Friday, May 12, 2023

Transformers: Rise of the Beasts - NIGHTBIRD!

Transformers: Rise of the Beasts - Flex Changers Nightbird - Hasbro 2023

Nightbird was a very iconic character from my childhood. The very first time I ever saw a robotic representation of the female form was in the 1985 episode Enter the Nightbird.  Nightbird was a "female" ninja robot created by Earth scientists (and quickly stolen by the Decepticons). Gender expression has always been a hot topic in Transformers, and Nightbird being a human construct had even less of an identity. So when I originally heard that the movie Nightbird was non-binary, this made a lot of sense. And that fact that MJ Rodriguez is the voice was a stroke of genius, although that confirmed that Nightbird's cinematic presentation will be skewing female (which I love). But lately all the press refers to the character as female. I'm curious to see if it's even addressed in the movie, but either way I'm a fan. Most Nightbird movie toy designs so far are festooned with copper-colored panels that diverge too much from the classic palette, but this Flex Changer has a great classic look. Let's check out Nightbird below!

Nightbird has almost no articulation aside from the pieces that aide in transformation.
It's essentially a pretty statue.

Take note of the bright purple bands near her shoulders and hips.
They are the key feature in the "Flex-Changers" gimmick.

It's really hard to describe the transformation process for these Flex Changers. But it's really fun. Nightbird's entire torso is encircled in a dense rubber band (the bright purple pieces). By holding the figure facing you and applying pressure on the middle of their back, you can turn the whole figure inside out. It's like a clunky robotic Popple.

Time for some Group and Comparison Pics!

Here is Nightbird with the similarly-scaled Beast Alliance Arcee.

And here is Nightbird with a couple of smaller scale 3rd Party versions:  Dr. Wu Night Ninja and the Iron Factory Night Assassin.



  1. Not that it's a great Nightbird, but the Target Jungle Mission 3 pack has a better representation of her.

    1. I can't stand the copper panels on the Jungle Mission figure. To me it looks like a totally different character. I'm planning to get the deluxe version (which also has copper panels) and customize it to match her classic colors like this one.