TRANSFORMERS TOYS AND MERCHANDISE SECTION
Cliffjumper's review: Road Rocket
"I'm just thinning out the excess baggage"
Road Rocket didn't have a tech spec. Oh, alright, he did, but it was a G2 one that largely concentrated on how much more hardcore, x-treme and badass he was compared to whatever toy us idiots bought last week. He's in Spotlight: Galvatron for a bit without dying, though. Woo.
Following the release of the Laser Rods in 1994, Hasbro continued with the theme, releasing the Laser Cycles, a pair incorporating the same element in motor cycle figures. There was one Autobot, Road Rocket, and one Decepticon, Road Pig. Both figures were also issued in Japan, with Road Rocket coded TRF-11. A mooted recolour of the figure as Jazz for the 1996 Western G2 line was pictured in some promo material, but was axed when the fourth series of G2 was aborted in favour of Beast Wars. In 2002, the pair were recoloured and issued as a double-pack for the Robots in Disguise line, with Road Rocket becoming the Autobot Sideways. He regained the Road Rocket name in 2004, when he was recoloured and issued as RM-18 in the Robot Masters series.
Road Rocket's motorcycle mode (a
Yamaha GTS1000) isn't as nice as Road Pig's. While the red looks good, the cycle itself just isn't as good-looking, being more of a generic dirt bike type. It's also markedly less sturdy, and there's a giant join-line for the seat and rear wheel-arch. This section (which will form the robot mode's legs) is also knocked out of shape very easily, and the front wheel-arch is just as easy to get pushed out of place. Both parts feel like they're very finely balanced, rather than locking into place. His arm is also visible underneath, which is a shame. Pressing down the fuel cap causes the left engine/axle to light up, but it's not that great truth be told. Something of a disappointment.
The transformation sequence is a bit of a mess. It's difficult to pinpoint, but there's something very unsatisfactory about it, and it manages to be both complex and simple at the same time.
Sadly, the robot mode is a disappointment too. It looks pretty sharp, aside from a blank lower torso, the regrettably hollow left forearm (a consequence of tucking the head away in bike mode) and the awkward legs. Sadly several points of articulation are wasted due to the clumsy configuration, the decent-looking kibble on his shoulders reducing the movement of his arms, and the figure is too top-heavy to do much with them. There's also the daft idea of the wire for the laser saber coming out of his left shoulder, when it can only be attached to its' right arm, robbing the figure of a fraction of mobility just through sloppiness. The potential is there for Road Rocket to be really, really good, but it looks like someone had lunch looming when they were 80% there and just decided this would do.
4 - though it's more irritating than actually difficult.
8 - Road Rocket is very well built, with ball-joints and good quality plastic. The ease with which the bike mode deforms is due to sloppy design rather than wear - from owning RiD Axer I can state this thing's like that out of the box.
4 - just about every positive feature (broadly passable articulation, laser feature, etc.) has a "but it could have been better" attached. A source of frustration.
5 - he won't cost a bomb by any means, but I can think of at least 25 figures that'd cost you the same and be a better purchase just off the top of my head.
5 - technically, Road Rocket isn't a bad figure. Aside from nemesis Road Pig, the Cyberjets and the Laser Rods, you'll find very few 20th century TFs of this size that are this good. But then wasted potential is so deeply irritating. HasTak's awful corner cutting doesn't deserve any praise. Buy two Road Pigs and just paint one red or something.