Cliffbee.com: Universe Roadbuster Toy Review

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Individual Review




Name: Roadbuster
Series: Universe
Allegiance: Autobot
Alternate Mode: Armoured Combat Truck



ARMOURED TRUCK MODE
Height: 7cm Length: 15cm Width: 6.5cm

   A dull brown armoured truck with orange around the front, green on the front bumper, at the back and twin green cannons on the roof. The colours are taken from those of G1 Roadbuster, who's also a military truck, albeit of a different flavour. I love the little black barrels on the cannons, which match the missiles of the G1 toy in size, colours and general shape. Roadbuster is a repaint of Cybertron Defence Hot Shot. I'm not entirely sold on the colour scheme here - the three colours combine well enough, but don't quite work on this mould - there's something about orange armour that doesn't work for me. Roadbuster lacks any allegiance symbols in this mode.

   The sculpt here is quite good, with rivets, survival packs, hatches and the like all over the vehicle. The four black tyres are ridged and there are dead hardpoints on the runners on either side. There aren't any windows - merely slits on the front and sides, suitable for a combat vehicle such as this. There are spotlights mounted on the sides and the guns on top are quite detailed.

   The truck itself is a compact, rhombic shaped affair, basically designed to be as difficult to wreck as possible - fitting for the character. As a result Roadbuster is quite solid compared to many other Transformer trucks (this is also partly due to a simple transformation). Fit For Natalie informs me that Roadbuster is a M1117 'Guardian' Armoured Security Vehicle.

   The wheels roll, as you'd expect, and as with all Cybertron moulds Roadbuster gets a key gimmick. When you plug his red Planet Key into the back of the cannon mount, the top of the cannons pop up revealing missile bays inside, with black missile tips. To be honest, the truck looks better with the cannons closed. The bumper also opens out to the sides to give him an additional pair of cannons, and while this is done manually it looks better than the missile racks. The cannon mount turns through 360 while the cannons themselves can swing up and down - and do so independently. The key gimmick may not work that well, but the cannons are cool anyway. There's a little tray on the left side where you can store the planet key - it's actually meant for his blade in robot mode, but the key fits like a glove (thanks once again to FortMax Reed for this info). While the connection is too lose for robot mode, it'll happily stay in place on the truck. The red planet key has a silver Autobot logo, which represents the only allegiance symbol here.

   While Roadbuster's vehicle mode is uncomplicated in many ways, it's a great armoured truck. The sculpt is good and the cannons on top are a lot of fun even if the key gimmick doesn't quite come off. The colour scheme is a little forced this time, but it still works well for the character.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Extent the rear, which will cause the groin to pivot while the thighs extend. Flip up the feet, split the boots and set aside the blade lodged between them. Fold the groinplates down, split the front and pull out to the sides to form his arms. Extend and pose the forearms, fold down his head. There are three sets of missileracks which can be revealed here - hidden under panels on his shins that rotate, hidden under panels that fold down on his shoulderpads and those exposed by the Planet Key. The cannons can be repositioned allowing the last set of missile bays to deploy behind his head - or the cannons themselves to sit on either side of his head. I find that placing the blade between his boots when transforming him back to truck mode is quite fidgety - it tends to fall out.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 16cm Width: 10cm

   The brown largely gives way to orange now, although all three main colours are preset, His head is brown with an orange crown, green face and red eyes while the chest is orange, groin green. His arms are a mix of green and brown while the boots are brown, feet and shinpads green and his groin is green. Aside from the addition of red, the colour mapping lines up to that on the G1 toy remarkably well. Again, there are no Autobot logos other than the one on his planet key. It's interesting to note that most of the orange on this toy is painted, with only supporting pieces (shoulder struts, for example) using an orange plastic. The colourmapping fits the colours to the mould very well this time.

   The shoulderpads are big blocks, as are the boots, giving Roadbuster a powerful look which matches that of the truck mode. The cannons look good over his shoulders, and the blade can be held in either hand or plugged into either armguard - a nice bonus, and the holes that allow this are dedicated to this feature. If you have them all exposed, the six missile racks make Roadbuster one very well armed robot - and with his stockiness the visual impact is quite marked. Again the mould suits the character quite well.

   The poseability here is good but not great - the head turns, the shoulders and hips rotate and lift out to the sides while the knees and elbows bend. The poseable cannons can lift up and down although the shoulderpads get in the way of side to side movement. The shoulder panels, when folded out, get in the way of the forearms a little, and sort of hang out, so I prefer to leave them up unless I have him in a firing stance.

   The blade is really cool, and I love the added bonus of it plugging into the armplates. It's his only handheld weapon, but the hardpoints allow you to plug in Minicons as arm weapons. At any rate, with six missile racks, Roadbuster doesn't really need more weaponry - the guy's a walking armoury - and this time without 37 accessories to try and source on eBay!

   A good robot mode thanks to solid concepts and good execution. While the poseability isn't fantastic, his weapon options bring enough play value to make up for the limits to his articulation. The key gimmick comes into its own here, since the missile racks make more sense and are a dominant theme of this mode. The repaint works much better here, also - the colours fit well and the mapping of the three colours is faithful to the original version of the character.

VARIATIONS

   A repaint of CD Hot Shot, as mentioned, who also shares the mould with another G1 themed repaint, BotCon Springer. Roadbuster was sold in a two-pack with Dirge.

OVERALL

   A good mould with a slightly forced repaint applied to it - but the fit of Roadbuster to this mould does make sense. The mould is a good one - proof that simple concepts can work well if done right. The poseability and transformation are fairly simple, but the vehicle mode is well detailed with a great set of cannons and the ridiculously well armed robot mode is a lot of fun. The key gimmick is almost a footnote, with the blade and missile racks stealing the limelight. The colours don't quite work in vehicle mode - although they're not bad - and come into their own on his robot mode. While I don't think this colour scheme quite matches those of Hot Shot or Springer, the mould is good and the choice of character works well - 7.5/10

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