My daughter was picking through my Transformers toys the other day and came across two recent additions to my collection, the winner of Hasbro’s fan-built bot contest from last year, Windblade, and her bodyguard, Chromia.
“You have GIRL Transformers! That’s so cool!” Then she followed up with the question that I dreaded. “Are there more?”
Back in 1984, diversity wasn’t at the forefront of anyone’s mind. All Hasbro wanted to do was build a universe that would sell the toys they’d licensed and developed with Takara in Japan. Thirty years later, the fandom that they hooked has grown up and had kids of their own. And, thankfully, we live in a time when action heroes aren’t just for boys anymore. To that end, Transformers has worked hard to be more inclusive. The IDW comics in particular have been amazing, tackling interpersonal relationships head-on and creating what are, essentially, the first gay couples in Transformers with Rewind and Chromedome (and Tailgate and Cyclonus, in a more dysfunctional fashion). But, for years, it’s been up to Arcee, the lone fembot from the ’80s, to represent women.
Last year, with the introduction of Windblade, all that changed. IDW introduced an entire planet of gendered Transformers, which paved the way for more females to join the ranks.
But there still weren’t more than half a dozen female Transformers toys.
Until today! USA Today has the exclusive reveal that the Hasbro fan-built combiner will be comprised of six fembots and be called Victorion! So not only will there be five new female Transformers toys for my daughter to play with, they’ll combine into a giant female robot to go toe-to-toe against the big boys. They’ll be in the comics too, in the intriguingly-named Transformers: Combiner Hunters. Sadly, there’s no concept art or pictures yet (they’ve got to save something for SDCC).
Also announced in the article is the upcoming appearance of Windblade on the excellent Robots in Disguise cartoon and an as-yet-unnamed female character on Rescue Bots.
All told, it’s a solid win for anyone who has wanted to see their favorite giant robot property reflect a little more real-world diversity. It’s a particularly heartening win for an old Transformers geek like myself, who’s daughter has been looking for any reason at all to dive deeper into the fandom with me.