Transformers Generations Combiner Wars Deluxe
Item No.: Asst. B0974 No. B1304 Manufacturer:Hasbro Includes:Comic book, sword/gun weapon, hand/foot/weapon Action Feature:Transforms from Robot to car to Hand to Foot Retail:$15.99 Availability: March 2015 Other: Pretool - also G2 Breakdown, Jumpstream, Sunstreaker, Ravage, Tigatron, Wheeljack, Counterpunch, and Lightspeed
You can't have a Stunticon combiner team without Breakdown, and you can't have a combiner team without repaints and retools. Lots of them. So many, in fact, that this one mold has resulted in 9 pretty distinctive toys - 11 if you count characters which were redecorated for Japan's Unite Warriors line. It's a good mold, but it's also quite telling - when have you ever seen 10 toys share the same basic transformation and a lot of the same tooling in 1-2 years? What's even more amazing, this mold could easily - easily - have become Sideswipe, G2 Sideswipe, Red Alert, an Alternators Dead End, and other characters. In a way, it's something of a miracle that the manufacturers that be were this conservative.
At 5 1/2-inches tall this figure is essentially the same size as the other deluxe limbs, and boy howdy, are there a lot of them. As I write this, I've got a shelf with 9 complete combiners and 2 extra limbs - that's 38 and counting! Like the others, he has just over a dozen points of articulation, but is unique in that he has double-jointed elbows. The one thing that really irks me about the robot is its hip engineering. Getting the legs positioned correctly is a little awkward, especially compared to other toys in this line. You have to slide these in place, and while it's not at all difficult it is a little strange compared to the countless other Autobots and Decepticons we've bought over the decades. Thankfully the sculpting is, on the whole, quite nice. The head sculpt is modeled mostly after the cartoons, which means he has individual eyes instead of a big visor covering that region of his face.
Each fist has a 5mm hole so he can hold a sword/gun accessory or the hand/foot/gun, which is oddly cast in black plastic painted purple. This is why it doesn't quite match the other US team. In addition to using it as a weapon, you can mount it on his back similar to how Sunstreaker wore his air intake parts. You've got options. The only real oddity is that you can't have the car carry both accessories without looking somewhat awkward.
It's a car! Transformation is pretty simple, but at least on my sample of Breakdown it's a real bear to get the panels in the front aligned just-so. Other toys using the mold seem to work slightly better, so it could just be my sample. It's not quite as simple as the Aerialbots, but it's intuitive enough that I assume you won't need the instructions.
As a car, it's not the best - the wheels aren't all flush with the ground, and on mine the front wheels don't spin so well. It does, however, look good - the deco is nice, and there's a wonderful little gag on the windshield - "15RACING" is something that's a nod to the Generation 2 toy which, as you may recall, went unreleased. It's a cute nod. The deco is more or less what the original car had, moving the Decepticon symbol to the center of the hood and generally keeping most of the colors as they were. You can even mount the handfootgunintake on the roof, much like the original toy had a gun to plug into the back. It's a nice car, but it doesn't quite roll around super nicely. It's nice. It's not a fun toy car, but it's one that looks like a fun toy.
This might be my least favorite Stunticon mold in this set, mostly only because the other ones fit together a little more nicely with slightly better wheels. The hips are a little weird, but it basically looks nice. This is sort of the collector apologist's creed - we'll buy increasingly complex and expensive toys, but they become less and less fun as time goes on. It works great as a limb, and it looks good as its own toy, so really, I don't have any real significant problems with it. I've seen better, I've seen worse, and it's 100% essential if you're attempting to forge your own Menasor super robot.
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