Part of the reason behind our perpetual 20-year nostalgia cycle is simple money: as kids get out of school and start to find themselves with a little extra green in their pockets, they often seek out the things they liked (or lacked) as children. In that glorious golden era between the end of education and the arrival of the first soul-sucking child, people are happy. They can afford to be.
Though I recognize the clear superiority of today's toys, I've bought a few oldies of my own, things I never had but always wanted when I was young. One of those acquisitions is the true king of Transformers, Omega Supreme.
Omega Supreme is the ultimate defensive force. Although he has great strength, it is his even greater courage which truly distinguishes him. Against overwhelming odds, he will stand unwaveringly and fight with every last microchip of his mechanical being. His fellow Autobots consider him serious, even grim, but those with insight know the reason why: the enormity of the responsibility placed on Omega Supreme. He is designed specifically as the Autobots' last line of defense. It is his job to protect the Ark and anything else considered vital to the Autobot cause. He knows that should he fall in battle, chances are there will be no other Autobots left by that point to take over his role. His is a situation Omega Supreme finds both challenging and chilling, but he would have it no other way.
Omega Supreme was the first "big" Transformer. Sure, in the long run, he was dwarfed by the likes of Metroplex or Fort Max, but those guys were just imitators. O.S. is the O.G. He's a robot that transforms into a city. Well, okay, not a city; he's technically a "defense base," but the idea's the same. And when he did it, he was an original.
One of my friends had Omega Supreme, and I was mystified by his transformation - I wanted to know how he changed from that big, cool robot into the Autobot city, which is part of the reason I went ahead and bought one now. Also, the cartoon made him out to be the archenemy of my real favorite Transformer, Devastator, so he had that going for him, as well.
In robot mode, Omega Supreme stands 10 1/2" tall. His body is mostly grey with a few yellow highlights. He's got big, stocky legs and a nice variety of weapons - his right hand is an orange pincher claw capable of lifting 300,000 tons, while his left is a massive plasma blaster that can pulverize a 12-foot steel cube. His upper arms look a little spindly, but they still manage to support the weight of the weapons. Two large wings poke out of Supes' back, and instead of a face he has a simple translucent orange faceplate.
Omega Supreme's transformation to the defense base is one of the most complex in Generation 1 - all his various pieces break apart, then have to be reassembled; unlike the majority of Transformers, whose bodies are contiguous and transformations mostly self-contained, Supes gets spread out over quite a distance.
In reviewing Tidal Wave, I suggested that robot was unique: three different ships that combine to form one robot. That feature can find its roots right here with Omega Supreme. By the time you finish transforming Supes, you've got a tank, a rocket ship and a command module.
The tank, formed from Omega Supreme's head and torso, is 5 1/2" long and 3 1/2" tall. Flip a switch on the rear of the tank and it actually rolls along the track that circles the base. While most vehicles like this failed miserably, Supes actually stays on his course very well, spinning his turret and raising and lowering the cannon as he goes. Considering the noise created by some battery-powered toys of the 80s (I think I still have hearing damage from the Dragon Walker's grinding motor), the tank is surprisingly quiet.
Fully assembled and locked into place, the loop of track is 26" across and 13" deep. The pieces are held together by a series of dovetail joints and hidden tabs. Those small yellow tabs were the easiest part of the toy to lose, which is why landing a complete Omega Supreme today is such a daunting task. In the center of the track is a control center... armored stronghold... thing. 5 1/4" tall, it was the "base" part of the "defensive base."
This base doubled as a launching pad for Omega Supreme's third component, the rocketship. Formed by the robot's forearms, the rocket stands 8 3/4" tall. This was the feature that really sold me on Omega Supreme, because it was the only part I could figure out from the commercials.
Omega Supreme was one of the first battery-powered Transformers. The motor that made the tank roll in vehicle form also made the robot walk. Well, "shamble," really. He moved forward under his own power, at least, which was pretty cool. If you're looking to purchase a working Omega Supreme today, you'll have to be sure that the motor hasn't worn out, the battery compartment isn't corroded and that the gears that control the wheels and legs are in working condition. The orange faceplate also lights up as he moves, but I don't think there are a lot of instances of the bulb burning out.
After finding my Omega Supreme on eBay, I still needed the help of two sites to finish him off. The first was Robot Monster Toys, which provides non-reproduction parts and pieces. Though the Omega Supreme I found had all six of the easy-to-lose yellow clips, he was missing half a leg. Walter is a reliable dealer and a pleasure to do business with. The prices are reasonable, and he makes entirely certain that you know what is going on through every step of the process. If you need to complete an old Transformer, you could certainly do worse than RMT.
I also needed instructions, to help me keep track of all those little pieces. Since I wasn't about to pay good money for something I'd only need once, I turned to The Transformers Racetrack's Instruction Scan Archive. Divided by line and faction and alphabetized by name, the Archive is a wonderful tool that is easy to use and amazingly complete.