Boulder
Good Rock Lord
Tungsten rock
Other Names: Battlerock (Japan)



RELEASES
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MR R-1

Part of the first wave of Rock Lords figures, Boulder was the leader of the good guys. His toy went through several redesigns before hitting stores, like most toys do - however, unlike many others (but like most of the other Rock Lords) many of the prototypes were featured in catalogues and the like. He might have been called Granite at one point, though this could have just been a mix-up in a catalogue. Physically the early version had the 'backpack' of the figure as a more solid part (with only a small hole for the head), and the head itself had a slightly different head design. Early schemes included silvery-grey rock with tan 'internal' parts, and light-grey rock with orange 'internal' parts.

Rock Lord BoulderBecause of this, Boulder shows up in the 1986 Gobots: Battle of the Rock Lords feature film in the grey/orange scheme, with the first head design and bearing only a passing similarity to the toy that would turn up on toy shelves. Combined with the regular use of prototypes in catalogues, this quite confused me for one into thinking I had the 'wrong' Boulder until the internet revealed the truth many years after the event. Conversely in the Japanese Revenge of Cronos series, Battle Rock's colour scheme and design was very close to the toy (which had very slight differences to the Western version).


Rock Lords BoulderBoulder's rock mode is one of the few from the line that properly reflect the name of the character - it's a boulder, you can't argue with that. It's also one of the few that properly looks like some sort of a rock rather than a pile of rocks what look suspiciously like a collapsed rock person. I mean, you could actually roll Boulder down an incline and into Magmar and his freaks - you'd think this sort of basic play value would be nailed on in the line, but trust me, it's a rare attribute.

The mottled green looks quite good too.


Rock Lords BoulderGetting Boulder into his Rock Lord form is fairly simple, but satisfying and strangely addictive in a way that a lot of mid-1980s transforming figures of just the right size are. I love the intricacy and sheer engineering prowess of figures like Revenge of the Fallen Leader Optimus Prime and Soul of Chogokin Daimos, but at the same time there's a place in the world for figures you can transform four times while a program loads, especially if there's no need for them to be spectacularly complicated.

Rock Lords BoulderIf Boulder's Rock Lord form has a gimmick, it's that he's the Normal Guy. He's about the only one from the line with human-esque proportions, a conventional head, hands and so on (several have one or more of these features, but Boulder's the one who has them all at the same time). These parts are all nicely sculpted, with the head just about managing to not look like a bloke wearing a retro crash helmet, but there's something ever so vanilla about Boulder. He looks fine, but for this reason looks out of kilter among the weird blokes who make up his troops by dint of having a neck and a sensible face. Articulation is decent for the time, with arms that have a good range at the shoulder, hinged elbows and a head that can turn a bit. However, the legs can't really move without the figure losing balance.


While he isn't quite as charmingly insane as some figures from the line, Boulder isn't bad. The transformation is neat, being one of the better examples of Rock Lords as 'puzzle' toys, and he's well-crafted enough to avoid being outright bland. While he lacks the quirkiness of some other Rock Lords, this at least means Boulder isn't idiosyncratic, and the figure does have a lot more personality that Gobots equivalent Leader-1.
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