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

US Patent for G1 Windcharger


Tailgate was retooled and redecorated from G1 Windcharger. Tailgate was based on the design credited to Hideaki Yoke (though this may not actually be the case, see our Windcharger article for more). The original US Patent for Swerve (illustrating his center hood scoop and rubsign indent) , titled Reconfigurable toy vehicle (aka Transformers G1 Tailgate) was filed on October 4, 1985 (U.S. Patent No. USD295298 S).


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. Another alteration prevents Swerve's shoulders no longer being able to slide down his sides compared to the original uses of the mold.
Date stamp location: inside backs of legs, and inside of right arm
Rubsign location: center of hood

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.


The US/Japan release of Tailgate has no known 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.
Type 1: "©TAKARA CO., LTD. JAPAN 1974, 1983" stamp in legs, "©HASBRO 74, 83" stamp inside right arm.
Type ?MX: ??


Tailgate was available worldwide in 1986. He was released again in Japan’s Transformers Encore in the set Bumble & Minibots, featuring additional paint applications.
Case Assortments (Item#/Asst#): 1986: Mini Vehicles with Patch (5908/5711.05), 3 per 24; : Mini Vehicles Assortment 3 (5908/5711)
MSRP: $2.99 (1986)
Packaging: Blister card with instructions and Tech Spec on back
Robot Points: 1/2 Autobot
Paperwork included: A random one of ten iron-on patches with “Prizes in Disguise” entry form (early 1986), “Look Inside for a Special Offer!” (late 1986)

Redecos & Retools

Tailgate’s mold has not been re-used.

Character Bio

“Let my fellow mechanical beings go!”

He sometimes has his mind stuck in low gear, believes 55 mph, speed limit is infringement on rights of cars. Garages are prisons to him... doesn't understand Earth machines are not alive. Goes 180 mph, range 600 miles. Uses ferrocobalt magnet under hood to be pulled by and within a few feet of other vehicles, reducing his fuel use to near zero. Prone to overheating.
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