Armada Toy Reviews: Demolition Team

Armada

General Information:
Price Point: Basic
Retailer: General (K-Mart, Toys R Us, Wal-Mart etc.)
Release Date: September 2002
Transformation Difficulty Level: 2 (Intermediate)
Accessories: None

In a line that relies on the Mini-Con gimmick, it is necessary to have as many of the little critters as possible. To do this, Hasbro has focused the basic assortment of Transformers on three packs of Mini-Cons. These Mini-Cons are Transformers in themselves, and each three pack features abilities unique to the team.

One of the second wave of Armada Mini-Con three packs is the Destruction Team. The team is comprised of Buzzsaw, Drill Bit and Dualor. Two of these names have been used before. Buzzsaw is a name that goes all the way back to the first wave of Generation One toys when the name was used for one of Soundwave's cassette tapes. Drill Bit is a name that was used for a Beast Wars era basic toy.

Buzzsaw Review

Vehicle Mode
  |  
Robot Mode

Vehicle Mode:
Buzzsaw's vehicle mode is a earth mover vehicle. His primary colors are yellow, dark grey and dark green. Buzzsaw has quite a bit of detail in this form. The most obvious is digging device, which has details all around the edge and on the face of the blade itself. The long rectangular piece the conveyer is attached to is molded to represent heavy machinery and the conveyer belt that the saw runs by. The front half has bolted plate details while the
rear yellow and green section looks like parts of a chain that rotate. The sides of the vehicle offer up more details. The right side has a control booth for a driver, an unexpected and welcome touch. The treads have heavy machine detail in them as well. Note: Thanks to jtamoush and CrazyJetty for pointing out what Buzzsaw really transforms into so I could correct this review.

Buzzsaw rolls along the ground while his saw blade turns. This only works to an extent, and then you have to go backwards.

Transformation to Robot Mode:

  1. Swing the tank treads down and flip out the yellow feet.
  2. Swing out each half of the saw arm/mechanism and lock them to the sides.
  3. Swing up the hinge that the right arm is on.
  4. Flip up the chest plate.

Robot Mode:
Being a Mini-Con, some may expect Buzzsaw to look scrawny and weak in robot mode, but he is anything but. His upper body is huge and his arms are big and bulky. The huge fist molded into the right arm really gives the impression of a bot that can do some damange. The legs are wide apart, giving the toy stability and the appearance of a hulking figure needing the added support of such a stance. Buzzsaw's small robot head helps to offer a huge contrast to the rest of the body, in effect making him look bigger than he really is.

Bulk isn't all this toy is about however. Buzzsaw has some real nicely sculpted details. Both his arms have detailing from the saw device they form in the vehicle mode which resemble metal plates and mechanical devices. His left shoulder has the Mini-Con symbol etched into it. The circles, squares and details on his chest are welcome sights as well.

Buzzsaw has eight points of articulation in robot mode. That's above average so far for a Mini-Con. It was a pleasant surprise to find that his robot head could turn when they could have easily just made the head a solid piece that could not move. His saw can be used in this mode, just turn the gear on the back of his left shoulder.

Drill Bit Review

Vehicle Mode:
Appropriately, Drill Bit's vehicle mode is a drilling vehicle. He is mostly orange with yellow and dark grey parts (the signature colors of the group, it seems). His side windows are painted blue. Perhaps the most impressive part of the color scheme is the drill. The drill itself is silver, but an orange spray op has been applied which gives it a used and more realistic" look.

The sculpt of the vehicle mode is also excellent. The front looks somewhat sleek in the way it curves from the bottom up. However, the drill is done very nicely. Rather than being the typical corkscrew type drill, this one has many additional layers of blades and cutting implements, giving it a layered and very effective appearance.

Transformation to Robot Mode:

  1. Swing the wheels on the sides down. Flip the ends up to form the robot feet.
  2. Turn the cylinder on the top of the toy around to reveal the robot head.
  3. Swing the drill around to form the right arm, swing the other half of the drill mechanism to form the right arm.

Robot Mode:
Size and power seem to be two of the hallmarks of this team, and Drill Bit delivers that - to an extent. His right shoulder is wide and his central body is definitely chunkly (but sleek thanks to being a curved passenger section). His legs are in a wide stance and his feet are rather large. The drill forming his right arm also gives him a lok of menace. It is when you get to the left arm that things get a bit silly. The left arm is only a small stub. The designers tried to mold it to resemble a small weapon, but still, the end result is a robot who looks like one of his arms was cut off. This one detail is annoying, but does not by any means make the toy bad. It just looks really kind of sad and funny at the same time.

Drill Bit's colors work well, mostly due to the impressive paint job on the drill itself. His robot face is bright yellow with grey for the helmet portion. A Mini-Con symbol is etched into his right shoulder. A nice robot overall, but the stubby arm keeps it from being really great

Dualor Review

Vehicle Mode
  |  
Robot Mode

Vehicle Mode:
Dualor represents the destructive firepower of the team. His form is a dual cannon tank. Dualor is mostly dark grey and yellow, with light metallic blue adding in some detail. The sculpt has all the requisite tank details. Little circles that represent bolts holding down plates, a hatch molded on the top of the turret and a Mini-Con symbol on the turret all make for a nice looking little toy.

Dualor can be rolled along on his two wheels and a rubber wheel attached to a gear. The gear causes a reciprocating action between the two cannons, moving one forward the the other one back and so on. What's really great is that you can turn the turret and the feature will still work. I must confess to having been surprised by that since traditionally, any tank Transformer with a turret and a gimmick usually does not have a turret that can turn and still function.

Transformation to Robot Mode:

  1. Rotate the turret so the cannons are pointed to the back of the tank.
  2. Pull the front halves of the tank forward. Flip out the yellow ends to form the robot feet.
  3. Swing up the rear tread halves to form the robot arms.

Robot Mode:
Dualor has a rather plain design in robot mode, but there is only so much you can do when you have to have a functioning gimmick and body formed from the underside of a tank. That is probably this toy's only weakness. In terms of articulation, this little guy does well with six points including the robot head and waist. He also looks good because of his sheer bulk, and being able to pose him is a treat.

Cyclonus

Vehicle Mode
  |  
Robot Mode

No, you haven't suddenly jumped to the wrong toy review. The Destruction Team is not just a group of cool little vehicles and bulky robots. Rather, they can do more than just activate Powerlinx features on Cyclonus! In vehicle mode, you will note that Cyclonus has a gear underneath his cockpit area. This is intended for each member of the Destruction Team to connect to (one at a time of course). Once connected, push the trigger on Cyclonus' tail and the Mini-Con's action feature is initiated! What is really nice is that since you have the
Destruction Team member on the underside, you can still connect Crumplezone into Cyclonus' cockpit area. Plug the other members into his arms and you have one deadly (and heavy) helicoptor!

On their own these toys are already cool, adding their ability to interact with Cyclonus is a great added bonus.


Hot Shot loves the toy, highly recommended!