One of two Special Teams brought kicking and screaming into the 1990s (you can tell by the day- glo colours), the Combaticons are a more colourful bunch than the slightly dull looking Aerialbots.
Although Generation 2 was synonymous with neon colours, they were generally nowhere near as retina shredding as the toys that characterised 1992 Ė 1993s European line. That said, it is an interesting choice of colours for the military group. The more serious minded fan would no doubt scoff that this rather destroys the point of the camouflage, but I think the bold new colours are rather fun. Címon, they are, arenít they? I like that although they are all different colours, they have the purple camo pattern to unite them.
Finding a loose and complete set of Generation 2 Combaticons is something of a task since their release back in 1994 so unfortunately, my examples lack the smaller weapons, not a problem for this review, but does ruin the look of Vortex somewhat. His helicopter mode looks like a bum crack without that smaller gun to plug into the front.
The Combaticons, despite their natty colours, are largely unchanged from their 1986 (and 1991) release. The big difference is the quality of the plastics. Something thatís common to a lot of G2 carryovers is that, as with modern Lego, the type of plastic used seems to have a different chemical composition that makes it look and feel a little waxy. It doesnít affect the toysí durability, but does make them feel a bit, well, cheap by comparison.
The smaller team members are, as ever, characterised by poor proportions. Swindle in particular looks ridiculous with his fat body and legs, thin arms and tiny head. The others donít suffer so badly, although it amuses me that the Combaticonsí animation models are more complex and detailed than their toys. Brawl is the least detailed out of the team, with only some amusingly etched fists inside the tank treads at the front to make him look less like a tank with legs. Vortex and Blast Off also look slightly less sharp than their original counterparts in so much that these new castings do look ever so slightly blunt.
Onslaught adds a new weapon to his armoury, as well as a new storage point for it. As with Sideswipe and Jazz, Onslaught has a child friendly missile launcher which can be held in his hand or mounted on top of the canons in vehicle mode. It adds a little extra play value, but does feel like a bit of an unnecessary addition, perhaps just thrown in as combination was at the time, not enough of a gimmick. As with a lot of Generation 2 toys, Onslaught needlessly has his name stickered on him. A strange tick of the G2 era (I didnít mind the tampographed faction symbols) it seems a strained attempt to modernise the figures which even with their funky colours do look like the product of another era.
In terms of playability, the Combaticons like pretty much every post í85 Transformer, lend themselves to quick change and repeated play. Their overall simplicity and the greater use of plastic means they have much greater durability than the likes of the earlier, more fragile Diaclone and Microman sourced Transformers.
Bruticus himself actually looks great. I think this is mainly due to switching the gestalt mode parts to black, which set against those bright colours really give him a bit of pizazz. As a gestalt himself, he is a successful and sturdy amalgamation of his five components. Best of all, he is relatively kibble free. He doesnít look as bulky as his warrior status demands, but is nevertheless one of the best examples of the Special Teams.
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