Rescue Bots Hoist the Tow-Bot Toy Review

in 2012, Action Figure Review, Autobot, Generation One, Rescue Bots

Rescue Bots

General Information:
Release Date: October 2012
Price Point: $12.99 (varies depending on retailer)
Retailer: General (Toys R Us, Target, Wal-Mart etc.)
Accessories: None

Images:

*Images with asterisks and text in italics from Transformers.com:
This brave HOIST THE TOW-BOT figure is just the hero you need for your RESCUE BOTS adventures! He easily converts from robot mode to vehicle mode and back again. When the mission calls for a rescue, convert him to tow truck mode. But when the rescue mission gets dangerous, push the tow hook up to convert him back to robot mode!

HOIST THE TOW-BOT figure converts easily! Convert him from robot to tow truck mode and back! Push the tow hook up to convert from tow truck to robot mode! Includes figure. Ages 3 to 6 years.

As long as Transformers have been around, there have always been sub-lines of toys dedicated to a younger age group than the main toy line. In 2011, the "Rescue Bots" line takes this role. Focusing around Transformers working with humans on rescue missions using equipment ranging from helicopters to rocket packs. Unlike previous attempts such as "1-2-3 Transformers" and "Go-Go-Gobots" however, this line actually includes Generation One inspired characters in it. This line is firmly aimed at the younger set (ages 3-6 according to the packaging), so I'll say right away that older collectors may find it a bit lacking by their standards.

After about a year with no new robot figures, the Rescue Bots line has bolstered the Autobot ranks with Hoist the Tow-Bot. Much like Boulder, Hoist isn't a traditional rescue vehicle such as Heatwave but he does become a vehicle that could definitely come in handy in an emergency: a tow truck! This figure also represents a reuse of a Generation One inspired name. In G1 the Autobot Hoist also transformed into a tow truck!

Robot Mode:
Hoist the Tow-Bot uses many of the same configuration elements as the other Rescue Bots in robot mode. The middle to rear of the vehicle becomes his legs, the cabin section of the vehicle becomes his chest and the sides of the front become his arms. Heatwave uses much of the same design. However, the sculpt is totally different, and Hoist winds up looking much more like a "tough guy" who has the strength to not just tow vehicles around but lift them up if he needed to! A lot of this impression is given from his huge forearms which are formed from the front "nose" of the vehicle mode. The front grille of the vehicle forms part of his finger details, giving him powerful looking fists as well! Add to this his very blocky/chunky looking legs and you can imagine Hoist lifting stuff with ease to help the other Rescue Bots.

Another nice piece of sculpting on this figure is the head. The head sculpt looks very much like a robotic representation of the vehicle mode's front end. His visor eyes and vehicle windshield share a similar shape and he has panels on the sides of his head (his "ears" if you will) that resemble the side view mirrors on his chest.

Hoist is cast in blue, black and green plastic. The blue is the primary color. It's a lighter shade but still strong. This makes up almost his entire body except for the wheels (which are black) and green (found mostly on smaller parts like his shoulder joints). There's a lot of paint detail on this figure, which after my Medix review doesn't shock me, but still makes me quite happy. Red paint is used to paint the "Rescue Bots" Autobot symbol right below his chest and details on his upper arms. Black plastic is found on his upper arms, fists, head , waist, knees and feet. This is particularly important as it helps break up the blue color into sections, which keeps the figure from looking repetitive in color. The green is a bright shade, almost neon. This is found on his shoulders, forearms and eyes. Silver paint is used all over the figure, just like the black paint. It appears from the top to the bottom of the figure from his mouth plate to his chest and on his forearms. Finally, a touch of yellow is used on the tow cable sculpted into the forearms. This is a really fantastic color scheme. Not only do the colors work very well together, but the sheer number of colors really has me impressed (especially given how color is being sacrificed in certain other lines right now).

As mentioned in other Rescue Bot reviews, there is no articulation to speak of on these figures. Their "action" is dependent on the accessory you plug into their fists. In this case, Hoist's design prevents attachment to the sides of his fists, so instead the holes are under his fists.

Transformation to Vehicle Mode:
Holding on to the crane arm on his back, pull it down and the figure will mostly collapse into vehicle mode. Then push the robot arms together. To reverse the transformation, hold on to the rear of the vehicle and then push the figure up.

This simple type of transformation has a lot to do with the design philosphy behind the Rescue Bots. The idea of each of these figures is to have a child focus on using a certain set of motor skills, but not overly complicated to the point where they're folding panels around and swinging limbs left and right. Here, the motions being emphasized are pulling and pushing, specifically the crane arm, but there's a bit of pressing involved in getting him into vehicle mode. Either way it's not hard for kids to do and the transform works very smoothly.

Vehicle Mode:
It's no surprise, but Hoist is a tow truck in vehicle mode. He appears to be a fairly modern one at that, with a curved, longnose front end and even curved lightbars mounted on top of the vehicle. I love a lot of the little touches on this vehicle's sculpt including the aforementioned tow cables in the front, (non-working) handles on the sides like those found on real trucks and even a sculpted detail in the crane arm that resembles a piston. Under the crane section you'll also find additional details that hint at more mechanical parts (in the robot mode these wind up being the back of the legs). Overall this is a great little sculpt that still has the "chunky" aesthetic of the Rescue Bots line while including aspects of the real life vehicle into the mix.

All the colors found in the vehicle mode were seen in the robot mode, but in different amounts. Here we get a bit more green plastic in the form of his crane arm's hook and the way his black and silver colors come together in the front of the vehicle really draw emphasis to those colors on his grille, headlights and fender respectively. The sides of the vehicle show off some more green and silver. The green is found on a hazard stripe pattern over each wheel well while the silver is used on the sides of his wheels and the "step" under the control handles. In this form the green details from the robot shoulders now reveal themselves to be his bright green lightbars! Red is used for a Rescue Bots Autobot shield on the top of the cabin section. Overall it's a nice color scheme that works well for the vehicle. In particular, I dig the hazard stripes which are reminscent of a similar detail on G1 Hoist.

Hoist's crane arm can move up and down and the hook can swing on its hinge as well. The vehicle is chunky enough for kids still developing motor skills to grasp with ease and play with.

Final Thoughts:
I really like Hoist because of how different he is from his fellow Rescue Bots in sculpt. Sure he uses a similar transformation to a couple of them, but overall he is very much his "own" design. Based on my review it should be clear this isn't really intended for older collectors, but I really think kids would get a kick out of it. Highly recommended!