Over 25 years, much has been made — even on this very blog — about the poor marksmanship of beloved Hasbro characters. While GI Joe and Cobra are only human, with their apparently limitless budgets to create futuristic vehicles, armors, weapons, and undersea bases you would think a little of that money could go towards target practice and making helmets that survive being knocked together. The Transformers, though…Well, I think they’re getting a bad rap. Let me ask you:
Can you find Soundwave in this picture?
Of course not! Quite frankly, I’m surprised that our friends from the planet Cybertron can see anything at all. First off, the Transformers are robots composed completely of digital components. That means they don’t have eyes at all, they’ve got two head-mounted digital cameras for stereoscopic vision. Now, assuming that here in 2009 a top-of-the line digital camera is 20 megapixels, using Moore’s Law (which roughly says that processor speed will double every 18 months) we can work backwards and determine that in 1984 the Transformers’ eyes would be roughly 0.078 megapixels. When that’s your entire field of vision, it’s barely enough to make out colored blobs, much less be useful for precise targetshooting. The Cybertronians were doing the best they could with what they had! Also, keeping in mind that they could turn into everyday vehicles, it would be impossible to tell Starscream from Pan Am Flight 103 (not that I’m pointing fingers). Even giant Autobot or Decepticon symbols would be impossible to make out at a distance.
Of course, this is all working on the unlikely assumption that they got immediate upgrades upon waking up after crashing on Mt. St. Helens in 1984. In reality, their last major upgrade was probably FOUR MILLION YEARS EARLIER! I’ll leave it to a better (read: any) mathematician than I to trace pixel numbers back that far.
The point of all this, though, is to beg Earthlings (or fleshlings, if you’d rather) to be a little more symapthetic to the Cybertronian plight. They did not have the advantage we did of being born with perfect analog visual receptacles. They do the best they can with what they have, and we should be congratulating them on their 15% hit rate rather than focusing on the collateral damage produced by all of those errant laser blasts.