Release Date: October 2012
Price Point: $5.99 (varies depending on retailer)
Retailer: General (Toys R Us, Target, Wal-Mart etc.)
With an ever expanding market in Asia, Hasbro China announced last year the release of several Transformers redec os for the "Generations" line that (at the time) were intended for a purely Asian release. However, fans got one whiff of this and they wanted these toys on the spot! Many of these redecos were rather inspired, while others were head scratchers. Either way, Hasbro US saw fit to find a channel to bring these toys to the US, in new packaging to boot! In an ironic move, while the Chinese versions of these characters were released on purely English packaging, the US releases have Chinese characters on them, representing their "exclusive" origin. You may sometimes hear these figures referred to as "GDO" Transformers. For those curious, this is not a Transformers term, it is an economic one, standing for "Global Development Organization".
Most of my reviews so far of this line have focused on the Scout and Deluxe scales, but the old "Legends" (now known as "Legion") Class scale has not been ignored! Several figures were created to accomodate this smaller price point. One of the Autobots released on this scale is Hoist, a redeco and retool of "Reveal the Shield" Trailcutter (a.k.a. Trailbreakier). This review will focus on the changes made to the figure for this release, check out my original review of Trailcutter for detailed thoughts on the sculpt.
The use of Trailcutter's sculpt for Hoist is appropriate as this follows the pattern from Generation One. In that toy line, the G1 figure known as Trailbreaker was released in 1984, and then followed up in 1985 by a redeco and retool featuring many new parts and a new head. Despite having the same basic body, each of these guys looked very different from one another. Now history has repeated itself.
Hoist is cast mostly in green plastic, matching up with his G1 namesake. Smaller parts including his weapon and waist piece, shoulder joints and wheels are cast in black. His paint details are based on G1 Hoist. The head has gold eyes and a silver face (though Trailcutter's mouth has been kept instead of giving the figure a G1 Hoist-esque mouthplate) and you'll also find silver on his legs. Orange is used on the beveled parts of his legs that stick out, aligning with another color detail found on G1 Hoist. The windshield piece on the top of his chest is painted black, offering some color continuity with the black parts on his waist and feet. A final detail also inspired by G1 Hoist is a tampographed Autobot symbol right in the middle of his chest. It's red on white, so it's bright and really stands out nicely.
Hoist's robot mode features one significant retool: the hands. Each one has been retooled to accomodate 3mm pegged weapons. He includes a weapon which shares design features with G1 Hoist's "laser hand" including a pointed barrel that narrows and then expands again towards the back. This weapon is made to interact with other 3mm pegged weapons. It has three handles (two allowing it to be held horizontally, one vertically) and there's a hole on the top so you can attach other weapons. I really appreciate the design being a homage to G1 Hoist's weapon and not just being some generic blaster.
All of Hoist's joints are nice and tight and his weapon attaches to either hand withou a problem. Indeed, it's large enough that it practically hides his hand, which resembles G1 Hoist's design where his left hand was a laser attachment.
Transformation to Vehicle Mode:
- Push the robot head down.
- Swing each foot up, so the toes are pointing down.
- Connect the two legs together
- Swing the robot arms back.b
- Swing the legs back, flattening out the vehicle.
- Collapse the figure, connecting the parts formed from the arms connecting together.
- Connect the top and bottom parts of the truck.
- Attach the blaster to the hole on the top of the vehicle.
In vehicle mode, Hoist shows off some additional detailing and a clever bit of detailing provided by his shoulder joints. The front end of the vehicle is mostly painted silver. This includes his front grille, headlights and bumper. On each door are yellow and black hazard lines tampographs. Each of these details is a carry over from G1 Hoist, and they really help make him instantly recognizable as the G1 truck. What I was particularly pleased by was the use of the shoulder joints. In this form, they become the side windows, and since they are cast in black it matches up nicely with the black on his windshield. Awesome!
The vehicle mode features a slight retool as well: a hole on the top of the cabin section. This hole accomodates 3mm pegged weapons, adding some play value to the vehicle (and giving him a way to defend himself in this form to boot!).
Hoist is an excellent redeco, retool and homage to the G1 character. It's very cool to see how the designers distilled the "essence" or basic details of G1 Hoist and transplanted them onto this figure. Add to that his ability to now use the 3mm pegged weapons and the toy gets a boost overall in rating. Highly recommended!