"Robots in Disguise" (2015) Legion Class Groundbuster Toy Review
Release Date: June 2016
Price Point: $5.99 (Varies by retailer)
Retailer: General Release (Toys R Us, K-Mart, Target etc.)
Official images and text in italics below from Amazon.com:
Robots in Disguise figures! Groundbuster is one of the strongest Decepticons. He can lift, throw, or smash through almost anything. He’s one of the most trusted allies of Steeljaw, and one of the most powerful enemies the Autobots will face! Collectible Transformers: Robots in Disguise Legion Class figures are smaller-scale figures that feature classic conversion. Each figure converts in 10 steps or less. This Legion Class Groundbuster figure changes from robot to power shovel construction vehicle and back in 5 steps. Transformers: Robots in Disguise figures unlock content in the Transformers: Robots in Disguise app! Scan the Decepticon shield on this figure to unlock Groundbuster and a drill. Download the app, scan the shield to activate the code, unlock, and play! App content is for ages 9 and up. See below for details. Transformers and all related characters are trademarks of Hasbro.
Groundpounder was introduced in the second season of "Robots in Disguise" as a Decepticon gladiator who wanted to be the best fighter around. He has an array of special moves named after Cybertronian cities such as the "Cyber City Suplex". This character joined the "Robots in Disguise" toy line in mid-2016 but was named "Groundbuster" likely due to trademark issues. It is kind of funny that Groundbuster wound up in the Legion Class since in the show he's gigantic, but for such quirky characters I'm firmly in the "I'll take what I can get." line of thinking.
Groundbuster is packaged on a blister card. The bubble is formed around the figure roughly in the shape of the figure. The packaging features artwork for the character in front and instructions on the back followed by a ton of legal information. I do with the "Robots in Disguise" packaging had some type of tech specs, but to be fair, most of the target audience is more likely to rip the figure out and toss the packaging away than to save it so I can understand why it doesn't have any bio information at all.
The Decepticons in "Robots in Disguise" are often modeled after animals. In Groundbuster's case he looks like a mechanical gorilla with vehicle mode bits attached. What really impressed me with this figure is how much it resembles its animated counterpart. Often design sacrifices need to be made for such unusual robot forms. Groundbuster has all the main features of the animated version. That includes the vehicle treads on his back, a head design with a crest in the center and a chin guard that sticks out a bit, one arm having his vehicle mode's excavator shovel/claw on it and small legs. His arms are very long so he has exaggerated proportions. Due to the design he winds up being one of the smallest Legion Class figures height-wise. I'm very impressed by the sculpt.
Groundbuster is cast in silver and teal plastic. The blue makes up the head, torso and arms. The silver is used on his legs and the treads on his back. Red paint is used on his hands while the center of the chest has metallic red paint on it. The face is painted silver. There is some metallic black paint on his arms, calling back to the dark grey on the animation model's right arm. He has a scannable Decepticon symbol on his torso which unlocks the character in the official "Robots in Disguise" app. While not 100% accurate to the animation model it's very close, especially for a Legion Class figure.
There are five points of articulation on this figure. Since his arms are asymmetrical in design, the right arm can bend at the elbow, but not the left. He can stand on his legs or he can lean forward on his arms. The left fist has a 3mm port allowing him to hold Cyberverse weapons.
Transformation to Vehicle Mode:
- Swing the robot legs back and tuck them into the slots on his back.
- Swing the left arm up, then swing the fist up.
- Swing the right arm up, connecting both arms at the shoulders.
- Rotate the treads around and push them into the sides.
Groundbuster's vehicle form is an excavator. The left side has a compartment for the driver. The right is the excavator arm. There are some great details on the figure that carry right over from the animation model including a ladder on the right side and a series of horizontal lines on the sides of the treads. The structure is a bit different than the animation model. This includes the bucket/claw arm which is only a bucket in the animation and there is a trapezoid shaped section on the right in the animation that is not present in this figure. Still I think the sculpt looks great, especially given its small size.
The blue winds up mostly being in the center of the vehicle with the silver on the outside. This mode reveals metallic black on the windows of the driver section. The red on the excavator arm really offers a nice contrast against the blue. The colors wind up looking very "cartoony" but I think for this character that is appropriate.
Groundbuster's excavator arm can be moved up and down in this form. Groundbuster has two ports to attach Cyberverse weapons in this form, something that frankly surprised me since it's been years since any Legion Class figures have included weapons on a regular basis.
Whether or not you pick up this figure largely depends on whether the "Robots in Disguise" Decepticon aesthetic appeals to you or not. I love the idea of vehicular Transformers with animal influences so this figure holds a lot of appeal for me. I think he looks great in both modes and for a Legion Class figure I'm surprised at how nice the deco is. Highly recommended!