1986 saw the final wave of Mini Vehicle, though their supply of previous Takara designs was exhausted. Windcharger transforms into a white third-generation Pontiac Firebird Trans Am.

US Patent for G1 Windcharger

Origins

Tailgate was retooled and redecorated from G1 Windcharger. Tailgate was based on the design by Hideaki Yoke. The original US Patent for Windcharger, titled Reconfigurable toy vehicle (aka Transformers G1 Windcharger) was filed on October 4, 1985 (U.S. Patent No. USD295298 S).

Description

Tailgates’s alternate mode is distinguished by his large, smooth plastic wheels, a simulated open T-top roof, and rear window louvers. Like all the former Microchange Mini CAR “big vehicles,” he also shares a similar, very simple, transformation scheme. His arms pull out from the sides, his legs swing down from the rear of the vehicle, and his face is molded directly to the bottom of his chassis plate. His subtle retooling from Windcharger moves the hood scoop from one side to the center, while his robot chest and face are more obviously different. He features a large chest sticker that has been noted to resemble the face of an old radio.

Collector Notes

Tailgate’s chrome upper legs are held between his chest and back by a single thin pin. This pin often shears off, causing his legs to fall out of his body.

Variants

Tailgate’s most notable variant comes from Mexico. All Tailgates produced by Mexican licensee Plasticos IGA use an unaltered Windcharger mold, but Tailgate’s white and green deco.

Availability

Tailgate was available worldwide in 1986. He was released again in Japan’s Transformers Encore in the set Bumble & Minibots, featuring additional paint applications.

Redecos & Retools

Tailgate’s mold has not been re-used.