The birthday "haul" turns literal with this guy:
This is Hoist. He comes from the Toys R Us exclusive "Back Road Brawl" set (along with a G1 recolored Revenge of the Fallen Mixmaster - more on him later.)
Hoist is a repaint of an earlier movie based release called Longarm. I believe this figure was always intended to be Hoist, and was supposed to be released in the Transformers Classics (later Universe) lineup. But the movie toys have been surprisingly popular and long lived, so Hasbro is sticking with them for as long as they can. Sadly the Classics/Universe line has pretty much fallen into limbo.
So although it made no sense at all from a fan perspective, Hasbro released this figure originally as "Longarm" and painted him to look like a (non-transforming) tow truck that appeared (briefly) in the movie. It didn't make sense, and I (literally) didn't buy it.
Thankfully Hasbro finally wised up and wedged a G1 accurate Hoist into their movie line of toys (albeit packed in a TRU exclusive set with a Bayformer repaint. Sheesh!)
Anyways, Hoist looks exactly like he should - a nice update on his original tow truck vehicle mode, complete in green with gold accents and sporting a light bar and yellow/black "caution" tape on his side. There's no mistaking this Transformer.
Hoist's robot mode is also a great update on his original look. All the right colors in all the right places (although some chrome accents would be nice.) His hook also transforms into a gun which can launch a plastic missile. It is permanently attached to his hand, but word on the street is that if it bothers you it can be unscrewed. It doesn't bother me though, as for now I display Hoist in tow truck mode, so I don't have to worry about balance or tipping or anything. That said, his feet are nice, large and steady, so he stands very well.
UPDATE: After transforming Hoist back into truck mode I noticed that you can not only discreetly leave the missile in the gun when he's in truck mode (great to avoid lost/misplaced parts) but it even fires from underneath his front bumper! Now THAT'S a cool feature!
For me, often the thing that makes or breaks a Transformer is his face. Which is why, for the most part, I dislike Bayformers. Hoist however has a very nice and accurate update to his G1 look (which is another reason I believe the original release of Longarm was meant to be Hoist all along.) He looks tough and cool, and the "corrugated metal" of his chest really brings out his utilitarian role. There's a ton of articulation too ("ton" being a perspective using original Transformers as the ruler from which we measure these things,) so his arms and legs and head and even his torso can move into many different poses. It's amazing what they can do with ball joints these days.
I love these G1 Transformer updates, and I hope once the ROTF dust settles we'll see many more of them. There were a couple I was looking for as the Classics/Universe line ended (Ironhide, Ratchet, and Hound) and they never popped up for me, so I am glad Hoist appeared on my birthday. Although I never had him as a kid, I have fond memories of him from the comics and cartoons.