The Decepticon Auto Rollers, of which Autojetter is (sort of) a member, have a rather interesting history. In 1995, at the tail-end of Generation 2, two Decepticon toys were released that made up the Auto Rollers sub-group. Their main gimmick was that they auto-transformed when rolled. As evidenced by the 1995 Sears Catalog, the two Decepticons, Dirtbag and Roadblock, were not to be the end of the Auto Rollers.
Yep, you read that correctly. The two Decepticons were to be repainted into Sgt. Hound and General Optimus Prime. Oh, G2, you never cease to entertain.
Unfortunately, before they could be released Generation 2 was cancelled and sadly the Seargeant and the General were never to see the shelves. What wasn’t apparent by the image above is that these four weren’t going to be the entirety of the Auto Rollers either. There were actually two more molds that were going to be released and were it not for Beast Wars II, we might have never known. With three exceptions, the Japanese exclusive follow-up to Beast Wars was a toyline was repainted or remolded from toys released within previous series. We were given not just repaints of Roadblock and Dirtbag, but suprisingly the never-released other two Auto Roller molds as well. It was this fact that made me buy Autojetter. If there’s two things I can’t resist it’s some quirky toy history and some G2.
Now, Autojetter is only “sort of” a member of the Decepticon Auto Rollers because he’s actually a member of the Predacon Autorollers. Being a Beast Wars series, Beast Wars II featured the evil Predacons rather than the evil Decepticons. To that end, Autojetter has a Predacon rub sign, not that you would know in robot mode. It would end up on his chest when he transforms but instead it gets covered by the cockpit of his alt mode. Instead, you can see it on the underside of his alt mode. To activate his auto-transformation gimmick, you adjust the switch on his alt mode’s tail to the left or right then roll him on a smooth surface.
Putting the switch in the middle allows you to “lock” his transformation in place in either mode. A rather decent F-18 in alt mode, the only problem is that his wings have tabs but don’t actually lock into place. Basically the only thing keeping them in place is gravity; were he to perform a barrel roll, his wings would simply swing loose.
Of course, loaded up with his enormous missiles his aerodynamic profile is already pretty bad so I guess barrel rolls aren’t really a consideration for him most of the time.
Due to his auto-transformation’s gearing mechanism being housed in his feet, he shares the other Autorollers complete lack of leg articulation; though he does have very good arm articulation.
The other gimmick of the line, as you might be able to tell from the Sears Catalog image, is big honkin’ missiles with launchers for everyone. This pretty much makes Autojetter’s complete lack of hands ok.
One cool thing about Autojetter is that, unlike the other Autorollers who utilize spring-loaded launchers, his are actually pressure launchers using sliders.
I really like his headsculpt too. Not content with just very good light piping, he also has details molded into his eyepiece itself.
I will admit that I managed to pick this guy up pretty cheap, but I like him enough I think I’m going to hunt down the rest of his Predacon sub-group.