Cliffbee.com: Beachcomber Toy Review

Toy Reviews
Individual Review




Name: Beachcomber
Series: Generation 1
Allegiance: Autobot
Function: Geologist
Alternate Mode: Dune Buggy



BUGGY MODE
Height: 2.5cm Length: 5cm Width: 3.5cm

   A small blue dune buggy with black rubber tyres, Beachcomber has grey wheels and headlights, while the central block, which include the seats and motor, is silver with a black rollcage. It's a simple colour scheme, but it works well and is very believable. There are some nice details on this buggy, including suspension struts on the front wheels, a steering wheel on the left hand side, and a latticed metal pattern on the sides.

   Beachcomber is probably more realistic than most Minibots, something of a theme for the 1985 Minibots, actually, and the little details really add to this buggy mode as does the visible engine on the back. The great thing is that Beachcomber still manages to maintain the "cute" look that's common amongst the Minibots.

   The play value is about what you'd expect - his wheels roll and that's it. He rolls better than most Minibots thanks to the rubber tyres that most Minibots lack. The tyres are all the same size, unlike on the other rubber tyred Minibots. This is a pretty strong vehicle mode, the only real flaw is the visible knee joints on the front of the bonnet, but this is a pretty minor thing.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Pull the front section forward and flip it over to form the robot legs. Pull the rear fenders out to the sides to form the robot legs. Stand him up and flip up the head.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 7.5cm Width: 4cm

   The blue grey and silver continues here - Beachcomber has a silver torso, grey thighs and a blue head, blue lower legs and blue arms. He has silver painted eyes and a blue mouthplate on a head that's surprisingly round considering that it's a panel that folds away. He has a foil sticker on his waist with some red, blue and yellow, that saves his torso from being a single colour. The rear tyres are on his shoulders while the front ones sit on the sides of his knees.

   It's an attractive robot mode, the colours work just as well here as in the buggy mode, and the visible tyres and obvious buggy bonnet on his shins give Beachcomber a good balance of buggy and robotic bits. The face is reasonably show accurate other than the fact the animators gave him a mouth instead of just a mouthplate - he has little ear-like pads on the sides of the head that the animators kept, as well as a ridge on top of his head that also featured in the show.

   He has moulded fists on his arms, which can rotate at the shoulders, and has a slightly indented waist which is cleverly formed despite the torso being a rectangular block. The knee joints are engineered so that the shins separate when you transform him, giving Beachcomber distinctly separated legs, in the same fashion as Windcharger.

   Beachcomber has no hint of weaponry, which is usual for Minibots, and considering this guy's a hippie pacifist, a gun would be somewhat out of place anyway. The shoulders represent his only poseability, and is about standard for a small G1 toy. These shoulder joints have a tendency to loosen over time, more so than most shoulders, so on more worn Beachcombers there's not really any meaningful articulation.

   The susceptible shoulder joints are probably his only real flaw as a robot. He has a small backpack in the form of the buggy rollcage, but it doesn't get in his way at all. Like the buggy mode, this is a pretty good robot mode, that again manages to be cute without being too simple.

VARIATIONS

   There are two G1 versions, one with copyright details replacing some of the mesh on his arm, the other with full mesh. There is also a G2 repaint.

OVERALL

   Beachcomber was my favourite Transformer as a kid, so I may be biased, but his colours are good, both modes are strong and there's really very little dragging him down. If you're a G1 fan, you'll like Beachcomber. Even if you're not, he's one of the better Minibots, so I still recommend taking a look at him, because he's one of the cooler characters in the cartoon anyway - 9/10

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