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Transformers Toy Review Archive (older series, 1984 to date)
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Numbat's review of: Searchlight

Name: Searchlight
Allegiance: Autobot
Function: Surveillance
Sub-Group: Throttlebots

Quote: "Seeing is, by itself, not enough for believing."

A creature of the night. Cruises the Earth with the curiosity of a cat. Nothing is too insignificant or irrelevant to escape his notice. Quiet, serious; a loner. Top row of headlights equipped with stereoscopic digital video cameras, spectroscopic chemical analyzer, and radiation detector. Bottom lights can produce strobe effect, full color spectrum with blinding 10,000 watt brightness.

The Throttlebots, with their superb pull-back-and-go gimmick were available in 1987. Of the six, Goldbug was, of course, the most memorable, as the rebirth of Bumblebee but because of this, he does garner a little too much attention. He also gives a bad impression of the sub-group, as he is (in my opinion at least) the worst of the lot (a great pity).

Searchlight never really rose high in cartoon, comic or imagination, but he is a nifty figure none-the-less, and is deserving of his own time in the spotlight.


Alternate Mode:

Searchlight turns into a pretty cool modified rally car. It is, unfortunately, white (never the best colour for maintaining condition in the long run), and comes across a little Ned-ish, but we'll forgive the little fellow.

Like all the Throttlebots (due to using the same wheel assembly), he measures around 3 (7.5cm).

The detailing is quite excellent for the era. However, the drawback of white is emphasised by this as, certainly in my chap's case, the depressions have provided perfect opportunities for dirt to lodge during his many off-road shenanigans...

It's worth noting that the tedium of the white is offset by a powder or robin's egg blue bumper, and blue windows (achieved with stickers peel danger!).

The wheels have rubber tires but these are featureless bands, so I've always felt the Throttlebots represent a transition from the good old days of rubber tires, and the modern plastics.

As mentioned, you pull these guys back, and let them go! Searchlight always found his way into the mud in my world...


Robot Mode:

Following a simple transformation standard to all the Throttlebots we have a robot, standing as tall as the car was long.

White is still the dominant colour, but a deep blue is introduced at the head along with a mustard band for the face visor.

The robot mode is not too spectacular proportions or definition wise. The legs are strange sticks, and the feet are totally fused with no sign of a divide. The hand detailing is, well, pathetic at best (simple strips, which on a plus to double as realistic body detail in car mode), and the arms are plastic flaps... Oh, and there's absolutely no articulation...

Sounds pretty bad, right?

But, you see, the thing is the pull-back-and-go gimmick still works in robot mode! This so often leaves me in a quandary. Are these some of the best or worst Transformers ever?

Well, I have always enjoyed the Throttlebots particularly as a kid. But, I guess the fact is, they probably fall somewhere in between because of the combined faults and deficiencies. The thing is, the two, in my opinion, are at extremes, so the end balance really depends on each individual's enjoyment of the simple pull-back-and-go gimmick.


Marks out of ten for the following:

Transformation: 3 Simple, but not un-interesting.
Durability: 5 White is notorious for discolouration, and picking up dirt, while the stickers for windows idea is never wise... Plus, one day the spring will go, and tires can go a-walking... Still, he seems to hold up well basically.
Fun: 8 Grand fun! (Especially for kids!) Not so hot on display though.
Price: 9 Prices range wildly, from 99p ($1.85) loose, to 9.99 ($18.70) boxed but I'd say that's not bad. However, I did come across one on e-Bay being sold for 14.99 ($28) (inc. postage) loose! But we all know better than that!
Overall: 5 As with all Throttlebots, it's really an individual choice. They are undoubtedly great toys for kids, but they may not suit your collection.

 
 
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