Four minibots from Pablo, five variants altogether uncovered, and the most important detail - not all of them were Beachcombers. The images I was sent included another blue and yellow Beachcomber, the two red and yellow Beachcomber variants, and remarkably, an all-black Windcharger KO with unique stickers too. If there were at least 4 Beachcomber colour schemes, goodness only knew what was waiting to be uncovered for the bootleg Spanish Windcharger mould.
|All black Spanish KO Windcharger|
It doesn't take much to conclude that this all black colour scheme on Windcharger is meant to invoke images of K.I.T.T from Knight Rider, especially in light of these bootleg minibots being revealed as vintage-era products and not from 2006 as originally assumed. This black Windcharger is completely devoid of chrome, paint application or metal. It also features much less moulding detail than a Hasbro or Takara Windcharger, notice the lack of vents on the rear windows and the one-piece sunroof. There's no separate grill piece either, it's all integrated.
Words cannot express how brilliant this looks absolutely all in black, I had the feeling I was handling something really very special, even with the distinct lack of moulding features on the robot face. I realise there are other black Windchargers out there, the most commonly known being the black Japanese version of the keychain, but that's got the chrome and face paint, so while its slightly better quality and finish is a factor, I dislike the fact that its rarity is a contrivance. Any modern product that is manufactured in numbers designed to make it scarce and expensive doesn't interest me as much as a bizarre vintage obscurity from somewhere not often associated with interesting variations, whose rarity is a result of history, whose desirability now stands in stark contrast to its image as a cheap knock-off when it was first released.
|Takara/Seven Windcharger kit vs G1 Windy|
The other nearly-all black Windcharger of note is the black/red model kit from Takara/Seven co-released with the Brawn model kit that is heavily based on a Bumblebee (more HERE). You can see from the above picture that it's significantly taller in robot mode (and longer in car mode) than a normal Windcharger, as well as having red highlights. That brings us back to Señor K.I.T.T-charger:
|Black KO Spanish Windy vs Iga yellow "Tailgate"|
|Two of the best Windchargers, two of the best ever mini variants|
Not only is the Spanish KO black Windcharger the only one of the three to really be all-black (for better or worse, depending on your preference), but it also does not have an unsightly keychain loop on its head and it's the same size as the official G1 Windcharger mould. I will admit I am a huge fan of the completely unadorned shadowy black look on him, and therefore the missing factory stickers on his chest and rear windows (you'll see those soon) are not missed.
|Tip of the iceberg|
Obviously I wasn't able to leave it at that, I had to know more. I asked if Pablo knew the name of the company responsible for making these bootlegs, or if he could shed any light on just how many variants he remembered. He said:
"In the same collection exists a mini hovercraft."
|Pic courtesy of Argus - End of Part 5|
All the best