Nightstick is Ricochet's Targetmaster weapon. That's literally all that's known about him in English-language continuity. His only notable trait is that he looks identical to the Decepticon Cyclonus' partner, also named "Nightstick." Whether the two have a connection - or if they're perhaps the same individual - is unknown.
In Japanese continuity, however, there is no Decepticon Nightstick, and this Nightstick is known to be an engineer from the planet Master. He volunteered to undergo a unique form of binary-bonding in order to save the wounded Autobot Ricochet. Unlike other Targetmasters, where the small partner is held in the larger partner's hand, Nightstick plugs into Ricochet's robot-mode back. Thus he interfaces with Ricochet's metabolism, serving as a life-support system.
While in flame cannon mode, Nightstick utilizes the energy gathered by Ricochet's black-body technology to fire blasts of up to 5000°C. This can cause backdraft problems at high speeds, but Ricochet has other weapons he can rely upon (which is another unorthodox element of their Targetmastery).
The Headmasters manga
On Earth, the Decepticon Targetmasters Slugslinger, Misfire and Triggerhappy set a blazing inferno. Chromedome and Daniel were having trouble controlling the fire when Ricochet and Artfire, accompanied by their partners Nightstick and, uh, Nightstick, showed up to help. The blaze was quickly quenched, and the Autobots then sent the Decepticons into a retreat.
- Stepper (Targetmaster, 1987)
- Japanese ID number: C-109
- Nightstick (called "Nebulon") was included with Ricochet (called "Stepper"). Nebulon isn't even a repaint of the Decepticon Nightstick; they're the same toy. He transforms into a single-barrelled, non-firing hand-cannon that can peg into Stepper's car-mode spoiler or attach to a separate bracket mounted over his robot-mode shoulder. This was the only release of the toy in Japan at the time; Cyclonus was never sold as a Targetmaster.
- Ricochet w/ Nightstick (Targetmaster, 2003)
- Japanese ID number: TFC-15
- For the 2003 reissue of Ricochet/Stepper both stateside and in Japan, Nightstick/Nebulon was retooled with a slender peg extension to allow Ricochet to actually hold him in his hand as well as changing the plastic clasp that held his legs in (this part was easily broken) to the more sturdy pin and solid plastic holder.
- So about the name. Cyclonus and Scourge weren't Targetmasters in Japan, but Takara still sold their weapons, partnered with the Autobots Ricochet and Artfire. Takara tried to carry their names over, to varying degrees of success. One was called "Nightstick," but the other was called "Nebulon" (which is how Scourge's on-package bio referred to his partner). On top of that, they were switched: the Nightstick-lookalike was called "Nebulon" and vice-versa. To the Japanese audience, there was no problem, since they had no knowledge of the English-language versions. But, years later, it would get worse...
- When Hasbro released a Commemorative Series Stepper as "Ricochet" in 2003, his partner, Nebulon, was given the "corrected" name of Nightstick. And while the on-package bio depicted Ricochet exactly like Stepper, Nightstick wasn't even mentioned. So as far as English-language fiction is concerned, this Nightstick is a strange little cipher, identical to a Decepticon and wide-open for interpretation.