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

Name: Hoist
Allegiance: Autobot
Function: Maintenance
Sub-Group: NA
"You have to be rolling before you can be fighting."

"No exceptions!" -- 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 smallest leaky gasket. As tow truck, hauls 40,000 lbs. As robot, very strong -- launches heat-seeking missiles from wrist sockets. Full spectrum multi-sensor behind his head determines an objects' composition, density, tensile strength, energy properties.

Hoist was never something that struck me as a 'must buy', either as a kid, or as an adult collector. But he was on sale, and I'd never actually seen him (or Trailbreaker, who shares the same basic mold) out of packaging...and since I wanted a reissue and didn't feel like buying a repaint of something I already had, I picked him up. And I've gotta say, he's not at all like what I expected.

Vehicle Mode:
Hoist comes packed in this mode, and it's one of the reasons why I didn't even consider buying him at full price. It's really tacky.

The front end, especially the grille and bumper, look wonderful, as does the undercarriage. The cab looks so-so, with a transparent blue windshield and side windows that are a mixture of stickers and clear plastic. He has a flip-open sunroof, with his rubsign on the bottom of it. This part of the truck is actually rather nice.

But the back of the truck is what drags the whole thing down into the pit. The hauling attachment is a really, really cheap orange plastic, which looks especially bad compared to the die-cast metal and high-quality plastics used for the rest of him. The back of the robot's head is blatantly visible in this mode due to the poorly designed hauling rig.

The hauling rig itself supposedly allows you to pull similar-sized Autobots behind Hoist, but the damn thing is so low quality that you're lucky if you can pull them a few inches before they fall off. That's really too bad, since it could have been a fun feature if Takara had bothered to put effort into designing it all those years ago.

Colour-wise, Hoist is mostly green, with an orange hauling rig and yellow-and-black striped stickers running down his side panels.

Robot Mode:
The best word I can come up with to describe Hoist's robot mode is 'unconventional'. His torso is incredibly chunky, while his legs are spindly. His arms, amazingly, manage to seem both spindly and chunky, depending on how you look at them. However, the colour scheme (green, orange and chrome) actually works quite well in this mode and carries over very well the idea that Hoist is a maintenance guy. Also, given his non-combat function, I suppose his unwieldy design makes a bit of sense...he doesn't need to be able to withstand massive laser blasts, after all. Finally, I'd be remiss if I didn't note that he has a really, really cool head sculpt.

One notable feature is that Hoist's wrists are actually missile launchers that can hold either his fists, or two different types of missiles. Unfortunately, child safety laws compelled Hasbro to render the launchers non-functional in the reissue, but it's still a cool feature to be able to customize his look in this way.

As far as articulation goes, Hoist's about average for early G1. He has six points of notable articulation: one in each elbow and two in each shoulder. The elbows pop out easily (they were retooled to do so, I think) and can be put back together just as easily, but his shoulders are a lot more delicate. They're held together by tiny chunks of transparent blue plastic, and I get the feeling that it wouldn't take much more than a single false move to snap them.

Another area of concern is his 'backpack', which is made up of his VM hauling rig. It falls off my Hoist if I breathe at him the wrong way, which can get annoying very quickly. Also, I doubt it would take much to snap the hinge that binds his hood to his windshield. As well, I've seen more than a couple Hoists and Trailbreakers on eBay with broken-off legs, so I imagine that his front axle is easier to break than it looks.

Transformation: Moderately difficult, but the end result isn't particularly impressive. I'm not particularly impressed with the engineering on this one. 5/10
Durability: You don't need to encase him in carbonite to protect him, but I wouldn't subject him to heavy playing either. Lots of parts are way too fragile for their own good. 4/10
Fun: He's too delicate for me to want to play with that much, and even if I did there's not much to do with him. 5/10
Price: Even though he's not that great a figure, the price wasn't that bad...I've paid more for worse things before. But keep in mind, I got him on sale. Honestly, I'd think twice about paying full price for him. 6/10
Summary: His head sculpt and colour scheme managed to impress me enough that he avoided a failing grade, but I can't really recommend him at full price unless you're a fan of unconventional designs. 6/10

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