Cliffbee.com: Energon Landmine Toy Review

Toy Reviews
Individual Review




Name: Landmine
Series: Energon
Allegiance: Autobot
Alternate Mode: Snowplow

Thanks to i_amtrunks for lending me Landmine for this review.



SNOWPLOW MODE
Height: 11cm Length: 27cm Width: 10cm

   A dull orange half track with grey fenders and treads at the rear, Landmine has transparent windows and some baby blue elements here and there. The colour scheme is quite unified, although I'm not too happy about the blue outbursts against orange. There is some silver detail painted on the front, extensive grey painted detailing all over and a red Autobot logo on the roof, with white relief. The plow at the front, along with some panels on the sides, are black although much of the plow is painted silver. While I don't hate this colour scheme, I would have preferred a less forced colour scheme on such a functional stile of vehicle.

   This isn't a terribly realistic looking vehicle. From the giant treads at the back to the unusual colours to a baby blue missile launcher on the right rear side, Landmine would look more at home in Armada's generally unrealistic vehicle modes than the more realistic concepts of Energon. The front half of the vehicle is essentially a longnose truck, but there are some really awkward gaps behind the plow and the rounded cabin doesn't feel right. There's an awful lot happening here, which is more of a curse than a blessing, since Landmine is somewhat messy.

   On the upside, there is some play value here. The front wheels and smaller wheels underneath his treads will roll on carpet, although he tends to slide on a harder surface such as a table. There's a turntable on the back which serves as a base for his missile launcher and a much larger towing arm. Both can swing up and rotate side to side, although the black panels on the sides tend to get in the way here. The towing arm looks pretty good - there's even a false pulley wheel at the front end (near the base). The hook itself can be pulled out (about 15cm) on a white nylon cord, pressing a button on top of the arm causes it to rapidly retract. There are dead hardpoints on the sides of the arm, at the hook end. The turntable can only rotate 45 left, which causes a sort of transformation sound.

   Sometimes the designer just tries to hard for something cool and fails as a result. With treads, a plow, a towing arm, a missile launcher and orange and blue colours, Landmine isn't so sure if he's coming or going. If the design focussed on making one or two of these features really work, this may have been a nice vehicle mode. Instead, it's okay, but a long way from being memorable. I can't fault the effort but there's just no focus here.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Detach the rear section, leaving a sort of chibi truck at the front (which even has rear tyres) - this section is destined to become the robot. The rear section is a sort of drone now, and becomes armour later on. Unclip the flue blocks at the back, swing out to the sides as arms. Unclip the sides of the plow from the central section, swing the centre up onto the hood forming a groinplate. Pivot the fenders down to form legs and extend. Flip up the plow edges to form feet. Fold the rear tyres underneath, swing down the shoulderblades, flip up the panel covering his head, fold out his head and flip that panel back down. Slide out the fists and pose. While it's not a simple transformation, it's more fiddly than clever, with lots of little aspects on a simple idea.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 19cm Width: 10.5cm

   An orange robot with black elbows, hands, thighs and feet, Landmine has a black head with red face and yellow eyes. He has a ridiculously effective lightpipe, also. The torso, shoulders and boots are orange while his forearms are baby blue, the groin is grey and again there are grey painted elements here and there. Landmine now sports the red Autobot logo on his chest and there's also a spark crystal there, which is duplication to an extent but both look good there. Again the colour scheme is a little forced, especially with his baby blue hipplates.

   The robot shape is pretty good, but you'd expect that on a robot that folds up to become half a vehicle with a big chunk of add on at the back. He wears a sort of transparent yellow battle mask over his face and the exhausts of the truck mode form nice features on his shoulders. Landmine's big, pointy, wedged feet look pretty bad, but at least they fit in with the pointed groinplate - both are parts of the plow. There are posts on top and bottom of his wrists, which don't do anything in this mode but make for nifty features.

   Landmine's poseability is quite good - again something you'd expect from a robot that can use a chunk of kibble to form the rest of the vehicle. His head turns while the shoulders swing and lift out to the sides, his elbows bend and rotate, his wrists, ankles and waist are fixed while his hips swing and lift out to the sides while his knees bend and rotate. Okay, the waist isn't completely static - it tends to come apart in a way that you don't want it to, giving Landmine the splits. While his feet don't move they're big and he has heelspurs so stability in posing isn't a major problem here.

   The back of the half track splits into three pieces which become his battle armour. The treads split off into giant armguards, they clip onto the underside of the forearms and become giant claws. The forearms effectively rotate, but the elbows can't adjust so he ends up in a tough guy pose. The rest becomes a fairly awkward backpack, the missile launcher deploys over his left shoulder and the tow arm over his right shoulder. The black panels swing up as wings. The over shoulder weaponry is a good idea, especially since the launcher fires a missile, but they overwhelm his head and kill that effective lightpipe, while the wings are inelegant. I don't mind the claw arms, even if they're not as poseable as I'd like, but the treads make for very long forearms and combined with the wings, they give him bad proportions.

   A simple robot with decent poseability overall, Landmine really focusses on being a base for the armour to attach to. The battle armour is something different although it is a little awkward. The colours again are somewhat problematic, but he displays okay.

VARIATIONS

   There is a white repaint, Landquake, who is meant to be Landmine's brother. BotCon 2009 Landshark is a limited repaint of Landmine.

OVERALL

   The robot mode has some interesting play value and there's a lot happening here, but nothing that really jumps out and makes Landmine memorable. The vehicle mode is busy and a little confused and the colours don't quite work. His electronics are peripheral, not only in feature but also physically - the latter I appreciate. His poseability and general play value mean that Landmine does have something to offer, although he plays better than he displays. If you like the power armour, then you'll probably like Landmine, but for those looking for a nice display piece or a realistic vehicle mode, Landmine probably isn't for you - 6/10

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