One of the most amazing things about Trashmaster is that the name wasn't taken by some existing consumer product that tops Google. Sure, there are things called it, but this guy tops the search engines and not some under-the-counter trash compactor.
A new character the size of a short Voyager or tall Deluxe at about 6-inches, you might not feel you're getting your money's worth compared to the Deluxe junkions that are loaded with accessories. Trashmaster has an excellent new head with underbite that looks like it fell out of a Transformers Animated sketchbook, complete with spikes. His chunky body has built-in blasters on his wrists and is built like some of the more robust guys from the late 2000s. You get the spike and chain detail you expect, with a paint job evocative of Wreck-Gar and his buddies. He doesn't quite fit in perfectly with the other guys, but there are a lot of similarities.
While he is a new person, he does come off as a familiar pastiche of things you've seen. The articulation is very good, and the "monster mode" you can make by putting the clamp weapon on the neck area is a hoot, though. This is a toy you buy to play with - the elbow articulation is excellent and the big feet allow for a variety of poses without the robot falling over. The character design doesn't come off as one of the very best, but I do like the engineering a lot. The robot mode does feel like a bunch of boxes with sharp bits bolted on, but at least it's sturdy and fun to pose. I don't think the truck windshield reads well, and it also seems odd as a chest. Maybe it's the silver.
Conversion is pretty easy - I left the instructions in the other room, but just went for it. I needed to look at a picture of the trash truck mode in order to get the fists in the right spot, but it all goes together really well and a kid might actually enjoy this one. It's not a hassle.
Once you get him in vehicle mode, at least for me, disappointment set in - he's small. If you're an older fan, this $34 2023 Voyager-class garbage truck is almost the exact same size as a 2003 Deluxe-class Energon Inferno or Roadbock - similar size, similar proportions, and arguably the 2003 truck is more fun. The garbage truck has moving "arms" and a claw that kind of opens, along with the obligatory rolling wheels. It's not great. It's OK at best. It's by no means bad, and the transformation is easy enough, but with inflation the toy feels like you're paying twice what you should. He makes a compelling argument that Hasbro could make simpler and cheaper toys that are just as good, although a certain kind of fan while complain there are no ankle tilts and then everybody pays two to three times as much for all of their toys as a result. You do get five shades of plastic, though, but you lose rocket launchers and I would argue Inferno had the better combination gimmick.
If this were a $25 toy, I'd recommend it highly. It lacks the extra accessories and pull-apart-ness of the Deluxe Junkions, and it costs more - there's a little more mass here, but not a ton. It's by no means a bad toy, but comparing it against stuff not aimed at collectors does not improve its favorability. It's a charming new design, a neat character concept, and a goofy idea of having an armored post-apocalyptic trash truck. You have to love it. But, you can also admit you're not getting your money's worth on a lot of these guys anymore. Heck, Inferno even had a trading card in the box. I don't regret it, but it's not the value of the year.
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