Dark of the Moon Legion Class Roadbuster Toy Review

in 2011, Action Figure Review, Autobot, Cyberverse, Dark of the Moon, Legion Class, Wreckers

Dark of the Moon

General Information:
Release Date: April 2011
Price Point: $5.99 (varies depending on retailer)
Retailer: General (Toys R Us, Target, Wal-Mart etc.)
Accessories: None

Images:

As part of the "Dark of the Moon toy line release, several price points have been rearranged and renamed. One of them was the line that fans have known for years as the "Legends" class. This line of smaller sized Transformers figures spread across many segments of the Transformers over the years including the movie line, Animated and Classics. Now the class has been renamed as the "Legion" class, with Ratchet being one of the early "Dark of the Moon" releases in this line. Instead of serving as a standalone class of figures, these toys are being placed in a new context, as part of the "Cyberverse", a line of Transformers focused on creating a small world/universe of play at a lower price point than deluxe and ultra sized figures. Included in this line will be "Commander" Class figures, slightly larger figures with weapons that interact with the smaller figures as well as transformable bases, echoing the Micromaster bases from Generation One.

Among the new characters being introduced in "Dark of the Moon" are a team of Autobots known as "The Wreckers". Based on a Generation One team of the same name, these characters are warriors bristling with weaponry. In the case of Roadbuster, he is one of the Wreckers that actually takes his name from a previous member of the G1 Wreckers team. G1 Roadbuster was an armored military vehicle, but this time around he's a NASCAR based race car.

Robot Mode:
Roadbuster has a very traditional looking Transformers outline in this form. He has a normal sized head, torso with legs and arms that are slightly oversized, giving the impression of a powerfully built robot. Many of his sections are designed with curves rather than blocky, angular bits including his arms and thighs. This gives him a slightly organic look that makes him look sleek despite some of the bulkier sections.

There is a ton of sculpted detail on this figure, so much that it'll take you a couple minutes to absorb it. Among my favorite details are:

  • The head is sculpted to look like a human wearing a hat with ear flaps and goggles, making it quite distinctive. The back of the head seems to have a "mullet" hanging off of it (this is a joke based on what the stereotypical NASCAR fan supposedly looks like).
  • The shoulders have missile pods with sixteen rockets inside each of them!
  • The inner arm designs are curved and look almost like a series of muscles intertwining.
  • The torso section has layer upon layer of details including a turbine in the center of his chest, wires overlapping on metal and rivets.
  • If you look at the legs on the inside, you'll see that they are composed of several layers of armor overlapping.
  • If you look at the chest, you'll see it's based on the design of the front of the vehicle mode complete with grille and headlight details.

There's more than what I wrote above, but that gives you an idea of how intricate this small figure is. Very impressive!

Roadbuster is cast in green, gunmetal and black plastic. The gunmetal plastic is the most prominent color, making up the arms, thighs and knees. His torso and lower legs are cast in green while the joints between the main body and the arms and the wheels are black Paint applications are done in green, white, silver, gunmetal and metallic blue. The green and white colors are used on many of the gunmetal parts to emulate the look of the car parts including the chest and the sides of the arms. One example is the chest where the split panels simulating the front of the car are painted green and white. A liberal amount of gunmetal is used on the torso to fill in a lot of the more detailed sections such as the head, neck, turbine and wires. The silver color is found on his right leg where an Autobot symbol is set below his knee. There is a bit of a fun color coincidence here, which is the dark green color used on this figure. Though it is based on the real life vehicle Roadbuster emulates, green was also one of the key colors on Generation One Roadbuster.

There are six points of articulation on this figure, four of which are ball joints. Roadbuster's right hand is designed to be able to hold weapons from Commander Class figures. Aside from the aforementioned rockets on his shoulders, he also has another weapon in this mode. Cast in gunmetal and attached to the side of his left arm is a chainsaw! This swings forward (it's set on a ball joint) and adds an extra layer of danger to this already well armed character. I love this little touch as it is fun and quite rare among figures of this size.

Transformation to Vehicle Mode:

  1. Connect the lower legs together and swing them up.
  2. Raise the arms up and then swing them back into the sides of the vehicle.
  3. Swing the car hood piece down over the robot head.

Vehicle Mode:
In "Dark of the Moon", each of the Wreckers bases their vehicle modes on NASCAR race cars with weaponry added on for dramatic effect. In Leadfoot's case, he transforms into a NASCAR Sprint Cup Chevy Impala race car. The #88 on the side indicates it is Dale Earnhardt Junior's vehicle (or based on it anyhow). You can see images of the real life prop/vehicle on Auto Ultimate.com.

Like his fellow Wreckers, Roadbuster is heavily modified from the base vehicle. There appear to be extra armor pieces on the front, sides and back and he has a very distinctive, high spoiler. Many of the sculpted details on this vehicle come right from the vehicle/prop used in the movie including:

  • The front end has a machine gun sticking out right in the middle above a small skid.
  • The sides have angled panels that stick out from the doors a bit.
  • The missile pods from the robot mode wind up near the rear wheel well, just like the real life prop.
  • The engine is exposed and has a U shape with several tubes coming out of the sides.
  • On the rear of the vehicle is a large, single booster like something you would see on a jet fighter.

Overall, this sculpt is awesome. I really love how he is bristling with weaponry and has exposed engine parts. It looks like the alien technology within the vehicle form is just bursting to come out and manifests itself as exposed machinery and weaponry. While not a detail from the real life vehicle, the chainsaw winds up on the left side of the vehicle, which just looks like another weapon he can use against Decepticons in this mode!

This form is mostly made up of green plastic with gunmetal parts on the sides. The wheels are cast in black. Paint decos are done in gunmetal, white and red. The white is used on the front, sides and top, offering a sharp contrast to the dark green color. White is also used to paint the Chevrolet logo on the front of the vehicle, right above the machine gun. The number 88 is also painted in red on the sides of the vehicle. Gunmetal is used to paint several parts including the windshield, engine and the machine gun on the front. In this form, the silver Autobot symbol from the robot mode's leg winds up being on top of the spoiler.

The real life vehicle Roadbuster is based on has many company logos, like most NASCAR vehicles. In this case however, Roadbuster only has one: a Sprint logo on the sides, right near the doors. While it would be cool to see more logos on the vehicle it is nice to have at least one company represented that isn't fictional.

Functionally speaking, Roadbuster has the distinction of having a melee weapon he can use in vehicle mode. Since his chainsaw is mounted on a ball joint, you can swing it out to the side or at angles to slice enemies up on the road! This is both unique and cool all at the same time.

Final Thoughts:
Roadbuster is an awesome Legion Class figure (and gets me even more excited for the Deluxe Class version). I love the distinctive look of both modes and that he has both projectile and melee weaponry. Highly recommended!