Along with Whirl, Roadbuster is an oddball. The Generations line seems to be gleefully anarchistic in its treatment of new versions of classic toys, but generally they all fit a certain pattern. Whirl and Roadbuster are based on non-Takara toys, and as such their updates tend to stick out like sore thumbs with label sheets and very different looks and feels. They're a little simpler and their stickers don't fit right. Clearly, someone at Hasbro hates you, and it's the sticker guy.
Packed out in robot mode, the figure requests that you label him before play. The stickers very rarely fit on their instructed location without trimming, which is tough to do if you're an adult and outright impossible if you're a child. Hasbro's ability to make stickers for toys ranks dead last of any toy line I've bought, and I've bought a lot. G.I. Joe and these two Transformers are the biggest offenders, and I have a strong dislike for having to squint to cut out the clear edges on pre-cut stickers. Take an extra week and get it right, or just leave them out.
The figure itself is on the happy side of good - oddly the clear eye visor is painted over rendering the feature useless, but he's covered in 5mm ports with a solid cache of weapons that can connect, combine, and even shoot in one case. They fit fairly well in his hands, shoulders, and elsewhere plus various tabs and slots allow them to connect together for reasons I do not understand. It's an amusing and nifty feature, but I don't get why we have it. The robot is well-articulated with all sorts of double-knee action, highly moveable ankles, and to date my figure has been pretty sturdy. I've heard the thinner plastic around the metal shoulder pins can break if you aren't careful, and some of the joints are a little stubborn. This feels more like a great collector robot than a good kid's toy, so like many of these toys I'd say get it for dad and buy something else for the kids.
The transformation is intuitive, which is unusual for bigger toys. The feet fold up as part of the car's cab section. The chest becomes the hood, and there are enough moving bits to keep things interesting without being too much of a hassle. The arms can be a little troublesome, but you'll figure it out without the instructions - just be careful and don't force anything. The end result is a fairly small, but pretty decent, vehicle. It's bigger than most Deluxe-class cars, but only just barely - it compacts up quite nicely.
The combat 4x4 has good rolling wheels and little else. As you can see, weapons and BMOG bits fit in it nicely allowing you to store weapons on board or to lose them in a baggie somewhere. Unlike some of the deluxe vehicles, the wheels roll freely and it looks quite colorful with orange, green, and brown plastic. And paint. There's a lot of paint, so take care to not scrape it off.
This is not a remarkable toy, but it's not a bad one either. Most of the features work well, although plugging in some of the weapons in certain holes just plain doesn't work well - and I dislike the stickers. That's one thing that mostly vanished at the end of the 1980s that should have stayed gone. Hasbro put out a toy with loads of articulation, good rolling wheels, and a heft that makes it a decent update of an old toy that I never had in the first place. His popularity as a character is largely driven from comics, so for many the toy itself is just a cool toy. Despite being really weird relative to the rest of the line, I'd still suggest picking one up for retail. It's fun enough to futz with, and the guns alone are a fun curiosity.
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