As with most reissues in Japan, E-Hobby remade the Minibot set, comprised of Gears, Huffer, Cosmos, Bumblebee, Warpath, and Powerglide). This time, instead of retro or new characters, they went in a different direction. This team of Minibots are Gobots in disguise, a team of Guardians and Renegades from Gobotron acting undercover on an information-gathering mission. Oddly enough, their back-story also credits them with the creation of Spychanger technology. Now we know who to blame for all the Spychanger repaints out there.
Small Foot is a brighter version of the Gears mold. As a 4WD off road truck, Small foot is mostly a light orange with black windows and engine cover, chrome grill, and red front bumper and storage units. She has an Autobot logo on her engine cover and a rub symbol on her roof.
Flip the rear of the vehicle back and pull the front fenders out.
In robot mode, Small Foot has a red upper torso, complemented by a pink face with light orange eyes and her upper legs are chrome. She can bend at the knees and rotate her shoulders, which is pretty good articulation considering how old the mold is. I'm quite taken with this mold as Gears was my first Transformer ever.
Huffer's counterpart is Road Ranger. He is a semi truck cab that is mostly black with red roof lights and windows and chrome grill and smokestacks. There is some orange is visible on the sides and front from the robot mode. Road Ranger also has a rub symbol on his roof.
Extend the rear of the vehicle back, swing the cab forward and up, and bring the smokestacks out and down to form the arms.
As a robot, Road Ranger is a balance of black and orange. His head, torso, and upper legs are orange while his lower legs and cab remain black. His eyes are red, which give him a pretty cool look with the orange head and black cab. He has two detail stickers on his torso, below the Autobot symbol. Road Ranger makes me like this mold. I never cared too much for Huffer, but in these colors, this seems like a whole new toy to me.
The Cosmos recolor is Pathfinder, who is a light blue with a red top and some yellow poking through the front and back. A modified sticker adorns her front in that it has a built in Autobot symbol, unlike the sticker on the original Cosmos toy. The front also has a rub symbol.
Pull the head up, extend the front out and down, then flip the feet and arms up.
In robot mode, Pathfinder is still mostly light blue. Her inner arms, hips, and legs are yellow as is her face. She can rotate each shoulder and bend at the hips and ankles, due to the nature of her transform. This mold never really did much for me and these new colors, such as they are, continue the trend.
The white Volkswagon Beetle is Bug Bite. He is mostly white with black windows, running boards, and front bumper. A Decepticon emblem adorns the roof and a rub symbol rests on the rear chrome panel. Unlike the other land-based vehicles in this set, Bug Bite has rubber tires, which give him a smooth ride.
Extend the front of the vehicle forward and flip the feet up, pull the tires out to the side, and flip the chrome panel down.
In robot mode, Bug Bite remains mostly white, but has more black showing as his arms and legs are molded in that color. He also features the anime-style Bumblebee head which looks very nice with the white helmet and silver face. As for articulation, Bug Bite can rotate at the shoulders and bend at the ankles. This is another favorite mold of mine and the new head helps differentiate him from the original Bumblebee.
The green and black Sheridan tank of the group is Treads. His story apparently is that he's a Guardian undercover in the Renegades to keep an eye on the other two Renegades of the set. He features a turret that can turn 360 degrees and three small wheels underneath to help him roll along. A Decepticon logo adorns the turret in front of the entry hatch and a rub symbol is on the front of the tank.
Pull the rear of the tank back and swing up, raise the turret then push it back, pull the arms out, and flip the head up.
Treads gains no additional colors in robot mode, though a small sticker is revealed on his mid-section. He can rotate his arms at the shoulders and turn his head 360 degrees thanks to it being mounted on the turret. He can also bend his ankles. Yet again, this is a Minibot mold that I really enjoy and the colors go very good with it.
Last but not least is the Powerglide recolor, Bad Boy. His vehicle mode is an A-10 ThunderboltÂ II and is completely white except for the blue missile pods under each wing (and the robot face under the cockpit). The sticker that ran down the center of the fuselage on the original Powerglide now runs across it near the cockpit with a Decepticon symbol just underneath it. A run symbol rests between the engines, though it is facing the opposite way of the Decepticon symbol.
Pull the engines back, rotate wings so the missile pods face down and flip the up, pull the pods down to form the arms and rotate the cockpit 180 degrees.
Still mostly white, Bad Boy has a bit more of the dark blue showing as his arms, face, and upper legs are molded in that color. His eyes are painted silver. Bad Boy also features seven points of articulation. His head can turn at the neck, his arms swivel and bend at the shoulders, and his elbows bend as well. The colors work very well with this mold and Bad Boy looks great in both forms.
This is a great set if, like me, you love Minibots. These have always been among my favorite molds and having them represent new characters is wonderful. The price for the set varies, but you can score them for under $50 if you're lucky. It also would have been nice to have individual bio and tech spec cards for the toys, but copyright issues prevented that. Those points aside, this is a must-have set of Minibots, worth every penny.
Final Grade: A-
Vehicle mode information taken from Antarctic Press' Cybertronian TUTRG Volume 1.
|Reviewer||Richard C. Mistron|
|Date||June 13th 2004|
|Score||(9 out of 10)|
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