Release Date: August 2022
Price Point: $24.99 (depending on retailer)
Retailer: Walmart Exclusive (with limited numbers sold on Hasbro Pulse)
Accessories: Blades x 2, Vehicle Front End/Back Pack
Official images and text below in italics are from Hasbro Pulse:
The race is on! Bots from across the multiverse have gathered on Velocitron to participate in the Speedia 500, a planet-wide race to determine its next leader. Road Rocket plans on pushing the limit in the Speedia 500, eager to cross the finish line as champion. Includes: Figure, 2 accessories, and instructions.
- UNIVERSES COLLIDE: Universes collide with Transformers: Legacy! This epic line of Transformers toys brings together fan-favorite characters from across the Transformers multiverse
- VELOCITRON SPEEDIA 500 COLLECTION: The race is on! Bots from across the multiverse have gathered on Velocitron to participate in the Speedia 500, a planet-wide race to determine its next leader
- G2-INSPIRED DESIGN: This Transformers 5.5-inch G2 Universe Road Rocket robot toy is inspired by the animated series, Transformers: Generation 2, updated with a Generations-style design
- 2 EPIC MODES: Action figure converts from robot to motorcycle mode in 21 steps
- AWESOME ACCESSORIES: Comes with 2 combining Energon blades and dual-bladed wheel accessories. Accessories attach to figure in both modes
- Figure scale: 5.5 inches
- Ages 8 and up
In 2005 Transformers fans were introduced to the Cybertron cartoon. The series would introduce several Cybertronian colonies, an idea which made perfect sense but had not been explored much in the lore. One of these worlds was the "Speed Planet" known as Velocitron. On this world, races were used to determine supremacy including the grand event known as the Speedia 500. Riffing off this event, Hasbro created a Capsule Program for Wal-Mart using the Speedia 500 as its inspiration. It also incorporated characters from the IDW Publishing version of the Speedia 500 including Burn Out and Road Rocket. This line was released at Wal-Mart in August 2022 with limited quantities made available on Hasbro Pulse. Pulse shipped first with Wal-Mart putting the toys on shelves in stores before shipping their site pre-orders out. As of August 21, 2022, Wal-Mart's estimated ship date for their pre-orders is October 2022.
When the original Generation One figures were released, they were packaged in a rectangular box with a large flap on the back. They sat inside the box in their alt-modes relying on the package artwork to show off the robot mode. However, for quite some time now, Transformers have been mostly packaged in robot mode instead, a move partly intended to show off the value of the figure you are purchasing. This has led to more vertical packaging that discarded the old "rectangle box with flap" design. Aside from some Vintage reissues and the Vintage Headmaster line, this style of packaging has been very rare in modern day releases.
Enter: the Speedia 500 collection! This entire line features its characters packaged in G1 shaped boxes complete with a rectangular shape, a window in the front and a flap on top. The only exception is Scourge, who is packaged in a big, closed box with an illustration in front. The background features a wonderful black to blue gradient and each box features the text "Velocitron Speedia 500 Collection". A lot of graphics on the boxes are references to the race including arrows and even the symbol of Velocitron itself boldly shown off on the front of the boxes. Each character does feature new box art including Road Rocket. Interestingly, the box for Road Rocket features her in both modes. The flap on top has her in vehicle mode while the left side of the rectangular section shows her in robot mode. Road Rocket is part of the multi-versal Legacy line so she is referred to by her universe as "G2 Universe" Road Rocket, which is interesting because it implies that "G2" is a separate universe than the semi-"G1" universe that is the "default" for Generations. The back of the box shows her in both modes, calling out a 21 step transformation.
To say I love this packaging design would be an understatement. It manages to blend some nostalgia with a modern day line and the graphics are all consistent with the world of Velocitron itself.
The Generation 2 era of Transformers brought about a wide variety of play patterns including the "Laser" gimmick. This mostly meant figures had some type of clear weapon that would be lit up via a small light built into the figure. In the case of Road Rocket, the G2 figure had a saw blade weapon that lit up with a red light. Road Rocket has not been forgotten in Transformers history, appearing in both Fun Publications and IDW Publishing comic books. Most recently, the character appeared as a competitor in the Speedia 500 race in the IDW Publishing comic books, making her a natural addition to this collection. You'll notice I refer to Road Rocket as "her". In past incarnations, this character was either assumed to be or portrayed as using "he/him" pronouns. However, in their June 22 live stream, Hasbro referred to Road Rocket deliberately as "her" so this incarnation is a female Autobot.
This figure is a redeco and retool of the Legacy Arcee figure. You'll want to check out that review too. This review will focus on the changes made to the figure for this release.
Road Rocket includes three accessories, but one of them is really just a part that is not attached out of the box but I'll run through all of them for the sake of being complete:
- Vehicle Mode Front End The front end of the motorcycle comes detached from the figure. It attaches to the section with the handlebars using a tab in a slot.
- Wheel/Weapon Intended to attach to the front of the vehicle is a wheel accessory. This piece is black plastic with silver paint and a red outline. It has a 5mm peg that attaches to the accessory that forms the front of the vehicle mode. The wheel can also split open and sit on Road Rocket's back. This accessory can also be held in one hand as a "wheel weapon". I really think the intention is to have this accessory attach to other weapons to bulk them up and give them an interesting design embellishment more than acting as a practical weapon.
- Arm Blades: This translucent blue disc can split into two blade weapons, each with a 5mm port and peg on them. These can attach to the sides of Road Rocket's forearms (or she can hold them in her hands of course). When combined, the middle of the weapon looks like a star. This part is painted black. This weapon can attach to the forearm and (somewhat) call back to the saw blade weapon held by G2 Road Rocket.
The original Road Rocket action figure transformed into a vehicle based on a Yamaha GTS 1000 motorcycle (often called "ninja" motorcycles by my friends back in the day). The Arcee sculpt based its vehicle mode on a fictional motorcycle, but you can definitely see the how the sleek lines of the Yamaha influenced this design. There are no tooling changes for the vehicle mode, so from a sculpt perspective it is the same as Arcee, but it still fits the character of Road Rocket.
This mode mostly shows off red and black plastic, but we also get some nice translucent blue on the front in the form of the windshield and headlights. The front section has red paint that matches nicely with the red plastic. The wheels have deco that gets featured nicely in this mode. There is metallic blue on the rear section, a callback to the blue on G2 Road Rocket's seat. I am a big fan of the red/black/silver color combination on Transformers so I think Road Rocket looks fantastic!
Functionally the wheels still spin and Road Rocket can stay upright using the kickstand. She has 5mm ports on the blue part of the "seat" and on the sides near the rear wheel.
Transformation to Robot Mode:
- Detach the front wheel and swing out each wheel half.
- Detach the blade weapons if attached and set them aside for now.
- Swing the side panels out, then detach the front headlights/windshield section. Technically this can stay on during the transformation, but I find it easier to keep it out of the way.
- Separate the halves of the rear wheel to begin forming the robot legs.
- Split the "seat" piece to begin forming the robot arms.
- Swing the robot arms up at the shoulders and lock them into place.
- Slide each of the "seat halves" up to reveal the robot fists.
- Swing the upper body forward.
- Rotate the lower body around, then swing it and the red waist panel up.
- Swing the rear wheel halves to the sides.
- Swing the lower leg pieces up.
- Swing the front halves of the robot feet out.
- Rotate the steering handles so the dials face up, then collapse that section against the back.
- Attach the front wheel piece to the port on the back.
- Attach the front section of the motorcycle to the section with the handlebars.
- The weapons can attach to any of the 5mm ports on the figure.
This figure was designed to be a G1-ified version of Prime Arcee, so to adapt it as Road Rocket the designers did two very smart things. First, they gave the figure a whole new head sculpt. Gone is the thin, oval shaped head of Arcee. In its place is a wider, more traditional Transformers robot head design featuring a "helmet" section, thin eyes and a mouthplate. The look of the head sculpt is very much in line with the way Hollywood portrayed ninjas at the time, giving it a distinctive look. Second, having the split front wheel attach to the back (instead of being held as a weapon) calls back to one of G2 Road Rocket's most distinctive features: wheels on the shoulders that really stuck out to the side and drew your eye when you looked at the figure. Of course, these are on the back behind the shoulders, but the "spirit" of the G2 design is still there along with a refined version of its silhouette.
Road Rocket takes its deco inspiration from the G2 figure with a combination of red, black and translucent blue plastic making up the figure. The red parts are nicely broken up by black sections. A lot of metallic blue is used on the arms, legs and face. My absolute favorite detail is a small, red G2 Autobot symbol on the collar. This symbol is not well known outside of hardcore Transformers fandom so it's really fun to see it on a figure like this. The deco on this figure is beautiful and calls back to the original figure very nicely.
There are twenty two points of articulation on this figure. That includes five in each arm and leg. There are 5mm ports in the fists and on the sides of the forearms, allowing you to attach accessories in different ways. There is also of course, the one on the back. The panels that form the vehicle mode front end also have 5mm ports on them, but be warned, the figure could easily become back heavy if you attach too many things and just fall over. This is also the point where it is important to mention that the waist hinge on my copy of this figure is nowhere near as strong as the one on my Arcee. My Arcee figure "locks" into place well, but Road Rocket does a little "snap" into place but with enough posing out or moving around the upper body swings back. I am not sure if all copies of this figure have this issue but mine definitely does.
I have a very deep affection for the Generation 2 era. It was a very earnest attempt at reviving the Transformers franchise and it churned out a variety of fun and creative toys. Having G2 recognized in this form is brilliant and the figure looks fantastic to boot. The only thing keeping me from going full "highly recommended" is the waist issue.
- Between the new head sculpt and placement of the front wheel piece in robot mode, this is instantly recognizable as Road Rocket and it looks great.
- Beautiful deco.
- Weapon serves as a nice callback to G2 Road Rocket's "saw" weapon.
- Gorgeous packaging.
- Waist issue is a concern.
- I would have loved an extra accessory to attach to the weapon to simulate G2 Road Rocket's weapon more accurately (this is a minor nitpick on my part).