Sunday 5 March 2023

Tonkanator (G1 Crossovers, 2022)


Function: Warrior
"Enemies don't stand a chance when you're built to take on the toughest jobs!"
Mega Dozer, Power Digger, Motorload, Skyhook, Mega Hauler, and Motormix combine to form the mighty Tonkanator!
STR...9; INT...6; SPD...8; FBL...8

Other Resources:

Mound Metalcraft was founded in 1946 as a manufacturer of gardening tools, however the following year they changed their name and focus to Tonka Toys and started manufacturing metal toy trucks, including construction vehicles. In 1983 Tonka licensed the GoBots from Bandai and introduced them into North America, one year before the debut of the Transformers. In 1987 Tonka bought toy company Kenner and four years later in 1991 Hasbro bought Tonka.

In 2022 the Tonka brand celebrated their 75th Anniversary and as part of the celebration, Hasbro released a Transformers Crossover item which was not just a homage to Tonka but also a nod to Devastator's past. Given that Tonka's popular toys are construction vehicles and coloured yellow it made sense that the "new" G1 Devastator mould was utilised.

In the original Diaclone series three out of the six Construction Vehicle Robo's were released in yellow with a second colour variation that included grey parts, these were the Bulldozer, Power Shovel and Shovel Dozer. The Truck Crane and Mixer Truck were released wither in red or blue and the Dump Truck was only released in red.

The 1985 Transformers release saw the Constructicon's in a uniform green purple colour scheme however Ceji Revell, who handled the Transformers distribution in Europe taking over from Milton Bradley, released yellow and purple Constructicons in 1986.

In 1992 the "New Constructicons" were released as nameless robots as a European exclusive. Although all six were released their ability to combine was removed. These were similar to the Ceji Revell variants although they did have additional grey parts alongside the yellow and purple.

Following on from the European New Constructicons were the Generation 2 Constructicons who were released in both yellow and orange with the ability to merge although their spring mechanisms had been disabled. The yellow versions are often mistaken for the Ceji Revell variants although when you know what to look for they are easy to tell apart.

Takara Tomy and Hasbro have both reissues Devastator since the Generation 2 versions but the Transformers X Tonka Crossover is the first time we have seen a very different yellow variant. Initially discovered on Targets product listing as "Project Yellow" in June 2022, the yellow recolour of Devastator was revealed later that same month and the G1 styled packaging was revealed in July 2022.

Tonkanator was released in October 2022 as a Target exclusive in North America for $104.99 USD but it was also made available on the Hasbro Pulse website.

Named Tonkanator, Hasbro have created a brand new Autobot character however the accompanying profile is very brief to say the least but at least all members have individual names. All members also sport a red Tonka logo which has been tampographed on as well as an accompanying sticker sheet. Instead of yellow and purple these are yellow with a dark metallic grey colour which is the colour scheme of Tonka's toy construction vehicles.

Unlike the previous Devastator reissues which leaned forwards when combined due to a mould defect with Long Haul, this is no longer the case with Tonkanator. One observation about this release is the omission of one of the drill missiles and the instructions prompt you to use the straight Mixmaster missile instead. I'm not sure why they chose to leave this part out given the price of this set.

Autobot Mega Dozer

Power Digger


Autobot Skyhook

Mega Hauler


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