"Generations" Power of the Primes Beachcomber Toy Review

in 2017, Action Figure Review, Autobot, Generation One, Generations, Legends, Mini-Bot, Power of the Primes

Generations

Power of the Primes

Beachcomber General Information:
Release Date: November 2017
Price Point: $9.99 (depending on retailer)
Retailer: General (Toys R Us, Target, Wal-Mart etc.)
Accessories: None

Official images and text below in italics are from BigBadToyStore:
The Autobots and Decepticons use Prime Masters to wield the incredible powers of the legendary bots who shaped the universe: the Primes. Prime Masters carry the spark of a Prime, allowing them to share a Prime's godlike ability with other bots. How will the Autobot geologist Beachcomber wield this epic power? Anything is possible and everything is at stake when the Power of the Primes is unleashed!

Transformers Generations Power of the Primes Legends Class figures are 3.75-inch-scale figures. When this Legends Class Beachcomber figure is in dune buggy mode, Prime Master figures fit inside. Prime Master figures are each sold separately.

Beachcomber was a character introduced in 1985 during the "Generation One" era. Unlike other Autobots who were warriors, he was a geologist who preferred peace over conflict. He was even featured in a couple episodes of the original series as the primary character (most notably in "The Golden Lagoon"). He did receive an action figure in "Generation 2" but then pretty much vanished from Transformers until a version of the character appeared in "Energon". Over the years there have been a couple interpretations of the character including a Movie universe version and Legends version from "Universe 2.0" (which nowadays is called the Legion Class). He was even a Kre-O figure at one point! Despite all this fans have wanted a proper modern day Legends scale figure of the character and now we finally have one as part of "Power of the Primes".

Packaging:
Beachcomber is packaged in blister card style packaging. The card features the "Transformers" logo in the front against a black background with the "Generations" logo above that. Most of the card is taken up by Beachcomber's artwork with a smaller "Transformers" logo on top, almost like a watermark. This is all new artwork based on the figure in the packaging. The art is colored in a beautifully painted fashion that recalls the artwork from G1 toy packaging but more dynamic, with Beachcomber coming "at" you. The figure is in robot mode inside the bubble with a collector's card behind him. The insert in front shows a photo of the figure in vehicle mode with the name "Beachcomber" printed next to an Autobot symbol. The back of the packaging features a grey grid with CG renders of the figure on top in both modes. Overall it's really cool packaging and I'm happy the art features so prominently.

The "Power of the Primes" figures from Legends Class up come with collectors cards. However, unlike the "Titans Return" cards which featured tech spec stats, these focus on what ability the character gets if they connect to a specific Prime Master Spark. This means there are thirteen potential card variations per character (one for each Prime)! In my copy of the Beachcomber figure I received the "Onyx Prime" card scanned above.

Robot Mode:
In recent years the Transformers designers have made a concerted effort to take as many G1 elements as possible and work them into the "Generations" figures. Beachcomber is no exception. In many respects he is the perfect mash up of the G1 cartoon model and action figure. A ton of details from both show up on this figure and it is quite impressive. These details include:

    The head sculpt is very distinct. Like his G1 cartoon model his "helmet" section is flat on top with curls on the sides flanking his mouth area. He has large visor eyes (that look like a pair of sunglasses) and his mouth is set in a neutral expression.
  • The top of the chest has a rectangular piece sticking up on either side.
  • The rear wheels of the vehicle mode wind up on the sides of his shoulders.
  • The chest has three cylindrical details sticking up at angles on the left and right sides with a rectangular panel in the middle.
  • There are sculpted trapezoid shapes in the middle of the torso that match up to sticker details from G1 Beachcomber's toy.
  • The waist area has two distinct circles on it.
  • His forearms have sections of armor that go over the top of his hands.
  • The legs are formed from the front of the vehicle mode, so the front wheels wind up on the sides of his knees.
  • Like the G1 toy, the headlights from the vehicle mode are also on the sides of the knee/lower leg area. These were removed for Beachcomber's animation model.
  • The lower legs have distinct outlines carved into the sculpt in a similar fashion as the G1 version of the character.

On top of all this detail, it is also nice to see how bulky Beachcomber is. The G1 animation model was pretty boxy, especially around the chest and arm area. This reflects that nicely but also makes it more worth the price point.

Taking cues from the G1 version of the character, Beachcomber is cast in blue, grey and black plastic. Blue makes up most of the figure. However I found it interesting that a significant portion of the torso is actually cast in black, but then it had to be painted grey to match the grey plastic on the legs (and to fit the character's look on the show). His eyes are painted silver, matching both the original toy and his animation model. There is a tampograph on his chest featuring a yellow trapezoid with an orange circle inside a black box. This is directly inspired by a sticker on G1 Beachcomber's toy. The aforementioned trapezoid shapes on his mid-body area are painted blue and orange with a yellow background. This too is based off of a sticker on his G1 toy. I love the way the designers not only used the colors of the sticker but actually sculpted it into the figure. The only bad part of the deco is light grey used on his fists. I think this was done, in part, to provide contrast but the paint job on mine is a bit sloppy, so the right fist is not completely painted. What I find odd is that neither the original toy or G1 animation model showed Beachcomber with grey fists, so the designers could have just left it blue.

Beachcomber has eleven points of articulation. The shoulders, elbows and hips are all ball joints, allowing for a good range of articulation as well. All the joints on my Beachcomber are nice and tight and I feel that the factories in Viet Nam may have finally figured out proper Q/C (time will tell). Each of the fists has a 5mm port, allowing you to attach weapons from other figures (and yes, my photo of Beachcomber holding two gigantic weapons is meant to be silly and ironic).

Transformation to Vehicle Mode:

  1. Straighten out the arms and legs.
  2. PUsh the head down and this will extend the figure.
  3. Push the lower legs together. Be cautious when connecting the grey bars together.
  4. Push the arms into the sides.
  5. Swing the bars on the back of the robot up.
  6. Swing the lower legs in to form the front of the vehicle and connect all the grey bars together.

Vehicle Mode:
Like the robot mode, the designers used G1 Beachcomber's toy and animation model as the base designs for this mode. Like the G1 version there are cylinders on the back, a "cage" over the driver's area, thick panels on the sides formed by the robot arms and headlights sticking up in the front. However, to make this a more modern figure they have added lots of small details. Near the cylinders in the back are additional mechanical details like a spring on the sides leading to the rear wheels and vertical ridges. The front has some extra line details on the top and sides. Interestingly, the designers chose to give Beachcomber a series of raised, vertical lines on the sides of the vehicle instead of the cross hatch pattern seen on the original figure. It is not often I call out the design of the tires/wheels on vehicle modes, but Beachcomber's are sculpted with so much detail that they look almost like real rubber tires. I was very impressed by this. Overall I really love the sculpt on this vehicle mode. It's a fantastic update of the original.

This mode shows off the same colors as the robot mode, down to having grey paint on the back section. Silver is used on the cylinders in the rear. Surprisingly, the sides of the wheels are painted grey. This is a detail often left out of Transformers toys nowadays so it is great to see it on this scale. Some gunmetal grey is found on the sections flanking the driver's area. Finally, the front has a large Autobot symbol tampographed on it, calling back to the version of the G1 toy originally pictured in G1 toy catalogs.

Holding on to each half of the vehicle, you can swing the front half down to create an opening into the driver's seat. You can then have either a Titan Master or Prime Master sit inside the seat as a driver! This is a wonderfully simple, yet fantastic feature of the figure and it gives the vehicle mode more functionality than just rolling around. Incorporating this feature began with "Titans Return" and I am very happy it has continued into "Power of the Primes".

Final Thoughts:
Beachcomber is an excellent update of the G1 character. From the sculpt to the deco and tiny details I am really happy with this figure. He gets dinged a bit because of the paint job on the hands, but that is really the only issue I have with this figure. Highly recommended!

Pros:

  • Excellent sculpt in both modes.
  • Great homage to G1 Beachcomber.
  • Nice deco (especially the tampographs).
  • Figure has some nice bulk to it and does not feel cheap.
  • Keeping the interaction with Titan and Prime Masters was very smart.

Cons:

  • Bit of a sloppy paint job on the hands.
  • Be cautious with connecting the bars. I could see this being broken easily if too much stress is placed on it.