Series: Generation 1
Alternate Mode: Ford Ford RS200 Sports Car (thanks to Jesse for the model)
SPORTS CAR MODE
Height: 3cm Length: 7cm Width: 3.5cm
A white sports car with a rack of racing lights on his hood (hence the name), Searchlight has a blue blue front bumper and baby blue windows. The windshield is actually blue plastic while the side windows are stickers. There's no rear window, however there's a pronounced spoiler. The missing rear window, spoiler and lightrack make me suspect that this car was modelled on a rally vehicle. The original version has a rubsign (and indent) on the left side of the cabin, facing backwards, which is replaced with an Autobot logo sticker on the Classic version. The white and baby blue works well, and the white combines well with the light grey wheels that all Throttlebots share.
I quite like this sports car, even if it's cute rather than realistic. The lightrack is something different and the colours give Searchlight an almost stylistic feel. The moulding isn't fantastic, but then few G1 toys at this size were that detailed. He does have head and taillights, petrol caps on both sides and indicators on the front bumper, which is reasonable at this scale.
As with all the Throttlebots, Searchlight is built around his pull back motor - which is why he retained the rubber tyres during a period when they were disappearing from the line. He has front and rear axles and a pretty powerful pullback motor, allowing him to roll around 10 metres (30 feet) on a hard floor, and he'll roll straight, or close to it. While it's a pretty good pull back motor, once you've bent an axles, that's it - he'll veer to one side for the rest of his existence.
This is my favourite vehicle amongst the Throttlebots, partly because Searchlight was the fist Throttlebot I got as a kid, but partly because I like his more distinctive elements. The pullback mechanism is quite successful, which is the crucial point of this car mode.
TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE
Fold up the sides to become the arms, fold the rear and cabin up, fold the rear itself down to reveal the head, push in the rear wheels. That's it.
Height: 7.5cm Width: 5.5cm
Again primarily white, Searchlight's baby blue bumper is now his toes, while the head is a dark blue plastic with yellow eyestrip. The baby blue windows are now on the fringes of his torso, but Searchlight's really about white. The rubsign/logo is now on his back, on the hood that the back of the car forms.
Like all Throttlebots, his yellow legs are about 5mm long. The lightrack vaguely resembles human toes, which is an interesting aspect to this robot mode, and in a way it makes the single piece more like actual feet. The hood sits slightly higher than that on most of the other Throttlebots, but being white with a dark blue head in front of it, it's neutral background kibble. The bodyshape is as bad as every other Throttlebot, and while he has moulded fingers Searchlight has one of the simplest faces in the group.
Like all Throttlebots, Searchlight has zero points of articulation. He pretty much stands there unless you roll him backwards. All of his play value is in the pullback motor sticking out behind his feet. The pullback mechanism works equally well in this mode, allowing you to send Searchlight scurrying along the floor. Fun for children and kittens alike.
This is Searchlight's weaker mode - and I'm not counting the proportions when I say that, since all the Throttlebots have bad proportions. The simple face and lack of a visible allegiance symbol bring it down, but the colours work well, which is something. I don't dislike Searchlight - from a sentimental point of view he's still my favourite - but I think the face in particular was badly handled. Of course, the pullback mechanism remains the whole point of the toy, and that works well here.
As mentioned, the original has a rubsign and indent, and the Classic with no indent and a straight Autobot logo sticker. Neither is really superior to the other, although the Classic wasn't released in North America or Japan. I have both versions (but used the Classic for this review).
Searchlight has probably the most interesting vehicle mode amongst the Throttlebots, and one of the best colour schemes. The lightrack is a unique feature that for me helps Searchlight stand out amongst the hundreds of Transformer sports cars. While his robot mode has the crappy proportions of all the Throttlebots and some other problems, he's still one of the better Throttlebots. The pullback mechanism, which is the whole point of the toy, is successful and fun - 6.5/10