Transformers Combiner Wars: Defensor by Hasbro

Ah, Combiners… they’re the Transformers that keep on giving. Even once you’ve played with the robot and alt mode, you still have a treat waiting for you when you collect that last bot on the team and can cobble them together. Hasbro’s track record on these in the modern age has been pretty spotty. Indeed, only with the recent releases of Superion and Devastator that I’ve been able to give them a passing grade and even there you have Menasor pissing in the punch bowl. Will Defensor be another for the plus column? I’m about to find out…






And merge…





DEFENSOR!!!! Now, you’ll note I went with an even swap out between Rook and Groove to form the right leg. To be fair Rook, Streetwise, and First Aid are all rather chunky and to me make for better legs than arms, especially when counterbalanced against Blades’ more svelte form, but someone had to be the left arm, so I stuck with tradition and made it First Aid. I have the same issue with Streetwise, where I’m never happy with the position of the head and chest plate on the knee. I went with lifting it up and out of the way, but then it exposes the back of Streetwise’s head. It’s a compromise. I’m also waffling back and forth as to whether I like Blades’ rockets straight out and locked in or angled to match First Aid’s door panels.

So, let me start with the good stuff and it’s mostly all good stuff! I love Defensor’s overall look. The engineering for Hot Spot as the torso kind of blows my mind. It’s simple, but really cool, especially the way the ladder wraps under his groin and up his back. Hot Spot just makes for such a cool and unique looking torso and it’s such a far cry from the mediocrity of poor Motormaster’s torso mode. The deco works beautifully, especially in this configuration with the red and white matching on the arms and the blue and white on the legs. It all goes well with the powder blue of Hot Spot’s legs and that gorgeous red and silver paint on Hot Spot’s thighs and chest plate really make the figure pop, especially against all that black. Stability is much better than Menasor too. Oh, Defensor still has some nagging issues, like the two chest flaps do not want to stay tabbed into place for long, but at his shoulders are so much more solid than Menasor’s making him a lot more fun to play with.


The head sculpt is pure love and the silver and blue paint look great framed by the black “helmet.” The head does have a habit of popping out of the body from time to time and it feels like Hasbro could have come up with something a little better to do with those angled flaps, but there’s nothing here that ruins my fun with the figure. I should also mention that I’m opting out of picking up the Legends Groove. I honestly don’t think Defensor needs the extra chest ornament. I like him just the way he is.


Defensor’s rifle is just Hot Spot’s two guns chained together. It’s OK, but nothing special. I do, however, like the way it looks when split and stored on his back. I think the two aerials just look neat and give him a little more personality.


I really love the way Defensor turned out and that’s a huge bonus when you consider how great the individual figures are. I haven’t taken a lot of time to experiment with him “scramble city” style, but I’m sure I’ll get around to it eventually. If we’re ranking these guys by combined mode, Defensor certainly blows away the crappy Menasor on every level, but he doesn’t nudge out Superion, at least not in my book. That may have something to do with me just having much stronger nostalgic ties to Superion over Defensor, but overall I just feel Superion is a slightly more refined robot with overall better stability. All that’s left to say is that I really hope Hasbro eventually brings the Deluxe Groove Stateside. I don’t think I can afford to double dip by picking up the Takara set, but I’d still like to get that figure into the mix and see how he does.

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