Well, looks like I was able to get Transformers Thursdays kick-started a little early thanks to this big box of garishly colored plastic that arrived on my stoop earlier in the week. Lest you think Hasbro isn’t willing to take risks these days, I present to you the Combiner Wars Stunticons in those glorious Generation 2 colors that never actually saw official release here in the US. That is, until someone recently dropped an obscene amount of money on an un-circulated set via Ebay. It’s worth noting that this is actually the second G2-inspired Combiner Wars set Hasbro has sent to retail, the first being the Aerialbots, which I will probably get to eventually. Now, I was already out of buying Transformers and in college by the time G2 hit the shelves around 1991, but it’s impossible for me not to fall in love with the vivid coloring that the line used. Today I’m going to start with a look at the packaging and Motormaster…
The box is somewhat reminiscent to the packaging Takara uses for their Unite Warriors giftsets, although this one is a completely enclosed box with no window or front flap. Still, it’s impressively large and features very nice artwork on the front and the back shows the combined Menasor mode. It doesn’t actually make the connection to the G2 homage anywhere on the box, so anyone buying this set sight unseen and expecting to get the regular Stunticons will be in for a delightful or horrific surprise, depending on their personal tastes.
Inside the box, the six figures come packaged in their vehicle modes, just like the old G1 giftsets and I wouldn’t have it any other way. The weapons and combiner parts are laid out beside each figure. The box also contains an instruction sheet and a collectible character card for Menasor. Just look at these lovelies! They look like they would be right at home cruising the streets in GTA: Vice City. This is so damn cool!
A far cry from his drab black and gray G1-style deco, Motormaster’s cab now sports snazzy purple and two-tone blue coloring with stylish red stripes running down the sides. You also still get some of that great silver paint on the front grill and the smokestacks and the wheels are still black. I’ll also point out that they did a fairly good job matching the purple plastic on the corners with the purple paint on the rest of the cab. Although, I still wish they could have painted in the rest of the windows to match, even if it meant bumping up the price of the set a little bit. I don’t have anything new to say about the cab mode itself. It holds together pretty well and I’m surprised the Third Parties haven’t come out with trailers for Motormaster yet. Right now, they could get two versions out of whatever mold they cooked up. Four, if you count the two Optimus Primes. GET ON IT, DUDE’S!!!
Wow… he’s breathtaking! I mean, holy hell does he just pop! In robot mode, the new deco carries over from the cab with few surprises. You do get more blue showing than purple and the extra red paint hits really makes for a striking touch. It’s fascinating to see the profound differences that a drastic new color scheme makes, especially over a figure that was essentially just monochrome black and gray with a little purple. And the fact that there’s still a fair amount of purple and black means that this deco still works quite well for me as a Decepticon. Also, it feels like this figure was built off the updated mold with the more forgiving hip ratchets.
The vibrant silver paint used on the face is as eye catching as ever and there’s that epic G2 Decepticon emblem stamped right in the middle of his chest. I’ve got to admit, I never thought I’d see it on a modern toy that wasn’t some kind of Con Exclusive. It’s so damn cool to see that this is a regular retail release.
Motormaster includes the same two weapons that came with his original Combiner Wars release: His gun and sword. There’s really nothing new to be said about these. They feature the same brilliant silver paintwork and can combine with each other to form the larger Menasor sword.
What can I say, other than I am smitten with this guy. Granted, this mold has had its ups and downs with me. I didn’t care for it as Optimus Prime, mostly because of the big arms and the unpainted corners of the cab. But when it was released as Motormaster, I was totally on board and it still holds up for me just fine with this new release. The larger arms suit Motormaster’s brutish nature and both of the color schemes work perfectly for me. Sure, the first release will still be representing on my Combiner Wars shelves, but I’m already planning a second shelf for these G2 re-releases. This is simply a gorgeous figure and a wonderful homage to that quirky span of Transformers that held the franchise together until something new came along. I really can’t thank Hasbro enough for bringing this out, and you know what’s great? I still have five more figures to look at! Next Thursday, I’ll be back to check out a pair of limbs!