Cliffbee.com: Collector Club Nightbeat Toy Review

Toy Reviews
Individual Review




Name: Nightbeat
Series: Collectors Club Exclusives
Allegiance: Autobot
Alternate Mode: Sports Car

Thanks to kup for loaning me Nightbeat for this review.



CAR MODE
Height: 4.5cm Length: 13.5cm Width: 7cm

   A mid blue sports car with yellow accents, Nightbeat's colours line up to the G1 version, even if this car isn't a Porsche. He's a repaint of Energon Hot Shot. The front window and headlights are colourless plastic, along with the missile launcher on the back. His side windows are "wound down" while the skirting and spoiler are yellow, the tyres black and the hubcaps silver. The paint job here is excellent, with flames on the doors (as in G1), orange indicators at the front, a large Autobot logo stamped on the hood and silver paint on various air vents.

   A somewhat boxy two door car, Nightbeat looks like your typical American sports car. He's very low to the ground and generally quite smooth. Despite the sleek look, there's some attention to detail here, including moulded doorhandles, air intakes, grille, sports lights and taillights. If you lift up the hood - which hinges at the front - you'll uncover a fairly detailed black engineblock complete with an Autobot logo - that's only visible in this mode. A great touch. The Autobot logo is unpainted on this repaint, since the Autobot logo on the hood is now his primary badge of allegiance. alldarker points out that Nightbeat is loosely based on the Aston Martin DB9.

   The wheels roll quite well considering how low he rides, and along with the opening hood, his doors also open, although they do so only to reveal folded up arms. His weapon is a transparent missile launcher with a solid yellow missile. It can clip into holes behind the roof or onto either side just above the bumper (the holes are actually well concealed powerlinx mode hands). If you do clip it into the roof, the sight can detach and clip into the other side. I actually prefer attaching it to the side, but the fact we get options is pretty good. The missile itself will easily fire a metre or more.

   While there are some limitations to the mould, it's a fairly good sports car mode, and is better than many Energon moulds. The paint job here is great and really makes this a good fit for Nightbeat.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Remove the weaponry, extend the rear to form his legs. Flip out the feet, swing the roof halves down to form kneecaps and separate the legs. Fold the front of the car onto his back to become a backpack. Lift out the engineblock and unfold the robot head from underneath. The head sits over his powerlinx connectors - on the shoulderblades. Lift up the doors to form shoulderpads and unfold his arms. Place the missile launcher in either hand.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 14cm Width: 13cm

   A yellow and mid blue robot, Nightbeat's yellows are a mix of richer yellow plastic and brighter yellow paint. The chest and areas on the head are painted while his arms and feet are plastic. The doors form blue shoulderpads while the head, waist, groin and boots are blue. His thighs and hands are black, along with a ring around the spark crystal on his chest. Despite the dimensions listed above, this isn't a terribly wide toy - the shoulderpads count for most of the width. The face is orange with silver eyes, and the head has been resculpted to match the character better. There is no Autobot logo on this robot mode. The colour layout is a decent match to G1, although the arms are yellow here rather than blue - changing this would have taken a lot of work on the mould. Nightbeat has lost the black antennae, as well as the Headmaster.

   The torso itself is robotic with an Autobot spark crystal on his lower chest, offset to the left. The roof panels sit sort of awkwardly as kneecaps, since they stick out no matter what you do. Along with the shoulderpads, they're the only obvious car parts in this mode. There's no hint of a tech spec meter on this mould - which feels more like Energon than G1, especially with that spark crystal on the chest.

   The poseability here isn't great. The shoulders are stuck in place with ball joints just below them. These ball joints can move forward but only have sideways motion to about 20, which doesn't look so good on a toy with big boots. The elbows are double hinged and the wrists static. The head and waist, by virtue of the transformation, don't move. The hips can swing out to the sides and the legs can rotate out to the sides but the knees don't move and there's no meaningful foot movement. There are hinges at the top of the thighs, which can kinda work as knees but he'll look really strange. The poseability is slightly better than the much older G1 toy, but in context of the era, that toy had better poseability.

   Nightbeat can't blame the powerlinxing gimmick for his limited articulation, even if that _is_ the main reason. This hurts for such an expensive, limited, figure. The tribute still works well - the head helps - but so much of the engineering goes into a feature he's never meant to use. The launcher works well, the two shades of yellow are a little annoying. It's a mediocre mould done up about as well as we could really ask - better arms would have really helped this figure.

VARIATIONS

   None that I'm aware of. As mentioned, Nightbeat is a Collector Club exclusive repaint of Energon Hot Shot, with a retooled head. He comes in a very ornate box.

OVERALL

   A fairly weak mould my modern standards, but Nightbeat's designer has put a lot of effort into making it work as Nightbeat. The head is well sculpted, the car mode colour scheme is great and the box makes this a nice collection piece. Sadly he doesn't display very well in robot mode, thanks to mismatched yellows, awkward arms and limited poseability. The mould isn't good enough for me to recommend such a pricey repaint - even with a retooled head. This is one for fans of the character - 5/10

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