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Transformers Toy Review Archive (older series, 1984 to date)
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Numbat's Review: Trailcutter Trailbreaker

Name: G1 Trailcutter (A.K.A. Trailbreaker)
Function: Autobot Spy / Defensive Strategist
Subgroup: Reveal the Shield Legends Class

Trailbreaker was something of a bit-part Autobot that received a form of cult status. While rarely stealing the show, he was often in the background and would play key roles in episodes thanks to his expert deception skills and ability to project various forcefields. He’s a happy-go-lucky character, always positive, often balancing more negative views from other Autobots, although this apparently is in compensation for his low self-esteem.

His alternate mode – a Toyota Hi-Lux Camper – was a cool 4x4, although the heavy fuel consumption was recognised in the original character profile, apparently embarrassing Trailbreaker! How the world has changed since G1 – now, when oil reserves dwindle and climate change is causing real damage to ecosystems, the economy and human society the idea of any mention of the dangers of fossil fuels would be as likely to appear in a Transformer bio as mention of a love of ballet dancing. Yet, way back in the ‘80s, the entire G1 Transformers cartoon was all energy economy and climate focused.

Scratch that, with current global politics and corporate sway, I think the mention of a love of ballet dancing is more likely. Hell, there’ll probably be a ballet dancing Decepticon before the message of fuel economy, renewable energy and climate change hits the Transformers universe again.

At least Scotland is embracing renewables...

Diatribe aside...

Sadly, there have been no Trailbreaker figures since the original G1 toy. Although there have been a number of homages in the works, Hasbro was unable to secure the name, and these toys were either released as other characters or never saw the light of day.

Roll on 2010/11 and we finally have a new Trailbreaker figure – albeit named Trailcutter. He may be in the Legends Class, but he is a fantastic little homage indeed...


Alternate Mode:

Trailbreaker still transforms into a black 4x4, that shares the general profile with the original G1 figure. However, where he was once a Toyota Hi-Lux Camper truck, he now appears to be a modified Cadillac Escalade – or at least draws heavily on this vehicle for design inspiration. While not as practical an off-roader as the Hi-Lux, it’s still a nice vehicle. Measuring 2 ” (6.5cm) in length, it is well detailed for a Legends Class vehicle, with windows, doors, handles, mirrors, bumper, lights, grill and wheels well moulded.

While Legends Trailbreaker does sadly lack the iconic orange and yellow ‘80s style detailing, he is well painted for this size Class. The windscreen is metallic navy blue, radiator grill and front bumper both silver and headlights gold. Sadly, as is common with Legends Class figures, the remaining windows remain unpainted, but this is less of a problem with a black vehicle mode.

The requisite rub-sticker that is the gimmick for the Reveal the Shield (RTS) line is present on the roof at the rear of the vehicle.

The vehicle rolls well, and the only hint at there being anything amiss with the disguise is the portion of the rear that is missing (bumper level) – but this can easily be overlooked as high rear ground clearance (although is odd when taken with the low clearance for the rest of the vehicle).

Overall, the vehicle mode is an acceptable homage and well executed for a Legends Class figure, although is more generic than it need be, lacking the iconic detailing.


Robot Mode:

Trailbreaker’s transformation takes its cues from the G1 figure and Movie 2007 Legends Ironhide. It is simple, but effective for Trailbreaker – and quite fun to fiddle with to boot.

The result is a stocky robot standing 3 ” (8.5cm), and is unmistakably Trailbreaker. The robot mode detailing on the head and legs is perfection, with details picked out in silver (thighs and forcefield generator on his head), red (leg details) and metallic navy blue (visor). The rearrangement of vehicle mode parts is very satisfying, and creates most of the torso and arms, just as with the original G1 toy. It would have been nice to have moulded one arm as a cannon, rather than giving him two hands, but, frankly, it’s a minor detail.

The rub-sticker finds itself on his right wrist, and otherwise the robot mode (or vehicle mode) lacks any Autobot insignias.

Trailbreaker is not particularly well articulated for his size class, with ball joints at the shoulders and hips, and hinges at the ankles (the latter thanks to the transformation design rather than any deliberate thought, I expect). This does limit his poseability somewhat, which is not aided by his stocky stature. However, he can strike suitably relaxed or ready poses, and looks good alongside Universe 2.0 Legends G1 Hound. They have similar detail levels, although Hound beats Trailbreaker in articulation stakes, while Trailbreaker has a much nicer robot mode than Hound. On the shelf, they make a great pair.

In summary, I am very pleased with Legends Trailbreaker – he’s a neat little figure, and fun to fiddle with, while his robot mode in particular is a superb homage to the G1 character. There are better Legends Class figures out there, but not many nowadays.


Marks out of ten for the following:

Transformation Design: 7 – It’s not complex, but it is satisfying and used to great effect.
Durability: 10 – As far as Legends Class figures go, Trailbreaker is built like a brick. I’m not worried about anything at all on this guy.
Fun: 7 – Trailbreaker is limited by his articulation and stocky design, but has to nice looking modes and a satisfying transformation. I find myself picking him up and transforming him often while working when he’s on my desk, which is not true of all Transformers.
Aesthetics: 9 – Trailbreaker is a fantastic homage to his G1 design, and has two great modes – although his robot mode is where he truly shines.
Articulation: 5 – Trailbreaker is not as well endowed with articulation as other Legends Class figures, and his blocky design limits him further. Still, what little articulation he does have allows him to be displayed nicely alongside other Legends Class figures.
Value/Price: 7 – Legends Class figures have fluctuated in price more than any other size class in recent years. I picked up Trailbreaker at 3.69, which I feel is reasonable in this day and age. However, he’s going at other stores for anything up to 5.99, which is not such a fair deal. I think Trailbreaker is worth up to 4.99, but I wouldn’t pay more.
Overall: 7 – Trailbreaker is a fantastic little homage to his G1 design in robot mode, but the truck mode is bordering on generic due to lack of iconic detailing, and the articulation does have limitations. He’s therefore not a bad Legends Class figure, and there are sadly few better from recent lines, but he’s not as good as some (e.g. RTS Legends G1 Megatron, Universe 2.0 Legends G2 Megatron, Universe 2.0 Legends Beachcomber, Universe 2.0 Legends Cosmos, Universe 2.0 Legends Warpath, Universe 2.0 Legends Wheelie and Legends of Cybertron Starscream are all better examples of Legends Class figures). Still, worth picking up at a decent price.
 
 
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