Transformers Generations Combiner Wars Deluxe
Item No.: Asst. B0974 No. B5608 Manufacturer:Hasbro Includes:Comic book, axe, hand/foot/weapon Action Feature:Transforms from Robot to Off-Road Vehicle to Hand to Foot Retail:$15.99 Availability: January 2016 Other: Black Ironhide/Offroad Retool
When I saw the Sky Reign wave with Trailbreaker, I have to confess I rolled my eyes a bit. Hasbro has somehow given us (so far) six complete teams at retail making the use of effectively 9 different limb mold designs - some were reshelled, sure, but when you get right down to it the 38 Deluxe limbs we've bought in the last year are effectively only 9 different transformations. Seeing a second wave based on early G1 Autobots seemed a little much, particularly when the notion of building a combiner team out of Sky Lynx is one of the most ludicrous ideas since, well, the original Sky Lynx. And naturally Hasbro wants me to eat my words, because Trailbreaker turned out to be pretty great. I won't say it's the best toy ever, but I like it more than the pretty decent Thrilling 30 Trailcutter [FOTD #734]. They're just very different - the older one was a bit chunkier and bulkier, while this one has retooled forearms, a new head, and surprisingly new combiner fingers. It's a little skinnier and it just works.
While not exactly the same as Ironhide [FOTD #1,311] and Offroad [FOTD #1,193], they all function pretty much the same. Articulation is unchanged, the transformation is identical, he's the same height, and really all you have to note is the new head and arms and deco. The right arm is 5mm compatible, but the included axe accessory is a little loose - you can cram his combiner hand in there, though, and that's pretty cool. The left hand functions as most hands do, while everything else is par for the course. There's plenty of black and red, while the color from the truck shell is largely pushed to the side. The blue windows are also hidden in this mode, but at least you get the really cool all-black head as seen on the original TV show. He even has the blue visor - it's nice. The whole lighting rig hat, though, is gone.
Transformation is nothing you haven't seen before. The truck isn't really either - it just adds black paint and Trailbreaker deco marks, sans camper lid. It's nice, with all of the gentle lack of innovation the word "nice" conveys. It has a nice silver-bordered Autobrand, some stripes, and you can see his gun hand mounted in the truck bed. You can even mount the gun hand on a post on the back, giving it a silhouette that's closer to the camper-esque original. It's not an exact update of the original, but it's not like they didn't reissue the original or do a couple of other toys named Trailcutter you could buy, anyway.
The biggest stunner was that they actually retooled his hand/foot/gun. I don't even understand why they did it - the pieces usually have 4 fingers, now it has 2 and it's painted. And they retooled the thumb, leaving it unpainted. Why? I have no idea.
It makes just as good of a limb as the other toys to use this mold, and Hasbro designates it as a Sky Reign leg. This is good, because it's hard to pry the fingers out of the combiner hand. As a foot, it just plain works. As a hand, I suggest either using a file to pry it out, or mount it on the truck bed to grab the fingers and get them moving. It adds some black to the pants of Sky Reign, which is weird, but nothing that touches Sky Lynx is ever not weird.
Make no mistake, this toy - and indeed this entire wave - is a bizarre victory lap for a line that started strong and lost a little juice with each wave. Wave 1 was awesome. Wave 6 would be awesome if you didn't already have waves 1-5. Trailbreaker is the best of the wave, particularly as a stand-alone robot. It's fun, it looks cool, and I love the paint job across the board. The head sculpt is good and I feel like I got my money's worth here. I'll get to the rest soon, but I can say without hesitation that as long as you got Trailbreaker the rest are not quite in the same league.
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