Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Perception Is The Key

[Perceptor: a smile a day]
Written by GL

One of my all-time favorite Autobots (of all time) has to be this fella, pictured above. He wasn't a stand out warrior in any sense, nor was he a main contributing character to the entire Transformers series. What did make him cool was the whole novelty and uniqueness behind his character conception. I put Perceptor up there with other stand-out figures like Prime, Blaster and the Dinobots.

Perceptor (or Supervista, as he's known in Italy) transforms into a microscope (which also functions as a telescope). Can't you believe that ?!

Perceptor's function in the Autobot faction was as the resident scientist and as one of the most brilliant minds in the whole of Cybertron. His discoveries managed to pull the Autobots out of deep-doo-doos time and time again. Though his specialties lie in metallurgy, electrical engineering, and other sciences closely related to Transformer physiology, his desire for knowledge has made him kind of a scientific jack-of-all-trades.

[Microscope Mode: to be able to transform into a household item - that's the dream]

There is no explanation how Perceptor got his alternate microscope mode, but he made his first appearance in 'Dinobot Island Part 2' (Generation 1: Season 2 - which aired in September, 1985) when he assisted Chip Chase at understanding some unusual phenomena occurring during that episode.

His first major role was in the 'Microbots' episode (Generation 1: Season 2 - which aired in October, 1985) when Megatron acquired the Heart of Cybertron. The Heart of Cybertron had been clearly killing the Autobots. And, being the cool cat that he was, Perceptor used his shrinking device to shrink himself, Bumblebee and Brawn, so they could infiltrate Megatron's body and disable the Heart of Cybertron.

On a sadder and more tearful note, it was Perceptor who diagnosed that the wounds Optimus Prime had received (in his battle with Megatron) were fatal.

[Death Of Optimus: the only machine that could make me cry]

Perceptor would continue to appear throughout season 3, acting as Rodimus Prime's scientific advisor. Perceptor was one of the pre-1986 Autobots to survive The Transformers: The Movie, along with Jazz, Cliffjumper, Bumblebee, Blaster and the Dinobots. His role as chief Autobot scientist meant he could be used instead of either Ratchet and Wheeljack, whose toys were being discontinued; both were killed off in Transformers: The Movie (animated)

Perceptor last appeared in 'The Face of Ninjika' (Generation 1: Season 3 - aired in November, 1986). Battling over a Quadrant Lock Disc, the Autobot, Decepticon, and Quintesson forces cross a rip in space and become trapped there, landing on the planet Zimojin. An inhabitant named Katsudan removes Perceptor's Autobot sigil and uses it as the head and face for an ancient robot named Ninjika.

And sadly, that's where Perceptor's biography stops. Needless to say, Perceptor is extremely intelligent. His capacity for data storage is second only to Optimus Prime's.

He has two different capacities in microscope mode. He can magnify objects up to 10,000 times as an optical microscope and up to a million times as a scanning electron microscope. Using his magnifying lenses to concentrate and intensify its beam, he can convert his lens barrel to a powerful light cannon. It can blast a hole in a cinder block wall 2,000 miles away with pinpoint accuracy. He can use the cannon in robot mode or convert to a third form and use it as a stationary field artillery piece. He also carries a concussion rifle in robot mode. In short, he's a bad mother with a brain.

[Original Packaging: totally orgasmic to see, man]

However you may say it, it's still cool that Perceptor was released in 1985 (the second wave of Transformers to come out) along side the Dinobots and Blaster. This was the year that the Transformers writers started to bring in all the newer characters into the fold; and this had carried down to the action figure lines that were produced that era.

[Instruction Booklet: cool enough to be a collector's item even]

Of course, as part of the Transformers' storyline, Perceptor had the ability to change into two very awesome forms: a microscope (that actually had a magnifying lens, to fulfill your dreams of looked at gunk up close) or a grounded cannon that resembled an old school howitzer. On top of that, you had Perceptor's robot form which stood as a figure with a bazooka-like blaster mounted on his shoulder (who wouldn't want an ever-present shoulder-mounted bazooka).

[Perceptor's Modes: too cool for words]

The going rate for a mint and boxed Perceptor, by today's market standards, is just under US$500 - and it's not an easy find. But the Man knowns, I would pay a reasonable sum to have this action figure again. One cannot deny (with proof such as this) that the figures of the bygone days were the best figures ever. Kids today just don't know what they missed.

And like Perceptor says: 'One's ultimate truth lies in one's molecular structure'. What the monkeys does that mean? Who cares?! It's Perceptor talking man!