I think I mention this in almost every Transformers post but I’ll say it again quickly here. As kids, Doug and I had a huge Transformers collection. Nowhere near complete but pretty damn big. We were big fans but I was always disappointed by how many Transformer figures didn’t mirror the way that the characters looked in the cartoons and comics. Some of the toys were fantastic and I wish I still had them but I think that lack of consistency between the comics, cartoons and toys planted in me the seeds of resentment towards the toy line. When I was old enough that I was no longer playing with toys my Transformers got the yard sale treatment. No more stupid headless Ironhides in my collection. But as I did with every toy line that I parted ways with, I saved a couple of my favorites. The survivors of my Unicron extinction event like yard sale were Thrust, Windcharger and Gears. Odd choices I know. I do love those three characters and the figures resonated with me for some reason. But how I kept Windcharger over characters like Shockwave, Soundwave, and my Dinobots is beyond me.
I’ve managed to resist the urge to repurchase all of my old Transformers toys but I have taken up collecting the modern era versions of those Generation 1 classic characters. I have purchased new and improved versions of some of those toys that I parted ways with and have even upgraded my Thrust and Windcharger. Gears is probably my favorite of those 3 figures that I held onto and is the only one yet to receive an upgraded figure. I hope they release a new version soon so that I can display him with my modern collection but until then I’m left with just this dinky little 80s one.
It’s kind of embarrassing to admit but the thing I like best about Gears is how cute he is. While other Transformers were cool and badass, this little Gears is just adorable. Some of the other bots that were equivalent to Gears in size like Bumblebee and Cosmos were cute but nowhere near as cute as Gears. His short stocky design was much more appealing than Bumblebee’s scrawny legs and beer gut or Cosmo’s ghetto booty.
I also like how simple these mini-bots were to transform. Four quick movements was all it took. Gears can go from truck to robot and back again in like 5 seconds. I also really like his bright blue and red with silver highlights color scheme. The toy used to have a nice chrome grill as well but I’ve long since lost mine.
I mentioned this in my 2 Windcharger reviews but one of the cartoon/toy inconsistencies that bugged me the most was when characters had completely different faces from one medium to the next. Like Windcharger, Gears had a humanoid face in the cartoon but the toy features a much more robotic visor and mouth plate face. I really like this robot face but I hope a newer version has the cartoon accurate face or better yet swappable faces so you can choose which one you want to display him with.
A couple of extra neat things about Gears: He was one of the original Autobots who crash landed on Earth via the Ark space shuttle. Because of this he got a little bit of face time in the early comics and cartoons before newer character completely pushed him out of the spotlight and into obscurity. Those early appearances helped to make him a favorite of mine. In issue three of the original Transformers comic book Spider-Man showed up to boost sales and he and Gears shared a moment.
In the 2000s comic publishers Devil’s Due and Dreamwave did a series of G.I. Joe and Transformers mash-up mini series’. In one series the Transformers were made to resemble some of the most iconic of Joe and Cobra vehicles. Gears was a Trouble Bubble.
The Gears mold was reused just a year or two after it’s original release. It was repainted red and white to create a new character, Swerve. I never owned the Swerve version and had absolutely no affinity for the character until very recently. Swerve has been given a starring role this year in the Transformers comics published by IDW and he’s quickly become a favorite of mine and is now a toy that I must track down.
I had completely forgotten about it until I googled this image of Gears in his original packaging, but those early mini-bots included a free even mini-ier bot. Doug and I had a bunch of those solid colored little robots but they had totally slipped my mind. I may have to hit up ebay to see if I can track down Gears’s little yellow sidekick.