And on the seventh day, we rested. Wait a minute no we didn’t, let’s try that again… now, are you guys ready?
And Lo on the seventh day, WE CREATED BRUTICUS!
Yes, thanks for sticking with us all week, now it’s finally time to take a look at the big guy himself….
Combaticons, Merge Into Bruticus!
Once Swindle, Brawl, Blast Off and Vortex are in their limb modes, slotting them in to Onslaught’s torso form is a quick and painless process. The combiner joints fit together fairly firmly in all cases, with the chest flaps folding back neatly to cover the shoulder joins. The leg joins are rather more exposed, but this is probably necessary in order to allow Bruticus to bend there.
The overall effect is, well, what can I say? He’s a big brute of a bot and it’s great to have him. I like the balance they’ve achieved with the combiner aesthetic on this toy: it’s clear he’s made up of 5 individuals, each limb is differently coloured and kibble from the various individual vehicles is certainly visible, but at the same time they all unify neatly enough to give Bruticus a clear identity of his own, one that nicely recalls his original appearance in G1 without sacrificing the far greater level of detail and articulation that is now possible in modern figures.
A Mighty Giant
I’ll admit when I first saw the grey plastic accessories packed in which each of the limb characters that transform to become Bruticus’ hands and feet, I was rather disappointed by them. It would be nice for a figure of this size to have individually pose-able fingers for a start. 3rd Party company, Perfect Effect have made an upgrade kit to rectify this and I wasn’t surprised to learn that they’re enjoying healthy sales. However, once Bruticus is fully assembled, the original feet – and the hands especially – do look much better than I’d initially expected. I’m particularly fond of Vortex’s hand (right) which gives the impression of a knuckle-duster. Given my affection for this big guy I’d imagined I would be tempted to splash out on the upgrade in order to get him just so, but you know, the more I play with him as he is the more I’m thinking the hands and feet he already has are actually good enough for now.
Stability is, well, it’s not the strongest point of the Combaticons’ combined form but things could be so much worse. Possibly that’s true in psychological terms too but I’m talking here about how well he stands up. With some care, Bruticus does stand alone. His arm and shoulder articulation is great and he can hold a variety of poses but there’s no doubt about it, this is one heavy figure and that puts a lot of strain on his knees. These are jointed and can bend quite a way but he does have to be positioned quite carefully to prevent him toppling forwards or backwards.
A little wobbliness here doesn’t surprise me. There’s a good reason the combination artefact is called “The Enigma”: the more you think about the process of individuals forming together in this way the less sense it actually makes. Lack of sense does nothing to diminish coolness. Bruticus is actually quite sane and disciplined by the (admittedly fairly low) standards of the classic combiners, with clearly assigned control functions and Onslaught in overall charge. But even with an agreed director I still imagine the process of controlling 4 individually sentient limbs must be somewhat analogous to playing a game of QWOP, and we all know how most of those turn out, initially at least!
The Big Finale!
Hasbro’s Combiner Wars Combaticons are far from perfect but there’s lots to enjoy about them. I think Brawl and Swindle stand up as nice individual toys in their own right, as does Onslaught (particularly if you haven’t already got his mold as Hotspot). Vortex and Blast Off are solid and functional but if you already got their molds in previous waves they’re probably not necessary purchases except to complete the big guy. So pretty much they ARE necessary purchases then since in this case I do think Bruticus is the main event.
So , I’m just going to let the pictures do the talking from here on in. Enjoy!
A few scale/comparison shots:
All we need now is the Combiner Wars Shockwave to turn into Bruticus’ gun and complete the ensemble. Shockwave hasn’t arrived in the UK yet as far as we can find, but expect more Combaticon action he does!
So there you go, 7 days, 7 posts, 5 Combaticons and one mighty combiner! Thanks for sticking with us on this journey, we hope you enjoyed it. Now, after more than twice exceeding our usual post schedule this week, we’re off for a well-earned lie down.