Cliffbee.com: G2 Roadblock Toy Review

Toy Reviews
Individual Review




Name: Roadblock
Series: Generation 2
Allegiance: Decepticon
Function: Front-Line Defence
Alternate Mode: Front End Loader

Thanks to Tiby for loaning me Roadblock for this review (I have since acquired Roadblock).



FRONT END LOADER MODE
Height: 7cm Length: 14.5cm Width: 7.5cm

   A fluorescent green vehicle with a transparent orange cabin, big black plastic tyres on green wheels and grey bucket arms. There are danger stripes on the sides of the bucket with stickers at the back featuring red taillights. There are a couple of grey outbursts here and there, and from the front we see the transparent orange on top of the robot head, rather than any sort of grille. The colour scheme is simple, but also very bright. You have the option of storing his orange missiles on top of the rear fenders, which only makes things brighter. I'm not too keen on the colour scheme overall, but at least it's simple - if you leave the missiles off he's essentially one colour. Roadblock's still bright, but doesn't clash with himself.

   The level of detail is decent, but there's not that much focus on detail here. The Autorollers are intended with a slightly younger age group in mind that is the case with most Transformers, so Roadblock ends up a tad sparse. The pistons and joints on the bucket arms are well sculpted, the wheels have different rivet patterns at the front and the back. There's a black seat inside the cabin and a green exhaust stack at the back on the left. Considering how simple this toy is, the detail here is actually quite good. Sadly this is offset by that very visible robot head and a gappy central section of the truck.

   The play value here is minimal. He rolls well, with an axle at the rear. The front wheels can displace easily, since they attach to the robot arms - and the latter have to be able to move freely for autotransform. You can lift up the bucket arms, which pivots the bucket up and back, but the springs at the base of the arms prevent you from leaving the bucket itself flat while up - it springs back. If you flick the switch, rolling him will autotransform, adding something. As mentioned, you can add the four missiles, if you feel the need.

   While the detailing is good, the play value isn't too impressive and the colours are dubious. Considering the limitations of the concept, this is a decent front end loader, but the colours are far from ideal.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Flick the switch and roll forward. The front lifts up, the bucket flips up to become the chestplate and the head pushes out. The arms fold out from the sides and the kneecaps spring up. While it's very simple, the autotransform works very well. If you flick the switch back, he locks into robot mode. By the way, the spring loaded bucket keeps the chestplate from flopping forward.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 12cm Width: 11cm

   A fluorescent green robot with grey kneecaps, shoulders and thighs, the bucket as a chestplate and a black circular saw on his left wrist. The front wheels are visible behind the shoulders while the rear wheels are on his ankles. The head is green with simple features and a transparent orange eyestrip. Roadblock has a very effective lightpipe. The right arm ends in a missile launcher rather than a hand, so you'll probably want to place an orange missile there even if it works against the colour scheme. Again he's bright but simple, and again the colour scheme is better without the missiles - it's a shame there isn't a sculpted right hand.

   The bodyshape is fairly good, considering how simple Roadblock is. The legs have no gap between them (the moulded line is well emphasised). The arms, head and torso are done fairly well, aside from the lack of a hand on the right - which is mainly an issue because the missiles are orange. There are small moulded cannons on top of his shoulders, which is a nice touch.

   Poseability is limited, which is again what you'd expect. Having said that, he's more poseable than he's entitled to be. The head turns a little, the shoulders rotate and lift out to the sides while the elbows bend and have rotators above them. The legs are static, but he can wave his arms around. The missile launcher's colour issues mean it doesn't bring much overall, but the sawblade is decent. There's a grey slider under his elbow - push it and the blade turns through a couple of revolutions. The blade actually spins backwards (the teeth face the wrong way, basically), but the mechanism works well enough. You can attach the missiles on the fenders - the outside of his boots - but again the orange isn't a good thing. He tends to lean forward.

   While the robot mode is always going to be limited, the end result is better than it's entitled to be, thanks to the play value. The lightpipe is great and the arm motion impresses me, but the orange missiles and forward lean hurt the display value.

VARIATIONS

   None that I'm aware of although BWII's Autocrusher is a repaint of Roadblock, who is also green.

OVERALL

   A decent effort considering the limitations this sort of autotransform imposes, but Roadblock's orange missiles are ugly against such a bright backdrop. The mould is a decent effort, mind you, with some nice play value in robot mode and good detailing on the vehicle mode. The G2 colour scheme is enough to make this simple toy forgettable, and the repaint was also bright green. Roadblock isn't awful, but the idea just isn't enough to make him worthwhile, especially in these colours - 4/10

"Transformers" and other indica trademarks of Hasbro and/or Takara.