Cliffbee.com: Roadbuster Toy Review

Toy Reviews
Individual Review




Name: Roadbuster
Series: Generation 1
Allegiance: Autobot
Function: Ground Assault Commander
Alternate Mode: Army Truck

Thanks to Griffin for loaning me Roadbuster, making this review possible (mine has no accessories).



TRUCK MODE
Height: 6cm Length: 13cm Width: 10cm

   An army green, brown and orange assault truck, Roadbuster mixes his three colours is about equal proportions. The colours gel quite well and there are lots of transparent model kit style decals with fine detailing adding to the overall look. Included amongst the transparent plastic decals is a large one with an Autobot symbol, on the hood. To the right of this sits a rubsign. The tyres are black plastic, over green plastic wheels. The brown fenders in this mode are actually die cast metal, the rest of the brown - including the steering wheel and seat visible in this mode, are a well-matched shade of brown plastic. While this is a colour scheme atypical of G1, it works quite well.

   The level of detail here is fairly low, but the attention to detail is quite good, as evidenced by the decals, distinct wheels and tyres and various elements of the sculpt such as the headlights and a set of missiles sitting on the right fender. A single green cannon sits on the back with a detachable radar dish, unfortunately it sits in a fixed position and cannot be aimed. The wheels roll reasonably well, giving Roadbuster at least some play value in this mode.

   One thing that really counts against Roadbuster on the whole is the sheer number of detachable pieces. In this mode the only pieces that are meant to detach are the cannon and its radar dish, but the seat and back plate (where the cannon mounts) are also detachable. Without these pieces you'd have a very dull truck (take a guess why I'm loaning a toy for this review). The truck mode is decent, even if it's more like a model than a regular Transformer in some ways. It's Roadbuster's better mode in many ways, but isn't really spectacular.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Remove the cannon (and radar dish). Fold down the windshield, slide up the backplate. Swing the fenders back, flip out and slide up the arms, pull out and reposition the fenders them to form hips and legs. Extend the boots, lift out the feet and heelspurs. Fold back the front bumper and fold the hood down to form his chest, revealing the head.

   Now for the model kit part. There are no fewer than seven attachable elements. Four orange wheel covers, which chip onto the hips and shoulders (one carries a shoulder cannon). A backpack support piece which the instructions rather uselessly call the "control pack", a backpack with accompanying handles and antenna dish (adding three more to the count if you want to, though these can stay attached to the backpack) and a handgun. You can also give him the truck mode cannon as a second handgun if you like, although it's not in the instructions. The shoulder cannon can also detach, so we have a total accessory count of twelve, two removable parts not listed as accessories _and_ missiles for his shoulder cannon. Roadbuster thinks he's a Lego set or something.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 18cm Width: 9.5cm

   Again a mix of green, brown and orange - Roadbuster has an orange chest, orange thighs, hips and shoulderpads. His feet, elbows, fists, eyestrip and shouldercannon are green while the boots, arms and head are brown. The colours again blend together very well while the Autobot logo and rubsign now sit on his chest. He's fairly well armed, bulky and blocky, Roadbuster is an imposing Autobot. Aesthetically, I quite like this robot mode.

   While the aesthetics work well, I'm not a fan of the extras here. The sheer number of accessories means that if you're missing a couple, he's going to look incomplete. My Roadbuster has _no_ accessories, granted, but that's because I'm not interested in chasing down fifteen separate pieces. The die cast metal on his boots again fist into the brown plastic, which is more prominent now. The play value here is about what you'd expect from early G1. The arms lift up, the shoulder cannon fires missiles rather meekly.

   While Roadbuster has a nice colour scheme and some thoughtful details, he just feels too much like a model kit. Granted he's built solidly, but that doesn't count for much when finding a complete one on the secondary market is close to impossible. It's a shame since this robot mode has the potential to be really, really nice, As it is, it's a nice display piece that's not much fun to play with (or transform, since you leave half the robot mode aside in truck mode).

VARIATIONS

   None that I'm aware of.

OVERALL

   Along with Whirl, Roadbuster is based on a toyline called Dorvack, and just like Whirl, this limits Roadbuster within the Transformers line. He never appeared in the cartoon and has a very different feel to the Takara created Transformers of G1. There are some nice elements here - the colour scheme works well and the excessive weaponry he carries is kind of cool, but the sheer number of add-on pieces - especially on contrast to how little play value there is here - holds Roadbuster back. Roadbuster is still a good action figure, but only an average Transformer - 4/10

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