As a kid, the bulk of my interaction with Transformers was through smaller toys like Seaspray. As such, Transformers and Go-Bots were fundamentally similar-- both were small, simple, and had larger toys that I wasn't able to touch. The nice thing about this is that you, the lucky collector, may be able to buy a loose vintage Seaspray for $3-$8, which is quite the bargain considering inflation.
The tiny, 2 1/2-inch long hovercraft isn't much to look at, but Takara's engineers made sure he was, at the very least, fun to play with. The vehicle has rolling wheels underneath his mostly blue body, plus the little black propellers actually can spin-- you know, if you spin them. There are no geared gimmicks or anything special, and the detailing is pretty light. You can see some fake windows in the front, there are two stickers on top of his vehicle mode, and that's about it, really. There's also a rubsign, which is (for those not in the know) a head-sensitive sticker which would show an Autobot (or Decepticon) logo when you touched it. The idea was that this was a more-or-less trademarkable gimmick to make "true Transformers" stand out from the Change-O-Bots or other imported Japanese robot toys. It's just simple marketing really, but Hasbro was really, really good at that.
Transformation is easy-- pull out the legs, flip back the propellers, and you're basically done. These little guys take seconds, and can be done blindfolded. They're pretty sturdy little toys too, and I'd argue that they feel like they're better engineered than some of today's toys, as playthings go.
The 3-inch tall robot mode is, well, acceptable. He's a little portly, the blue cabin of the hovercraft becomes his legs, the sides become his articulated arms, and the yellow propeller section becomes the head. I like that he can move his arms around, but it's such a simple toy that I can see why Hasbro shoehorned in more spring-loaded features as the line would evolve in future generations. A Generation 2 Seaspray has vac-metal blue bits on his person, but this-- the original release-- is probably my favorite of them. If you want one or a few old, original Transformers in your collection I'd definitely suggest giving Seaspray and his Minibot buddies a try. As far as I know, at press time, the character's tiny toy hasn't been in circulation since the 1990s, with no reissues on the horizon.
16bit.com is best not viewed in Apple's Safari browser, we don't know why. All material on this site copyright their respective copyright holders. All materials appear hear for informative and entertainment purposes. 16bit.com is not to be held responsible for anything, ever. Photos taken by the 16bit.com staff. Site design, graphics, writing, and whatnot credited on the credits page. Be cool-- don't steal. We know where you live and we'll break your friggin' legs.