July 18, 2012 01:45 am
THIS GUY IS FIVE DUDES, so for my own sanity I'll just talk about the combined form of Bruticus for now, and wing back to the individual Combaticons later.
First: I was pretty sure Blast Off's arm was mistransformed in all of the stock photography. His arm mode was twice as long as Vortex's and his elbow was at Bruticus's thighs. And for all the world it looks like you can fold his legs up in on themselves and shorten his arm. Which I did! And then undid. And then did again, but possibly with more trouble. But, uh, either one or both of these attempts left a huge stress mark across the plastic because it takes some incredible forcing to get both halves of the forearm together when they're doubled up on themselves, because of angles. And so I don't recommend that. Perhaps the first time I did it I found some magical work-around that didn't damage my toy. Or maybe I was just delirious from the joy of having him. The instructions tell you to transform him the long-armed way. Maybe he's just not a great arm and would make a better leg.
Bruticus graciously has some pegs and holes in his thighs which improve his stability. These lock him into a standing position, but I feel these are intentionally optional. If you want to bend his legs forward at the hips, you can so long as you unlock him. For a toy as large and unwieldy as Bruticus, this is goodness.
He has a waist joint. This is amazing. I mean, it's just Onslaught's, but it's still there.
Each and every limb can form any of the other limbs. There's either duplicate thumbs for swapping in, or the thumbs themselves can fold over to the other side of the hand Optimal-Optimus style.
At least three of his five components are some variant of beige. I can see why the retail version is going for brighter, more distinct colors. The last thing the toy shelves need is a wall of brown.
Like RID Ruination, the 2001 retool of the original Bruticus, this Bruticus can merge all his individual components' weapons into a larger weapon. This is excellent, though when held by the super-long Blast Off arm (Vortex doesn't have a fist hole) it kind of looks ridiculous. You can peg the extra weapons on Bruticus's back easy as you please.
I wish Brawl's foot mode had a tougher ankle joint. That foot collapses like nothing.
TL;DR: An amazing combiner with an insane amount of thought put into it, with some very minor grievances.