I had a pretty good sized Transformer collection as a kid, after G.I. Joe it was probably my second largest collection. Remaining from that collection is I believe 3 figures. I parted with many toys over the years believe it or not but it’s pretty rare when I get rid of everything. I always have to keep my favorite one or two. Walrus Man and a Snow Trooper survived from Star Wars, Macho Man and the Hitman from my wrestlers and when it came to Transformers, who did I save? Optimus? Soundwave? Shockwave? Nope. For some reason I let a ton of cool toys (and a bunch of crappy ones) be sold off off for a dollar or two while I rescued Thrust, Gears and Windcharger. Not to take anything away from those guys, I saved them for a reason, they are cool; but Soundwave they are not. So why did I keep these guys? I dunno. Thrust I guess because he was the only seeker jet I owned out of the bunch of them and I really liked their look. Even if I had owned a Starscream I still would’ve kept Thrust over him: better colors. Gears and Windcharger are a little harder to explain. They are two of the tiniest Transformers I owned with very simple transformations. Flip their legs over, pull out their arms, done. Took two seconds. That may have been part of the appeal actually as I wasn’t a fan of complicated transformations. My major gripe about the old Transformers toys that I’ve mentioned before is that they didn’t look like the source material. I found the blocky, stiff and often cheap designs of the figures didn’t do the characters justice. So that makes it that much odder that I would keep these two who didn’t look like they did in the comics and cartoons. In those versions Gears and Windcharger both had faces: eyes, ears, mouth and nose (well maybe not ears) but in the toy versions they both had face plates like Optimus Prime. This type of inconsistency usually drives me nuts but in this case I happened to thing they looked cooler with the faceplates.
So how does Windcharger rate? Not bad really. He is simple as all hell to transform but that isn’t a bad thing. He looks like a cool car and then he looks like a cool robot. With fewer moving pieces he’s harder to break and I feel I could hand this off to my two year old nephew without fear of his destruction. Plus the kid could transform the toy himself and not have to come running to me every two seconds for help as was the case this past Christmas morning. His design may be simple but who doesn’t like a red sports car that turns into a nifty robot. I am currently bidding on the 2011 version of Windcharger on ebay which is still about the same size as this old one but with a lot more articulation. He has a face this time which I’m actually pretty happy about even though I like the faceplate version it will be nice to have a comic accurate version. Cross your fingers for me that some geek doesn’t swoop in and outbid me at the last minute as is usually the case. 6 out of 10.