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Long Haul

Transformers ROTF
by yo go re

I knew when I started collecting these Studio Series Constructicons I'd eventually have to double-dip.

Constructicon Long Haul combines with his comrades to form Constructicon Devastator.

It's a good thing we already discussed Long Haul's personality and creation in the last review, because that generic bit of copy tells us nothing. Sculpt-wise, this figure is a lot more screen-accurate than the one from a decade ago, with a shorter, fatter limbs and a torso with about 32% more chonk. Most of the kibble details here are simply sculpted on, not actual kibble, but it's still impressive how close this toy is to the digital renders.

There are a few little quirks with the construction that you'll want to be aware of when you're converting him back and forth. Like, the shoulders, wheels, back-kibble, and over-the-head rake all peg together to make the upper body more stable and secure, but only if you have them all aligned perfectly. It's slightly fiddly, even if you already know what you're doing, but once you lock them all together, he becomes very sturdy, even when you're moving the arms around; the figure can move at the head, shoulders, elbows, waist, hips, knees, and ankles, plus a few other points that are more intended for transformation than posing. It's hard to move the head, because it's hunkered down between some very bulky shoulders, but you're meant to when converting him.

To change him, fold up his toes, rotate the wheels around to the back, turn the shins in, spin the head, press the legs together, drop the big kibble backpack, bend the arms so you can swing the shoulder wheels forward, pull the forearm armor out, rotate that 180°, unfold the tips and slide them in line with the rest, raise the arms all the way up and turn the armor back around the way it was facing originally before folding the arms into the back and pegging the now-longer armor panels into the sides of the vehicle.

Instead of being a gargantuan haul truck, the altmode this time is a smaller, normal-sized dump truck. The wheels still roll, but you can't lift the bed to pretend it's dumping out dirt. Heck, thanks to the very design of the arms themselves, you can't even plug the sides in properly: you have to slightly flex the plastic, which could stress the pieces after enough time. That's annoying.

But we're willing to overlook it, because Long Haul can also turn into a leg for Devastator. The last one couldn't do that! You basically start with the truck mode and flatten out the back end to become a foot, with the remaining bulk becoming the shin (though for some reason, one os the steps seems to be shown twice, at two different steps during the conversion process). This looks a lot more like a leg than Hightower looked like... anything.

Long Haul is, like Megatron, an example of what should have been done in the first place. Robot, vehicle, and gestalt bodypart all in one? Yes please! There are a few design oddities in all the modes, but the fact they exist at all is a major point in this one's favor.

-- 10/08/19


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