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with Muzzle

Series: Generation 1
Allegiance: Autobot
Categories: Small Headmaster
Year: 1988

Truth is revealed in the smallest detail.
Tough, no-nonsense type. Sometimes breaks rules in order go get what he wants. Works best when he works alone. As comfortable driving down a dark alley as he is on a well-lit, six-lane superhighway. Binary-bonded to Muzzle, a Nebulan private detective with an eye for detail. Carries two photon pistols and a plasma blaster with an infrared sight. Also equipped with visual and audio sensors. Usually gets by with just cool-headed logic.

Robot Mode: Unlike the way he was mostly protrayed in the comics, Nightbeat's toy incarnation makes for a very lean, slender robot. He has an almost female air to him, especially in combination with his face, which is one of the reasons, I guess, why he was turned into a female Autobot for the Japanese market. But I digress. In robot mode Nightbeat has what was, for the time, quite decent posability. The detailing hails mostly from the stickers, as with most G1 figures, but since these are new ones from Reprolabels, that isn't a problem, either.

Nightbeat's head is a Headmaster, but unlike the first wave of Headmasters it's not only composed of the actual Headmaster figure, but also the driver's seat from the car mode, which functions as a helmet, as well as two smaller weapons that serve as antenna. Lots of parts to lose, in other words, but in this case here Nightbeat is complete. As his primary weapon he carries a black blaster rifle. All in all Nightbeat is a very decent robot, especially considering his time, so no real complaints on this front.

Alternate Mode: Nightbeat transforms into a blue sports car with flames painted on the sides (stickers, really). Like with all Headmasters, the vehicle mode offers a seat for the Headmaster robot, who functions as driver and uses the robot mode's helmet as a driver's seat. The car looks decently realistic, even though most of the details (headlights, the flames, etc.) are once again stickers and the windows aren't transparent.

The car mode can be armed with all of Nightbeat's weapons. The big rifle can fit into the roof of the car, while the two smaller guns that serve as antenna in robot mode can be put on the hood. The latter looks a lot better, as the big rifle on the roof seems a bit... too much. The small guns on the hood look pretty nifty, though. You can just imagine them popping up and opening fire on unsuspecting Decepticons. So to sum it up: A very decent car mode, no complaints on this front, either.

Partners / Add-Ons: Nightbeat's Headmaster partner is the Nebulon Muzzle, described as a private detective in his bio, who transforms into his head. Unlike the first wave Headmaster figures Muzzle is completly non-posable and offers very little detailing, either. Best to leave him in head-mode or inside the car mode.

Remarks: Nightbeat never made an appearance in the American cartoon series, but became quite the famous bot nevertheless for being one of the favorite characters of Transformers uber-scripe Simon Furman, who first introduced him in the Marvel UK comics and quickly brought him over to the US comics as well. Nightbeat, in his role as the Autobot PI, also features in the current IDW line of comics, once again written by Furman. Nightbeat did feature in the Japanese Masterforce series, though, but with a different colour scheme and a different name. Here he was Minerva, a female Autobot, or rather a female human wearing an Autobot-built Transector in her role as Headmaster Junior.

As a figure Nightbeat is pretty good for his time, offering a good deal of play value with no flaws worth mentioning. From today's standpoint he might seem a bit simple and plain, but considering that this figure is twenty years old (and where is 20th Anniversary Nightbeat anyway? Oh right, he'll be an upcoming figure from the Transformers Collectors' Club), he holds up quite well. The only thing where he's really showing his age is his colour. Nightbeat used to be blue and still is underneath his stickers (which I peeled off to replace them). Most of his blue paint has faded into a kind of turquoise, though. Doesn't really hurt him any, just worth mentioning.

So to sum this review up: Nightbeat is a decent figure, representing a fan favourite comic character, and holds up pretty good for his age. You're unlikely to get him cheap (at least with all the parts complete), but if you're a G1 fan and get the opportunity, you should definitely grab Nightbeat.

Rating: B+
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