"Transformers Cloud" Brawn Toy Review

in 2014, Action Figure Review, Autobot, Cloud, Mini-Bot, TakaraTomyMall, Voyager

Cloud

General Information:
Release Date: August 28, 2014
Price Point: $90 (varies depending on retailer)
Retailer: TakaraTomy Mall
Accessories: "Beat the Gong" mace

Back in 2012, a small sub-line of "Generations" figures were released as Asia exclusives. Fan interest helped this line become Toys R Us exclusives in North America. Among the figures released in this "GDO line" were Legends Class Motorbreath (aka Motormaster) and Deluxe Wheelie. However one figure did not make it to a mass release: Brawn. This figure was to be a redeco and retool of the "Transformers: Prime" First Edition Bulkhead figure. Fans found the figure an interesting footnote in history, but rapidly moved on as the "Generations" line grew.

Two years later, Takara Tomy decided to resurrect this figure. Using the Brawn head originally intended for the "GDO" release in 2012, they brought Brawn into the "Cloud" line. Being a Voyager Class figure, he fit right in. They also gave him a new deco that was more in line with the G1 action figure. I never reviewed First Edition Bulkhead, so this will be my first time reviewing this sculpt.

One last note before proceeding with the review: In 2015 an ebay seller put up a sample of the "Generations" version of this figure. If you want to check out photos of it in box, check out this news post from April 2015!

Packaging Translations (by Doug Dlin):
What is Transformers Cloud:
This is a tale of the Cloud World, which represents the infinite variety of dimensions existing in the past, present, and future of the universe, and the dimensional worlds within them. The battle over the Dimension Gate, which makes traveling across dimensions possible, and the key to that gate, SARA, now begins!

AUTOBOT BRAWN
Even among the members of the Autobots, the police force of Cloud World's dimension, Brawn is one of the most heroic, combat-experienced warriors. While he has his stubborn, impulsive side, he also has a deep friendship with his comrades.

During the battle which intensified following the encounter with SARA, Brawn was brought down at one point by an assassin's shot, but then received new life from SARA and rose up once again. His new body has such size and toughness that his previous mini-bot form can't even compare. Coupling this with his tremendous strength, he displays astonishing combat power, mowing down rows of enemies. Essentially preferring hand-to-hand combat, he has been newly equipped with a weapon called Beat the Gong, for which he turns his hand into ball of metal. The knockout straight punch issued forth from this weapon boasts of enough might that, in all the dimensions, almost nothing exists that it cannot break.

Once he fully unleashes the power bestowed upon him by SARA, his as-yet-unknown Dimension Mode, he is likely to become a warrior unequalled in all the dimensional worlds.

Captions:

  • You can equip his Beat the Gong weapon by folding away his fist.
  • With the wide range of poseability in his limbs, you can enjoy action poses from Brawn the hand-to-hand combat specialist.
  • The Beat the Gong weapon can mount on the vehicle mode's luggage rack.
  • Recreates the image of Brawn with this newly modeled head.

Vehicle Mode:
It is important to keep in mind that this figure was originally designed to be Bulkhead from "Transformers Prime", so at best this is an interpretation of what Brawn could be in vehicle mode in an alternate universe. The vehicle looks like an SUV that has been adapted for very rough terrain. Some of the key details from Bulkhead's animation model that carry over to this figure include:

  • The front grille has vertical bars on it which are covered by a "C" shaped piece.
  • The headlights have two bulbs on either side surrounded by a rectangular shape.
  • The top of the vehicle has a rack sculpted into it.
  • The side windows feature an L shaped bit of armor over the edges.
  • The wheel covers have a very distinctive shape with a series of small circles on the edges.
  • The rear lights are shaped like trapezoids and wrap around to the sides.
  • Underneath each rear light is an "L" shaped detail sculpted into the rear bumper.
  • Each wheel well sticks out quite a bit and angles instead of curving over the wheels.

So you get the idea, a lot of Bulkhead's key details made it to this vehicle mode. It is a really nice sculpt and it is a shame that the two releases of this figure were both somewhat limited editions.

Most of this mode is green plastic, but it is a lighter shade of green than the color used on First Edition Bulkhead. Smaller parts such as the headlights are cast in silver. The windows are translucent plastic and the wheels are black plastic. In many respects this figure was meant to be a "premium" release (it cost about $90 USD at the time of release) so there are some really nice paint applications on this figure. Silver is used generously from front to back. The grille, the cag on top, the steps on the sides, the sides of the wheels an part of the back end all have silver on them. On top of that the rear lights are painted red. At the time this figure was released, this was not unusual, but in recent years the back of the vehicle is largely ignored in terms of deco, so it is always great to see something on the back painted.

So the big question is: does this mode fit Brawn? To that I would say yes. The original Brawn was a mixture of a Toyota Land Cruiser and a Jeep so basically a combination of rough and tumble vehicles. Given that, this vehicle mode works perfectly for the tough Autobot. It is an off road vehicle that looks like it could roll through a battlefield with ease which fits the character perfectly!

The vehicle rolls on four wheels rather freely. The back has a port for a 5mm peg. You can attach his "Beat the Gong" mace weapon there for storage. If you are wondering just where "Gong" comes from, that was actually the original name for Brawn in Japan. However for "Cloud" they adopted the American name of "Brawn".

Transformation to Robot Mode:

  1. Detach the mace if attached and set it aside for now.
  2. Lift the front of the vehicle up.
  3. Pull the front wheel wells down and extend the legs out.
  4. On each leg flip out the foot and heel pieces.
  5. Lift up the panels that make up the rear of the vehicle.
  6. Swing the sides of the vehicle out.
  7. Pull each arm out from under the cabin section and raise the arms up.
  8. Swing the rear wheel wells out.
  9. Swing the side panels back. The doors will curve a bit on hinges to wrap around the sides of the body.
  10. Push the hood panel down to form the front of the torso.
  11. Swing the hood panels up.
  12. Move the door panels so they wind up covering part of the toro's front.
  13. Swing the silver waist piece up, using the end of it to tab into the corresponding groove on the hood panel.
  14. Swing the arms down, rotate the forearms around and swing the fists out.
  15. Push the shoulder armor down.
  16. Push the panel on the back of the cabin section cover down.
  17. On the top of the cabin section cover, push the middle down to reveal the robot head.
  18. Brawn can either hold the mace in a fist, or you can swing the fist in and it can be attached to the port at the wrist.

Robot Mode:
Once again it is important to keep in mind that this figure was originally designed to be Bulkhead. This is because of just how unusual the robot mode is. Usually Transformers are somewhat humanoid in shape, with the rough proportions of a human being. Not so with Bulkhead. His design was very focused on his large torso and waist, which looked, well...bulky and round. His arms were also huge and reached all the way down almost to his knees. His head and legs were relatively small compared to the rest of his body, giving him a very unique form. This may sound odd, but in action he was a very imposing figure and always looked tough. Given that the body totally works for Brawn, but I will agree with some fans who have said in the past that the Brawn head on this figure looks a bit small. This is especially true if you consider how wide his head was on the G1 action figure and animation model.

This figure isn't all just bulk. Some new details are revealed thanks to so many parts unfolding to form the robot mode. First off, the head sculpt is perfect. It feature's G1 Brawn's semi-circle helmet with a face that has a serious expression on it. Other fun details including the grille detail from the vehicle mode now showing on the abdominal area and knee armor with some nice, carved lines on them. His mace weapon also has a lot of detail, with a ton of small blade-like protrusions sticking out the sides and on the front. This definitely looks like one mean weapon you do not want to be hit with!

This mode shows off plenty of green plastic, but now we get a lot more silver in the mix via arms and knee armor. Some orange is used on his shoulders and mid-body area. Silver paint is used on the mid-body area and the feet. The head has been painted two shades of silver, the darker shade is used on the helmet while the lighter one is used on the face. These colors are all inspired by G1 Brawn who had green, silver and orange as his key colors. They worked together well back then and they look great on this figure.

There are twenty five points of articulation on this figure. This includes six points of articulation on each arm and leg. I am being generous by counting the ability of his hands to swing inward, which is technically part of his transformation. I did notice the joints on this figure feel slightly more loose than those on my "First Edition" Bulkhead, but they are not floppy by any means.

As mentioned above the mace weapon can be held in either fist or you can swing a fist in and attach the mace to the wrist so it looks like his hand "transformed" into the mace. It's a fun feature and it looks real cool too. In case you're wondering, the "Beat the Gong" name of this weapon is a reference to G1 Brawn's Japanese name: Gong.

Final Thoughts:
"Cloud" Brawn is a cool figure, and I like it quite a bit. It has a certain mystique thanks to its previously "cancelled" status and the Bulkhead sculpt was already cool to begin with. It has a certain level of complexity and bulk (heh) that you do not see a lot nowadays. All that said, this figure averages for $90 at the time I am writing this review (June 2017) so it is really only for hardcore fans of Brawn or "Cloud" completists.

Pros:

  • Good sculpt.
  • Good deco.
  • Fun play factor.
  • Intuitive transformation.
Cons:
  • Proportions may not be to everyone's taste, especially the size of the head versus the torso.
  • Price is high for a Voyager Class figure.