It seems like quite a while since I looked Air Burst, the first release in Warbotron’s Not-Combaticons series. Well, now it’s time for the second entry in the line. His name is Heavy Noisy and he is most certainly not Brawl. I’ve got a lot to cover with this guy, so let’s dive right in…
Warbotron’s presentation with this line is pure money. Sure, there’s some pretty bad spelling here and there, but let’s just call that a little colorful charm in an otherwise kick-ass package. There’s a beautifully illustrated monochrome sleeve that lifts off to reveal a colorful window box with a grid pattern that vaguely reminds me of the packaging used on some other brand of change-bots. Some bitchin character art and a nice look at the figure in his robot mode and you’ve got a box that is definitely a keeper. Inside the box, you get the figure and his accessories, a colorful profile card, and a comic book-slash-instruction manual combo. Did I mention how much I love his name? Heavy Noisy! It’s just fun to say. Let’s start off with his alt mode…
As expected, Heavy Noisy’s alt mode is a tank and I think it works great as an update to the Basic G1 Brawl’s mode. I don’t think it’s patterned after any specific real world tank, but it certainly looks credible enough. The main body features static, sculpted faux treads and everything is packed together into one tight, solid brick. There are four indented shapes on the front of the tank which require you to insert some plugs to fill them in. They’re not screw holes, so I’m not sure why they did this, but it’s similar to the plugs included on a couple of TFC’s Uranos figures. Warbotron didn’t go overboard with the detail on the chassis, but there’s certainly enough here to make it look good.
The turret is a separate piece that plugs into the chassis, as detaching it is part of the transformation. When completely pegged in it does turn a little bit to the left and right and if you pull it up slightly you can get a better range of motion out of it. The gun, however does not raise or lower. Again, there’s some nice detail sculpted into the turret, but nothing outrageously complex. There’s a translucent yellow flip up sight, but I think that’s designed more for use as Heavy Noisy’s gun. We’ll get to that in a bit. Speaking of guns, there are two guns to peg into the top of the turret and four peg holes to choose from, allowing for just a little bit of customization. I’ll also point out here that the plastic feels great and is right in line with the stuff used for Air Burst. I also didn’t run into any QC issues at all.
Heavy Noisy’s tank mode gets by with very minimal paint apps. It’s molded in green and black plastic, which works great for its military deco. There are a couple purple paint hits on the back of the turret and some silver on the tips of the guns and the main cannon. There’s a little more paint on the front of the tank and the grates on the back. In this case, I think less is more as the toy has a very clean and utilitarian look appropriate for a tank.
Transforming Heavy Noisy is surprisingly simple, although it does require you to remove the turret, which can be repurposed as the robot’s guns and shield, or you can re-attach the gun to his back. I realize that parts-forming pisses some people off, I’m not generally fond of it, but I think in this case calling it parts-forming is a bit of a stretch. It’s fairly similar to Air Burst’s rocket packs coming off and it seems like it might be a running design element in this team. I’m perfectly fine with it. I also should note here that collapsing and extending Heavy Noisy’s arms are the only thing that gave me trouble and I need to give a shout out to Youtube Reviewer Rob A for recommending in his excellent video review that a little twist of the screws is all that’s needed to make this step easy-peasy.
Heavy Noisy’s robot mode borrows a bit from the original Hasbro toy and a bit from the Sunbow design and tosses in some elements of his own. I think the result is pretty spectacular. This is precisely the kind of boxy and angular Transformers design that I love the most. I particularly dig the way the front of the tank forms his chest in a way that mimics the traditional Autobot car style. When wearing part of the turret on his back, the cannon folds down but still peaks up behind his head just like on the G1 character. He’s just every bit a love letter to the old classic design elements and that’s exactly what I’m looking for in my G1 character updates.
The treads look great as his extended shoulders and the headsculpt is simple and yet oh so good. It really suits the character homage perfectly and sports some gorgeous yellow light piping. In robot mode, Heavy Noisy still retains most of his tank deco from the green and black plastic, although he does show off a lot more black to mix things up a bit. You also get some more grey and silver paint apps showing. He’s not as flashy as the purple and brown combo of Air Burst, but his color scheme definitely works perfectly for the intended character homage.
I’m not going to run down all of Heavy Noisy’s articulation. He’s got most of the same points as Air Burst, which means he’s got lots of poseability. On the downside, Heavy Noisy really stumbles in the shoulder articulation. The problem here is that there’s no clearance between his torso and his upper arms. They rotate just fine, but he just doesn’t have the dynamic lateral movement in the arms that Air Burst has. You can get them to point out and at an angle, but it’s rather awkward. Had Warbotron designed him so you could pull his arms out just a little bit, the problem would have been fixed, but as he is, he can’t do all the stuff I’d like him to do. Quite frankly if he didn’t look so damn awesome standing on the shelf, this would have been a much bigger problem for me.
As already mentioned, Heavy Noisy’s turret gets cannibalized for weapons. The figure is capable of holding or wearing everything all at once or you can mix and match for a number of display options. The two guns can be used as dual handguns and he looks great holding them. In fact, this is probably the way I’m going to display him on the shelf because it allows you to keep the cannon peeking up from behind his back. You can also use the top shell of his turret as a shield, by clipping it onto his arm and both guns will attach to the shield as well.
And that brings us to Heavy’s rifle. It requires just a wee bit of tinkering to put it into rifle mode and it is indeed a formidable looking piece of weaponry. Unfortunately due to a combination of the rifle’s design and Heavy’s arm articulation, there’s very little you can do with it except have him hold it in a relaxed position. The back of the rifle interferes with the treads on his biceps and because there’s so little lateral movement in the arms, I can’t get any kind of action poses with the rifle that I’m happy with. It feels like Warbotron needed to put a more thought into this idea, as I’m sure a little extra time on the drawing board could have made it work better. It’s not a big deal for me, since I prefer the rifle on his back and the pistols in his hands.
Still, with that having been said, there’s an undeniable appeal to posing him with rifle and shield. It gives him a certain armored-up Gundam quality that I can’t help but admire.
In the end Heavy Noisy is a solid figure with a couple of design issues. Everyone has their own pet peeves, so some of these issues are likely to be minor to some and glaring to others. For me, I’m so fond of his robot mode that I’m prepared to overlook the nagging issues. The cumbersome rifle doesn’t bother me, since I doubt I’d ever display him with it anyhow, but the shoulders remain a sore spot whenever I pick him up and play around with him. On the other hand, seeing him standing on the shelf next to Air Burst and knowing that Sly Strike (Not-Swindle) is coming next makes me very happy I’ve invested in this team.