October 5th, 2009

too!, Frenzy wants to read

He once rescued Brick Springstern and the Tenth Avenue Band, no joke.

Shortpacked!: That first panel was just too much fun to draw.

Let me tell you a story.

Long ago, there was a first Transformers live-action film, and with it a video game inspired by the first live-action film.  A number of generics and drones were created for this video game, and Hasbro thought it'd be a good idea to make action figures based on these designs, if only to fill in the holes in their Transformers movie figure case assortments.

Unfortunately, the tow truck, Longarm, did not have concept art done in time.  Alex Kubalsky, Longarm's toy designer, had to make up his own design in the absence of guidance.  And so, hey, he thought it'd be fun to gank design elements from the original Transformers tow truck, Hoist.  Longarm's concept art did eventually reach Hasbro/Takara, and so Kubalsky did try to change some of the surface details of the toy to more closely match the CGI design, but he left the head untouched.

And so it was just a matter of time until the toy got redecoed as Hoist himself.

If you're hurtin' for a Hoist toy, Revenge of the Fallen Hoist isn't bad.  The Longarm toy is far from terrible.  It transforms easily enough, despite its complexity, and it has a huge-honkin' gun.  (It can be removed from his right hand by being unscrewed, if you so wish.)  The vehicle mode is pleasingly detailed as well.  How seamlessly it melds into your G1 display is up to the individual.  (If that is your aim.)  I've thrown Hoist in with his 1986 Autobot Car contemporaries, and you can notice a distinct departure in style.  He is, however, one of the more humanoid of the live-action designs, and being mostly green and orange doesn't hurt either.

But here's where the toy, outside of mere shelf placement, hurts.  There's two shades of green on Hoist.  There's a saturated green and a desaturated metallic green.  They are not quite different enough.  Hoist would be way prettier if there were more contrast between the two greens.  The vehicle mode is a little plain, as well.  It copies the original Hoist's vehicle deco exactly, meaning there's a hazard stripe on the door and nothing else.  It's not very compelling.  And finally, most annoylingly, it's hard to get his doors clamped down properly in vehicle mode, especially on the right-hand side.  (Note my photo of the tow truck is from the left.)  

Oh, and he comes in a $35 set (exclusive at Toys "R" Us) with the very frustrating pile of joints named Mixmaster.

I only recommend him if you reeeeeeeeally like/need a Hoist.