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First/Last Comic Appearance (US) - Issue 17, June 1986 / Issue 50, March 1989
First/Last Comic Appearance (UK) - Issue 101, February 21st 1987 / Issue 104, March 14th 1987
First/Last Cartoon Appearance - Episode 27 (Season 2 #11), October 2nd 1985 / Episode 73 (Season 3 #8), October 1st 1986
First Toy Appearance - 1985
Click here to see Figure Details and review
Manufacturer - X-Transbots
- Added an Autobot symbol to the chest
- Added Autobot symbols to the wings
Powerglide must have cut quite the dashing figure because he made a human woman fall in love with him. This was both touching and unnerving in equal measure. Other than this, he briefly had his moment in the sun during Season 2 of the cartoon but didn't make the cut for the movie for some reason. This didn't phase him as he briefly returned for more hijinx in Season 3 before buggering off into obscurity. I would call his stint in the comics and cartoon unspectacular but he was kinda cool, I suppose. Autobot flyers were still few and far between and I remember the original figure sporting above average articulation for the time. So when it comes to homaging this slightly underwhelming character, you are spoiled for choice. There are 2 Hasbro mould choices (1 massive and 1 tiny), Maketoys also got in the action, as will iGear shortly and also X-Transbots. I plumped for the X-Transbots version, as I really do not want to give iGear any more money than necessary. Have I sold myself short with my stubbornness?
Appearance (Robot Mode) 7/10
When I first saw the size of this figure I felt a bit sorry for it, in the same way you do when a freakishly tall person comes along and their proportions are all odd. The face is just huge when compared to other figures in this size class - this figure really has cutesy proportions without the necessary dinky size to carry it off. In isolation he looks just fine but something looks amiss when he is placed with Bumblebee, who he is the same size as. But his size seems to be de rigeur now for the minibots range, and is something I just have to get used to. This gripe aside, X-Transbots have really kept the essence of the original character with a deceptively-simple update. The lower arms are hollow but other than this he displays well. He also comes with 2 blasters and a knife(?) - one of the blasters is secreted in his chest, and there is even a moulded recessed heart in the compartment - A nice nod back to 'the girl who loved Powerglide'.
Appearance (Alternate Mode) 6/10
The aeroplane looks just like the G1 version, with only minor concessions to the robot mode hidden beneath - in Particular the tailplanes are slightly less aerodynamic than you would expect, and this is because they are feet. Overall however X-Transbots have done a good job. The front landing gear requires a bit of force to move into position, and things do look a little sparse in this mode. My other complaint is that this figure would have benefitted from being slightly more burgundy in shade than it is.
This is where I was actually kind of stunned by this figure, because for all of its simple looks, the transformation itself is pretty involved, and there are well-concealed hinges all over this toy. The Lower legs are actually the engines wrapped around them. These need to be unfolded and then pivoted back on themselves, and the ankles are then free to be moved into 'tailplane' position. The upper torso is detached on both sides of the chest and moved back down to create the fuselage, the arms then fold in on themselves and the wings are rotated and moved down. After this, the chest area is opened to reveal the cockpit section which is swung over the top of the hatch and covers the chest insignia. Finally the head is rotated 180° and the landing gear is moved into postition. Phew.
The head is on a swivel but no waist articulation to speak of. The shoulders are ball-jointed and also there is bicep swivel and decent elbow articulation. Curiously, the hips are on balljoints but attached in such a way that hip movement is quite limited. Forward movement is OK, but side to side you are very restricted. Also the upper leg cannot be pulled back because there are panels in the way. This is a real shame because the feet are large, and the ankles have tilt accross both axis thanks to the transformation joints. Swivel is also under the knee, as opposed to the far more useful thigh swivel joint. The quintessential mixed bag.
Plastic quality is superior than the iGear Mini warriors, but that's hardly anything to crow about. I had to shave some excess mould flash form various parts. This figure also came with stress marks outside the box which is a bit unfortunate really, as they show up quite well in the 'flesh' but are less evident in photos. The nature of this figure means that a good deal of friction is required to keep the central part of the torso aligned with the segments either side, they hold together quite well at the moment but over time I guess this may become an issue.
Overall - 33/50
This figure shows great promise, and I think with a bit more care on the production line it would be fantastic. It is let down by a lack of quality, and sparse paint applications, and is yet another mould which would be far more successful as a scout sized release. In spite of these issues, I still like this figure mainly because it is a lot of fun to transform, and it is also in my opinion the best homage to Powerglide out there. It's also nice to see a third party figure priced reasonably.