I like Hoist a lot. You wouldn’t necessarily know it from the lack of Hoist at the beginning of this post or the somewhat… abbreviated post he received previously. At that time, December of 2011, he had been released as the original, awesome G1 toy, then a black tow truck in Machine Wars, then repainted from Robots in Disguise Spychanger X-Brawn, and then nonsensically received a release that was identical to Robots in Disguise KB Toys translucent Spy Changer Ironhide.
However, like his eternal mold-partner Trailbreaker, he still hadn’t received a proper update in the Generations line. To add insult to injury, the next year he got the redeco treatment from Trail
breakercutter’s Legends Class toy. As a Hasbro Asia release followed by a Toys R Us exclusive release in the US, he was straight repaint of the overall mold, which means he kept Trail breakercutter’s adorable little face.
There are very, very few immutable rules in Transformers. One of them happens to be: G1 Hoist doesn’t have a mouth. Period. No dice Hasbro. Try again.
When all is said and done, I think the reason Hoist got the shaft with the previous post was a combination of two things. Sure, only having the one toy to take photos of will take a post’s length down considerably, but I had already expounded on Trailbreaker’s lack of updates and as far as Hoist was concerned it was just more of the same. It’s only fair, now that Trailbreaker and Hoist have recently received proper Generations updates, to go with Hoist first this time. Not just that, but Hoist has also leapfrogged Trailbreaker and received not just one, but two and two thirds updates this year.
And therein lies my grand conundrum.
Where in the name of Primus do I display this toy:
Last year ago started an odd fracturing that was then amplified this year. The box sets started with BotCon 2005, Fun Publications’ inaugural efforts as the new stewards of the convention. That set consisted of a coherent theme of post-G1 pre-Beast Wars updates, and primarily because of the wonderful Deathsaurus remains the only set from a BotCon I didn’t attend that I own. The next six years would see mostly coherent themes:
2006 – The much sought after pre-Beast Wars updates for the crew of the Axalon and “Darksyde” Dinobot
2007 – The controversial Classics set that included the three missing (at that time) Seekers; Thundercracker, Thrust, and Dirge
2008 – My first Fun Publications BotCon and my first box set. This was the introduction of the Shattered Glass universe and remains tied with the 2010 set for my favourite.
2009 – I missed this year and out of the box set, I have only gone back and picked up Thunderclash. This set was a look back at Cybertron’s, and specifically Kup’s, past.
2010 – Tied with the Shattered Glass set as my favourite, this was G2: Redux and brought not only G2 to the Timelines universe, but also brought Sky-Byte into that universe with it.
2011 – A return to a favourite universe, the Stunticons make their Animated debut.
2009 was really the first set that was slightly off kilter. Scourge appeared in the box despite not appearing in the past with all the other toys in the set (but how could he, not having been created yet?). It became moot when he was rendered redundant (ouch!) by his Generations release the following year. Other than that, all the other sets are pretty easily displayed, with themes that allow them to be kept together. Like 2009, 2012 caused a slight fracture, but one equally as easy to surmount. The “Invasion” theme had a crossover between the Shattered Glass and Generations universes. Now it was awkward to try to display as a set, so instead I put four of them on the Shattered Glass shelf and the remaining two on the Generations shelves.
Then the BotCon 2013 set hit. The theme, nominally, is Machine Wars. Just based on the concept alone, it was obvious that this could cause some interesting thematic challenges. The original Machine Wars had no real place in fiction when it was created. Due to clear ties with G1 evidenced through on packaging character bio’s it has since been shoehorned into a post-G2 placement. It was pretty easy to expect the Timelines version to follow suit; especially after they had already done their own version of G2. How could they possibly pull this off, though? There’s only twelve Machine Wars toys to choose from. Of those, only three haven’t received Generations updates already.
- Soundwave – Doing Soundwave’s post-G1/G2 form as his Machine Wars “Terror Tank” alt mode would probably not go over well with the fans.
- Hubcap – Obvious choice. Not only has G1 Hubcap not received a Generations update, but Machine Wars Hubcap is pretty widely accepted to be a different ‘bot altogether.
- Megaplex – Another obvious choice. No update coupled with having been created as a clone of Megatron with the purpose of serving as a distraction to the Autobots? Fiction goldmine.
Notice who is not on that list? Here’s a reminder (if you have either fallen asleep through all that or otherwise forgotten the actual subject of the post).
What am I supposed to do with a Machine Wars update of a ‘bot that we already knew was scheduled for a Generations release? I only have so much room, and not every single character can get his own spotlight shelf. Then the Transformers Collectors’ Club tweeted:
“This has always been presented as a Machine Wars Series 2 set. These should be displayed with the KB toys.”
Oh. So these guys aren’t updates, they’re clones made by Timelines Jhiaxus, like some of the Timelines G2 guys. Alrighty then. So, Hoist can hang out with Hoist?
I thought the TFCC and I were going to have to have some words, but it looks like all is good on the display shelves of the ‘Bot Cave.
What’s this then? Oh, just the bio that came with this new Machine Wars Hoist:
“One of the “second series” of Autobots to arrive on Earth, Hoist is eager, jovial, and demands that every Autobot sticks to his maintenance schedule – without exception! Always keen and willing, Hoist provides a warm and friendly environment in his workshop, allowing his fellow Autobots to feel at ease whenever they pass through the doors. In the last decade, Hoist has worked alongside the people of Earth to develop the “Generation 2” process, which was later honed when Nebulan scientists joined the research.”
Not a clone at all. This is an update for the original guy. So, I guess what the TFCC people meant to say was,
“These should be displayed with the KB toys, EXCEPT HOIST, he is inexplicably NOT a clone. p.s. Eric’s display shelves can just suck it.”
Yes, as crisis’ go, this one is very “first world problems” but these two guys are the same person and I don’t exactly have an extra shelf to start a “Random Official Transformers that don’t fit anywhere else. Population: 3”.
Unlike IDW Bumblebee, I can’t very well just put Machine Wars Hoist back in his box. He’s a freaking expensive convention exclusive; besides that… he does actually look good. I really like the combination of his colours, especially in alt mode.
Being a repaint with new head of Generations Kup, he’s a pickup and not a tow truck, which his bio explains away with,
“With alien life forms now well-known on Earth, Hoist no longer felt the need to use his alternate mode as a disguise and so opted to trade in his physical wrecker hook for Cybertronian tractor beam technology. This greatly reduces the strain on his struts when he pulls a haul.”
That being said, he does sport a “W & S Towing” decal in a nod to the Marvel comics’ Sparkplug Witwicky’s Auto Repair and Tow Service.
As far as his robot mode goes, it does a decent job of updating his Machine Wars release but Electro, the other convention exclusive that shares this mold and new head actually looks better. Both he and Electro have a known assembly issue, luckily there’s a handy guide to opening him up and fixing him. Infuriatingly, as if adding to his seeming lack of a place in my display, Hoist also has another assembly issue in his shoulders, one that is far more difficult (read: impossible for me) to correct and causes him not to be able to raise his shoulder all the way with his arms at his sides.
So… yeah, huge QA problems on a figure that really didn’t need to be made in the first place. *sigh* What a dumb problem to have.
The previously mentioned two thirds updates come in the form of Kre-O, not only was one of the Botcon exclusives this year a five pack of Kreons of the boxset toys, but G1 Hoist also got a Kreon.
Luckily the Kre-O universe is its own thing altogether, so it’s only mildly annoying that the G1-ish Hoist Kreon has a mouth. Also, I guess I can just choose to willfully ignore that these two Kreons are most likely the same character as well.
Truth is, I actually hadn’t even thought about that until I wrote that sentence.
Generations! Our boy Hoist finally gets his Generations update courtesy of the IDW Spotlight. Unfortunately that means he’s gone on a diet; IDW just doesn’t do potbellied Autobots or Decepticons. They actually don’t do much in the way of overall silhouette variety. In the IDW Universe, you are either short and awkwardly stocky, medium sized and mostly proportionate and svelte, or gigantic and awkwardly bulky.
Setting aside the loss of Hoist’s bulging midsection and wings, I really like him. I particularly like that his tow rig transforms into his gun.
The Spotlight comic he comes packaged with has a little trouble remembering that Hoist is supposed to be the one in the spotlight. IDW just can’t get enough of Swerve but at least it also includes Sunstreaker and the return of my favourite Insecticon, Bob (still waiting on that Bob toy, Hasbro). In addition it includes the line that instantly made Hoist my favourite IDW Autobot. If there’s anything IDW loves more than Swerve, it’s crippling mental illness.
Self-awareness on this level is such a rarity in mainstream comics these days that I actually applauded when I read that. I always really liked G1 Hoist for being this affable mechanic who was “Jovial, enjoys job and is good at it”. That he is also this grounded yet still amiable ‘bot in the IDW universe is great (well, until IDW decides to randomly kill him, I guess. That’s kind of their schtick). His tow truck alt mode is perfect for his “Maintenance” job title.
Looks like Hoist might be giving Machine Wars Hoist a lift back to his box. In the end, it’s all about the guy in green.
Specifically the green guy with no mouth that turns into a tow truck.