Review of G1 Zap / G2 Windbreaker

Discussion in 'Transformers Feedback & Reviews' started by Philister, Feb 8, 2010.

  1. Philister

    Philister Teutonicons Rising!

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    For more pictures, click on the image above

    Robot Mode: One of the best-looking robot modes of the twilight years of Generation 1 in my opinion. Zap has an awesome head sculpt, including pink light-pipe eyes and very intricate details for his size. The color combination of blue and orange fits very nicely and is nicely accentuated by some black and purple. As a G1 figure Zap certainly isn't a particularly bendy fellow, but with knee-, elbow- and shoulder-joints he does do a lot better than some other G1 (and later) toys I can think of.

    As an Axxelerator Zap's gimmick is his engine, which becomes a gun in robot mode. The engine/gun is chromed and looks decent in both modes. Not the most exciting gimmick ever, but personally I do prefer subtle ones over those who completely take over a figure's design. So the bottom line is: Zap is one of the best robots of the "European" Generation 1 series I've seen so far.

    Alternate Mode:
    Zap transforms into a mostly-orange sportscar with an exposed chrome engine block in the center and blue markings on the hood and sides. The windows are colored a vivid pink, maybe not the ideal color, but it doesn't really hurt the vehicle mode any. Despite being a G1 toy, Zap has the G2 Autobot symbol on his windshield and on top of the roof. For more on that, read the remarks below. Oh, and in case you don't know what the symbol means, his allegiance is also spelled out on the windshield. Could have done without that.

    All in all Zap certainly doesn't have a revolutionary vehicle mode, but everything fits together very nicely, there are no obvious robot bits, and the car looks cool. So no complaints here at all.

    Remarks: Zap's history in-media is very short. He appeared in a crowd scene in IDW's Arcee Spotlight, as well as another crowd scene in Dreamwave's G1 Ongoing series, issue 3, that's it. His real-world history is a bit longer and more interesting/confusing. Zap originally came out at the very end of the "European" Generation 1 toy line, along with his fellow Axxelerators. Those toys already sported the G2-style faction symbols, but lacked the Generation 2 name on their packaging. That was in early 1993. Later that year the G2 toyline began in America, where Zap was given the unfortunate name of Windbreaker. Windbreaker featured smoky grey windows and eyes instead of Zap's purple, but was identical apart from that. In 1994 Zap was released in the UK in G2 packaging, but the toy itself was the "pink version", not the US "grey version". So basically you have three different versions of this figure in two different lines and with two different names.

    Interesting backstory aside, Zap is a good, solid toy that steers clear of the drop in quality that was rather common in those years. One can endlessly argue whether he belongs in G1 or G2, but wherever you put him, he's a very decent fellow. Certainly not a revolution and lacking any sort of character-recognition, but definitely one for fans of obscure Transformers and good, solid robot fun.

    Rating: B+
     
  2. Gingerchris

    Gingerchris Telly-headed Tyrant

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    Ah, one of my old faves. I wish he'd had a reddish repaint as Windcharger. Still, at least we didn't have Windbreaker here.
    Since mine is in storage and I've not laid hands on it for years, that black part on his chest looks odd. It doesn't flip up or anything does it? I don't remember it doing so but your main picture there just makes it jump out at me. Almost makes it look like it would flip up to make a combiner limb.
     
  3. mx-01 archon

    mx-01 archon Well-Known Member

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    His chest hinges open so that you can get access to his head. It's not entirely necessary, as you can usually lever it up by the back of his neck, but that's what it's there for.

    Philister's copy here seems to be missing its collar sticker, though...
     
  4. Gingerchris

    Gingerchris Telly-headed Tyrant

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    Ah, that's okay then. I was sure it wasn't for any extra feature but seeing it looking like it hinged was bugging me. Saves me having to dig through boxes to check my own one out. :) 
     
  5. Philister

    Philister Teutonicons Rising!

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    I bought this guy on ebay, so it's possible he's missing a sticker or two. But I still like him.
     

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