Soon Forget: Generations Nightbeat

This is the latest in a series (of indefinite length and regularity) of blog posts memorializing cancelled toys. Our figure today is Hasbro's Transformers: Generations Nightbeat.

Now, there was a Generations Nightbeat, under the "Thrilling 30" heading in 2014. It was retooling of Goldbug, but that wasn't the original plan.

When solicitations for Nightbeat first came out (him, Windblade, and Jhiaxus), the figure was not using the Bumblebee mold, but rather Reveal the Shield Jazz!

This was a logical choice, since the original 1988 Nightbeat also turned into a Porsche. Jazz's speakers would have been replaced with spotlights, suiting a police/detective character like Nightbeat.

Even if that image had never surfaced, we'd have gotten at least one clue to its existence: the toy-exclusive Robots in Disguise #26, included as a pack-in with the figure, clearly depicted Nightbeat with the Jazz body. So clearly the change of bodies was made pretty late in development.

Bonus fun fact! In IDW's More Than Meets the Eye #43, Nightbeat joins a few other Autobots on an excursion to Earth (sort of), using his holomatter avatar (the light-show puppet Autobots use when they need to look like people) to get around. Many of the avatars seen in the comic are inspired by pop culture characters - Vector Prime, for instance, has been shown to resemble Doctor Who - and Nightbeat, having a bit of a "grizzled detective" personality, had a holomatter avatar based on Detective Chief Inspector John Luther: you know, Cats star Idris Elba.

And while that makes perfect sense based just on the character's personality, it's either a second layer of meta-joke or a beautiful moment of perfect alignment that Nightbeat's original mold was shared with one other character, in Japan: Minerva. Or, as they romanized her name on every bit of packaging, "Minelba." Min-Elba, Idris Elba... there's definitely something there.

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4 Responses to Soon Forget: Generations Nightbeat

  1. Ai Muhao says:

    I remember when that Nightbeat was released, and people were puzzled as to why the Goldfire Bumblebee mold was used in place of Reveal the Shield Jazz, especially since, as you say here, the RtS Jazz would've done a fine job as Nightbeat. I wonder if it was so that the yellow bit on the chest could act as a visual homage to the old Headmaster toy's flipdown chestplate where you could see their stat numbers.

    On another note, the Goldfire Bumblebee mold (or rather the Nightbeat retool) was later used in Japan as Minerva's teammate Goshooter, for a little bit more trivia fun. If I can dig up my copy, and somehow get my hands on Legacy Minerva, all I'd need is a new version of Cab and I could have the three Headmaster Juniors alongside Legends God Ginrai fighting Legacy Black Zarak and Power of The Primes Darkwing and Dreadwind as Buster and Hydra.

    • That'd be a really neat little collection.

      • Ai Muhao says:


        It was also luckily not as expensive as it would be if I didn't live in South-East Asia, so getting Japanese only stuff like God Ginrai or the Legends versions of Overlord (which came with the sculpted in Godmaster engines to better resemble the original toy and anime) wasn't too bad in regards to shipping.

        Conversely, getting stuff exclusive to the US like Minerva...

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