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Transformers Toy Review Archive (older series, 1984 to date)
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Heinrad's review: Nightbeat

Name: Nightbeat
Allegiance: Autobot
Function: Detective (not listed, but fairly obvious from the profile)
Alt Mode: Peugeot 9009 concept

"When surrounded by two hostile forces, firing randomly at one another, the detective manual describes a process known crudely as running away!"

The quote isn't on the package, but it fits. It's from his first US appearance in issue #62 of the original comic series.


The universe is full of puzzles. Nightbeat lives to solve them. Highly intelligent and curious, he prefers to work independently of the other Autobots, since they usually just get in his way. He is a master of investigative techniques who prefers the boredom of a stakeout to the frantic pointlessness of a battle any day.


In terms of getting me to buy action figures, ROTF hasn't done it for me. The only figure I'd gotten so far is robot replica of Ironhide (and if it's still in the store when I get some cash, I want to get the Human Alliance Bumblebee). I got what I wanted out of the first movie line, so I figured anything I get out of this line would be for parts.

So, on a recent trip to Wal-Mart, I took a turn through the toy aisle (wondering if they'd managed to actually bring more Transformers in), and came across the remains of what must have been a good restock. Plenty of bigger figures, pretty much out of the little guys (save for Wheelie. Poor schmuck is still something of a peg-warmer, even 23 years later). Poking around what was left of the Scout figures (wondering if they had the Ironhide recolor), I came across a figure that somebody must have tried to open in the store. A certain mainly blue Autobot detective.

Nightbeat. Looking like something had attacked his blister-pack escape pod, but Nightbeat nonetheless.

Is he perfect? On the whole, no. He's a recolor of the Decepticon Scout Dead End. My only real complaint is the head, although this is fixed by just pushing the jaw all the way down, so all of the teeth don't show. This makes Nightbeat's head look a little like an art deco hood ornament, which is better for a detective than the snarling, feral beast look.

More on the ignominy of being Nightbeat: According to the TFWiki, Hasbro originally intended Nightbeat to be called Packrat, last seen (as far as I know) as the BotCon '97 repaint of Rattrap. At some point, possibly just before they went into production given the colors of blue and gold, Hasbro figured Packrat might not be a name to get the kids begging their parents to buy the figure, so they changed the name to Nightbeat, gave him a bio inspired by the original, and added something of a cross between the Cybertronian-style tribal symbols and yellow flame detailing on his vehicle mode doors.

Robot Mode:

Compared to the original, ROTF Nightbeat is hyper-posable. His wrists, elbows, and shoulders are all ball-joints, as are his hips. There's pivot points mid-thigh, and regular joints in the knee and ankle. The front end of his vehicle mode form additional stabilization for the heel\toe setup of his feet. My only complaint here is that his arms are a little too long. The design gives a definite movie feel, though.

Vehicle Mode:

ROTF Nightbeat's vehicle mode is a Peugeot 9009 concept car. It looks very sleek and high-tech.... and, like the original Nightbeat's Porsche 959 design, would look very conspicuous driving down some dark back street or on stakeout in the "bad" part of town. Of course, the soot/carbon scoring on the vehicle mode nose may be an attempt to fix this. He also has a novelty plate that reads "NGTB34T"


You can have your ROTF Nightbeat in two flavors: The way the instructions show with the rear hood folded up, or the way the picture on the packaging shows, giving him a longer-looking torso. Me, I like it folded up, but that's my personal preference. Do I think you should get him? Yes. Go now. They're fairly cheap, get them while they're still on the shelves! Well? What are you waiting for? GO!

Marks out of ten for the following:

Transformation: 3 It's fairly intuitive, but the hands keep coming off when I transform him.
Durability: 8 He's a little stiff, but he hasn't broken yet.
Fun: 10 The little guy is loads of fun
Price: 4 He's $8.44 at Wal-Mart
Overall: 10 Yes, I'm biased, but he is Nightbeat, after all. You have to factor in the cool.
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