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Transformers Toy Review Archive (older series, 1984 to date)
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numbat's review of: G2 Clench (European exclusive)

Name: Clench
Function: Decepticon Leader
Sub-Group: Obliterator
"I will not rest until the last Autobot is crushed to nothing and the Decepticons rule."

A vehicle of terrifying power and pure evil. Combines a keen brain with diabolical cruelty. His whole being is dedicated to vengeance. A nightmare opponent, powered by pure hate and throws aside anybody foolish enough to get in his way. As a vehicle attacks from all sides with vast weapon power and does terrible damage with his vicious, rear mountied grabbing claw. Menacing in intermediate mode as a multi-purpose battle station. As a gigantic robot, towers terrifyingly above all.

Well… that’s how I imagine him anyway. Given that Clench appears in exactly zero TV shows and zero comics, there’s a fair bit of license – and it’s the only way he’ll ever be realized. He certainly is one of the more powerful Decepticons, and looks to be as evil as any Transformer ever was…

I think it’s a real pity he was only ever released in Europe in 1992/1993, as he is without a doubt one of the greatest Transformers ever, and a real jewel of all lines, let alone Generation 2. It’s such a shame he slipped under the radar in a short-run European exclusive line.

Alternate Mode:
Clench’s alternate mode is a cool dark green truck. Molded into the plastic are small pieces of green glitter (that’s about the only way I can describe it!), which may sound rubbish, but actually looks amazing – especially if the lighting is right. There’s a claw on the back of the truck, which is presumably where Clench gets his name from. There’s a lovely level of detail, and the stickers really add to the whole ensemble. Most notable are the lightning-bolts on the bonnet, with a cool red wolf under a target crosshair. The whole thing is made by the Texas number plate on the rear of the truck.

The only mild niggles one could have about the mode are the fact that the target crosshairs from the gun emplacement are just folded in full view along the back of the truck, and, of course, the sticker saying ‘Transformers’ along the windscreen. This latter was a symptom of the time, however, and unavoidable.

Still, any complaints are minor – as this is without a doubt one of the coolest alternative modes of any Transformer, in my opinion!

Robot Mode:
Clench’s robot mode includes both the robot itself, and a multiple missile launcher emplacement. This is obvious from the point the vehicle splits in two.

Robot –

Clench has a totally unique transformation – one which is without a doubt my favourite among all Transformers. Basically, his legs flip out and rotate backwards at the knees, with the front of the leg then folding forward from the truck’s sides. The arms pull out from the sides, and the truck front folds down over the shoulders, while the head flips up from the cab roof, folding the windscreen against his back. Well, it’s impossible to describe. You just gotta get hold of one to try it!

The robot mode is stunning, standing 8" tall. The dark green glittery plastic of the truck is present here on the head, shoulders, and lower legs, while the body is a dark metallic grey, with an interesting techno-sticker dominating the chest. Bright green and pink complete the scheme, which again sounds bad, and may be difficult to appreciate in photos, but is actually a great combination on this figure! Of course, the flashes of copper on the grills and mouthpiece make the final touches.

Although the entire robot is amazing, it all comes together with his head. Easily the most evil looking head any Transformer has ever had – and bolstered by the glowing green eyes.

The only negative with this mold is it’s lack of articulation. Given when he was released, that isn’t overly surprising, and Clench isn’t a total brick like a lot of G1 Transformers, and a few of the more recent Armada toys (thinking Overload and Tidal Wave – also two of my favourites, though!). Clench can move at his shoulders, forwards and backwards with a ratchet joint, again at the elbows, hips, and knees (and his legs are separate). All one plain ratchets. Doesn’t really leave much room for dynamic poses, but, hey, this guy looks great already!

Scourge, step aside. Clench is the most evil Decepticon ever, and looks far more like an evil Prime than any clone could ever. But the best thing is – Clench isn’t an evil Prime. He’s his own robot, and evil on all his own merits.

Multiple Missile Launcher –

The rear half of the truck transforms into a multiple missile launcher emplacement. The transformation is basic. So basic, it’s not worth walking through – you should be able to get a grasp from the photos. The weapons emplacement has had a lot of flak, but, in my opinion, it looks cool. I like the flip-up targeting crosshairs, and the rapid-fire spring-launched system is great. But, for me, the coolest bit is the top loading feature. You can flip open some nice chunky flaps, and stack the missiles in the launch chamber. It’s just a nice touch.

Transformation: 7 – not the easiest ever, but not difficult, and certainly unique.
Durability: 8 – very sturdy, except one clasp in the shoulder just terrifies me during transformation – although it has lasted over a decade so far…
Fun: 10 – there’s certainly not a Transformer out there more fun than Clench (the transformation alone is great!).
Price: ? - I have never seen one for sale recently, and with it being a European exclusive, I’d guess it goes for a little bit.
Overall: 10 – This is one of the greatest Transformers ever – if you can find one at a price affordable to you, then you really have to snatch it up!
 
 
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