Cliffbee.com: Spychanger Hoist Toy Review

Toy Reviews
Individual Review




Name: Hoist
Series: Transformers Universe
Allegiance: Autobot
Function: Maintenance
Alternate Mode: Mercedes SUV

Thanks to Griffin for loaning me Hoist, making this review possible.



SUV MODE
Height: 2.5cm Length: 7cm Width: 3.5cm

   An olive green Mercedes SUV, which is essentially a copy of the vehicle mode of the original X-Brawn toy - Hoist is a repaint of the X-Brawn SpyChanger. The windows are painted black, the headlights yellow and the taillights black while the grille is silver and the oversized spare tyre is orange. There are yellow and black warning stripe stickers on the sides, which are meant to help this SUV look like the original Hoist toy - but even with the orange on the back the resemblance isn't that strong. Hoist has an Autobot logo stamped on the hood, black plastic tyres with silver hubcaps. The green and orange really feel forced onto this toy, and the sticker stripes on his sides only compound this.

   The moulded detail is pretty good - he has a sunroof seam, windshield wipers, doorhandles and ridged headlights, ridged taillights and more. There are a few flaws here - the side mirrors are huge, the rear wheels stick out to the sides too far and he's got almost no ground clearance for an SUV.

   The play value is standard for a Spychanger - he rolls very well on his axles. There is no hint of a tow truck mechanism here, making the name (and tribute) somewhat misplaced.

   The mould is okay, but in these colours the SUV really does look poor. The orange on the back and the stickers on the side really don't belong on this vehicle. On the upside, his headlights are properly painted, unlike those of X-Brawn.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   This is a very simplified version of the full sized X-Brawn's transformation. Extend the rear to form the robot legs, open the front doors, swing the front out to form the left hand, unfold the right arm and stand him up.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 7cm Width: 6.5cm

   Now mainly black with a big green left forearm and smaller right arm, Hoist has a silver face with yellow eyes and assorted silver, red and yellow paint applications. Oh, the rear wheels can't rotate around to sit on his shins now that they have axles, so he has gunmetal grey fake tyres on his shins, next to the real black tyres. This colour scheme looks even less like G1 Hoist, but aesthetically it looks a whole lot better than the ugly vehicle mode. The loss of orange is a distinct improvement, even if the homage is largely lost as a result. Hoist does have a good paint job, there are some really fine details that prevent this from being a purely black robot with a big arm.

   If the paintjob is a strongpoint, the kibble arm is definitely a weakpoint. It's huge, even compared to original X-Brawn's, and is basically a giant hollow car piece with a fist and some doors hanging off. The larger toy had a poseable fist that actually protruded and a solid forearm, this one does not. His right arm is pretty puny - even for a SpyChanger - which makes it look even worse.

   His legs are a solid block, and the torso has been simplified a fair bit. The boots are bigger than they should be, which isn't great, but are a result of the design being simplified, since the torso is proportionally smaller. The left shoulder rotates and both shoulders are hinged, the elbows are hinged, so poseability is pretty good for a small SpyChanger.

   This robot mode suffers from being over simplified. The giant arm isn't saved by good engineering like on the big toy, and the simplified torso causes problems also. The colours here work better, and this is one time where I don't mind a homage not being applied through the paint job.

VARIATIONS

   None that I'm aware of.

OVERALL

   The original version of this mode was a decent idea, and was certainly ambitious. This time around the colours wreck the vehicle mode and the tribute is in all honestly half-assed. It doesn't help that the character chosen really doesn't fit the mould (surely Trailbreaker would have been a better choice). Not a toy I'd worry too much about getting - 3/10

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