"Generations" Decepticon Brawl Toy Review


General Information:
Release Date: October 2012
Price Point: $14.99
Retailer: General Release (Toys R Us, Target, Wal-Mart etc.)
Accessories: Blaster

*Images above with asterisks(*) and text in italics below from The Official Transformers web site:
It’s possible that the rage that drives DECEPTICON BRUTICUS to his untold feats of destruction is contained entirely within DECEPTICON BRAWL. Barely contained at the best of times, this brutal ‘bot’s anger is unleashed on the battlefield, turning him into the eye of a storm of devastation.

This intense DECEPTICON warrior is big trouble for the AUTOBOTS all by himself, but he’s also part of something a lot bigger – and scarier! Your DECEPTICON BRAWL figure comes with awesome firepower, and he can convert to Cybertronian tank mode and back whenever the battle calls for it. But when it’s time to bring overwhelming force against his AUTOBOT enemies, he can combine with other COMBATICONS (sold separately) to form a giant DECEPTICON BRUTICUS robot figure! His weapon combines with other COMBATICON weapons to form DECEPTICON BRUTICUS’s sonic cannon! Get one piece of an invincible DECEPTICON BRUTICUS warrior with this hardcore DECEPTICON BRAWL figure!

Robot-to-vehicle warrior! Converts to Cybertronian tank vehicle mode! DECEPTICON BRAWL figure combines with other COMBATICON figures (sold separately) to build a giant DECEPTICON BRUTICUS robot! Figure becomes an arm or leg! Collect all 5!

Includes DECEPTICON BRAWL figure and accessory. Deluxe Class Series 1 007 DECEPTICON BRAWL. Ages 5 and up.

2012's big "Transformers" multimedia event was not a movie, but rather a video game. Following up on the success of "War for Cybertron", High Moon Studios was due to release "Fall of Cybertron" in August of 2012 so a large portion of the "Generations" toy line became dedicated to characters and designs from the game itself. One of the key characters in the game is Bruticus, the Combiner giant formed by the team known as "The Combaticons". One of their members, the always scheming Swindle was part of this release.

The existence of a new Bruticus figure caused quite a stir among fans. For years we've wanted a new Combiner figure, and lucky for the fandom at large we now have one. Even better? This guy was composed of five Deluxe Class figures, each one with its own unique transformation and identity. Before the initial retail release of this figure, the summer of 2012 saw the release of the entire set in a special box (with different colors)as a San Diegeo Comic-Con exclusive. This guy sold out within minutes of being available on Hasbrotoyshop and by the following week went for easily double the price on ebay. No doubt, this is one figure tons of Transformers fans wanted!

However, those fans who did not attend San Diego Comic-Con would also get a chance to purchase Brawl (and the other Combaticons) at mass retail several months later. In October 2012, the Combaticon team was released as one wave to mass retail. Each of these figures featured new decos that were intended to be brighter and more "eye catching" on toy store shelves, which in turn were all based on colors used for the "Energon" Bruticus Maximus figure from 2004. This review will focus on the changes made to Brawl for this release. Check out my San Diego Comic Con Brawl review for a closer look at the figure's sculpt and mold.

Robot Mode:
Some of the color schemes on the Combaticons in this set aren't really Generation One based, but more based on their "Energon" counterparts. Brawl is no exception, but in a nice bit of cosmic coincidence, this color scheme still manages to homage G1 Brawl at the same time. Brawl's primary colors are green and black in this form with a bit of gunmetal grey plastic for good measure. Green definitely dominates, making up almost everything from his shoulders to torso, to thighs and even his head. Black really serves as a counter point to that color in smaller sections such as his elbow joints, fists and feet. It also helps that the cannon barrels that stick up from his back over his head are black as well. The green isn't a dark "military" green, but rather a bright one (next to my Bot Shots Acid Storm, it's about comparable, perhaps one shade darker). These colors aren't particularly "game accurate" in tone, but in spirit he works.

In addition to the plastic color, we have several paint decos on this figure that help round out its appearance. Gunmetal grey is used on several details including his crest, mouthplate, lower legs and the tubes under his chest. A big purple Decepticon symbol is found right on the center of his chest and his eyes are painted yellow. Compared to the San Diego Comic Con version, he does have less paint applications, most notably on the shoulder, hip and waist area where small purple details were painted onto the SDCC version. While I would have liked to see these same areas painted purple (to match the inner "glow" from the video game), the figure still looks good without them. Another omission involves the cannon barrels on his back. These were painted silver in the SDCC version, but here they have been left unpainted. That detail I'm less attached to as I think the cannons look fine either way.

The joints on this figure are all tight and he stands and poses without a problem. I did notice that the left hand on my figure holds the weapon a bit tighter than the right. Neither is "loose", but I did notice a significant difference when pushing the weapon in.

Transformation to Vehicle Mode:

  1. Detach the weapon and set it aside for now.
  2. Swing each of the feet up.
  3. Swing each robot fist up.
  4. Push the robot head down into the chest.
  5. Rotate the forearms around, then swing them up and attach the tabs on them to the slots on the back piece.
  6. Rotate the legs around, then swing the up to complete the side of the vehicle (the robot feet should be facing out to the sides).
  7. Swing the panel on the back down, attaching it to the tabs from the knee section of the robot mode.
  8. Attach the weapon to the area in between the two large cannon barrels.

Vehicle Mode:
Many of the paint decos in this form are carry overs from the pattern established in the SDCC version. This includes the six sided design under the cannon turret in front, the angled designs on the sides and the "tread" like details on the sides of the vehicle. Gunmetal grey is used on some of these designs, but some dark green (akin to G1 Brawl's color) is added in for good measure, which gives it a bit of a link color-wise to G1 Brawl. Several paint decos are missing however, including paint on the turret and a couple details on the sides towards the back. This leaves the section from the middle to the back of the vehicle looking somewhat plain, but thankfully the "thrusters" in the back are painted gunmetal grey, giving that section a much needed boost of color. Overall, I'd argue that this mode needs more paint details added in than the robot mode does. Again, it's not a bad looking vehicle at all, but the green is a bright enough color that it really stands out when something isn't painted.

All of the functionality of this mode works including the turret turning and moving up and down. All the parts fit together nicely and it's a solid vehicle mode.

Leg Mode:
Traditionally Bruticus would transform into Bruticus' leg, so this mode isn't a stretch for him. Start with the vehicle mode and rotate the cannon turret around and swing it up. Swing the cover at the cannon base out. Swing the thruster section at the rear of the vehicle down. Connect the tabs underneath the ends of the cannon barrels to the corresponding slots on the thruster panel. The connection point is revealed when you swing the thruster panel up and you connect that to the corresponding connection point on Onslaught's leg section.

Brawl's leg mode looks very much like an updated version of his G1 leg mode. There, he was blocky and his turret was in front with the cannon barrel pointing up. Here his cannon barrels still point up but they're set at an angle, supporting his foot. The connection piece allows knee articulation for Bruticus and really latches on well. The foot works well with the sides of the tank's front end to support the giant, making Brawl's leg mode quite effective.

Arm Mode:
I'm going to start off this part of the review by stating that nowhere in the instructions for Brawl was his arm mode shown or described. Also, there don't appear to be any official photos out right now showing him in that form. So basically I've had to guess at what his arm mode should be by fiddling with the parts on the figure. You may come up with something different, but this is what I came up with: swing the thruster piece up and then swing the robot legs out and back. Swing the legs down and then rotate each lower leg piece around. Swing the Bruticus hand pieces down and then along with the robot feet/thumbs (depending on the side you are choosing). Connect the lower leg sections together to form Bruticus' forearm. Rotate the double barreled cannon around to point forward. Move the connection piece and attach it to Onslaught's shoulder connection point.

If indeed this transformation is correct, then it's actually a really neat arm mode. The forearm and upper arm section can actually move back and forth a bit. Having the cannons on top also enhances the limb. Not only is it a limb, it's also a weapon! The connection point also allows the arm to move up and down. To hold weaponry, there are actually four 5mm peg holes on the side of the arm. The hand is in an open palmed position so it's more for show than any particular function.

Final Thoughts:
Brawl is one of the more successful transitions from the SDCC exclusive set to a mass release. He looks like a military character in both forms thanks in part to his color and vehicle mode. While he has "lost" some paint applications, he still looks good though I still say he could use a couple more in vehicle mode. Overall, a fun toy, a cool character homage and one that connects to previous versions of the figure from both G1 and Energon. Highly recommended!

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