I took a chance on this set, and boy is it not very good. In the Generations line, we went through the Combiner Wars, so it makes sense that Robots in Disguise would try to follow suit, by bringing us Combiner Force. The execution is not very good robots, not very good cars, and not very good combining.
First off, the cars. We get Bumblebee and Sideswipe. I cannot imagine these two getting along as a Combiner, but we will go with it for now. The vehicles are about the same size as the Legion scale vehicles. They are similar in design, but it is clear that they are NOT going to transform anywhere near as well as the Legion scale.
The most notable change are the large black squares with green arrows. One is on the nose of Sideswipe, and the other is on the tail of Bumblebee.
Let’s look at them transformed into robot mode. Ugh! These are terrible. Bumblebee has a flip up head, feet, and fold out arms. He has no articulation except for the side swing of his shoulder joints, and I don’t think that even counts. Sideswipe has a similar transformation, except that his legs pull apart.
From vehicle mode, you stick the two black boxes together. The spoiler of Bee’s car flips up to make a chest, and the hood separates to show a new head that is somewhere between Bumblebee and Optimus Prime. He gets joints at the elbow this time, with 5mm ports to hold weapons in his hands (though he does not come with any). Bee’s part is spring loaded. Sideswipes body has to be separated manually, by pulling his legs apart. And that is what you get.
He has articulation in his elbows and that is all. I think he is somewhat better looking in this mode, now being more interesting, but he is far from the cool looking art we get on the front of the box, where the red and yellow are combined.
Looking at the different scales of Bumblebees, you can see over at the left, the Legion scale. Next comes the nearly identical scale of the Combiner Force, followed by the Mini-Con (Commander) scale, and finishing off at the Warrior scale.
Overall, this is not a good Transformer. It is totally gimmick based, and not a very good gimmick at that. Only half of Beeside actually pops open. The player still has to manually transform the bottom half. I am a huge fan of Transformers, these two being #654 and #655 of my collection. This is nearly the most disappointed I have been with a Transformer in the whole collection. I was not expecting much, and I have stayed away from the 1-step and 3-step Transformers, but I was expecting a bit more with this set. There are a few more sets coming out in this series, but I am going to skip them.