The Transformers Archive Skip to main content / Also skip section headers

[The Transformers Archive - an international fan site]
Please feel free to log in or register.

  • transformers forum
  • transformers fandom
  • transformers toys
  • transformers comics
  • transformers cartoon
  • transformers live-action movies


Hover here to pick reviews from this section! ↵
Latest Reviews, Toy Checklists,
Resources & Current Lines
Transformers Toy Review Archive (older series, 1984 to date)
Robot Mode:
Alternate Mode:
Additional Image:
Box Art:

Blackjack's Review: Tailgate

Name: Tailgate
Allegiance: Autobot
Size Class: Cyberverse Legion Class
Accessories: ‘Dual Ion Blaster’

So, when the show-writers introduced Airachnid into the show as Arcee’s arch-nemesis, they decided to make Arcee really, really hate Airachnid’s guts by creating a backstory where Arcee’s old partner, Tailgate, was apparently murdered violently by Airachnid. It parallels Arcee losing her next partner Cliffjumper to Starscream, and it kind of sucks to be her current partner Jack right now.

Of course, unlike Cliffjumper, Tailgate isn’t meant to be a major character, only talking off-screen as a scout, before being dragged (we don’t even see Tailgate’s face), strung up and killed. We don’t see much of him, and his death isn’t even brought up ad nauseum the way Cliffjumper’s is! Poor Tailgate. But what we saw is enough to determine that he is a white repaint of Cliffjumper’s CGI model.

The original Tailgate is a white repaint of Windcharger (also a red Minibot) that had minimal exposure in fiction until recently in the astounding More than Meets the Eye series (which, incidentally, if you haven’t read, you should). I had G1 Tailgate’s toy even before MTMTE or Prime showed up, though, and I was pleasantly surprised to see Tailgate show up in the show, even as a throwaway guy-to-be-killed. At least he had a voice, albeit provided by one of the regulars of the show.

So while the quick appearance may not be remembered by everyone, the fact that he shares a body type with Cliffjumper means that it’s an easy repaint, and Hasbro has three Cliffjumper molds. Obviously clogging up the deluxe assortment with a toy people are less likely to buy than the already-shelfwarming Cliffjumper would be too stupid an idea for Hasbro, but not so for the smaller Legion class. So here we are, with Legion class Tailgate.

Alternate Mode:
Tailgate transforms into a generic, nice-looking muscle car that according to people more well-versed in automobiles than yours truly is an amalgamation of a Dodge Challenger and a Plymouth Barracuda. If they say so, then! So, the original Windcharger (and by extension the original Tailgate) is a red muscle car similar to this as well, and it’s kind of appropriate, albeit in a rather roundabout way, that Prime Tailgate ended up being a repaint of a red Minibot. However that works. Anyway, he’s a rather acceptable downsizing of the larger Cliffjumper mold, in any case.

Anyway, while Legion Cliffjumper is nearly entirely red, Tailgate decides to spice things up a little. He’s mainly cast in white, but metallic blue flames adorn half of his hood, as well as that cow horn thing on his hood. There is a metallic blue stripe on his roof as well as covering part of his rear section. A red Autobot insignia is on the blue stripe of his roof. His windows are black, his grill is silver… a rather nice, if rather boring, paint scheme. The little exhaust muffler things on his sides are unpainted.

Tailgate rolls on the floor nicely on his wheels, and there are holes on his roof and sides in which to peg the included transluscent green double-barreled weapon, if you like that. It looks horrid in my opinion, especially with the clashing colours.

Robot Mode:
For someone his size, Tailgate is pretty decent. Tailgate has articulation on the shoulders, elbows, thighs, knees and feet, pretty good for his size class. He can assume some basic poses so as not to look too static, but obviously he’s not comparable to larger size classes. His transformation is still pretty standard as well for car Transformers. I’m not a big fan of the big clown-like boots that results from his transformation scheme, although I have to admit it helps in his balance. He still looks pretty similar to Cliffjumper’s CGI model, although much, much less detailed. Of course, taking the size into consideration they did a pretty good job. Tailgate is still mainly white, although a bit more black has shown up to add colour. Tailgate’s helmet is entirely metallic blue, and his face is white. He’s got a decent feel and a decent paintjob. All in all… he looks too much like a white Cliffjumper, actually, which he is.

He comes with the aforementioned transluscent green double-barreled gun that I think initially came with Legion Bumblebee. Legion Cliffjumper came with a knife accessory that’s also red, which looks great in both colour coordination and looks. Tailgate’s randomly lime green weapon, on the other hand? Clashes pretty badly. And while It’s a nice idea to include weapons with Legion class… the lack of weapons on smaller toys was something I bitched about in the past… would it kill them to make it out of hard plastic? The soft, transluscent plastic warps and it made the gun look ugly.

What else is there to say, though? He’s a cute wee toy.

Marks out of ten for the following:
Transformation Design: 5/10 M’eh, I suppose it works, but I’m not a big fan of the big clown boots.
Durability: 7/10 He seems pretty solid for a toy. The few times I dropped him didn’t murder him, at least.
Articulation: 6/10 Standard fare for a Legion Class toy. The clown feet essentially nullifies the ankle articulation, but helps in balance.
Aesthetics: 4/10 Personally I’m not a big fan of Tailgate’s paint scheme. Maybe it’s because there’s too much white even in robot mode, or maybe it’s because of the godawful lime weapon he keeps lugging around, or maybe because he looks too much like albino Cliffjumper… I don’t know.
Fun: 6/10 He’s decent fun. Legends class toys are always fun to muck around while watching a movie or something.
Price/Value: 5/10 I got him and Flamewar for a relatively cheap price, and he’s what a Legion class should look like.
Overall: 7/10 Tailgate is a decent toy, and most assuredly a solid one. However, the decision on how much you like his paint deco, and how essential he is to your collection as opposed to buying a Cliffjumper or another Legion class toy is entirely up to you. Of course, he is technically a show character and this is the only representation of said character, so if you’re a completist, take solace in the fact that he’s at least a solid toy before paying for him.
With thanks for long-term support to sponsors: