"Generations" Combiner Wars Offroad Toy Review
Release Date: March 2015
Price Point: $18.99 (depending on retailer)
Retailer: General (Toys R Us, Target, Wal-Mart etc.)
Accessories: Hand/Foot/Weapon, Axe
Official images and text below in italics are from Amazon.com:
The newest member of the Stunticons is pressed into action on missions his teammates want no part of, giving him the opportunity to show off his extreme-conditions combat training. It's dirty work in the most dangerous situations, but it's the only way he'll win his teammates' trust. Combine and convert for awesome Transformers action. This Decepticon Offroad figure wields his mighty axe in robot mode, and he converts fast to combat truck mode whenever his fast-driving combat tactics are needed. But he can also become an arm or a leg when the battle calls for you to build a truly hardcore Superion warrior. (Other figures sold separately.) Whatever mode your Decepticon Offroad figure is in, he’s going to bring maximum carnage to the fight. Transformers and all related characters are trademarks of Hasbro.
The theme for the "Generations" segment of the "Transformers" toy line in 2015 is "Combiner Wars". The focus will be on updated versions of Combiners from the past (with some new elements thrown in for good measure). The idea is to take lessons learned from the Bruticus released a couple years ago and create better Combiners featuring a Voyager Class central body piece with Deluxe sized limbs. To spice things up a bit, some of the Legends Class figures released for "Combiner Wars" will be able to serve as weaponry for the combined giants.
The first wave of "Combiner Wars" Deluxes included new team members for the Aerialbots and Stunticons. In the case of the Stunticons their newest Deluxe Class team member is Offroad. Offroad (temporarily) replaces Wildrider on the team. Later this year Wildrider will be released as a separate figure (along with Slingshot for the Aerialbots). In the meantime, this new member allows fans to complete their Menasor giant while we all wait for Wildrider.
The packaging for wave two of the Deluxe "Combiner Wars" figures is significantly different then the first wave. The first wave was a typical bubble on card, with the character art printed onto the card and a separate trading card featuring art from the "Transformers: Legends" mobile app. The back of the cards contained a ton of multi-lingual information with photos of the figure and a diagram of a Combiner made up of four Aerialbots and Dragstrip.
For this wave however a lot has changed. The card now features a repeating pattern featuring "Combiner Wars" characters on it. The back of the card has a brief bio of Offroad with less legal information all over the place. Laid on top of the card is a comic book with Offroad's package art. Since the comic adds some extra weight and thickness, the bubble put on top of the card actually wraps around the edges and is taped onto the back to hold it in place. A sticker wraps around the edge of the bubble mentioning combining into Menasor. The figure is in a tray inside the bubble in robot mode. There is no more trading card included with the figure.
One of the most interesting points of this new packaging style is the back of the comic book. It features a full page bio of Offroad written from the perspective of the Decepticon Soundwave! It really helps give more color to the character's personality and sticks with many G1 elements which is very much appreciated by this old fan. Overall the packaging for wave two of the Combiner Wars Deluxe figures is much more robust than the first wave.
For the most part, the Stunticons include melee weapons along with their foot/hand/weapon accessories. My interpretation is that this calls back more to their brutal nature as warriors. Offroad's main weapon is an axe. The axe has a handle that angles forward and then goes straight up to the axe blade. There are many interesting designs on the axe and base that resemble parts of an engine including pistons on the back. The axe is cast in purple with the axe blade painted silver. The handle is 5mm in size and there's a 5mm peg on the right side of the weapon as well.
Offroad's other weapon does triple duty, serving as a weapon, hand and foot. As a weapon there are two rectangular barrels with two smaller weapon barrels in each. The top of the weapon features several details that resemble an engine from a car. I love the idea of having this piece resemble an engine, which taps directly into the "stunt car" nature of the team. The weapon is cast in purple with a teal connector piece that links the thumb/heel piece to the rest of the weapon. There is a 5mm peg on top allowing you to connect this to Offroad as a fist, foot or weapon.
Unlike most of my other "Combiner Wars" reviews, Off-Road isn't (exactly) a reincarnation of a previous character. In many respects Offroad is a very typical example of a modern day Transformers figure design. He has sleek angles from the head down to the feet. He has vehicle mode kibble hanging off of parts like his lower legs and upper arms (and back). Among my favorite details are the ones where bits of the vehicle mode carry over into the robot mode. For example his chest looks like it has windows from the vehicle mode. The lower legs have springs and wheel details sculpted into them as well. I said "isn't exactly" above because the head would indicate that at the very least, Off-Road is a homage to G1 Ruckus, a member of the team known as the Triggercons. His head sculpt is the main give away. It has a central crest and "L" shaped designs above his brow. He has a narrow face with pronounced chin. These are similar to the features found on Ruckus' head design in G1. The "springs" in the legs also seem to call back to Ruckus - who had "springs" on his leg's sticker details.
Offroad is a combination of grey, silver and teal plastic. The grey m akes up most of his body, with silver used on smaller sections like the shoulder joints and the middle of the torso. Teal is used on his upper arms and thighs. It's not the first color you'd think of putting up against grey, but it looks great and adds a colorful splash to what are otherwise rather dark colors. Paint applications are done in red, silver, neon green and teal. The red is actually metallic and is used on the chest windows. His eyes are more of a flat red. The neon green is used for his face and the crest/horns on his head are painted teal. The lower legs have silver in the middle. Silver is used on the angled sections right under the chest panels. A purple and silver Decepticon symbol is tampographed over the left side of the chest. This is a good deco, but the grey color really lends itself to making you want more. Since his arms are unpainted, it almost feels like there could have been just a smidge more paint (but I'm seriously nit picking here).
There are fourteen points of articulation on this figure (which seems to be about standard for the "Combiner Wars" Deluxe figures). This includes three points of articulation in each arm and leg along with waist articulation. The shoulders and hips have ball joints, allowing for a wide range of articulation. His elbows are ratchet joints, allowing for him to hold up heavier weapons. Unfortunately, the left swivel joint above the elbow on mine is very loose, so he can hold a weapon up just fine, but if you tilt him to the left the arm goes swinging out to the side. This could just be on my copy of the figure, but be warned. In theory you could slide this piece out, put some clear nail polish on it and snap it back in to tighten it, but I haven't tried that just yet.
In terms of using his weapons, Offroad's forearm pieces are where it's at. His fists have 5mm holes to hold his weapons and his forearms also have 5mm holes to accommodate weapons. He doesn't really have any weapon storage on his back, so it's cool he has the forearm holes so he can hold extra weapons.
Transformation to Vehicle Mode:
- Detach the weapons and set them aside for now.
- Straighten out the arms and legs.
- Swing the front of the lower legs down.
- Swing the back panels of the lower legs forward.
- Swing the robot arms down. I find the best way to do this is put your finger under the silver shoulder connection piece to brace it as you push down to prevent stress on the shoulder ball joint.
- Swing the front panels of the lower legs up.
- Swing the front of the truck and the windshield piece down.
- The weapons can attach to the holes on the sides of the truck towards the back.
Offroad is a pickup truck in vehicle mode, separating him from his fellow Deluxe Stunticons who all turn into some type of sleek car. Of course, a truck being a Stunticon is hardly new since Motormaster has been a truck since G1. It is cool adding in a different land based form to the team since the idea of the Stunticons in G1 was to have a ground based Decepticon force. Also, there is a real life market for "tricked out" pickup trucks just like there's a market for stunt cars so he fits nicely into the team in my book.
This truck mode has a very angular design. The front end of the vehicle is flat in the middle then angles out to the sides. The hood has an angled, raised vent section and his profile has small details like extensions on the top of the cabin section and a spoiler that sweep back at an angle. He may be a larger vehicle than the other Stunticon Deluxes, but he still has a sleek look about him. There are some nice smaller details on the figure including a honeycomb pattern on his grille, two small circles in each headlight and raised lines on the truck bed.
Color-wise this character does seem to pay homage to Wildrider even though he is not the same character. Most of the truck is grey in this form and his windows are all painted red - a signature color combination of Wildrider's. A stylized red line streaks across both doors as well. Silver is used for a lot of great detail including the grille, headlights and believe it or not - the sides of the wheels! This has been something I've brought up many times over the past couple years as a deco point I wish Hasbro would keep in the mix and it's nice to see it back in this figure. Finally a Decepticon symbol is tampographed into the left side of the hood section.
Offroad rolls nicely on all his wheels and there are two additional 5mm holes revealed in this form on the truck bed. Of course, that sort of limits what weapons you can attach because they can't be so long that the backs press up against the cabin section. For his own weapons, it is best to use the holes on the sides above the rear wheel wells.
Transformation to Arm Mode (Starting in robot mode):
- Detach all weapons.
- Take the fist/foot piece and fold the section with the thumb down, then swing the thumb up.
- Swing the forearms back at the elbows. There are grooves on the inside of each forearm, attach them to the tabs in between the two side windows from the vehicle mode.
- Connect the two robot legs together.
- Rotate the robot legs at the waist. Turn it to the right to form a right arm for Menasor and vice versa.
- Attach the hand piece to the hole on the bottom of the robot feet.
- Swing the center section of the torso out so the connection point for Menasor faces out.
In his arm mode Offroad is a bit bulkier than guys like Dead End or Breakdown so he may throw off the proportions of Menasor a bit. That said, the arm mode looks tough and powerful thanks in part to its bulk. The main weakness of the arm mode involves the robot arms which sit on, but don't really attach tightly to the tabs on the vehicle mode's window section. The arms don't flop around either, but enough jostling and they will pop out eventually.
This mode doesn't reveal any new deco but I will say the purple fist/foot piece attached looks great. The color is strong and plays nicely against the grey and teal.
The arm mode offers five points of articulation. The main point is the shoulder joint, which is a ratchet joint that locks into place with each movement, offering stability. The robot waist, hip and knee articulation gives him more articulation in the elbow area and you can rotate the fist (this is a cheat, I admit, but I'm counting it). You can attach weapons to the fist as well as the holes on the robot forearms.
I'm a tad mystified by a tab that sits on the forearm (also the back of the truck mode). None of Offroad's weapons attach to it, so I'm guessing it has something to do with the retool of this figure into First Aid for the Protectobot team coming out later this year.
Transformation to Leg mode (Starting in Vehicle Mode):
- Detach all the accessories.
- Swing the front of the vehicle and the windshield up.
- Swing the center section of the robot torso up.
- Attach the foot piece to the hole on the bottom of the robot feet.
The leg mode is my preferred limb mode for this figure. It's basically the truck mode with the top flipped up, so it looks cohesive, strong and stable. The best part is that the leg is stable thanks to being well balanced and a foot piece that allows you to adjust the position of the heel for various poses. The part that connects to Motormaster allows you to swing the leg at the knee or swivel it in and out. The holes from the robot forearms wind up on the sides here, allowing you to attach additional weapons.
Offroad is a really cool figure. For the "new guy" on the team he has a distinctive look and design that sets him apart from the other Stunticons, but his Wildrider homage colors help keep the spirit of the Stunticon team alive in the character. Recommended!