Cliffbee.com: Road Pig Toy Review

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Name: Road Pig
Series: Generation 2
Allegiance: Decepticon
Function: Autobot Harassment
Alternate Mode: Harley-Davidson Motorbike



MOTORCYCLE MODE
Height: 8cm Length: 11cm Width: 4cm

   A black Harley-Davidson with transparent plastic on his windshield and headlight, a gold fuel tank below the saddle and some red plastic at the base. There's a transparent exhaust pipe on the left side, which is the main addition that prevents Road Pig from treading on trademark. The partially visible engineblock is sculpted and painted silver while the rims & spokes on both wheels are painted the same gold as the fueltank. Just above the engineblock Road Pig wears the word "TRANSFORMERS" on either side in typical G2 exposition. Other than this text he has an unusually sedate and tasteful colour scheme for a G2 toy.

   Road Pig is a pretty detailed bike for this size - with the engineblock, speedo and tachometer and brake levers on the handbars. There's also moulded suspension and a diffusion pattern on the headlight and front indicators (which are composed of the same colour transparent plastic as the headlight). There's even a kickstand underneath. The transparent tailpipe is really his only diversion from reality, but it has a good reason for being there.

   Pressing a small black button behind the handlebar will cause an LED to light up at the base of the exhaust (inside the red block), and there are some internal notches allowing the red light to refract near the end. This gimmick is both easy to activate and not ridiculously easy to accidentally activate (the button batteries in mine are going strong after a decade). There's a wire hanging off the left side, but it's black and you hardly notice it. Adding to the impressive Laser Rod gimmick are the spinning wheels and the kickstand which allows Road Pig to stand easily. The front wheel cannot turn from side to side since the handlebars split from the fork when he transforms. Still, I'm quite happy with the play value here - Road Pig is pretty good compared to most Transformers bikes (the fact that the wheels aren't detachable and easily lost is an advantage itself).

   Other than the wire and tailpipe need for the Laser Rod thing, this is a pretty realistic Harley-Davidson, which is somewhat atypical for G2. Road Pig probably represents the pinnacle of G2 vehicles in that respect, in fact. Without any real flaws, good colours an a gimmick that succeeds, this is a great bike.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Lift the storage box behind the saddle up and back to form his boots. Swing up the red blocks to form his forearms, swing up the shoulders. Deploy the rear wheel on his left knee, fold down the windshield and headlight as a torsoplate and fold the front wheel down onto his back. You'll need to fold down the kickstand on his left shoulder and push the wire over his right shoulder.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 10.5cm Width: 7.5cm

   Again mainly black with red forearms and a red head, Road Pig has gold thighs and the colourless tailpipe hanging off his right forearm. The face is a black ninja-style facemask on a red head that looks like a ninja hood, while the eyes are colourless with an effective lightpipe. The windshield is now a groinplate with the lights upside-down as his chestplate. This is again a good colour scheme, the black and red work well with the ninja theme the designer has gone for here. Again this is very much atypical for G2 - but I'm not complaining.

   Road Pig has a fairly obvious gap between his thin thighs, since the rear wheel that now sits on the outside of his left knee has to squeeze in there. His knees are a tad lower than they should be but otherwise this is an attractive robot mode. The torso prominently displays the front of the bike while the tailpipe-lightsabre on his right arm looks very cool. The kickstand sits on his left shoulder without getting in the way. My only real complaint is that the red forearms are hollow when they don't really need to be. Still, he has holes in his fists when he doesn't need them so that helps offset the forearms.

   Road Pig is quite poseable, using the ball joints that started to come into their own on the Laser Rods. The shoulders, elbows and hips are ball jointed while the head turns. His knees ratchet but are too low for any bent knee poses to really work - but he has fairly big footprints so straight leg poses that rely on the hips work (much better than they do on Road Rocket, who has tiny feet).

   The button on his saddle is now underneath the chestplate, but there's another on his back that's easy enough to activate - simply push on his backpack. The gimmick is equally effective in this mode, and the lightsabre makes for a great weapon - I don't miss a handheld weapon. Incidentally you can remove the transparent exhaust pipe, with a little effort, and the LED housing can unclip from it's mount on the elbow, although there's no real reason for you to do so (I suspect these were done in the interests of durability - easy to reattach).

   Despite the awkward knees and thighs, Road Pig still has a strong robot mode. Considering how realistic his alt mode is, this robot mode is surprisingly poseable. The ninja theme comes off quite well and the gimmick is useful without being in the way. This robot mode also deals with the wheels better than a lot of other Transformer motorbike toys do.

VARIATIONS

   None that I'm aware of. RiD Axer and Robotmasters Double Face are repaints of Road Pig.

OVERALL

   One of the earliest Transformer bikes with a realistic alt mode and a concerted attempt at a poseable robot mode, and Road Pig even gets a kickass motorbike mode. The choice of a Harley is quite nice even if the ninja robot mode is perhaps an odd match. Both modes are strong, the Laser Rod gimmick is very well executed. Definitely worthwhile if you like Laser Rods (or Harleys) - 8.5/10

"Transformers" and other indica trademarks of Hasbro and/or Takara.