Transformers Generations Combiner Wars Deluxe
Item No.: Asst. B0974 No. B4660 Manufacturer:Hasbro Includes:Comic book, turret, hand/foot/weapon Action Feature:Transforms from Robot to Tank to Hand to Foot Retail:$15.99 Availability: November 2015 Other: New Limb!
All-new limbs have been in short supply since the second wave, but Brawl brings us something new - while also bringing us something that's not fantastic. Part of the reason the first wave with Superion was so much fun was how elegant and simple they all were - Brawl adds new twists and turns to the transformation, including a rather thin waist joint that doesn't bring much good to the table. I'd go as far as to say that this one has the rare distinction of being both completely essential and may also be the worst of the team.
The robot mode is almost good - the figure has a more complex waist transformation, which yields instability. If that multi-piece joint gets loose, the robot will no longer be able to stand. He's a little skinny above the waist joint, which is sort of awful - a substantial, bulky robot has a weak point that is pretty obvious. The quasi-rocker ankles, double-jointed elbows, and nifty head sculpt may not be enough to save this toy for you, but I don't know you. Maybe you'll use him exclusively as a limb, in which case he's perfect. This feels like a toy made for collector needs (i.e., looks good on a shelf) rather than the rigors of childhood imaginations. I don't know if this guy will look good if/when he lands in thrift stores and garage sales. His brown color closely matches the animated appearances, differing from the green color in promotional renderings. This seems to be increasingly common lately. With little blue lights on his chest and silver vents on his feet, you can see Hasbro put some thought in making the figure look as good as possible, but I sincerely doubt anyone will buy this figure without having a lot to say about the waist area.
He has no problems holding his weapons, which is a plus given he has 5mm fists and holes to mount more guns on his wrists. If you have BMOG guns or Microns or Mini-Cons, hook 'em up - it's fun! It doesn't do much else, but dem's da breaks - out-and-out gimmicks on the "collector" lines have been on the decline for some time now, with niceties like launching discs or spring-loaded rockets becoming rarer by the year. Nowhere was this more painfully present than on this year's gargantuan Devastator, which delivered the action-packed toy of our youths with impressive sub-Marvel Legends-level articulation and absolutely none of the chrome drills or spring-loaded fists of the original. Brawl, on the other hand, delivers more oomph than his ancestor merely by showing up and having elbow joints.
Transformation is the same as the rest - the big twist with Brawl (and Streetwise and Dead End) is how his feet open up so the thighs go inside. Everything else is more or less par for the Combiner Wars course - sturdy, solid, and not as varied as one might have hoped.
This tank is OK - the treads have little wheels underneath, and there are no other real moving parts. The turret doesn't turn, but if you mount the foot on top of the turret as an extra weapon you can spin that around. If they left out the wheels completely I doubt you'd miss them. As it is, it's neat - the hand weapon integrates and the cannon on the turret - but other than that it's a tank. You've seen tanks, and you probably have other, better, more fun ones.
By design, Brawl defaults to a foot - and he makes a good one, as any brick could do it well. The arm is about as good as any arm, with a decent range of movement and a fairly intereting transformation - the Brawl arms have tabs and slots to rotate them out of the way of the joints, and the various arm joints are nice and stiff. As a limb, it's actually one of the better ones - so if you're displaying this figure as a combined robot you're in for a treat.
The Combiner Wars line is something you're probably all-in on, or disinterested. If you've bought a few of these, you're going to want the rest - there's no picking and choosing. As the only 100% new mold in the set, we see that Hasbro isn't afraid to try new things that don't necessarily deliver joy. It's still better than the original, and a lot more fun than the Fall of Cybertron mold in terms of being able to stay standing. For regular retail price, this is absolutely worth buying if you're buying the entire team - otherwise, I'd say you might want to hang on to a few bucks so you can afford to snag the Titans Return stuff or Sky-Lynx.
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