Vintage Toy of the Month! Transformer’s Squawkbox!

It is time for an all new Vintage Toy of the Month! This month will be a musical medley of Decepticon goodness as we look back at Squawkbox made up of the vicious microcassettes Beastbox and Squawktalk. Before we delve into all the Transformers action, let’s first have some toy talk.

I feel as if I should first make a major confession. I am not a hardcore Transformers fan. As much as I have grown to appreciate and even enjoy collecting some items from the ever evolving Transformers line, it just wasn’t always that way. Growing up I was glamoured by all the dazzle of Barbie and the sweet smells of Strawberry Shortcake, to say nothing of the cuddly softness of the friendly Care Bears.

Transformers was one of those boys’ shows that I’d sit through in order to pass the time before my other cartoons came on. It was my cousin J that really turned my opinion around. He was a couple years older than me and he was completely responsible for introducing me to certain cartoons and comics that I never would have given the time of day to. I was a girly girl, but I was also all about girl power before that would even become a sound bite in the 90’s.

So I ended up finding out that there were some really great reasons to tune into typical boy’s programs and such. Wonder Woman had fantastic Super Powers. He-Man had the gutsy Teela for me to look up to (before She-Ra shattered my world of course.) The Marvel comic universe was chock full of super heroines that have stuck with me the majority of my life. And J also let me know that the original Transformers cartoon was more than meets the eye. I was hooked upon meeting that pink and white Autobot named Arcee.

062 Vintage Toy of the Month! Transformers Squawkbox!

She was hardly a main character nor did she really drive much story line, but the introduction of her character was more than enough for me to actually stay tuned to the Transformers. I was hooked. And like anything I enjoyed, it was only a matter of time before I would want to take a trip down the toy aisle to purchase something, anything, from Transformers.

Now back in the day there was hardly an abundance of Arcee figures on shelves. Transformers were still essentially a boy’s toy line regardless of how many number of female fans the show had. After all, back in the stone ages, toy companies were leery of putting female characters on boy shelves. I have never understood that, because if a show or property is really good, it will have fans and collectors of both genders.

Anyways, I had no reason nor did I have any desire to really collect any of the Transformers items. There was just nothing appealing to me. Until a certain set of colorful microcassettes came out in 1988.

Now let’s talk cassettes. As a child of the 80’s I was all about cassettes; both the kind that actually played music as well as the type that was just a toy. Compact discs were slowly becoming popular, but at that time CDs were for the rich and/or fancy. I was neither rich nor fancy so I simply had a blast with my Tiffany, Bangles, and Madonna cassettes dancing in my room without a care in the world. Thankfully there were also cool cassette toys for practically everything.

061 Vintage Toy of the Month! Transformers Squawkbox!

This love (and, ok, obsession) helped make my decision to purchase Squawkbox much to the chagrin of my mom. So let’s finally check out the very old Squawkbox from the first generation of Transformers! On a side note, this toy is not mint. There is no packaging and the mini weapons are missing, but the toy still looks great after all these years!

063 Vintage Toy of the Month! Transformers Squawkbox!

This toy was a two pack. Each microcassette transformed into their own characters. The bright purple and teal were just perfect colors for me. I immensely loved this design and color scheme. The best thing about this toy was the varied possibilities. The cassettes could transform separately or they could be combined to make a larger Decepticon. Also they could fit into Soundwave for those who had him.

072 Vintage Toy of the Month! Transformers Squawkbox!

The purple cassette was Beastbox. Once transformed from the microcassette, Beastbox looked like one angry gorilla. He had also come with these compression canons that plugged into his back, but I have misplaced them.

073 Vintage Toy of the Month! Transformers Squawkbox!

Here is another angle of Beastbox. He was easy to transform. The arms folded out and slid apart. The head turned outward as the legs also folded out while the feet could be angled at multiple degrees.

068 Vintage Toy of the Month! Transformers Squawkbox!

My favorite of the two was Squawktalk. The teal microcassette transformed into a fierce bird. Transforming him was simple too, and like Beastbox, Squawktalk did come with some sonic boomers that could be placed on his back to fire at those pesky goody-two-shoed Autobots.

069 Vintage Toy of the Month! Transformers Squawkbox!

Also much like Beastbox, Squawktalk was easy to transform. His long wings folded outward and the wing flaps were easy to lift up. The neck and beak lifted out of the middle of the microcassette while his legs folded from the bottom. His tail flipped outwards too.

075 Vintage Toy of the Month! Transformers Squawkbox!

If some major stuff needed to go down with the Autobots, Beastbox and Squawktalk would come together to become Squawkbox a fearsome Decepticon! The design for this was really ingenious. I am far from being a really smart person, but the design that was created for this just really worked. It was simply perfect. After folding out some pieces the two microcassettes connected and this larger Transformer toy was available. I was totally blown away by this. The little weapons that could be used on Beastbox and Squawktalk could also then be held in Squawkbox’s hands. It was just a clever and very cool toy.

Storyline wise I am not really sure much about the character of Squawkbox. I know that the microcassettes fit in with Soundwave and that these were the last Decepticon microcassettes made from the G1 line. So owning these guys are really special to me, even though I had no real clue what I was picking out back then. I also believe this Decepticon has appeared in Transformers comics from IDW. Of course, what a true joy of a toy to own! I am glad my cousin J introduced me to some pretty cool stuff back then.

So that is about it for this very long winded Vintage Toy of the Month! I hope you have all enjoyed this look back at Squawkbox! Tell me your thoughts! Did anyone else have Squawkbox or fondly recall the awesomely cool microcassettes from Transformers? Or does anyone just really love cassette toys in general? I look forward to any and all comments. And be sure to keep it here, because I have some fun articles in the works. Take care everyone.

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