"Generations" Legacy Evolution Needlenose Toy Review


General Information:
Release Date: January 2023
Price Point: $24.99 (depending on retailer)
Retailer: General Release (Amazon, BigBadToyStore, Entertainment Earth etc.)
Accessories: Motorcycle wheel/weapon, Energon wheel (splits into two weapons)

Official images and text below in italics are from Amazon:

  • CELEBRATE THE LEGACY: Transformers Legacy Evolution celebrates the last 40 years of Transformers history. The Needlenose action figure is inspired by The Transformers
  • 2 EPIC MODES: Transformers action figure converts from robot to Cybertronian jet mode in 14 steps. Comes with a detachable jet tail accessory
  • 2 TARGETMASTER FIGURES: This Needlenose toy for 8 year old boys and girls comes with Decepticon Sunbeam and Decepticon Zigzag Targetmaster figures that convert into blaster accessories in 1 step
  • EVOLVE THE BATTLE: Transformers toy robots are upgraded with Evo-Fusion battle features! Evolve the battle by combining the Targetmaster figures in blaster mode into a triple-barreled blaster accessory
  • REVEAL TECH SPECS: Scan the code on each package to reveal character tech specs! Collect other Transformers figures to discover facts and abilities (each sold separately, subject to availability)

The battle is evolving with the Transformers Legacy Evolution Needlenose action figure! Needlenose believes he’s the ‘baddest’ bot around, always staying on the hottest trends. With his partners Sunbeam and Zigzag, this trio is the coolest Decepticon team this side of Cybertron. Transformers toys are upgraded with Evo-Fusion technology! Experience the evolution and combine the Targetmaster figures in blaster mode into a triple-barreled blaster accessory to prepare for battle! Celebrate the last 40 years of Transformers history with Transformers Legacy action figures for boys and girls. Transformers Legacy opens the portal to a whole new universe of More Than Meets the Eye, bringing together every generation of Transformers like you’ve never seen before. Collect and combine different characters to create your ideal Legacy lineup. Transformers and all related characters are trademarks of Hasbro. Hasbro and all related terms are trademarks of Hasbro.

In 1988 Hasbro expanded on their Targetmaster offerings with a series of figures featuring two Targetmaster weapons intead of one. Not only could each of the Targetmasters change into a weapon, but the two weapons could then be combined into a larger weapon. These "dual Targetmasters" would pop up in the Marvel Comics series of the time as well. One of these characters was Needlenose, a Decepticon who transformed into a jet fighter based on the F-16XL Jet. The last time Needlenose popped up in the Transformers toy line was a Botcon exclusive figure in 2016. Now in Legacy Evolution we have a brand new sculpt.

Needlenose is part of the second phase of the Legacy line: Legacy Evolution so the packaging has been refreshed a bit. The shape of the box is still the same, and for the most part the logos and other parts are in the same place. Sticking to the principle of plastic-free packaging, the window on the box is open but this year there is an extra layer of cardboard that sits on top of the figure to prevent theft. This covers most of the figure, leaving only the chest and head peeking out which looks...strange to say the least. It almost looks like Needlenose is in a pool of energy and coming up to the surface. Under the figure is an illustration of Needlenose in vehicle mode with both Targetmasters attached. To the side is a close up of him in robot mode. Interestingly the QR Code to scan for the tech specs has been moved to the top of the box instead of being on the back.

The back of the box shows Needlenose in both forms along with his Targetmasters calling out a 14 step transformation. It also has a huge logo for the "Evo Fusion" gimmick which appears to be a new term to describe the gimmick that began with Siege where toys across multiple classes can be combined to form different types of weapons.

Needlenose comes with two Targetmaster partners, a direct callback to the original G1 version of the character. In another "homage by necesity", the budget did not allow for articulated Targetmasters so both figures are essentially blocks with weapon barrels that flip out. Both figures are new sculpts.

Sunbeam's design is based on his G1 counterpart, but there are some key differences. Many of these seem to revolve around making him look a tad less like an organic humanoid in a suit and a bit more robotic. For instance, on G1 Sundbeam his shoulder armor is curved as are elements of his chest armor. On Legacy Evolution Sunbeam these same details are more angled and robotic looking. Still, he does have some curved parts like the helmet, visor eyes and leg armor. His left arm is sculpted with a rifle in it, a callback to G1 Sunbeam. However, he does not have the rocket launcher that was connected to the right leg on G1 Sunbeam. Instead, his lower legs seem to be sculpted with thrusters on them, suggesting perhaps that he can fly.

Sunbeam is made of purple plastic. White and red paint is used to color in his details, just like the G1 version.

Sunbeam transforms simply by flipping out the weapon barrel from the back. He has a 5mm peg (with a hole in the center suggesting he could attach to Mini-Con ports). The top of the weapon mode has a 5mm port for you to connect Zigzag in the "super weapon" mode. The end of the weapon barrel can also fit a Blast Effect.

Of the two Targetmasters included with Needlenose, Zigzag is much more like his G1 counterpart in design. Perhaps the most distinctive parts are his arms and legs, which feature layered armor in segments, though the sculpt on the Legacy Evolution version is much more detailed including circles for bolts that presumably hold the pieces of armor together. Like G1 Zigzag he has a shield on his left arm and on the right arm he has a sword attached. It's kind of hard to see because unlike G1 Zigzag it does not come out of his fist. Instead it looks connected to the back of the forearm.

Zigzag is made of black plastic with light grey and yellow paint, though unlike the G1 figure none of the light grey paint is used for his waist/belt area.

Like Sunbeam, you transform Zigzag simply by flipping the dual cannons on his back up. He has a 5mm peg between his feet, also featuring a hole in the middle. On top of the weapon are two 5mm ports and the ends of the weapon barrels can fit Blast Effects.

The two Targetmasters can be connected together. While the packaging shows them combined in such a way that their barrels are both pointing forward and lined up, I prefer the G1 style where the Targetmaster on top has his weapon barrels folded so some of the weapons fire is set back a bit from the weapon on the bottom. Either way works, it's purely a personal preference.

Robot Mode:
G1 Needlenose was a fairly simple figure, essentially being a robot with a jet on his back. Legacy Evolution Needlenose does not stray too far from this formula. For the most part, this Needlenose is also a robot with a jet on his back, though a few more pieces move here and there and he has more articulation than his predecessor. But first, let's look at some of the sculpting callbacks to the G1 figure:

  • Head: The head sculpt is a direct interpretation of G1 Needlenose's head, complete with a helmet section that looks like it came from a Medieval Knight's Armor. He has a mouth plate that angles up towards the back of the head and horizontal lines running along the angled parts.
  • Chest: The chest features a rather unique design complete with four vent-like areas, a panel in the middle featuring small details and a T-shaped section underneath that.
  • Arms: The arms are mostly blocky, much like G1 Needlenose's but they share similar details such as two vertical lines on the shoulder and on the forearms.
  • Legs: The thighs on Legacy Evolution Needlenose have several sculpted details on them that come directly from G1 Needlenose's thigh stickers. This includes a small rectangle with vertical vent lines in them. The lower legs also feature details inspired by the stickers such as the six sided shape with horizontal lines inside of it.

Overall the sculpt on this figure is fantastic. It's very unique to the character and it features a lot of details large and small from the original figure.

Needlenose is made up of grey, purple and blue plastic - just like the original. Grey makes up a lot of the figure including the back, torso and thighs. A different shade of grey is used for the helmet on his head (a nice touch carried over from the original figure). Paint colors include yellow, red, purple and metallic blue. The yellow and red are used for the face while the Decepticon symbol on his chest is purple. The lower legs feature metallic blue. This doesn't sound like a lot because frankly, it's not - but a ton of deco winds up appearing in the vehicle mode and most of his appearances in comic books basically featured this deco in robot form.

There are twenty four points of articulation on this figure including six in each arm five in each leg. Surprisingly, even with a "jet on his back" he has waist articulation! That was a welcome surprise. Each fist and forearm has a 5mm port, allowing you to not only attach his Targetmaster weapons but additional accessories as well. He also has 5mm ports on the sides of his lower legs. He also has 5mm pegs on each wing so you can use those as weapons storage. I am really happy with how well articulated this figure is given how the original Needlenose was basicall a brick.

Transformation to Vehicle Mode:

  1. Detach all accessories and set them aside for now.
  2. Straighten out the arms and legs.
  3. Swing the chest panel forward.
  4. Swing the robot head down.
  5. Swing the arms up so the shoulders wind up in the chest cavity.
  6. Swing the chest panel back up.
  7. Rotate the arms around at the elbows, then swing the forearms up and over onto the shoulders.
  8. Turn each lower leg inward, then swing the legs up over the arms.
  9. Connect the two feet together.
  10. If you have the rear section of the jet down, detach the vertical stabilizer fin and swing it up before putting the fin back in place.
  11. Holding the back section by the wings, lift it up and swing it back. Connect it to the tabs on the feet.
  12. Push the wings down.
  13. Swing the cockpit section forward.
  14. The Targetmasters can connect to the pegs underneath each wing.

Vehicle Mode:
Needlenose's vehicle mode appears to be inspired by the General Dynamics F-16XL jet. Like the real life jet, this vehicle has a triangular shape with one engine in the back and one vertical stabilizer fin. The wings also feature raised sections in the middle of the wing. G1 Needlenose was the same jet so this is both faithful to the original and a nice "fictionalized" version of the real life F-16XL.

This mode mostly shows off grey and blue plastic. The grey makes up most of the jet's top side with the cockpit section cast in blue. The cockpit cover is red (a carry over from G1 Needlenose) and the wings each feature silver and metallic blue details. This is inspired by the stickers on G1 Needlenose's wings. The ends of the wings each have purple Decepticon symbols on them. This is where a lot of the paint budget for this figure went, and I'm glad the designers did this because without these silver and blue details the jet mode would look really dull.

Each wing features a 5mm peg at the end to attach accessories such as the Targetmasters. The 5mm ports from the lower legs wind up on the bottom of the jet and you can attach 5mm pegs there as well. In a fun touch, the engine at the back of the jet can fit a Blast Effect to make the jet look like it is flying.

Final Thoughts:
Needlenose is fantastic. Yes, I can empathize with those who wanted his Targetmaster figures to be small, articulated figures but to be honest, I generally don't pose out my Targetmasters so I'm okay with them being G1-esque "blocks with weapon barrels". Other than that, this figure does a wonderful job of paying homage to G1 Needlenose while providing modern day articulation and detail. Highly recommended!


  • Excellent sculpt that represents a really nice update of the G1 toy.
  • Great articulation.
  • Includes Targetmasters (instead of just Titans Returns style weapons).
  • Relatively simple but fun transformation.
  • Nice deco.


  • Some fans may not be happy that the Targetmasters are not articulated figures, but I'm just glad they were included at all given budget constraints.

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