Power Core Combiners Leadfoot with Pinpoint Toy Review

in 2010, Action Figure Review, Autobot, Combiner / Gestalt, Generation Two, Power Core Combiners

Power Core Combiners

General Information:
Release Date: October 2010
Price Point: $9.99
Retailer: General (Toys R Us, Target, Wal-Mart etc.)
Accessories: Pinpoint Mini-Con figure
Gallery of images: Images of Leadfoot and Pinpoint

*Images and text below from Transformers.com
LEADFOOT gained fame among the AUTOBOTS as a first class infiltrator. Combined with PINPOINT, he becomes invisible to DECEPTICON sensors. His hypertuned engine gives him the speed he needs to be in and out of an enemy base before a single alarm can be tripped.

Power up for the ultimate robot battles! Your LEADFOOT figure is already a virtually unstoppable opponent in his vehicle and robot modes. But his strength gets doubled when you factor in your PINPOINT figure and his four modes! Convert this MINI-CON ally figure to weapon accessories for him when he's in race car vehicle mode or Commander mode. Then, convert your PINPOINT figure into an armor accessory for your LEADFOOT figure's Power Up Mode! And the action doesn't stop there. With this Power Core interchangeable robot combination system, MINI-CONS and drone vehicles (sold separately) can attach to power up any Commander figure. Collect more packs and you can create tons of unique and fierce robot battler figure combinations! Two-pack includes LEADFOOT and PINPOINT figures. Ages 5 and up.

The current Transformers toy line often takes influence from previous generations of toys and characters as a starting point for new characters. In the case of Leadfoot, there's a double reference going on here that an old skool fan like me truly appreciates. One reference goes back to Generation One, where the Powermaster character known as Slapdash was an Autobot who transformed into an F-1 racing car. To solidify the connection to Leadfoot, he had a partner named Lube who was a smaller figure that transformed into an engine for him in vehicle mode. The other reference goes into the Generation 2 era, where another Autobot was also named Leadfoot and transformed into a race car. Even with all these references, Leadfoot is very much a unique design in his Power Core Combiners incarnation.

Pinpoint Review

Robot Mode:
As mentioned before, the Autobot Slapdash came with a Powermaster partner named Lube who transformed from a humanoid looking form (basically a guy in a metal suit with an engine on his back) to an engine. In the case of Pinpoint, his design is largely based on the Powermaster aesthetic, making him quite different than most Mini-Cons who transform into vehicles, beasts and/or weapons. For the most part, his robot form is very human in its design and sculpt. His parts are more curved and less angular than other Mini-Cons but he looks like he is wearing armor on several parts such as his shoulders, chest and arms. Turn him around and you'll see elements of an engine block on his back, truly making him a Mini-Con version of a Powermaster in appearance. Pinpoint's name itself is a G1 reference. Since he can also become a weapon, he is also what would be called a Targetmaster in Generation One terminology. Pinpointer was the name of a G1 Targetmaster robot that transformed from a small robotic figure into a weapon. This ability to form a weapon separates him from the Powermasters in that they were never intended to be weapons but rather acted as power sources for the Transformers that they were paired with.

Some of the details on Pinpoint enhance the Powermaster look. On each of his arms are exhaust pipes hanging off the forearms. His head has a very humanoid face with two eyes, a nose and mouth with what appears to be a helmet around it. Event he sculpted circle design on his hip/leg joints is reminscent of the circular joint found on all the Powermaster figures. This detail could have been anything since this is a ball joint, but it's clear the designers were working hard to pay homage to his past influences.

Pinpoint is cast in black and translucent yellow plastic. The arms, thighs and the engine piece on the back are all cast in black with the rest of the body cast in yellow. The engine section on his back is painted silver while his face is painted gold. The yellow color really does look a lot like a figure coursing with energy.

There are eight points of articulation on this figure. This includes ball joints on his hips and shoulders and the ability for the cannon barrels on his back to swing forward. On this point I really have to say I like it when a Mini-Con is able to utilize a feature meant for other modes in its robot mode. Here, the cannons wind up becoming shoulder cannons and look super cool!

Please note that each set of transformation steps below begin with Pinpoint in robot mode.

Transformation to Vehicle Weapon Mode:

  1. Swing the weapon barrels so they point straight up.
  2. Swing the legs out to the sides.
  3. Rotate the legs so the pegs point downward.
  4. Swing the lower legs up against the arms, connecting the two using the pegs on the arms and the holes on the arms.
  5. The weapon can be attached to the front of Leadfoot's vehicle mode by flipping up the peg on the nose of the vehicle and attaching it to the hole in Pinpoint's chest.

Vehicle Weapon Mode:
While technically accurate, calling this form the "Vehicle Weapon Mode" only describes part of the mode. I mentioned above that Pinpoint is a combination of a homage to Generation One Targetmasters and Powermasters. This mode illustrates that perfectly. Take away the barrels and Pinpoint looks like a tuner car engine, with a raised section in the middle, exhaust pipes on the sides and the way his legs swing around to the sides is very reminscent of the design of the Generation One Powermasters. In this sense he looks more like a vehicle mode engine overall. Now add a couple barrels of weaponry and he is indeed a weapon, but one that appears to have an amazing amount of power behind it!

Transformation to Weapon Mode:

  1. Swing the arms down to the sides.
  2. Swing the cannon barrels up.
  3. Pinpoint can be attached to the hole on the inside of Leadfoot's wrist using the pegs on the knees. It helps to swing the Drone connection point on the arm back.

Weapon Mode:
While this form is definitely a distinct mode, it really is just the Mini-Con standing straight with the guns pointed upwards. Still, it makes for one threatening looking dual barreled weapon! Each barrel has two tubes on top of each other with one extending forward slightly more than the other. A vertical strip wraps around the front section and the back widens a bit. It's a cool looking design and the exhaust pipes on the sides look almost like he fires so hot that he needs to vent that heat, which is pretty cool (but that may just be my imagination).

Transformation to Power-Up Armor Mode:

  1. Swing the arms back slightly so the fists point straight down.
  2. Swing the legs out to the sides.
  3. Rotate the legs to point down.
  4. Swing the lower legs up and connect them to the arms.
  5. Connect Pinpoint to the peg on the center of the robot chest.

Power-Up Armor Mode:
This mode is more of a variant on the vehicle weapon mode. However, there is a major coolness factor to this mode. As mentioned before, this set of figures is a partial homage to G1 Slapdash. Part of that toy's design allowed for the Powermaster engine component to connect to his chest in robot mode, thus creating a robot that looked like he had an engine as his chest. This combination ability simulates that look while also staying true to the ability for most Power Core Combiner Commander figures to utilize their Mini-Cons as "Power Up Armor". The other cool feature here is that you can point the weapon barrels forward, allowing Leadfoot to get a power up and some firepower!

Leadfoot Review

Robot Mode:
While Leadfoot in some respects to G1 and G2 predecessors, he has a rather unique design all his own in robot mode. From the head to his chest you would think that Leadfoot is a rather lean and thin Transformer, then you get to his arms which start with normal shoulders but before you know it you get to his hands which are positively huge in proportion with the rest of his arm. This is mostly because the outer fingers of each hand are formed from the relatively large exhaust pipes from the vehicle mode. His legs are pretty much proportional to the rest of the body, but they lead to feet formed from the spoiler halves from the vehicle mode which look a bit out of proportion with the rest of the legs.

Most of Leadfoot's design is very curved and smooth such as his torso and his legs, but other parts are very angular such as his shoulder armor and the armor piece that forms the top part of his legs. I like this combination as the overall effect makes Leadfoot look very sleek, appropriate for a Transformer with an alternate form of a racing car.

In general, Leadfoot's design is a much smoother and less detailed one than most Transformers nowadays. He doesn't lack detail, but they blend into the background a bit rather than dominating the design of the figure. Some of th enicer details include the head suclpt, which has a rather long design and an unusual helmet design with ridges on the top of his head and triangular sections sticking out the side. It's not my favorite head design of all time but I give it kudos for being different. He also has cool designs on the top part of his legs and I really like the designs on the inside of his front wheel wells (they wind up on his back in this mode).

Leadfoot is cast in light blue, orange, white and black plastic. The colors are fairly even in their distribution (except for the light blue Drone connection points of course). The orange is focused on his torso and lower legs, but even on thos eparts white plastic makes up a good chunk of those sections. White and black alternate a lot on the arms and legs as well. A tiny bit of translucent yellow plastic is used for light piping on the head, and it keeps consistant with the color used on Pinpoint. Paint colors are done in gold, black, silver and white. They don't sound like flashy colors, but they work well with the established color scheme. Gold stands out the most, making up the sides of the wheels, the circles on his thighs, parts of his shoulder armor and bits of the spoiler foot pieces. Black is found most prominantly on the chest, where it is used to paint part of the driver's section from the vehicle mode. There's some on his foot too, but I'll get more into that in the vehicle mode review. Silver is seen most on his three outer fingers on each hand, and then a tiny bit is used to paint the robot face. It's not the strongest color scheme around, but it is quite different than the others in the line and in this respect Leadfoot stands out quite a bit from the other Power Core Combiners.

There are twenty one points of articulation on Leadfoot in this mode. This includes four in each arm and six in each leg. Many of these are of course part of his transformation, but some of the key points are made for the robot mode including his ball jointed shoulders and swivel joints on the arms right underneath the shoulders. It's also important to note that despite Pinpoint's relatively large size in weapon mode, Leadfoot is very well balanced so he doesn't wind up tipping over when you have the Mini-Con attached. It's also interesting to note that Leadfoot is one of the few Power Core Combiner Commander figures released so far with a peg in the front of his chest (hidden in the panel at the center) and on his back. This adds to the play factor and just how many Mini-Cons you can attach to him making for some fun imaginative play.

Transformation to Vehicle Mode:

  1. Detach Pinpoint if connected.
  2. Swing each of the Drone connection points on the feet down.
  3. Swing the lower legs up over the thighs.
  4. Connect the two robot legs together, including the halves of the spoilers.
  5. Swing each robot arm down and attach them to the small tabs on the lower parts of the orange robot leg sections.
  6. Swing the back of the vehicle up and over the head.
  7. Swing each front wheel up.
  8. Swing the exhaust pipes forward.

Vehicle Mode:
Race cars are often exciting forms for any Transformer to have, and believe it or not there haven't been tons of them over the years. In the midst of jets, helicopters and military vehicles, it's really nice to have a race car in the Power Core combiner mix to add some diversity. Leadfoot's vehicle mode is a modified F-1 style race car, complete with the requisite features including a narrow nose in the front, a rounded cockpit in the middle, wheels that stick out to the sides in the front and back and a prominant spoiler in the back.

There are a lot of embelishments in the design of this vehicle. The front wheel sections have small vertical fins, there are huge exhaust pipes stucking up on the sides and his rear section is a bit higher than your typical, low profile race car. These elements are added on to give detail, but also give a visual impression of the vehicle's overall power. Overall, it's a very sleek form that looks excellent and different.

I noticed that a lot of the details seem to come together better in this mode than the robot mode. For instance, on the rear section there are air intakes on the sides and top that are not as prominant in the robot mode. He also has sideview mirrors mounted in front of the cockpit and in this form you can see the open ends of his exhaust pipes much better. I really like the fact that these details were not necesarily hidden in robot mode, but they were simply not heavily featured until you transform the vehicle into this form. I also dig the extra vertical panels on the spoiler which offer a bit more sleek detailing on the sculpt.

All the same plastic colors from the robot mode show here, but the orange plastic parts consolidate to the center and rear of the vehicle while the black and white parts are concentrated on the sides and spoiler. Here, the gold paint on the wheels is much more heavily featured and my favorite paint detail can be seen plainly: the word "Blackrock" on the spoiler in white letters set against a black strip. "Blackrock" is a reference to G.B. Blackrock, a character from the original Marvel Comics Transformers series that featured heavily in several stories throughout that titles' run. Silver paint is featured on the exhaust pipes and on an Autobot symbol on the base of the car's nose. Two new colors show up in this mode. Yellow and neon red are found on his front wheel wells. White paint is also used to form a curved stripe that runs from the front of th enose to the middle section of the vehicle. I was happy to see a bit of extra color added to this mode, and the use of "Blackrock" tickles the classic fan in me. Excellent color scheme overall.

As mentioned earlier, you can swing the black peg on the nose up to attach a Mini-Con. You can also swing up the panel on his cockpit and swing out that peg so two Mini-Cons attach at the same time. It's a neat feature that not every Power Core Combiner Commander figure can do.

Transformation to Power-Up Combiner Mode:

  1. Swing the panel on the chest out and rotate the head piece around so the Combiner head is revealed.
  2. Swing the panel back in place and rotate the head around so it faces the back of the robot.
  3. Swing each robot arm down on the black hinge, then angle it so the rectangular hole in the white section connects to the orange tabs on either side of the head.
  4. Swing each leg up so it is pointing to the sides.
  5. Rotate the lower part of the leg on the black swivel joint so the orange sections point down.
  6. Swing out each of the light blue Drone connection points.

Power-Up Combiner Mode:
The Combiner torso mode is another big plus for Leadfoot. The mode is still looks like Leadfoot thanks to several of the race car details such as the wheels, exhaust pipes and the nose of the vehicle on the chest. What's interesting is the head design, which has an angled "helmet" section with a triangular face design that looks a lot like the various Generation 2 head designs from that era. What I really like is the bold way the exhaust pipes sweep over the sides and the way the front of the vehicle becomes his chest, looking quite different from Leadfoot's robot mode.

Thanks again to the placement of Mini-Con pegs on the front and back of the torso, you can attach a Mini-Con on either side. Each of his pegs allows for secure attachment of various Drones. My personal favorites are the Drones that come with Double Clutch as they fit the whole "fast car" theme.

Leadfoot allows for articulation points on his head, shoulders and knees. His hip joints can move as well, but not in a wide range.

Final Thoughts:
Leadfoot is a really cool design with a fantastic blend of homage material and modern design touches. If you dig sleek Transformers with a range of play value and a neat little partner to boot. Highly recommended!