Today I will be reviewing Seaspray. Well sort of. This figure is not an officially licensed Hasbro product even though the figure is clearly the Hasbro owned character Seaspray from the Transformers. I have reviewed some bootleg toys in the past, which are toys made using a popular character’s likeness without the authorization of the license holder. Bootlegs are usually made of cheap plastic, have horrible paint applications and are found in dollar stores and China towns all over North America. Then there are the international bootlegs as well which are always good for a laugh. You may recall the Batman and Nightwing pack that Miguel brought me back from Mexico. Bootlegs can be fun to collect for the sheer awfulness and absurdity of them. Not all bootlegs are bad though, some can be pretty cool.
This figure is in a different category than those silly pieces of mass-produced crap. It’s true he’s not an official Transformers release and that he is clearly intended to be a well-known Transformers character but this isn’t just some crappy repaint of a previously released toy molded in cheap plastic. This is a work of art. This is what has become known as a “third-party” figure. It’s a toy produced by fans for fans and its made with respect and admiration of the original toy which the figure is based on.
Like many kids in the 80s I loved the Transformers. I loved the comics, I loved the cartoons, I loved the characters, but the toys sometimes left something to be desired. The toys often didn’t resemble the characters from the TV show and they were clunky and bulky with limited movement. Transformers have improved over the years as far as sculpting and articulation goes but most of the newer toys are based on the live-action movies and the numerous stylized reboots of the animated series. What I, and many other fans want, are modern versions of the characters from our childhood with good likenesses and updated articulation. Hasbro has delivered that to us to some degree but they’ve been doing it at a very slow pace over the past few years. Their Classics/Generations/Universe line of toys is largely made of classic characters constructed in a modern fashion just like we wanted but unfortunately only a few of those come out each year. The toy stores are still overflowing with movie related and “Prime” figures. So finally some fans who were tired of waiting for Hasbro to release the toys they wanted took it upon themselves to release the toys. And so numerous “third-party” companies have sprung up releasing high quality, cartoon accurate figures of the beloved Generation 1 Transformers. I have previously reviewed a third party Bombshell whom they called Stormbomb, and Huffer whom they called Rager. The name changes are necessary to cover their butts legally I presume. The third party figures have made excellent additions to my Transformers collection and over-shadow many of the official Hasbro products.
This figure was produced by third party company called, iGear. They’ve named their version of the character simply SPRAY. Spray is not a home-run in the way that Bombshell and Huffer were, he’s merely okay. And these third party figures are produced in limited numbers and are not cheap so when I’m paying through the nose for these things I have very high expectations. Spray failed to meet those expectations and so I cannot recommend you shelling out your cash to acquire one. But that’s not to say that this is a bad figure. Things I like about this figure are: Its size. It’s pretty much exactly the same size as the original 80s toy. I like the colors. They’ve done a very good job of recreating the colors of the original. The articulation. This was the worst part about the vintage figure. His feet were conjoined into a massive clump which allowed for zero leg articulation. He had stiff arms, a stiff neck and was altogether stiff. This new version has all kinds of articulation which allows for a variety of poses and makes him more fun to play with. His legs are separate and even his ankles are articulated so he can kick Decepticons in the face with ease. He’s got elbow joints which allow for some good poses as well as his head can finally swivel. Almost all the joints are ball jointed which allows for maximum posability.
Things I don’t like about this figure are: Its size. While I like that it’s the same as the original I always thought the original was too small. Seaspray was one of the micro-bots like Windcharger and Gears who only came up to Optimus Prime’s knee. It made no sense for a hovercraft to be so small. I can accept a little bit of disproprtionism ( I make up words as I need to) but I think that Igear should have stepped up and fixed the problem by upping the size. Hasbro recently released their own modern version of Seaspray (which sucked. There was far too much Michael Bay influence) but at least they made him bigger. I actually thought he was a little too big. I don’t want my mini-cons to become giants, I just don’t want them to be midgets. I think the Classics Bumblebee was released in the perfect size and that all the other mini-cons should have been released in that scale going forward.
The other thing I really don’t like about this figure is his face. The whole point of these third party figures I thought was to give us cartoon accurate versions of the characters. In this case the 80s Seaspray toy came much closer to nailing the animated look than this Spray figure does. This face isn’t bad but I don’t know why they wouldn’t go with a cartoon accurate one. For this reason alone I cannot be 100% satisfied with this figure. The size I can look past but the face is the deal breaker.
The hovercraft mode is cool and pretty similar to the original but who cares. 6 out of 10.