Transformers Review: Swindle (CW Deluxe) – Part 4 of 6 – Bruticus

Intro:
            Welcome back folks, to another edition of Transformers Reviews. Today, New Planet Cybertron Weblog returns with the review of the Combiner Wars Combaticons member – Swindle.
            Swindle is arguably the smartest of all the Combaticons, although Onslaught might wanna have a say in that. As the name suggest, Swindle is the resident swindler of the group, and he was willing to sell anything, just to earn a profit.
Even if it meant selling his own teammates’ parts!
            In the original G1 series, Swindle is probably the Combaticon with the most screen time.
           
Alternate Mode:
            Swindle shares the same mold with the Protectobots’ Rook, albeit with very extensive retooling.
            The color scheme used harkens back to the original Swindle, i.e. yellowish-brown.
            Swindle also comes with 2 other accessories: the hand/foot piece and a gun.
            The truck/jeep mode looks good, though there are really any cockpit space within, which is filled up by the arms of the robot mode.
            The wheels roll just fine.
            Overall, Swindle’s alternate mode looks quite good.

Robot Mode:
            Transformation from vehicle mode to robot mode is very simple, and within 12 steps, you will finally get to the robot mode.  
            Again the color scheme fits the character quite well, exactly like the original depictions.

            The points of articulation are as follows:
a)      The head is on a ball joint
b)      The shoulders and hips are on ball joints
c)      The elbows bend
d)     The arms rotate slightly above the elbows
e)      Waist joint
f)       The legs rotate below the hips
g)      The knees bend
 
The points of articulations are fairly good, and are quite tight. The accessories can be wielded nicely by Swindle. I really like the robot mode, probably more than the rest of the Combaticons.
Overall, I think this mode is rather good.

Overall:
            Swindle is a very good figure, and it’s really hard to believe that it’ actually a retool of Rook.
            In fact, it actually looks like a new mold!
            Swindle is definitely my favorite figure amongst the Combaticons, and I would definitely recommend the figure to any collector.
            Highly recommended.


            Final verdict: 9.5/10. 

Transformers Review: Blast-Off (CW Deluxe) – Part 3 of 6 – Bruticus

Intro:
            Welcome back folks, to another edition of Transformers Reviews. Today, New Planet Cybertron Weblog returns with the review of the Combiner Wars Combaticons member – Blast-Off.
            Blast Off is the loner of the group, and functions as the sniper of the group. In the original G1 continuity, Blast Off is supposed to be a space shuttle. In fact, even his bios at the back of the box indicate, or rather gave the allusions that he is still a space shuttle, because he flies in orbit.
            It seems that Blast Off has chosen a more Earth-based mode in order to be closer to his team mates, and be “part of the team”.
            Anyways, let’s get on with the reviews.
           
Alternate Mode:
            Blast Off shares the same mold with the Aerialbots’ Firefly/ Fireflight.
            The color scheme used harkens back to the original Blast Off, i.e. dark brown.
            Blast Off also comes with 2 other accessories: the hand/foot piece and a gun. When used in jet mode, it kinda looks strange, because you will end up with a big and a small weapon on each side respectively. It looks quite imbalanced.
            There’s not much you can do with this mode, save probably pulling down the front landing gear.
            A slick mode nonetheless.

Robot Mode:
            Transformation from vehicle mode to robot mode is very simple, and within 10 steps, you will finally get to the robot mode.  

            Again the dark color scheme fits the character quite well.
            The points of articulation are as follows:
a)      The head is on a ball joint
b)      The shoulders and hips are on ball joints
c)      The elbows bend
d)     The arms rotate slightly above the elbows
e)      Waist joint
f)       The legs rotate below the hips
g)      The knees bend
 
The points of articulations are fairly good, and are quite tight. The accessories can be wielded nicely by Blast Off. However, since he’s a sniper, I was kind of hoping that he would be armed with a sniper gun instead of a normal generic-looking gun.
That’s just a small gripe though from me – just a minor one.
Overall, I think this mode is rather good.

Overall:
            Blast Off is a rather good figure, but I do wish that he would stick to his original space shuttle mode. But Hasbro being Hasbro, and I’m not really that surprised that they were unwilling to spend money on creating another new mold, which could only be used once.
            If you can look past that so-called inaccurate alternate mode, then I think you’d probably love this figure.
            Recommended.


            Final verdict: 7.5/10. 

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Transformers Review: Vortex (CW Deluxe) – Part 2 of 6 – Bruticus

Intro:
            Welcome back folks, to another edition of Transformers Reviews. Today, New Planet Cybertron Weblog returns with the review of the Combiner Wars Combaticons member – Vortex.
            Vortex is the resident interrogator. He frequently uses scare tactics by taking his victims on a wild ride in his helicopter mode, which eventually makes them cough up their secret to him.
            Nice characterization, but is the action figure equally good? Keep on reading…
           
Alternate Mode:
            Vortex shares the same mold with the Protectobots’ Blades/ Alpha Bravo.


            The color scheme is perfect for Vortex – I think the grey-purple-green-yellowish really looks good on him.
            Vortex also comes with 2 other accessories: the hand/foot piece and a gun. The accessories actually look when attached to the helicopter mode. The hand/foot piece actually looks like some sort of a landing gear with blasters.
            The rotor spins nicely with only a little push, which is nice.
            Overall, it is a good and slick alternate mode.

Robot Mode:
            Transformation from vehicle mode to robot mode is very simple – almost a no-brainer.  
            Still, the robot mode looks good, and well-proportionate.  

            The points of articulation are as follows:
a)      The head is on a ball joint
b)      The shoulders and hips are on ball joints
c)      The elbows bend
d)     The arms rotate slightly above the elbows
e)      Waist joint
f)       The legs rotate below the hips
g)      The knees bend

The points of articulations are fairly good, and are deliciously tight. The accessories also fit perfectly for Vortex.
I don’t really don’t have much complaints about this figure, and I think it’s quite good.

Overall:
            This is definitely a good mold, which translate to a good figure. Transformations may be simple, but why be unnecessarily complex, right?
            Highly recommended.


            Final verdict: 8.5/10. 

Transformers Review: Onslaught (CW Voyager) – Part 1 of 6 – Bruticus

Intro:

            Welcome back folks, to another edition of Transformers Reviews. Today, New Planet Cybertron Weblog returns with the review of the Combiner Wars Combaticons.
            As with previous reviews of any gestalt teams, this series of reviews will be divided into individual review entry for each member of the team, and subsequently, the big guy itself.
            For the first of this series of review, we shall take a look at Onslaught – the leader of the Combaticons.   
            The Combaticons, or Bruticus – as the combined robot is known as – is the creation of the rebellious Starscream. In the original cartoon series, the Combaticons were meant to be Starscream’s very own team of Decepticons. However, the Combaticons rebelled and decided to take control of Cybertron itself, until they were thwarted by both the Autobots and Decepticons.
            Onslaught is arguably the brains of the outfit, who frequently formulate battle strategies, to which the rest of the Combaticons follow without question.
            Despite being one of the more powerful Decepticons, he prefers to rely on formulating strategies, rather than relying on brute strength.
            However, whenever his plans fail, he would be quick to lose temper and behave violently on the battlefield.
            The Combaticons are one of my favorite gestalt teams ever, and I was very pleased to get these guys at a bargain deal at my local Toys ‘R’ Us. It was even more of a surprise to be able to find all of the Bruticus’s parts, all in one place!
            Now, if only I can get my hands on Shockwave.
            Anyways… let’s get on with the review!
           
Alternate Mode:
            Being the leader of the Combaticons, as well as the main torso for Bruticus, Onslaught is naturally a Voyager-class figure. He transforms into an anti-aircraft truck.
            I’d say that this is a rather “lazily-designed” figure. The kibbles are notoriously obvious. The gaps between the robot’s legs, as well as hands are very obvious. It would’ve been much better if they could’ve cover up those in-between gaps.
            Bruticus’s head is also painfully obvious, and I do wish that they could’ve covered it up even better than they already attempted. The problem is that, when you actually attempt to move the guns, you might accidentally reveal the giant head!
            While this mode is obviously inspired by the original G1 character and designs, I still think that they could’ve somehow done a little bit better.
            I think that they definitely could’ve done better with the alternate mode.

Robot Mode:
            While the alternate mode may be sub-par, the robot mode, however, is another story.

            The robot is very well-proportionate, and the size is just right, with bulk at the right places.
            The head sculpt definitely screams Onslaught and the color scheme is spot on. The backpack looks nice at the back of the robot, and doesn’t disturb the overall look.
            The points of articulation are as follows:
a)      The head rotates 360°, and it can tilt forward
b)      The shoulders’ inner joints both ratchet up and down, as well as ratchets 360° (but blocked by the backpack’s wings)
c)      The outer shoulder joints swing sideways
d)     The elbows bend
e)      The arms rotate slightly below the elbows
f)       The hips are on super-tight ratcheting universal joints
g)      The legs rotate below the hips
h)      The knees bend
 
The points of articulations are fairly good, but are hindered by the quality of some of those joints. The outer shoulder joints are very loose, as well as the knee joints. As such it severely affects the effectiveness of those joints, as well as hindering a lot of the possible poses. I’m not sure if this is just the case with my figure, or is it a common problem with this release.
If this is just the case with my figure, then I’d say it’s a good figure.

Overall:
            Onslaught is far from perfect. The vehicle mode is sub-par at best, and while the robot mode does look good, some of those weak joints really affected the overall performance of the figure.
            I won’t really recommend to those, who don’t plan to get all of the other members of the Combaticons. It’s such a shame though; this could’ve been a much better figure if it weren’t for the weak joints.


            Final verdict: 6/10.