Transformers Generation 2 1995 Toy Reviews: Hooligan

in 1995, Action Figure Review, Cyberjet, Decepticon, Generation 2

Transformers Generation 2

General Information:
Retailer: General (Toys R Us, Kay Bee etc.)
Price: $6.99 depending on retailer
Accessories: Missiles x 2

Images:

*Tech Specs courtesy of the Hartman brothers at: http://www.tsarchive.net

During the final days of the Generation 2 era, a small group of Decepticons were born. Known as the "Cyberjets", these three Transformers were basic sized jets that transformed into very posable robots, taking a cue from the designs of the Laser Rods. Cyberjets, and other Generation 2 toys like them preceeded the Beast Wars era that is often credited with bringing posability to the Transformers line. The fact is, it began in Generation 2, of which the Cyberjets are prime examples. Hooligan was one of these Cyberjets.

Vehicle Mode:
Hooligan is a jet fighter in vehicle mode. However, his design is tough to pinpoint (though I'm sure some knowledgable reader will let me know if this is a
"real life" jet). He looks a lot like an F-15 with parts of an F-22 Raptor on him. His rear tail fins and the wings look like a regular F-15 jet, but the main body and angled fins look like they came from an F-22. Either way, it's a sleek looking jet. While much of the robot parts are obvious if you flip the jet over, they aren't so big and chunky that they hang off the bottom awkwardly. All his robot bits are flattened against the top part of the vehicle nicely.

*Several fans wrote in after I posted this review originally. Thanks to Michael Lu, Jerry Kong and Tec for their contributions. You three were right, an F-14 was involved, but I think it's Nick Kuzmik who hit the nail on the head by identifying the jet as a NATF (Naval Advanced TacticalFighter), an experimental jet which you can see in this picture sent by Nick.

Hooligan's wings can sweep forward and back. They're on pretty tight joints, so the don't flop around, something I have seen happen with non-Transformers jet toys before that had similar wings. The other feature of this toy in vehicle mode is the missile launcher. This piece is mounted onto the back of the vehicle, and you can load up a missile into it and push it til enough pressure builds up and then the missile goes flying. This style of missile launcher was new at the time, but has since been used as recently as the Energon toy line.

While one missile can rest in the missile launcher, you can attach the tab on the middle of the missile to the robot arm on the underside of the jet. Don't thrash it about too much however, the missile doesn't cling very tightly to the robot arm and falls off easily.

Of course, Hooligan can't land on his belly, so there are three pieces of landing gear you can swing down. One is under the cockpit, the other two towards the back. They do not feature rolling wheels however, so I don't recommend pushing your Hooligan figure across rough surfaces hoping to see it roll.

Hooligan is mostly orange in this form, with black stripes all over the main body and wings (only stopping at the cockpit). He also has two stickers on his fins, each with the number "002" and a stylized drawing of a flying tiger, which is one of the more unique and appropriate designs ever put on a Transformer sticker. The cockpit is a piece of translucent yellow plastic, and the missile launcher is black.

Transformation to Robot Mode:

  1. Detach the missile on the underside of the vehicle and set it aside.
  2. Swing the missile launcher back.
  3. Flip the jet over and swing the side pieces (the robot legs) up and forward.
  4. Swing up both robot arms on their hinges.
  5. Fold the front of the jet along with the leg/hip pieces down.
  6. The second missile may be placed in Hooligan's hand.

Robot Mode:
Design wise, Hooligan shows a lot of influence from Robotech Veritechs. A lot of this comes from the upper body design, which shares a couple Veritech features including:

  • The upper body is made up of the front portion of the jet, a common feature among transforming jets, granted, but the shape of the nosecone and chest piece
    resemble a Veritech's more than most.
  • The mid to rear section of the vehicle mode winds up as a back pack, as it did with Veritechs, and a bit of it protrudes above the shoulders in a very similar pattern to
    a Veritech.

However, by no means is this a rip off. Most of the sculpt is an original design. The arms have nice tech details on several levels and the legs have some nice streamlined detailing. My favorite ar the robot feet, which are triangular shapes starting right under the knees working their way down to the feet.

Hooligan has nine points of articulation in this mode. That doesn't sound like a whole lot, but consider that eight of those points of articulation are ball joints! This provides a lot of posability for this toy, making it one of my personal favorite toys to pose. What these points of articulation also allow is interaction with the Laser Cycles. The Cyberjets can sit on the Laser Cycles perfectly thanks to the ability for their legs to bend at two points. While this feature was not mentioned in the US, the Japanese releases of the Cyberjets showed them riding on Laser Cycles on the packaging.

No huge color surprises here. Hooligan is still mostly orange. The upper arms, upper legs, head and part of the mid-body are all light red. His face has a three sided design meant to represent both his eyes and mouth. This part is translucent yellow plastic, keeping a nice design continuity with the vehicle mode.

The missile launcher from the vehicle mode becomes Hooligan's right, lower arm. You can still use the missile firing feature in this mode, and the two small "fins" on either side of the arm piece are perfect for letting you hold on to the figure without launching it into the air as well.

Final Thoughts:
Hooligan is a very cool toy. His design is nice, his posability is a treat and his action feature works well. I've always had a bit of a fear that eventually the launcher would break if I launched the missiles too many times, but years later, after dozens of launches, I have yet to break my Hooligan. The only part where this toy could have received more attention is the deco, but back when this toy was made, the deco standards of action figures were not quite yet where they are today. What's also great about Cyberjets is that they're fairly cheap on the aftermarket. Highly recommended.