WB003 WARBOT ASSAULTER
Series: Fans Project
Categories: Triple Changer
Legal stuff first as always. Warbot Assaulter is not an official Transformer, as he wasnít released by either Hasbro or Takara-Tomy. Heís from third party company Fansproject. So despite the fact that heís a clear homage to G1 Broadside
, he canít be called by that name.
First off, Assaulter is a really big guy. Heís about Voyager-sized, Iíd say, and easily towers over most Deluxe-class figures. His proportions are such that he seems really strong and wide, basically a big brute. His relatively tiny head also fits that image. Basically he looks like the kind of guy whoíd rather smash things than have a philosophical discussion. Considering that Broadside was a member of the Wreckers in the comic books, that fits him quite well.
Despite his heavyset appearance, Assaulter is articulated quite well. The joints that connect the legs to the hips are incredibly stiff, though, so moving his legs always makes me sweat in fear that I might break them off. The legs are also partially die cast metal, giving Assaulter a very solid stance. So no point deduction here, articulation is very well done and no balancing issues, either.
Detailing could be a tad more pronounced, especially in the upper body, but still Assaulter does quite well here. The legs look very nice with their multi-colored lines, and while heís mostly grey above the waist, that still manages to look pretty good. The only thing I would have done differently is the head, which is all-white (except for the blue visor). A bit more color would have brought out the sculpted details some more. Otherwise, though, no complaint.
Finally, the weapons. Assaulter carries two multi-purpose weapons that also become integral parts of both vehicle modes (see below). When he doesnít need them, the weapons can be stored on this back (his lower back, to be exact, as they hang off his ass, so to speak). The weapons can be used either as guns or flip out blades to become axes. In either configuration Assaulter can hold them in his hands or attach them to his forearms. Not the most spectacular weapons of all time, but very fitting and fully integrated. Nicely done.
Bottom line: an excellent robot mode. Some more color on the head is just about the only nitpick I can think of. And hereís hoping the hip joints move a bit easier (but not too easily) with continued use.
Some background on Assaulter's second, "secret" robot mode. When the first pictures of the new Broadside toy appeared in toy catalogues in 1986, Broadside looked like this
. All his Marvel Comics appearances are based on this prototype picture. Of course when the Broadside toy came out, it looked very much like this
. To confuse matters further, the cartoon actually used two different character models
for the character's sparse appearances. In the comic books since Broadside has consistently been based on the actual toy (except for the Regeneration series, which continues from the Marvel comics). But basically this means you have two different versions of Broadside. And Fansproject wanted to pay homage to both.
The "secret" robot mode isn't that different from the first one. You turn the legs around, flip out the fins on his feet, turn around the cockpit on his chest, and flip up his helmet to expose the face underneath. Done. Seeing as the two robot modes don't really differ that much, it's a matter of taste which one you prefer. Interestingly I originally didn't like the red face at all, but it's really grown on me since, even though it's tiny and grumpy-looking. Everything else is the same in this mode, naturally. Still, I very much like it that they managed to include this aspect of Broadside's (rather brief) history in the toy. Thumbs up.
Assaulter is a triple changer, so he has two different alternate modes. Letís start with the jet mode. This is where Assaulter really excels, because not only does a very brutish, hefty-looking robot transform into a really sleek and powerful-looking jet, there is also no giant undercarriage or anything. The only other jet Transformer I can think of who has managed to be really brutish as a robot and sleek as a jet is Leader Starscream
and even he had more of an undercarriage than Broadside does. So two thumbs up for a very sleek and cool looking jet mode. The jet even features a landing gear and if you want, you can also move the wings (where the robot mode weapons form most of the length) for a forward-swept wing configuration. No further gimmicks or anything here, but the jet mode really doesnít need it. Sleek design, excellent detailing (including sculpted guns) and no undercarriage or kibble. What more do you need?
Sadly Assaulterís second alternate mode doesnít manage to match the brilliance of the first one. The original Broadside had an aircraft carrier as a second mode (probably the most out-of-scale-with-himself TF toy of all time), but while Assaulter certainly does incorporate some aircraft carrier-like attributes into this mode, itís actually supposed to be a space cruiser (again, vastly out of scale with himself). With a separated bow and the legs becoming thrusters, the cruiser is a strong homage (intentional or not, Iím not sure) to the classic Robotech vessel SDF-1 aka Macross. Sadly the whole thing looks pretty half-hearted. The robot mode head sits openly between the two struts out front, you can still clearly distinguish the legs, and there is a piecemeal quality to the cruiser. No stability issues, but it still looks kind of tacked-on as an afterthought. Only the central control tower and the little plates that flip out in front of it are specifically intended for this mode only, the rest... well, never mind. So all in all I donít mind that Assaulter has a Macross-like space cruiser mode (being a big Robotech fan), but itís nowhere near as good as the jet mode.
Side note: some small vehicles are included with Assaulter, depicting the vehicle modes of Warbot Defender
(both of them), Steelcore, and presumably Roadbuster and Sandstorm (fellow Wreckers and possible future Fansproject figures). They are in scale with Assaulterís cruiser mode (meaning: really tiny), but I forgot them during the picture session. Iíll include picture of them on the cruiser later.
Most of the six triple changers released by Hasbro in 1985 and '86 went on to become rather important characters in either comics or cartoons. Astrotrain and Blitzwing were among the most prolific Decepticons and late-comer Octane is best-known for becoming pals with Trypticon and Starscream's ghost. Springer was one of the main characters of Season 3 and the leader of the Wreckers in pretty much every G1-based comic incarnation. Sandstorm was also a Wrecker in the comics and the leader of his own planet in the cartoon (plus, also a pal of Octane). And then there is Broadside. Also a Wrecker in the comics, but more the background type. Same goes for the cartoon. His most memorable scene might be where he transformed into an aircraft carrier in mid-air to crush Devastator beneath him, but otherwise... yeah, Broadside wasn't exactly a prolific character.
Assaulter is accompanied by a mini comic that continues the story from the comic included with Warbot Defender (and presumably Steelcore, too, but I donít own that one). Steelcore has rescued Defender from his evil clone and they meet up with Assaulter, who has rescued Defenderís comrades, whom they plan to revive with Core Technology (aka the Powermaster process). Then they take off into space and weíll wait for the next comic.
Final verdict: an excellent figure. The robot mode is lots of fun, including the ďsecretĒ mode, the weapons fulfill a function in all three modes, the jet alternate mode is brilliant, and while the cruiser mode isnít exactly great, it doesnít hurt the figure in any way, either. So bottom line: yet another win for Fansproject. Recommended to just about everyone.
And for a second opinion: