Cliffbee.com: Groundbreaker Toy Review

Toy Reviews
Individual Review




Name: Groundbreaker
Series: Generation 1
Allegiance: Autobot
Function: Ground Trooper
Alternate Mode: Rocket Car

Thanks to Griffin for loaning me Groundbreaker for this review (I have since acquired Groundbreaker).



ROCKET CAR MODE
Height: 5cm Length: 8.5cm Width: 6.5cm

   A grey car with a black wheelbase, light grey rear fenders, a blue cockpit, black winglets on top with a grey cannon mounted over the winglets. The colours are quite boring but they work together since there's nothing that can clash. They don't clash with his rather bright shell, either, which is good.

   There are four plastic grey wheels on the bottom, giving Groundbreaker some play value. While I wouldn't call this a great rocket car, there's enough leeway in this sort of vehicle that he's believable. The cannon on top can turn from side to side and there's a pseudo cannon at the front of the winglet piece. The rear fenders are easy to pick as robot arms, but at least the winglets cover the robot head - some of Groundbreaker's contemporaries have rather visible heads in vehicle mode.

   While it's fairly solid for what it is, this is a rather dull rocket car. The colours aren't inspiring, but Groundbreaker's rocket car is believable, which isn't the case for all Pretender alt modes. Of course it relies on the winglet piece and the cannon to work, so if you don't have those this car wont be as good.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Fold out the wheelbase to form legs, flip up the feet. Swing down the fenders as arms, detach the cannon on his back and give it back as a handgun. Done!

ROBOT MODE
Height: 12cm Width: 6.5cm

   Groundbreaker now has a grey torso and head, light grey arms, black legs and feet, black wings on the back and a beige face. Again this is a pretty bland set of colours, and while the light face should be a good thing the paint is quite thick, which hides the moulded mouth and eyes, although the nose still stands out. The colours aren't really any better or worse than in car mode, although I would have liked to see his eyes painted red or blue or something.

   Groundbreaker's shoulders sit quite high, as if he's shrugging or something. The attachment points for the arms are in the right place, but there are two screw casings on top of the torso (the screws are on his back), which stick out quite noticeably. There's a good level of moulded detail on the face, torso and gun - but it seems that only the grey plastic is sculpted well - the fists aren't so good and the legs nothing special.

   Play value is about what you'd expect - the shoulders rotate and the hips swing. The wings on his back can detach, which gives you the option of leaving them off, although they only detach so he can fit inside his shell.

   While this is a bland robot mode it's not really _bad_ as such. The shoulders bother me, but more than anything Groundbreaker is a victim of his colours. There aren't any interesting features here either, which doesn't help. He's duller than most 1988 Pretenders, which is saying something.

The Pretender Shell

   An orange figure with beige arms, a European face, brown hair and black fists. There's a dog face motif on the chest, with yellow eyes, a silver nose, silver teeth and blue inside the "mouth", while the detachable belt forms the lower jaw. The feet are painted a mid grey, meaning the colours here are varied. Luckily the orange is the only strong colour so nothing clashes, and of course it doesn't clash with the monochrome figure that fists inside. The colours fail to inspire since they're so mixed.

   The wing piece, complete with grey gun, forms a short handgun, while there's a long beige gun specifically for the shell. The beige belt and helmet lock the shell together. The final pieces of the jigsaw are two beige shoulderplates that attach to the beige shoulders, although they don't make much difference other than covering up holes - to me this just seems like more loseable pieces that add nothing o the toy. The shoulders rotate, which is all we get in play value.

   An uninspiring shell thanks to a bad colour scheme and too many detachable pieces. It's a shame really since the dog motif has potential. Better colours and fewer add ons which make this a good pretender shell, but as it stands it's ordinary.

VARIATIONS

   None that I know of.

OVERALL

   Groundbreaker himself is quite dull, and while the rocket car is okay, nothing about the inner figure really inspires. The shell is a little better with a cool dog motif happening, but there are too many weak aspects to make this set a good one. I certainly don't hate Groundbreaker, and if I found him for a couple of dollars would grab him - but that's really it - not worth searching high and low for - 4/10

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