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Series: Legacy Evolution
Allegiance: Decepticon
Category: Deluxe Double Targetmaster
Year: 2023


Needlenose believes he is the ´baddest´ bot around, always staying on the hottest trends. With his partners Sunbeam and Zigzag, this trio is the coolest Decepticon team this side of Cybertron.

Signature weapon: Sunbeam and Zigzag - both Targetmasters convert into deadly blasters that incapacitate enemies in battle. Sunbeam and Zigzag combine and fuse into Electrostatic Light Burst Blaster.

In 2019 we got a brilliant new incarnation of an old G1 Double Targetmaster, namely Spinister. A few years later Legacy Evolution takes on another figure from that subgroup, Needlenose. With a new Quake on the horizon to complete the trio, it’s time to see whether the second Decepticon Double Targetmaster can measure up to Spinister and continue the trend. Let’s say go!

Robot Mode: Needlenose is a Deluxe class figure and, apart from the size, is the spitting image of G1 Needlenose. The wings and back fin of his jet mode sit a tad higher on his back than they did for the G1 figure and he is, naturally, quite a bit better articulated, but apart from that: it’s clearly the same guy. So mission accomplished as far as resemblance goes.

Now Needlenose, in both incarnations, is the kind of jet Transformers that carries most of his jet mode on his back, but he manages it a lot better than many others with the same basic design. The cockpit extends pretty far down between his legs, but doesn’t get in the way of his leg movements. The wings can fold back, so the arms can swing freely, too. He is as well-articulated as you’d expect from a Legacy figure, everything from ankle tilt to twisting wrists is present and accounted for.

For weapons, Needlenose carries the two blasters formed by his Targetmaster companions (see below), which he can hold in hand, attach to any of the numerous 5mm ports on his arms and legs, or combine into a single super blaster.

So bottom line for the robot mode: very nice. Maybe not quite as good as Siege Spinister, but very close. A fun, very playable Deluxe class robot with plenty of nostalgia bonus.

Alternate Mode: Like his G1 predecessor, Legacy Needlenose transforms into an F-16XL Fighting Falcon jet. Just like in robot mode, the jet looks practically identical to the original, just a tad bigger. The transformation is a bit more involved than it was back in 1988, but not terribly complicated, either. Putting the two versions side by side, you’d probably need a moment to figure out which is the modern one and which the classic (putting aside the wear on my G1 Needlenose).

There is one thing, however, where the G1 original beats out the new version: G1 Needlenose actually has a landing gear. Legacy Needlenose, like most of the current jet Transformers, does not. He just sits there on the box underneath the jet that is the folded up robot mode. Not sure why this is a current trend, really, but it bugs me. I want my jets to have landing gears.

Apart from that, though, there is nothing wrong with the jet. It looks great, the Targetmasters can be mounted underneath the wings, and apart from that somewhat suspicious box hanging under the jet, there are no robot bits to be seen. So bottom line: if it had a landing gear, it’d be a great jet mode.

Partners: While Siege Spinister was a brilliant figure, quite a few people complained about the absence of his Targetmasters. That complaint cannot be made about Needlenose, for he has Zigzag and Sunbeam with him, his classic G1 Targetmasters. And they basically ARE the classic G1 figures, just a bit taller and a tiny bit more detailed, but with the same complete lack of articulation. They become guns, that’s all they do. For me, that is more than enough, seeing as they’ll stay in weapon mode anyway.

Remarks: By the time 1988 rolled around, the cartoon was already over, but Generation 1 continued on and quite a few of the new figures found their way into the pages of the Marvel comics. Needlenose was one such character, becoming a member of the Decepticon Mayhem Attack Squad. In the Marvel US timeline, he became an underling of Thunderwing during the Matrix Quest. In Marvel UK, he was killed by Carnivac in revenge for the death of Catilla. Needlenose also featured in the IDW comics, where he was the brother of Tracks (the helmet is a family trait). Ending up on opposite sides of the war, the brothers only reconciled after the war was over.

Needlenose was part of the fan vote for both the Siege and the Earthrise line, but lost both times (to Mirage/Impactor and Runamok, respectively). Hence it took until Legacy Evolution until he finally got a new figure.

While I never much liked the Autobot Double Targetmasters, I was a big fan of the Decepticon trio and had them all as a kid, too. So I am very glad that we have completed the trio in modern times. Whether you wish to use Titans Return Quake as your third or would rather wait for the upcoming Legacy United Quake, is of course, up to you. Either way, though, you need Needlenose. Overall I’d say Spinister is a slightly better figure, but the difference is neglectable, really. Bottom line: a great Deluxe Decepticon jet.

Rating: A-


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