Dark of the Moon Roadbuster

When I first heard that The Wreckers were going to be in Transformers: Dark of the Moon, my reaction was basically, “So, what?”

The Wreckers were a creation of Simon Furman (a Marvel UK writer of the Transformers comic book) and first appeared in 2006, long after I’d quit the Transformers comics. They were a commando team of Autobots tasked with destroying ten of the Decepticons’ best warriors. Their original roster was mostly made up of Autobots that didn’t make the cut in the American version of the series, but later, they were joined by the three Autobot triple-changers, Springer, Broadside and Sandstorm. There are several other arcs that feature the team, and they’ve been absorbed into some of the other continuities as well.

Still, I didn’t see what all the fuss was about. I’d have preferred it if we saw the Dinobots instead. Or Omega Supreme. Hell, if we saw an army of Starscream clones it would have made me as excited as porcupine humping a pineapple.

In the movie, The Wreckers are a group of warrior mechanics (say what?) who all transform into pimped out NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Chevrolet Impala stock cars with machine guns and rocket launchers (for no real reason that’s given during the film). They’re left with the Autobot’s space shuttle because “they’re assholes.” 

Thankfully, they didn’t really do much in the film, basically just mumble a bunch of profanity and bloodily dismember a few Decepticons. It kind of makes me wonder why there are so many different versions of them in the toy line. I mean at least Skids and Mudflap had screentime. There’s one of these guys that doesn’t even have a line!

Aesthetically, the Deluxe Class figures are the same as those in the Human Alliance line: simple cards and clear plastic bubbles like the packaging of Whirl and Backfire. The colors are just as dull as the Skyhammer box so it’s easy to rip these cards to shreds when you open them: no guilt.

You’ll see that the “track” version of this figure is the normal everyday NASCAR stock car instead of the Deathrace 2000 version. This is the first issue I have with the toys: You can’t complete the weaponized version of the Wreckers in any of the size classes. There are Cyberverse, Deluxe, and Human Alliance (the big ones) versions but none each class has a mix of the regular versions and the ones with guns. What’s worse, some of the toys are supposed to be exclusives, so that’s going to make it hard as hell to complete the team.

I might not even bother.

The stock car mode is pretty good – if you can get over the fact that the new Deluxe figures for the third movie are noticeably smaller than their predecessors. The figure is cast in green and gray, with white paint applications and tampographed sponsorship decals of AMP Energy and National Guard. The white isn’t perfect: there are thin/thick spots, but that’s the way mass produced stuff is these days. It does kind of make the numerous panel lines on the sides very prominent though.

One of the best things about the new line though is the new “hidden” peg holes. There are several on the car mode: one on the roof and one on either door. Each is spring-loaded so that they close up when not in use.

That is all kinds of sweet.

Sadly, you can’t really use the ones on his doors unless you pop out his arm (that’s where it hides when he’s transformed), but it’s still pretty gnarly.

Unfortunately, since this is the normal, unarmed version of Roadbuster, he’s only go the one Mechtech weapon to equip. Seems to me that if you’ve got a robot who turns into a well armored, well armed combustion engine of death, he damn well better come with some friggin’ guns.

Damn it, Hasbro.

What he does come with is one of the spring-loaded accessories that the toy companies are so fond of. At least this time it’s a little smaller.

As these things go, this is actually a pretty fun gimmick. I only wish that it could lock in chainsaw mode so that he could pose with that weapon activated, especially in robot mode.

Speaking of robot mode, this one has got a pretty good one. The robot form is actually what keep me from selling this toy once I got it. Sure I hate Transformers: Dark of the Moon with every fiber of my being, but I can recognize a good toy when I see one.

The transformation is pretty unconventional. The car’s skin is pretty much unconnected to the skeleton of the robot and forms its armor once it’s completed. The process involves a lot of flipping and twisting. It’s not very intuitive, but it’s involved and fun as hell.

The robot form of Roadbuster really looks great. It’s got excellent balance, proportion, a nice-looking head and those great hands that hold weapons, but don’t look like blocks with holes punched through them.

The back portion of the car ends up on the top of his back and can unfold to become a couple of rocket racks. At first, I thought these would be detachable and hooked on with the c-clip system, but no, I was wrong: they’re both permanently attached.

I love that his feet are so simply done (they just flip down from his legs which form the majority of the car’s undercarriage) yet allow such dynamic, yet stable, posing. The bottom surface is slanted slightly, so that he stands with his legs slightly apart. It’s subtle, but damned if it doesn’t work like magic.

The only real problem I have with this mode is the huge amount of kibble on his backside. The entire roof basically just hangs off his shoulders like an ugly cape. Oh, and the huge doors he has hanging off his arms: those too. They’d be great if he came with something that you could mount on it. The chainsaw is something, but what he really needs are big, freakin’ guns.

The best thing about the figure though is its articulation. The thing has excellent range and because of the relatively clear areas around each of the joints, nothing is hampered. It's a great change from some of the designs from the first two movie lines.

Oh, and if you're really a sucker for this figure, you can also get him in day-glow orange. The Track Battle Roadbuster is a Walmart Exclusive figure (here available at Toys 'R' Us and Toy Kingdom) that costs about 40% more than the regular green version: Php 1,000 versus Php 700 (or $22.50 versus $15.50 US). I'm still on the fence about it myself. While I like this figure a lot, I'm not sure I want to pay another grand for a crappy re-color.

I have already bought the Deluxe Class Top Spin, though. Sadly there still is no Deluxe Class Leadfoot, the third Wrecker in the group. It really sucks that that character that that figure is set to be a Target exclusive this time.

You suck, Hasbro.

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