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Transformers Toy Review Archive (older series, 1984 to date)
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Warcry's review of: Landmine

Name: Landmine
Allegiance: Autobot
Function: Asteroid Miner
Sub-Group: Pretenders
"The greatest treasures are found in the darkest places."

A hard-working hothead. Always concerned with getting the job done right. Outer shell constructed of high density Cybertronic alloy, impervious to most armaments. Outside his shell, transforms into all-terrain, exploration vehicle. Mining activities facilitated by electromagnetic, sonic, thermal, chemical and radiation scanners. Armed with laser saber and astro blaster that shoots concentrated bursts of incendiary explosives.

I think that toys like Landmine are what killed Transformers. Not Pretenders in general, as I have a few that I really like. But Landmine epitomises the stereotype of Pretenders as ugly, poorly articulated action figures with ugly, unconvincing Transformers inside. Landmine wasn't a major player in the comics. Despite that, he was apparently the leader of the Autobot Pretenders (until he got smoked by Thunderwing, anyway). That's really too bad, because the character described in his TFU profile would have been very interesting. An Autobot with a non-combat role, longing to become a celebrated hero. Landmine was a fan of adventure stories. I always thought that this guy could have been put to good use, though I don't remember seeing any stories focusing on him. Considering how any such stories would have increased sales of the Landmine toy, inflicting this abomination on many more innocent young fans, perhaps that's for the best.

Vehicle Mode:
Landmine's alt-mode is an 'all-terrain exploration vehicle', though it could be more accurately described as a 'folded-up robot with wheels and a big gun'. Not that this is an uncommon phenomenon for the first year Pretenders, but Landmine is one of the worst. In this mode, he's light grey, with red wheels, a yellow cockpit and black front panels. There's really not much to say about Landmine in this mode, except that it ranks among the worst vehicular modes that I have ever seen.

Robot Mode:
Now, with such a horrid alt-mode, you would expect Landmine to have a decent robot mode, right? After all, many of the first-year Pretenders have nice robots, and horrid alts. However, Landmine is not one of them. His arms and legs are scrawny, his waste tapers to near-non-existence, and his head is oversized in comparison to his body. In short, he's a robotic Ally McBeal. It doesn't help that his gun is far too large for this mode, either. (His TFU says that he's reluctant to leave his shell. Hmm...I wonder why...) On the up-side, he features articulation at the shoulders, hips, knees, and head, far above the G1 norm. In this mode, Landmine is mostly grey, with red feet, black thighs and a yellow face.

Pretender Shell:
The Pretender shell is yet another mode where Landmine just doesn't stack up. The moulding on the shell isn't very detailed and the color scheme is reminiscent of a school bus. With his weapons, especially his sword, he still manages to look nice in this mode. Unfortunately, like most Pretenders, he is only articulated at the shoulders. So he can't do much with the sword. To be brutally honest, Waverider and Cloudburst both have waaaaay better shells than this guy. *sigh* At least he doesn't have some sort of animal moulded into his chest, ala Splashdown, Sky High and Groundbreaker...

Transformation: 0 - Literally the easiest, most unconvincing transformation I have ever seen. And that includes go-bots...
Durability: 5 - Mediocre, at best. Mine has major paint-wear, and is missing his robot-mode feet. His sword and belt are also broken. Sure, he's 15-odd years old, but still...
Fun: 6 - Really not all that bad. He's poseable enough to keep you entertained for a while, if you can ignore his ugliness.
Price: 3 - $60 sealed, $30 loose. About the same as the other large Pretenders. Worth far, far less.
Summary: 3 - Not bad if you're looking for a toy, though there are better in his line. If you're looking for a display piece, avoid him. Like the plague.

 
 
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