Series: TFC Toys
Legal stuff first, as always. Madblender is not an official Transformers product from Hasbro or Takara-Tomy, he hails from third party provider TFC Toys. He’s clearly meant to be an updated version of G1 Mixmaster
, but for legal reasons he can’t be called by that name.
Once again, let’s start with resemblance to the G1 original. Madblender and Mixmaster have the same basic design where the cab of the truck mode becomes the legs and the mixing drum ends up on the back. The arms are somewhat different, as Madblender has the truck wheels on separate shoulder pieces, but the general resemblance is there, no problem, and Madblender comes in the traditional Constructicon colors, too, with quite a bit of nice detailing to boot.
Articulation-wise Madblender is the best of the TFC group, I think. His legs alone have double knee-joints and double swivels (all required for the transformation). He can twist in the hip and dip sideways there, too. His elbows can bend forward and backward. Just about the only thing he lacks are twisting wrists, but to compensate he has those separate shoulder pieces, which can be posed in multiple different ways as well. So to sum it up, Madblender is practically a contortionist.
In terms of weapons Madblender might just be the most powerful member of the TFC Not-Constructicons. Apart from the standard two weapons (one purple, one translucent red) he carries an entire arsenal inside his mixing drum. Or rather, the mixing drum itself becomes an arsenal. The central axis of the drum becomes a long rifle he can carry in hand or mount on either shoulder (which looks very cool). The actual drum can split into up to eight separate weapon modules, which can attach to various parts of Madblender’s body. See the pictures above for several of the possible variants. My personal favorite sees the rifle on the shoulder and a three-quarter drum-half on each arm, with the remaining two pieces on the shoulder wings or legs. Use your own imagination here, there are lots of possibilities. And if that isn’t enough firepower, Madblender can apply the purple centerpiece of Hercules’ chest shield on top of the structure behind his head, giving him yet another two barrels.
So the bottom line for the robot mode is pretty simple: Madblender is easily the TFC member with the most play value, the best articulation, and while I prefer Structor overall, Madblender takes the prize for best TFC Hercules member robot mode.
Madblender transforms into a cement mixer truck. Now here is where, compared to the brilliant robot mode, Madblender drags a bit. Oh, he’s fully recognizable as what he’s supposed to be, but the front section of the truck looks pretty plain, while the mid-section looks positively hodgepodge. You don’t really see any robot bits, but there is no straight line for the vehicle mode here and the middle wheels seem pretty isolated. Again, nothing that actually screams “there is a robot in disguise”, but it seems very pieced-together.
Plus, you can’t really do much here. Yeah, the mixing barrel can turn, but that’s about it. The weapons can attach to either the cab up front or the purple piece on the back and that’s the extent of it. So while Madblender is brilliant in robot mode, his vehicle mode is nothing more than okay. Sufficient for its purpose, but no more than that.
Madblender becomes the left leg of the Hercules combiner, of which there’ll be a separate review here on TFU.
Mixmaster was the eccentric master chemist of the Construction team, always busy mixing solvents, acids, and stuff. Like most of the Constructicons (except Long Haul) he can make some claim to team leadership, as the Marvel UK comic story “Space Pirates”, which played in the (then-)distant future of 2008, showed him as one of the chief lieutenants of Decepticon leader Soundwave, standing together with other special team leaders such as Motormaster and Hun-Grrrr. Also, he was the Constructicon giving the orders in the final part of “Five Faces of Darkness”. Maybe the Constructicons just took turns giving orders, giving everyone a chance (except Long Haul).
As a toy Madblender is pretty nifty. He doesn’t quite managed to edge out my favorite TFC member Structor, but he comes very, very close, sharing second place with Heavy Labor. He combines great articulation with a host of interchangeable weaponry, plus a great overall look. Only the somewhat mediocre vehicle mode drags him down a bit. Again, as part of the combiner set you’re going to have to get all six members anyway, but still: highly recommended.
And for a second opinion: