When it was first announced, Hot Spot being remolded as Onslaught seemed silly. After getting a good look at the pictures, it made perfect sense - and then the toy comes out and has less-than-exceptional form fits. The robot mode is pretty good, the vehicle mode front won't stay together, and the combiner torso mode has a problem that, while not structurally an issue, is a problem when you look at it. Nobody wants pieces appearing as if they were not secured, and that's what we got here.
As with the other torsos, Onslaught is a 7-inch tall robot mode with decent articulation if you get the knees formed correctly. Double-jointed elbows are scarce, but are necessary for the figure to really do what it needs to do. The deco is a pretty impressive piece of work, replicating labels from the original toy while also downplaying the fact that just a few months ago we all bought this as a blue fire engine. The robot has new shoulders, a new head, and a new chest which do a bang-up job making you forget his original identity. Granted, the knees with the purple emergency lights are something of a dead giveaway. Of all the modes, this one works out to be the best - everything fits, including the two cannons as the classic over-the-shoulder weapons.
The head sculpt looks a lot like the original toy, but with a bit more detail. His neck is positioned in such a way that he's always looking down a bit, so that may prove annoying for some of you. It's certainly not ideal. What is ideal are new heels that fold out of the figure to keep him standing - Hot Spot didn't have those, and boy howdy are they helpful. It's a great stand-alone robot.
Transformation is pretty much the same as Hot Spot [FOTD #1,337], but the front and back of the vehicle are now swapped. The feet now form the back of the tank, while the shoulders become the driver's seat. It does a pretty good job converting, but there's a problem - the front of the vehicle won't stay together. Hasbro originally had pegs and slots on the shoulders which helped keep the vehicle together, but they removed one set and the small fist peg isn't enough to hold it in place.
The armored vehicle looks... well, it sort of looks like an armored vehicle. It's very gappy and in some respects I almost wish Hasbro just made a green fire truck and put a few more pennies into the robot mode. The robot mode retools resulted in the front never quite coming together, but perhaps some 3-D printer will pop out a peg to keep the fists joined. Or perhaps someone will discover an easy mod to help them come together. While most of us will probably display this toy as a robot or a combined robot, it's not exactly the most important mode to emphasize... but in Transformers, I expect the vehicle to not have a structural flaw. Not fitting together is sort of laughable in this day and age, after 30 years of engineering this kind of toy I would have hoped this shouldn't ever be a problem. (I should note, I wrote this a long time ago - and the subsequent Unite Warriors and G2 Onslaughts hold together better.)
It redeems itself nicely as Bruticus - minus one little detail. The combined head is glorious. The chest plate is silver, and while Hasbro says a variant is coming it is important to remember we don't know how, where, or when. (And the promised 2008 Universe Ironhide face variant never materialized.) It looks good - as a combined robot made mostly of repurposed tooling, the complete Bruticus is a great example of how Hasbro can pull a little extra oomph from its investments. They don't always work, but here they work well. My big problem is the robot mode arms sort of hover/dangle, not quite fitting with the pegs and slots in a pleasing way. The same thing happened with my Pyra Manga. It's annoying.
I already have too many Bruticus toys thanks to the multiple Fall of Cybertron editions. I have no reason to tell you to not buy this version yet, but be aware of the form fit issues for the vehicle. Other than that, I think you're really going to like it. (And yeah, I ordered the Unite Warriors one. And the G2 one. I assume some day we'll also see Baldigus.)
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