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with Nightstick

Series: G1 Reissues Commemorative Series
Allegiance: Autobot
Categories: Targetmaster
Year: 2004

Either help me destroy my enemies or stand out of my way.
Fellow Autobot warriors find it difficult to maintain friendly conversations with this quick-tempered, easily provoked Autobot, but Ricochet has an uncommonly strong sense of justice. Has the most accurate marksmanship of the Autobots. Can hit a tin can from 10 kilometers. Shoulder mounted automatic shell cannon fires shots at rate of 30 per second.

Prelude: Ricochet is a repaint with some minor retooling of G1 Jazz / Meister, so this review here will focus mostly on the differences between the two figures.

Robot Mode: In robot mode Ricochet pretty much reverses Jazz' paint job, featuring black car parts instead of white ones, while the robot bits hidden in car mode are now white instead of black. He also adds some chromed gold to the color mix (where Jazz had chromed silver) and his face is also painted gold instead of the grey/silver one Jazz had. The flames on his chest / hood are another difference, of course, as they replace Jazz' racing stripes.

Colors and stickers aside, though, there are no actual changes to the figure itself, at least none that are visible in robot mode (see below). The only real change, of course, is the Targetmaster. Apart from the two weapons Jazz had, a rifle and a shoulder-mounted missile launcher, Ricochet gets a third weapon in the form of a Targetmaster companion. Nightstick, as the name implies, is pretty much the exact same figure as the Targetmaster companion of Cyclonus of the same name and transforms (or rather, folds) into a weapon. The only change made when compared to the original Nightstick is that the weapon mode's handle has been modified so that Ricochet can hold it despite his much smaller fist holes. Ricochet can alternatively also mount Nightstick's weapon mode on his shoulder.

Bottom line: still an excellent robot mode despite very limited articulation (arms only) and a good-looking repaint. Thumbs up.

Alternate Mode: Ricochet also becomes a Porsche, of course, but unlike Jazz he is mostly black and has flames on his hood (Hot Rod is thinking about a lawsuit). Interestingly enough the flames were the only pre-applied sticker on this figure, don't ask me why. No other changes except on the rear spoiler, where a plug-in has been added to Nightstick can be mounted in weapon mode. Apart from that it's still the same excellent car mode it was in 1984, when the emphasis was still clearly on realistic car modes, complete with die cast metal and rubber tires. And Porsches do look good in black, too.

Remarks: While most of the early G1 figures saw repaints early on or even shared a mold between multiple figures (the G1 Seekers, Prowl / Smokescreen / Bluestreak, etc.) Jazz was one of the few exceptions. That wouldn't do, Takara in Japan thought, and gave us a (mostly) black repaint of Jazz called Stepper, who appeared late in the 1987 Headmaster line-up. He was given a Targetmaster partner (pretty much a direct copy of Cyclonus' partner Nightstick) and briefly appeared in the Headmasters manga. 16 years later he was reissued in Takara's TF Collection series and the following year he finally saw his first Western release under the name Ricochet. He has no cartoon appearances to his name, but did turn up in several comic books.

Targetmaster gimmick aside, Ricochet is nothing more and nothing less than a repaint of G1 Jazz. Personally that is more than enough for me, being a huge fan of both G1 and Jazz and the new colors really look good on the figure. So unless you're really not a fan of early G1 figures, Ricochet is good catch.

Rating: B+
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