Look, I have new toys! New Combiner Wars toys! I don't have these guys' torso yet, but let's talk about the limbs. They're wave six of the Deluxe Class guys, aka The Final Wave. I mean, there's still a buttload of more box sets coming out through the rest of the year, but these are the last single-packed guys before Combiner Wars gets transitioned into Titans Return (aka Everyone Is A Headmaster).
Wheeljack is the most changed of these four. Though he used to be Breakdown, he's had his entire car mode replaced and most of his robot mode as well. He's 90% new toy, though he transforms exactly the same and has all the same functionality. I'm happy for the vehicle mode reshelling the most, because I just kinda feel like Wheeljack needs to look like a Lancia Stratos, moreso than most other Autobot cars need to be their original car model. I mean, it's cool that he has new robot parts, too, but that feels like extra on top of a necessity.
In between promo renders and the final product, some of Wheeljack's black plastic is now white, like his crotch and elbows. This is not helpful, since he was kinda too-white already! And so now he's really white. Don't get me wrong, he has a lot of paint -- Wheeljack kind of has to have a lot of paint, since he's got a distinctive rally deco, but all his budget went into creating that, so you don't get a lot of the small stuff like having painted forearms and whatnot. S'okay, I'll paint a lot of that stuff myself later.
Second, let's just get Smokescreen out of the way. He's a straight redeco of Prowl. Like Wheeljack, he uses up all his paint budget in his vehicle mode's rally deco, and so his robot mode's a little plain. Smokescreen's a little frustrating, because we know there are other unused heads on these guys that might not make it to retail (coughcoughRatchetcoughcough) but I guess Hasbro proooobably wanted a race car instead of a second white-and-red ambulance. S'okay, Ratchet's likely this year's BotCon customization class guy anyway.
Hound is Swindle with a new Hound head! Swindle himself was a heavy retool of Rook in the same way that Wheeljack is a retool of Breakdown -- aka, it's all new except for a crotch and a peg and some tiny joints here and there. In addition to Hound's new head, his smaller weapon now has nubs on the back so that it can be shoved into the rollbar cage on his robot mode back, giving him an over-the-shoulder weapon. (Some later versions of Swindle reportedly have this as well.) Over-the-shoulder weapon pleases me!
Where Hound is frustrating is how they deco him. He's got, like, two separate vehicle fronts sculpted on his torso. Up top on his chest is one set of fake vehicle front, and then there's a separate set of fake vehicle front on his stomach. This is so he can do double duty as both Hound and Swindle provided you illuminate the right parts with paint. However, the right parts were not illimunated with paint! Hound has his Swindle parts painted, ignoring completely the Hound bumper across his ribcage, while those Swindle parts were ignored on Swindle. Grrrr! Maybe I'll do some painting on Hound as well.
And finally there's Trailbreaker, who even-more-finally has his own original name back. Hasbro tried to make so many Trailbreakers over the years, realized they didn't have the trademark but weren't willing to find a new one, and so we got a lot of black Ironhides. And so finally, a year or two ago they were all FINE, dubbed him "Trailcutter," put out a few Trailcutter toys, and even got Trailbreaker to change his name to Trailcutter in the IDW comics. And then Trailcutter died. And now they got "Trailbreaker"-the-Trademark back for real and so I guess they can give his proper name to his corpse.
Trailbreaker has a few retoolings, but not nearly as many as Wheeljack. He's got a new head, obvs, but he's also got new forearms and new fingers on his combiner mode fist. One of his new forearms ends in a hand and the other ends in a gun, as Trailbreakers do, but they made the end a 5mm peghole so you can shove his combiner mode fist in there. Sweet. His combiner mode fist now has kind of a claw thing going on instead of fingers, which is super neat. Well, it'd be super neater if this tooling got used a second use (as Hoist?) so you could give a combiner robot double claw hands, but whatcha gonna do. (Other than buy a second Trailbreaker.)
Trailbreaker's new claw things give me pause, though. The fronts of the claw are painted, which is... weird. Other than dipping the whole damn thing in silver, like with the Optimus Maximus guys, these hand/foot weapons don't really get paint, and they certainly don't get spot paint. I have this feeling that the silver finger fronts are meaningful in some way, but I can't find any new way for the weapon to interact with the robot mode. I mean, obviously, the first thing you think of is Trailbreaker's silver forcefield generator which usually goes over his head, but you can't shove this weapon behind Trailbreaker's head any better than any other version of the mold. (ie, terribly) I dunno. It's gonna bug me.