I don’t remember much about Seaspray from the cartoon, other than that he spoke like he had a mouthful of Listerine, but there’s always been something about the little guy that made me love him. If you asked me to name favorites, he’d easily be in the top ten.
Even though I lost my first Seaspray in the flood that claimed most of my childhood toys, I’ve never forgotten him. Like many of my favorite toys, he’s tied directly to the memories involved in receiving him. My parents bought Tracks for me after a multi-city trip looking for an Optimus Prime. They finally gave up and asked me to choose a substitute. I almost got Blaster, but opted for Tracks at the last minute. They were disappointed that we had to settle for Tracks, but I loved the little blue corvette as if he were Optimus Prime himself. I still have him today, a reminder of that great trip with my Mom & Dad. My Dad bought me Hot Rod the first time we saw him after he and I had gone together to watch the movie. It wasn’t the same day, but Dad still knew which Transformers I’d liked best from the movie. Seaspray was purchased by my Mom and waiting for me in the car after a flurry of shots that I’m still not convinced I needed. For many of my original toys, the memories have become the truly important part while the cool toy has just become a totem to remind me of the events surrounding it. Seaspray was no exception.
While I cherished the toy, I don’t remember much specific about Seaspray from the cartoon. I remember his PSA (wear life-jackets even if they’re lame) and that his “warbly” voice was provided by Alan Oppenheimer (who also performed Mer-Man for MOTU, among many others). While some of you may think my affinity for him is simply post-shot trauma, I’d say it had to be about the design of the original toy. But looking back, there wasn’t much to him. Like all the mini vehicles, he transformed rather simply and had virtually no articulation (just the arms could move), but there was something fun about him. His colors. His look. He had a certain charm.
This Seaspray is more or less an entirely new design with little homage involved. His colors are similar, but aren’t quite the same. His overall look is pretty much different and yet, this figure conveys a sort of charm just like his namesake. When I found him, I had to have him.
While the back of the box seems to indicate this new Seaspray is in movie continuity, Hasbro claims otherwise and insists this is an update of the original. Personally, I don’t care too much about the back of the box. He doesn’t look like a movie transformer, so even if he was, I would still consider him a Universe/Classics figure anyway.
Seaspray’s robot mode is the better of the two. I know a robot probably doesn’t need a lot of fancy diving gear, but it makes Seaspray stand out. His head features the equivalent of goggles and a breathing apparatus. He has flippers that can be folded out from the bottom of his feet. And part of his deck & hull ends up taking on the appearance of two air tanks on his back. While the artwork shows traditional eyes behind the goggles, the toy doesn’t have them. Instead, the light piping is the goggle’s visor itself.
Seaspray included two missile launchers that can be placed in multiple configurations. They are side mounted cannons in his alt mode and if you place them in that same spot in his robot mode, they’ll be on the back of his forearms. The pegs are also the right size for Seaspray to hold them in either hand.
While I’m not entirely familiar with standard articulation in a Transformers toy, Seaspray seems to have plenty of range. His head, shoulders, hips, and ankles all have a hinge joint and a swivel joint placed in close enough proximity to each other that they form a de facto ball joint. The transformation also leaves him with swivels at the biceps, thighs, and calves as well as hinges at the elbows and knees. His wrists feature a swivel joint as well. And I’m not sure if it counts as articulation but you have the hinged flippers and the hinge/swivels on the shoulder propellers. Continue to Page 2…