"Generations Selects" Hubcap Toy Review

03/01/21

General Information:
Release Date: August 2020
Price Point: $19.99 (depending on retailer)
Retailer: Online Exclusive (BigBadToyStoreM, Entertainment Earth, Hasbro Pulse etc.)
Accessories: Cannon barrel halves x 2, Cannon base, Cannon legs/Skis x 2

Images and text in italics below are from Hasbro Pulse:
This special edition WFC-GS13 Hubcap figure is the first modern era update inspired by the 1986 Mini-Vehicle mail-away. He even features the classic orange face unique to the original toy release. Hubcap is a character with some serious identity issues. Not only is he often confused with Bumblebee for being of similar size and color, but the original 1986 mail-away mislabeled him as Cliffjumper. Not that anyone knew who Hubcap was at the time anyway. Though he appeared in the 1986 Mini-Vehicle assortment, he was only introduced into Transformers entertainment in 2007 with the release of IDW's Megatron Origin Issue #3.

This Hubcap figure converts from robot to sportscar mode in 18 steps and comes with an arm cannon accessory. The hood of his car mode can be held in robot mode as a shield. Includes Generations Selects Deluxe Class Hubcap figure, accessories, and instructions.

  • Generations Selects is a fan-dedicated line of figures featuring special edition characters that can’t be found in the main line
  • This special edition WFC-GS13 Hubcap figure is the first modern era update inspired by the 1986 Mini-Vehicle mail-away, featuring the classic orange face unique to the original toy release
  • Here's a figure with some serious identity issues. Not only is Hubcap often confused with Bumblebee, but the original 1986 mail-away mislabeled him as Cliffjumper. Not that anyone knew who Hubcap was at the time anyway, having only first appeared in entertainment in a 2007 IDW comic
  • This Hubcap figure converts from robot to classic G1 sportscar mode in 18 steps
  • Comes with an arm cannon accessory and the hood of his car mode can be held in robot mode as a shield
  • Figure scale: 5.5 inches

The Generation One Hubcap figure was released in 1986. The original Hubcap was a retool and redeco of G1 Cliffjumper featuring a new head and altered spoiler. He was also available as a mail away item the same year (incorrectly labeled as Cliffjumper). Later, in 1993 he was given a new paint job in vacuum metallized red as part of Generation 2. In the 2010 Reveal the Shield line Hubcap took on the form of a 30's style car as part of the Scout Class assortment. Ten years later, the character returned in 2020 as part of Generations Selects. This time out history repeats itself as this figure is a redeco and retool of Earthrise Cliffjumper! This review will be focusing on the changes made to the base sculpt for this release.

Packaging & Accessories:
Hubcap is packaged in the standard Selects cardboard box complete with a sticker on the outside that both seals the package and identifies the figure inside. The figure itself is binded to a plastic tray with the instructions underneath.

Hubcap includes all the same accessories as Cliffjumper consisting of parts to create a large cannon and stands for the cannon which double as skis in vehicle mode. The cannon barrel blasters are grey and the other accessories are black with no paint applications. I am glad they are not the same colors as Cliffjumper's but I did find the silver on Cliffjumper's weapons more striking.

Robot Mode:
True to his G1 origins, Hubcap features a new head sculpt. The new head sculpt is true to his G1 incarnation including a crest in the middle, two angular sections on either side and raised round sections on the sides of the helmet. In some ways this head sculpt reminds me a lot of the Autobot symbol. The rest of the figure uses the same sculpt as Cliffjumper with no other modifications (and that's fine, it doesn't really need any more).

Hubcap is made up of yellow, black and translucent smokey grey plastic. This aligns with his colors from G1 Hubcap. There is a good amount of yellow paint on this figure including the shoulders and torso. The designers did a great job of matching up the yellow paint with the yellow plastic, something they were slightly less successful with when it came to Earthrise Sunstreaker. In an effort to match up with the G1 toy, the face is painted orange, an unusual color for the face on a Transformers figure. His feet have some black details on them carried over from the vehicle mode and there is a red Autobot symbol on his right foot. Personally the G1 fan boy in me would have loved a heat sensitive "rub sticker" (or a sticker approximating one) being placed right on his chest, but that may just be me.

All the joints on my copy of this figure are just as tight as those on my Cliffjumper figure, so no worries about quality. The ports on his feet and arms are also nice and tight.

Transformation to Vehicle Mode:

  1. Detach the weapon if attached and set it aside for now.
  2. Straighten out the arms and legs.
  3. Detach the "back pack" piece and set it aside for now.
  4. Swing the torso plate forward, swing out the panel with the Autobot symbol on it then swing the torso plate back into place.
  5. Rotate the lower body around.
  6. Rotate the arms around at the elbows.
  7. Swing the arms up at the elbows, then swing them up at the shoulders so it looks like the arms are punching into the air.
  8. Swing the upper body forward.
  9. Swing the arms together, using the tabs on the shoulders to help clip them into place.
  10. Swing the back panel on each foot out.
  11. Rotate the yellow panels on the feet up.
  12. Swing the front wheels out to the sides.
  13. Push in the panels from the robot feet to complete the front and sides of the vehicle. You will have to do a bit of careful adjustment to make sure all the tabs are in place and the panels line up.
  14. Take the "back pack" piece and swing in the black peg, then slide the red pegs into the robot fists to form the back of the vehicle.

Vehicle Mode:
Hubcap's vehicle mode is the same as Cliffjumper's retro Mitsubishi Starion inspired form. This time out the vehicle is mostly yellow (a combination of yellow paint applications and yellow plastic). Black paint is found in the front, filling in details on the grille area and headlights sections. The Autobot symbol is featured more heavily in this mode and the red really pops off the yellow.

All the accessories still attach to the vehicle nice and snug including the skis on the bottom.

Final Thoughts:
During the G1 era, Hubcap was one of the few Mini-Bots I was able to purchase as a kid on my own. I absolutely loved the toy and I am very happy that the character continues to pop up now and then in the toy line. Some fans may still not be happy about the relatively small size of the core robot at a Deluxe price point and I get that, but I do recommend adding this figure to your Autobot army.

Pros:

  • Wonderful retool that pays homage to the original Hubcap figure from 1986.
  • Fantastic vehicle mode that has a fun and retro design.
  • Lots of play value.
  • The accessories help call back to two key moments for the character in the G1 cartoon.

Cons:

  • Some fans will scoff at paying the same price for this figure as they have for other, heavier figures in the line.
  • The proportions in robot mode are a bit goofy, with large feet and relatively small arms.
  • Given that this was a retool/redeco, I wish the designers had added paint details to the rear lights (perhaps orange to reference the robot face).