As Transformers G1 reached a fever pitch in 1986, Hasbro and Takara rolled out a plethora of new designs. Almost half of the new releases were combiners, such as Wildrider, a Stunticon who transforms into a gray 1984 US-spec Ferrari 308 GTS QV.
Wildrider was originally conceptualized for a Diaclone subseries called “Jizai Gattai”, or Free Combination, which would have included the Stunticons, Combaticons, Aerialbots, Protectobots, and Metroplex. Each team had a theme, each limb figure could combine with any other team leader as any limb, and each leader figure had some sort of base mode, usually, with a spring-loaded vehicle launcher. All the figures could also interact with Metroplex. However, Transformers’ imminent success put Diaclone and Jizai Gattai on ice. It was Transformers’ long term success that saw these designs to completion, however.
Wildrider transforms into a gray Ferrari 308 GTS QV. His car mode is well-detailed, and is identifiable as a targa-topped GTS by the molded seam details around the roof. The U-shaped grille on his rear deck flag him as the US export model, while the additional hood grille of the Quattrovalvole model is covered by his factory applied hood sticker. He features plastic wheels riveted to the body (as opposed to the usual pins). The rivet heads are decorated with a concentric ring to give the appearance of hubcaps, though not accurate to any particular vehicle. Wildrider's transformation is very simple. The hood rotates back on two thim arms to reveal his blocky head, and the legs slide straight down from the rear of the car. His arms are slices of the car's sides that can pivot forward at the shoulder.. He can wield his pistol in a blocky hand in robot mode, or a large dual cannon can be attached to the back of the car to form an “Attack Car”. Like several “Scramble City“-style combiners, his fists are a shallow-molded detail on the inside of his arms, and from the top only appear as horizontal slots in the arm. As a “Scramble City”-style combiner, he can also transform into any combiner’s arm or leg by connecting a hand or foot to the rear of the car and pivoting his head down, or his hood back, respectively. He typically forms Menasor’s left leg.
Wildrider is a fairly sturdy figure, but as with all combiner limbs, care should be taken when removing his head from a combiner team leader. Paint wear on his face is almost inevitable for a Wildrider that has ever been combined.
Wildrider has no production variations, other than a date stamp change when production was moved to Macau.
Wildrider was available in 1986, either individually carded, or as part of a Menasor giftset. Due to the popularity of the combiners, Wildrider was available again in 1987, with or without a random purple Decepticon Decoy. He was available again in 1990 in Europe’s extension of G1, as part of the Classic Stunticons.
Redecos & Retools
Wildrider’s mold has not been re-used, but a prototype redeco was produced for Generation 2. Several of these prototypes exist, including some sealed production mockups.