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by yo go re

In the beginning, the Transformers cassette-bots at least tried to look like they might be real-world items. Eventually all that went out the window.

We could make excuses for Grand Slam & Raindance and Squalktalk & Beastbox, but this is just too much. The colors on these tapes is so clearly designed to accommodate the eventual robot modes that there's just no pretending they're anything but. Now, that's to the robots' benefit, but on the tapes it looks out of place. To be fair, the main play feature with these was to stick them in Soundwave's chest, at which point their colors wouldn't matter, but for those of us who never had a Soundwave, it can be an issue.

He's as slow and stupid as he looks. Plays back the messages he carries, thinks others are talking about him, goes into violent rages. End result is usually destruction of messages and nearby small towns that get in his way. In stegosaurus Mode, plates on back, like teeth on a chainsaw, cut through almost any substance; carries 2 solar-powered vibro-cannons.

Slugfest is a stegosaurus. A tiny, lime-green stegosaurus with harsh magenta legs and plates on his back. Yeah, that's unobtrusive. He has technological detailing (on the side that isn't covered with stickers to make him look like a cassette tape) and two large vac-metallized "vibro cannons" that fit into the holes in his body. And yes, the panels on top really do look like solar collectors.

Whether talking, terrifying, or attacking, he does everything to excess. So busy proving how tough he is by snapping cars in half between his jaws, that he forgets his mission. Can record data as a cassette, rip open the hull of a battleship as a tyrannosaurus. Armed with 2 batteries of motion missiles - each reacts to any moving object bigger than a baseball and explodes on contact.

Despite the Tech Spec's claim that Overkill is a tyrannosaurus, the horn on top of his nose makes him look more like ceratosaur - aka, "the T. rex with the horn on top of his nose." There's a step to his conversion that's easy to overlook: you don't just unfold his feet, you also pull the legs out to the sides slightly. It doesn't make him look any different, but it does make him stand more stably. His chromed guns... sorry, "motion missiles" plug into his shoulders. They actually have a pretty cool design, with what looks like rocket boosters on the back - does that mean he can fly?

Slugfust and Overkill are far from the most recognizable Transformers ever. Together they only ever appeared on one episode of the cartoon and in zero issues of the comic. Their altmodes to nothing to disguise the robots inside, and their transformations are simle even by Cassetticon standards. But they still make a cute little pair of dinos, and while Overkill got a second toy in 2008 (a repaint of Grimlock), this is the only time poor little Slugfest has ever been a toy. If these were being released today, you'd almost be assured a repaint in red, grey and gold.

-- 02/28/12

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