"Revenge of the Fallen" Long Haul Toy Review


General Information:
Release Date: September 2009
Price Point: $22.99 (varies depending on retailer)
Retailer: General (Toys R Us, Target, Wal-Mart etc.)
Accessories: None

*Images and text below from Hasbrotoyshop.com:
LONG HAUL is too bitter to be an effective soldier on his own. Despite the fact that he is part of one of the most destructive and terrifying DECEPTICON® squads of all time, he is too often treated as little more than a cargo hauler. Other DECEPTICONS® sling their gear into his bed without a second thought, and order him to carry it around for them. Rather than confront them, he’d rather grumble about it privately, then stop on the way and destroy whatever he’s been given responsibility for.

Recreate exciting movie scenes or stage your own living room battles with this awesome DECEPTICON defender vehicle! This mighty robot figure has moving pistons and snap-out swords! Convert to vehicle mode to reveal a dump truck with working bed! No matter what AUTOBOT® enemy is waiting for him, this super-cool vehicle is ready to dump the competition!

"Revenge of the Fallen" sparked quite a bit of controversy among Transformers fans for a variety of reasons, however it did do one incredible thing many Transformers fans never expected: bringing live action Constructicons to the big screen who could actually combine into Devastator. The Constructicons were the first group of Combiners released in the G1 Transformers line so there is a lot of affection for them among the fan community. While some of the Constructicons had rather wild forms such as Demolishor, Long Haul had a very humanoid one and is perhaps the Constructicon that most reflects his G1 origins. Like his G1 counterpart he transforms into a dump truck, and unlike some of the other Constructicons, he carries the name of a G1 Constructicon.

Unlike most Voyager Class figures, Long Haul was packaged in robot mode, most likely to take advantage of his hulking robot form's dramatic appearance. This totally works as a dump truck may not have been quite as striking in package. He is also rather thick in his vehicle form, which may have made it difficult to cram the figure into the standard sized Voyager Class figure box.

Robot Mode:
Long Haul has a rather standard humanoid looking robot form with two arms, two legs and a central body. He does have some interesting proportions however. His arms and legs are rather long, but his torso and head are much more compact. His torso in particular is V shaped and his robot head is set rather low since he has virtually no neck. The result is his head being almost at the same level as his shoulders. This creates the appearance of Long Haul being constantly crouched down slightly (even when he is not), as if he is constantly ready for a fight. It is a dramatic design that shows how effective simple placement of one or two body parts can affect the look of a figure dramatically. It was a bit difficult to really get a good look at Long Haul in "Revenge of the Fallen", but in general he was portrayed as a very hulking shape with a rounded head and the wheels from his vehicle mode set on his shoulders. This figure has those design features as well.

What strikes me the most as I look at Long Haul is how complex looking the figure is. He is simply filled with details, both functioning and not. The designers took the philosophy of having vehicle mode parts "wrapped" around mechanical parts underneath and sculpted the figure accordingly. On the sides of his chest are parts with deco marking from the vehicle mode right next to sections with five vertical segments. Right under that are tubes, circles and other shapes forming machinery under the chest. The segmented parts mentioned above plus the raised sections angling downward look almost like some type of harness strapped over his chest. The robot arms are also fantastic examples of design. Each has working pistons on the inside and outside of the elbow joint and non-functional pistons sculpted into his forearms. Long Haul's hands are configured with four claws, and two of them are set a bit lower than the middle two, looking almost like he has two thumbs on each hand. In what I'm interpreting as a bit of homage to his G1 namesake, his head design is curved with two raised lines on the top of his head, both of which were details seen on G1 Long Haul. G1 Long Haul had a mouthplate on his face, but here that has been replaced with a more alien looking mouth and thin eyes. Look carefully and you'll actually see teeth inside his mouth, which is downright creepy and cool at the same time. In some ways his eyes and mouth design remind me of the Predator creature from the movies of the same name.

Long Haul's legs are perhaps the best example of vehicle mode parts wrapping around robot mode parts. The guard rails from the vehicle mode wind up wrapped around the thighs in this form. The legs themselves are full of detailing, with armor plates layered on top of each other and a sculpted gear set near the hip joint. Even his knee joint has a nice sculpt, with several beveled sections representing layers of armor instead of the standard smooth, curved joint. Another detail I really liked are spring details sculpted into his lower legs, leading to his feet. There is no doubt the sculptors went hog wild when designing Long Haul and I'm glad they did!

Long Haul is cast in bright green, black and blue-grey plastic. The green makes up most of the robot form, including the torso, arms, legs and waist. The black plastic is used for smaller parts such as his wheels, knee joints and the pistons on his arms. The blue-grey plastic is also used for smaller parts such as the hinges that connect to the wheels on his ankles and the hinges that the wheels near his shoulders connect to. Paint details are done up in black, white, red and a light gunmetal color. The red, black and white are often seen together, used for details that represent parts of the vehicle mode. Most noticeably you'll find these details on his torso and thighs where the strips are colored black with red lines on the edge. The numbers "1214" are painted in white over the black. Red is also used for strips on the weapons mounted onto his arms and the robot eyes. It looks like light piping was the original intent for his eyes as the piece in the back of the head that connects to the eyes is big enough to allow this feature, but the bright red color contrasts nicely against the green. The gunmetal color can be found distributed all over the body, filling in mechanical details on his torso, arms and legs. On the head it is used to fill in details on the top of his head as well as the areas on either side of his mouth. I'm quite impressed by how relatively simple, yet effective his color scheme is. There aren't a whole lot of decos, but the ones that are there are placed so well that they add up to a fantastic look for the figure.

There are twenty five points of articulation on Long Haul. This includes six points of articulation on each leg and four on each arm. Like many of the "Revenge of the Fallen" figures, Long Haul features a "Mech Alive" gimmick. When you turn his head, a gear in the center of his chest turns. I would also count his pistons near the elbows moving in tandem with his arms as a "Mech Alive" feature, giving the appearance that this is more than just a static figure but more of a functioning entity. His primary action features are embedded in the mechanisms mounted on the sides of his arms. Press the blue-grey button on each side panel and clear, translucent blades swing out. Each one is quite threatening looking with a wide blade at the end that even has a bit of a "hook" sculpted into it. There are even Cybertronian symbols sculpted into them, which I found to be an awesome extra little touch.

Transformation to Vehicle Mode:

  1. Swing both halves of the robot feet together.
  2. Swing the wheels on the ankles out on the hinges.
  3. Swing each robot hand in against the inside of the forearms.
  4. Swing the guard rail panels on the thighs outwards.
  5. Swing the panels with the swords in them out to the sides.
  6. Swing up each lower leg against the thighs.
  7. Lift the panel on the back up.
  8. Swing the robot torso back.
  9. Swing the wheels above the shoulders out to the sides.
  10. Swing the wheels from the previous step together and connect them in the center, then swing this section down and connect the two pegs to the two holes on the robot chest.
  11. Swing the robot legs back and tuck them against the mid-body.
  12. Connect the panels that form the front of the vehicle, then swing down the panel with the guard rails on it forward and connect them to the front panels.
  13. Swing the front wheels against the body of the vehicle's front end.
  14. Swing the robot arms up and connect the tabs on the floor of the truck bed to the corresponding holes on the sides of the weapon panels on the arms.

Vehicle Mode:
Like many of the characters from the film, Long Haul has a vehicle mode based on a real life vehicle. In this case his vehicle mode is based on the Caterpillar 773B dump truck. There are some variants on this vehicle, but for the most part the major details are replicated. The driver cabin is located on the left side of the vehicle with the front set up with a high grille and guard rails running along the edges. To give the vehicle a sense of scale, there are actually ladders on the front of the front bumper section, a feature found on the real life Caterpillar. The dump box is designed with the sides angling upward. Several raised sections are found running along the top and edges of the dump box.

There are a lot of smaller details on this figure that look great in this form. The headlights are designed with layers, looking like real life headlights with bulbs inside. The vertical lights in the front have grooves sculpted into them that also look like real life headlights. Running along the edges of the front and sides of the vehicle towards the front are raised circles representing bolts. Among my favorite details are those in the middle and right side of the front section. Here there are a series of rectangular boxes that look almost like power generators. Towards the right side are wires connected to a vertical box with vents on the sides. It really gives the vehicle both a sense of scale (in addition to the ladders) and power.

The same plastic colors from the robot mode carry over here, with the green color making up most of the figure. The front section and the guard rails are cast in black along with the wheels. Clear plastic is used for the windows of the cabin section as well as the headlights. Red, black and white paint are found in this mode, mostly to paint details in the front and sides. The front grille and the bar above it are painted black, with a red line running from the right side to the left where it meets the numbers 1214 painted in white. Along the sides of the dump box are red lines and the left side has a black Decepticon symbol painted on it.

The dump box mechanism on the vehicle can actually angle back. Basically moves the robot arm elbows, causing the pistons on the arms to move looking like they are supporting the dump box as it moves. It's a very cool effect and looks fantastic while reflecting a real function of the vehicle.

Final Thoughts:
Highly detailed, poseable, CGI accurate with cool action features - what's not to like on this figure?! I am super impressed with this figure and highly recommend it!

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