Tuesday, 6 September 2011
W is for Windcharger
The Winning Toy
Generation: Generation One
Windcharger's robot mode is pretty solid really, especially considering that the toyline that had just ended at the time was Energon, which whilst being fun, didn't have the greatest looking robots aesthetically, by today's standards anyway.
Windcharger's robot mode is mostly red with black parts (such as the arms, legs, head and some other small details and some greay on the upper legs and some detailing as well. Windcharger's Autobot insignia is found on the dead center of his chest (as well as a small one on his left wrist from his licence plate)
Windcharger's torso features a lot of sculpted details like pipes and other internal car parts rearranged to resemble ahumaoid chest and abdominal area. His groin area is silver and black with red lights on either side.
Windcharger's head consists of a silver face with sculpted eyes, nose, mouth and chin, with the eyes being concealed behind a translucent dark blue visor. His face is surrounded by a black and red helmet with an indent on the center, leading to a cap-peak that leads to the visor. His head resembles Overdrive's more than Windcharger's traditional looks.
Wincharger's shoulders are connected to the torso by a pivot and hinge joint combination allowing free movement (assuming there's no obstructions). The vehicle mode wheels hide a pivot joint that leads to the upper arms allowing as free movement as you require sideways. In the middle of his upper arm he has a pivot joint that enables it to rotate 360 degrees and then leads to a hinge that allows him to bend his arm at an elbow joint.
Windcharger's hands are connected to the lower arms by a ball joint that enables them to be folded inwards and rotated as much as needed. His fingers are also articulated to a small degree with his index finger being able to move independantly of the others by a pivot joint, and the middle, ring and pinky fingers connected together and able to move on a pivot as one. The thump is unable to move.
Windcharger's lower arms feature large-ish holes on them where you can put his rehicle mode roof to act as a shield. He also features a smaller hole in the palms of both hands which enables him to clip his weapon into.
Windcharger's upper legs are connected to the groin area by a hinge and pivot join that enables him to raise them outwards by about 90 degrees (obstructions withstanding) and can enable him to raise them forwards and back as far as possible as well. He has another pivot joint near the top of the upper legs that allows them to rotate if needed (for balance reasons mostly). The lower leg is connected to the upper leg by a couple of hinge joints that allows them to bend inwards and backwards (though the backwards folding hinge is a bit stiff). His feet are connected to the bottom of the legs by a ball joint each which gives it some rotation (for balance again mostly).
Windcharger's vehicle doors become a side skirt in robot mode, which could fictionally be used to hold more weapons if you want.
Windcharger turns into a realistic and liscenced red soft top Honda S2000 sports car.
In this mode Windcharger features highly accurate detailings, such as his headlights, forwards grill, exhaust pipes, moving steering wheel, sculpted fuel intake, indicator lights, emergency lights, radio antennae, folding chairs (so you can throw things into the boot), gears, an opening boot, windshield wipers, side mirrors, treaded tires, spoked hubcaps and other such details.
Windcharger features the Honda logo on the very front of the vehicle and on the boot, and the Honda S2000 logo on the sides as well, behind the indicators.
Windcharger's licence plate shows an Autobot insignia and the letters "WNDCGR" an obvious abbreviation for "Windcharger".
Windcharger feature's two posisble roofs for his vehicle mode, a folded down one that just plugs into the holes behind the seats, or a soft top roof (that would fictionally be seen to fold out from the folded version) that connects into the same holes as the previous one and into a small gap on the windscreen as well. This roof features a rear window as well.
The character of Windcharger was originally for the first series of Transformers toys in the Mini-bot subline (along with characters like Bumblebee, Cliffjumper, Huffer, Brawn, Gears and Hubcap). Sadly however, out of the batch who appeared on screen (ie all but Hubcap) Windcharger seemed to be the least used. He appeared sporatically through the G1 Cartoon until his off-screen death in the G1 Movie, where he was seen along with Wheeljack's corpse being moved by Arcee to make room for the catapult weapon...Though he did appear in a background scene later, but that was hardly uncommon for G1 to do. Windcharger also appeared in all the G1 based comic series, but has yet to make a major appearance as of yet. Windcharger tends to utilise a magnetic power in his appearances.
Windcharger has recieved a few toys over the years. His original toy from G1 was a Mini-bot (as mentioned earlier) which turns into a red TransAm Firebird and was later repainted or retooled into several other characters including Tailgate, Rook and Camaro, he was also used for the basis for Shattered Glass Rook, whom is very easy to make a custom toy of. Windcharger also obviously recieved this toy as well, but was named Overdrive in Japan, and came with an exhaust pipe barrel on his weapon, turning it into a gun rather than a shield as well as die cast metal, like with all Binaltech toys. The Alternators/Binaltech toy was also repainted/retooled as Arcee, Decepticharge and was intended to become a new toy for Black Arachnia and acted as the bases for the Kiss Players character Legion. Windcharger's recently recieved another new toy from the Reveal the Shield line which emulates his original toy but is actually a hybrid of a Camaro and Mustang in design. This new toy even has built in magnets to emulate his ability from fiction.
The name Windcharger has been used for the Japanese name for Energon Perceptor but nowhere else, other than on characters that are connected to or meant to be the G1 character
Is he Cool?
I have to admit, I have a bit of bias for Windcharger, he was the first Alternator's toy I bought and he got me in the mood for collecting figures on mass again. This was also the sort of time when the Movie was announced and was well into my mind (in 2005) so with his realistic alternate mode and fantastic robot mode (for the time) I figured that he could be what the movie figures would look like in time (I was proven wrong of course lol)
Now then, other than my personal reasons for liking him, I still think he's a very cool figure. He features an amazing vehicle mode that is even fun! (not very many car modes are that fun if your honest) and his robot mode works as an homage to both the G1 character of the same name and Overdrive as well.
If you can get this figure, or any of his repaints (I personally have Windcharger and Arcee, whom comes with the full sized gun barrel and the hard-top roof rather than Windcharger's ones) and you can get them for a reasonable price, then I'd really recommend them to anyone.