In case you haven’t noticed, Hasbro has killed off the Power Core Combiner line. I don’t think this will come as a great shock to many TF fans out there, as the product seemed to be rotting on the shelves, particularly the five-packs. I’ve reviewed a fair number of these figures here, both the two-packs and the larger sets and they have admittedly been quite the mixed bag. None of them have ever lived up to the first Combaticon set, but I’ve had very few complaints about the Commander and Minicon two-packs. Yesterday, I grabbed one of the newer Commander sets on clearance, so let’s check out Icepick and Chainclaw.
The packaging is ok. I like the big Decepticon insignia under the Transformers logo. Both figures are carded in robot form and they fill out the bubble nicely. The back panel shows off the toys in both of their modes. I’m kind of surprised they gave Icepick here an Intermediate Level of Transformation. He’s basically a Scout sized toy and fairly easy to transform into all his different forms.
As his name may suggest, Icepick’s alt form is an arctic halftrack. That right there makes him stand out because after decades of Transformers releases, there have only been a few arctic themed Transformers. His vehicle mode is pretty cool and includes a big plow on the front and molded simulated treads in the back. This mode holds together really well and rolls along thanks to hidden wheels under the fake treads. There’s a Minicon port on the top to attach his buddy Chainclaw in his weapon mode. One of my ungoing complaints in this line has been Hasbro’s unwillingness to hide the power combiner pegs on the vehicle and robot modes, but here they just don’t look too bad.
Like I said earlier, transforming Icepick is really quite easy and the resulting robot is really cool looking. He’s got pretty massive claws for hands and excellent articulation for a Scout sized toy. Once again, Hasbro doesn’t do a lot to hide the combiner pegs in this mode either. There they are just hanging off his shoulders, but like the alt mode, they don’t bother me a lot here. In fact, I really dig everything about Icepick’s robot mode.
Chainclaw is my favorite kind of Minicon, as he’s basically a Targetmaster. He transforms into a double rack rocket launcher pod and he looks pretty good on Icepick or really any other Transformer with a Minicon port. His robot mode is nice and clean and even sports good articulation for a Minicon. He’s almost worth buying the set on his own if you can find it for a good enough clearance price.
Unfortunately, Icepick’s combiner form isn’t all that great. I used the Combaticon drones to illustrate his combined form, as that’s the ones listed on the instructions. It doesn’t look too bad, but I think Icepick holds together the worst out of all the Commander figures I own. There’s really nothing to lock him together and his torso mode is very flat. What’s worse is that his leg joints aren’t strong enough to hold him up. As a result, you really just need to blow on him and he’ll double over and fall apart. On the plus side, I do like his combiner head. It’s very distinctive and looks like it has ice crystals coming out of his head. Why would he have ice crystals in his head? No logical reason, but it still looks cool.
You should have no trouble finding the Power Core Combiners on clearance now, and I would recommend this set strictly on the merits of the figures alone. You can forget all about their combiner abilities and still add a couple of nice and certainly unique Transformers to your collection. From my experience, you can’t really go wrong with the Commander two-packs, and I know I’ll be hunting down the ones I’m still missing whenever I can.