Articulation: 14 total points - Ball joint neck; 3 points each arm: Ball joint shoulder, bicep swivel, hinge elbow; Swivel waist; 3 points each leg: Ball joint hip, thigh swivel, hinge knee.
Colors: Molded grey, turquoise, black, purple, light grey; Painted red, silver, gunmetal grey, green-yellow, turquoise.
Accessories: Axe, Extremity Weapon
Release Data: Released in the United States in April of 2015 at a retail price of US$14.99
The newest member of the Stunticons is pressed in to action on missions his teammates want no part of, giving him the opportunity to show off his extreme-conditions combat training. It's dirty work in the most dangerous situations, but it's the only way he'll win his teammates' trust.
Offroad sure has some identity problems. At Toy Fair, Hasbro's designers
confirmed the toy was designed with intent to be the Triggercon Ruckus. But
that name wasn't available, and at that point they were questioning if Ruckus
even should be a Stunticon anyway. So, apply new name and... color it to
resemble Wildrider. Because at this point, heck, why not? And while all of that
is weird, we're barely getting started...
That is, sadly, the most notable thing here, as everything else is extremely average. Apart from the range-limited shoulder joints, the arms are a common swivel/hinge mix at the elbow, and the elbows themselves are soft-ratcheted. The door panels can potentially obstruct the swivel movement of the arms, but because the panels are hinged that's usually easy enough to deal with one way or another. I'll admit, I do like the overall visual styling in the arms. You get the big plates on the shoulders, but as a more subtle thing, some of the truck body panels are sculpted around the outside of the forearms while having a distinct arm structure on the inside. It makes it look like Offroad has armored up to a degree, which is interesting at least as a visual element. The arms still are rather on the thin side. Breakdown's weren't much bigger, but it seems like it stands out more on Offroad for some reason.
The legs hold to the standard mix of ball joints at the hips, upper thigh swivel, and a hinge at the knee. The knee has a slightly smaller than typical range, not getting to 90 degrees because of some of the transformation parts. The range of motion on the hips is good, with free movement forward, and rearward limited only by where the back of the legs hit more of the truck parts hanging from the back. Side movement is a little more directly limited where the shape of the hips hits the inside of the pelvis and get blocked, but you get a good degree of outward range before that happens so it's not a big deal. The feet are solid blocks all around, and while the right foot is fine for posing on its edge to widen Offroad's stance as needed, the left is considerably worse for having the socket for the Extremity Weapon attachment sticking halfway out. Edge-balance on this foot isn't impossible, but it's more difficult and less ...well, acceptable looking, since I don't think natural really applies to the kind of stances I'm talking about.
I really like the sculpt on the shins, though. There's a lot of mechanical detailing that fits contextually, even if the specific placement might not reason out super well. Between the knee armor and the lower shin you get shock absorbers molded in which I kind of love as a concept. I question their use in a location that looks very much like a single, rigid chunk of structure. Something to delineate the knee armor from the shins themselves so this would look like a point that could be compressed would have cemented the idea they're putting forward here. Either way, I like the thought behind this. You've got cylindrical detail that I'm interpreting as heavy duty axles given the truck's wheels are connected to them, even though they don't especially look like any axle I've seen before. Then you have a square loop at each ankle that would either be a tie-down or a place to mount a spare tire. Not sure, but it really fills out the structural detailing in a nice way even if the intended purpose isn't as obvious as the other parts.
The deco is basic. Mostly a lot of grey. There's some red paint specific to the robot mode, but most of what you see is held over from the vehicle mode. Offroad get some turquoise on the biceps and thighs which looks pretty (but photographs terribly - even color correcting as best I could I still don't think the photos are 100% accurate to what the color really looks like) and plays well with the grey. But apart from the red blocks on the chest and the silver on the shocks in the legs, there's not much going on here. The face is painted a sickly green-yellow that reminds me of the paint on 2013 Deluxe Generations Bumblebee - that's NEVER a good thing, by the way - and the helmet has some more turquoise on the crest details, but that's all. Despite having colors that get along well, the robot mode just looks dull and boring for lack of work to up the visual interest. The chest actually has two more areas painted silver, but where they are they easily get lost in shadow and contrast so poorly with the surrounding plastic they easily just get lost. And since the legs are the most interestingly sculpted parts in this mode it's both that they specifically could have done with more paint to highlight that stuff, and the rest of the body needed some paint to compensate for that and make sure everything had a chance to stand out.
Here's the secret of Offroad: It's an Aerialbot. This not only informs things about the robot mode such as the head being attached to the combiner plug where the other three Stunticons weren't, but it explains to a degree why things that bother me are the way they are. Having a nosecone half-folded to the back and sticking up behind the head may not be a big deal. But when it's the whole front end of a truck that's quite worse. Not just because of the mismatch to the others on the team, but because where a nosecone is a relatively small piece, the front end of a truck is totally not. It's a real feeling of applying a transformation pattern because it was already worked out for multiple other toys, but not considering that the specifics might need some tweaks to really work. Instead it's 1:1 translation. And it really is just the same. The legs open and use the hinge structure that is specific to the Aerialbots to collapse - albeit in a reversed orientation that leads to the knee range being slightly reduced. The hood lifts and settles forward like a nosecone/cockpit chunk, and while this is less specific to the Aerialbots, the shoulders fold down on hinges to close in to the body in a way that I most link to the Aerialbots.
On the one hand it's actually very interesting that a totally different
vehicle type could take on the same transformation sequence as a jet, but on
the other it ended up not doing the robot mode any favors for some of the
compromises that had to happen as a result. But the transformation is actually
really easy to do in both directions. Maybe not as easy as Dead End because the
leg structure is more complex, but it's fast and not super tied to a specific
I'd been impressed before by the size of the car modes, since Breakdown and Dead End had roughly matched up to the car sizes from a few years ago, something I think is a selling point. Offroad sadly is on the smaller side. I wouldn't necessarily expect a four-door pickup truck to be in scale with the other cars, but the mismatch is a little more obvious that I'd have preferred. That said, it's not absurdly small, or near to it like Trailcutter and Hoist seemed at the time, so it probably hits the best middle ground it can. Honestly, if the cab had been two-door instead of four-door, I don't think this would have been an issue for me at all since there's plenty of pickups out there that are small to the point of impracticality and this could have been something in the same line of thought. Offroad does manage to have more ground clearance than anyone else, so that's at least a good accomplishment for a pickup truck. This is made around the idea of a truck that's been performance modified, so you get some really hilarious things for this kind of vehicle. There's a huge air intake added to the hood, which has a deep opening in front so that it's effectively darkened inside by natural shadows. Generally better looking and more effective than just putting black paint on a flat surface. The back edge of the cab is flared in to spoiler surfaces, and similar changes made to the tailgate. There's little air dams on the windshield frame, too. Knowing that people really do this with large trucks, it's still hilarious to see represented here. There are still elements of actual offroading to the design, like a reinforced-looking front end that seems inconsistent with the rest of what's been done to the truck. But it all looks good together, so I'm cool with the seemingly conflicting ideas here and there.
The deco leans heavily toward Wildrider. The extended bio on the pack-in comics of the US release even call attention to that fact. It makes sense as a move for the greater whole, so that even with the shape being different, Menasor would still have the same range of colors represented. While there are paint apps specific to this mode, it still looks under decorated. The air intake on the hood is painted gunmetal, but in most cases it manages to just blend in to the surrounding plastic and has a similar reflectivity. I think I had this for two or three days before I even realized there was paint there and it wasn't just a shift in the appearance of the color because of where the light was hitting it. The windows are all bright red, which looks kind of weird. Something a few steps darker would have worked better to sell the idea of red-tinted windows. This is too bright, kind of looking like it's glowing from the inside, or maybe just full of tomato soup; I forget which. There's a super generic and actually amazingly early 90's tampo on the door panels in the same tomato soup red that's not actually doing very much for the deco. The hubcaps get to be painted, and the lights in front and the grill are all painted in silver. The foglights especially look good here, as the silver paint brings out the protective cages over the lights themselves. There needs to be some more solid contrast, I think. That's probably the real issue here. Aside from the silver hubcaps, everything ends up bleeding together visually and so it comes off looking more boring than it really should.
Leg mode is as usual a simple matter of folding the hood out and flipping up the combiner plug and otherwise staying in vehicle mode. And Offroad makes a fine leg. The hood in this position is a good knee cover, and the range of motion for the combiner isn't affected. Offroad is also one of the thinner legs, which might be a thing to keep in mind depending on the specific kind of build you're looking for.
Arm mode isn't quite so okay. For one, you have to go back to Aerialbot levels of tucking the robot arms out of the way and pretending they aren't there. There are tabs meant for the arms to fit on so they secure in place, but they don't work. The tabs may be too shallow or not thick enough, I don't know what. But there's no stick to them. Generally they'll stay in place well enough on their own that this isn't a major problem. The door panels helping to restrict the bicep swivel actually works to Offroad's advantage in this case. What's more of a problem is when you go to Offroad's legs. They also don't tab together very well. This isn't a big thing in truck mode, both because there's extra things helping to keep the structure together, and also because they're not needing to really hold up against any stress. Neither of these factors is true in arm mode. My experience has the Offroad forearm splitting very easily when trying to pose. SInce the combiner hand only plugs on one side nothing's going to fall out when this happens, but it's really bothersome and looks bad. When taken together with Offroad not making a super attractive arm in the first place, it turns in to a bigger strike against the whole thing.
Offroad has an axe. A weird axe with buttons on the back of the head. My interest in Power Ranger-type things has me wanting to believe that each of these activates a different attack attribute. One electrifies the axe head, another sets it on fire, that kind of thing. Removing that interpretation, it looks weird. The axe head is painted silver, but the rest of it is purple plastic.
This is the first Deluxe or higher Stunticon weapon that can't functionally be held from its side peg to pretend to be a gun or even alternate use melee weapon. The side peg is too shallow and there's nowhere for the axe head to go that would make it seem like there's a point to holding it that way. It can mount to a 5mm port on either forearm, and that actually looks kind of good. Better still, it's very easy to pose the arms so one hand is grabbing the axe off the other arm. Less good is the handle having a loose fit in the hands. But it works well enough, and I think that slight looseness is helping make the axe-grab thing I just described work as well as it does. Unfortunately, with the jointing in the arms and the short handle, double-handing the axe won't work.
I was hoping for Offroad to be another Alpha Bravo, being reasonably excellent while bringing something new to the team. Instead, Offroad ended up being just a design oddity, standing as a throwback to the last wave and ignoring anything good that the toys around it had managed to do better in the meantime. Offroad isn't a terrible figure, but it really fails to live up to the expectations the other Stunticons would lead you to. I'm calling Offroad Could Have Been Better according to the Figurereviews Non-Numeric Rating System, but understand it falls a good deal farther down on that than Dead End did.
Destroyers of G1
I won't say it's not worth owning, but I don't think anyone needs this mold more than once. Given the Protectobots reuse this with heavy retooling and Hasbro is bringing a renamed Wildrider to market, there's not much point to getting this use of the mold. I'm more saddened by this evidently being what our new Ironhide is going to be, with only a new head added. It really doesn't fit for that job, and so go my hopes of a decent Classics-ish Ironhide, it seems.
|Date||April 10th 2015|
|Score||(3 out of 10)|
|Link||Combiner Wars Offroad Review Album|
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