Monthly Archives: February 2016

Hound – Combiner Wars – Sky Reign

Another G1 character re-imagined in the Combiner Wars line. This time around Hound is a bit more robust than a Jeep. He shares the same body, and everything but the head with Swindle. It is a funny pairing since they are both coming out at the same time, each in their own Combiner series.

In robot mode, it doesn’t take a lot to pay homage to the G1 version. Green all over with a touch of grey and some black.

He comes with two weapons. The hand/foot piece for Sky Reign, and a triple barrel blaster. The blaster has an additional plus of being able to be mounted to Hound’s shoulder via pegs at the back of the gun. This is one of the few Combiners that actually has a shoulder mounted weapon like their G1 counterpart.

The face-off of who wore it better.  Really, they are exactly the same with a new head and major paint changes.

I think Hound wins on this one since his G1 version was a stand-alone figure that was of some size, while Swindle was a part of Bruticus and on the small size.

In vehicle mode, Hound looks like a green version of Swindle. Not a lot you can do here for a redeco, as opposed to the original retool from Rook that had MAJOR changes to the body.

 

This is in no way the best vehicle mode we have seen in the Combiner Wars line, but it is okay, and it is somewhat militaristic, like we are used to seeing from Hound.

As with most of the Combiner Wars figures, most people won’t keep their robots in vehicle mode.  That is a good thing, since this one fails at getting the hand/foot anywhere near integrated into the design of the vehicle.   It works a lot better when the giant weapon is left off entirely.

It is sad to see figures all ready to go, but no Combiner leader.  I have finally found all 4 of this set’s Deluxe figures.  Where oh where is Sky Lynx?  Oh well, I am sure he will show up sooner or later.

“Come on boys.  We have captured Swindle.  Time for a photo!”


Smokescreen – Combiner Wars – Sky Reign

I am continuing to slog my way through the two newest sets of Combiner Wars. I found Smokescreen last night at Target, and I think someone really is out there to slow things down. There was one Smokescreen and two Wheeljacks. What I really need are some of the Voyager class figures. It is going to be hard to build a Combiner without a leader.

Smokescreen looks great. We most recently saw Smokescreen in the Prime TV show, and he was a great character. We also saw him earlier in the Generations line when he went back to his Datsun G1 roots by becoming a Nissan 350Z, a definite nod to the G1 car that was a Datsun 280ZX Turbo.

This version of Smokescreen went with the same paint scheme as all of the previous versions with red, white, and blue. Probably less a nod to the USA, and more of a really contrasting color combo that will pop on the shelf. And boy does he! The red and blue are so vibrant.

He is a retool of Dead End, from way back at the beginning of the line. It was heavily retooled into Streetwise. From there it was given a new head and repainted into Prowl, and Smokescreen. In the G1 line, Smokescreen was retooled into Prowl too. Guess we are going to have to hope for a Bluestreak somewhere in the near future.

Overall I am happy with Smokescreen. We get the articulation that we see in most of the Generations line. The colors are right on. We don’t get shoulder mounted missiles as we did in the G1 figure, but that is to be expected. I am not loving the car mode, as we have seen it a bunch of times before. I do wish the blue paint matched the blue plastic a bit better since there is a giant mis-colored patch down the door on both sides of the car, and the only real distraction from the fan favorite #38.

Up next, the last of the Deluxe Class figures for Sky Reign.


Trailbreaker – Combiner Wars – Sky Reign

Hey looks it’s Trailbreaker… or Trailcutter as we saw him last, but now back to Trailbreaker!

These Trail-guys get a lot of reuse out of their bodies. Earlier in the Combiner Wars, this body was used for Ironhide, and a heavily retooled First Aid. There were a couple of additional releases in Japan too.

This version is reminiscent of the G1 version as we have seen so many times here in the Combiner Wars. Trailbreaker is heavily colored in black with red and silver accents much like his G1 counterpart. He is missing the tall blower that stuck out above his head, and was included in Trailcutter’s design in the last iteration. I can’t say it is terribly missed in this version. I do think it would have been a cool addition to the hood of the truck to differentiate him a little more from Ironhide.

He comes with the axe, a less than impressive weapon in this lineup. A standard gun would have been much better.

In truck mode, he looks like he should. A black truck with funny rainbow 80’s coloring down the side.

The original version had a canopy over the back of the truck. Trailcutter had it too. WIth the new Trailbreaker, his hand/foot weapon acts as the canopy. Thankfully all of the hand/foot accessories are black, so it works pretty well in truck mode.

One of Trailbreaker’s hands is a cannon.  That is definitely a nod to the G1 version that had firing arms.  One of the advantages to having a cannon arm is that his Sky Reign hand/foot can be used as a giant hand.

And with that giant hand, he can wield giant weapons, like Shockwave here.

The first two parts of Sky Reign.

Vs four parts of Bruticus.  Let the battle continue!


Wheeljack – Combiner Wars – Sky Reign

Autobots to build Sky Reign? But I am not done finding the Decepticons to build Bruticus yet! Gah! Well played Hasbro, well played. At least we are seeing Combiners from both the Autobot and Decepticon sides, so this will end up being one epic battle.

Today we are looking at Wheeljack. A G1 favorite for sure. We have seen a few different iterations of him over the past few years, from the Generations version, to the Prime version. Through it all, they did a pretty good job of trying to stick to the original. Hasbro did a bit of a better job with this version over the last Generations version, since this one stands taller, and the feet do not look super oversized.

He lost his wings over his shoulders that they have been pretty consistent with since the beginning, but they did a good job with the head sculpt, remembering to give him the exaggerated cheek/ear pieces.

He comes with a gun/sword, which is a reuse, and not one of my favorite weapons. It is a good choice for him, since his last two issues either saw him holding a gun or a sword.  His requisite hand/foot gun can be held in his hand, or it can be attached to a hole in his back.  I am so fond of being able to attach the giant weapon to the body and get it out of the way.  For most of the figures, the gun is unwieldy large, and does not look good.

In car mode, they did a lot of retooling to get him looking more like the G1 Lancia Stratos. It has that long front end, rounded canopy and a spoiler at the back. The red and green are a lot brighter than the original, but still within the realm of how the original looked.

Hasbro did a good job with many of these cars to allow the Combiner hand/foot to attach to the cars and not look terrible. Since Wheeljack is a heavily modified Sunstreaker, it is no surprise that the hand/foot attaches to the roof to act like a giant secondary turbo engine.

Overall, this is another really good nod to the G1 counterpart. He looks good as a car and a robot, and the fact that he becomes a Combiner’s arm or leg does not detract from his overall appearance, which is something that Hasbro has done very well for the most part over the length of this line.

Up next is one more Sky Reign Deluxe figure, and then I will be back on the hunt to complete both Sky Reign, and Bruticus.


Brawl – Combiner Wars – Bruticus

I got my hand on the third of the four Deluxe Combaticons. I like this guy overall. He is not without some problems, but they are minor to an overall well done robot and tank.

As for the robot, overall he is a good looking guy. He is robust like you would expect from a tank. He also hides the giant post for combining better than most, since his chest folds around in a way that the post is under the chest.

There are two places that bother me in robot mode. The arms and the waist. The arms are an odd design. He has tiny forearms, and from the shoulder to the elbow is short as well. He does have tall shoulders that we see time and time again in the Transformers, and that saves the look overall of stubby arms.

The waist has a strange rotation that can be easily knocked out of shape when playing with him. It has a bit of a wasp look to it where the connection from the waist to chest has a very small area where they are connected. It looks off with such as big, strong chest.

His gun is the cannon from the tank, pulled off and held in hand. That is a great use of the cannon. As a stand alone gun, it is a bit light on details, but they are not all going to be great. The cannon can be stored in the turret along with the Bruticus hand/foot gun so Brawl can have his hands free, or the cannon can be mounted on a hole on the outside of the hand as well.

As a tank, Brawl works really well too. He is a stubby little tank. The details are fantastic. The only part that is a bit strange is the back end that has holes in the back with fins inside. I don’t know if those are supposed to be exhaust ports, or what, but at least they have some detail to them.

The Bruticus hand/foot gun can be mounted to the top with a flip-out tab that sticks up. The gun can be mounted, and the thumb folds down the back of the turret to make it fit in and add support. The turret cannon swivel around.

Brawl has what is probably to easiest transformation into a leg that one can possibly have. The back part of the tank rotates out of the way, the connector post folds out, and the turret moves up to be a knee. Very efficient and fun. Now I just need Blastoff and Onslaught, and I will have another functioning Combiner.

Aside:

This is the best looking Brawl of the three I have.  I have one from back in 2010 that was Desert Ruins Brawl from Hunt for the Decepticons:

He is all over the place, as were many of the movie figures.  There was just too much going on for him.

The other Brawl was from a little bit more recently, in 2012 with the Fall of Cybertron attempt at a combiner with Bruticus:

Overall, this Brawl looked good, except with a neon green paint job that made Bruticus look like a giant Skittle rather than being made up of Combaticons.   It will be fun to compare the two Bruticus’ when I get the Combiner Wars Bruticus completed.


Shockwave – Transformers: Generations – Combiner Wars – Bruticus

Now this is what a Legends figure should look like that changes into a weapon for a Combiner!!!! We should have seen Shockwave sooner with other figures like him, but better late than never.

Shockwave looks like his G1 self, as do most of the Combiner Wars figures. He has one hand, and one gun/hand. He transforms into a large cannon that can be wielded by anyone, since he has the same post that goes into a standard port. The only problem is, with his size, he is too heavy for any of the Deluxe figures to hold him up in their hands. Of course, he goes with Bruticus, so he would be in the proper scale with him, though I am still not finished collecting all of the parts to Bruticus to see just how cool Shockwave looks in his hand. Gotta be better than the strange design of Powerglide and Viper.

Overall, he is a really good figure. He makes sense in the smaller Legends scale, though in the G1 show he was quite big. But then again, he was one of those strange Transformers who became smaller as he transformed to fit in another bot’s hand. This works much better.

I know, you are thinking, “If you don’t have Bruticus, who is holding Shockwave?”  Well, I was having a bit of fun with a photoshoot, and you will have to wait and see who is holding Shockwave.


ToQ Buckle – Ressha Sentai ToQger (Shield Ressha)

The ToQ Buckle is probably the least fun live action accessory of the ToQger line. It is a simple buckle that has a center part that clips in and out. The reason I got it was, similar to most anyone who got the ToQ Buckle, for the Shield Ressha.

The ToQ Buckle will make a good display piece that will show off the team buckle and make a nice centerpiece for all of the Ressha, but that is about all.

The Shield Ressha is what this whole set is about.   It can be used in blaster, changer, and as an auxiliary arm for both ToQ-Oh and Diesel-Oh.

The Shield Ressha was used many times in the show, so it is a must have for ToQger collectors.   It splits in half down the middle to the midpoint of the train.

Add a little offense to the defense with a team-up of the Police and Shield Resshas.  The Shield is a powerful defensive weapon for the team.

It has stop lights inside that are the colors of the ToQgers.


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