|roadblock Review Capsule|
|Roadblock is a repaint-- and remold-- of Inferno from late 2003. The original toy was a stellar mold taking design elements from many other toys as well as a few from The War Within, and this new version is just different enough to make you want to buy another, similar toy. About $9.96 at Wal-Mart, recommended.|
Hasbro likes to repaint toys. Sometimes they repaint a toy that looks so good you'll buy it again, no questions asked. This would have been one of those times, but Hasbro went back and retooled some bits on one of the very first Energon toys to give a new experience to fans everywhere.
He turns from a car to robot. He has a missile and a two-piece crane weapon. It's cool.
In the first generation of TransFormers, Hasbro and Takara took a single mold and made two toys from it. One was orange and had some tow-truck parts, and was called Grapple. The other had some red and fire engine parts, and called Inferno. Obviously, Roadblock is an homage to Grapple with an old G.I. Joe name.
The head is the most obvious change. The face is now silver and not blue, and the new sculpt has a helmet that can cover the eyes in vehicle mode. It's still obvious that there's a head on top of the vehicle, but it works a little better than the flaps that cover the eyes of Inferno. The legs and grille changes are largely cosmetic, and the siren lights are still present and, again, merely cosmetic. The functionality of the robot toy hasn't changed at all and the only real difference is the head and how it "hides" in vehicle mode.
The sculpting is great, but it's still just Inferno with a few new parts. There are plenty of exposed wires and cables (unpainted) as well as rear-view mirrors, so a lot of nice little details are kept here. The toy is fairly posable, but its blocky nature keeps it from assuming some dynamic poses. It isn't a bad thing, though, because it looks good and plays well-- you could throw this toy around and generally abuse it, and it'd probably not break. That's a big plus, and as such, this is a great toy robot. And as a perk, it transforms!
It's a tow truck-- well, it was a fire truck, now it's a tow truck. It's amazing what a little color and a new accessory can do for you.
The toy itself doesn't do much-- it rolls freely, and quite well. You can attach Mini-Cons and Energon weapons to the hard points, and the crane can move around. The hook is articulated, but the toy's design doesn't really allow it to tow other vehicles particularly well and that's a little disappointing. When a vehicle should perform a specific function, we always prefer it being able to perform said function. Regardless, it looks nice and stays together well, and as such is still a fun little toy.
Roadblock includes two missiles and a rifle (of sorts).
There ya have it-- fancy. The crane can detach from the main assembly, providing a separate handheld weapon with less vehicle kibble. It fires a respectable distance and while it's similar in design to the weapon of Inferno, it's pretty much completely retooled. Nice touch, Hasbro & Takara!
For your convinience, here's a look at the new and old toys.
We'll add more images of these as we go, but for now, here are both versions of this mold in both possible modes for the combined robot. The main differences in this mode are the heads and colors, aside from that they appear pretty much the same from the front. The combinations are solid and don't flop about, and it's a nice added mode for the toy-- the added weaponry looks pretty cool, we think.
The mode on the left is Powerlinx Roadblock. On the right, Powerlinx Inferno. These toys can combine with any Energon Deluxe or Mega class Autobots.
Packaging, Tech Specs, & Co-Sells
This toy came packaged in the second wave style TransFormers Energon packaging with a few twist-ties.
Nothing too fancy. This item shipped alongside Energon Starscream as well as a few older deluxe toys like Energon Kicker and High Wire, Steamhammer, and Barricade. (And a few others.)
We loves it. Fans of Inferno should go out and buy this so they can combine the two together. It's also different enough that it seems like a new character. We also love things that are bright orange. Buy one, or two. If it's on clearance, be sure to snag it as it won't last long!
Reviewed and photographed by Adam Pawlus
Sample purchased at a Phoenix, AZ Wal-Mart in February 2005 for $9.97
Reviewed on March 19, 2005.