Erector (Transformers Generation 1)

Transformers Generation 1 Erector


Autobot faction symbol
Name: Erector
Allegiance: Autobots
Function: Construction engineer
Sub-group: Micromaster
Timeline: Generation 1

Everyone loses if there is nothing to win.

Profile:

Transformers Generation 1 Erector robot mode
True to his name, Erector is a builder, not a fighter. While not a coward, Erector genuinely dislikes combat and only fights when provoked, due to his great dislike of collateral damage. Erector loves architecture in all of its forms, and likens the destruction of a building to the defacing of an artist's masterpiece. It is a sentiment rooted deep in Erector's past. He was once one of the Constructicons, before they were reprogrammed by Megatron into the villains they are today, and worked alongside them on the construction of Crystal City. Erector was unable to do anything to stop the newly-turned Constructicons levelling Crystal City, and he is haunted by the memory of the city's ruins. Knowing that leaving the Decepticons unchecked will see more cities suffer the same fate is what motivates Erector - and when he fights it is with a great deal of cunning, trickery, and careful maneuvering to disable and defeat opponents without damaging his surroundings. Erector is the kind of 'bot who'll stand looking at a devastated city after a major battle with a tear in his eye, recalling Crystal City - before heading into the wreckage to rescue survivors and help rebuild.

And yes, he's heard all your jokes about his name. It's a good thing he's got thick skin.

Powers and Abilities:

Erector is a highly intelligent and skilled construction engineer - fortifying and reinforcing strongholds is his speciality. Any location Erector is assigned to can expect a perimeter loaded with gadgets such as forcefield bubbles and energy snares intended to disable advancing foes without causing damage to the surroundings. Erector typically keeps some of these gadgets on his person in the event of combat in an urban environment.

Erector has above average strength, and typically uses his strength to grapple his opponents. He is equipped with alloyed exterior armour and titanium belted, bulletproof tires in his vehicle mode, which renders him impervious to most armaments. Erector's preferred mode of attack is using his vehicle mode's crane hook, which can piece most types of enemy armour, slicing through an enemy to disable them - or if that fails, Erector will simply hit an enemy with the hydraulic swing of the crane arm itself, launching them clear of a battlefield. Erector's crane can transform into a battle station equipped with a medium-range radar-guided anti-aircraft battery and a devastating photon cannon which can disable a battlecruiser in one shot at full charge - but Erector views these as weapons of last resort due to how destructive they are and avoids using them when he can.

Weaknesses:

Erector's desire to avoid collateral damage at all costs can sometimes distract him from the mission at hand, and it frequently leads to him taking unnecessary risks. Erector has been known to place himself in the line of fire to protect structures with his own body, a habit that has led to Erector making frequent trips to fellow Micromasters Sireen and Fixit. Erector expects others to take collateral damage as seriously as he does - he frequently gets into arguments over whether a building could have been saved. Erector has been known to have these arguments in the middle of a battle, distracting himself and the subject of his tirade from whatever else is going on around them.

Industrial crane mode:

Transformers Generation 1 Erector Industrial crane mode

Anti-aircraft battle station mode:

Transformers Generation 1 Erector Anti-aircraft battle station mode

Author notes:

Erector is fairly infamous at this point for being a character with a stupid name. He's a perennial background character in Transformers lore. His most prominent appearances have been in a couple of commercials which were aimed at selling his toy to you, and even on those occasions because he appeared alongside the other Micromaster transports he was something of a background character.

For this bio I went right back to Erector's packaging bio (and Dreamwave's expansion thereof) and played on the whole "avoid collateral damage" angle. I also worked in the 2011 Hall of Fame video's idea that Erector was once one of the Constructicons, since it allowed me to connect him to the destruction of Crystal City (as seen in "The Secret of Omega Supreme") and use that as a part of the character's motivation.

The result is a character who is largely defined by that one singular concept, but it's a solid concept for the character. I can see a version of Erector existing in the Robots in Disguise (2001) series with a very similar personality, in fact - he's a bit like that show's Tow Line, only instead of being obsessed with illegal parking he's focused on buildings.

At the end of the day, that's the appeal of Transformers to me. Even the least known and silliest characters have a personality and the potential to tell an interesting story.

Toys of Transformers Generation 1 Erector

Transformers Generation 1 Erector

Erector only has one toy to his name, the original from the 1980s. In my eyes it is quite cool and fun, but I will admit that as a child I found it the least exciting of the four Micromaster Transports. Roughstuff is this military missile truck who turns into a gunship, Overload hauls around other Micromasters and also gets a jet fighter, and Flattop had this really cool transformation and aircraft carrier. Erector was this crane truck who turned into a huge cannon, which was cool, but he just kind of sat there when I was flying the other toys around the room. (As a kid, I never liked the cars - if it couldn't fly, it was left in the toybox).

Nowadays I appreciate Erector for what he is and what he does. The anti-aircraft emplacement mode is cool (and deadly, given the amount of flying Decepticons there are for this guy to shoot down). The industrial crane truck mode is very nice and a great fit for the Micromasters series. He's also got a unique and asymmetrical appearance. Overall a nice looking and fun little toy.

More information on Transformers Generation 1 Erector at TFW2005