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Transformers Toy Review Archive (older series, 1984 to date)
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Dedicon's review of: Bruticus

Name: Bruticus (Onslaught, Brawl, Swindle, Volter, Blast Off)
Allegiance: Destron
Function: War Incarnate
Sub-Group: Combaticons

Holy crap this is going to be long…

I got Superlink Bruticus from an online retailer a few weeks ago, hoping I wouldn't be disappointed with it as I was with Ruination. And as you can guess from My recent picture in the forum, I was quite overwhelmed…

Since we have 2 repaints in this set, I'll review the mould as a whole only once, and will add some tidbits on the second mould. I'll give them all individual grades and then rank the whole set as a whole.

One last thing, the new gestalts break the Energon futuristic approach to pieces, as they seem to be based off real-life vehicles. In this case, real tanks, helicopters, and one mean missile truck!

Vehicle Modes:
Blast Off - Unlike Hasbro, Takara held to the old G1 Combaticon names. The good thing is the nostalgia factor of the name, the bad thing is the name and the nostalgia factor. See, now that Blast off is a helicopter, the name just doesn't fit the vehicle mode. Furthermore, to add to the nostalgia, Takara has decided to paint him purple (though I don't remember him having that much purple in the first place). Thankfully, there are a lot of gray parts as well, especially in the cockpit area, so the color scheme was saved. There are also many nice details on him, from the white strips on the sides to the yellow strip on the tail, to the dark brown that surrounds the cockpit, along with a triangle painted in white under it. The vents/ lights are painted in yellow, and that's about it for the color scheme. Other than that, the tail's fin has a rotating propeller and the main propeller can rotate and close. He has a very small Decepticon symbol near the cockpit, and a spark right under the propeller (with a blue energon star to cover it). The energon weapon sits in this mode nicely, being used as gun barrels and even an exhaust pipe (I didn't know helicopters have those, but it looks nice nonetheless) though I personally like to add both of the helicopters' weapons to Onslaught, he looks good with them on the sides.

Volter - Well, if you thought gray and purple was odd for a helicopter, try orange with a sparkle of brown and gold! Really, those colors make Volter one funky helicopter, and for some reason, I like it! I really can't explain it. Sure, out of the two, Blast Off has the better color scheme, but when I heard of an orange helicopter, I really expected the worst. But, even though the weapon blends better color wise with Volter, Blast off is still better just because he is "darker" than Volter, not to mention more menacing.

Swindle - Swindle is an olive green tank, with paint apps and details covered in black and silver, along with the dark blue energon weapon and star. Those are the "dry" details. As for my own opinion, this mode is awesome! The "cannons" the tank has on the sides, the energon weapon (adding two more guns) for firepower and a satellite dish, three guns on each side, and two gun barrels in front of the tank. This Basic mould has more weaponry than most of my Deluxe and even Mega figures. If you remove his energon weapon, you can see Swindle's hands, but if the energon weapon stays on, this toy really stays in disguise. Really, this is the best Basic alt in the whole line, and that's not an easy fit in Energon/Superlink.

Brawl - Brawl is painted green.Which could be good if the green wasn't so plain. Oh sure, he has some cool white paint apps and details, with some gray for the upper part of the tank. The cannons are the best part of the "new" detailing Brawl has. They are gray with some black wash on the end and the tips are painted orange to give you the feeling he is about to fire. Which is neat, but even with all that, Swindle gets the upper hand in the paint job department.

Onslaught - I'll just start with the bottom line: Other than being too small, Onslaught's vehicle mode is close to perfect. He is painted in the best colors I could imagine for such a vehicle: gray, dark green, with a bit of yellow in the "missile pods" and bright green for the flashlights. Add that to the two big Decepticon symbols on the back of the launcher, the nice "super energon" blue windows, and a rotating missile launcher that can also go up and down, and has a Minicon peg and an energon weapon peg on each side of the launcher and you get one cool army vehicle. A lot of people think he looks like Snowcat but that's only because of the front piece with the spark crystal. This mode is great, But as I mentioned, the vehicle is somewhat small. It's still Deluxe sized, but the alternate mode itself looks like it was meant to be bigger. Still, this is one rocking alt. mode for the Combaticons.

Robot Mode:
Blast Off - Make no mistakes about it, this is a really cool basic. He has some great articulation, and only that damn tail from the alt mode limits the legs a bit. His head is shaped like a pilot, which could have been nice if he didn't look like an Autobot. The blue optics (from the "Super Energon") and the tiny Decepticon symbol, and the spark that is located in the back, makes this one look like a friendly pilot bot rather than a nasty Combaticon. with that said, his colors are Decepticon colors.The weapon is great, and almost as big as half the toy, but I would've liked it more if the gun on top could detach from the whole piece.

Volter - Well, he still looks like an Autobot, only now even his color scheme can't save him. All it needs is a smile and an Autobot symbol. Factions aside, he is still a cool little toy. And can do all the things Blast Off can.

Swindle - Swindle was awesome in tank mode, and he is just as awesome in his robot form. Like the rest of the set, he has blue "Super Energon" eyes, but he still looks evil. His Decepticon symbol isn't too big, but it's not that small either. It just fits. The colors rock on this mould, and the only two complaints I have are the feet (they are flat, almost like skis) and the "wings." While the wings look good and are very innovative for a tank transformer, they block some of the leg articulation. Other than that, Swindle has great articulation, and the fact he is armed with a cannon in each hand (that can move!) plus a sweet energon weapon makes Swindle one of the best Basics I have.

Brawl - I really don't know who has the smart idea to take this mould's great head design, and decided to paint it ORANGE!! I tell you, that was one stupid decision. At least we are lucky the "guns" from the alternate mode form some sort of helmet for the robot mode, otherwise he would look like an Autobot as well. And I had enough of that with the helicopters. Other than that, brawl shows some blue in the legs and his abs.

Onslaught - As you all probably figured out, the Deluxe sized Energon combiners come with no weapons. And for me, that's a big minus. BUT, Onslaught is bulk enough to make you think he doesn't need one. He isn't fat, mind you. His build makes him look big. His head is sculpt like he is wearing a helmet. With the headsets (or buns like Princess lia) and mouthpiece (with a mouth sculpted underneath). Just like the rest of the team, he too has "Super Energon" eyes. It doesn't hurt his Decepticon feel, though. With that said, this mode has 2 big flaws. One is the "backpack". The entire front of the vehicle goes to the back of Onslaught's robot mode .Including the spark crystal. Now, if Takara/Hasbro make it look like a "rocket back pack" or something of that sort, I would accept it. But it was just a way to hide Bruticus's head. The second part is the leg stability. I found it hard to put Onslaught into different poses without having him fall over.

Bruticus:
This is one sweet gestalt. The scrambling alone left me playing with him for about 20 minutes. Bruticus can also move the horns to the back to make him look more G1ish. He is a bit thin for an Energon toy. When I first got him I put him next to Wing Convoy and he looked like an anorexic supermodel standing next to Rush Limbaugh. But after I put him next to some of my thinner Transformers he looked fine. As with the rest of this set, he has dark blue glowing eyes from the "Super Energon". His transformation is mainly Onslaught, and you will need instructions, but the helicopters need some fiddling as well. As for the tanks, all you need to do is to connect the energon weapon to the Vehicle mode, if it's for a claw you bend the weapon, and for a foot you just connect it while it's flat. He has a big Deception symbol under his spark, which is located on his chest. One bad thing is the head plate, which can pop off rather easily during transformation. You can pop it right back on though.

The rest of Bruticus will be reviewed in 3 parts: Tanks as upper limbs, helicopters as upper limbs and the hybrid mode (as seen on TV!!).

Tanks mode: If you want hand articulation, this mode is for you. The "elbows" will be able to move in 90 degrees, and the claws can bend a bit. The bad thing is the copters are not reliable feet. If you want it to stand it will be fine, but posing him will take some time. Also, the energon weapons can fall off during the posing.

Helicopters mode: This is good for the fanboys who cried that Bruticus has no hands or feet. The tanks' weapons make better feet than the original G1 platforms did. And the helicopters' weapons make good open hands .Great for smacking down Autobots. The bad? It has less articulation than the tanks as hands. Bruticus can move the elbows only in 45 degrees, at best. So it really depends what you prefer.

Hybrid mode: If you don't mind asymmetric Transformers, This should be your choice. Also, this is the way Bruticus is presented on TV. The legs are stable enough, and one hand can slap while the other can grip. Very nice, and my favorite combo out of all three options.

Transformation: 5 - You will need a bit of help for the middle and some help for the helicopters, but it's not frustrating.
Durability: 7 - Other than that annoying head plate, And the fact it's a gestalt, it can last for a long time.
Fun: 10 - You get 5 great toys that are all fun on their own, and you can combine them into one big fun of a robot. So yes, he is fun.
Price: 5 - I got it for $80, but only cause I ordered it using EMS shipping. If you live in the US, just pick up the toys separately, it will be cheaper. If you live in Europe, Middle-East or any place that isn't located in North America (Canada included), get this set. Even if you will have to add a few more dollars, it's worth it.
Summary: 10 - It was worth my money and my time. Takara really did the right thing by releasing those five together. The fact that you can also mix limbs with the other two gestalts makes it even more fun. You can buy three gestalts and give them all five different moulds. Take a tank and a helicopter and add a jet and a truck to Onslaught to make a new Bruticus, or give a tank to Superion. This "mix and match" gimmick is incredible in my opinion.

 
 
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