Trailbreaker and Trailcutter
Back in 1984 when Transformers first came on the scene, there were only 3 categories of Autobots that you could buy. There was Optimus Prime, who was in a category all by himself (and rightfully so). There were the Minicars, such as Bumblebee. And then there were the Autobot Cars, a US localization of Japanese Diaclone figures. A scan of the Season 1 catalog below illustrates the 3 categories.
Of all the 1st Season Autobot Cars, Trailbreaker is the only one that has yet to have a proper update in the CHUG-verse. Sure they made a Legend class figure a while back, but that’s not a real update considering all the other characters had a deluxe class or larger CHUG figure made.
Earlier this year, Hasbro finally announced that they will be releasing a deluxe size Trailcutter. I’m guessing for trademark reasons, they could not get the name Trailbreaker. But whatever. I am totally stoked that Trailbreaker is finally getting the recognition he deserves! This means the Season 1 Cars will be complete in CHUG. Pics of this Trailcutter have been floating around for a while now, but I need to do my part and post them here.
But there is another reason why I’m so thrilled at Trailbreaker’s inclusion in CHUG. Back in G1, he was the very first Autobot Car that I owned. I still remember that trip to TRU. It was 1985. I was standing in the TF aisle and my parents were gonna buy me a TF car of my choosing. The Season 2 cars were already out by then (I remember distinctly seeing Red Alert), but Season 1 cars were still on the shelves. I looked at the section for a long time. In the end I decided on Trailbreaker.
I can’t explain why I picked Trailbreaker. If you were going by characters, it’s hard to pick Trailbreaker over one of the cooler characters, like Jazz or Sideswipe. Admittedly, I didn’t know the TF characters too well, since I barely knew any English. So my choice was not based on TF persona. Likewise, if you were going by alt mode (all TFs back then were packed in alt mode), it’s hard to imagine picking a SUV over a sports car. So it’s a mystery why I went with Trailbreaker. Maybe the toy just looked too cool in the box. I’m partial to TFs that I own. So for the next few years, I cheered every time Trailbreaker did something cool in the cartoons. Like using his Force Field so save the day when another Autobot has gotten them into some sorry Decepticon mess.
Since Trailbreaker and I have this special history, I’m kind of irked by the fact that Hasbro CHUG-updated all the other Season 1 cars except for him. It’s like I picked the character that got left out. But better late than never I always say. Trailbreaker has finally arrived at the party. And besides, the pics above look awesome! Maybe in this case, they were saving the best for last. Yes that must be it. I feel better that my character of choice received this proud distinction. :)
I still have my G1 Trailbreaker figure, from 1985. In this modern era of new Transformers, I only have 2 Trailcutters. And to give Trailbreaker the recognition he deserves, I’m taking group pics of all of them.
The largest figure in the pics is obviously G1. The middle size figure is a Cyberverse Commander class figure from TF Prime, the new Beast Hunters subline. And the smallest figure there is a Legends figure from Reveal the Shield. I will give some quick thoughts on each of these figures.
This figure needs no introduction. They sure don’t make TFs like this anymore. G1 figures, especially the first 2 seasons, were generally alt mode first and Trailbreaker is no exception. His alt mode still holds up well today. Trailbreaker is a fourth generatino Toyota HiLux and the toy resembles the real thing very closely. The diecast construction and real rubber tires were iconic of figures at the time. I had this figure since 1985 and even today he’s in pretty good shape. In alt mode he feels like one cohesive whole. He rolls extremely well on a flat surface, even when compared to other G1, because he’s got such high clearance like a real pick-up truck. In robot mode Trailbreaker looks somewhat different from his cartoon counterpart. Like many other Season 1 characters, the show made him look better than he really is. But the toy’s robot mode is still not too bad for it’s time. Much better than the robot mode of some other G1 cars, like Ironhide or Sunstreaker. Like all G1 the poseability is super limited. You can move the arms, but that’s it.
Reveal the Shield Legend
I bought this figure back in 2011. For a legends figure he’s not bad. The overall transformation schema of this piece is almost exactly like G1. The arms and back are formed differently, but those are the only obvious transformation differences. The amazing thing about this figure is that, though small, it doesn’t feel that much dumbed down from G1 when compared side by side. The transformation complexity is almost equal. I guess toy technology have made some significant progress in the last 25+ years. The alt mode is sufficient, and the robot mode is an obvious homage to G1. The look of the legs and the force field module on the head are both very G1 inspired.
Transformers Prime Beast Hunters Cyberverse Commander
This figure was bought in March of this year, only two months from this writing. Normally I don’t buy Cyververse figs, but when I saw Trailcutter I had to get him, since I’m partial to the character. This figure is a slight remold of Cyberverse Ironhide. Hasbro made enough differences here to properly distinguish the two. Trailcutter gets a new head mold, shoulder cannons, spikes on the shoulders and arms, and a weapon. I applaud Hasbro for not simply giving us a unmodified repaint. This figure has the most articulation of the 3 TFs here. You can do some nice poses with this fig. There’s even articulation in the head, though there’s probably too much around the neck to really put that to use. He’s also the most difficult out of these 3 to transform, though that’s not really saying much. The colors are pure Trailcutter, and the shoulder cannons and head Force Field module are nice G1 homages.
I cannot wait to get this new CHUG Trailcutter. He’s finally getting some love! Transform and Roll Out!