Cliffbee.com: Roadblock Toy Review

Toy Reviews
Individual Review




Name: Roadblock
Series: Generation 1
Allegiance: Decepticon
Function: Ground Forces Commander
Alternate Mode: Halftrack



HALFTRACK MODE
Height: 3.5cm Length: 6cm Width: 4cm

   A small grey and gold halftrack with a blue grey piece on top, Roadblock has a baby blue cockpit and gold plastic tyres. The colours are weird, not like any halftrack you'd ever see, but they don't clash either. Of course, he's not like any halftrack you're likely to see anyway. I'm more concerned about the brittle nature of the gold plastic here, anyway. Mine has some chipping on the trailing robot hands, but is otherwise intact, thankfully.

   There's not really much to say about this halftrack mode - it's small and exceedingly simple, reminiscent of the Pretender vehicle modes of the previous year. It's a passable Cybertronian rocket car, which isn't saying that much for it. I don't like the gold wheels, the grey treads at the rear look better. This car mode does the job of giving Roadblock a transformation, and nothing else. Of course, with all examples of this brittle toy now 20 years old, I'm not sure I'd recommend transforming Roadblock.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Detach the wing piece which will become his handgun, swing the grey fenders forward to become his legs, revealing his chest and head. Swing the arms down and plug the gun into the outside of one of his hands. Flip up his feet and you're done.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 8cm Width: 4cm

   Based around gold and grey again, Roadblock's torso, head, arms and feet are gold while the legs are grey, while his face is baby blue. The facial detail is good, albeit washed in light blue paint. The colours are fairly well laid out, but this robot mode makes you aware of just how much brittle gold plastic there is in this figure.

   The robot mode is simple and small. The arms are unusually rounded for a G1 toy, the chest has a decent level of detailing while the legs are devoid of it. The shape is fairly good, which is common for Pretenders since the vehicle modes are so generic.

   There's little play value here, which is to be expected, really. The arms swing at the shoulders and on mine both are quite loose - they're rivetted on so I can't do much about that. His hips swing allowing him to sit down - in the cockpit of the inner shell. The gun can plug into either hand, although mine has damaged hands - I'd recommend against forcing it, the plastic will just crumble.

   A simple robot mode but one that actually comes off reasonably well, apart from his diminutive stature. The gold plastic is his main weakness - literally.

JET MODE
Height: 5.5cm Length: 12.5cm Width: 11cm

   A black and purple surface skimmer, the front and the small winglets towards the back are purple while most of the rest is black. There's a small transparent blue windshield at the front of the open cockpit. There are twin black guns which attach above either winglet. The colours work well together, although the black is a little overwhelming, hiding some of the details.

   This isn't a great skimmer mode. The open cockpit is a nice idea, since you can sit the inner robot down - not that I'm forcing the gold plastic bot in. Sadly it can't lay flat on the table, since the underside isn't level - the centre of the chest underneath forms a fulcrum, so it slopes forward and can rock to either side. As with any Pretender shell, you can stow the inner robot inside this vehicle, and if you look into the open cockpit from above you'll see Roadblock lying on his back.

   It looks decent enough, despite the profusion of black, but I'm unimpressed with the way the jet cannot lay flat. The concept is good - I like the fact that Roadblock can pilot his Pretender shell, but it doesn't work as well as on Skyhammer.

TRANSFORMATION TO BUG MONSTER MODE

   Detach the missiles, swing down the sides to form his boots, flip up the feet. Rotate the winglets to form arms, fold the winglets onto his back.

BUG MONSTER MODE
Height: 14cm Width: 7.5cm

   A black monster with purple armour on the shoulders, torso and thighs. The eyes are grey insect eyes and there's a transparent blue visor over the face, grey on the waist and some gold hosing on the chest. The colour scheme works well here, and I like the black hosing on his thighs. It's dark and brooding, and while there's no semblance to the inner robot, I'm glad there's no gold plastic.

   The sculpt here is pretty good, with a detailed black face - complete with teeth and lips - the hosing and insect leg details on the boots. The visor is a nice touch, although I much prefer to expose the facial detailing. The blue of the visor is a little out of place compared to the rest of the figure, at any rate. The play value here is good for a Pretender shell. His shoulders swing and the elbows bend on two hinges while the visor can lift up and down. You can place the guns in either hand, both the black guns and the grey gun from the inner robot can be used here.

   A nice Pretender shell with some play value, good colours and interesting detailing. The dark brooding colour scheme is better than those of the inner robot or outer shell, and the sculpt is impressive.

THE OUTER SHELL

Height: 10.5cm Length: 20cm Width: 10.5cm

   A large aqua armoured snowplow-like vehicle, the upper part is aqua and features various sculpted details and stickers while the lower part, along with the plow at the front and a large twin-barrelled cannon on the roof, dark violet painted windows and six black plastic tyres on gold wheels. The colours sound messy, but 90% of the toy is aqua and white, so it works out well enough. The gold wheels doesn't really work - and the gold plastic is a scourge on the longevity of Transformers anyway, but otherwise it's a decent colour scheme. This light colour scheme is the yin to the dark inner shell's yang, and doesn't look much like the inner robot, either.

   This shell opens up like a coffin, albeit the hinge is at the back, revealing a cavity for you to lay down the inner shell. The plow itself can lift up while the cannon on top lifts up revealing a platform behind it - the inner robot can stand on this platform and man the cannon, which is really nifty. The cannon can pivot up and down, but can't swivel from side to side. Not that the inner robot could move with it, anyway. The black guns can plug into holes on either side of the violet windows while the grey gun can plug in immediately in front of the large cannon - but only when the cannon is up.

   While it's a rolling coffin in one sense, this shell is also a rolling gun emplacement, which makes it worthwhile. The array of weapons are a plus, especially since the inner robot can man them, and with that plow on the front it looks like the sort of vehicle which would plow through enemy lines. Okay, so the colours don't match the other components and there's more than a hint of this being a box with bells and whistles, but it works well enough for what it is.

VARIATIONS

   None that I'm aware of.

OVERALL

   While his Autobot counterpart has a coherent colour theme across the three components, Roadblock's three elements are all quite disparate. The dark, brooding, organic, insect-like inner shell contrasts sharply with the angular, light-coloured outer shell - and the gold inner robot doesn't match either. Still, all three can interact with one another, and both the jet and armoured truck can be used by the inner robot. The shells are better than the inner robot, which is fairly dull and very brittle. The disparate colours do hold him back a little, but his main weakness - in a very literal sense - is the infamously brittle gold plastic which makes up most of the inner robot - 6.5/10

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