By 1985, the success of The Transformers Generation 1 caused Hasbro to expand their search for molds to license as Transformers toys, in order to satisfy the growing popular demand. Expanding beyond the scope of Takara’s defunct toylines, Hasbro sourced Omega Supreme from an esoteric company known as ToyBox. Omega supreme transforms into rocket base defended by a sci-fi inspired tank.
Omega Supreme’s origins are obscure, but he was originally sold as Mechabot-1 by ToyBox company sometime in the early ‘80s. This version differed widely in its colors, primarily using a dark gray plastic with white track and red highlights. This version may only have been sold by ToyBox in Japan, as numerous knock-offs veil and confuse his origins. The toy was later produced (possibly under license) by Grandstand Toys under their Convertors line, as Omegatron, largely in the same colors as Mechabot-1.
Omega Supreme’s alternate form is divided into three distinct parts: a gray and yellow rocket launch base with a gray and cream track surrounding it, a gray and orange sci-fi rocket ship that can rest on its tail of three curved pods, and a gray, cream, and yellow motorized tank. The tank features a large amount of molded detail. When switched on, and powered by two AA batteries, it can roll along the ground in a straight line, or follow the track around the rocket base, while its small turret rotates, bobbing the gun barrel up and down and blinking a light in the turret rear. Despite the tank’s wide stance, the track it follows is fairly narrow, and it features short axles underneath to fit within the track. The powered rear axle’s wheels are shod with treaded rubber tires to prevent slippage. The track is similarly barred between its guide rails, particularly on the inclines of the straight section of the track. The tank also features two large fixed cannons on either side of the hull. The central rocket base is fairly simple, using the curved dome-like feet, various yellow armor clips, and the backpack part to form the tower. The rocket fits between two yellow hooked pods that resemble service and boarding arms. The rocket itself has three long, curved pods to sit on, with a small center thruster. The body of the rocket is decorated in molded hoses and other doodads. Omega Supreme’s transformation is complex, and not unlike assembling a puzzle. After configuring the tank into the central portion of the robot, the sections of gray track, clips, and backpack must all be attached in the correct order and correct position to form Omega’s legs and armor. The rocket divides in half and becomes his arms, with one having the large orange three-part claw, and the other using the rocket top like a blaster cannon. The white sections of track come in three different pairs, each featuring a way to attach by clamping into the backpack. Typically, only one pair is used at a time (his Transformers fiction appearances use sections L and M), but all the pieces can be used when slotted into each other. Once in robot mode, switching on Omega’s motor drives two crankshaft drums that lift and move his feet, allowing him to shuffle forward on a hard surface by resting on the opposite leg shell. The light blinks in his face visor, but the gearing to rotate the turret is disengaged. Omega Supreme is decorated with numerous cryptic stickers, whose correct locations are obscured by less-than detailed instructions.
Other than including over 20 accessories of varying size, and the usual vagaries of aging electronics, Omega Supreme has several design flaws that make him very fragile. The most infamous of these is the breakage of his camshaft drums that drive the walking action. The drums are designed such that a switch on the side of the tank tread must be pushed before collapsing the tread back to its tank mode position. This depresses the drive pin into the drum, so that the tread can slide over it without shearing it off. Excess pressure without fully depressing the pin collapses the leg with the pin engaged, shearing off the pin or even destroying the whole drum. Great care must be taken when transforming Omega Supreme, and it is advised to move the treads gently and slowly in both directions. Replacement drums are increasingly hard to come by. Omega’s tank barrel, and even the turret mantlet are made of a soft plastic that can break easily, especially since it always juts away from the hull at an angle. As with all electronic figures, Omega’s batteries should always be removed when not in use. Corrosion is a common problem with his battery terminals, and even an unused sample can have enough oxidation to prevent him from starting. A similar problem plagues his light, which is activated by terminals pressed closed by a rotating cam.
Omega Supreme has one minor variant affecting his outer leg armor pieces. Early versions have a rectangular tab to lock the armor onto the yellow trim piece on the tank body, while later versions remove this tab.
Omega Supreme was available in the US in 1985. Due to competitor licensing restrictions, he was not available in Europe (where Grandstand held a license for Omegatron) or Japan (where ToyBox had distributed Mechabot-1). However, Omega was reissued in 2008 as part of Takara’s Encore line, making his official debut in Japan.
Redecos & Retools
Omega Supreme’s mold was originally used to produce ToyBox Mechabot-1 in the early 1980s. During the G1 era, it was used to produce Grandstand Convertors Omegatron in similar colors to Mechabot-1. In 2008, the mold was recolored to produce GADEP in Collector’s Edition.