Hasbro Transformers Power Core Combiners Smolder Hasbro, 2010
Day #9: October 26, 2010
Smolder with Mini-Con Chopster
Transformers Power Core Combiners Scout Assortment
Item No.: Asst. 98443 No. 98445 Manufacturer:Hasbro Includes:Chopster Mini-Con Action Feature:Transforms from vehicle to robot to combiner torso Retail:$9.99 Availability: June 2010 Other: Compatible with other Power Core Combiners toys
After 25 years, a lot of fans thought Hasbro was running out of new names for its various Transformers. With Smolder, we were proven delightfully wrong. This Decepticon fire truck is a smaller release, but the robot stands about 5-inches tall at the oversized shoulders. For a figure of its size, it's positively swimming in articulation and reasonably ugly blue "connector" points allow "drones" (sold separately, of course) to snap on and make bigger, meaner robots. (Did you follow all of that? Here's hoping.)
Transformers fans say they love combiner figures, but pretty much every effort from Hasbro tends to fall apart quickly-- often literally. This line attempts to make teams with swappable limbs, so you can make your own giant, weird creations rather easily. It sort of works, but this toy actually works better as a stand-alone piece. The truck mode holds together well and has a swell Decepticon fire logo, which really works well on this design. The robot mode is swimming in articulation, with double elbows (unusual for these figures) as well as big, beefy feet. There's a Mini-Con connector point in the middle of his chest, which is there for the "armor mode" of his sidekick toy. It really doesn't work all that well, and you're better off ignoring most of the "armor" concept. Chopster, however, does make a nice axe, a good cannon, and a delightful robot.
If you treat this as a one-off purchase, ignoring the whole "combination" aspect, it's solid enough where I'd say go buy it. The little Samurai-inspired head is pretty delightful, plus neither the robot or vehicle modes seem to suffer as a result of the whole "power up this robot with drones (sold separately)" aspect. My sample seems to hold together with drones quite well, although I've heard mixed results from other fans. Considering how few "evil" versions of "heroic" vehicles we see, this one should probably go on your short list unless you've decided against anything that isn't classic at this point. This was designed as a toy for kids to enjoy, which means you'll actually have fun with it if you buy one and take it out of the box.
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