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Transformers Toy Review Archive (older series, 1984 to date)
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Kamen's review: Brawn

Name: Brawn
Function: Brawn
Subgroup: Revenge of the Fallen Deluxe Vehicles

There's nothing Brawn loves more than a challenge. Luckily, working with the N.E.S.T. Global Alliance gives him plenty of opportunities to show his strength. He has a new assignment: track down the Decepticon strong-bot Rampage. The Decepticon warrior's strength is legendary, but Brawn intends to crush both him and his legend with a couple of blows of his indestructible fists.

Strength: 10 Intelligence: 6 Speed: 6 Endurance: 10 Rank: 3 Courage: 8 Fireblast: 6 Skill: 5


For some reason, over the top strong guys have always appealed to me. Thus, I really like Brawn. I actually don't remember Brawn doing anything particularly impressive, mind (other than dying like a punk in the '87 animated film), but his implied strength was enough to make me like him anyway.

Since his ignoble death, Brawn has been pretty much absent from Transformers fiction. He had a bit of a revival in X-Brawn from RiD, but has never had a figure based on his original appearance since his original toy. Obviously, I was pleased as punch to learn a new figure of my favorite Autobot bruiser was planned in the N.E.S.T. subline of Revenge of the Fallen.

Alternate Mode:

Upgraded somewhat from his original appearance, Brawn now transforms into a heavy-duty SUV. Being a Deluxe, one could take issue with his size; in fact, he's a bit small for his price point, and is ridiculously out of scale with Voyager figures, particularly Ironhide, who has a similar vehicle mode. Of course, scaled figures is pipe-dream anyway, but I know it bothers some people.

There are very few paint apps on the figure. Instead, Brawn's pieces are cast in their respective colours. This keeps him looking quite clean overall, but has the unfortunate side-effect of bringing more scrutiny of the bits that are painted. Fortunately, slop around the edges of his lights has been kept to a minimum, though that may vary figure to figure. A few more paint apps would actually be preferable. The bronze made for a solid choice; however, the bars along the windows and in the bed, not to mention the rear bumper, are all the same color. A black or silver coat would have gone far to break up the dull palette.

Brawn's single action feature in this mode is the rotary gun on top of the cab. Although, I'm not sure it's the most practical location for that type of gun, Brawn is one of the few Autobots to have offensive capabilities in vehicle mode. The cannot rotate but can elevate to a bit above forty-five degrees.

Overall, a solid, if not spectacular vehicle mode.

Robot Mode:

Anyone familiar with the Brawn's original appearance (or his brief cameo in Animated) should immediately recognize this figure as Brawn, albeit rendered in the Movie aesthetic. The sculpt has quite a few good points. I particularly like the streamlined head, which is, of course, the main factor (other than colouration) that defines the character as Brawn. I'm less a fan of the figure's thin waist. Normally, I like the Movie's pension for odd proportions; here, though, the bulk of the legs, arms, and upper chest look silly being divided by a waist-line that is the envy of the corset wearing crowd.

Brawn's paint applications in this mode are perfect, not a bit of slop, even on the fairly complicated chest area. After the dullness of his vehicle mode, the green and gold are a welcome reprieve. And you'll have amble opportunity to show off that paint, because Brawn has a large amount of useful articulation. With a name like Brawn, one can't help but imagine him engaged in a spot of fisticuffs, and Brawn does not disappoint in that regard. However, this version of the character apparently picked up a few IQ points, and comes armed with not one, but two machine pistols to offset his pugilist aspirations.

Now for the bad news. Kibble. Fairly light on his legs, and worse on his arms, Brawn fails in this category just by turning him to the side. Not only does he have half of his vehicle mode hanging off his back, it's attached to him via ugly struts, and there are only ugly ways to handle it so that he won't interfere with his arm articulation only serves to highlight its presence. Finally, as cool as guns akimbo are, the pieces themselves are utterly generic lumps of green and transparent plastic, devoid of any sculpted detail past a vaguely 'gun' shape.

Brawn has nice features, and a terrific sculpt at his core. Excessive amounts of kibble, on the other hand, really hurt his score.

Marks out of ten for the following:

Transformation: Brawn's conversion straddles the edge of being annoyingly complex. He has a lot of panels that twist and turn, yet everything slides into place nicely. 5/10
Durability: Besides his pistols, which are losable, Brawn has more than a few tabs and panels that will not reattach if broken. 7/10
Fun: Guns Akimbo are always fun, and he has good posablity to work with. 7/10
Value/Price: For the standard deluxe price, Brawn is an average figure. Fans of the character obviously rate him higher here than non-fans and haters of kibble-tastic designs.
Overall: As a toy, Brawn probably edges just above average thanks to a decent transformation, good articulation, and a solid sculpt. He loses a lot of points, unfortunately, due to poor use of kibble. Ultimately, if you're not a fan of Brawn in particular, he should not be a major priority. 5/10
 
 
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