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Transformers Toy Review Archive (older series, 1984 to date)
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Numbat's review of: Wideload

Name: Wideload
Allegiance: Autobot
Function: Materials Transport
Sub-Group: Throttlebots

Quote: "Look good and you'll have the world in your pocket."

Usually he's so dirty you'd think he sweated grease, but he's a neatness fanatic. Vain and superficial -- judges others on appearances. Uses spare time to work on his polish. Can haul up to 1,000,000 pounds. Uses hands and tires' sensors to find new sources of raw materials. Unusually susceptible to rust, an embarrassment given his pride in his appearance.

The Throttlebots are among the greatest Transformers of all time...

The thing is, I find it difficult to decide whether I'm being sarcastic there or not.

Available in 1987, the six Throttlebots included the revived Bumblebee – or Goldbug – alongside three more cars, a jeep and a dumper.

Wideload, as you'd guess, is the dumper truck – and perhaps the most enigmatic figure in the sub-group. You see, the gimmick for these guys was that they all operated as pull-back-and-go cars. Consequently, Wideload has gotta be the fastest construction vehicle in any of my childhood games...

His character follows, being something of a contradiction, which is fantastic. By this stage in G1's history, more and more complex characters were emerging, which added a lot of colour to stories, in print, animation, and imagination!


Alternate Mode:

As mentioned, Wideload turns in to a dumper truck. A bright orange one, to be precise. The harshness of the colour, however appropriate, is toned down nicely by the dark blue cover over the tipper bed. He's around 3” (7.5cm) long, and rather bulky for a Throttlebot.

Detailing is great – something the Throttlebots do well – but there is no definition through colour, other than that bed cover.

The Throttlebots still possess rubber tires, which is always a bonus. However, they are only smooth rubber bands, so can be seen as the transition from the original grandness of G1 car tires, to the poorness of smooth plastic wheels.

The gimmick, of pulling back and letting the fellow rip, is one of my personal favourites – however tacky it is!

Other than the little colour definition, there is nothing to fault in this alternate mode.


Robot Mode:

Alas, the reason behind me not knowing if these guys are great or not is down to the transformation and robot mode. Wideload's is definitely one of the best (having owned all six between myself and my brother when I was little, I oddly preferred Wideload even to Goldbug – and I have always been an avid Bumblebee fan).

Flip the body up, vehicle back down, arms out, and slide the rear wheels in, and voilá! Not too tricky – but that's not an issue. The issue is the ungainly appearance, due to proportions and lack of robot anatomical definition. Oh, and the zero articulation.

Still, Wideload does not look too bad (standing as tall as his dumper mode is long), with the dumper front making adequate 'feet' (or 'foot' anyway). The face mold is nice, although not too intricate, but does suffer from the terribly ill advised use of red against orange!

The blue tipper bed cover gives much needed definition to the torso, and the arms, although spindly, are interesting to look at.

The biggest problem with robot functionality is the lip of the tipper bed covering any hint of legs... But, never mind – proportions are a far more serious issue!

Combating these large deficiencies in the robot mode is a hugely redeeming feature – the pull-back-and-go gimmick can still be used!

And this presents a quandary – are Throttlebots one of the greatest or worst Transformers sub-groups of all time?

I suppose I fall in the middle here, from a collector's view. But, as a kid, these guys ruled, hands down!


Marks out of ten for the following:

Transformation: 3 – Very easy, although not un-fun. Alas, the result does not help justify the simplicity though!
Durability: 8 – All my Throttlebots survived wonderfully, although stickers peeled a bit, and tires went missing. Wideload suffered none of these problems, but his spring will go one day...
Fun: 8 – Fantastic fun! But not really a collector's highlight.
Price: 9 – Although price varies from 50p ($0.95) to £10 ($19) loose, you'd be mad to go for the higher end!
Overall: 5 – It's really a judgment call. These guys are fun, and I'm particularly fond of Wideload, but Throttlebots are not usually a collection highlight.

 
 
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