Kant Danz, on youtube, + sites like that.

Being a Transformers fan myself, I too get a surge of excitement if something new appears on the store shelves. I can’t say I have much attachment for the G1 toys, since I wasn’t around when they were in stores, though I’m glad they’re around for people who want ’em. Generations is where I get my G1 fill, to be honest. XV

As such, I hope Squawkbox, Slamdance, and some of the more obscure cassette-bots get some updates at some point. The former two (well, technically four) are among the few G1 toys that I own, and I find them quite neat.

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