“It’s nice to use a character that just doesn’t get any love at all.”
One of the very few times I have agreed with Nick Roche’s writing is when he chose to use Trailbreaker rather than Blurr in Spotlight: Kup. As a solution for the radiation poisoned environment in which Kup was unwittingly trapped, Trailbreaker’s ability to generate an almost impenetrable force field was a perfect fit. As Nick points out in the quote above, it was a chance to give the affable Autobot an all too rare moment to shine.
Unfortunately, despite numerous failed attempts at updates or homages because of trademark issues, our faithful, good-natured Defensive Strategist has had to make due with just his G1 toy for a while. Not that this is entirely a bad thing. Even with G1 levels of articulation (read: mostly none) his toy still has a very solid robot mode.
Mine is the 2008 Encore line reissue, hence the more cartoon accurate blue visor rather than the red that was on his original toy and the beautifully tampographed Autobot symbol on this stomach/alt mode hood rather than the awkward sticker of the original. Being a Japanese release, his spring-loaded fists are still fully functional. However, they are on a very sensitive hair-trigger, causing many incidents of accidental rocket punch.
Trailbreaker’s G1 toy shares many Transformer’s inconsistency between his toy and his cartoon’s model. Most notably in his case is that his cartoon appearance gives him a nose and mouth.
Though nowhere near Grandus‘ level of rotund, Trailbreaker — like the recently introduced Dark of the Moon Leadfoot — has a… less svelte aspect about him that I quite enjoy. The fact that Transformers robot modes come in diverse shapes and sizes reinforces the more humanistic aspects of the franchise.
Being originally a toy from the Diaclone series, Trailbreaker has a real world alt mode, transforming into a Toyota Hilux 4WD with an added Camper/Utility shell.
This year Hasbro chose to skirt the trademark issue by finally releasing an update in the Reveal the Shield line, but under the name Trailcutter. This toy gives Trailbreaker his cartoon model’s full face.
Unfortunately something is a little amiss with this “update”.
Yes, 27 years later he finally gets an update and it’s in the form of a Legends class toy. *sigh*
His Reveal the Shield toy has a modernized version of his G1 toy’s camper truck but sadly missing his distinctive red, orange, and yellow stripes and white detailing.
So it looks like poor Trailbreaker is going to have to wait a little longer to get that update he deserves.