Of all the versions of this mold, Generation 2 Bruticus got me the most excited. Based on an alternate skin from Transformers: Fall of Cybertron, this takes the new toys from Transformers Generations and puts them in what may be the most retro box in the entire modern era of Transformers. The coloring is bright and ugly, the bursts are just like you saw in the 1990s, plus it has the old-school Hasbro logo right on the box! And old tech specs! I was almost ashamed of myself to open the toy, the box was just that nice! But we have reviews to write, and you have to know just how freakishly colorful this dude is.
At 11-inches tall, the figure is basically exactly what you might expect. It's huge. It's ugly. It has purple camo on neon military vehicles. In short, it's a wonderful tribute to the 1990s and was priced to move! It's a full $40 cheaper than the game-accurate SDCC version and $15 cheaper than the... I'm-not-sure-what-inspired mass market Generations release. This one is unabashedly G2, although the original 1994 Generation 2 release had a bluer Vortex and more purple kibble covering up Onslaught's yellow plastic in the combined mode. It's still really cool this time around, plus the G2 symbols don't hurt. Oh, and the black plastic chest kibble with purple camo is sadly gone too, it looks good on either version but it is clearly different.
First up: Onslaught! Now yellow. The overall feel of the figure is similar to the original, but the 1994 G2 Onslaught had a black head, this one is purple. In many respects, I like this new one a smidgen more. It looks like some lost mascot from a 1990s sports team. There's a G2 Decepticon symbol in front of his head, and I found the transformation a little stiff-- locking the head in place proved a little difficult. There's a lot more purple on this new figure than the original, but they did a good job making the Bruticus head look a lot like the original with silver, red, purple, and black. The truck, as previously described, ain't nothin' special. Onslaught's robot mode has 14 points of articulation, although the arm joints are pretty wonky.
Next is Blast-off in white with purple and black paint. Why purple? I have no idea. It was the 1990s. The G2 symbol appears on the robot's left leg, and on the whole it's a white toy with a little bit of purple and black plastic. The head has silver on his face and orange eyes, with a little blue for detail. The white kind of sucks the personality out of the figure's face, and a little more black would have been nice. The 1994 figure had a purple chest, black legs, and a lot of black on his arms. The twin pistols are cast in white this time around, and unlike the others, are completely unpainted. As a robot, Blast Off has about 15 points of articulation. As a space shuttle, he's a brick. You can put the guns in the wings, and that's about it.
Decorated in a nice red is Swindle, which looks quite different from the tan and yellow versions. A big red G2 symbol can be found on his chest, and while he doesn't have the purple torso of the original he does have a liberal amount of purple camo all over his body. This time around, the head has orange (and not purple) eyes while his gun remains black and unpainted. There are silver highlights on the body, and the vehicle mode actually looks really cool. Transforming him is about as tricky as the other versions, with the problem being in how the car hood/chest has to really be forced (let's say "pegged") in place while in vehicle mode. I wish it had some more silver on the face, but the robot with its 14 points of articulation is pretty fun. My only beef is that the crotch seems too small and the legs feel incredibly close together. More after the ad break.
The least exciting toy in this set is really Brawl as his green plastic is pretty much the same as the individually-packaged release. It has some purple stripes now... and a massive G2 Decepticon symbol. That's the selling point here. The head on my sample feels like it wasn't meant to be touched, as when I pulled it up during transformation it popped off the peg. The neck peg is on an articulated panel which does not like to lock into place, so this makes me happy I keep a small screwdriver around to finesse thigns in place. He looks pretty good, but when you get right down to it, he's about 90% identical to the individually packaged Generations Brawl, minus some paint and the G2 symbol. His chest and body has some light silver on it, which I think makes his face look way, way better than the other versions. Actually, on the whole, this is probably the best of the Brawls you can buy right now.
I'm enamored with Vortex as a toy, and this one may be, overall, the best. It has a purple head with a red/orange visor, just like the original. The chest is still purple, as are the weapons. Unlike other Generations Vortex toys, this one has unpainted swords. They look cheap, but that's OK because G2 toys were largely somewhat cheap-looking in their appearance, and that's OK because they could melt your eyes. In any mode, the rotor spins freely and it's just generally a good, solid, fun toy without any real reasons for me to complain except I would've liked another G2 symbol on his chest. As it is, they're on the forearms. They're nice and big, but still, one more would've been nice as there's a spot for it.
If you're waffling on the figure and like G2 stuff, let me put it to you like this: did you buy the $300 convention set? If so, you can afford $60 for this one you cheap swine. Hasbro should be commended for the retro packaging, which, I guess, doesn't matter as much for an online exclusive as it would for a retail release. It's efficient, colorful, and frankly quite welcome. I'm not exactly too thrilled with most of the toy packaging since Animated ended, so if they're going to return to something from the old days this is a pretty good pick. I hope Hasbro does more unique packagings for their exclusives online, particularly if they're going to tickle the nostalgia bone like this one. If they're going to keep the prices down too, what could possibly go wrong?
As of when I write this it's in stock at both BBTS and Amazon, and $60 is quite reasonable as each non-G2 component sells for $15 individually at big box stores. If you just want a cheap Generations Fall of Cybertron Bruticus, this is the way to go. If you want a cool version to leave in the box, this is a good version too. If you like G2, this is also good. I'm a little surprised it didn't sell out immediately, but G2 is a bit of an acquired taste. Given the SDCC version sells for $200-$270 at press time, I can't believe this didn't blow out faster on sheer numbers alone. G2 fans take note: an "Ultimate Gift Set" is being sold as an online exclusive with G2-inspired versions of Jazz and Optimus Prime, both of which are repaints from the 2011 Reveal the Shield line.
Note to Hasbro: PLEASE keep doing G2-style repaints of things. I will buy them all. Unless they're $400 convention exclusives, and even then... I still might. I'll buy, or rebuy, anything done up G2 style.
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