Transformers Review: Brawl (2007 Movie Leader)

Intro:
            Brawl – a Transformers character that is synonymous with one thing – tanks. Back in G1 era, Brawl was 1/5 of the Decepticon special team – Combaticons, and he forms the left leg of Bruticus. Various fictions depicted as being somewhat of a short fuse.
            Brawl would subsequently return in the Energon/ Superlink series, as one of the drones in the special team – Destructicons, who would go on to form Bruticus Maximus.
            Apparently, those behind the making of the 2007 Transformers movie thought that Brawl was a big enough character to merit an appearance in the movie itself. However, as most of us may have known by now, Brawl was referred to as Devastator in the movie, which has now been acknowledged as a on screen mistake.
            In the movie, Brawl (I ain’t gonna call him Devastator, and that’s that) was merely a bit part player, appearing only in the last quarter or so of the film, and played an active role in the Decepticons attack on Mission City, only to be destroyed by half-a-robot, towed on a tow-truck driven by his owner’s girlfriend.
            So initially, he was way out of my radar, and I never planned to get any form of him. That was until I saw initial-released photos of the Leader-class Brawl on the internet. He looked pretty damn good, and the tank itself, as far as I could make, looked pretty darn realistic.
            So, in the end I got him, and it took me almost five years to finally review him. So here he is his review…

Alternate Mode:
Coming hot in the heels of Masterpiece Transformers, I’d consider him a Masterpiece as well and why wouldn’t I? The tank mode is absolutely gorgeous, and most importantly, it looks absolutely believable. 
Brawl transforms into an M1 Abrams tank complete with mine clearing blade. From the tip of his gun to his back, Brawl is almost a foot in length and about 4 ¼-inches wide. So as you can see, he’s simply monstrous. Being such an iconic tank, the immense size suits him just fine.
Now, as far as my Brawl is concerned, the main turret can rotate about 270°. Yes, you read right, the turret doesn’t rotate all the way around. Probably you could, but mine still stuck at about 270°, and I ain’t about to push my luck and force it to turn. On that note, while the kibbles on this set are minimal at best, rotating the turret too much would reveal his internal kibbles. 
The smaller turret on top of the main turret can turn as well, but not 360°. Turning the turret to the right will activate the sounds of machine guns shooting, while turning it to the left will activate a faster machine gun sounds. All of these sound effects will also be followed by the flickering of the yellowish-green LED within the translucent weapons on top of the turret. There are also 2 well-camouflaged buttons on top of the smaller turret where you could access these same effects as well. Take a look at the video below.
Light and Sounds Gimmicks for Tank Mode
As for the main gun, pushing the main gun inward will activate the cannon firing sound, accompanied by the flickering of the red LED on the translucent tip of the main gun.
There are 5 wheels underneath the tank that provide ample support for the tanks movement. All three guns are detachable from the main body, probably for some safety reasons.
The tank itself is incredibly detailed, with screws, cockpit doors, air vents literally carved onto the figure itself, worthy of any Masterpiece figures, although he may not be one. 
As good as he may sound, he’s not without fault. As I said earlier, his kibbles are minimal. However, there is a cavity in front of the tank where you could clearly see his head. I just wished that they could’ve made some sort of a panel to cover it up. Plus, when transforming him from robot mode back to tank mode, the robot mode doesn’t seem to want to stay in. For me, I just adjust the position of the head so that it may actually cling on to the side of the cavity.
Still overall, Brawl’s alternate mode is just fabulous.

Robot Mode:
            Brawl’s robot mode is just so darn awesome. He’s huge and bulky. The transformation sequence isn’t that complicated, yet not too simple either. There’s an automorph gimmick as well, during the head reveal. 
            As with most Decepticons, Brawl too has a bug-face. The light piping works quite well too. 
            The robot mode is armed to the teeth: just like Armada Megatron, Brawl has his main gun protruding by the side of his waist; two shoulder missile launchers, each on each of his shoulders; one 4-barrel blaster on his right arm; and also clawed left arm. 
 
            Articulation-wise: the head seems to be on a ball-joint; shoulders are on ratcheted universal joint, followed by yet another hinged joint; the elbows are on ratcheted joints as well, and another rotation joint; the wrists swings, and each claw is individually articulated; hips are on ratcheted universal joint; ratcheted knee joints, as well as rotation; and finally the foot pieces swing out and back in.
From Left: ROTF Optimus Prime & Brawl
            In short, very good articulations, but due to its bulk, most of his movement can be a bit hindered and limited.
            All sound gimmicks available in tank mode are also available here, plus the head-release lever, that when pressed, would combine the sounds of both rocket-launchers, machine guns and Gatling gun – interesting light and sound gimmicks.  
Light and Sounds Gimmicks for Robot Mode
            The robot mode looks lumbering, and yet menacing at the same time, and why wouldn’t he when he is armed to the teeth?!
            In short, great robot mode.

Overall:
            Brawl is an excellent figure, and dare I say one of the bests in the line. Hell, I think it’s way damn cooler than Leader-class Megatron himself. So far, I have a lot of tank-formers in my collection, but none of them comes close to realism except for Brawl. He’s a truly wonderful figure, and definitely a must have.

            Highly recommended.

            Final verdict: 9.5/10.

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