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Transformers Toy Review Archive (older series, 1984 to date)
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sageofgrapefruit's review: Roadbuster VS Dirge boxed set

Alright, before I start, I have to mention that I'll be doing the review in 2 parts, Roadbuster, then Dirge. Each figure will be getting a mini-review, then I'll give out scores for the whole set.

Name: Autobot Roadbuster
Function: Wreckers' Heavy Gunner
Sub-Group: Wreckers

"GUYS! What part of 'clear the area' did not compute? I told-ah hey. Who am I kiddin? WRECK AND RULE!"

As war continues to wage across a ruined Cybertron, the Autobots plan an elaborate trap for the Decepticons. Enlisting the elite combat unit, the Wreckers, they set their trap and lay in wait for a group of Decepticons led by Dirge. Autobot Roadbuster, the Wreckers' heavy gunner, can't wait to lay his crosshairs on Dirge. As the time to spring the trap approaches, Autobot Roadbuster grows restless, for he can hear the low voice of his target approaching, and he longs to explode into action!

Wow. Nice bio for Roadbuster, but Dirge gets the short end of the stick here. This is a 2-pack Hasbro, not Roadbuster with a free Dirge inside!

Alright, let's get on to the review already. Before I begin, I must note that this is a repaint of Cybertron Defense Hot Shot....from Cybertron.

Alternate Mode:

Alright, let's begin with the alt mode. Roadbuster, true to his name, is something that's ruff and tuff and all sorts of manly. That's right, he's an armored military vehicle!! Roadbuster's primary colors are orange and brown, with a dash of green thrown in there. So the colors fit his character, and the vehicle fits his character too. The thing appears to be moderately armed, but then you merely insert the 'Cyber Key' to reveal missile pods, and pull out the front bumper to reveal MORE missiles.

Whoopie.

Kibble check! Flip him over, and you can see is chest, and the hands...and the outline of his legs...and the arms....yeah, lots of kibble here.

So this vehicle is lacking, mostly because it's boring, doesn't hold together very well, and is kibble laden.

So to transform him you merely pull up the gun turret, pull down the legs, pull down the front of the truck for the shoulders, and push his head down.

And! What's this? A knife hidden inside the legs? Either put it on the...knife holders, or the leg sheath and you have Roadbusters:

Robot Mode:

Now we get to the good part. The Robot Mode is the redeeming grace for a mediocre Alt Mode. In this mode, Roadbuster looks really powerful, like he could take Devastator in a wrestling match.

Pssh. Yeah right.

So in robot mode, Roadbuster has MORE missile pods than anyone in the history of TFs. Stick a Cyber Key into his little turret, and guess what? More missile pods! There are missile pods in his legs, there are missile pods in his giant shoulders, there are missile pods ON TOP of his giant shoulders, even a gun lover would go mad!!

I counted 18 guns on Animated Ultra Magnus, let's count the missiles here. 16, 22, 52, 80. Plus the guns on his shoulders, that's 82. More missiles than anyone else in my memory. No wonder he's the 'Heavy Gunner'. Roadbuster also comes with a knife, which I mentioned earlier. He looks great with it, and can make some really awesome poses with it, (as long as you put it on his arm holder, don't have him put it in his hands) despite his limited articulation.

While we're on the point of articulation, I have to mention points of articulation. I count 9 points, 10 if you count the turret. 12 if you count the guns going up and down. And I'm being nice here. With Roadbuster, the problem isn't the posing, it's the poses. Roadbuster can really pull some dynamic poses, but standing by, or a small conversation pose is hard to do with those massive shoulders. The thing is, Roadbuster is too powerful. At least Hasbro could've made the arms to turn where they met the shoulders so he could put his hands on his hips. But then again, Roadbuster seems like he might be a bot of action.

Now that I've attacked the whole figure, let's take a look at the scores.

Marks out of ten for the following:

Transformation: 6. Could be better, but not that better.
Durability: 10. Unkillable.
Fun: 7. I love some of the poses you can do with him. Great display piece, not that good for fun.
Price: For the real $10, 6. For the current price of $20-25 with Dirge, 7.
Overall: 7. Good display piece, not so fun. But it'll last for a long while.

Alright, now let's get to Dirge.

Name: Dirge
Function: Decepticon Seeker
Sub-Group: Um, bad guy.

"Let's give this thing the worst case of indigestion it's ever had!"

Autobot Roadbuster has the same tech spec, they're packaged together!

One of the saddest moments for fans was when Dirge, Thrust, and Thundercracker were declared to be BotCon exclusives. But if you're smart enough, you can get all three. There's a Cybertron Thundercracker, this Dirge, and a Cybertron Vector Prime / Starscream 2-pack, with the Starscream colored like Thrust. The Dirge I'm talking about now shares the mould with the Starscream mentioned previously.

Alright, that's your history lesson for today.

Alternate Mode:

Dirge's alt mode is based on the Cybertron (the planet) modes of the Seekers, which Hasbro said was the source of Cybertron (the series) Starscream's form. Confusing? Yes. Before I break your brain any more, lets get to reviewing the mode.

Dirge's main color is a deep blue, with hints of light brown, white, and a touch of red. I think that removing the white and the red would've helped a lot, but it's really not that big of a deal. It's a nice, streamlined jet mode, with some guns next to the cockpit, and, if you want, you can attach the robot mode's gun to the bottom for a little more weaponry.

For the kibble check, we don't even have to flip the jet over, for you can easily see Dirge's head, not even an attempt to hide it. NOW we flip it over, and we can see Dirge's tiny arms, again, not hidden at all.

So, I like this mode. Don't love it, not the best I've ever seen, but a solid jet mode.

For Transformation, one must pull the legs out, pull down the torso, then you're done. Pose the figure, then you have his:

Robot Mode:

Ok, what is up with the big shoulders in this set? I'm already sick of these. Roadbuster's shoulders work with his, but Dirge's limits his posability. He can make some menacing poses, but they don't work for EVERY SITUATION. Say his girlfriend wants to kiss, and he's being all menacing. Won't work. You try it. At least his head turns less tightly than the previous release.

He's armed with a gun with a long plastic missile, a clear grey color. The missile fires really mediocre. So his cyber key power does not do much, but makes 2 blades pop out of his giant shoulders, clear grey, like the gun missile and his cockpit.

Really not much to say about the robot mode then what I've said before, except he can do some sweet dueling with Roadbuster, and some awesome aerial poses.

Marks out of ten for the following:

Transformation: 5. It's HARD to pull the legs in order to do the transformation.
Durability: 7. Like I said above, hard to pull the legs, I feel like they're going to break someday.
Fun: 8. Jet mode formers are ALWAYS fun. After the first day, the score goes down to 7
Price: For the normal $20, 6. Clay mentioned in his Grimlock review that that Grimlock should cost $15. I think that Hasbro should have a new size class for $15, then it'd be worth it. Well, it's better than spending $200 for the BotCon version.
Overall: 7.5. Like I said, better alternative to the BotCon one if you can't get one. It is a little fun though, but if you have BotCon Dirge, then pass.

One last note, you should look very carefully when buying this set. My set came with the comic intended for the Springer/Ratbat pack, which is The War Within. Unless you're planning to get both packs, which I am, then you should be careful. But the switched one is a good comic, so I wouldn't worry, unless you've got your heart set on Target 2006.

Now for the whole set score out of ten:

Transformation: 5. Combined, they're not too hard. Really not hard at all.
Durability: 9. They won't die. They just won't die.
Fun: 8. Any 2-pack is fun. Any 2-pack with a seeker, or a jet-former is REALLY fun.
Price: 7. I got mine for $20. Good price for a Deluxe, a Voyager, and a comic.
Overall: 8. It's a set that has it's shortcomings, but the good points outweigh the bad ones. Plus, there's a comic! AND, you can get a classics Dirge so you don't have to get the BotCon one! Pick it up if you see one.
 
 
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