The Wendy's chain of fast food restaurants cashed in on Gobots' brief popularity by offering free figures with certain meal packages in 1984. These figures were odd in two significant ways; firstly the six designs were among the few Gobots figures actually designed by Tonka (and the only ones of those that had genuine robot modes); secondly, rather than making simplified versions of the line's better known characters instead fresh Gobots were created especially for the promotion - complete with short bios, something retail Gobots lacked entirely.

Beamer was among this precious elite. Alright, so his character was that he's basically Turbo but at least it was there.


Beamer is the only one of the Wendy's figures to have a genuinely recognisable alternate mode. Even if the name wasn't a give-away he's recognisable as a BMW M1, which is nice and different. The M1 is something of a forgotten model among the 1980s supercars and it's nice to get a transforming one. With the caveat of being such a simple toy it's not badly rendered with some heavy sculpted details and yellow painted windscreen and side windows. Obviously the wheels are simple and plastic but it's largely passable.

The only problem is that it's yet another red Guardian car - was Sideburn running the line at the time or something? At least the black trim adds a little variety, though the construction means this is broken by two notches used to pull the arms out.


Like all the Wendy's figures Beamer's transformation is very simple - not surprising considering the figure was intended for ages three and up compared to the main line's five and up. These things would need to be sturdy too; if a child broke their Scooter figure they'd be safely back at home. These figures would have been played with in the restaurant and the last thing staff would want is to be busy helping with or replacing toys. So Beamer gets the standard pull back legs, pull out arms, stand on end transformation.

The result has some real cheap-and-cheerful charm. Once again there's a fair bit of raised detail, though sadly there's also a massive copyright stamp on what would be the robot's shin. One other necessary quirk is a large screw hole right above the robot's head. This is curiously prescient - the same rough layout of a huge box above the shoulders surrounding the head would feature predominantly on the 1988 Japanese exclusive Winner Robo figures. Indeed, Beamer is very close to Testarossa Winner in many aspects - odd considering the designer of the latter was almost certainly totally unaware of Beamer's existence.


For a cheap fast food give-away Beamer isn't terrible and probably sits alongside Odd Ball as the most successful of the Wendy's figures. However, this is all relative and even the most flawed mainline Gobot is considerably better than this piece of 1980s chintz. Apart from Dart, obviously. Everyone's better than Dart.

[Corrections? Let me know!]

1985, Gobots: Beamer (Wendy's Restaurant Exclusive)