Cliffbee.com Combiner Wars Long Haul Toy Review

Individual Review




Name: Long Haul
Series: Combiner Wars
Allegiance: Decepticon
Alternate Mode: Dump Truck



DUMP TRUCK MODE
Height: 10cm Length: 19cm Width: 15cm

   A large green open-tray dump truck with four large black plastic tyres, black grilles on the front, silver headlights and purple protrusions on the sides between the tyres. Long Haul is more of a mining truck than dump truck in his wide proportions, but thanks to the signature green, this is clearly Long Haul. Rounding out a fairly simple colour scheme is some metallic purple paint on the small cabin (on the left side, under the lip of the tray) and a purple Decepticon logo on the front, above the grille.

   The first thing you notice here is that Long Haul is significantly bigger than his teammates - they're all roughly voyager sized in overall volume, but Long Haul is more like the old "Ultra" class. Which makes sense in a way - this truck SHOULD be bigger than digging equipment - though he should be roughly the same size as the other trucks. Something else that stands out to me is that a truck like this would usually have at least 3 axles - I suspect they've simplified this as it'd be hard to fit that many giant tyres on this vehicle. The tray itself is quite shallow, since there's a lot of bot underneath, and it has various holes for attaching accessories (weapons and connections for Devastator).

   There's not a lot of play value here - the weapons can plug into those holes on the tray and while the wheels turn, he has no clearance so he won't roll. I'd like to be able to say this is offset by the sculpted detail, but while the sculpt at the front is good, the very functional nature of the truck - and the tray - means there's just not that much going on in the sculpt.

   While I don't dislike this truck mode, it is limited by the fact Long Haul does more of the heavy lifting (pun not intended) of forming Devastator than any of his teammates. He's bulky but has to have enough about him to form much of the torso AND thighs, while having poseability for himself and the combined gestalt. So this vehicle mode ends up being a brick - but at least it's still clearly a dump truck, and clearly Long Haul.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Unclip the purple blocks on the sides (forearms) and pull out the front wheels to form his arms. Swing the legs down from underneath the tray (his shins actually form part of the bottom of the tray), which will unlock the tray. Pivot the tray and front up and forward, clipping the front into place as his chest. Fold the tray down onto his back, flip out the head. Rotate his waist, swing the feet out from inside his legs and into places. Pivot his shoulders up and you're done.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 20cm Width: 15.5cm

   Long Haul is again based around green - but he has more colour now. His head and thighs are silver while his eyestrip and some detailing on the top of his thighs are red. His forearms are green while the tyres on his shoulder and the grilles on his chest are black. That Decepticon logo is now prominent on his chest. One aspect of this colour scheme I find curious is the choice of silver on both his thighs (matching the G1 toy) and head (cartoon ). It looks good and all, but it's an unusual mid-point they've chosen; in a set that mostly went for cartoon accuracy too. That said, the purple forearms also match the G1 toy.

   Okay. So the truck mode is huge and wide. The robot mode is also huge and wide... and also very stocky. This is a by-product of Long Haul forming the groin and thighs of Devastator. His legs are chunky with huge shin pads (reminding me of the thigh pads you see in American & Canadian football). His elbows are fixed in a arms-puffed-put pose, too. Meanwhile, relative to these proportions, Long Haul is actually quite short. I don't dislike these proportions as such - though I'm not really a fan of the thigh pads or the puffed out arms. I do like how closely they've matched his G1 cartoon head here, and the red on top of his thighs references similar red patches on the cartoon - themselves based on stickers on the toy.

   Poseability here is... poor. His head turns to around 80 degrees either side, but it's very tight. His waist turns on a tight ratchet. His shoulders swing and lift out to the sides a little, while his elbows can only bend out (a transformation hinge). His hips swing and lift out to the sides while his knees are hinged - all on strong ratchets. His knees also rotate and his feet have ankle tilts thanks to transformation. His leg poseability is good in theory, but the backpack (tray) and fairly useless arms mean most dynamic poses are out. He can hold the various weapons in his hands - he nominally owns the bulky rear half of Devastator's gun which is a good fit for a bulky guy like this Long Haul.

   A robot mode that makes a lot of compromises for Devastator, and Long Haul does suffer for it. His squat proportions aren't entirely out of character, but it's a little much compared to his G1 self. His poseability early suffers and while I could forgive leg poseability given he shares hips with Devastator, it's hard to forgive the arms being so useless though. On the upside, the head is pure cartoon Long Haul and there's something appropriate about him being a bulky dude.

VARIATIONS

   There's an "exclusive" version with chromed purple elements. The Unite Warriors version has some paint changes and - most notably - a set of hinges in his elbows. It also comes with a G1 style handgun.

OVERALL

   It's hard to like Long Haul on his own. He towers above his teammates and has weird proportions. The truck mode is respectable but low on detail while the robot mode is awkward and really there's no good reason for his lack of elbows. Of all the toys in the Combiner Wars Devastator set, Long Haul is the one who suffers the most from being the lynchpin toy in the combination. Worthwhile as part of the set, of course, but if this toy sold on its own, it would really difficult to see it selling well - 5/10

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