Beachcomber thumbnail 1
Beachcomber thumbnail 2
+6
images
Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at Young V&A
Japan: Myths to Manga

Beachcomber

Transformer
1985-1987 (manufactured)
Artist/Maker
Place of origin

Beachcomber is an Autobot mini-vehicle, introduced in 1985 the second tranche of this cheaper sub-group of toys. His role with the Autobots was that of a geologist, and he was characterised by his extremely laid-back and peace-loving personality. Ironically, given his pacifist nature, his alternate mode was that of a heavily-armed military vehicle.

Object details

Categories
Object type
Titles
  • Beachcomber (manufacturer's title)
  • Autobot (generic title)
Materials and techniques
Injection-moulded plastic; printed paper
Brief description
Transformer (Autobot), 'Beachcomber'; Takara/Hasbro; Japan; 1985-87
Physical description
Transforming toy, a small robot which can be changed into a four wheel drive M1040 Chenowth "Hellfire" Fast Attack Vehicle. It is made from injection-moulded plastic, it has blue limbs and head (with silver painted eyes), a grey torso and a black roll cage. In car mode it runs on four black rubber tyres. The toy is decorated with printed paper stickers.
Dimensions
  • Length: 5cm (car mode)
  • Width: 3.7cm (car mode)
  • Height: 2.5cm (car mode)
  • Height: 7.8cm (robot mode)
Production typeMass produced
Marks and inscriptions
'© TAKARA / 1984 JAPAN'
Credit line
Given by Jermaine Dacas
Object history
Bought by the donor between 1985 and 1987. Mr Dacas was born 17/10/73 and saved his pocket money to buy the toys.
Historical context
Transformers are alien robots hailing from the planet Cybertron, all of them are capable of assuming an alternate form, usually a vehicle, through a series of folding movements. They are typically divided into two factions: Autobots and Decepticons. The Autobots are heroic, peace-loving and curious about humanity, they are led by Optimus Prime, who typically transforms into an articulated truck. The Decepticons are evil, authoritarian and contemptuous of other life-forms, they are led by the maniacal Megatron, who originally transformed into a realistic-looking handgun.

Initially, the franchise was essentially an American rebrand of two toylines already produced by Japanese toy manufacturer Takara Tomy: ‘Diaclone’ and ‘Microman’. Hasbro had purchased the distribution rights to these lines in the early-1980s. Transformers was launched in the United States and Europe in 1984-85. The enormously popular toys inspired many spin-offs, including several animated television series’, a feature-length animated film (1986), multiple comic books series (including by Marvel, who had co-operated with Hasbro to produce GI Joe comics) and, inevitably, subsequent lines of toys. A series of big budget, live-action films have been produced by Warner Brothers since 2007.
Production
Made by: TAKARA CO
Japan
Subjects depicted
Summary
Beachcomber is an Autobot mini-vehicle, introduced in 1985 the second tranche of this cheaper sub-group of toys. His role with the Autobots was that of a geologist, and he was characterised by his extremely laid-back and peace-loving personality. Ironically, given his pacifist nature, his alternate mode was that of a heavily-armed military vehicle.
Bibliographic reference
Toy Trader; November 1985; April 1986; August 1986
Collection
Accession number
B.107-1994

About this object record

Explore the Collections contains over a million catalogue records, and over half a million images. It is a working database that includes information compiled over the life of the museum. Some of our records may contain offensive and discriminatory language, or reflect outdated ideas, practice and analysis. We are committed to addressing these issues, and to review and update our records accordingly.

You can write to us to suggest improvements to the record.

Suggest feedback

Record createdApril 17, 2000
Record URL
Download as: JSON