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Transformers Generations
by yo go re

What with movie Optimus Prime demanding people's faces and executing surrendering enemies, and Drift-chan being a former Decepticon, it may at times seem like the Autobots are getting darker and more violent. But here, from the '80s, is an Autobot so brutal, so vile, so threatening, that even the seas themselves pray for relief from... wait, what? His name is what? Okay, never mind.

No Decepticon can get past the naval defense of Seaspray. Using his ultra powerful sonar systems to detect incoming underwater attacks, the Autobot waits for the next intruder breach. Even when the lone wolf is far from the Autobot base, he remains vigilant at sea.

In 2010, we got an updated version of Seaspray; that was done as part of the movie line, but at the point when it had started including toys that were clearly just updated G1 characters, not movieverse incarnations. Although that toy was designed with the intention of being the original Seaspray all grown up, the on-package bio and the comics emphatically made him a movie character. So now, thanks to the "Titans Return" portion of the Generations line, we get a Seaspray whose placement in the story is unambiguous.

Seaspray, the old toy, was a fairly skinny robot with a squarish bump on his torso. The comics and the cartoon both interpreted this by making him a chubby little cubby all stuffed with fluff. Following that lead, this new toy is thick and blocky. His torso isn't round at all, opting instead to look like a heavy cube with arms and legs. He again has a bump on his stomach, but you can remove it to serve as a gun if you want him to be slightly skinnier. Molded on the inside of both his arms are a series of small squiggles - if you translate them from the Autobot lettering, they read "Alanna," a (misspelled) reference to the alien woman Seaspray fell in love with. He's a sailor, and he's got his girl's name tattooed on him!

The toy retains the '80s colorscheme, rather than trying to get darker and more "realistic" as the 2010 version did. The torso is pure white, with a pair of stickers near the edges that add red and silver. The yellow used for his head and legs is slightly pale, with hints of pink in it, while the blue tends toward a brighter dark teal.

Like the original toy, Seaspray has massive feet, each almost as large as his torso. There are no rocker joints to keep the feet flat during posing, but they really don't need it. The figure has hinged knees, swivel thighs, balljointed hips, balljointed elbows, balljointed shoulders, and a swivel head. Turning the head is nearly impossible, given the way it's hidden in among his altmode kibble. His stomach-gun does not have a standard peg, rather attaching to the toy's wrist via a thin tab. Either wrist, so he can aim at enemies on either side.

Converting Seaspray to his altmode isn't quite as easy as it was in 1985, but it's not difficult at all. The toughest thing will be figuring out how to fold his legs away, because the instruction sheet isn't very clear on what it wants you to do. Whether you want to leave his robo-tummy on or not, you'll have to remove it to properly convert him: the head doesn't actually go anywhere, it just gets covered by the world's most ineffective flap, and the edge of that flap ends up tucked beneath the gun when it's attached.

Seaspray's altmode is a hovercraft, in keeping with tradition. It's 3¾" long, a bit less than 1⅞ wide, and about 1¾" high to the tips of the propeller blades. The blades can be spun, but they're independent of one another; it's going to forever bug me when they're not synched in the same position. The pieces of the toy that contact the ground are just slightly lower than the edges of the boat's "skirt," so it actually does give a sense that it's hovering. Although the feature is undocumented in the instructions, since this is a Titans Return figure, it can accommodate a Titan Master: the aft opens up, and whoever you want can sit in there; there's even a notch where the tiny figure's head fits.

There were third-party groups out there trying to make Masterpiece-compatible Seasprays, but thanks to this official Hasbro release, that now seems like a total waste of effort. Legends Class Seaspray is a lot of fun.

-- 08/01/17

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