Click the image above to see the alt mode, or view more photos here
First/Last Comic Appearance (US) - Issue 14, March 1986 / Issue 50, March 1989
First/Last Comic Appearance (UK) - Issue 78, September 13th 1986 / Issue 83, October 18th 1986
First/Last Cartoon Appearance - Episode 30 (Season 2 #14), September 25th 1985 / Episode 58 (Season 2 #42), December 10th 1985
First Toy Appearance - 1985
Click here to see Figure Details and review
Manufacturer - Hasbro
Toyline - Generations
- Added an Autobot symbol to the bonnet, covering the tampographed one
- Added an Autobot symbol to the radiator grille
- Added various Reprolabels
So after Trailbreaker got himself a (mostly) decent sized 'classicsverse' figure it stood to reason that Hoist would get the same, right? Well, yes, and it wasn't a long wait before Hoist was announced. I was excited by this because it meant that I could finally ditch the legends version I have been using as a rather inadequate stand in. In the cartoon, Hoist spent a lot of time with Grapple, given that they both debuted at the same time. They soon struck up a 'bromance' as they meandered from one doomed construction project to another. In the comics, I can't really remember Hoist doing much of note. Nonetheless, it is high time that one of the original moulds (he may not have debuted until 1985, but he shares the same Diaclone ancestry as many of the other Autobot cars) was given a fresh update.
Appearance (Robot Mode) 8/10
The first thing to say about Hoist (and indeed all of the 'thrilling 30' figures) is that the figure is designed to represent the IDW version of the character. The signature block above his head is there, as well as the overall colour scheme and paint apps. The headsculpt is very reminiscent of the original, although the light piping is pretty limited so his orange eyes can't be seen to their maximum potential. He is leaner than his G1 counterpart, with a defined chest and upper body tapering to a waspish waist. Unfortunately his legs seem slightly too short proportionally. Speaking of short, there was some worry that he would follow the trend of the 'Fall of Cybertron' deluxes and be laughably small, but thankfully he is the same height as Universe Ironhide which is good enough for me. His lower legs are glaringly hollow, as is his back. I felt that the figure overall was a little flat and lacking in paint apps, so I remedied this with Reprolabels which really added some nice detail. Weapon wise, the hoist from vehicle mode folds cleverly into a pretty decent gun.
Appearance (Alternate Mode) 7/10
There are two key things wrong with this figure in vehicle mode - the first is the diminutive size, and the second is the lack of paint apps. I will address the size issue first. This incarnation of Hoist is a fairly rugged looking SUV, with very large tyres, armour plating, and a tiny windscreen, which all serve to reinforce the idea that this would be a biiig ride. But then you sit it next to Bumblebee, who is supposed to be a compact hatchback, and Hoist is dwarfed. The vehicle is so stumpy looking. It's odd because as a robot, Hoist is just about large enough, but he condenses into a really tiny car. I'm not one for generally posing alt modes together in groups, so it's not disastrous. As for the lack of paint, it's really bad. The signature stripes are present, albeit rather sloppily applied. The radiator grille is unpainted and the light clusters are inexplicably silver. The stripes on the weapon/hoist are rather sloppily applied. That's it. Luckily Reprolabels have come up with a fantastic set which makes this vehicle look much improved, there are now details all over the place, although the vehicle is still criminally undersized for what it is. You can appreciate how undersized it is when compared with Windcharger, who is a member of the now-defunct Scout size class yet scales perfectly with Hoist.
This invokes the nightmare of Perceptor, but thankfully there is enough room for manoeuvre and you do not feel like you are destroying the figure. The head forms the 'sunroof' and is pulled upright and rotated. The hoist is removed to become the gun. The arms are pulled out from underneath the chassis and are rotated so that the front wheels end up inside the car. The middle of the bonnet (with the tampograph on it) is pushed down and tabbed into the waist section of the figure. The rest of the bonnet and front of the roof both fold down to from the chest and neck respectively. The arms then have to be moved up into place, with the correct shoulder position allowing them to tab into the wing mirrors, although this does not hold together particularly well. Finally the legs are pulled out and swung into position. Once you have transformed this figure a couple of times, it becomes very intuitive.
Hoist has pretty decent articulation, consisting of: Neck and waist swivel, ball-jointed shoulders and hips, bicep and thigh swivel, elbow and knee joints, as well as limited wrist movement (although it is really a transformation joint and isn't really useful for posing). He seems to balance pretty well, although is a little flat-footed and stumpy as I have mentioned before.
Despite the fact that he is pretty hollow in places, all of the plastic used is tough and flexible. There are no sections that feel brittle and the figure certainly feels robust enough to be pulled about a bit during his transformation. He seems like a step in the right direction when compared to the extremely diminutive and anaemic-looking 'Fall of Cybertron' figures.
Overall - 38/50
This is really not a bad figure. I had hoped for a return to the larger and more substantial deluxes of a few years ago, but I think those days are gone for good. Instead we have a figure which manages to look good (and crucially large) enough to warrant a place in my lineup as a robot, but really disappoints in vehicle mode. I don't think most collectors will care too much about that. Plus you get his excellent 'spotlight' comic thrown in for free. Reprolabels have made a real difference to this figure, because it is now sumptuously detailed, and also crucially more 'in keeping' with earlier 'classicsverse' releases. I definitely recommend you pick this set up to bring the mould to life. Without it, I'm not sure I would vouch for this figure.