Transformers Combiner Wars: G2 Stunticons Box Set by Hasbro, Part 4: Menasor!

 

Here we are at the final installment of my look at Hasbro’s Generation 2 Stunticons. I’ve already checked out Motormaster and the four Deluxe figures, but before we get to Menasor, let’s take a quick look at the runt of the litter: Blackjack!

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I was curious to see what they would do with the tiny Stunticon sports car, since Blackjack is the one figure that Hasbro didn’t have a G2 original to reference. They went for a purple and blue deco that matches Motormaster fairly closely and I think it looks fine. He sports a blue G2 Decepticon emblem on his hood and the windows are painted black. You can still plug his axe onto the back of the car to form a spoiler and what I like to think is a roof cannon, because… why not?

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The transformation here is still as simple and clever as always. The robot mode balances out the color scheme by exposing more of the blue. I still like the way the wheels are angled back on his shoulders and the bulk of the car’s top becomes his backpack. He’s a great looking little Legends figure.

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Plenty of ball joints makes for solid articulation and he can hold his axe in either hand. The only thing missing is a Decepticon emblem somewhere on his front. I like my Transformers to wear their faction symbols proudly. Based on the transformation, it’s easy to see why he doesn’t have one, and it was an issue common to the previous Blackjack.

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For a mold that’s been around the block three times already, I think this guy still holds up well. I’d put this one tied with the original Blackjack release as my two favorites and Hot Rodimus bringing up a distant third. But enough about Blackjack… let’s form G2 Menasor!

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So, some of you may recall that I wasn’t all that keen on Menasor’s combined mode the first time around and I’m sorry to say that this G2 version doesn’t do a lot to improve on that. Of course, my issues with Menasor had nothing to do with his paint job, so I wasn’t expecting a repaint to solve anything. With that having been said, this version feels slightly more stable to me. Just getting the previous release to stand beside him was a chore. Unfortunately, he still suffers from a host of problems, like the shoulders coming un-pegged every time I move his arms, and the fact that Blackjack will not peg into the chest on his own. I used heaping helpings of blue tack to get him to stick for the photos and even then he popped out a few times. This guy is just no fun at all to play with because he keeps falling down or falling apart.

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As for the coloring… it’s brilliant! The fact that they matched the coloring between Blackjack and Motormaster makes for a good looking chest piece, at least while he stays in place. My preferred combination here is the same as the other Menasor with Dead End and Wildrider making the legs. It works for this deco pretty well as it gives the upper half a more uniform color and makes the legs really pop. It’s a striking deco to be sure.

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In the end, I always knew this series of Features was going to be anti-climactic because Menasor remains my least favorite of the three Combiner Wars teams that I own (the others being Defensor and Superion). But just like the first time around, I bought these guys mainly for the individual modes and as a team, these figures did not disappoint at all. They look incredible on the shelf and owning them has convinced me to grab the G2 Superion set as well because I just really want a Generation 2 shelf in my modern Transformers display. With an MSRP of $99, the value here feels about right, figuring on four Deluxes at $16 a piece, a Voyager at $25, and a Legends at $10. I was able to grab these guys for $85 and that made the deal all the sweeter.

Next week, Transformers Thursday is going to go back into a short hiatus, so that I can work a three-parter into the middle of the week. It should return the following Thursday, but it’ll likely remain spotty throughout the Summer as I wait for Takara’s Unite Warriors teams to be released. 

Transformers Combiner Wars: G2 Stunticons Box Set by Hasbro, Part 2: Dead End and Brake-Neck

It’s Transformers Thursday again and here we are at the second part of my look at Hasbro’s Generation 2 style Stunticons. Last time we checked out Motormaster and today I’m going to take a look at Menasor’s legs: Dead End and Brake-Neck, or Wild Rider, if you prefer. We already saw the packaging last week, so let’s jump right in with the alt modes! These are, of course, straight repaints of the original figures, so we’re mostly going to be talking colors here…

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So, straightaway I love the Sideswipe and Sunstreaker vibe that I get off of this pair. In the world of 90’s toy repaints that usually land somewhere between Swatch Watches and a Trapper Keeper, these guys are really not that outlandish. They are, however, blindingly bright. Dead End adopts a sumptuous candy-apple red and Brake-Neck a brilliant yellow. But just in case their colors aren’t crazy enough, they advertise their Generation 2 pedigree with the giant G2 Decepticon emblems on their hoods. Both emblems are in each car’s base color against a black backdrop and I really enjoy that they match each other.

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Dead End’s deco does mingle with the outrageous by having a bright blue front bumper. It looks like he needed to replace it and went to Wheeljack’s U-Pull-It and could only find a blue bumper from his make and model and will eventually get around to painting it later, but right now he doesn’t have the money for it. He also sports some totally bitchin flame streaks down the side and teeny tiny G2 Decepticon emblems on what looks like it could be his gas caps, but that doesn’t make sense because there are two of them and he’s not a Jaguar. Still neat, though. The coloring is rounded out by some relatively sedate silver painted windows.

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Brake-Neck’s deco is mostly just more yellow. He does have a little gradient orange trim behind the front wheel wells. He also has this crazy pattern on the roof that sort of reminds me of the cover of Pink Floyd’s The Final Cut. The rear window is black, but the side windows and windshield are painted with a very vibrant blue. Alright, let’s transform these guys and check them out, starting with Dead End…

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Again, he’s fairly subdued for a G2 coloring. You get more of that lovely bright red with a good mix of gray and black. The bright blue chest really makes the sculpted detail there stand out and the yellow, red, and blue paint on the head is just fantastic. I don’t recall being too smitten with this head sculpt when I looked at the original figure, but here I’m really digging it a lot.

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Brake-Neck is a little more surprising in that he sports some of that bright blue from his windows on his upper legs and fists. You also get some beautiful silver and his chest is black. The real treat here is the Wildrider head with the purple face. Man, do I dig that! I’ll also point out here that while Hasbro has been notorious for using some really shitty yellow plastic in the past, this stuff is actually really nice looking.

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Both Stunticons come with the same exhaust pipe truncheon, which can be held in their hands or pegged onto their vehicle modes. I’m slightly disappointed that they didn’t paint them different colors, but I suppose they were the same colors on the original releases too, so maybe I was expecting too much there.

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For two straight repaints, I’m surprised at how excited I am by this pair. The coloring just looks outstanding on every level and a lot of that is owed to the beautiful quality of the plastic and the way it holds the vibrant yellow and red. They really are a couple of beautiful figures and as bright as they are, I’d say the coloring on these could probably even win over those crazy people out there who are adverse to the whole G2 thang. Next time, I’ll wrap up the limbs with a look at Dragstrip and Breakdown!