Transformers Universe: Constructicon Devastator by Hasbro

I’m going through combiner withdrawl as I await the new Power Core figures to hit the brick-and-mortar stores near me. So, in the meantime, I delved into my Transformer totes to find a combiner of old to look at. Ok, so he’s not that old. This version of the Constructicons is based on four molds originally created for the Robots in Disguise line of Transformers back around 2000. They were originally Autobots, but Hasbro used the Universe line to bring them back in 2006, recolored them in G1 Constructicon colors and viola, we have a pretty cool homage to the original Decepticon gestalt team, albeit with two robots less.

I’ve long since discarded the packaging on these, but they came in two sets of two figures each. One set included Bonecrusher (the bulldozer), and Scavenger (the backhoe) and the other included Hightower (the crane) and Long Haul (the dumptruck). They came packaged in simple window boxes with the figures mounted in their construction vehicle modes. These sets were also Target exclusives and the Targets in my neck of the woods had a ridiculous number of them available. Even when they hit final markdown on clearance it seemed like there was still an entire endcap left.

The vehicle modes are all very solid and about the size of current Deluxe class figures. Back in the Robots in Disguise line, the original issues of these molds were sold at the Deluxe class price point. They all have the distintive G1 Constructicon color combo of lime green and purple. Although Scavenger stands out a bit as having a lot more purple than green, and I would have rather Long Haul’s dump bed be green as well, but on the whole the homage works.

Two of the vehicles have some articulation. Scavenger’s scoop is hinged and can rotate a bit. Hightower has the best feature of the bunch, as his crane can convert into a laser cannon.

All of these figures are pretty easy to convert and considering they are combiners their robot forms are mostly solid. Long Haul and Hightower share a very similar body design, especially on the legs and arms, but there are enough little changes to make them fairly unique figures. It’s kind of unfortunate that Long Haul’s big Decepticon chest emblem is upside down when he’s in robot form. High Tower’s crane can be converted into the laser cannon and positioned over his head for a little added firepower.

Bonecrusher is the runt of the litter. He’s small, but a very cool little robot, and at least his Decepticon chest insignia is facing the right way. The scoops on his shoulders are a bit obtrusive, but apart from that he looks great. I really dig his headsculpt too.

Scavenger is the black sheep of the family. Or is that purple sheep? Besides his color being at odds with the others, his robot mode has two serious issues: His arms. Not only do they look like ridiculous Popeye arms, but their articulation is useless. It’s a shame because the rest of this figure is fairly solid.

Obviously the real draw here is that these guys can merge to form Devastator. It’s a pretty unique combiner system, as there are only four robots. There are several ways to make the combination, but I stick with my favorite that uses Long Haul and Hightower as the legs, Bonecrusher as the front of the torso and Scavenger as the back and arms. The only hard part involved in the combination is getting Scavenger just right since nothing on him really pegs together for his Devastator mode. On the flipside, thanks to a really clever three way locking point, the combined figure holds together really well and the Devastator color scheme looks so much better than the original colors of these figures when they were originally released as part of Robots in Disguise.

I have no idea how much these figures go for nowadays, but I can’t imagine it’s all that much. These molds never seemed to be all that popular with fans and if the Targets in my area are any indication, Hasbro overproduced the hell out of these figures. Personally, I love this set. It’s a perfect example of a recolor homage improving the original figures to the extreme. This Target set was also way better than the Walmart exclusvie of these figures, which had them all painted yellow with silver energon patterns.

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