Cliffbee.com: G2 Beachcomber Toy Review

Toy Reviews
Individual Review




Name: Beachcomber
Series: Generation 2
Allegiance: Autobot
Function: Geologist
Alternate Mode: Dune Buggy



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

   A small chrome green dune buggy with black rubber tyres, Beachcomber has fluorescent red wheels and headlights, while the central block, which include the seats and motor, is silver with a black rollcage. The G1 colour scheme was pretty good, but even though the silver and black colours have been retained, this is not a good colour scheme. The fluorescent red itself is a pretty poor colour choice, made worse by the marked contrast with the chrome green. The other G2 Minibots largely kept a G1 look (even Hubcap, despite the colour change), but Beachcomber's colour scheme is very much G2, and it's not a good thing. 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's mould is probably more realistic than most Minibots, and more realistic than the other G2 Minibots. On the original, little details like the suspension struts on the front wheels really add to the buggy mode, but they're not enough to save this toy from being an unrealistic eyesore.

   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, although three of the four G2 candidates have rubber tyres anyway. What should have been a good vehicle mode has been brought down by the colours.

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 green and red continue here, with the silver now being confined to his torso, He has fluorescent red thighs, green chromed lower legs and arms, as well as a green head with silver eyes. His head is surprisingly round considering that it's a panel that folds away. The rear tyres are on his shoulders while the front ones sit on the sides of his knees, and the black is a welcome addition to a robot mode that's way too bright.

   Like the buggy mode, it's a good robot mode burdened with a ridiculous colour scheme. The visible tyres and obvious buggy bonnet on his shins give Beachcomber a good balance of buggy and robotic bits and the face is reasonably show accurate - even if the colours are a radical departure from the cartoon. 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.

   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 mould. 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, but again the colours hurt.

VARIATIONS

   A repaint of G1 Beachcomber, but no variants as such.

OVERALL

   G2 Beachcomber has the sort of stupid colour scheme that G2 has been remembered for. While a lot of G2 repaints are reasonably good, this one misses the mark by a long way. It's still a very good mould, and a G2 Beachcomber is better than none, but unless you've got a thing for fluorescent red, I'd easily recommend the original - which is easier to find - over this version. It's not the worst colour scheme G2 produced, but it proves that colour scheme can make or break a toy - 6/10

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