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Not currently on display at the V&A

Frenzy

Transformer
1984-1985 (manufactured)
Artist/Maker
Place of origin

Frenzy is a Decepticon, the twin ‘brother’ of Rumble, both minions of Soundwave along with Laserbeak, Buzzsaw, Ravage and Ratbat. Like Rumble, Frenzy specialised in demolitions and causing havoc. In the cartoon, both robots could transform their arms into earthquake-causing piledrivers, although in the comic his special ability is emitting devastating sonic waves from his body. The colouring of Rumble and Frenzy was reversed in the TV series; Frenzy was black and red, Rumble blue-purple. Frenzy and Rumble’s toys were developed from Takara’s earlier Microman Micro Change line, in which the character was named ‘Micro Cassette Robo Micross’. The Frenzy toy was sold as a two-pack with Laserbeak, a robotic vulture.

Object details

Categories
Object type
Parts
This object consists of 3 parts.

  • Transformer
  • Weapon
  • Weapon
Titles
  • Frenzy (manufacturer's title)
  • Decepticon (generic title)
Materials and techniques
Injection-moulded plastic; die-cast metal; printed paper
Brief description
Transformer (Decepticon), 'Frenzy'; Takara/Hasbro; Japan; 1984-85
Physical description
Transforming toy, a small robot that transforms into an audio cassette, made from blue plastic. The face is painted silver. The articulated joints at the shoulders, elbows and knees are of die-cast metal, as are the feet. Two silver plastic weapons can be mounted in holes on the robot's back, or fitted over its forearms. The legs and back are decorated with paper stickers, the ones on the back showing magnetic tape reels.
Dimensions
  • Height: 7.2cm (robot mode)
  • Width: 5cm (cassette mode)
  • Height: 3.3cm (cassette mode)
  • Depth: 1cm (cassette mode)
Production typeMass produced
Marks and inscriptions
'© TAKARA CO. LTD. 1983 JAPAN'
Credit line
Given by Jermaine Dacas
Object history
Bought by the donor between 1985 and 1987. Mr Dacas was born 17/10/73 and saved his pocket money to buy the toys.
Historical context
Transformers are alien robots hailing from the planet Cybertron, all of them are capable of assuming an alternate form, usually a vehicle, through a series of folding movements. They are typically divided into two factions: Autobots and Decepticons. The Autobots are heroic, peace-loving and curious about humanity, they are led by Optimus Prime, who typically transforms into an articulated truck. The Decepticons are evil, authoritarian and contemptuous of other life-forms, they are led by the maniacal Megatron, who originally transformed into a realistic-looking handgun.

Initially, the franchise was essentially an American rebrand of two toylines already produced by Japanese toy manufacturer Takara Tomy: ‘Diaclone’ and ‘Microman’. Hasbro had purchased the distribution rights to these lines in the early-1980s. Transformers was launched in the United States and Europe in 1984-85. The enormously popular toys inspired many spin-offs, including several animated television series’, a feature-length animated film (1986), multiple comic books series (including by Marvel, who had co-operated with Hasbro to produce GI Joe comics) and, inevitably, subsequent lines of toys. A series of big budget, live-action films have been produced by Warner Brothers since 2007.
Production
Made by: TAKARA CO
Japan
Subjects depicted
Summary
Frenzy is a Decepticon, the twin ‘brother’ of Rumble, both minions of Soundwave along with Laserbeak, Buzzsaw, Ravage and Ratbat. Like Rumble, Frenzy specialised in demolitions and causing havoc. In the cartoon, both robots could transform their arms into earthquake-causing piledrivers, although in the comic his special ability is emitting devastating sonic waves from his body. The colouring of Rumble and Frenzy was reversed in the TV series; Frenzy was black and red, Rumble blue-purple. Frenzy and Rumble’s toys were developed from Takara’s earlier Microman Micro Change line, in which the character was named ‘Micro Cassette Robo Micross’. The Frenzy toy was sold as a two-pack with Laserbeak, a robotic vulture.
Bibliographic reference
Toy Trader; November 1985; April 1986; August 1986
Collection
Accession number
B.111:1 to 3-1994

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Record createdApril 17, 2000
Record URL
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