Click the image above to see the alt mode, or view more photos here
First/Last Comic Appearance (US) - Issue 1, September 1984 / Issue 12, January 1986
First/Last Comic Appearance (UK) - Issue 11, February 9th 1985 / Issue 93, December 27th 1986
First/Last Cartoon Appearance - Episode 1 (Season 1 #1), September 17th 1984 / Episode 64 (Season 2 #48), December 16th 1985
First Toy Appearance - 1984
Click here to see Figure Details and review
Manufacturer - Hasbro
Toyline - Generations
- Added an Autobot symbol to the bonnet, covering the tampographed one
- Added an Autobot symbol to the radiator grille
- Added various Reprolabels
It was about time that Trailbreaker was given a modern update by Hasbro, being one of the last 1984 robots waiting for their moment to shine. A legends class toy did appear a couple of years back, but that was crucially too small to interact with pretty much every other figure. So I think most people were happy when it was announced that Hasbro were going to produce a deluxe class figure, which would also come packaged with its very own comic! This was all part of the 'Thrilling 30' line (has it really been 30 years?) which had already produced the fantastic Springer, Sandstorm, and the pretty good Blitzwing. My hope was high, that the 'decent and large' trend seen in the voyager figures would also be evident in the deluxes. Was it a forlorn hope?
Appearance (Robot Mode) 8/10
The first thing to say about Trailbreaker (and indeed all of the 'thrilling 30' figures) is that the figure is designed to represent the IDW version of the character. This is why I will not be using the forthcoming Skids because it looks waaaay too different from the G1 figure. However in the case of 'Trailcutter' he retains enough G1 features to work well. The signature block above his head is there, as well as the overall colour scheme and paint apps. The headsculpt is brilliant, with a very muted blue used for the eyes which light-pipes successfully. He is leaner than his G1 counterpart, with a defined chest and upper body tapering to a waspish waist. Unfortunately his legs seem slightly too short proportionally. Speaking of short, there was some worry that he would follow the trend of the 'Fall of Cybertron' deluxes and be laughably small, but thankfully he is the same height as Universe Ironhide which is good enough for me. His lower legs are glaringly hollow, as is his back, although his shield can be used to plug this gap, at the expense of the block behind his head (I must get a better name for that) facing upwards. The shield itself has caused some controversy because it can also be used as a weapon which looks pretty crap. Much better to use it as a shield instead, because, after all, shielding stuff is Trailbreaker's job. I felt that the figure overall was a little flat and lacking in paint apps, so I remedied this with Reprolabels which really added some nice detail.
Appearance (Alternate Mode) 7/10
There are two key things wrong with this figure in vehicle mode - the first is the diminutive size, and the second is the lack of paint apps. I will address the size issue first. This incarnation of Trailbreaker is a fairly rugged looking SUV, with very large tyres, armour plating, and a tiny windscreen, which all serve to reinforce the idea that this would be a biiig ride. But then you sit it next to Bumblebee, who is supposed to be a compact hatchback, and Trailbreaker is dwarfed. The vehicle is so stumpy looking. It's odd because as a robot, Trailbreaker is just about large enough, but he condenses into a really tiny car. I'm not one for generally posing alt modes together in groups, so it's not disastrous. As for the lack of paint, it's really bad. The signature stripes are present, albeit rather sloppily applied. The radiator grille has a smattering of silver and the light clusters are inexplicably gold. That's it. Luckily Reprolabels have come up with a great set which makes this vehicle look much improved, there are now details all over the place, although the vehicle is still criminally undersized for what it is.
This invokes the nightmare of Perceptor, but thankfully there is enough room for maneouvre and you do not feel like you are destroying the figure. The head forms the 'sunroof' and is pulled upright and rotated. The rear roof section is removed to become the shield. The arms are pulled out from underneath the chassis and are rotated so that the front wheels end up inside the car. The middle of the bonnet (with the tampograph on it) is pushed down and tabbed into the waist section of the figure. The rest of the bonnet and front of the roof both fold down to from the chest and neck respectively. The arms then have to be moved up into place, with the correct shoulder position allowing them to tab into the wing mirrors, although this does not hold together particularly well. Finally the legs are pulled out and swung into position. Once you have transformed this figure a couple of times, it becomes very intuitive.
Trailbreaker has pretty decent articulation, consisting of: Neck and waist swivel, ball-jointed shoulders and hips, bicep and thigh swivel, elbow and knee joints, as well as limited wrist movement (although it is really a transformation joint and isn't really useful for posing). He seems to balance pretty well, although is a little flat-footed and stumpy as I have mentioned before.
Despite the fact that he is pretty hollow in places, all of the plastic used is tough and flexible. There are no sections that feel brittle and the figure certainly feels robust enough to be pulled about a bit during his transformation. He seems like a step in the right direction when compared to the extremely diminutive and anaemic-looking 'Fall of Cybertron' figures.
Overall - 38/50
This is really not a bad figure. I had hoped for a return to the larger and more substantial deluxes of a few years ago, but I think those days are gone for good. Instead we have a figure which manages to look good (and crucially large) enough to warrant a place in my lineup as a robot, but really disappoints in vehicle mode. I don't think most collectors will care too much about that. Plus you get his excellent 'spotlight' comic thrown in for free. Reprolabels have made a real difference to this figure, because it is now sumptuously detailed, and also crucially more 'in keeping' with earlier 'classicsverse' releases. I definitely recommend you pick this set up to bring the mould to life.