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Transformers Toy Review Archive (older series, 1984 to date)
Robot Mode:
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numbat's review of: Tailgate

Name: Tailgate
Allegiance: Autobot
Function: Sub-Group: Minibot
"Let my fellow mechanical beings go!"

He sometimes has his mind stuck in low gear, believes 55mph, speed limit is infringement on rights of cars. Garages are prisons to him... doesn't understand Earth machines are not alive. Goes 180mph, range 600 miles. Uses ferrocobalt magnet under hood to be pulled by and within a few feet of other vehicles, reducing his fuel use to near zero. Prone to overheating.

Tailgate is the 1986 remold of the classic and central G1 character, Windcharger. This mold has been well used (with full details in the Windcharger review), but, in my opinion, Tailgate is the peak of the well explored possibilities.

However, unlike Windcharger, Tailgate is hardly a major G1 character, and was no doubt created as a moneyspinner. But, what a moneyspinner he is! In my younger days, he was always a more important character in my games while Metroplex and Overlord battled for supremacy!

Now, in my adulthood (cough!), I still feel that Tailgate is a superior figure to Windcharger. But, let’s discuss this in the review, shall we?

Alternate Mode:

Tailgate’s alternate mode, just like Windcharger, is a 1980s sports car. He measures 2 ½” (6cm) long – a decent size for a Minibot. He also has a nice bit of chrome on his front bumper, again, just like Windcharger. However, unlike Windcharger, he has a symmetrical vent on his bonnet, which is very well sculpted, while the white (if kept well over the years) looks brilliant.

Also, like Windcharger, he has two sizes of wheels, which looks great if you’re a kid or a fan of customized cars.

In my opinion, Tailgate cuts a finer sports car figure than his older brother.

Robot Mode:

Tailgate’s transformation is dead simple, even compared with RID’s Spychangers. Pull his arms out and flip his legs down, and you have him standing 3” (7.5cm) tall – again, not a bad Minibot size.

However, here we meet with a welcome surprise – unlike Windcharger, Tailgate looks identical to his cartoon counterpart. Definitely a plus point, despite his obscurity.

In robot mode, the colour scheme takes on a deep turquoise green with a metallic face. And what a face it is! The design is superb, and detailing matches the ambition (rare with G1 Transformers, in my experience). He also came with a couple of stickers (chest and insignia), but, alas, mine have long since expired.

Articulation is limited, but, as with Windcharger, his arms can move in more than one plane, which goes a way to making up for this in poseability.

All in all, this is one of my favourite G1 Minibots, and an interesting addition to a collection. He looks nice on display – far more so than Windcharger – and is decent fun to play with.

Transformation: 1 – The transformation is dead simple, although this is to be expected of a G1 Minibot – especially an early remold!
Durability: 6 – Tailgate seems to be made of superior plastic when compared to Windcharger, but I still fear he could suffer from the same design flaws in the future, and the chrome is rubbing on his legs.
Fun: 5 – He’s good fun, and the face looks identical to his cartoon counterpart, while also looking cool – a definite improvement on Windcharger! Still, he was never a major character, and this has to affect his fun factor if you’re into the G1 series.
Price: 9 –Tailgate does not suffer from high prices, as do some Minibots. You’d have no trouble picking him up from between 50p ($1) and £5.30 ($10).
Overall: 5 – I mark him equal here to Windcharger simply because his character is less important in the series, making him less an essential. Don’t get me wrong though – if I were you, I’d jump at this guy rather than Windcharger, all things considered!
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