Greetings, fans of Convertorobots! I’m still waiting for some of my new Combiner Wars figures to arrive, so I’m taking this time to look through the last holdouts of my Generations figures. On the last Transformers Thursday we looked at Jetfire, this time we’ll check out Nightbeat. I’ve already featured this mold twice before (as Bumblebee and Goldbug) and I was kind of lukewarm on it to begin with. So, why the hell did I buy it again? Well, primarily because I’m a toy-crazy idiot who doesn’t understand the value of money, but also because I don’t happen to have any version of Nightbeat in my collection.
There’s the ingenious packaging, which uses a comic book reprint as the character art. Hasbro has had a lot of success at tweaking molds to make them work as different characters, but Nightbeat is not one of those instances. Just looking at the huge disconnect between the IDW character art and the Bumblebee mold leads me down a path toward bewilderment. Wasn’t the original plan to repaint Reveal The Shield Jazz as Nightbeat? What the hell happened there? Well, I knew what I was getting going in, so I have nobody to blame but myself. Let’s rip this guy open and start out with his alt mode.
Yes, we get the same auto mode as the previous two releases of this mold. The car is now comprised of blue plastic and the windows are tinted blue, but there aren’t any changes to the mold. That’s not a complaint, mind you, as I really dig the overall look of this car with the swollen hood and split spoiler. The design is probably about as close as Hasbro could get to a modern Camaro without having to pony up money to Chevrolet for the license. No movie, no license… I guess that’s how that works. The Bumblebee version used a rather shoddy looking yellow plastic, I liked the gold plastic for Goldbug a little more, but this is a case where the third time is the charm, as I think the car looks great in blue. The yellow striping and flame decals on the doors also make Nightbeat the most visually appealing version of this car and one that suits the character fairly well.
Nightbeat comes with the same pair of weapons as the prevoius two releases of the mold, this time with a yellow and blue paintjob to match the deco of the car. You can still peg these pieces into the sides of the car to give him some firepower while cruising the roads.
The robot mode here holds few surprises to nutjobs like me who bought it twice before. Again, I like the blue plastic used here better than either of the other releases and the yellow accents and flame decos on the door go a long way to make the figure work for me as the character, even if the body doesn’t look anything like the character art. Still, my biggest gripe about this figure is the way the shoulders are constructed. The front quarter panels look great and I like the conventional Autobot door-wings, but the shoulders don’t lock into place. There is some independent arm movement, but for the most part, moving the arms means moving the whole shoulder assembly, which makes a lot of the poses look awkward and throws off the symmetry of the design.
There is a brand new head sculpt and it’s easily my favorite thing about this new release. The yellow face and red visor are fantastic and the whole noggin ties the character together beautifully. Yes, this can be my Nightbeat, it’s just not the IDW version.
Once again, the weapons are designed to be wielded separately or you can combine them together into one large cannon. I think they work pretty well in either configuration.
In the end, Nightbeat is probably the best looking use of this mold, albeit wildly inaccurate to the source material. I could have easily done without owning him, but it was one of those instances where I stumbled upon him for about eight bucks and decided that I wanted a Nightbeat in my collection no matter what the mold looked like. While I have a hard time parting with any Transformers, if I were forced to make some cuts, Nightbeat would definitely be the one figure in this trio that I kept, so at least he’s got that going for him! On the other hand, i still can’t help but wish that Hasbro had delivered on the Reveal The Shield Jazzbeat! I’ve seen customs and digibashes of that potential figure and I really liked what I saw.