Retro-Review: G1 Needlenose

Discussion in 'Transformers Feedback & Reviews' started by Philister, Dec 26, 2010.

  1. Philister

    Philister Teutonicons Rising!

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    For more pics, click on the image above

    Robot Mode: Much like many other Transformers with jet alternate modes over the years, Needlenose is basically a robot with a jet on his back, who transforms into a jet with a folded-together robot hanging underneath. Let's look at the robot first. Needlenose is a rather typical Transformer from the late 80s, meaning his posability is limited to the arms (fully articulate shoulders, but that's it unless you count the fold-in fists). The detail work on his torso is pretty good, but could have used a bit more color to bring it out.

    My favorite part of this Decepticon is the head, though. It looks like a cross between the head of Optimus Prime and a medieval knight. The helmet moves, btw, folding down to hide Needlenose's face in vehicle mode. Fun thing is that you can practically give him different expressions, depending on how far down you fold the helmet. Fun stuff.

    That's pretty much it for the fun stuff, though. All in all Needlenose is an average robot for his time, meaning not that brilliant.

    Vehicle Mode: Needlenose transforms into an F-16XL fighter jet, or rather the robot folds together (quite nicely actually) into an undercarriage for the plane he carried on his back in robot mode. The jet looks pretty good and while most of the detailing is provided by the two big stickers that cover 90% of the wing surfaces, that works pretty well to. It has a working landing gear and the two Targetmaster weapons can be fastened underneath the wings. Sadly the big screw hole on top of the jet's surface is a tad too big to serve as an attachment hole for the weapons. So all in all a decent jet mode, but nothing too special.

    Partners / Add-Ons: As a Targetmaster Needlenose's weapons are actually separate entities, two Nebulons called Zigzag and Sunbeam. Sunbeam is the purple one, Zigzag the black one. And just like pretty much every other Targetmaster figure from that time, the two Nebulons are statues, pure and simple. Or rather, they are figures sculpted into the surface of a rectangular block of plastic, from which a barrel (or two) fold out. The detail work on he figures isn't bad, but their play value is pretty much zero. Best to leave them in weapon mode. They can even combine there, too.

    Remarks: Needlenose was a member of the Decepticon Mayhem Attack Squad in the Marvel UK comics and was involved in hunting down Decepticon deserter Carnivac. He was also a spineless coward and in the Marvel UK story "Cry Wolf" he ended up staging so many practice alarms, that when Carnivac came by to kill him, his comrades didn't answer his cry for help, thinking it just another false alarm. In the US Comics Spinister was one of the lieutenants of Thunderwing during the Matrix Quest and was one of the first to see that Thunderwing was slowly losing his marbles in the process. Didn't much help him in the end, though.

    Needlenose is a rather typical example of the rather lackluster figures the original Transformers series was pumping out after the cartoon ended and gimmicks began to dominate the line-up. Needlenose certainly isn't a bad figure, but he's far from brilliant, either. So unless you're a big fan of the character or the Targetmaster gimmick, there really isn't any special need to get this one.

    Rating: C
     
  2. knoted

    knoted Resistor Transistor

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    Very good review of this 1988 era figure. The concept & design are good, but the execution is a bit lacking. In the same size segment, I'd say Quake is the better targetmaster.

    But overall, this Needlenose shares the same 1988 aspects like the ones I highlighted in my G1 Dreadwind review : garish colors ( purple/lilac combos and molds which suffer from blunt toy aspects, like the screw hole placement you mentioned. )

    Also, funny to see his spec says he's got a 9 out of 10 for courage, yet supposedly he's a coward in the comics.
     
  3. LeTigre

    LeTigre Meat popsicle

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    I always thought it was weird his tail fin could fold down for no apparent reason other than making his bot mode asymmetric.
     
  4. Feralstorm

    Feralstorm I ship Nick & Judy TFW2005 Supporter

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    I thought Needlenose was an OK toy for its time, though I did find it alternating between annoying and humorous that all that is done for his head in transforming is to pull his "hat" down over his eyes.
     

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