Transformers Review: Minicon Assault Team (IDW Generation Deluxe)

Intro:
            The Generations Series 3 – Thrilling 30, also popularly known as the IDW Generation series generally focuses on the predominant factions on the Transformers lore, namely the Autobots, Decepticons, Maximals and Predacons. However, most fans tend to ignore the existence of another faction – the Minicons altogether.
            In fact, they have not been prominently depicted in various series and media after the end of the Unicron trilogy. Somehow, somebody in Hasbro still remembers these guys, and decided to finally feature them in Generations Series 3.
            Hence, the Minicon Assault Team – for the lack of a better team name – was released. I mean, honestly, they could’ve assigned some catchy name to the team, but noooooo, they had to stick with such a lame name.
            Anyways, this team is obviously not from any cartoon series whatsoever. The backstory for this team is that they are a group of tough bots trio – Windshear, Heavytread and Runway – that are able to combine to form a larger robot – kind of like a Minicon gestalt team, if you will – that is depicted to have the power of 100 warriors, named Centuritron.
            The idea of a Minicon gestalt team isn’t exactly new. The idea first appeared in Transformers: Armada, in the form of the Street Action Team, made up by the trio of Grindor, High Wire and Sureshock. The three of them could combine to form a larger robot named Perceptor (not be mistaken with our all-time favorite microscope). Since then, there have been no Minicon combiner teams (redecos don’t count) until now.
            Also, based on the military-theme of the team, I like to actually nickname them the Minicon Combaticons, kind of fits the bill, if I could say so myself.
            Anyways, without further ado, let’s get down to the review.

Windshear:
            While there is no leader officially stated for the team, based on normal conventions, whoever forms the head of the combined robot, would normally be the leader of the pack. As such, based on such reasoning, then Windshear should be the unofficial/ de-facto leader of the Minicon Assault Team.
            Windshear transforms into a military helicopter. Being a Minicon figure, I guess kibbles are expected. You can literally see the robot’s legs, which acts as landing skids, and the head of the robot clearly visible underneath.
            At its tail wing, the numbers 7HE 7A, are written on it, which presumably to be meant as THETA. Whatever significance this has on the character has so far eluded me.
            As far the vehicle mode goes, there are not much you can do with it saves from a rotating tail rotor and main rotor.
            Transformation is very easy. Although the robot looks quite good from the front (and somehow he reminds me of Blackarachnia), the robot mode is very, very back-heavy. In most instances, you’d probably need the tail wing to act as a third-leg, to support the entire figure.
            Articulation-wise, not so much: he has ball-jointed shoulders and hips; and bendable knees. You can optionally consider that he has a tail, if you like.
            Well, there’s nothing about Windshear to shout about – there is only so much a Minicon could do.

Runway:
Runway transforms into a military fighter jet of unknown make and model. Again, as with Windshear, he is reek of kibbles – with the exposed hands and head.
Runway also cheats a bit with his transformation, with him being a slight part-former. The rocket booster is actually a separate piece that can be wielded as a weapon.
Just like Windshear, Runway too has a number – written on the side of his cockpit – VP51LN, which might be read as UPSILON. Again, the significance of this is currently unknown.
His transformation is slightly more complex than Windshear, but not mindboggling.
From the front, Runway looks a bit – strange. His body is definitely disproportioned. His legs are way, way too long, while the arms are way, way too short. The exposed back-pack/ wings is definitely an eyesore.
Articulation-wise, he is almost similar to Windshear: ball-jointed shoulders and hips; and bendable knees.
Again, he’s just an okay figure on his own.

Heavytread:
            Heavytread transforms into quite an imposing tank. He seems larger than the other two. 

            Unlike Runway and Windshear, he has two numberings on his body: #A5779 and TVCB1D6. #A5779 actually refers to the Minicon Asault Team product code. As to why they are only printed on this figure, I have absolutely no idea.

            As for the other number, I have absolutely no idea what it meant. I tried digging up some info on it – nadda, zilch.
            Anyways, enough with the investigative works and on with the review; just as Runway, Heavytread too is a part-former. Part of the turret and cannon is actually a blaster that can be wielded in robot mode.
            All things considered, his alternate mode probably has the least kibbles compared to the other two. He seems very solid, and definitely has the best alternate mode among the trio.
            His robot mode, though, is a totally different story. He’s just way to stubby. His legs are way too massive that it hinders movements.
            The shoulders are ball-jointed, but the hips can only swivel on a vertical axis.
            One huge problem about this robot mode is that the body tends to split in half too easily, mainly because he forms the larger robot’s legs. I just wished that he has better locking mechanism to hold the body in place.
            Ironically, as good as the alternate mode is, the robot mode is the worst among the trio.

Centuritron:
            When the challenges get too overwhelming for the trio Minicons, they unite their powers to call on one of the most powerful forces in the Galaxy…  Centuritron!

            Yes, yes, I made that up, but someone with a name like that has got to be that damn powerful, right?
            Anyways, the combined robot looks wicked – messy, but wicked. He is about the size of your standard Deluxe-class figures. He is quite well-proportioned, but there are hollow parts.
            Articulation-wise: ball-jointed shoulders and hips; bendable knees and elbows… those are all.
            His articulations aren’t exactly stellar, but it’s still okay for him and they can still accomplish a lot.
            However, the figure isn’t exactly perfect. First of all, the shoulders do not peg in to the main body. This could be a problem over time as gravity takes hold.
            Heavytread’s arms also pose a problem, where you need to keep moving them in order to pose the legs. More often than not, the arms are like an eyesore, protruding out of nowhere.
            Still, it’s still a good looking robot nonetheless.

Overall:
The Minicon Assault Team isn’t exactly perfect, but they are still interesting. Being a sucker for gestalt, purchasing them was an easy decision to make. While they may not be perfect, the idea of having a new gestalt is pretty much enticing to me.
Recommended.


            Final verdict: 8.5/10. 

 TeenCom

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