Here we go, the last of the Power Core Combiners from the first assortment. The new ones are starting to hit online retailers and will probably soon be showing up on the shelves and pegs, if they haven’t already. Of course, apart from the Rallybot and Destructicon sets, the new figures are going to be a mix of new and repaints from the current assortment, so this initial run will likely be the last wave of completely original toys in this line. Today, we’re looking at Autobot Huffer and his Minicon pal Caliburst.
Huffer is one of the single pack PCC Commander figures, and that means he comes mounted on a simple card, in robot form, with his Minicon beside him. It also means you won’t be able to take advantage of his combination gimmick unless you have either the Aerialbot or Combaticon drone sets, or one of the new sets, if you happen to stumble upon them. The card features some nice artwork and has a little bio blurb about Huffer on the back. Nothing special, but it gets the job done.
G1 fans will recognize the intended homage here to the original Minibot, Huffer, although apart from his name, and the fact that he’s an Autobot and a truck, I don’t think the connection is all that strong. For starters, the coloring is pretty different, with the old Huffer being orange and this Huffer being more of a mustard color. Also, this new Huffer is an extended cab, as opposed to the original Huffer’s cab form. I’m not complaining, mind you, I know this isn’t the Generations line, just making some observations. Overall, Huffer’s truck mode is quite nice, in fact, I’d say this is my favorite alt form of any of the Power Core Commanders thus far, with Smolder taking a close second. You can still see two of his combiner pegs, but they aren’t as out of place as they have been on some of the other Commander figures.
Huffer converts very easily. You’re basically just standing him on his end, pulling out his legs, splitting the cab and folding his arms into position. In fact, the hardest part is splitting the cab in half, which really wants to stay pegged pretty tightly on mine. Still, he has a really nice, clean and pretty unique robot form. Like his alt form, Huffer’s combiner pegs don’t stick out and detract from this mode, which has been a recurring complaint of mine with these figures. In robot form, Huffer looks like he was heavily inspired by Energon Stongarm.
In robot mode, Huffer’s articulation includes a rotating head, ball joints on the shoulders, elbows with both balljoints and a double hinge, universal movement at the hips, and hinged knees.
Caliburst is a pretty solid Minicon and his Targetmaster style gimmick works quite well. His robot form is decent and his cannon form is quite good. I particularly like the side pieces that look like the elevation gears on a large piece of artillery and this form mounts nicely on the back of Huffer’s truck mode. Caliburst’s gun form for Huffer’s robot mode isn’t too bad either, although it has to clip onto Huffer’s arm, rather than have him hold it in his hand. Forget about the power armor mode, it’s crap. But then again, none of the PCC Minicons have managed to get this third mode right.
Huffer’s torso combiner form is pretty good, although it is very similar to his robot mode. The larger head swings out from the back and has a pretty cool sculpt. I didn’t think Huffer would look so great combined with the Aerialbot drones, so I went off the reservation and forced him to combine with the Combaticon drones instead. I think the results are pretty good despite the fact that it is an unholy union of Autobots and Decepticons.
Huffer and Caliburst sell for around $9.99. He is a neat enough little figure that you might consider picking him up, even if you don’t want anything to do with this line. If you disregard the whole combiner gimmick, he still stacks up pretty well against the Scout figures released in the Energon andCybertron lines. I like him a lot.
On a side note, I know a lot of people aren’t really clicking with this curious little line, but I have to say I’ve been pretty satisfied with it. If you go back and read my posts on the initial assortment of these figures, you’ll find I’m definitely lukewarm on some of the them. There’s definitely a few things Hasbro could have done better. And as I’ve said before, I’m probably going a lot easier on this line because I know that there are also Hunt for the Decepticons and Generations figures out there as well. I think it comes down to this: A lot of the action figures I collect just stand on the shelves (or lay in bins) waiting for me to take them down, admire them a bit, maybe put them in a different pose, but in the end, I see them ascollectibles. Transformers have always been toys I enjoy fiddling about with, converting them back and forth, and whatnot. You can actually play with them without actually playing with them, if you know what I mean. These Power Core Combiners jive with that feeling really well. They’re just fun to play around with, and I’m looking forward to picking up more drone sets to mix and match with my Commander figures.