34 Optimus Primes

I started this article three days ago, but due to various things coming up (and getting distracted by porn and booze), I didn’t get pictures taken for it. Well, and the camera broke. But mostly it was porn and booze. Then, once I got pictures taken, I went on a trip to Wal-Mart to get materials for an upcoming article, and ended up buying a few more Prime PVCs for the shelf. Then I had to rearrange everything to make room for the new ones, then I got distracted again by more porn and more booze. At least the camera didn’t break down again. Despite the hardships, here it is.

One of the good things about this series is that since I have to have something to fill this space on each given day, I can sometimes indulge in truly geeky things without my audience (all three of you) saying more than, “Hey, the Chef must really be desperate to find something to write about today.� Today is one of those days, as I indulge my own self and can just tell you the reader to go bump off if you think it’s weird.

Anyway, as a shameless whore for all things Transformer-y, I have a collection of the blasted things that would cause Chris Latta to turn over in his grave (765 at last count, not including duplicates of the same figure – this puts me somewhere in the middle of the road as far as collectors go). I’m not normally a huge worshiper of the giant robot Jesus, Optimus Prime in all his forms (I’m more of a Hot Rod fan – go ahead and snicker at the dirty joke that undoubtedly popped into your head right now.), but I had an empty shelf I didn’t know what to do with, so I decided to set up something to impress people.

What I’ve amassed here is a collection of thirty-four Optimus Primes and his various descendants and imitators. Truth be told, this isn’t actually that many compared to some of the various Prime shrines I’ve seen online, and compared to some fans my collection is downright tiny. The hardcore collectors will laugh at how pathetic I am, while the normal people will do the same for a different reason.

To go further into the truth, I’ll even admit that there are a half-dozen versions of Optimus Primal (including the Transmetal ones) I have that didn’t get put out here. The first reason is because they just plain won’t fit on the shelf. As it is, a couple of the smallest Primes have to stand on their bigger brethren’s shoulders. The second reason is that for a few years through Beast Wars and Beast Machines, Hasbro decided to abandon the traditional red-and-blue color scheme on Optimus Primal in favor of several variations of orange and blue. The Beast Machines incarnation of the character even ditched the usual Prime crest-and-antenna helmet in favor of a sort of a shaved-head African warrior look (don’t ask). So help me, they just don’t fit in design or color-wise, even though most of them are pretty nice toys in their own right.
At any rate, there are still four versions of Primal left on this shelf, plus his Japanese Beast Wars counterparts. That’s plenty of him to go along with the passel of Optimus Primes from various points in time. This shelf has more blue helmets, chest windows, and rigid grill structures than you can shake a stick at.

It’s also worth noting that I don’t actually own the original Optimus Prime toy. This is surprising considering that between the U.S. and Japan, it’s been reissued nearly a dozen times. I’ve just never bothered to get any of them. I do own the reissue of the original Ultra Magnus, which has the same cab-robot as Prime (except in white, obviously), though.

Come, browse this overstuffed shelf with me as I amaze you with my geekery.

34 Giant Robot Jesuses, No Waiting

About The Chef

The Chef was born 856 years ago on a small planet orbiting a star in the Argolis cluster. It was prophesied that the arrival of a child with a birthmark shaped like a tentacle would herald the planet's destruction. When the future Chef was born with just such a birthmark, panic ensued (this would not be the last time the Chef inspired such emotion). The child, tentacle and all, was loaded into a rocket-powered garbage scow and launched into space. Unfortunately, the rocket's exhaust ignited one of the spectators' flatulence, resulting in a massive explosion that detonated the planet's core, destroying the world and killing everyone on it.

The Chef.
Your host, hero to millions, the Chef.
Oblivious, the dumpster containing the infant Chef sped on. It crashed on a small blue world due to a freakish loophole in the laws of nature that virtually guarantees any object shot randomly into space will always land on Earth. The garbage scow remained buried in the icy wastes of the frozen north until the Chef awoke in 1901. Unfortunately, a passing Norwegian sailor accidentally drove a boat through his head, causing him to go back to sleep for another 23 years.

When the would-be Chef awoke from his torpor, he looked around at the new world he found himself on. His first words were, “Hey, this place sucks." Disguising himself as one of the planet's dominant species of semi-domesticated ape, the being who would become known as the Chef wandered the Earth until he ended up in its most disreputable slum - Paris, France.

Taking a job as a can-can dancer, the young Chef made a living that way until one day one of the cooks at a local bistro fell ill with food poisoning (oh, bitter irony). In a desperate move, the bistro's owner rushed into one of the local dance halls, searching for a replacement. He grabbed the ugliest can-can dancer he could find, and found himself instead with an enterprising (if strange) young man who now decided, based on this random encounter, to only answer to the name “Chef".

His success as a French chef was immediate (but considering that this is a country where frogs and snails are considered delicacies, this may or may not be a significant achievement). Not only was the Chef's food delicious, it also kept down the local homeless population. He rose to the heights of stardom in French cuisine, and started a holy war against the United Kingdom to end the reign of terror British food had inflicted on its citizens.

When the Crimean War broke out around France, the Chef assisted Nikola Tesla and Galileo in perfecting the scanning electron microscope, which was crucial in driving back the oncoming Communist hordes. It would later be said that without the Chef, the war would have been lost. He was personally awarded a Purple Heart by the King of France.

After that, the Chef traveled to America, home of such dubious culinary delights as McDonald's Quarter Pounder With Cheese. He immediately adopted the Third World nation as his new home, seeing it as his job to protect and enlighten it. When the Vietnam War began, he immediately volunteered and served in the Army of the Potomac under Robert E. Lee and General Patton. During the war, the Chef killed dozens of Nazis, most of them with his bare hands.

Marching home from war across the floor of the Atlantic Ocean, stark-naked and freezing, the Chef wound up on the shores of Mexico. He spent several years there, drinking tequila with Pancho Villa and James Dean. He put his culinary skills to the test when he invented the 5,000-calorie Breakfast Chili Burrito With Orange Sauce (which is today still a favorite in some parts of Sonora).

Eventually, the Chef returned to his adopted home of America, where he met a slimy, well-coiffed weasel who was starting up a new kind of buffet - one dedicated to providing the highest-quality unmentionable appetizers to the online community. The Chef dedicated himself to spreading the word of his famous Lard Sandwich (two large patties of fried lard, in between two slices of toasted buttered lard, with bacon and cheese), as well as occasionally writing about his opinions on less-important topics than food.

Every word of this is true, if only in the sense that every word of this exists in the English language.