Transformers Leadfoot
Transformers Leadfoot
Transformers Leadfoot
Transformers Leadfoot

The third and final Wrecker to get a figure from the Dark of the Moon film, Leadfoot's had a curious life so far. As his NASCAR alternate mode had prominent Target branding getting his figure sold in non-Target stores and markets was always going to be tricky. The Cyberverse version of the figure got around this by covering itself with stealth mode gubbins while the Human Alliance version came out as a Target exclusive in America.

I wanted Leadfoot out of both completism and because he was very cool in the film (he's the one with the generic English accent - I'd say something like Alan Moore if someone sorted his sinuses). My preferred option was the Deluxe, but that seems in some sort of limbo. It came out in Japan in seemingly limited numbers, but there's no sign of a Western release at the time of writing. It was originally announced the figure would be part of a Target-exclusive two-pack with Twin Twist (a recolour of Topspin), but this seems to have dropped off the radar. If the mould does come out in the West it will be as part of some future filler line. It's not completely unlikely that the figure might not get a Western release at all, so I got impatient and stumped up a small fortune for a Japanese version.


Like Topspin, Leadfoot's Chevrolet Impala mode is set to its' attack form with much of the car moulded in a deformed fashion - large engines, guns and various mechanical parts are exposed. The effect is quite lively; realism is helped by this being the only configuration used for the prop car in the film itself. It's difficult to criticise something's plausibility when it's been rendered in metal and fibreglass and then driven around the streets of Chicago at high speed. Leadfoot is impressively arme, with a chain gun and two belt-fed machine guns which can be removed and rearranged as well as a clusters of missiles on each wing. The colours work nicely, and the overall impression is a sharp looking car ready for business. Could do with a little Brains figurine to sit on the guns and yell "Autobot victory! Autobot victory!", though. It's a hard world.

There are two faults, both perhaps unavoidable. Firstly, the Takara release is entirely devoid of branding, presumably for some sort of trademark/clearance reason (the same thing happened to the Japanese release of the Human Alliance Leadfoot). While the stealth mode layout and otherwise generous paint applications draw some attention away from this it still sticks out even alongside the retail versions of Topspin and Roadbuster. I'm putting my faith in Reprolabels in this area, though to be honest I doubt any eventual Hasbro release will be drowning in sponsor decals. Secondly, like Topspin he's in a larger scale than Roadbuster, the latter's non-weaponised form now looking distinctly odd in any set-up of the trio. This is more a fault with Roadbuster (my guess is that at one stage all three Wreckers were set to be released in both configurations before Hasbro scaled back the DotM line) but Leadfoot's the one who really makes him look like the odd one out. Oh, and he also comes with a MechTech weapon; it's apparently the same one packed with the Deluxe Ratchet. However, it's pretty irrelevant - as with Topspin, there's enough gun on him as it is and you can ignore the thing (though I'll probably divvy it out to my Voyager Ratchet; it might actually not look comically oversized on him).


Leadfoot has the most complex transformation of any Deluxe Transformers figure I've yet handled - this might come up in a few reviews, which if nothing else shows the steep curve of engineering the line's undergone in the past five years since moving away from the blocky, cumbersome ethos of the Unicron Trilogy lines. However, while it looks daunting on paper (and isn't helped by some terrible instructions - toy technology seems to have moved on too quickly; while I understand it would cost, colour photos at least as an option on Hasbro's website are a must if the toys are going to stay this complicated) it's surprisingly straightforward if not intuitive going in either direction. There is a cheat with some dummy car doors on his chest, the real things ending up on the outside of the wrists - careful with the grey bar the false doors are mounted on; the instructions indicate it should be twisted, but the plastic's so soft it just bends rather than turns, and if you're not careful it might stay like that. Instead, pop the piece out of its' clips and press it back in after sorting it into its' new position. What I do like is that the vehicle mode is so close to Topspin but once again there's a completely different transformation pattern. The resulting robot isn't a bad likeness for Leadfoot's incredibly complex CG model (remember, he was never seen transforming in the film) with only a handful of simplifications. The most obvious of these is the chest/crotch, here rendered as a single part rather than the complex, bouncing beer belly of his screen counterpart, though it still doesn't look bad - just not as fluid. The robot does look better in hand than in pictures, it must be said - some of the gaps and protrusions just aren't camera friendly. I've done what I can with my meagre photographic skills to counter this but rest assured he's nowhere near as bad as the Hasbro stock pictures make him look.

There is a spot-on head cast to enjoy as well - considering the stock picture has this in flat grey, the nice silver paint on this and the shoulders/engines might go some way to justifying my purchasing of the Japanese version, what with Hasbro's habit of skipping paint applications. He's perhaps not quite as squat as on-screen though the figure has very stumpy thighs, so it's possible to compact his legs up a little, with the chest part hiding it from most angles other than profile. Articulation is a bit of a mixed bag; Leadfoot's idiosyncratic design looks good, but the shoulders are restricted compared to many figures of the size and while the small thighs are a boon for fiddling, they do limit the leg movement. The whole thing is a lot more coherent than I expected, with most parts packed and pegged nicely, but it would have improved the figure massively if they'd gone the extra yard with the car roof, which just hangs aimlessly off his back, leaving a large gap. Like Topspin his hands are useless and can't grip anything, though at least in Leadfoot's case they're properly three-dimensional parts - bunched fists might have been more fitting. It's not the end of the world as the character's something of a brawler, and there are holes on the outside of the forearms that will take either MechTech weapons, or - for those who like their toys to look good - the standard car weaponry. I like to arrange the machine guns on these, with the chain gun on one of the car roof slots just peeking over a shoulder.


Leadfoot is a great figure assuming the film-accurate robot mode isn't a turnoff in itself. The engineering is strong if not perfect and - aside from the lack of sponsor logos in Impala mode - the toy is accurate and engaging in either form. It's not worth the sizeable sums of money it's going for at the moment, however (any Transformers toy would struggle to justify three or four times retail price) and unless you're Hell-bent on completing your screen Wreckers now (Hello!) I'd advise waiting to see if the toy gets a Western release or if demand for the Japanese version drops off.