Transformers Pitch: Muffy The Talking
In the '80s, Hasbro found itself with
the rights to a bunch of transforming toys from Japan, but had no idea how to
sell them. They approached Marvel about creating a backstory for these robots,
and Marvel came up with ... Muffy (short for Muffler), a whimsical talking
Volkswagen who hangs out with three human kids and their dog.
Yep, before settling on Optimus Prime
and the gang, Marvel tried a
more Hanna-Barbera-ish approach to the franchise. It's unclear how Muffy came
to live with the humans. Is he from outer space like the Transformers? A
regular car that was hit by lightning? A mutated member of the family? Did the
father drunkenly stick it into an exhaust pipe one night, and then this happened?
We might never know the precise details.
The above images were published by
Marvel in 1985 (after Transformers had
debuted) to tease a show called Car and
Cable, so for decades, it was believed that they were simply trying to pull
a GoBots and rip off their pals at
Hasbro. But, in 2020, a
new piece of concept art emerged, showing Muffy being threatened by one of
the Japanese toys that would end up being used in Transformers. Which makes sense, because let's face it, these
characters are ugly as hell (even before Michael Bay got involved).
Marvel Comics via Consumer CollectiblesUh, which part of the anatomy is that appendage under Muffy supposed to be?
In other words, Optimus Prime could
have ended as a throwaway villain in a silly cartoon ... well, sillier than
"ancient alien robots decide to look like '80s cars," anyway.
Luckily, Hasbro went with another proposal, while Marvel had so much faith in
this idea that they were apparently trying to make it happen on their own a few
years later. Of course, a lot of this is merely speculation. All we know for
sure is that Michael Bay would have definitely found a way to make it racist.
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Top Image: Saban Entertainment