Cybertron Toy Reviews: Landmine

in 2004, Action Figure Review, Autobot, Cybertron, Earth Planet, Galaxy Force

Landmine package art

General Information:
Release Year: December 2004
Retailer: General Release (Target, Wal-Mart, Kay Bee etc.)
Price: $9.99 (Depending on retailer)
Transformation Difficulty Level: 3
Accessories: Cyber Planet Key, Missile Launcher, Missile


Tech Specs:
Landslide is at peace always. His long contemplation has taught him the path to inner stillness. He has let go of the physical world, and embraced the world beyond. Recently, he has discovered how to project his core programming out of his robotic body for a limited time and into astral space. there, he has encountered other, powerful beings, and learned many truths. Though Kobushi attempts to interrupt his meditation at every opportunity with petty challenges, Landslide has yet to fall before the aggressive robot's attacks, using his inner strength and passive nature to create the ultimate martial defense.

Strength: 7 Intelligence: 8.5 Speed: 4.5 Endurance: 9 Rank: 6 Courage: 8.5 Firepower: 5 Skill: 8.5

Landmine is one of the Autobots stationed with Optimus Prime on Earth. In this series he takes on the role of one of the elder Autobots who can still get into a scrap and live to tell about it.

Most Cybertron Transformers come with a Cyber Planet Key that unlocks their action feature. These Keys also have codes printed on them that you enter on the official Transformers web site to get extra content on the character. Landmine's code is dr94. PUtting the code in reveals a screen capture of Landmine from the television show and the following text: Landmine is one of the oldest members of the Autobot team. But that doesn't mean this guy can't hold his own when it's time to rumble... In fact - he was the Autobot who first taught Optimus Prime how to fight!!

Vehicle Mode:
Landmine is a large scale wheel loader in vehicle form. While the figure is a deluxe size, he is meant to represent a very large scale vehicle. The two big give aways are his tires and sculpted details on the sides. The tires are huge in porportion to the rest of the vehicle, making up almost half its height. Coupled with ladder details sculpted on the side, and you get the sense that this vehicle's tires are taller than the average human.

There is quite a bit of detail in this vehicle form. The shovel in the front has teeth sculpted in the front and on the back portion are circles indicating large metal plates bolted in. The arms that lift the shovel have pistons sculpted into them for a bit of added realism. The top of the vehicle has a large driver's cabin area, with three windows on each side. The top of the cabin has two small lights in the front, and then larger floodlights on top. Behind that are four smokestacks. Two taller ones in front, two smaller ones in back. This is somewhat reminscent of the guns on Energon Landmine's shoulders, though I'm sure the inference is not necesarily that they're the same character.

Towards the back is where you mount the missile launcher. I love the design of this weapon as it uses smokestacks for the trigger, which is preferable to just a simple rectangular tab. The missile/gun barrel resembles one from a large machine gun emplacement, complete with a small square in front and sculpted holes on the sides.

Landmine's primary color is yellow, not a particularly bright shade, which is good. The hubcaps, parts of the arm, smokestacks and gun barrel are all a metallic flake silver, giving the impression of metal very nicely. Orange is used selectively for the lights on the cabin. Red is used for details on the sides and for part of the shovel. The other primary plastic color is brown, making up part of the arms and the front wheel covers. The tires, missile launcher and floodlights all have black on them, and finally the shovel has silver dry brushed onto the teeth, which gives the impression of a worn shovel, again adding to the realism of the vehicle a bit.

The shovel arm can move up and down, but it's generally to move the arms and not the shovel itself as it can split rather easily (this is part of the transformation). On the back, the missile launcher can be turned side to side as well.

To utilize the Cyber Planet Key gimmick properly, you do a partial transformation. Swing the rear tires up to the sides first. Landmine's Cyber Planet Key gimmick is somewhat unique in that it does not just activate upon insertion. Insert the Planet Key and then turn it in each wheel and curved blades reveal themselves, turning Landmine's construction vehicle form into a battle vehicle. Turning one wheel automatically turns the other as they wind up turning a smaller set of wheels built into the section under the missile launcher. I'm quite fond of this for two reasons. One it's neat having a construction vehicle with a "secret attack", and two having to insert and turn the key does make the gimmick more like it's namesake, which you would normally have to turn to open a lock or start your car.

Transformation to Robot Mode:

  1. Take the missile launcher off and set it aside.
  2. Swing the rear wheels up.
  3. Split the shovel in half and swing each arm out to the sides.
  4. Swing the lower portion of the vehicle mode down to form the robot legs.
  5. Flip the robot feet and heel pieces up.
  6. On either side of the cabin are silver rectangular blocks, swing those forward.
  7. Swing each shovel half up to reveal the robot fists.
  8. Fold the rear wheel section back.
  9. Swing each half of the smokestack section out to the sides, then swing the smokestacks up.
  10. Turn the robot head around to face front.
  11. Rotate the wheels on his legs down.
  12. Attach the weapon to his fist.

Robot Mode:
The power conveyed by the vehicle mode carries over well into Landmine's robot mode. While he is deluxe sized, the way his parts come together gives him a good sense of bulk and power. His overall outline is enhanced by having the shovel halves on his arm, which may not be practical, but they sure look dangerous. Add to that his torso which comes forward a bit thanks to the cabin design, and the large tires on his legs and you have a Transformer who looks quite solid and strong. The center of the torso has an Autobot symbol sculpted into it painted red with a white background, always a welcome sight.

"Solid" and "Bulk" however sometimes imply a lack of aesthetics, and that is definitely not the case with Landmine. I really like his head sculpt as it incorporates some more recent Transformers aesthetics with some older ones. Like classic designs there is a central crest and a "chinstrap" type design around the lower part of the head. Newer design elements come into play in the form of side vents and a V shaped section above the face reminscent of designs found on other Transformers of this era such as Hot Shot. The head design is very layered and detailed, and easily one of my favorite head sculpts in years.

The arms and legs are proportional (within the limits of Transformers-proportion) and there is quite a bit of small detail on all these parts. His arms have layers on them that look like armor plating and some cut designs like small rectangles near his elbows. On the legs you'll find small and large vents along with cross hatch designs and more on the inner legs. This inner leg design is cool to see because it is not an area most people are going to look at, so it's nice to see it is not neglected.

Sometimes the little touches really help enhance a figure. During the transformation there are two rectangular pieces which wind up on his hips that you flip down. A close look at these indicates they may be some sort of missile launchers. Point the smokestacks forward and you have machine gun like weapons now. This really enhances his firepower and looks cool to boot!

Landmine shows a lot more of the metallic flake silver and brown colors in this form. These colors make up a bulk of his head, arms and legs. Red and black are also more present here, found on his head and legs. The robot face is painted silver with blue eyes. While simple, this color scheme works very well thanks in part to the great choice of plastic colors and in part to the well sculpted details already present on the figure.

Landmine has thirteen points of articulation in this form, not including the two smokestacks that can swing forward. The lower arms are on ball joints, so there is a wide range of motion there, even with the shovel halves on his arms. I was actually surprised to find the lower legs could turn in and out. I half expected him to only have knee articulation there.

You can somewhat use the Planet Key gimmick here, although it just winds up looking like you wouldn't want to scratch his back. The robot mode truly does rest on its own merits and not those of the figure's gimmick.

Final Thoughts:
Landmine is one of the strongest deluxes in the first wave of Cybertron toys. He is a standalone figure that does not rely on any homages to be "cool". Rather he has a good vehicle mode, a cool robot mode and a neat Planet Key gimmick, all culiminating in a very well done figure. Highly recommended!