Landmine is the Autobot's first new-mold entry into the Ultra level (or whatever it's called these days) of Energon toys. He's big, orange, and packed full of play features that, surprisingly, don't get in the way of the toy and it's design. He also has some sound effects, more on those later, that, unlike other Energon toys, aren't easily triggered. Still, an on/off switch would be a nice feature to include.
Landmine comes packaged in his Powerlinx vehicle mode. This is simply the robot and base in their alternate forms, held together in the center by two pegs. This is a half-track vehicle with a gold and black cow-pusher in the front and a crane arm with working winch and hook in the back. There's also a missile launcher back there too. In this mode, Landmine is 10 1/2" long, 4" wide, and 3 1/2" tall at the top of the smokestacks in their upright position. A molded Autobot insignia rests on the front of the roof. It's painted red with a white background in a small indentation. Behind it is Landmine's Energon receptacle.
His primary colors are orange, black, and gray. The fenders have some silver detailing to them as do the inner tread workings, roof vent, crane arm, and engine block. Through the windows of the cab portion, you can see two orange seats and his robot mode head peeking out behind them. The front truck portion measures in at a hair past 6 1/2" when separated from the trailer, which comes in at just under 5 1/2" long. Initial separation was rather tough to do as they were attached tightly and the point at which they combine isn't entirely clear at first.
The missile launcher can swivel 360 degrees and can be raised 90 degrees. The crane arm can swivel 90 degrees and raise up about 40 degrees. The hook can be pulled out 5 1/2" and retracted with a press of the button near the base. This also activates a winch sound when pressed all the way down. It is possible to retract the winch without activating the sound, however. The crane arm can also be detached from the base where the gray plastic ends. This doesn't appear to have any function as he cannot hold it for use as a weapon and it doesn't attach anywhere else on the toy that I've discovered.
To transform the truck into robot mode, separate the sides of the cow pusher out and fold the center piece so that it covers the engine block. Rotate the cow pusher sides up and back and attach to the front fenders via the small holes in the center. Extend the fenders out and bring them forward, attaching them together in the center with the hip pieces. Bring the rear wheels down 90 degrees, fold the sections forward, and swing down another 90 degrees. Swing the arms out to the sides and flip the connecting assembly back 180 degrees. Bring the arms down and extend the fists by grabbing both tabs and sliding them forward. Flip the robot head up and the gray roof panel down.
To transform the trailer into gunnery station mode, swing the rear orange sections the treads down. Rotate the black and gold side panels around so they point down. Rotate the base that the crane and launcher rest on 45 degrees and position them forward.
In robot mode, Landmine stands an impressive 7 1/2" tall and features a lot of articulation. His neck turns, shoulders swivel and rotate, and the elbows bend. His hips are on a ratcheting-style joint similar to a ball-socket and the knees bend and swivel as well. His upper arms and legs are black cylinders, giving him a unique look among Transformers. I think it suits his design well as opposed to the usual block-style extremities most vehicle-designed Transformers have. He's also very solid in robot mode, with no visible holes in his torso. The feet can be tricky to position due to the sheer size of his feet and the small nature of the rear stabilizers. Some fiddling will allow for some nice poses though. Also, the smokestacks can be positioned in any number of angles.
Base ModeThe gunnery station mode really doesn't look like much more than a collapsed trailer. It provides little cover for Landmine and the crane arm tends to get in the way of rotating the cannon around. There is a small button in front of the cannon that, when pressed, activates a sped up version of the classic transform sound used in the G1 cartoon. This only activates when the base is rotated into this position.
To transform into Powerlinx Landmine, retract the robot fists and rotate the forearms do that the side with two pegs face outward. Remove the treads from the trailer, lock the front orange sections up and flip the claws up. Attach these new, claw arms to the sides of his normal robot arms via the side pegs. Raise the crane arm and launcher straight up and flip the stabilizers back. Be sure to flip the black swivel piece back as well or the crane arm will get in the way. Attach this now-backpack to Landmine's back using the ports on the trailer and the pegs on his back. These can be tricky, so try attaching one at a time. This will also activate the transform sound effect.
Powerlinx Robot Mode
In Powerlinx robot mode, Landmine now stands a hair above 11" to the top of his stabilizers. Each of his four claw-fingers bend in addition to the previously mentioned points of articulation. He's quite fearsome in appearance with the added bulk. While he can still turn his head, his field of vision is blocked by the crane and missile launcher. A small button on the back of his backpack activates a blaster sound effect. It can also be activated in base mode while holding the transform sound effect button at the same time.
Landmine is a fun toy with nice play features and sound effects that aren't prone to being accidentally and repeatedly activated. Returning the front cow-pusher into place can be a bit of a chore and the Powerlinx arms and hands can be difficult to return to trailer mode. Those small complaints aside, Landmine is a must-have toy.
Final Grade: A-
|Reviewer||Richard C. Mistron|
|Date||February 13th 2004|
|Score||(9 out of 10)|
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