Numbat's review of: Guzzle
"It's better to have fought and lost than never to have fought at all."
A battle-hardened survivor of the software wars of Polyhex. His hunger for combat is only equalled by his hunger for fuel. Tough, no nonsense, has few enemies and even fewer friends. He can thread a washer from 2.5 miles with a blast from his plasma cannon. Flame exhaust in tank mode incinerates on contact. Requires considerable fuel consumption.
Let's turn our attention to a rather small and relatively obscure group of G1 Transformers – the Sparkabots. At one point I actually owned all three (Sizzle, Fizzle and Guzzle), and I can say on good authority that none were very exciting, and Guzzle was by far the worst. Still, the gimmick of shooting sparks from their rear-ends is quite fun – although achieved to better effect by their Decepticon counterparts – the Firecons.
Available in 1988, it's amusing that in Japan that very year a Decepticon was released with the same name – Guzzle. This Decepticon was, to add irony, a repaint of Cindersaur – one of the original Firecons!
This mold was available in Japan, in a very different colour scheme, as Hardspark. Whereas Guzzle tries his hand at espionage, eating fuel and being a very inconspicuous vehicle, Hardspark went for what it would appear the mold was made for – he was a 'Fire Warrior'.
Not really a great representative of the Autobot cause from G1, either. Guzzle is said to positively drink fuel (a giveaway in the name perhaps...) - yet the Autobots were always trying to save energy and natural resources! Alas, I think Guzzle would feel much more at home in a more modern-day Autobot cadre...
Guzzle's alternate mode, as already alluded to, is a tank. It's actually a rather nice tank, truth be told. Measuring at around 3” (8cm) long, he's a rather blocky Abrams style vehicle. The turret can rotate, and the cannon elevate. The dark grey-green topside is quite nice, and reminiscent of the plastics used for those cheap packs of soldiers and tanks from back in the days. The grey cannon works fine as well. However, the cream treads are a bit strange, and the warning stripes along the side seem a little out of place for a tank or someone trying to lie low - so doubly so for someone who is
a tank trying to lie low! The mold has a decent level of detailing though, and the piece is one of the best G1 tanks – and right it should be, as we shall see...
Of course, you push the chap harshly along and you get rewarded by a torrent of sparks from his rear-end. Super-charged tank! That'll maybe even hit 50mph on tarmac!
There really is no excuse for the tank mode not to be well done. There is very little transformation to accommodate. In fact, the only way to find a simpler transformation is to take a look at the game pieces from the MB G1 Transformers game. All you do – now pay attention – is pull the legs out. And there you have it!
Standing 3 1/2” (9cm) tall at a push, this is not a shining moment in Transformers history. As a robot, we have a yellow chest, with cream dominating the rest – topped off with a poorly applied blue paint job to the face. Whereas the tank mode had decent detailing, the robot mode is very plain, lacking even an Autobot insignia to liven things up a bit. The face does actually have quite a nice mold, but this is ruined by the very poor paint application. The wheel, used for generating the sparks, is slap-bang in the middle of his legs, making it look like the poor fellow's gotta clench his legs to hold it in place! And, of course, all the fun possibilities that tanks always offer are tossed aside, with not even the cannon being used to enhance the robot mode. And the spark feature is totally wasted – only being used in tank mode.
Oh, and articulation extends only to those awkward arms.
So... Guzzle - at least in my view - falls far short of even acceptable for the time, and has nothing going for him apart from a justifiably good alternate mode. After all, he is effectively a plastic toy tank with a pathetic robot mode thrown in as an afterthought.
Marks out of ten for the following:
1 – The only way to get easier is with the MB G1 board game pieces. Plus it is not at all inventive...
5 – The toy stands up well, but I found that the flint went with time (as you'd expect – guaranteed limited lifetime) and the wheel actually became quite loose.
3 – I'll be nice. His alternate mode is quite fun, and the sparks are an out-of-place bonus.
10 – You can get a loose and functional Guzzle from £1 ($1.90), but expect to pay upwards of £3 ($5.60) if you want him carded!
2 – Even given his great price, this is an awful toy, and only any use to completing a collection. But, it would be an unusual collection to have made, so we'll knock him up from '1'.