Price Point/Size: Spychanger
Retailers: General (K-Mart, Toys R Us, Wal-Mart, Kay Bee)
Release Date: 2006
Transformation Difficulty Level: 1
"You have to be rolling before you can be fighting."
"No exception!" All Autobots must submit to his maintenance schedule...knows they must operate at peak efficiency in battle. Jovial, enjoys job and is good at it - will find any problem, from engine overhaul to leaky gasket. As tow truck, hauls 40,000 lbs. As robot, very strong - launches heat-seeking missiles from wrist sockets. Full spectrum multi-senseor behind his head determines an object's composition, density, tensile strength, energy properties.
Starting last year, a few chains of discount stores (such as Dollar General and Family Dollar) began to carry cheaper Transformers product. This gave folks shopping at those stores the option of purchasing high quality toys for their kids while Hasbro benefited by expanding the line into new markets. As part of this expansion in 2006, three Spychangers from the past made a return to the shelves as part of Transformers Universe.
Unlike the previous Universe Spychanger Hoist, this Hoist is actually a re-release of 2003's Kay Bee exclusive Ironhide. The figure is the same as the first release, down to the paint decos and the weapon. It is interesting that while a new body was chosen for Hoist, his G1-based tech specs were not modified at all (he's still described as a tow truck instead of a pickup truck for instance).
The figure does not seem to have any problems inherent in reusing older tools (especially ones that have been reused as much as the Spychangers). The joints are tight and the transformation is smooth.
You can refer to my original review on Robots in Disguise Kay Bee Ironhide for my thoughts on the figure. For the most part I don't mind this re-release considering the idea is to offer cheaper alternatives for those who may not be able to afford more expensive Transformers. $2 is very reasonable for a Spychanger. Recommended if you love your Spychangers and don't already own this particular figure.