Dark of the Moon Leadfoot Toy Review

in 2011, Action Figure Review, Autobot, Cyberverse, Dark of the Moon, Legion Class, Wreckers

Dark of the Moon

General Information:
Release Date: April 2011
Price Point: $4.99 (varies depending on retailer)
Retailer: General (Toys R Us, Target, Wal-Mart etc.)
Accessories: None

Images:

As part of the "Dark of the Moon toy line release, several price points have been rearranged and renamed. One of them was the line that fans have known for years as the "Legends" class. This line of smaller sized Transformers figures spread across many segments of the Transformers over the years including the movie line, Animated and Classics. Now the class has been renamed as the "Legion" class, with Ratchet being one of the early "Dark of the Moon" releases in this line. Instead of serving as a standalone class of figures, these toys are being placed in a new context, as part of the "Cyberverse", a line of Transformers focused on creating a small world/universe of play at a lower price point than deluxe and ultra sized figures. Included in this line will be "Commander" Class figures, slightly larger figures with weapons that interact with the smaller figures as well as transformable bases, echoing the Micromaster bases from Generation One.

Leadfoot is part of a team of Autobots being introduced in "Dark of the Moon" known as "The Wreckers", based on a concept that harkens back to Generation One where select Autobots were part of a team that would be sent on missions that many other Autobots could not take on (and sometimes paid a dire price as a result).

Robot Mode:
The outline of a Transformer can often be one of its most defining features. In that sense, Leadfoot has a very distinct definition in his outline. He has a rather unusual head shape which leads to a body that is mostly made up of by the front of the vehicle mode folded down, instead of pointing forward as most traditional Transformers have. The result is that he winds up looking like he has a big belly. His arms are probably the most "normal" part of the figure, being made up from the sides of the vehicle mode while he has short, stubby little legs. His head details give him visor eyes and wide strips coming out to the sides from a small mouth in the middle. In essence, Leadfoot looks like a stereotypical "hillbilly" complete with a beard and gut (with a pair of sunglasses to boot). It seems like a silly design for a Transformer, but many of the movie Transformers have had designs that emphasized certain personality features such as Jetfire being old and walking on a cane, or the silly faces of Mudflap and Skids. Given that, this is not surprising (though I do hope the character is fun, and not obnoxious).

Much of the detail on this figure can be seen if you actually flip the car hood section up. This way, you get a better look at his chest and waist. The chest looks like parts from the front of the car folded up over layers of metal in typical Bay-former style. The waist area has several designs that curve and angle downward, again looking like armor plates overlapping. Other robot details not seen in the vehicle mode include his arms, seen on the other side of each door panel. The arms are rather thin looking and look more like robotic skeleton arms with thin sections bent at the elbow. His thighs are rather blocky and angular and relatively wide, matching the rather stumpy look of his feet. The front of the car forms a lot of detail too, including overlapping panels and cross hatch details. Whether or not you agree with the particular aesthetic chosen for this character, it is totally fair to say he's quite well detailed for a figure of this size.

Leadfoot is cast in black and gunmetal grey plastic, quite appropriate colors for a figure choc full of weaponry. Paint details are done up in red, silver, metallic blue and white. The red is found on each section of his body, most prominently on his upper body. The silver is found on his headlights and robot head. The blue is used for the eyes while white is used for logo details such as the Chevrolet logo on the front of the car. These colors work really well together. I've often remarked that the red/silver/black combination is one of my favorite color combinations on a Transformer and this certainly qualifies!

There are eight points of articulation on this figure including two points on each arm and two on each leg. Part of the "Cyberverse" play pattern is allowing the Legion Class figures to use weapons from the larger Commander Class figures. In this case, Leadfoot's right hand is curved in a claw shape, allowing you to slip in weapons from figures such as Optimus Prime. While not necesarily an "action" feature, a lot of the sculpting on Leadfoot indicates he is simply full of weaponry. He has gun ports on his arms and missiles on his chest. On his back is a large cannon. He definitely looks quite formidable in this mode!

Transformation to Vehicle Mode:

  1. Swing the chest panel up to form the front of the car.
  2. Swing the claws in.
  3. Connect the two lower legs together.
  4. Swing the connected lower legs up to form the rear of the car.
  5. Rotate the arms so they are pointing upwards.
  6. Fold the arms in.

Vehicle Mode:
In "Dark of the Moon", each of the Wreckers bases their vehicle modes on NASCAR race cars with weaponry added on for dramatic effect. In Leadfoot's case, he transforms into a NASCAR Sprint Cup Chevy Impala race car. The #42 on the side indicates it is Juan Pablo Montoya's vehicle (or based on it anyhow). You can see images of the real life prop/vehicle on Auto Ultimate.com.

The vehicles for the movie were heavily modified, so when comparing accuracy to the real life model it's best to look at the movie prop and not the standard, run of the mill Impala. This version has many layers and parts sticking out to the sides and on the back that a normal vehicle wouldn't have. Among the details this vehicle carries over from its on screen counterpart are:

  • A large gun on the top of the vehicle.
  • Missile racks on either side with three small rockets.
  • Guns that come out of the side windows.
  • Thrusters on the back of the vehicle (though the ones here are proportionally smaller than they appear on the movie prop).
  • Small tubes (presumably some type of weaponry) located under the headlights.
  • Horizontal vents mounted on the front grille area.

From the list above you probably get a sense that the vehicle is quite intricately detailed. I really like the sculpting on this figure and it is reminscent of post-apocalyptic vehicles seen in science fiction films such as "Mad Max".

A majority of the plastic showing in this mode is gunmetal grey, with the tires cast in black plastic. The predominent color application is red (carried over from the real life vehicle being sponsored by Target). The real life vehicle (like most NASCAR vehicles) has tons of advertisements and sponsor logos painted/applied all over it. In this case, the only logos are a white Chevrolet logo in the front and a Sprint logo on the doors. The number "42" is painted on the sides like the real life prop vehicle as well. Silver paint is used on the headlights and windshield, which is designed to look like armor plating.

Final Thoughts:
Leadfoot has all the hallmarks of a good figure. He has an intricate sculpt, a cool color scheme, he is quite accurate to the real life vehicle in many ways. However, how much you like the figure will largely depend on how much you like the robot mode design. That is not a fault of the figure so much as the original design, so I can't be too harsh on the toy itself in that respect. Still, it is a factor and knocks this down from a "highly recommended" figure to simply "recommended".