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TRANSFORMERS TOYS AND MERCHANDISE SECTION

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Transformers Toy Review Archive (older series, 1984 to date)
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Cliffjumper's review: Road Pig

Name: Road Pig
Function: generally this will be on their box or profile
Sub-Group: Laser Cycle
"And you're supposed to be a ninja? What a joke!"

When Road Pig was born, the doctor held him up and said "This is the ugliest baby I've ever seen!". He was expelled from kindergarten for milk money extortion and dishonorably discharged from the Cub Scouts. After being kicked out of a low-life, outlaw gang for smelling worse than was acceptable even by their standards, he joined the Drednoks as a probationary member. They're having a hard time making their minds up about this one...

Released in the final year of Hasbro's Transformers Generation 2 line, the Lasercycles were a progression of the previous years' Laser Rods. The figures had electronically lit weapons that formed parts of their vehicle mode. Only two Lasercycles were issued, the Autobot Road Rocket and the Decepticon Road Pig. Two more were planned, but not released before the Generation 2 line was canceled - Jazz, a repaint of Road Rocket, and Sound Wave [sic], a repaint of Road Pig (largely in blue).

Road Pig was issued in Europe (in trilingual packaging without the pop-up tech spec cards) and in Japan (with awesome comic goodness included). In 2002 both moulds were revived as a two-pack for Robots in Disguise, as Sideways and Axer respectively. This two-pack was also available in Japan as part of Takara's USA Editions line. I was fortunate enough to find a carded European Road Pig for 6 in a local model shop about four years ago. He didn't stay carded for long, however...

Alternate Mode:
The plastic is still great quality, and Road Pig looks fantastic as a Harley Davidson. He has no faction insignia (probably because there isn't a place it'd look good in both modes - not that this stopped 'em before), though his gas tank has "Transformers" in gold writing on either side. Not as goofy as it should be, and a sweet touch really.

He's even got a little kickstand to keep him on his wheels when you whiz him along.
If you press the gas tank cap, it lights up the exhaust pipe thanks to a red LED, though this is best seen in dim light. The motorbike is a decent size, and with the handlebars and seat he can hold a G. I. Joe figure (well, the Baroness one I have, anyway). You can even sit a Cyberjet on him. The scale implications of this may cause your brain to hurt, though.

Robot Mode:
The transformation's fun, although the clicking mechanism in his lower legs is a little annoying, and kind of feels like it's being forced (this is a fair trade for the knees locking at several angles, though, meaning he can strike a number of poses). He stands about 4" tall in robot mode, and is very well articulated. He can move at both hips, the knees, shoulders, elbows and turn his head. The real boon is that the joints and balance are superb, meaning all this can be used to make an awesome display piece. This is a fair step on the way to Beast Wars levels of dynamics, and the design and mechanics have aged rather well - he matches up nicely to just about any similar-sized (I'd say Basics to smaller Deluxes) Transformer made since.


The closest thing to a downside is the handlebars, which stop the arms from moving in a full vertical arc, but that's nitpicking. Even the lo-fi black-with-red details colour scheme hits all the right buttons, and he's sturdy to boot. In this mode his LED, which now forms his light saber thing, can be activated by pressing the wheel on his back. Unlike with Road Rocket, it works well in both modes.


Transformation: 6 - not really for difficulty, more for the invention and fun involved.
Durability: 8 - electronics fine after a decade on the card, and then three years regular use. Ball joints and good construction look after the rest.
Fun: 10 - light-up features, excellent articulation, great display, fun to play with, vehicle for other figures... This one's got it all.
Price: 10 - he won't cost a bomb, and you will not find a better figure for the ~$10 this one will set you back.
Overall: 10 - Motorbikes are incredibly hard to make into transforming robots, and this one is probably the best I've ever seen - considering the competition includes the Super Gobot Throttle, that's very high praise indeed. And this isn't a backhanded compliment, or a relative assessment. This is just hands-down one of the very best Transformers figures ever made, and should - nay, must - be part of everyone's collection.
 
 
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