Power Core Combiners Salvage with Bomb-Burst Toy Reviews

in 2011, Action Figure Review, Autobot, Combiner / Gestalt, Power Core Combiners

Power Core Combiners

General Information:
Release Date: March 2011
Price Point: $9.99
Retailer: General (Toys R Us, Target, Wal-Mart etc.)
Accessories: Bomb-Burst Mini-Con
Images: Image gallery of Salvage and Bomb-Burst Drones

Text from Transformers.com:
SALVAGE has gone through a lot since the AllSpark first brought him to life. A few rounds of upgrades brought his vehicle mode into the modern era, and the Power Core process powered him up to unheard-of levels. He’d still rather be back at the junkyard, but if the DECEPTICONS want a fight, he’s ready to give them one. Power up for the ultimate robot battles!

Your SALVAGE figure is already a virtually unstoppable opponent in his vehicle and robot modes. But his strength gets doubled when you factor in your BOMB-BURST figure and his four modes! Convert this MINI-CON ally figure to weapon accessories for him when he’s in monster truck vehicle mode or Commander mode. Then, convert your BOMB-BURST figure into an armor accessory for your SALVAGE figure’s Power Up Mode! And the action doesn’t stop there. With this Power Core interchangeable robot combination system, MINI-CON figures and drone vehicles (sold separately) can attach to power up any Commander figure.

Collect more packs and you can create tons of unique and fierce robot battler figure combinations! Two-pack includes SALVAGE and BOMB-BURST figures. Ages 5 and up.

One of the latter waves of Power Core Combiner figures brings fans a redeco of Mudslinger in a Commander Class two pack. Included is Bomb-Burst, a redeco of Chainclaw who was included with Icepick. This review will focus on the changes made to these figures for this release. Check out the original reviews for a more detailed look at the base figures.

Bomb-Burst Review

Bomb-Burst is a name some fans may recognize. The name was originally used for a Pretender Decepticon in Generation One. This time out the name suits the figure very well since Bomb-Burst does transform into a weapon with eight rockets built into it! I really like this sculpt a lot and consider it one of the stronger robot/weapon Mini-Cons. While Chainclaw mostly used blue as its primary translucent color, Bomb-Burst goes in a totally different direction, using a deep, translucent red as its primary plastic color. The back panel and thighs are cast in light red (but not quite pink). This color combination offers a very striking contrast to Chainclaw and looks fantastic in its own right.

Paint details are done up in yellow and silver paint. Yellow is found on the robot eyes and the ends of the rockets. Silver is used for the raised sections in the middle of his lower legs. Overall the figure looks fantastic and the colors really work together to give you the feel of a character who can rain fire on the Decepticons!

Interestingly enough, the designers had to come up with a slightly different transformation for the figure to allow Salvage to hold him as a hand held weapon. Previously on Icepick, Chainclaw became a sort of missile pod that attached to his shoulder. The instructions below detail his transformation to a "hand held weapon". While not much more dramatic than the missile pod mode, it does offer an alternative way to utilize the Mini-Con.

All of the joints on my Bomb-Burst were nice and tight and there were no problems with any of the transformations. There have been no mold changes in this figure so Bomb-Burst can transform into this armor mode, however Salvage doesn't have a Mini-Con peg on his chest so it's pretty much useless with this figure. All of the joints on the figure are tight as well.

Overall, I really like the way Bomb-Burst looks. He's distinctive from Chainclaw and looks like a character all his own while having nice, deep colors.

Transformation to Hand Held Weapon Mode:

  1. Connect the two legs together.
  2. Swing the legs up.
  3. Bend the legs at the knees.
  4. Attach the claw hands to the pegs on the sides of the legs.
  5. Use the peg on the underside of the weapon to attach it to Salvage's fist.

Transformation to Alternate Weapon Mode:

  1. Connect the two lower legs together.
  2. Swing the legs back and bend them at the knees.
  3. Swing the robot arms back and connect the claws to the small pegs stick out the sides of the legs.

Transformation to Power-Up Armor Mode:

  1. Move the arms back a bit so the claws are pointing down.
  2. Swing the legs out to the sides.
  3. Rotate each leg so the feet point down.
  4. Swing the lower legs up against the arms and the side of the body.

Salvage Review

Robot Mode:
Salvage has a much less eye popping color scheme as his predecessor. Instead of neon colors, his base plastic colors are blue, dark blue, silver and black. The blue is a neutral shade, making up the chest and legs. The black is found on his waist and arms (particularly the large wheels from the vehicle mode). Silver is used on his upper arms and thighs. The dark blue is used for his waist, head and forearms. The result is a good alternating sequence of colors. No color dominates one section of the body too much, creating a nice color balance. The blue and the silver in particular work very well together.

Paint colors used on this figure include gold, silver, yellow, red, white, blue and dark blue. The gold color is most obvious on the robot face, but you'll also find it on his legs, painting the parts that will become his windows in vehicle mode. Silver is used for details such as the engine piece on the top of his head and two Autobot symbols on his legs. The yellow and red are found on his chest, painting in headlight details and offering a bright color contrast to the rest of the figure. White is less obvious on this figure. You'll have to look at the sides of his legs or the sides of the torso to see partial designs from the vehicle mode, all painted in white. The blue color is not very obvious at first. If you look at the underside of his feet, you'll find that they are cast in black plastic. To match the feet up with the rest of the lower legs, they are painted blue with gold for the vehicle mode window bits. This is a neat touch as it offers continuity to the figure's design in both robot and vehicle modes. I'm also impressed by how well the blue paint on the feet matches the blue plastic. Often such color matches aren't the best, but they work very well here. Finally, the dark blue color is used on the top of the chest and on the middle sections of the feet, offering some nice contrasting blue tone to the brighter blue plastic.

Salvage is one of those curious redecos that has joints that are actually tighter than the base figure. My Mudslinger is hardly "floppy", but some joints feel more loose than those on Salvage, the leg joints in particular. There's only one exception, which is the head. The head slides up from inside the chest, and that particular piece is a bit more loose than the one on my Mudslinger, so if you shake the figure a bit, his neck disappears into the slot, but not the head itself.

As discused above, Bomb-Burst forms a hand held weapon for Salvage. You can of course still attach Mini-Cons to his leg for additional power ups. He looks really great with Bomb-Burst. The feiry red of Bomb-Burst contrasts really well with the blue tones on Salvage. It's a really nice visual combination.

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Transformation to Vehicle Mode:

  1. Push the robot head down into the chest.
  2. Swing the mid-body/lower body section back on the central hinge, then press it into the slot in the middle of the back.
  3. Point the robot feet down.
  4. Swing the robot arms so they point back.
  5. Swing the robot arms down and connect the forearms together.
  6. Connect the lower legs together and swing them forward to form the top of the vehicle.

Vehicle Mode:
The vehicle form on this figure consolidates all the blue parts towards the center, creating a nice, unified look. The result is that the top section is mostly blue, with the dark blue paint patterns from the legs coming together to form a unified stripe in the back. The silver engine piece is quite prominent in the front, flanked by black tubes and dark blue stripes. This mode helps accentuate a couple details that were obscured in robot mode, namely the exhaust pipes above each front wheel well and spring designs on the rear wheel wells. Both of these are painted silver and are nicely sculpted details that deserve to be emphasized. As mentioned earlier, the windows are painted gold in this form, and they look surpringly good against the blue (not two colors I would normally put together). The sides of the vehicle bring together the white details to form patterns that angle backward with two spikes on each side. They could be stylized lightning or even an abstract drawing of mountains, I'll let you decide. Either way they bring a welcome splash of color to the vehicle.

Transformation to Power-Up Combiner Mode (starting from robot mode):

  1. Push the robot head down into the chest.
  2. Swing the robot waist/mid body section back and tuck it into the slot in the center of the robot.
  3. Swing the Combiner head up and turn it around.
  4. On the sections with the front wheels, move each section with a blue combiner point up.
  5. Swing the forearms over the tires that are facing forward.
  6. Swing each of the thighs outward so they are pointing out to the sides.
  7. Fold the legs so Mudslinger's feet press right up against the tab on the inside of the thigh sections.
  8. Swing the lower body combiner points down.
  9. The Armored Junker and Truck Drones can become legs.
  10. The Dune Buggy and Heavy Hauler Drone each become arms.

Power-Up Combiner Mode:
The only "new" piece revealed in this form is the combiner head. The head is still a Minotaur looking design, which I really like a lot. There's something that's just a bit whimsical about the design yet it manages to look fierce at the same time. The head is cast in black plastic. The face is painted silver, which helps bring out a lot of the sculpted details. The eyes are painted yellow, echoing the color of the headlights while the ends of the "ears" (which really look like surrogate horns) are painted red, also offering a color call back to the headlight colors used in vehicle mode.

In terms of functionality, each Combiner joint still attaches to Drones with no problem. Each joint is still tight so you won't get a floppy Combiner mode. Truth be told, I really like the blue as a central body color more than the green on Mudslinger. It's a bit more neutral and visually clicks with a majority of the Drones better than the neon green on Mudslinger.

Final Thoughts:
Salvage is a nice redeco of a figure I already liked quite a bit. He's not perfect by any means. I still wish a peg had been worked into the chest piece and the head being a bit loose is annoying. These slight complaints are balanced by the awesomeness of Bomb-Burst and a much more balanced color scheme than his predecessor. Recommended, especially if you already liked Mudslinger.