I was a little late to get on the Transformers bandwagon. My first exposure to the shape shifting machinations was the Soundwave figure I received one year on Christmas. We lived in an area where I was more likely to see Bigfoot than actually pick up the television station that played most of the cool cartoons, like Transformers and Masters of the Universe. Still, Soundwave was like nothing I had ever seen before. He may seem simple and archaic to the toy buying youth of today, but my 5 year old mind was blown by this cassette player that turned into a bad ass robot.
Over the years, the Transformers would occasionally catch my eye during our almost weekly shopping trips. Even the smaller figures were hard to ignore, with the large G.I. Joe style paintings of the figures on the cardbacks. Every now and then, one of them would would interest me enough to cause me to spend my hard earned allowance money. That was the main problem with Transformers those days, they were damn expensive if you were the one buying them. A boxed figure would run anywhere from $10 on up, depending on how big it was. I certainly wasn't rich in those days, so I would usually gravitate toward the smaller, more value priced figures.
Supposedly influenced by Galoob's success with Micro Machines, the Micromasters were perfect for the more shallow pocketed youth such as myself. These cost between $4 and $5, and you got four, that's right FOUR, different figures. Sure, they were a lot simpler than larger Transformers, but in my mind, quantity won over complexity. There were half a dozen different Micromaster Patrols to choose from, ranging from one entirely made up of jets, to one group composed of sports cars. I wish I could tell you why I chose this group over all the others, but it's hard to remember my reasoning. In my mind, I just picture seeing these guys hanging on the peg, and immediately being drawn to them.
As good as they look in their alternate modes, the Rescue Patrol looks even better transformed. In most cases, changing the Micromasters from one form to another was simply a matter of folding down the legs, flipping up a hood, and standing the figure up. Like I said, pretty simple. Articulation was pretty basic, with most of them having moveable arms. They came with no accessories, because they were pretty much accessories themselves. If you had one of the giant Transformers that could turn into a small city, like Metroplex or Scorponok, you could populate them with your Micromasters. They also had the advantage of being able to fit in your pockets, something I'd be reluctant to do with the slightly larger toys. Even Bumblebee would have been an uncomfortable lump in my pants.
Fixit was probably my least favorite out of the bunch. No matter how you look at it, a plain white ambulance will never be as cool as a fire truck. His robot mode improved on things a little bit, but it still bothered me that there was so much of the front of the ambulance hanging off his back. That's not to say that I disliked him, but if I could only choose one out of the group, it wouldn't be him.
Stakeout's alternate mode is an improvement over Fixit's, but just barely. There's nothing particularly exciting about a police car, but he is much, much sleeker when transformed. I like that his goggles and color scheme kinda give him that Highway Patrol vibe. All they needed was a little dab of yellow for a badge, and the image would have been complete.
Seawatch is one of my favorite Transformers, period. I know his alternate form is a boat, but he's a damn cool boat. Besides, who knows what being a boat means on Cybertron. For all we know, Cybertronian boats can fly just as easily as their jets. Seawatch also has one of the better looking robot modes. The helmet and face mask he's wearing give him the appearance of a cyber samurai. As you know, you can't spell awesome without "cyber ninja that turns into a hydrofoil".
Redhot is easily my favorite out of the whole bunch. His alternate mode is that of a heavy duty firetruck. He looks like another vehicle that would be more at home on Cybertron. The robot form is easily the best of them all. Redhot has the most heroic appearance, and if I had to guess, I'd say he was the leader of the Rescue Patrol. He is the tallest of the group, just barely edging out Stakeout. Redhot kinda comes with an accessory if you count his often missing ladder. I consider it more of a decoration, since all it can really do is twist around and fold up. That would be the only thing that would keep me from carting Redhot around in my pocket all the time. I would be too worried I would snap off his ladder. He frequently stood in for Optimus Prime during my mini adventures, since he had the big and beefy leader look to him.
Besides,a fire truck will always be more heroic vehicle than a semi-truck.