Yeah, I bought Vortex last, but I didn’t want to end my look at the Combaticons with such a downer, so I saved Brawl here for the final feature. Not that Brawl is one of the better figures of the team, but he isn’t as terrible as Vortex. He’s solidly average. I’m getting ahead of myself, so let’s dive in.
Transformers. Generations. Fall of Cybertron. Packaging. Seen it. Love it. BUILD GIANT ROBOT!!! Brawl is packaged in robot mode, but as usual we’ll start with his alt mode.
Ah, the Cybertronian tank. Make a box and put a turret on the top. It doesn’t even need real treads! It hovers!!! It’s the wet dream of any lazy Transformer designer. Back in the day Cybertronian tanks looked a lot more interesting and bad ass. Just look at Beast Machines Tankor. He’s got style. Brawl, on the other hand, just gets by as being a lime green gun platform. It’s a design so average that it makes War for Cybertron Megatron’s tank mode look like a freaking masterpiece. But at least his alt mode isn’t a ROFLCOPTER like poor Vortex. Brawl’s turret turns and the guns can elevate, which is cool. He also stores his handgun in his turret as a little extra firepower. I’m being hard on Brawl, but truth is his alt mode is Ok for what it is. I guess we’ll cut him some slack because he’s technically a triple changer. Not you, Vortex… you get no slack.
Transforming Brawl into robot mode is easy. If you pick him up and turn him over you can see everything that’s going on. Transforming him into his tank mode looks easy on paper, but in reality it’s kind of a pain in the ass. It’s all about adjusting his arms so that the tabs lock in just right. Like most Transformers, it gets easier the more you do it, but the first couple of times frustrated me, mainly because the payoff isn’t that great.
Brawl’s robot mode redeems him a bit. Again, he’s not spectacular, but he’s a solid enough looking robot. He has a fairly clean, well-proportioned form and some pretty some cool sculpted detail, like the pistons under his chest. He also has a really cool head sculpt, complete with a faceplate. On the downside, his combiner hinge and the back of the tank just hang down past his legs and are a bit of an eyesore. He’s extremely back heavy and his legs are all loosey goosey so he’s tough to stand up. The situation is made worse because his feet don’t lock into place, so there’s no support there either and they’re prone to just folding back up. Try to stand him and he usually just folds like a house of cards. His coloring comes mostly from his green and black plastic with a little grey here and there. I honestly don’t mind his green as much as I thought I would and at least Hasbro remembered to stamp his Decepticon emblem on his chest, unlike Vortex.
Brawl certainly has some issues, but I just find him to be a fun figure to play around with. He has good poseability, and I like to think that in robot mode, he can just hunch forward and lob artillery shells from the cannons on his back. You’ve got to like anyone who can do that! He’s still not a lot of toy for $15 as his engineering is overly simple and he has hardly any heft to him at all. I get it. Oil is expensive, plastic is expensive. But I can’t help but wonder why our Deluxes are getting smaller and simpler at the same time Hasbro is bringing Star Wars to 6-inch scale and introducing a new 2-foot tall Titan Class of Transformer.
Well, that wraps up my look at all of the individual Combaticons. Tomorrow we’ll put this week to bed with a look at Bruticus and see if the toy can be as delightfully badass as the character in the game.