Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Hasbro Transformers Combiner Wars Trailbreaker

The final wave of Combiner Wars is here and it’s another ’84 wave, for the most part. Three of the four deluxes are from the 1984 offerings of G1 with one from ’85. We are looking at one of the ’84 guys today in Trailbreaker.
Trailbreaker is a repaint/retool of Offroad giving him the flatbed truck vehicle mode similar to what he had in G1, minus the cover on the back. He has a great paintjob which gives him all the classic striping you’d want to see on a Classics representation of the character. The standard hand/foot gun can be placed as a makeshift cover, but still I’d love to see someone at Shapeways or some 3rd party make a cover accessory for him.
Robot mode is a little more interesting. Not only is the head remolded but the arms are redone as well. While there have been more extensive retools done in this line in the past, this is still quite nice. The head is animation accurate to the G1 cartoon, with a really good face sculpt. The arms are blockier than the what Offroad or Ironhide had and the right arm even has a gun instead of a hand. For G1 fans, this is a big win as Trailbreaker had a gun hand in G1. The arms and legs are well painted but the chest is lacking. Aside from an Autobot badge, it’s completely unpainted. I wish the top of the chest was painted blue to match the vehicle mode windshield, furthering the G1 aesthetic the figure seems to be going for. Other than that he looks very nice.
Accessories are pretty run of the mill for the mold. He has the axe that came with the other figures to use this mold, as well as the engine styled hand/foot gun. The hand/foot gun however, has been somewhat retooled. The finger and thumb pieces have been redone to give the hand mode a more clawed look, complete with silver fingers. Quite an interesting touch. That claw can even fit into Trailbreakers gun arm to give him a very big hand. Sadly, the axe can’t plug into the gun arm. A shame since an axe arm would have been cool.
Given this is a Combiner Wars figure, we should get into the combined modes. The leg is as solid as the other versions of the mold. I’ve always liked how the hood of the truck becomes a knee guard. Arm mode still has some problems. I will give Hasbro some credit as the remolded arms stay attached to the tabs on the sides of the vehicle much better than Offroad or Ironhide’s, but the robot legs still come apart too easily when trying to pose the combined arm. This makes Trailbreaker more ideal as a leg, which makes the retooled Hand/foot gun rather pointless, unless you swap hand/foot guns with one of the arm bots.
Trailbreaker looks pretty good with the first wave of ’84 bots. I haven’t gotten any of the other figures in his wave, but things are looking good so far. When compared to the Thrilling 30 Trailcutter, it’s amazing how much more G1 accurate this new one is even without having the hood chest or flood lights in the back. I wish I had a G1 Trailbreaker to compare him to but looking at him next to Hoist, the influences are visible. I’m surprised at just how good this mold is for the character.
Somehow I feel that Hasbro was trying to make Combiner Wars an ideal starting point for new collectors trying to get a G1 cast together. How else do you explain getting 11 or the first 18 Autobots, Megatron, and the Seekers in one line. One could argue that Shockwave should be mentioned in that group, but he needs a voyager to count in my view.

Final waves are often cursed with being harder to find and shorter lived, making a finale of ’84 characters that never combined before an interesting way to end the Combiner Wars line. It offers comfort that a key group won’t be missed due to figure scarcity, although I do worry about the Voyager Skylinx that has yet to hit a store nearby me and may be afflicted by that curse.

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