"Transformers: BotBots" Sudsbeard Toy Review
Release Date: November 2018
Price Point: $9.99 (depending on retailer, packaged with four other BotBots figures)
Retailer: General (Amazon, Target, Wal-Mart etc.)
The initial launch of Transformers: BotBots featured a total of 61 individual figures. They were released in both multi-packs and individual blind bags. One such release was the "Toilet Troop", released across a series of three carded sets featuring members of the Toilet Troop mixed in with other team members and a blind packaged member of the "Lost Bots" team. In the promotional images I received from Hasbro this specific pack is listed as #3. BotBots are packed to encourage trading, so this is not the only pack that will come with Sudsbeard, it just happens to be the one I wound up getting when I ordered the pack off Amazon.
Sudsbeard's name is a reference to the pirate "Blackbeard". While is alt-mode is not particularly "pirate-y", his robot mode looks like a the traditional picture of a Hollywood style pirate. The "suds" part of the name of course refers to the soap he dispenses in his alt-mode.
Taking a cue from brands like Shopkins and The Grossery Gang, the packaging for the Transformers: BotBots features bright colors and a whimsical "BotBots" logo (with the "Transformers" logo de-emphasized above it). Sudsbeard was available in a 5-pack of figures that included King Toots, Shredder Jack and Waddlepop. Cute artwork for the characters is is found on both the card and on the insert. Each package includes a red plastic bubble that hides the "blind packed" figure in each set. In this set Bonz-Eye is the "blind packaged" figure (and part of the "Lost Bots" tribe).
The back of the packaging features the Toilet Troop's group artwork. The back also has a section you peel off before opening up the bubble to reveal the blind figure. There is a ton of legal information that fills up the card, so instructions and brief bios are printed on a full color set of instructions in the packaging. The other side of the instructions reveals a giant group scene of the BotBots inside an Autobot symbol shaped mall (presumably the one where they came to life). It also serves as a checklist, with check boxes next to each character (61 in total).
Soap Dispenser Mode
With so many BotBots in the first series (61 in total!) it can be a bit hard to keep track of all the various alt-modes these little guys have. Early word is that Sudsbeard transforms into soap. However, he hardly looks like a bar of soap, especially with his "hook hand" from the robot mode sticking out on one side. However, at least one online description (which I cannot find right now) described Sudsbeard as a soap dispenser and that makes much more sense! Basically Sudsbeard looks like a box (with a curve on top) with a dispenser type attachment. If you imagine him hanging on a wall with the "hook/dispenser" hanging downward the illusion is much more complete. That said, it does take a bit of imagination to really see it.
Sudsbeard is cast in red plastic. There is brown and light brown paint on one side forming a "belt" for the robot mode. The soap dispenser piece on the side (or bottom if you prefer) is painted grey.
Transformation to Robot Mode
- Pull the curved section on top up.
- Pull the right arm out (you may need a pen or something to help nudge it out).
- Swing the feet on the bottom out.
Sudsbeard's robot mode is where the true charm of the figure comes into play. The top of the head looks like a Bicorne hat often seen being worn by military or pirate characters in films. The left arm is a hook hand, a reference to Captain Hook of "Peter Pan" fame. If you look at his right leg, it is sculpted to look like it is made out of wood. This is a reference to the Hollywood idea of a Pirate with a "peg leg" (such as Hector Barbossa from the "Pirates of the Caribbean" films. I love this touch in particular. It is a fun pop culture reference and it makes the sculpt more distinctive.
This mode mosty shows off the red plastic, but there are plenty of paint details filling in various areas. The face is painted grey and black with a smiling face. The left eye is covered with an eyepatch (there is debate as to why pirates may have worn these, but the Children's Museum has nice speculation on it. The hand and hook are both painted light grey. The "belt" you could see in his alt-mode is now clearly visible in front. You can also see brown used for a collar in the middle and "buttons" on the chest. Finally, the right leg is painted brown to make it look more like wood. The deco on this figure is fantastic and really helps enhance the "pirate" image.
Sudsbeard does not have the most successful alt-mode, but his robot mode is super fun and full of pop culture "pirate" references. You do have to work the right arm a bit to get it to come out during transformation, but so long as you do not use excessive force you should have no problem with it. Recommended!