Cliffbee.com: Robotmasters Road Rocket Toy Review

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Individual Review




Name: Road Rocket
Series: Robot Masters
Allegiance: Cybertron
Function: Assassin
Alternate Mode: Motorbike



MOTORCYCLE MODE
Height: 7cm Length: 12cm Width: 2.5cm

   A slim yellow motorbike with a turquoise saddle, black tyres and silver painted wheels complete with three spokes each and brake discs. Road Rocket has a transparent blue windshield and headlight, a silver exhaust pipe on the right and drive mechanism detail on the left side and grey handlebars with brake levers. Rounding out the colour scheme are red flames down either side, black wheelguards and an Autobot logo on top of the front wheelguard. The colour scheme is good, the yellow isn't too bright and the other colours compliment it well. Whilst it's not exactly a realistic colour scheme, Road Rocket still works quite well.

   This is a pretty detailed bike for its size. The drive mechanism, engine detail, brake levers and brake discs are all impressive - this mould was the first Transformer to feature brake discs. The tyres have tread and the discs don't spin when the wheels turn which is impressive. There's a wire sticking out just behind the front wheel and a transparent blue buzzsaw next to the rear wheel - both on the left side - and these are the only aspects that are unrealistic. Both directly relate to the Laser Rod gimmick, though, and neither are obtrusive.

   To activate the laser gimmick, you press a black button just behind the handlebar. It's not hard to activate yet is unobtrusive. It'll cause an LED to light up the buzzsaw, although the blue plastic works against the red LED. Adding to the Laser Rod gimmick are the spinning wheels and the kickstand which allows Road Rocket to stand easily. The front wheel cannot turn from side to side but this is a bike that would lean heavily into corners anyway. The LED gimmick is somewhat underwhelming this time around, but the wheels spin well.

   A nice bike and a mould that's still impressive a decade later. The colours aren't quite as realistic as those of the original but look better. The blue plastic does hold back his LED gimmick to an extent, but this is such a nice motorbike mode that I don't care.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Detach the LED section and allow it to hang by the wire. Pull down on the front wheel to loosen the front, then twist the wheel base through 90 (front wheel to the right, rear to the left). Flip up the torso, fold down the right arm and lift up the left forearm (which conceals the head), and bring the left arm to the side. Rotate his waist, extend and split the legs and flip up the feet. Attach the laser block either onto the outside of the right forearm or into the hole in either hand (the outside attachment is fare more elegant). Fold down the waistplate and you're done.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 10.5cm Width: 11cm

   Again based on yellow, Road Rocket's groin, thighs and shoulders are grey while his waist, fists and head are black and the forearms red. The mouthplate and shins are turqiouse and the eyes are transparent blue with an effective lightpipe (from the right angle, anyway). The silver wheels sit on the outside of the shoulders, adding some silver to this robot mode. This is a good colour scheme, although it's not quite as unified as that of his bike mode, since there's less yellow. The flame motif doesn't really come out here.

   There's a heavy bike theme here but thanks to a clever transformation we don't have too much bike getting in the way. The wheels are both out of the way on the shoulders, with both brake discs on the back (which is nice since they were on opposing sides of the bike). The saddle is now his shins and the snug backpack is the handlebar-windshield section of the bike. I have two main gripes about the bodyshape, however. My first complaint is the hollow left forearm, and while this is understandable since the head stows in there, it wouldn't have been too much to turn the block around with the hole at the back. Road Rocket's other shortcoming is _really_ short thighs - and the extending thighs are very loose which compounds matters.

   Road Rocket is quite poseable, as Laser Rods tend to be. Having said that much of his articulation is wasted for various reasons. The left shoulder, elbows, knees and hips are ball jointed while the head, waist and right shoulder turn. The arms are limited by the wire on the right and kickstand on the left while his small feet and top-heavy nature (with the wheels on either side) limit leg posing. Road Rocket does have heelspurs, but they don't move, so they're of some help but don't solve everything. Natural, relaxed poses work well but dynamic poses are pretty limited, sadly. This time around the poseability is even more limited by the loose leg sliders, and while you can get around this, the extra work needed is annoying (especially when you compare to the G2 version).

   The button on his handlebar is now on his back and still functional. The Laser Rod gimmick is far more effective since the buzzsaw is now end-on. That buzzsaw, mounted on his forearm makes a great melee weapon. He doesn't really need a handheld weapon, and while the buzzsaw can clip into the holes in his fists, it doesn't really work. The buzzsaw itself can detach if you want it to, although there's no real point to this. Happily it's hard to detach by accident.

   While the colours aren't quite as nice as those of the bike mode, the kickass LED performance makes up for that. There are a lot of impediments to his poseability and that is the main shortcoming of the robot mode (and indeed the toy). Despite that, this is still a pretty good robot mode, and when you consider that it comes from a realistic motorbike without anything detaching, it's quite an achievement.

VARIATIONS

   None that I'm aware of. Road Rocket is a repaint of a G2 toy of the same name, but represents a different character.

OVERALL

   With a great bike mode that's quite realistic and some really nice details, this is a great mould that still impresses after a decade. The bike mode actually looks better than that of the original, despite the LED gimmick not working so well. The LED works well in the robot mode, the transformation is clever although the robot poseability isn't great. The loose leg sliders bother me, but on the whole I prefer this repaint to the original, and would definitely recommend it if you don't have the original - 7.5/10

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