The second series of Generation 1 Autobot Cars in 1985 picked up where the first series had left off by including many of the pre-Transformers figures that did not make the first lineup, such as Hoist, Toyota N30 Hilux 4x4 pickup truck (sold in the US under the simple name “Toyota Pickup”) tow truck.
Hoist, like all the Autobot Cars thus far, was originally released in Takara’s Diaclone as Car Robot Hilux Wrecker Type Type. This version included a small plastic and die-cast driver who could sit in the cavity in the center of the truck’s cab. This version was released in either red or blue with a yellow tow lift. The green and orange color scheme selected for Hoist came from a later Gig Diaclone / Trasformers release. The Diaclone versions can be identified by the word “WRECKER” in large white letters down the caution-striped side sticker, although some transitional samples bearing the lettering exist as part of Japan’s 1985 Transformers lineup.
Hoist transforms into a Toyota pickup, equipped with an orange dolly-type towing lift mounted in the truck’s bed. The addition uses the two pegs to attach Hoist’s wings to simulate emergency flasher lights, and has a curved track for the towing dolly. The dolly itself features a diamondplate texture and two non-rolling wheels. Most Autobot Cars can fit on the dolly for towing, or it can be folded up flat on top of the truck’s bed. To add a sense of realism to the stout truck design, he features a chrome grill and wheels, transparent windshield, and “Desert Dog” tires, a real brand of off-road tire, which he shares with Optimus Prime. A large amount of die-cast metal used in his hood and feet give the toy a considerable heft compared to his wave-mates. His transformation is somewhat unusual, but results in a distinctly Diaclone-looking robot mode. He features a different, slightly more traditional head sculpt than his mold-mate Trailbreaker, with two separate eyes and a smaller mouth plate. He also has two orange “wings” that can be pegged on to his towing lights. His unusual accessory set also includes a rectangular scanner which may be pegged into the back of his head, fists that can be weakly fired with tabs on his wrists, and two different pairs of missiles that can replace his fists. His towing device, which fits like a backpack in robot mode, has two slots which can clip in either type of missile behind his shoulders for storage or decoration, much like the slots on Trailbreaker’s topper.
Hoist’s mold is as robust as it looks, and he is not particularly prone to the breakages and defects that plague many of his wave mates.
Like many of his wave mates, however, Hoist has a number of production variations. His mold-predecessor Trailbreaker paved the way for many of the improvements to the design the previous year. However, a number of international variations exist, including a Mexican variant that uses a green-and-orange Trailbreaker head.
Hoist was available worldwide in 1985. Hoist was reissued in Japan in 2001 as part of Collector’s Edition packed with Trailbreaker as a convention exclusive. Hoist was reissued again in the U.S.in 2003 through Toys ’Я’ Us’ Commemorative Edition line.
Redecos & Retools
Hoist’s mold was first used in 1982 to create Diaclone’s Car Robot No. 5 4WD Hilux in three colors: black, blue, and yellow. This mold was retooled to produce Car Robot No. 8 Hilux Wrecker Type, which was in turn redecoed and sold in the Car Robot W Set. The black 4WD Hilux version was used in 1984 to create Trailbreaker.