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View Full Version : Generations Voyager Roadbuster [uploaded]


Skyquake87
2014-10-08, 08:54 AM
Name : Roadbuster
Allegiance: Autobot
Function: Ground Assault Commander

Bio: Ask this Autobot who his greatest enemy is and he won't name a Decepticon. He'll say its boredom. To him, there's simply nothing more entertaining than turning a few Decepticons into a smoldering pile of scrap and he never misses a chance to pursue his favourite pastime. Few Autobots are more eager to hurl themselves into combat, and fewer still have accomplished more on the field of battle.

Roadbuster was a fairly innocuous toy back in the day. One of a number of moulds Hasbro and Takara sourced from other companies to add to the burgeoning ranks of the Transformers back in 1985. Roadbuster and Whirl both originated in the defunct and long forgotten Dorvack line, and in common with a lot of 'sourced' Transformers toys, were stylistically different from Takara's own offerings that made up the bulk of the Transformers line. The figures' licensed nature meant they were largely ignored, with only Jetfire/ Skyfire being the notable exception. Until Simon Furman came along, that is. He ensured Roadbuster lasting infamy by making him part of the starting line up of The Wreckers, the elite Autobot brawlers sent on all the difficult missions. Roadbuster hasn't said or done much in the 20 odd years since his debut in Target: 2006, which somehow suits his rather taciturn and blunt personality, but has ensured he's always there in any iteration of The Wreckers, looming at the back, bristling with guns.

Along with a bunch of other Transformers, Roadbuster was never made available in the UK in his original form, being one of those strange exotic toys that only the US seemed to get. This made him of instant appeal to me, and I've wanted to own him since forever. Needless to say, as a minor character and something of a cult, tracking down a complete original toy these days is an expensive do, so he's just stayed on my wish list.

Then Generations happened and we got not one, but two actual proper Roadbuster toys (after years and years of name appropriations on a load of mixed-bag repaints). The first one was a recolour and minor retool of the frankly awful Fall Of Cybertron Swindle toy in the wrong colours, no less. So, no, not good enough. Try again, Hasbro. Frankly, I was surprised they did, but having updated Whirl, perhaps its no surprise that Roadbuster followed on. So! Rejoice, ye multitudes, now you too can own the childhood favourite you never knew you had...but is he any good?

Well I had my misgivings, having looked at the pictures of him online, as you do...

Robot Mode: The humanoid form is almost a straight update of the original toy. He has these nice boxy shoulders, a great head sculpt -which is all emotionless robot death-skull these toned looking arms and some tough looking armoured, er, thighs. Sadly, the rest of his legs is where it all goes a bit wrong. The lower legs and shins are these hollow planks with two pankcake flat feet dangling off them like he's wearing half mast trousers and he has these ruddy great wheels which just get in the way. He also feels very light, which isn't what I was expecting from a great big clanking shooting tank of robot like Roadbuster. Probably shouldn't have come as a surprise these days, but I do miss the denser, tougher plastics of ten years ago. These honey-combed gap toothed robots of today really don't do it for me. He looks alright, but I dunno, there's just something off about him. Still, at least he has some nice painted sections.

Alternate Mode: Now this is more like it! That lanky great robot packs away into this tough little off road combat vehicle. He has monster-truck like proportions thanks to the epic ground clearance he has with those great big wheels (which evoke the same feelings in me as those farm vehicles on the original Postman Pat animated show). It is a huge improvement over whatever the original toy was supposed to be, giving him a fearsome vehicle mode to match his blocky robot mode. And it rolls really nicely something which is awesome as a lot of vehicular Transformers of late haven't had great play value in car mode. I do end up wondering if the vehicle mode was the starting point for Roadbuster it would explain why parts of the robot mode feel a bit compromised and lacking.


Marks Out Of Ten For The Following:

Transformation Design: No bones about it, Roadbuster does have a very nicely done set of twists and turns. I like how those flat paddles that pass for feet slot into the roof of the vehicle mode proving they're not a total dead loss. Everything else clicks and crunches nicely into place. 9/10

Durability: Roadbuster's durability is questionable. He feels resilient, but the stress the joints put on the toy when you're playing or transforming him are worrying, despite how tough the plastics feel. 6/10

Articulation: Ratchet joints. They're good aren't they? Yes they are. So someone thought it'd be super awesome to make nearly all of Roadbuster's joints out of these. Whilst it's good that he's not likely to wear out and become a floppy mess anytime soon, they're exceptionally tight and whilst there's no faulting the decision to put them in his legs, knees and ankles, the shoulders are something else. They're just far too tough and heavy for him and put the plastics under incredible strain. With the large amount of weaponry he has to carry, the choices used on the arms are questionable. He's got these weird double jointed biceps on swivel joints that connect to a tough ratchet joint at the elbow and you can just feel the swivel joints are going to wear down over time. The lack of wrist joints is also a bit of a shame. So, some er, interesting choices made with the articulation. 6/10

Fun: For years, Transformers have come with piddly little guns. This design tick is a hangover from the 1990s, which HasTak have been unwilling to let go of wherein the weapon tucks away somewhere on the alt mode. Like Whirl, Roadbuster bucks this trend by coming with ALL the guns. It's great to have a bunch of weapons to tool Roadbuster up with. Plus, they can all be clipped together in a variety of different ways which is cool. They certainly add to Roadbuster's character too. The vehicle mode is also tops, being a great thing to rumble around stacked up with guns shooting at things. Less fun are the 30 or so tiny stickers he comes with. These piddly things if applied as per the instructions, do dangle over a lot of the edges of the surfaces on the toy, leaving fingernail like slithers of clear sticky plastic poking off him. I quickly cottoned onto this, and just started switching the orientation and location for the stickers to make them work for me. Pedants with time and a modelling knife will no doubt do a better job. He also comes with a Wreckers Autobot insignia (who knew they had one?), but there isn't space for both this and the regular Autobot one, so that's destined to fester unused. 8/10

Price/Value: I picked Roadbuster up for 30 at Auto Assembly. It's more than I would have liked to have paid, in all honesty, but seems to be the going rate for Generations Voyagers toys these days. Living in Europe, I'd be hard pressed to get the figure for the usual RRP of 23 this scale of toy currently costs, let alone the original version. Might be worth waiting on any online sales to pick him up. 6/10

Overall: I wanted to like Roadbuster, but I knew from the online pictures I'd seen of him he was a bit of sketchy mess and was half expecting that he wouldn't deliver in hand and I was right. Although Generations Whirl has his faults (apparently), Roadbuster feels like a less successful update of the old Dorvack toy than Whirl. He's just a bit too gangly and his legs are horrible and there's just none of the weight or presence the guy should have. He's saved by an armoury of weapons and a great vehicle mode, but there's just that nagging thought that he could have been so much better. 7/10

Skyquake87
2014-10-08, 09:00 AM
Pictures!

Cliffjumper
2014-10-08, 10:43 AM
They just can't be ****ed with alt modes anymore can they? "Hey, make sure it's got four wheels and we can just claim it's a Cybertronian tank or something". Robots in "whatever, guys".

Clay
2014-10-08, 02:08 PM
They just can't be ****ed with alt modes anymore can they? "Hey, make sure it's got four wheels and we can just claim it's a Cybertronian tank or something". Robots in "whatever, guys".

But enough about the 1987 line. What do you think of this new Roadbuster?

inflatable dalek
2014-10-08, 05:28 PM
Yeah, Roadbuster looking like Roadbuster seems a strange complaint.

Personally, I think I like this toy more than Skyquake, I enjoy the chunky feel and actually really like the feet.

Denyer
2014-10-08, 05:37 PM
Tempted to keep a look out for a Revolver, but it's not worth anything like the price gap between it and the Hasbro one.

Skyquake87
2014-10-08, 07:25 PM
Heh, I know it looks like him, but there's just something slightly underwhelming about him. Its those rubbish legs and those daft wheels that get in the way of him standing straight and those super tough ratchet joints, it just wounds him a bit too much for me. Whirl turned out pretty awesome, all things considered, but Roady here just doesn't work quite so well.

Paul053
2014-10-08, 07:35 PM
Enjoy your review.

I, too, have the same mix feelings about this figure. IT'S ROADBUSTER. Why not like him? But as as I said when I got him, The hollowness in both robot mode and vehicle mode were covered well but while it may look fine from outside, the fact it is hollow inside cannot be ignored., his light weight really bugged me and still does. I have some ratchet joints that already went loose when I opened him. And so far I know, those resistance based ratchet joints are hard to fix, unlike ball or swirl joints.

Cliffjumper
2014-10-08, 11:02 PM
But enough about the 1987 line. What do you think of this new Roadbuster?

I dunno, the '87 line (and the original Roadbuster) had distinct "designed" modes that were specifically meant to be something even if it didn't exist and a lot of them were rather good for the design compromises - Lightspeed, Afterburner, Hardhead, Sureshot, the Decepticon Targetmasters, Nosecone; all quite distinct.

That just looks like one of the many generic things slung out under the UT lines and just about any other non-licensed line since (like the way just about every car Transformer might as well transform into Armada Hotshot's vehicle mode).

Clay
2014-10-09, 09:12 PM
I dunno, the '87 line (and the original Roadbuster) had distinct "designed" modes that were specifically meant to be something even if it didn't exist and a lot of them were rather good for the design compromises - Lightspeed, Afterburner, Hardhead, Sureshot, the Decepticon Targetmasters, Nosecone; all quite distinct.

That just looks like one of the many generic things slung out under the UT lines and just about any other non-licensed line since (like the way just about every car Transformer might as well transform into Armada Hotshot's vehicle mode).

Yes, but considering that the original Roadbuster (http://tfu.info/1985/Autobot/Roadbuster/roadbuster.htm) was a heavily genericized Jeep/4x4 sort of vehicle to begin with, is it valid to describe a new version as poorly done if remains faithful to that aspect? New Roadbuster has large wheels and an enclosed cockpit which suggest a vehicle used in all terrains and harsh climates. Add in all the guns and it strengthens the allusion to the original, I think. The colors make a huge impact too, but they could also have released the mold in red, white, and blue and called it Crosshairs (http://tfu.info/1987/Autobot/Crosshairs/crosshairs.htm) without much dissent. (What was Crosshairs, anyway? A closed-box pickup truck?) Generic designs lend themselves to that sort of wiggle room, though.

Cal
2014-10-10, 01:23 AM
That's not the whole review, is it? It doesn't conform to the standard format on this site. The score section should be reserved for a brief summarization of the review, but the review itself should be a distinct article. Rewrite!

Clay
2014-10-10, 02:03 AM
That's not the whole review, is it? It doesn't conform to the standard format on this site. The score section should be reserved for a brief summarization of the review, but the review itself should be a distinct article. Rewrite!

You're not serious, are you?

Cal
2014-10-10, 02:39 AM
I'm completely serious. The layout and scrutiny of reviews in the archive is what attracted me to them in the first place. Skyquake87's review format comes off as too piecemeal and fragmented to form a consistent whole. I'm not saying he doesn't analyse Roadbuster in detail enough, but I think the review could be presented more coherently if it were rewritten into the standard site format.

Clay
2014-10-10, 02:49 AM
It reads fine to me.

Skyquake87
2014-10-10, 02:52 AM
Hrm.

Yes it is. I am not Brian Sewell. I can't waffle on when a few words will do the work of ten. It's just my writing style. You may not like it. Other writers are available.

My preference is to give the robot mode and alternate mode a score (they're just as important as other factors on the toy, surely?). I have removed these as per the format.

I've re-edited this slightly to fit, but I'm leaving it as is otherwise, unless anyone else has any objections.

I haven't the time to do a re-write, so if anyone else wants a punt, feel free.

inflatable dalek
2014-10-10, 02:30 PM
What I would note Skyquake is that, out of the various people in this thread- including Clay who is one of the gurus of the toy reviews here- no one else seemed to have a problem either reading or understanding your review, and from my own humble perspective it was and is fine. Unless Blackjack or one of our other toy mods has any suggestions of their own I can't see why it isn't ready to go.

Cal- You're obviously more than entitled to have an opinion of the work of others, and even to express it (though constructive criticism is always better than orders), but you're not a mod nor an editor of the site and giving "Rewrite!" style commands is well outside your bailiwick. The guidelines are just that, guidelines, and if someone doing something off their own back for free comes up with something good that doesn't fit them to an exact T (though it's not as if Skyquake has drastically reinvented the wheel, frankly it didn't look hugely different to many of our other reviews) that has never, ever been a problem.

Kindly don't boss our contributors about again, and as we've had problems with you throwing your weight around in this subforum before you can consider this a formal warning to play nice.

Now, everyone back to talking about Roadbuster. And his amazing feet.

Cliffjumper
2014-10-10, 02:35 PM
I'm completely serious. The layout and scrutiny of reviews in the archive is what attracted me to them in the first place. Skyquake87's review format comes off as too piecemeal and fragmented to form a consistent whole. I'm not saying he doesn't analyse Roadbuster in detail enough, but I think the review could be presented more coherently if it were rewritten into the standard site format.

Seriously? Your reviews are boring as ****, you're far too satisfied with yourself to bother focusing. Skyquake's review is tight, snappy and does the job just fine.


Even if Roadbuster's alt mode is crap.

inflatable dalek
2014-10-10, 02:38 PM
Even if Roadbuster's alt mode is crap.

I still like it. :(

Warcry
2014-10-10, 03:21 PM
Mr. dalek is 100% correct -- Skyquake's review is fine, and people who aren't staff need to refrain from bossing around the reviewers. Thanks. :)

Even if Roadbuster's alt mode is crap.

I still like it. :(
I do too!

I think his robot mode is garbage, though. Just can't get over the clown-shoes and the huge wheels just randomly hanging off his forearms. Those are the sort of design compromises you'd expect to see on a Scout/Legends figure, not a Voyager toy. Hasbro seem to be really hit-or-miss with the price point lately, though. At least with the Generations line, everything has either been really good (Springer, Sandstorm, Rhinox, Whirl) or really bad (Blitzwing, Roadbuster, that hilarious combiner Optimus).

I suppose that's better than wallowing in mediocrity like the Deluxes have been for the last couple years, though...

Cal
2014-10-10, 08:38 PM
Cal- You're obviously more than entitled to have an opinion of the work of others, and even to express it (though constructive criticism is always better than orders), but you're not a mod nor an editor of the site and giving "Rewrite!" style commands is well outside your bailiwick. The guidelines are just that, guidelines, and if someone doing something off their own back for free comes up with something good that doesn't fit them to an exact T (though it's not as if Skyquake has drastically reinvented the wheel, frankly it didn't look hugely different to many of our other reviews) that has never, ever been a problem.

Geez, lighten up. You misunderstood my meaning. I didn't intend "Rewrite!" as an order to Skyquake87, it was more of an exclamation like "Pass!" or "Called it!" I read Skyquake87's last reply and didn't bother arguing with him further, so let's consider the matter settled.


Seriously? Your reviews are boring as ****, you're far too satisfied with yourself to bother focusing. Skyquake's review is tight, snappy and does the job just fine.

This is the first I've heard of it, and I suspect it's some childish attempt at revenge towards my comment rather than serious criticism. But if there's any substance to your claim, I'd like to hear more. For example, what the hell does "you're far too satisfied with yourself to bother focusing" even mean?

Knightdramon
2014-10-10, 09:19 PM
I remember reading a lot of people over at tfw2005 having problems with this figure's joints or plastic---then again people at tfw2005 have problems with pretty much everything.

Any of these hold true on the mass retail release or is it just blown out of proportion?

Admittedly Roadbuster is pretty low on my list [heck, Springer is at the top of the list and I've put off buying him for longer than a YEAR], but I'd hate for him to be pushed further back :lol:

zigzagger
2014-10-10, 09:35 PM
**shrugs**

Haven't picked one up yet, but Roadbuster looks all right to me. And the feet can be pushed inward as I understand, so I've no qualms with that. I agree he is a bit lanky, though.

Mind, it's not something I'd go out of my way to get. He looks fine, yes, but not great. More like if I happen to spot one while out and about, then I might nab a Roadbuster. Maybe. I did cave in and pick up the Voyager Whirl a while back, and I totally dig him. A Roadbuster would 'complete the set', so to speak.

inflatable dalek
2014-10-11, 06:48 AM
Geez, lighten up. You misunderstood my meaning. I didn't intend "Rewrite!" as an order to Skyquake87, it was more of an exclamation like "Pass!" or "Called it!" I read Skyquake87's last reply and didn't bother arguing with him further, so let's consider the matter settled.

Then you really need to think about how you come across when you post as this isn't a new problem and I think it's more likely that your writing style is (hopefully unintentionally) overly confrontational than all the staff and various posters who had issues with your comments in the review forum over the year are being overly sensitive as a group.

Not to mention the hypocrasy in your attitude here, coming over as ordering Skyquake to do a rewrite when you recently threw a passive aggressive hissy fit over a suggested one line change to your third party Galvatron review.

Just remember, you're not a mod, not an editor so please don't act like one and there won't be any issues going forward. If not, there will be a temp ban (and in terms of lightening up, a lot of forums would have straight up banned you for giving back chat to a mod for telling you to cut something out. We don't because we're a nice bunch of people).

Now, simply because I suspect poor old Skyquake is turning a deep shade of red over this whole lot of nonsense, this really is the end of this now. All posts after this post will be just about Roadbuster, further discussion and questions can be done via PM or a different thread.

As a general point to everyone: Mod preference never comes into it when we put reviews up. We all have styles and writers we like and dislike but one thing the Archive has always been keen to cultivate in its prose content is variety, not just what the small group of people in charge think is good but to both provide something for everyone and to encourage as many people as possible to contribute. As long as it reads coherently what a mod- or anyone in the peanut gallery- thinks of either your style or opinions is irrelevant. So don't anyone be put off by all this, we love you all deep down inside.


@Knightdramon: I've had no problems with the figures joints or plastic on the handful of times I've fiddled with him over the last two months.

Skyquake87
2014-10-12, 12:25 PM
I think the plastic quality is fine, and the paint gives him a nice sheen, just that those ratchet joints on his shoulders are so heavy you can feel the strain of them moving against their plastic housings.