Transformers Generations Deluxe
Item No.: Asst. 37986 No. A6348 Manufacturer:Hasbro Includes:2 blasters, Dark Cybertron #9 (Robots in Disguise #26) comic book Action Feature:Transforms from Robot to Sports Car Retail:$14.99 Availability: September 2014 Other: Originally a different body
Since the original Headmasters toy of 1988, Nightbeat has enjoyed a little fame and few toys. While he wasn't in the cartoons, he was given more than a little play in the comic books. The toy's head didn't match his appearances in the books, but this new version for 2014 sports a noggin closer to the comic design - which was used for the G1 toy Siren, which means this is probably low-hanging fruit for convention exclusive repaints. 2014 Nightbeat takes the 2013 Bumblebee/Goldfire toy body and changes up the deco while adding a new head. Early leaked images of the toy used the 2011 Special Ops Jazz were dismissed as a fan mock-up, but turned out to be the real deal when the very comic book packaged with this toy show that very design on the cover. Who knew?
With a slight blue swirl in the plastic, I am somewhat concerned for the longevity of this toy - swirly plastic isn't known for holding up forever. It has some give now, but in 15 years? Or 20? That remains to be seen. The blue plastic figure has some black and yellow pieces and a small smattering of yellow, blue, and red paint. The new head is really the selling point here, with red shades, a yellow face, and red ears. The problem comes from the darker blue plastic coming through the thin yellow paint on the face, an increasingly common problem as of late. The figure itself is nice, and I like this mold for Nightbeat more than Bumblebee. At 5-inches tall, his 16 meaningful points of articulation are nice but the arms are still somewhat restricted. What are you going to do? At least it looks really slick. On a shelf, this is one awesome toy - and the chest holds together and won't slide around like on Goldfire. Hasbro improved the quality of this one and as such, I'm really keen on it.
Transformation is easy, but still is messed up in the end. Everything folds in to place easily and quickly, minus the back of the car. It still has the same problems you'd have with his previous mold mates. Bumblebee and Goldfire had a gap back here, and so does this one. It might just be mine, but this is the only thing keeping me from declaring this the best redeco in years.
The car looks nice, with silver "headlights" red "brake lights," and quite a bit of paint where it counts. Nightbeat really is in disguise with no autobrand on his vehicle mode, but the robot's chest still drags on the ground when you try to roll his wheels... that or I just don't know how it works. I'm glad we have silver hubcaps here, but much like the robot mode, the car mode looks best on a shelf. It's fun to transform, but I wouldn't say it "plays" well. I should also mention Hasbro spent a few extra pennies to make the car look significantly better - a white background behind the red flames really make them pop, and it looks nice and easy to see without being at all muddied. I can't praise this move enough.
The guns plug together, but not well - the tabs don't quite align on Nightbeat's blasters. Bumblebee and Goldfire were fine. Like those other Autobots, you can place them in his hands or plug them into 5mm holes in his car mode if you like. With blue paint, the yellow and clear blue plastic blasters really do look nicer than I would have expected.
I can't believe I'm saying this, but Nightbeat is probably the best character to use the Generations Bumblebee mold. While the body doesn't match his toy or comic appearances, it does look nice with this head. Hasbro clearly made the most out of the mold here and as a desk toy or something for collectors, it's a lot of fun. I don't think it will sate fan demand for a really nice "classic" take on the character, as the only two toys striving to look like the classic were the 1988 original and the club exclusive version based on the Energon Hot Shot mold - which is also quite nice. I would wager we'll see a new version of him in the next few years, but for now? This is good. If Hasbro never gets to redoing him again, it's still a pretty nice figure, especially if you can score him for $10 in one of the many deluxe "sales" that are going around these days.
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