"EarthSpark" Deluxe Class Nightshade Toy Review


"EarthSpark Logo"

General Information:
Release Date: October 2023
Price Point: $19.99 (depending on retailer)
Retailer: General Release (Amazon, Entertainment Earth, Target, Walmart etc.)
Accessories: Daggers x 2, Mandroid Torso

Official images and text below in italics are from Amazon:

  • 2-IN-1 CONVERTING TOY: Kids ages 6 and up can convert the 5 inch Terran Nightshade toy from robot to owl mode in 13 steps, with easy Transformers conversion. Comes with cannon blaster accessory
  • 5-INCH TERRAN NIGHTSHADE FIGURE: Terran Nightshade figure is an impressive 5 inches tall!
  • INCLUDES BUILD-A-FIGURE PIECE: Each Deluxe Class figure comes with 1 build-a-figure piece. Combine all the pieces to build a figure of Dr. Meridian “Mandroid”, the villainous half-human half-robot from the animated series! (4.5-inch figure does not convert)
  • TRANSFORMERS: EARTHSPARK CHARACTERS: This Terran Nightshade toy is inspired by the legendary Autobot from Transformers: EarthSpark, a co-produced animated series from Nickelodeon and Entertainment One
  • INSPIRED BY NICKELODEON AND ENTERTAINMENT ONE SHOW: Transformers: EarthSpark animated series centers on two human kids as they forge a connection with Transformers robots like never before and work alongside fan favorites like Optimus Prime and Bumblebee!

Transformers: EarthSpark introduces a new generation of Transformers robots - the first Transformers bots to be born on Earth. Together with the human family who welcomes them in and cares for them, they'll redefine what it means to be a family.   Deluxe Class figures bring Transformers robots to life from the television screen right to your home! Classic green Terran Nightshade toy as seen in Transformers: EarthSpark animated TV series stands at an impressive 5 inches tall! Convert Transformers Terran Nightshade from robot to owl mode in 13 steps. Each Deluxe Class figure comes with 1 build-a-figure piece. Combine all the pieces by collecting all Deluxe Class figures to build a figure of Dr. Meridian “Mandroid”, the villainous half-human half-robot from the animated series. Build-a-figure scale is 4.5 inches (figure does not convert). (Each sold separately, subject to availability). Transformers and all related characters are trademarks of Hasbro.

Transformers EarthSpark is a very different kind of Transformers cartoon, focusing on a time period after the Great Wars are over.  As part of this story several new Transformers are born on Earth.  Known as the “Terrans”, these Transformers carefully select their alt-modes over the course of several episodes.  In the episode “Missed Connection”, the Terran known as Nightshade finally chooses an alt-form.  This is the form that this figure is based on.

Nightshade is also an exciting character for many fans because they are one of the few non-Binary Transformers who do not identify as male or female.  In a time of increasing representation and inclusiveness in fiction, it is cool to have a character like this join Transformers canon.

The EarthSpark Deluxe packaging takes a design cue from Generations packaging.  It has a roughly rectangular shape with one side set at an angle.  The background colors lean towards light blue to purple colors, differentiating it from other Transformers segments.  The front of the box features Nightshade in robot mode (with wings deployed to better match the toy even though in the show he generally does not have them out like this).  The box also shows off the Mandroid “Build a Figure” featuring the torso that is included with Nightshade.   The box features a large vertical Transformers logo and then a smaller Transformers EarthSpark logo at the bottom.  Next to that is the name “Terran Nightshade”.

The back of the box shows off the figure in both modes calling out a 13 step transformation.  It also shows off all the various figures you would have to buy to complete the Mandroid figure with each part labeled by number.  Under that is a ton of legal information in various languages.

Nightshade includes two daggers.  Each has the same design featuring a serrated blade and a hilt that angles forward on one side and back on the other.  Surprisingly these are made of hard plastic and not rubber which is great.  No worries about the weapons warping here!  Each dagger has a 5mm peg/handle.  These are silver plastic with no paint applications.

This figure includes the torso for the Mandroid build-a-figure.  This piece is black with brown paint on the “pants” area and a metallic silver section over the right shoulder.

Robot Mode:
When the Terrans were born on Earth, they all had very basic shapes that gave no clue as to what their future alt modes would be.  In Nightshade’s case they had a lot of angled shapes on them including points on the head and shoulder armor.  Once they took on their mechanical owl alt-mode these shapes became more defined as visual references to their beast mode.  A lot of these details are represented here including huge “ears” sticking out of the top of the head, pointed shoulder armor and thin legs that lead to wide ankle areas with pointed feet.  When Nightshade chose their alt-mode, the episode also paid homage to superhero comic books such as Batman, and in many ways this figure has a superhero sensibility.  The body form is largely humanoid (without say, vehicle mode or beast mode bits sticking out everywhere) and he even has a “logo” on their chest.  It’s a fun design.

Perhaps the biggest difference between the animation model and this figure are the beast mode wings.  In the cartoon they disappear in robot mode through the magic of animation.  In real life they have to go somewhere so they wind up on the back of this figure.  Not great for show accuracy, but I have to say they look rather dramatic and I like them.  I actually find Nightsade’s robot mode model kind of dull in the cartoon so having the wings here really adds a nice visual element.  If they really bug you, they can be popped off as they are connected via ball joints but I generally shy away from deliberately popping parts off of figures for fear of future breakage.

Nightshade is mostly made up of silver and green plastic.  Paint colors on this figure include various shades of green, metallic light green, silver and black.  The colors are mostly inspired by the deco on the CG model, but there are some differences.  For instance on this figure the thighs are silver plastic with metallic green paint on the sides of the thighs.  The CG model however has thighs that would be entirely green.  Still, enough of the spirit of the CG model’s deco is here for me to consider this a good representation of the character from the show.

There are twenty three points of articulation on this figure including three on each arm and six on each leg.  I’m including the wings here.  They can move on a ball joint and hinge, allowing for a wide range of articulation.  I was pleasantly surprised to see ankle articulation on this figure.  Sure this should be considered standard but on the more kid-oriented lines such as EarthSparK, features we take for granted in Generations have been known to not be included in the past.  The daggers can fit into their hands or be stores on the top edge of the wings.

Transformation to Beast Mode:

  1. Detach all the accessories and set them aside for now.

  2. Straighten out the arms and legs.

  3. Push the halves of the feet together.

  4. Swing the beast mode feet down on each forearm.

  5. Swing the chest down, revealing the beast mode head.

  6. Swing each robot mode inward and connect the two arms together.

  7. Swing the waist section back.

  8. Rotate and move the legs up, then fold the lower legs over the thighs and then tab the sides of the lower legs (around the knee area) into the open gaps at the base of the wings.

  9. The daggers can be stored in the slots at the top of each wing.

Beast Mode:
When Nightshade picked their alt-mode, it was not by scanning a living owl.  Instead, they scanned a stylized statue of an owl and then used that design as their template.  This means this beast mode is not a Beast Wars style organic owl.  It is more like a G1 styled mechanical beast.  I actually love the style of this bird, especially the face and wings.  The face has very sharp features with a “Y” shape forming the eyes and beak and points on top of the head with a curved section under it representing “feathers”.  To me this gives it a very Art Deco look which I love.  The wings also look very striking with the feathers in an open/fanned out position.  I am also very impressed by how the relatively lithe and long robot form is condensed into this beast mode.

All the robot mode colors shine here, especially the metallic green which is found on the head, wings and the front.  It contrasts beautifully with the darker green and black colors.

There are seven points of articulation in this mode.  This includes two in each wing, the feet and the head (which can turn side to side).

Final Thoughts:
Nightshade is a different kind of figure.  It moves away from the typical Transformers design with alt-mode bits sticking out in robot mode and the beast mode is really stylized.  It is not 100% show accurate but it’s about 85% or so and that works for me.  For many fans, it is the character who will make them want the figure and that’s awesome.  I’m also big into unusual alt-modes and let’s face it, there aren’t a ton of Transformers owls out there.  Highly recommended!


  • Cool sculpt that largely reflects the design of the animation model.
  • Nice deco.
  • Good articulation.
  • Intuitive transformation.


  • Very non-traditional Transformers figure in design so not all fans will be into it.

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