Alrighty folks, Transformers Thursday is back in business. Sorry about last week, but taking Thanksgiving off was necessary for my sanity. Today I pulled a random figure from one of the many Transformers drawers and low and behold it is Demolisher from Transformers Armada. Ah, the Armada days. I took to this line like crack, and it was not uncommon for me to make midnight runs to three different Walmarts just to hunt down a pointless Powerlinx repaint of a figure that I already owned. I was in pretty deep. As a result, let’s check out both versions of Deluxe Class Demolisher. There’s no packaging to look at, so let’s just skip to the alt mode.
Demolisher’s vehicle mode is some kind of crazy mobile-missile-launcher-tank-thingy. As a rule, Armada tended to be fairly grounded in many of its alt modes, but Demolisher is an example of the designers letting their freak flags fly and I like it. I think a lot of my love for this toy has to do with it just being an unabashed war machine. Also, I won’t deny that the giant Decepticon emblem molded into the front tickles my fancy. While Robots in Disguise fiddled about with Predacons (and a few proper Decepticons), Armada brought the Decepticons back in full force and it was good to see this emblem on all the bad guys again. I really loved the way the Armada toys had the emblems included as part of the sculpt, rather than just paint apps or tampos. It may seem like an odd detail to fixate on, but then I’m a pretty odd guy. The mold here is crazy with sculpted detail, particularly on the tread covers. Hasbro did not skimp on the details here, nor were they frugal with the paint apps. I can’t even imagine a Deluxe Transformer nowadays having this much color. There’s even a paint wash over certain parts to further enhance the sculpting. This toy is just loaded with reasons why I still love Armada so much.
Of course, it’s hard to not love Armada when you get a little Transformer with each figure. In this case, Demolisher came with Blackout. He’s a little military truck with a simple and clean looking robot mode, but sadly not much of a face. He also has guns for hands, which if you’re a Decepticon, probably comes in handy. HA! I said it comes in HANDY! Obviously Blackout skipped the face line and got on the gun-arm line twice. Probably a good choice. Anyway, in terms of Minicon design, you can’t get much better than Blackout. He’s just a fun and solid little guy.
Before we get to Demolisher’s robot mode, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that there’s some pretty good play value packed into this Demolisher’s alt mode. His turret swivels, he can fire off two of his four missiles via the Minicon port, he can angle his top guns into various positions including to cover his own back. There’s also two ways Blackout can interact with him. In his truck mode, Blackout will plug right into the front to give Demolisher some chin guns and there’s a button on the back to eject him. There’s also a fold out seat in the back, which Blackout can use in robot mode. I love this last part because having the little bot operate the bigger bot in vehicle mode is so very Headmastery in concept. Headmastery. It’s a word. Look it up. Actually, it isn’t… so don’t.
Demolisher’s transformation is pretty simple, but still features some clever engineering, and man do I love his robot mode. He looks like the love child of a Transformer and a MechWarrior robot. The missiles coming up off the top of his shoulders look suitably imposing and the five gun barrels from his alt mode make up each of his hands. Let me rephrase that… HOLY SHIT, DEMOLISHER HAS GUNS FOR FINGERS!!! If that’s not cool enough for you, you can mis-transform his arms so that he still has his guns and missile launchers while in robot mode. It really plays off on the whole Mechwarrior vibe and I love it. This is a Decepticon that I would want alongside me in a fight. He’s just a lumbering machine of death.
The only gripe I’ve ever had with Demolisher is his head sculpt. Armada had some really questionable head sculpts, and Demolisher’s gritting teeth, black face and giant green left eye have always left me a little wanting. I can’t deny he has a lot of personality, but the portrait lacks the detail of the rest of the toy. That having been said, it’s kind of grown on me over the years.
Of course, many of the Armada figures were repainted into Powerlinx versions. I’m usually fine with repaints when they are used to make a new character, but repainting a figure to replace an existing figure as the same character doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to me. Of course, that didn’t stop me from buying all the Powerlinx figures. In this case, Powerlinx Demolisher is a rather unnecessary repaint because I don’t think the recolor does him much justice. It’s not better, just different. The gold plating on the front looks good, and I don’t mind the maroon plastic replacing the tan, but the white camo-motif is pretty weird. I just don’t get what they were going for here. A much better repaint was released later on in the G1 Constructicon colors. It’s a beautiful figure, but one that I sadly lost in a flood about five years back. I don’t mean it was swept away by flood tides. I mean the storage flooded and the boxes were saturated with mold and had to be destroyed. As much as I wanted to save the toys in them, I wasn’t willing to risk getting tuberculosis in the attempt. I’ll have to replace him eventually.
Demolisher is about as fun a Transformer figure as I can think of. He’s chunky and packed with sculpted detail and play features. The engineering may have gotten more sophisticated over the years, but if I were a kid I’d much rather play with this guy than most of the Deluxe figures we’ve had in the last couple of years. There are plenty of figures from the Armada days that haven’t aged all that well, but I certainly don’t think that Demolisher here is one of them. In fact, I was quite surprised how much enjoyment I got out of pulling him out for this feature and playing around with him again. It made me want to put all my Deluxe Armada figures out on display again, and I even started eyeing some shelves to see if a display rotation was in order. Then again, if I do put my Armada Deluxes out it means I’d have to see this guy again. Maybe it’s not worth it.
I like the face and the finger-guns!
He could be shaking your hand. Like, “Hey Bot, how’s it hanging?” And then BAM! You’re finger-gunned!
You DON’T want Demolisher to give you the finger!