Cliffbee.com: Road Fire Toy Review

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Name:
Series: Japanese Generation 1
Allegiance: Cybertron
Function: Defence Officer
Alternate Mode: Tank, Base

Thanks to heroic decepticon for loaning me Road Fire for this review



TANK MODE
Height: 8.5cm Length: 23.5cm Width: 10.5cm

   A black lump with several red stickers, a red turret and a blue cannon on the front of the turret, Road Fire has some white at the base of the cannon and a couple of bright orange elements here and there. There's no Autobot logo in this mode. The colours don't clash but there's no coherence here, either.

   This is a tank because we're told it's a tank. While there's a cannon on front and some treads sculpted on the bottom, Road Fire really looks like a lump. The turret doesn't turn and doesn't look much like a turret anyway. There are some blue stickers on the front resembling cockpit stickers, which only confuses things - why would a tank have a cockpit? There are white protrusions on top, which look like jet tailfins (although they're backwards), and they serve to distract. The red turret is well sculpted, but the top looks more like the back of a spaceship than a turret (it's not the back of Big Powered).

   There is some play value here, at least. There are two orange buttons, on either side of the cannon. Pressing either will cause the front to open out to the sides and any Micromaster stowed inside (think Drillbuster) to be ejected. Drillbuster rolled about four inches when I tried this - it's not much, but too far and the Micromaster would fly off the end of the table. There are four small orange wheels underneath, allowing him to roll, although not very well.

   A terrible tank mode that's not much more than a lump with some rudimentary treads and a gun on the front. The ejecting gimmick at the front is the only real positive here - the colours are sloppy and the sculpt detracts from the intended alternate mode. Even by the sometimes questionable standards of Transformers tanks, this is not much of a tank.

TRANSFORMATION TO BASE MODE

   Press either button to open the front, press a third orange button on the right side to cause the back of the turret to whir and flip up 90. Not much a of a transformation, really.

BASE MODE
Height: 15cm Length: 22.5cm Width: 13.5cm



   The colour scheme is fairly similar to the tank mode, with more orange and the red is more prominent. The black is still the main colour, but there's more of the other colours, giving him a brighter look now.    Just as the tank mode isn't much of a tank, this isn't much of a base. The red tower formed from the turret looks nice enough, but doesn't really do anything. The cannon is visible in front and there's an orange platform below it, but there's no real way for Drillbuster to man this emplacement. There's no play value here, making this a very dubious mode - it's little more than an intermediate mode.

   This is Road Fire's weakest mode, since it's a lump with a gun. There's no play value and nowhere for Micromasters to man weapons or consoles or anything. This one's simply a dud. I guess the only real value here is that he can combine with Dai Atlas & Sonic Bomber to form a combined base mode.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE (FROM BASE MODE)

   Detach the front half of the tank & gun. Set aside. Stand him up on the top of the tower, fold out the robot head up from the back of the base (his torso), fold the torso back. Swing back the arms, fold out the forearms. Place the gun in either hand. Yes, that's right, half his tank mode is simply left aside here.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 21cm Width: 10.5cm

   Now mainly red, Road Fire has a blue head, blue fists and a blue groin. His forearms are black while the thighs, chest and elbows are white. His face is white with mid blue eyes and a good sculpt. There are some orange, red and black stickers here and there, with the Autobot logo sticker on his chest being the only one of any note.

   A blocky robot mode, Road Fire's boots are a single piece although his feet are distinct. His head is sunken below the level of his chest, and this is accentuated by the red shoulder pylons. The detailing here is simple and fairly generic, which makes sense when you consider that neither of his alt modes really look like... well... anything.

   There's not a lot of play value here. His shoulders swing and his elbows bend, but the arms are flush against the body and he's quite blocky, so he looks static in every pose available. There are no gimmicks here.

   While this is Road Fire's best mode, that's damning with faint praise. This robot mode is okay at best. It's more coherent than his other modes, since it's clearly a robot. The colour scheme is best in this mode, since the red forms a theme - and fits into his name (well, the "fire" part - "road" just seems random). I can't say I like this mode, but it's tolerable.


DRILLBUSTER
Alternate Mode: Drill Tank

TANK MODE
Height: 2cm Length: 5.5cm Width: 2.5cm

   Largely blue, Drillbuster has a grey sticker on his wraparound cockpit (what is it with these guys and cockpits?). While he's almost devoid of colour, this tank is far more defined than Road Fire's, s I don't really mind.

   The sculpt here is decent, with clearly defined treads - which are better than those on the larger toy - and a blue drill on the front. Granted, the drill has rings rather than a thread, but it works as long as you don't look too closely. Play value is limited to rolling him along on the three orange wheels underneath.

   This is the best alternate mode of this set - by some distance. It's decent as Micromaster alt modes go, without being fantastic - he is held back by a lack of colour, but this tank mode is satisfying, at least.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Fold over the rear to form legs, stand him up.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 6cm Width: 2.5cm

   Drillbuster has more colour now - his chest is white and his thighs are orange. Okay, so blue is still the main colour, but it's on the periphery now (arms, boots, head) allowing the other colours to be prominent. The face is unpainted blue, which is a little disappointing, and is flanked by the drill, which is his head.

   The facial sculpt is pretty good, if difficult to discern. The arms are treads and there's an orange wheel on his chest. Drillbuster's poseability is limited to his arms swinging, which is pretty standard for a Micromaster.

   A good colour scheme aside from the unpainted face and some clear alt mode elements make this a pretty good robot mode. The facial sculpt is good, which makes the lack of paint a real shame.

VARIATIONS

   None that I'm aware of.

OVERALL

   Road Fire is easily the weakest of the Powdered Masters (the trio which form Big Powered). Both alternate modes are weak and ill-defined while the robot mode is also quite limited. I'm unimpressed that his formless tank more requires a big chunk to be added to his robot mode, and I can't say the play value here is impressive, since it's quite minimal, really. Drillbuster is a decent Micromaster, and while he's the only Micromaster drill tank, I wouldn't grab the set just for him. Unless you're a completist of Japanese G1 toys, I'd skip this difficult to find & expensive toy - 3/10

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