Review von Laserwave13:
Combined form of the G2 Combaticons
(Blast Off, Brawl, Onslaught, Swindle, Vortex)
Series: Generations Fall of Cybertron The five Combaticons alone are enough to give pause to even the mightiest Autobot force. When they combine into Decepticon Bruticus, they become the stuff of nightmares. He easily destroys his enemies with ultrasonic waves or a smack from his massive hands. Once he has begun on a path of destruction, no force in the known universe can stop him.
Categories: Combiner Store Exclusive
After the Power Core Combiners and that tragic attempt called ROTF Devastator that ended up being a sandbox toy, Hasbro is back on Combiners. Real ones, assembled out of five different robots with all of them having not only the vehicle and combined, but also a proper robot mode. And we start with nothing less than Fall of Cybertron Bruticus. After the Game-Color version from SDCC and the Retail version with somewhat neon colors, this is the third release, second box set and the second „not-quite“ exclusive version. The G2 Version was available through BBTS and Amazon.com.
: As usual with gift sets, there is no need for hunting down every member of the crew individually, instead you get them all at once. What makes this one special is the new box art, completely done in Generation 2 style. They copied the likeness as good as it gets and that was also one reason for me to choose this version. Excellent job on that front, looks really, really nice. Apart from the five individual instruction sheets there is nothing more included in the box.
Let’s take Swindle first. From the initial pictures he and Blast-Off were my first favorites. And it remains so after unpacking. He is a spitting image of what he was in G2 when it comes down to colors. The Cybertronian vehicle looks very nice, although it misses some of the little paint details like the purple on the wheels that the game-color version comes with. Cost savings, I guess. Transformation is nice, but not at all challenging. Robot mode looks very cool and bulky. Very good range of motion, too. A little hollow in the back section, but that is ok. Not much to complain about, so thumbs up for him.
Second favorite in the set. Blast-Off, featuring his shuttle mode again, only Cybertronian this time. Nonetheless, resemblance to the G2 original is very good in color and likeness. Also a very good paint job on him, so a very, very nice kind-of space shuttle mode. Transformation is a little more complex, but again nothing hard and still on the lower scale. Robot mode looks fantastic, I must say. The all-white parts broken up with black details on a purple body look great. His massive proportions make him look strong and powerful. Also very good range of motion and I would say next to Swindle he’s the best of the team.
The Cybertronian tank already known from War for Cybertron. And now you will notice the differences. Had he been released under the prior Generations line that had the WCF toys in it, Brawl would have been a better figure, I believe. Colors are okay and nicely done, but the tank looks too much like a jigsaw of parts and way too hollow in the front and back sections. Then again, at least the gun barrels on top can lift up and turn around. Transformation is not worth mentioning. Robot mode looks better, but still not perfect or as good as he could have been. Nice details, but pretty slim for a destructive fighter like him. And the big kibble on his back is a little of a letdown, as it hangs down between his legs right to the knees. Not the end of the world, but easily avoidable these days. And those tiny feet, they are...just so tiny, looks odd and do not really help getting him stable with all the junk on his back. To close on a positive here, very nice head sculpt and also good range of motion. All in all he is a good robot and an okay figure overall, but not more.
The Helicopter, on Earth as on Cybertron. Discussion about how this does or does not make sense will be skipped as we look directly at the design. Sadly Hasbro seems to have a lot of trouble with helicopters at the moment. First the catastrophe that was Airachnid from the TF:Prime toyline and now this. Not as bad, but also could have been better. The helicopter itself looks nice and sharp, but features too many holes and cutouts on the lower and underside. Forget about the transformation. Robot mode again is the better one, even with those junky lower legs and feet. Not nearly as obtrusive as what we have seen on pictures. This time the kibble is on his hips and in front of the figure. I know that is supposed to be robot detailing, but it limits his articulation and looks kind of stupid. But there is also something good here: he comes with probably the best gimmick of all the figures. His rotor blades end up on one arm and they can spin freely, which lets you imitate the shield he and Bruticus had in the Game. Kind of nice.
Now it gets really bad. The figure forming the torso of Bruticus is, of course, the central part, but in my opinion he’s a mid-level catastrophe and leaves a lot to be desired when compared with what we saw in the game or concept pictures. Vehicle mode is a yellow....thing? On wheels...? With a Bruticus head stored on his back watching the streets between the hollowness that is his back side. If you know G1 Kup, you know what I mean. Otherwise he is yellow. Transformation is extremely simple. Just like with Vortex the robot mode is the better form, but that does not necessarily mean he is good. Nice details are there and range of motion is very good, the yellow matches up with his G2 original almost perfectly. But the yellow is where the problem comes from nowadays. It is just way too much. Way, way too much! And a purple head in front of a purple plate does not help break it up at all. If you turn him around you already see half of Bruticus. This is the worst figure of the set by a very large margin and I would not buy such a thing individually. Or I would bite my ass off if I did so by accident.
The transformation into - or assembly of, rather - Bruticus is a little bit more of a challenge, but still on the same low level that the figures are supposed to be on nowadays. First impression when he stands before you: pretty big guy. Yes, he is really big. Not as big as ROTF Jetpower Optimus Prime, but pretty close. Sadly as big as he is, he’s also thin and spindly. He has big and solid feet and a really solid stance in different poses, but this does not add the badly needed bulk he is supposed to have when compared to the game. A powered-up destructive monster, well, I’m not really buying it here. More bulk and mass for added weight next time.
On a positive note: the color scheme does wonders for him and I like it a lot. Matter of taste, of course. For such a skinny figure he is very stable thanks to the big feet and new connectors, which hold all of this together very well. So falling apart is not likely. Nice and tight joints also do their part for this figure’s stability. But in the end, due to the missing mass and bulk, he simply feels wobbly and very light and flimsy. So letting him fall down from a certain height not recommended.
Very cool design choice: Hasbro attempted to remain true to the Scramble City design. In Bruticus case this means the ability of every figure to be both an arm and a leg and on each side to boot. Only Onslaught needs to remain as the torso, of course. Very cool that they included that and tried to make it happen. Sadly, tried is the operative term here. It works, but I think every combination other than the initial one looks kind of awkward and less appealing. That is the result of his general problem with his proportions. The arms are somewhat too long, the legs are too thin, and he has some pretty strange hand and posture design. He does look like something thrown together randomly. The hand weapons of the individual members can be stored around Bruticus or be combined in different ways to form a bigger rifle for him.
Fall of Cybertron Bruticus, another holy grail for everyone’s collection? No, surely not. The FoC toys are not what the WfC ones were, and Bruticus suffers from that fact as well. To be honest, for a long time I was not sure about getting him and only the G2 version did persuade me, simply because I like the colors best. And despite being a box set and a so-called exclusive version, he is the cheapest one to get. I do not regret it, but I am happy I did not spend any more on him. The SDCC version might have a better color scheme when it comes to game resemblance and more paint apps in general, but the after-market price for that one is way beyond reason. He may be worth retail price, but not more than that.
He is not a bad figure, but with a variety of problems and you can easily live without him. He shows what the problem is with TF nowadays. For the money he costs, you might as well pick up a Masterpiece Sideswipe or a hell of a lot of Prime or Arms Micron toys, and you will probably be better off with them. And if you are a collector who wants a real combiner, then go for the MakeToys Giant or TFC Hercules or for Fansproject Bruticus Yes, they will cost even more, but you will get at least a hundred times the robot for it, with better quality and more play value and a better display piece, too. Bottom line, do not pay more than retail for him. Do not go eBay hunting for him. If you can get him cheap or for a decent price at least, by all means, do it to complete your WfC / FoC team, but do not go nuts about finding him. All other collectors, wait until Hasbro brings us a combiner for our Classics / Henkei display or buy something else and wait for Bruticus to go on sale.
And for a second opinion: