Cliffbee.com: Cybertron Landmine Toy Review

Toy Reviews
Individual Review




Name: Landmine
Series: Cybertron
Allegiance: Autobot
Alternate Mode: Payloader



PAYLOADER MODE
Height: 8cm Length: 14.5cm (19cm with gun attached) Width: 7cm

   A yellow payloader with big black tyres and some silver and brown mechanical details, notably the shovel arms and single stabilising leg sticking up at the back (the robot mode missile launcher). Landmine has maroon windows on his small central cabin and some red details here and there. There's an Autobot logo stamped on top of the cabin and some silver scrape marks painted on the teeth of the bucket. This is a decent colour scheme, and it's one of the better ways to use yellow - Hasbro went through a period of badly misusing this colour, but have used it well on Landmine by using a muted shade and including the dark brown and silver plastics to keep things sensible.

   The small cabin and wide tyres suggest this earthmover is huge, and there are small ladders moulded on either side between the wheels which back this up. Other moulded details include roof mounted floodlights, painted orange, pistons on the shovel arms and four silver exhaust pipes behind the cabin.

   The big black tyres roll fairly well, making quite a bit of noise as they do so. There's a single stabilising leg at the back which is fixed in the "up" position (it's a means of stowing the robot mode missile launcher). The shovel arms have hinges at the base and the connection with the shovel itself along with another pair of hinges midway which are really intended for Landmine's transformation. The attachment joints are quite tight, and you'll probably have to hold the sides of the shovel together when you lift the shovel.

   Landmine's blue Planet Key (code: dr94) can slot into either rear hubcap, although the gimmick needs a little tweaking first. Lift the rear tyres up to the sides, insert key into each slot and turn to reveal six silver sawblades concealed in the middle of each tyre. The end result is a instrument of destruction with twin circular saws and a missile launcher. There are two small silver wheels underneath the front of this quasi-vehicle, ensuring Landmine can still roll. While it's not all that much to look at and is a weird concept, this gimmick scores points for originality and doesn't get in the way of Landmine the Transformer. Incidentally Landmine's key gimmick is the only one in Cybertron's first wave that involves a key turning.

   Once the twin saws are deployed, the key is no longer needed (although it'll happily sit in one of the slots). Spinning one saw will cause the other to spin in the opposite direction thanks to two black rubber wheels inside the central block of the toy (which are partially visible but far from prominent). Incidentally, you can deploy the blades without the key fairly easy, which is handy if you lose the key or can't be bothered fishing it out.

   While there's nothing spectacular about this mode, there's really nothing much wrong either. The splitting shovel is his only real flaw while the colours are solid, the detail nice and the gimmick creative and unobtrusive. The play value is very satisfying for a deluxe construction vehicle.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Remove the leg/missile launcher. Flip out the underside to the front, forming his legs, lift out his feet and heelspurs. Split the shovel in half and swing the arms out to the sides. Lift up the rear tyres and fold the back of the vehicle down to form his backpack. Swivel the silver waist blocks forward, which will push the silver groin block out into place. Turn the exhausts down to either side, revealing his head, then fold the exhausts back as shoulderguards. Swing out the fists and fold back the shovel halves. Lastly, give Landmine his missile launcher and deploy the blades on his backpack if you feel inclined.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 13.5cm Width: 13.5cm

   Again yellow, brown and silver, Landmine's yellow is limited to the chest, boots and shovel halves hanging off his forearms. The head, forearms, ankles and thighs are brown while the upper arms, fists, waist and groin blocks are silver. His face is a well sculpted silver affair with blue eyes and a red crest. There are traces of black, notable on the yellow missile launcher and his black feet. The colours work better here, largely because there's a little less yellow, but also because the grey and brown compliment each other well.

   There are some really nice engineering aspects here, particularly in where the vehicle parts end up. The shovel arms work well as features on the forearms, without getting in Landmine's way. The exhausts look good on his shoulders and the Autobot logo on his roof is now central on his chest. The brown front fenders sit on the outsides of his ankles and like the shovel halves work as features rather than being simply kibble.

   This robot mode is quite blocky and solid, which is fitting for a construction vehicle Transformer. The head is suitably noble and wise, the wheels on his back look fine and have the added bonus of the retractable blades. My main complaint about this mode centres around rather visible screws on his forearms and shoulders - something you'd usually find on smaller G1 toys. Still, compared to the good aspects here four pieces of metal aren't much to worry about.

   The articulation here is pretty good for such a blocky toy, and reminds me of the Car Robots Buildtrons (RiD Landfill). The head turns, the shoulders rotate and the arms lift out to the sides. The elbows are ball jointed and the wrists swing back and forth, ensuring the shovel halves can get out of the way for any pose. The hips are ball jointed while the knees twist and bend. The feet and heelspurs can fold down and allow for a variety of stable leg poses.

   The gimmick on his back still works, although the visual impact is obviously less than in vehicle mode (unless you look from behind). The missile launcher is quite powerful, it'll happily send the single missile across the room, but the silver trigger has to be pressed firmly to fire - a good thing since powerful, easy to fire launchers lose their missiles quickly. Along with the poseability of this robot, the launcher gives Landmine good play value, despite the fact that his gimmick is almost irrelevant.

   If you liked the Buildtrons, you should like this robot mode, which strongly reminds me of the engineering of that team. The clever engineering of his shovel's transformation makes for a distinctive, attractive robot mode while the play value is very good. When it's all rolled into one, the visible screws hardly matter.

VARIATIONS

   None that I'm aware of. Grindcore and BotCon Rhinox are repaints of Landmine.

OVERALL

   We've seen a proliferation of construction vehicles in the Transformers toyline (what with Landfill and Constructicon Maximus along with a few Armada toys). When I first saw Landmine I was hesistant, simply because the idea was getting a little worn, and to be honest his packaging actually hides the toy, denying you a good look at how good this guy is. I picked him up more on the advice of a friend than anything else, and I don't regret it. He deals with the shovel in robot mode better than his Armada & Energon counterparts (OK, Bonecrusher/Sledge also do a good job), and has two attractive modes that are fun to play with. Recommended, especially if you liked the Buildtrons - 8.5/10

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