Transformers Classics (Demolition Team Review)

in 2006, Action Figure Review, Classics, Decepticon, Generation One, Mini-Con

General Information:
Release Year: December 2006
Retailer: General (Toys R Us, Target, Wal-Mart etc.)
Price: $6.99 (Average depending on retailer)
Accessories: None

Images:

Tech Specs:
"We play dirty." If it can be built, the Demolition Team can bring it down. Every member of the team in an expert engineer, specializing in weakening and destroying the foundation of any structure they encounter. Before any important battle, you'll find the Demolition Team on site, tunneling beneath enemy fortifications. Entire AUTOBOT cities have collapsed in a thunderous cloud of dust because of the work of these three.

The Demolition Team is one of the second wave of Mini-Cons released in the Classics line. This set is composed of entirely new sculpts, but some may wonder how two construction vehicles and a tank of all things wound up in the same set.

BroadsideReview

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Tech Spec Stats:

Strength: 9 Intelligence: 9 Speed: 4 Endurance: 8 Rank: 8 Courage: 9 Fireblast: 8 Skill: 8

Vehicle Mode:
Broadside is sort of the outsider of the team in that his vehicle mode has nothing to do with construction but everything to do with destruction. The tank mode is really nicely sculpted. The turret has a lot of raised details including the main hatch, lines along the barrels and cross hatching on the top. The lower section of the tank has a lot of line details running across from the front to the back. The front even has two small rectangular designs in front that look like headlights. Running along the sides are raised circle details representing bolts. The treads have sculpted wheels along the sides.

Broadside is cast mostly in olive green plastic. There are light green angled designs painted on the top of the tank. Along the sides are two stripes also set at an angle. Thick, orange lines painted the front end of the vehicle. The treads are painted black and there is a Decepticon symbol tampographed on the top of the turret.

The tank turret can turn in a circle, and the barrel of the cannon itself can move up and down. The tank rolls on four small wheels on the underside of the treads. His Powerlinx point is right in the middle of the tank's underside, a perfect position for him to connect to larger Transformers and give some added firepower.

Tank modes are generally simple affairs, but they can sometimes be frustrating because of the transformation scheme hampering simple things like the turret turning. In this case the designers avoided that, something I am grateful for.

Transformation to Robot Mode:

  1. Swing the sides of the tank out and then down to form the robot legs.
  2. Split the back half of the tank and swing each half forward to form the robot arms.
  3. Swing each forearm piece out from the robot arms.
  4. Swing down the middle panel in front of the tank turret.
  5. Swing down the front end of the tank.
  6. Swing the cannon back to reveal the robot head.

Robot Mode:
I really have to hand it to the designers, Broadside easily has one of the most unique transformations for a tank Transformer I've seen in ages. Normally a tank Transformer is super simple. The back becomes the legs, the sides become arms, the head flips out of the turret (or some variation thereof) and boom, you have a robot. Broadside is different, and ends up looking very unique among the pantheon of tank-based Transformers. His overall shape is a bit odd, with his head tucked into the turret, meaning he has no visible neck. Then his arms are set behind the joints to his legs, so they look like he is constantly pushing his chest out at you. The legs are really long, starting from somewhere around the middle of the robot and then going down (rather than being on the lower part of the body). The thing is, a lot of Mini-Cons have had some wacky proportions and body types, so this really isn't really bad. In fact, I think its unique appearance adds a lot of appeal to the little guy.

The newly revealed robot parts are mainly the head and arms. The head is a fairly standard Transformers head, with a top that comes to a point leading to visor eyes and a "chinguard" chin that protrudes out from the face. His arms show a bit of line and raised details. The lower arms are asymmetrical, with his right arm wielding a gatling gun and his left arm having an actual fist. I like this added bit of firepower to the robot mode since without it, he'd pretty much loook defenseless in this mode (unless he tucked his head down and fired his cannon, which, come to think of it would look kind of comical). The robot legs are just the sides of the vehicle mode, but now you can see how the small protrusion on the back become his feet.

Broadside has six points of articulation in this form. The only thing that is tough is balancing him. On a regular, flat desk I really had to play with his arms and legs a lot to get him balanced just right so he would stand without falling over. This is largely because his legs really have no heel pieces to lean back on, and while they do have sections in front for the feet, there is a slight bump on the bottom of the feet (a detail carried over from the tank mode) that makes it difficult for his feet to stand flat on any surface. He can stand upright, it just takes more effort than the average Transformer would require.

Sledge Review

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Strength: 7 Intelligence: 7 Speed: 5 Endurance: 8 Rank: 8 Courage: 7 Fireblast: 6 Skill: 6

Vehicle Mode:
Sledge's vehicle mode is a backhoe, a construction vehicle not often seen in the Transformers ranks. He has all the basic design elements of a back hoe including the shovel in front, a smaller shovel in back connected to an arm and a raised driver section in the center. Despite having a very basic form, there are quite a few details worked into this figure. The front shovel has a row of small teeth on the bottom and a row of raised lines on the top. Running along the sides of the shovel arm are angled line details that resemble caution stripes. The top of the driver section has several raised lines running from front to back and the back arm has piston details sculpted along the length of the arm in three sections, the back, middle and front. On the sides are two raised stands that would normally lower on a real life backhoe to give the vehicle stability as it works (they don't actually swing down in this figure however).

For a backhoe, Sledge has an interesting color layout. He is cast in yellow and black plastic. Most of the vehicle is black, with the yellow used for the arms of the shovels. Red paint apps are used for small details such as the teeth on the front shovel as well as the area surrounding the rear tires. Blue paint is used for the windows on the driver area and a Decepticon symbol is tampographed on the top of the vehicle.

Sledge has six points of articulation in vehicle mode thanks to both shovel arms being able to move. The rear arm moves at its base from side to side as well as up and down, which is a nice touch I didn't expect. The front shovel raises up on a hing joint and the shovel itself is on a ball joint. The Powerlinx point is located on the center of the vehicle on the underside, which to me is the ideal place for the point since the figure will be centered on whatever part you attach it to.

Transformation to Robot Mode:

  1. Swing the sides of the vehicle forward.
  2. Swing the yellow hinged section in the center back.
  3. Swing the back shovel arm down.
  4. Swing the driver's section back to reveal the robot head.
  5. Turn the lower body around so the feet face forward.
  6. Turn the right arm around and rotate the shovel.

Robot Mode:
Broadside does not have a monopoly on odd looking robot modes. Sledge is right there with him. While the center of this robot form is pretty standard, with a head, chest, waist and legs, the arms are really funky. Of course, that's to be expected when your arms are made out of shovel arms. The right arm is a bit awkward because the shovel arms angle outward. Fortunately the ball jointed shovel allows you to rotate the shovel "hand" in various poses. The left arm is really odd, practically dragging on the floor unless you bend it at the elbow.

I really like the head design on this figure. It has a curved "helmet" section with two raised sections in the center, resembling a hardhat worn on a construction site. During the late 90's, Takara released several Micromasters whose head designs alluded to their vehicle modes, and this seems to have been sculpted in that spirit. The legs are nice too. Unlike Broadside, the feet are long and the legs thick so he stands quite easily.

Sledge has eleven points of articulation in this form, which is quite a bit for a Mini-Con. He owes much of this to his arms, which cumulatively have seven points of articulation. The only bad bit of design are his lower legs. Each lower leg is connected to the upper leg by a peg. However, there is no mechanism to actually lock those legs to the upper ones, so they slide off fairly easily with a gentle tug. I'm surprised the figure was designed like this as you would imagine parts would get lost fairly quickly.

No new colors appear in this form, just more yellow (on the robot chest) and red (on the robot head). You do get a better look at the red on the lower legs and the spray pattern leading from the knees to the lower leg sections. It's a good looking color scheme, if not somewhat unconventional.

Wideload Review

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Strength: 7 Intelligence: 7 Speed: 6 Endurance: 8 Rank: 8 Courage: 6 Fireblast: 6 Skill: 7

Vehicle Mode:
Once again the name "Wideload" is being attributed to a Transformer who is a construction vehicle. This time it touches on its G1 roots with Wideload being a dump truck. The design is pretty standard, with a large front grille, a driver's section on the left side and a wide storage section in the back. Raised lines run horizontally across the back and a ladder is sculpted into the front giving a hint that this vehicle is based on a very large type of dump truck. Small headlight details are also sculpted into the front.

Wideload is cast in green and black plastic. Silver paint is used on the front grille and for a Decepticon symbol on the top. Light blue paint is used for his driver window and the sides are painted purple with lavender lines running through in angled patterns. It's really the purple that makes the vehicle since the green plastic would be rather overwhelming otherwise.

The dumping mechanism in the back can tilt back to add a level of "real play" to the figure. Oddly, his Powerlinx point is on the left side, top of the vehicle. It's a rather awkward place for the point. Definitely not the first place I would have chosen, but given the limitations of the transformation I'm not sure where else I would have put it.

Transformation to Robot Mode:

  1. Swing the front end of the vehicle mode down.
  2. Swing the waist piece down and turn it around.
  3. Swing each half of the back of the vehicle forward.

Robot Mode:
Wideload has a really interesting looking robot mode. It is perhaps the most "normal" looking of all three Demolition Team member vehicle modes, but at the same time it has some rather odd elements. The head is designed to allude to his vehicle mode with a rectangular grille on the forehead and vertical panels sweeping back, giving it somewhat of a sleek look. His face is angled and looks almost like an ancient statue of some sort. His arms are angled thanks to being halves of his dumping mechanism. The only odd part are his hands, or rather lack thereof. He just has flaps at the end of each arm with no detailing indicating hands at all. I'm surprised the designers didn't just do a rudimentary fist detail etched into the flaps which would have sufficed.

The rest of the body is a pretty neat design with the rear wheels forming his chest and a piston like detail in the center. His waist and thighs are thin leading to large/wide lower legs.

A lot more black shows in this form courtesy of the torso and thighs. However, no new paint applications are introduced here which is really disappointing. The head sculpt is nice, but without any paint applications the figure just looks unfinished. The only saving grace is some sculpted detail found on his back in the form of circles and irregularly shaped plates.

Wideload has eleven points of articulation. Several of these such as his shoulders and legs are on ball joints, so he has a really good range of motion for a Mini-Con.

Final Thoughts:
The Demolition Team is perhaps one of my less favorite Mini-Con teams. I don't mind irregular or funky robot modes. I'm impressed by the overall amount of articulation in these guys as well. However each figure could have been better with minor adjustments to the sculpt. Mildly recommended to boost your Mini-Con forces but that's about it.