"Generations" Titans Return Roadburn Toy Review

in 2017, Action Figure Review, Autobot, Generation One, Generations, Legends, Throttlebot, Titans Return

Generations

Roadburn General Information:
Release Date: April 2017
Price Point: $9.99 (depending on retailer)
Retailer: General (Toys R Us, Target, Wal-Mart etc.)
Accessories: None

Official images and text below in italics are from Amazon.com:
Transformers Generations Titans Return Legends Class figures are 3.75-inch scale figures. When this Legends Class Roadburn figure is in vehicle mode, Titan Master figures fit inside. Additional figures are each sold separately. Subject to availability. In Titans Return, the Autobots and Decepticons unite with Titan Masters, small bots that carry a power boost. Titan Masters are key to controlling an ancient race of warriors the size of cities: the Titans. No bot gets past Roadburn. When the Autobot detects even the slightest signal of Decepticon mischief, he’s on the chase. With supercharged gears and radar vision, Roadburn never lets his targets escape. Character Specs: Roadburn: throttlebot scout Figure Specs: Legends Class Roadburn Modes: robot, sports car Converts in 8 Steps Comes with a character card with tech specs Transformers and all related characters are trademarks of Hasbro.

Over the years, Hasbro and Takara Tomy have been slowly using the Legends Class as a segment where several of the original Autobot "Mini-Cars" (aka the Mini-Bots) have been given updated figures. Among the "Mini-Cars" that have been redone as Legends Class figures are Brawn, Cosmos, Powerglide, Tailgate, Warpath and Windcharger. There are still a few left to go (including Outback and Beachcomber) but for the most part that group of small Autobots from G1 is almost done being remade in "Generations".

With that in mind, the designers have now begun to move forward, using the G1 Throttlebots as the basis of new Legends Class "Generations" figures. The first of these is Roadburn (aka Chase). The instruction booklet for this figure actually says "Autobot Chase", but it is likely the name was changed so as not to confuse this character with the "Rescue Bot" of the same name. This figure is a retool and redeco of the "Titans Return" Bumblebee figure. Check out that review for a detailed look at the figure. This review will focus on the changes made to the figure for this release.

Packaging:
Roadburn is packaged in blister card style packaging. The card features the "Transformers" logo in the front against a black background with the "Generations" logo above that. most of the card is taken up by Roadburn's artwork. This is all new artwork based on the figure in the packaging. The art is colored in a beautifully painted fashion that recalls the artwork from G1 toy packaging. Roadburn is in robot mode inside the bubble with a collector's card behind him. The insert in front shows a photo of the figure in vehicle mode with the name "Roadburn" printed next to an Autobot symbol. The back of the packaging features a grey grid with CG renders of the figure on top in both modes. Overall it's really cool packaging and I'm happy the art features so prominently.

Robot Mode:
Roadburn features a new head sculpt, replacing the very distinct Bumblebee head. This design has an interesting history. If you put G1 Chase side by side with this figure, their heads look nothing alike. That is due to a curious swapping of head designs during the G1 era. In both comic books and animation, Chase's fellow Throttlebot Searchlight wound up with Chase's head design and Chase, you guessed it, sound up with Searchlight's. Since this "error" was so pervasive in comics and cartoons, it looks like the designers decided to stick with it. Like the G1 head design, this head has a rounded helmet section, featuring a crest in the middle and raised bumps on the sides of the head. The eyes are "visor" eyes and his mouth is outlined with a design that looks almost like a large mustache. His chin also features a piece at the bottom sticking out (another element Searchlight is known for). The head sculpt looks good, and I find the history behind the design fascinating.

At first it might seem odd to use Bumblebee's base sculpt as Roadburn. However the Bumblebee design actually has a lot in common with G1 Chase's design. Both feature the cabin section of the vehicle mode forming the torso. Both feature the sides of the vehicle becoming robot arms and both feature the front of the car forming the robot feet.

Roadburn is cast in red, black and a dark, translucent plastic. It is these colors (and the aforementioned instruction booklet "error") that cement this figure as a new incarnation of Chase, the Throttlebot since red and black were his signature colors. For the most part the red replaces the yellow on Bumblebee and the black is used on smaller parts like his forearms and shoulder joints. The translucent plastic makes up the cabin cover that forms the torso in this mode.

Roadburn's head is painted metallic blue on the "helmet" section while the face is painted a light copper color. These colors are directly inspired by G1 Chase's colors. Red paint is used on the torso section to fill in details. It matches the red plastic nicely, meaning it's not perfect but it's close enough that it does not stand out in a jarring way. You'll find black paint on the arms and waist area. Black paint is also used on his feet along with a color that borders between being yellow and orange. There is some grey too. These colors on his feet are mostly for the vehicle mode, but they appear prominently here. The finishing touch is a large, tampographed Autobot symbol on the chest.

Transformation to Vehicle Mode:

  1. Straighten out the arms and legs.
  2. Push the feet together.
  3. Swing the feet down to form the front of the vehicle.
  4. Rotate the forearms in so the red panels face outward.
  5. Swing the robot head and the arms (all connected on one series of panels) back.
  6. Swing the torso piece forward and swing out the panels inside of it.
  7. Swing the head/arms section back to where it was.
  8. Swing the arms up and push them in on the sides. There are small tabs on the piece that forms the back of the robot. These should line up with the notches on the forearms.
  9. The piece that forms the back of the vehicle should clip in between the two robot mode shoulder pieces to form the entire rear section of the car mode.

Vehicle Mode:
Roadburn's vehicle form is the same as Bumblebee's, down to the "100 STRA" sculpted license plate. Somehow I find my Roadburn seems to tab together and hold together better than my copy of Bumblebee so the vehicle mode feels solid. You can still seat a Titan Master inside the vehicle too.

This mode mostly shows off red plastic and paint. The windows of the vehicle are black, and black paint is used along the bottom edges of the vehicle including the wheel wells and the front of the car. The grille in front is painted grey and the headlights are a dull yellow/orange color. The Autobot symbol from the robot mode chest winds up on the top of the vehicle. The deco looks good and does a nice job of representing G1 Chase.

Final Thoughts:
I have had a long time attachment to the G1 Throttlebots. I loved them in the G1 Marvel comic books and the toys were among the first "sub groups" I ever completed as a kid. That gave me an almost immediate affection for this figure, but I also appreciate the effort that went into the new head sculpt and deco. Recommended!

Pros:

  • New head sculpt looks good and serves as an interesting historical lesson about the Throttlebot designs.
  • Good play value.
  • Good deco in both modes.

Cons:

  • Upper arm design is somewhat awkward.
  • Wheels could have used some paint.