|Specifics: Toy; vehicle mode|
Tailgate is an Autobot scout, not so much for his skill (for he is mediocre at best) but for two unrelated reasons. First, his hood conceals a ridiculously powerful iron-cobalt magnet, which he can use to tailgate closely beside other vehicles and travel far into enemy territory without fuel. Second, his bizarre idees fixees make him extremely poor company for other Autobots.
Nobody knows where Tailgate got his screws knocked loose. Some say he was traumatized in a hazing ritual that went terribly wrong; others think it's simply the length of the war taking its toll. At any rate, he began causing problems soon after arriving on Earth, proclaiming speed limits to be an affront to liberty, and attempting to liberate "enslaved" household appliances from their alleged slavemasters. Nothing the veteran Autobots could do would dissuade him from his mad quest, or convince him of non-sentient machines on Earth. Eventually, it was decided to make him a scout, with strict orders not to break cover for any reason.
Still, every time he sees a bicycle chained to a pole, his spark burns hot with righteous anger. "Some day, my brothers will wear no chains," he thinks. "Some day, we shall break free!"
French-Canadian name: Hayon
- Voice actor: Josh Keaton (US), ? (Japan)
Marvel Comics continuity
Tailgate was one of the Autobots working with Emirate Xaaron and Ultra Magnus' covert cell on Cybertron, and was briefly seen when Optimus Prime came to Cybertron and rallied the troops for an assault on Darkmount.
He eventually finished his training at the Autobot Military Academy, but upon graduation was provoked into joining Flattop and Subsea in venturing underground, in order to prove his courage. When a group of Cybertronian mutants attacked and slaughtered his fellow cadets, Tailgate stood his ground and successfully fought off the sewer-dwellers, thus proving he was neither a coward - nor very good at watching his friends' backs in a fight.
Dreamwave comics continuity
Tailgate was among the Autobot civilians who watched Shockwave's anti-Optimus Prime propaganda broadcasts. Didn't seem to do the trick, though, as he was later seen training alongside several Autobot recruits against combat drones.
- Tailgate (Mini Vehicle, 1986, 2008)
- Japanese ID number: C-61
- Tailgate is a white-and-blue retooling of the 1984 Autobot Windcharger, transforming into a Pontiac Firebird Trans Am sports car. His head sculpt is much more elaborate than the earlier toy's (which shared the Microchange sculpt), and his chest sticker bears an odd resemblance to a portable radio.
- In 2008, Tailgate was reissued in the Transformers Encore line, bundled with Bumblebee, Pipes, Swerve and Outback.
- The original version of this mold is used by Camaro and Rook. Tailgate was used as the model for the non-toy comic character Wipe-Out.