Revenge of the Fallen Nightbeat Toy Review

in 2009, Action Figure Review, Autobot, Movie (2007), Revenge of the Fallen

Revenge of the Fallen

General Information:
Release Date: August 2009
Price Point: $7.99 (varies depending on retailer)
Retailer: General (Toys R Us, Target, Wal-Mart etc.)
Accessories: None

Images:

Text from Hasbrotoyshop.com:
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.

Add this AUTOBOT® warrior to your collection! Convert this fun figure from robot mode to a sleek sports car in vehicle mode! Recreate exciting movie scenes – or stage new battles of your own – right there in your living room!

It's late summer, "Revenge of the Fallen" figures are getting into wave three and four already, so what does that mean? Send in the redecos! Nightbeat is one of the latest redecos introduced into the "Revenge of the Fallen" toy line. The name comes from a character first introduced in the latter era of the Generation One toy line. The character was fairly obscure at first, and didn't even appear in Japan's line (the toy was given a new deco and made into another character instead). However when long time Transformers scribe Simon Furman brought him into his series of comic books, he turned the once obscure toy into a character that became much beloved for his calm demeanor and tendency towards solving mysteries. This character has carried over into the more recent IDW Publishing comic books as well. Now there is a Nightbeat in the movie universe as well in the form of a redeco of Scout Class Dead End. This review will focus on the changes made to the figure for this release.

Robot Mode:
I really find the choice of Dead End's sculpt for a Nightbeat redeco an interesting one. His rather frightening visage from his sharp fanged head, clawed hands and lanky legs suggest more of a hunter or warrior than an Autobot who loves mysteries. Still, considering his rather sleek vehicle form, I can see how the germ of the idea began. It also helps that in the "Movie" universe, a lot of the good guys can look rather different than what one might expect, complete with "animal" type designs such as Ironhide's "bull" inspired head design.

The new primary plastic colors for this figure are teal, gold, light silver and black. Teal makes up most of the figure, and it is a most appropriate color since that was G1 Nightbeat's primary color. gold makes up several parts including his forearms, hands and feet. Light silver is used for the head, waist, shoulders and lower legs. Black can be found on his ankles and shoulders, where they make up the vehicle mode wheels.

I found it interesting that the designers resisted the urge to use the yellow and orange colors that are so identified with G1 Nightbeat. The gold is a nice substitute however. It contrasts against the teal and light silver very nicely, making each part distinct from the part it is connected to.

Paint applications are done up in silver, gunmetal grey, gold and light blue. Silver is found on the chest, where it is used for an Autobot symbol and the top of the gas cap (this plays into the vehicle mode). Gunmetal grey is used for the car engine, which you can see parts of peeking out on the top of the chest. Gold can be found on the top of his head, and light blue is used for his eyes, a common feature of Autobots harking back to the G1 animated series.

All of Nightbeat's joints are tight, so I don't see any serious wear on the tooling (which would surprise me so quickly).

Transformation to Vehicle Mode:

  1. Swing the chest panel forward and down.
  2. Swing each heel piece forward and snap the hood pieces of the car shut.
  3. Connect the two lower legs together.
  4. Rotate the arms so the panels align with the wheels on the shoulders.
  5. Swing the chest panel up to move the cabin section forward against the lower legs.
  6. Swing the arms down and connect the shoulder pieces on the back of the vehicle.

Vehicle Mode:
The vehicle mode consolidates several of the armor panels that are spread out in the robot mode. This brings the teal color together into a single form. The base teal plastic runs from the front to the back of the figure effectively covering up all the gold plastic from the robot mode. A tiny bit of the light silver color peeks through towards the rear of the vehicle, flanking the engine in the rear. These are actually the hinges of the shoulders, but the circles inside the slot make them look like weapons of some sort mounted on the back of the vehicle. As you would expect, the wheels are cast in black plastic.

The paint details are done up in gunmetal grey, brown, yellow, silver, red, white and black. The gunmetal color is used to color in the engine on the rear of the vehicle. I love gunmetal as a color on Transformers, but I love it even more when it's used on parts with lots of mechanical details, and it looks fantastic here. On the front end of the vehicle, you'll find some more gunmetal sprayed over the front end, giving it a nuanced appearance that shows how well the color can work on a smooth part with no tech details. In a really nice touch, gunmetal is also used for the exhaust pipe on the back/underside of the vehicle. I am surprised that such a detail was even bothered with, no less painted in such a nice color. Extra thumbs up on this one.

The brown color is used on the cabin section, coloring the sections that represent glass. Yellow is a big color to use here since it is a color that was present on the original G1 Nightbeat. Yellow is used for the headlights and curved flames on the sides of the vehicle, harking back to the flame details that G1 Nightbeat had. Silver is found on the sides of the wheels as well as the rear of the vehicle where it is used to paint the gas cap cover and an Autobot symbol (the same from the robot mode). Red, white and black work together on the rear to form the rear lights and license plate respectively. The red color is very vivid and strong, which looks fantastic against the teal. The license plate is white, with the letters "NGTB34T" on the back and an Autobot symbol in black. I love the cute play on Nightbeat's name. With this detail, it is really surprising to me just how much thought was given into this redeco.

Final Thoughts:
Nightbeat is a fantastic redeco of Dead End. When I first heard about this sculpt being used for the character, I questioned how well it would work, but I have to say it certainly does. Bonus points for keeping bits of the G1 character's personality in the tech spec. Highly recommended!