Cliffbee.com: ROTF Long Haul Toy Review

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Name: Long Haul
Series: Movie Tie-ins
Allegiance: Decepticon
Alternate Mode: Mining Truck



TRUCK MODE
Height: 8cm Length: 15cm Width: 9cm

   A green mining dump truck, Long Haul is mainly a grass green with a slightly darker green inside his tray. The front of the truck has a black grille, black fences and black bumper complete with ladders. There are six black plastoc tyres - four at the back on a single axle and two at the front. He sports some red stripes on the sides and the front while the headlights are transparent with silver painted inside, which is a great touch. There's a white "1214" on the front left and a black Decepticon logo on the left side of the tray. It's a simple yet well considered colour scheme with a detailed paint job. He's the only green ROTF Constructicon, making the tribute to G1 Long Haul fairly evident.

   This is a massive truck, as indicated by the fences in front of the driver's cabin - which is on the far left and has colourless windows. The ladders on the bumper also suggest a huge scale - basically, Long Haul is the type of open cut mining truck which costs more than most houses, and is larger than most of them too. The sculpt here is excellent, from the fences to the grille to various rivets here and there. The tyres feature tread and there are grooves in the bottom of the tray. There's not a lot here to break up the realism - the robot arms peek out from underneath the sides of the tray but since they're grass green and there are black pistons visible they can be written off as hydraulics.

   The play value here is pretty straightforward, but at the same time it's impressive. The tyres roll and although he lacks actual axles it rolls quite well. The tray lifts up to maybe 45 and tips backwards. While this might not sound like much, it's quite unusual for Transformer dump/mining trucks to have a tipping tray (Heavy Load is another able to do this), and many have a filled in tray. While the tray isn't especially deep, it's not filled in. You'll notice that there are two pistons on either side underneath, and while they don't move the tray, they move with it. It's a great touch.

   A great truck mode without any real flaws. The tray works very well - especially when you consider it breaks into three separate pieces during transformation. The colours and paint job work well, there's a very clear sense of scale here and the detailing is excellent. Some might lament the lack of purple here, but this is the only green ROTF Constructicon to start with, and G1 Long Haul had almost no green in vehicle mode anyway.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Unclip the sides of the tray and fold down. Unclip the front of the truck, fold out the legs and straighten. Swing the legs back, swing the groin forward and clip into position. Wrap the front of the truck around the thighs and clip the fences pieces onto the front of the thighs. Fold out his feet and heelspurs, pivot the front wheels down onto his ankles. Stand Long Haul up. Unfild the hands, lift out the sides of the tray and position the arms. Fold the backplate down and clip into place. Unclip the rear wheels from his chest, lift up, split and rotate them to face backwards. Slide the tray floor door against his back and clip into position.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 20.5cm Width: 16cm

   A grass green robot with quite a few black elements here and there such as the tyres on his ankles, pistons both outside and inside his upper arms and the fences on his thighs, Long Haul has detailing on his face, chest and forearms. His eyes are red and he sports the red striping, both on his thighs and chest. The original "1214" is on his right thigh, joined by two more incidents on his chest, although these two are only visible in robot mode. The Decepticon logo is on the outside of his right forearm shield. There's some dull green plastic on interconnecting pieces, most prominently above his head, supporting the overhanging rear lip of the tray and the back tyres. It's a good colour scheme with a detailed paint mask. Again the green serves as a decent tribute to G1, although there's still no purple.

   This is a very well sculpted robot mode with the false truck details on his chest, a complex, otherworldly face and lot of detail on his limbs. He has a notable hunchback, thanks to the truck elements above his head, but there's a fairly obvious design choice behind this, so I wont count it as kibble. The tray floor does form a backpack, but it's light and sits close to his body so it's not really a liability. The sides of the tray form shields on the outsides of his forearms, and while they are kibble in a way, they're a feature and stay out of the way of his poseability, so they're not something I'd hold against this robot mode.

   The play value here is great. There are small dull green buttons on the outsides of his forearm shields. Pressing these buttons will cause colourless hook-swords to deploy. They wont pop out too easily, and can easily be stowed again. So maybe transparent swords are unlikely. Having said that, he doesn't use them in the film so it's not like this choice goes against his silver screen appearance.

   The poseability is good, with a head that turns about 30 to either side before the hunchback gets in the way. As his head turns a gear visible on his stomach rotates, a fairly simple but effective "Mech Alive" gimmick. The waist is fixed but can clip apart fairly easily during posing, which is my only real complaint about this toy. The shoulders swing and lift out to the sides while his elbows hinge inwards and there are rotators in his upper arms. The pistons - two at the back and two at the front of each upper arm - move as you bend the elbow. As the elbow bends the inner pistons compress, while the outer airs compress when the arms are straightened. His hands fold inwards. The hips swing and lift out to the sides while the knees are hinged with rotators in his thighs. The feet and heelspurs are all hinged. With such poseable limbs, Long Haul's poseability is great, even his his head has a restricted view and the waist is fixed. While he looks big and lumbering, he has a pretty range of poses available for him to use his hook-swords.

   An excellent robot mode with a fantastic sculpt, a clever gimmick that stays out of the way but still provides Long Haul with weaponry that can't be lost. The colour scheme and paint mask work well while the poseability os useful. The loose waist bugs me a little, but it's a very minor flaw in the overall picture.

VARIATIONS

   None that I'm aware of.

OVERALL

   With good colours, an excellent sculpt in both modes and a real sense of scale in both modes, Long Haul is a great toy. The play value is amazing - that his tray can tip so naturally despite it splitting into three during transformation sells this toy already. The weapons are integrated yet unobtrusive, the poseability is good and the pistons are a great feature that works in both modes. If you're into the movie aesthetic at all, I'd recommend Long Haul. If not for the loose waist, he'd get a perfect score - 9.5/10

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