Cliffbee.com: Trailbreaker Toy Review

Toy Reviews
Individual Review




Name: Trailbreaker
Series: Generation 1
Allegiance: Autobot
Function: Defensive Strategist
Alternate Mode: Pick Up Truck



TRUCK MODE
Height: 6cm Length: 16cm Width: 6cm

   A black pick up truck with an 80s style optional extra roof on the tray (unlike the SUVs of today where the back is always enclosed), Trailbreaker has some red, orange and yellow detailing on his sides, transparent blue windows and a chrome silver headlight-front bumper assembly.

   He also has chromed hubcaps and rubber tyres. His engine block (ie the front section of the truck) is die cast metal. He's got the obligatory Diaclone cockpit - lift up a panel on top of his roof and you'll find a little seat inside for a pilot.

   There's a lot of good details in this mould. There's a number plate indent in the front bumper, rear taillights (which are red plastic), door handles and air vents in front of the windscreen.

   Play value's about as much as you'd expect - he rolls along. I suppose you could ask for the add on roof to detach, to expose his tray, but that'd expose the robot head. He does have quite a high ground clearance though, so you can happily drive him over rough terrain if you like, although you might scratch the chrome on his legs underneath if you're not careful.

   I guess Trailbreakerís car mode is somewhat dull, but then I'm not going to hold this against him - better a black 4x4 than a lime green and crimson one or something equally silly. Black works fine. Plus he's detailed enough that this is a good pick up.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Swing up the sides of the truck. Swing the legs out and fold up the feet. Fold the rear two thirds of the truck down, the rear section should pretty much flop down anyway. Lift out the head and sit it on top of his shoulders. Fold the arms down to the sides, lift out the forearms and attach the fists (or missiles if you prefer). Attach the radar scanner to the hole on the back of his head. Done.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 13.5cm Width: 9cm

   Still largely black, with some red on his knees, and chrome silver bits here and there. Trailbreaker's forearms and legs are chromed, the rest basically black or red. His head is black, but it does have wrap-around ear like chrome silver bits on the side, and a red eyeslit. Combined with the mouthplate the eyeslit makes his face quite simple - especially for a toy of this line - but it still looks okay, since the toy still has a good level of detail overall. As mentioned, his forearms are silver, as are his weapons - including the missiles if you've swapped out the hands.

   The bulk of his torso is the hood of the truck mode, the top section is the windscreen, which is transparent blue plastic. The shoulder struts are also transparent blue plastic. There's a fair bit of blue detailing on his arm stickers, which make this blue something of a theme, and it works pretty well with black, silver and red, I must admit.

   Trailbreaker's dimensions are not show accurate. His torso is squat, the cartoon has stretched it, making him lankier and more humanoid. Hoist's cartoon incarnation has the toy proportions, incidentally. The weapons are all featured in the show - the radar array and the hand-nozzle formed by inserting a missile into a wrist are used in the show (invariably as a source of his force fields).

   There's a few stickers here and there, including the ones with blue on his arms as already mentioned. The other one worth mention is the Autobot symbol on his torso - about where his waist would be if he had one. The generous application of chrome means than he doesn't really need too much in the way of stickers, so the few he has are fine.

   The play value here is reasonably good for the era, His shoulders and elbows bend, and he can shoot his missiles from his fists. Also, since his fists fit into missile launchers, he's effectively got wrists that rotate.

   The only real downside here is the block-torso, which isn't cartoon accurate, but it's not horribly shaped either. Granted, it's not perfect, but it doesn't ruin this mode by any stretch. The other potential annoyance, which might matter more, is the parts that can be lost - the missiles and fists can't be stowed in vehicle mode and can easily be lost. Still, his colours are well thought out, and the overall look is cool.

VARIATIONS

   There's been two releases: the original in 1985 and a limited reissue in Japan in 2000. Trailbreaker is one of a small group of Diaclone Autobots that haven't been mass reissued since 1985 (along with Mirage and Ratchet), meaning that there's not many variants out there. Hoist shares the same basic mould, although he has quite a few differences.

OVERALL

   Trailbreaker's a good toy, and if you can find one in good shape he's worth getting - as I said he's yet to be mass reissued. Hoist is probably more interesting thanks to the tow truck bits, but Trailbreaker's colours work a little better. The potential loss of accessories would rate as his biggest flaw, but he has lots of good points. The colours are nice, he's got lots of chrome, rubber tyres and a good level of detail in vehicle mode - 7.5/10

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