Generation 2 Rumble and Frenzy
The Generation 2 franchise launched in 1993. It was the first ever Transformers toy revamp, and it began with simple recolors of older Transformers toys. Eventually, G2 would include entirely of new molds made for the line. Some of these new molds were older G1 characters in new forms. Two characters who were re-imagined for the line were Frenzy and Rumble.
If you’re reading this blog, chances are better than good that you are familiar with the G1 characters of Frenzy and Rumble. Decepticon mini-cassettes who work for Soundwave and can fit into his chest compartment.
In general, Mini-Cassettes are Transformers whose alternate mode is an audio cassette. They are largely subordinate to either Soundwave (or in the case of Autobot cassettes to Blaster) and are known for their loyalty to superior.
For Generation 2, these characters were given new forms as Go-Bots.
Released in 1995, the G2 Go-Bots are small 1:64-scale Transformers cars designed to be compatible with Hot Wheels and Matchbox brand cars.
Three different waves of Go-Bots were released. Frenzy was included in the third and final wave. A fourth wave was planned featuring six all new molds. Rumble was designed for this wave with finished prototypes being developed, but the Generation 2 toyline ended before the Go-Bots version of Rumble was mass produced and released. As would become a familiar situation, Transformers lines get canceled and the final waves of an assortment never get made.
The toy had a tampograph that says “Rumble” written on the sides of his front bumper so we are left without doubt as to the intended identity of the car.
In 2012, 17 years after the G2 Go-Bots toys were released, The Transformers Club introduced fans to their version of Jhiaxus. In this continuity, Jhiaxus was able to create a “second generation” of Cybertronians that were clones of original G1 characters. The Go-Bots toys were retconned into these clones which allowed the Go-Bots figures to exist alongside their original counterparts. Frenzy was included with the clones.
Fun Publications did not included Rumble or the rest of the unreleased Go-Bots in Jhiaxus’ army. Maybe that was a good thing, because according to G2 Frenzy’s club bio, clone Frenzy often believes he is the original Frenzy and tries to hop into Soundwave’s chest until the others can snap him out of it. He’s said to possess the strong will and determination of his original counterpart, and teaming him with a clone Rumble is just asking for trouble. So, of course I had to put them together in my personal collection.
Thanks to Jhiaxus, Frenzy has “borrowed” personality components from the original Frenzy. One can assume that G2 Rumble would be created the same way.
Go-Bots Frenzy was redecoed into G2 Megatron. The unreleased G2 Rumble would eventually be released as Side Swipe in the 2001 Robots in Disguise line and again as Silverstreak in the Universe line.
Amusingly, there has been a debate through the years over what color Rumble and Frenzy are. On the original Transformers cartoon, Rumble was depicted with the colors of Frenzy’s toy (dark and medium blue rather than black and red) and vice-versa. G2 seems to address the issue by making Frenzy purple (a combination of blue and red) and by painting the Rumble prototypes with both red and blue paint (the blue is visible in robot mode).
G2 Frenzy is still relatively cheap on the secondary market. Only a very small handful of finished samples of G2 Go-Bots Rumble have made their way onto the secondary market, however. I personally know of 6 of them, one of which I own.
I think it’s cool how the club fiction revisited the G2 toys from years earlier, and I especially appreciate them giving the G2 Go-Bots their own individual personalities. Separating these “clones” from their original tape characters is a great way to add new cast members to the Transformers mythos.