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Series: Dark of the Moon Mechtech
Allegiance: Autobot
Categories: Deluxe
Year: 2011

Roadbuster might be a little rough around the edges, but he's got it where it counts. For as long as any of them can remember, he and his partners have specialized in traveling the galaxy, kicking Decepticon tailpipe and taking names. To them, Earth is just another battleground.

Robot Mode: Let me get my major beef with this figure out of the way first: except for the parts that are visible in car mode and the head, nearly everything on this robot is unpainted grey plastic. Now I get that this isn’t supposed to be the most colorful fellow in the world, but leaving half the robot unpainted just looks cheap to my eye. Roadbuster desperately needs more paint on his body, especially because he features some nice detailing on chest, hip and legs, which are sadly swallowed up by the dull grey.

Now this figure has caught a lot of flak for apparently looking like a stereotypical NASCAR fan. Now I’ve never been to a NASCAR race in my life (I doubt many people outside the US have), so I wouldn’t know what a stereotypical fan looks like, but Roadbuster features a mullet, sunglasses, a goatee, and a baseball cap with some kind of horns on it. Me, I don’t have too much of a problem with that beyond finding it a bit silly, but I don’t think it’s been overdone in any way, so I can live with it.

No complaints in terms of posability, Roadbuster can bust some moves without problem, despite having kibble on his back and arms. Weapon-wise he has two big missile launchers on his shoulders, which look pretty cool, as well as a Mechtech weapon that can clip onto either arm. It’s a gun that can flip out into a big chainsaw. Like most Mechtech weapons, it’s better to get rid of the spring inside, because otherwise the chainsaw flips back in the moment you let go of the lever.

The bottom line for the robot mode: Nice sculpt, but he really suffers in the looks department due to the lack of paint. With a better paint job he might have risen above average, but as things stand he’s little more than just another Movie-bot.

Alternate Mode: Roadbuster transforms into a dark green and white NASCAR-style Chevy Impala race car. Apparently it’s a very specific car, the #88 car of Dale Earnhardt Jr. (never heard of him, but apparently his head looks somewhat like Roadbuster’s), sponsored by AMP energy drink and the National Guard. Apart from the sponsor logos and the characteristic grid windows on the side, the car looks rather generic and might as well be a “normal” street car. No robot parts are visible in this mode.

Roadbuster has three Mechtech ports in this mode, one on each door and one on the roof. All three are filled-in when no weapon is present, so you barely see them. Sadly there is no way for his own Mechtech weapon to be hidden in this mode, so it’s either there in plain sight or you need to put it elsewhere. Roadbuster can also deploy his missile launchers from the rear of the car for additional firepower. All in all not a bad vehicle mode, but not all that spectacular, either. Average for a Movie Transformer.

Remarks: In just about every comic incarnation of the G1 Transformers, there were the Wreckers, the Autobots’ elite combat unit, called into action when everything seems lost. And in most incarnations of the Wreckers you had Roadbuster, mostly as the strong, silent background type, bristling with weapons. So when the Wreckers were scheduled to appear in the third live-action movie, it was a logical choice to include Roadbuster in the line-up.

Unfortunately the Wreckers’ role in the movie was miniscule. Roadbuster had a single line of dialogue during the Autobots’ (faked) departure from Earth (honestly can’t remember what he said) and the most important thing he did in the final battle was to help free Optimus Prime from some cables he got himself tangled up in. That was pretty much it. Not sure why he has to look like a stereotypical NASCAR fan, either, no matter his alternate mode. So the bottom line here is: a somewhat disappointing toy. The back story is barely existent, the robot mode really needs more paint, and while the alternate mode is pretty good, that’s not enough to elevate this toy above the rest. Recommended to (not-offended) NASCAR fans and completists only.

Rating: C
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