Revenge of the Fallen Road Rivals Showdown Toy Review

in 2010, Action Figure Review, Generation One, Revenge of the Fallen, Wal-Mart Exclusive

Revenge of the Fallen

General Information:
Release Date: February 2010
Price Point: $16.00
Retailer: Wal-Mart Exclusive
Accessories: None

General Images:

*Images and text from Transformers.com:
There was a time when neither BEACHCOMBER nor DEADLIFT was interested in warfare. BEACHCOMBER spent his time exploring the barren wilderness of remote planets, while DEADLIFT enjoyed his function of transporting deactivated DECEPTICONS to the smelting pools for repurposing. Now, however, the war has drawn both of them into its grip, and the two find themselves in a close-quarters fight to the finish.

This dueling twosome is ready to fight it out in all-out robot-on-robot battle action! Start the combat with these warriors in robot mode, and then convert your BEACHCOMBER figure to dune buggy vehicle mode and your DEADLIFT figure to forklift vehicle mode so they can spar on the streets, too. The struggle rages on, but these two have the “drive” to keep fighting, no matter what!
Two-pack includes BEACHCOMBER and DEADLIFT figures. Ages 5 and up.

Early 2010 saw the release of several exclusive figures in various stores. Among them were Scout Class figures released at Wal-Mart in two packs with a "versus" style set up. The "Road Rival Showdown" two pack features Beachcomber and Deadlift, redecos of Dune Runner and Dirt Boss repectively. These figures represent the first redecos for both of these figures in the "Revenge of the Fallen" toy line. The two figures were attached to a single card by a large bubble. Considered part of the "N.E.S.T." wave of figures, this two pack does include the "N.E.S.T." Autobot symbol figure that you can use as part of the mail away order for Recon Ravage. Interestingly, these figures also are among the first to feature a new kind of twist tie to hold the figures to their plastic trays. Instead of the stiff, plastic and wire ties fans have gotten used to (but hated) for the past decade or so, the figures now use a much more flexible and thin type of thread that feels almost like cardboard instead of plastic. I found these much easier to work with when opening the figures and am glad for the switch.

These reviews will focus on the changes made to these figures for this release. For a more detailed look at the sculpts and mechanics of the figures, check out the reviews for Dune Runner and Dirt Boss.

Beachcomber Review

Images:

I'm an old skool fan as many know, so whenever I see an opportunity for a perfect redeco taken it catches my eye. Both the name and color scheme for "Revenge of the Fallen" Beachcomber originate from a Generation One character of the same name. G1 Beachcomber was recently given a new look in the Universe 2.0 toy line. It's nice to see a character who really wasn't one of the "big guns" in G1 featured now and then in the Transformers toy line, so Beachcomber's presence is a welcome one.

Robot Mode:
As I stared at Dune Runner next to Beachcomber to write this review, I was a bit surprised to see that the plastic color swaps were not in fact a one to one change. A lot of times with redecos one color of plastic is simply trade in for another in the same pattern, but this time around that isn't the case. If I were to generalize, I'd say that most of the green plastic has been changed over to blue, but there are exceptions such as the robot feet. While Dune Runner's feet shared the same green color as the lower legs, Beachcomber's are cast in light grey. The same light grey replaces the black parts on Dune Runner such as the upper arms and waist, but they also replace the forearms and head. The metallic blue pieces that form the shoulder canons on Dune Runner are black on Beachcomber. What stands out a lot visually are several silver pieces including the chest and back on Beachcomber. Perhaps the only unchanged parts are the wheels which are cast in black like they are on Dune Runner.

While at first glance it seems like Beachcomber is made up of significantly less distinct plastic colors than Dune Runner, he's really not - the colors are just all arranged differently. What I appreciate about this is that the designers made it a point to choose colors that would call back to G1 Beachcomber and they made sure the pattern of colors used on the figure got that point across. Heck, even his head sculpt looks very much like a modern redesign of G1 Beachcomber's head. While the cartoon incarnation of Beachcomber featured a mouth with visor eyes, the original figure had large visor eyes with a mouthplate. "Revenge" Beachcomber seems to pay homage to that as well. Few G1 fans could look at this figure and not know who he is.

For detail work, paint applications are done up in black, silver, red, blue and yellow. I loved the intricacy of Dune Runner's color scheme and Beachcomber is no exception. The lights on his chest and feet are painted yellow while the cage details that outline his lower torso are painted black. You'll find a touch of yellow on his robot head as well. Silver can be found on his chest as well as the section that forms his back and the sections that connect to his elbows. A large red Autobot symbol graces his chest in the same spot that Dune Runner has his. I really like how the colors bring both dark contrast and light colors to the figure all at the same time. He really looks great!

All of Beachcomber's joints are just as tight as those on Dune Runner (more so in the case of his heel pieces). I wouldn't expect any less from the second use of the sculpt, but you never know.

Transformation to Robot Mode:

  1. Rotate the waist around.
  2. Swing the heel pieces down.
  3. Push in the front ends of the vehicle.
  4. Connect the two lower legs.
  5. Move the robot arms down to the sides and swing the forearms back, connecting the two green armor pieces.
  6. Swing the chest panel forward.
  7. Swing the robot head down.
  8. Swing the robot arms in so the rear vehicle mode tires swing up.
  9. Bring the green panels from the arms together with the lower leg panels.
  10. Bring the two cannons together.

Vehicle Mode:
Between the head design in robot mode and the vehicle mode of a dune buggy, part of me wonders if Dune Runner wasn't meant to be Beachcomber all along, it's just all too perfect! In this mode the blue plastic condenses down to form the primary color of this mode, just like G1 Beachcomber. The light grey plastic is still apparent on parts like the front end, the supports for his guns and the interior of the vehicle. The row of lights and cage piece on the back is cast in black. In this form, Beachcomber almost duplicates Dune Runner's paint scheme. The front lights are painted yellow, as are the three lights above the windshield. The two pieces extending out from the hood piece are painted silver, just as they are on Dune Runner. The silver parts near the robot mode shoulders wind up being near the rear wheels here, giving a more machine like appearance to that section, enhancing the piston details that are sculpted into the figure. Silver paint is found on the sides of the wheels, something that wasn't done with Dune Runner.

The only paint detail I kind of miss are the lights on the back of the vehicle. On Dune Runner each light was individually painted red, but here they're left unpainted which is unfortunate. Still, considering the overall strength of the color scheme, I consider this a very minor blemish.

Beachcomber looks fantastic in this mode. I do think that some of the more "military" look is gone, but that makes sense, especially for a character who is more interested in research and exploring than fighting.

Deadlift Review

Images:

Deadlift is a new character to the Transformers universe, but that doesn't stop him from being a homage to a pre-existing character in Transformers history. Based on the Go-Bot Spoons, Deadlift is an interesting reminder that years ago, Hasbro (then Kenner) acquired the Go-Bots brand that once rivaled Transformers. Over the years, homages have been made to this bit of historical trivia, and Deadlift is the latest.

Robot Mode:
Like his fellow "Road Rivals" two pack figure, Deadlift is a huge departure in color scheme from his predecessor, Dirt Boss. The grey color on Dirt Boss has been replaced with a much darker grey color. The two shades of green plastic have been replaced with two shades of orange plastic, and like Beachcomber the color pattern on Deadlift is different than his predecessor. These are both good signs on two levels. It shows some care went into the deco pattern for the figure and that it is paying proper homage to its source character, Spoons.

First, the basic colors of orange and grey are the same that are found on Spoons, but he had a light grey instead of dark. As mentioned earlier, there are two distinct shades of orange used here. A lighter shade is found on parts like the upper arms and legs. A darker and stronger shade is found on the panels that his shoulder joints connect to. The dark grey plastic is used for almost everything else including his forearms and weapons, contrasting those parts quite strongly from the orange parts.

What good would a redeco be without a new coat of paint right? This time out, there has been liberal use of gunmetal with some light blue and white tossed in for good measure. While none of these colors are particular callbacks to Gobot Spoons, they do work very well within the context of the colors that th is figure is sculpted in. The white can be found most prominantly on his chest with light blue filling in the circle in the center. His lower legs, feet, forearms and face all have gu nmetal paint on them, but the actual blade weapons on his forearms do not. Instead, the edges are painted white, no doubt a detail that will become more obvious in vehicle mode. A bit of orange paint is found on the robot head, painting the entire "helmet" section that was left mostly unpainted on Dirt Boss. Like Dirt Boss however, Deadlift's eyes are red, adhering to the Transformers tradition of Decepticons having red eyes. I like the paint job on this figure a lot, but as a homage it's slightly weaker than Beachcomber since it doesn't incorporate more colors from its source figure. For instance, if the details on the torso were red and black, they would match the colors of a detail on Spoons' chest. Still, I'm not so huge of a Gobot fan that I'm going to cry foul on this.

When comparing joint tightness on Deadlift to Dirt Boss, I was pleasantly surprised to find that it not only matched Dirt Boss', but in a couple cases such as the legs, it exceeded it. Granted this is only the second use of this sculpt, but sometimes that's all it takes for floppy joints to appear on a figure.

Transformation to Vehicle Mode:

  1. Swing each robot foot back and straighten out the legs.
  2. Holding on to the arm panels, push down to move the robot head into the chest.
  3. Swing each forklift blade down.
  4. Move each robot arm straight back.
  5. Swing the panels that the arms attach to forward but do not connect them together yet.
  6. Swing the panel on the back with the steering wheel forward and lay it over the robot arms.
  7. Connect the two halves of the driver section cover and the forklift mechanism together.
  8. Swing the robot legs up and connect them to the tabs on the robot arms.

Vehicle Mode:
Deepening his connection to Gobot Spoons is Deadlift's vehicle mode, a forklift, the same mode Spoons had. In this form, the strong orange color and dark grey take center stage (as opposed to the ligher orange which dominates in robot mode). The deco pattern for this mode is very similar to Dirt Boss', probably because with this particular form there is really only so much variation you can do with the sculpt in a reasonable manner. Like Dirt Boss, the sides of the forklift and the cross hatch panels between the two wheels on each side are painted, but on Deadlift they're white. The part of the seat leading to the steering wheel inside the vehicle's cabin section is orange while the wheel has been left grey. The curved section with horizontal lines on the back has been painted gunmetal, the same color found on the lower legs in robot mode.

Perhaps the biggest deco change is the Decepticon symbol on the left side. While it is in the same place, it is now done in black and considerably smaller. Why? Because under it is the letter/number combination of "MR-34". What's the significance? Well, you see before Gobots came to American shores, they were a line of toys called "Machine Robo" in Japan, hence the "MR". The character of "Forklift" aka Spoons was the 34th figure in that particular section of the line, hence the designation MR-34, and it is this deco that proves without a doubt which character inspired this figure redeco.

Final Thoughts:
It's clear to me that there was definitely some love put into this two pack. It pays homage to two characters related to Transformers history who were both out around the same time in the 80's. To be honest, I think Beachcomber is the stronger of the two figures and deco, but Deadlift is a really nice addition to the Transformers universe and I'm a sucker for obscure references in toy form. Highly recommended!