Review: Transformers Generations Roadbuster

It’s about time I feature more current retail toys! Roadbuster is one of those odd G1 characters who never appeared in the original cartoon and never had much of a personality, but everyone remembers him because he was one of the Wreckers in the comic books. His absence from the cartoon can be explained from his toy’s origins as a licensed-out ‘Mugen Calibur’ from the Takatoku Toys Dorvack toyline (along with his fellow Wrecker Whirl, who was originally ‘Oberon Gazzette’). While Whirl was left mostly forgotten in the franchise until 2012, Roadbuster had a tendency to show up a lot in comics, mostly as a background character. His unique look and colors made him memorable and somewhat popular for homaging, but he never got his own official, new-mold toy until the 2014 Generations line with Voyager-class Roadbuster.

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Vehicle Mode

The original Roadbuster toy’s altmode could be effectively described as a flat brick with wheels. It was ostensibly supposed to be a jeep, but it really wasn’t. This time around, Roadbuster turns into what is clearly a heavily-armored offroad military vehicle that looks awesome. It’s big and beefy, with appropriately huge tires and a compact look. Even though it looks good enough on its own, you can peg on any of Roadbuster’s crazy amount of guns all over the place. Unlike most cases of weapon storage, this actually totally works. Roadbuster is rarely much more than the guy with a bunch of guns, after all.

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Transformation

Every once in a while Hasbro busts out a figure that does something really new and interesting in its conversion that is really simple and a bit insignificant, but the novelty of it makes it memorable. Roadbuster is one of these cases, as his feet come together to form the midpart of the truck’s cab. I can’t explain why that’s so cool, but it’s so cool! The rest of the conversion is fairly straightforward, though the toy does tend to feel a bit… rickety in its construction. More on that later.

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Robot Mode

When Roadbuster is portrayed in media, he’s generally presented as either a G1 toy-accurate normal-sized guy with a lot of guns or a hulking monstrosity of armor and guns. This toy opts for a middle-ground, taking the form of a very bulky-looking but still average robot. Admittedly, this does leave him looking a bit odd, with straight, squared legs, thin, rounded arms (with giant wheels hanging off), and big blocks for shoulders. I honestly can’t decide if I really like this look or not, but it certainly doesn’t look bad. He boasts an impressive range of articulation: ball-jointed head, universal shoulders and hips (better if you fix his skirt parts), double-jointed elbows and knees, bicep/thigh/waist swivel, and multiple joints in his ankles.

The only thing that hampers the articulation is the near-terrible joint tolerances on his toy. All of his joints are either too loose or too tight, and most of them are the “faux-ratchet” joints that Hasbro seems to favor in modern Voyagers. It will largely depend on the tolerances of each individual toy, but mine has a horribly loose shoulder rotation and extremely tight thigh and bicep swivels. In addition, the hinges that bring his shoulders up for robot mode are very loose and don’t lock in securely, which makes posing his arms a chore. Also, his feet are long and flat, but have very little in the way heel support, leading to a very difficult-to-stand figure (especially if the knees are loose like mine). With posing so awkward and difficult, all Roadbuster can really do well is just stand still and look imposing…

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… with the help of his arsenal of 5mm-peg weaponry! Unlike the silly and near-unusable clip-on weapons that came with Whirl, Roadbuster’s many guns are versatile and look pretty cool. You get:

  • A big ‘ol hinged missile launcher
  • A hinged pistol
  • A pod of tiny missile spam
  • A military-looking rifle that can slot into the hinged pistol to make a longer rifle
  • A big tube thing that can slot on top of the rifle as a scope, or even peg into the front as a (very long) suppressor

Unfortunately, the ports on Roadbuster’s shoulders are very loose, and any of the guns you choose to mount up there do not stay pegged in securely. He holds them well enough in his hands, though, so there’s that. You can also attempt to peg all of them together to create some monstrous thing, but why would you do that? Roadbuster’s final “accessory” comes in the form of a large sheet of small stickers, much like his fellow Dorvack-ian Voyager Whirl. I’m not much for stickering my Transformers, so I settled for the simple Autobot insignia on his chest. He also comes with a Wreckers logo to replace the standard Autobot one, but the thin blue sticker ink over orange plastic makes for an ugly brown-looking logo. Boo.

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Overall

Roadbuster is, eh… he’s all right. He’s certainly not a bad toy, but he definitely has his flaws. Much like his wave-mate Sky-Byte, he’s plagued with questionable design choices and poor joint tolerances, but overall looks good and makes for a very acceptable update for the original figure. The addition of multiple guns is a great bonus, but they’re not quite Hound-tier fantastic. Roadbuster’s character can be summed up as “the green-brown-orange Wrecker with all the guns,” and if that’s all you need, this toy delivers.

Where to Buy

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Comments
2 Responses to “Review: Transformers Generations Roadbuster”
  1. Dax says:

    Really enjoying all the reviews, just FYI in all of the pics of Roadbuster in his bot mode he’s not transformed correctly, his headlight covers should be rotated into the center. Keep the reviews coming!

    Like

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