Release Date: January 2014
Price Point: $14.99
Retailer: General Release (Toys R Us, Target, Wal-Mart etc.)
Accessories: Dual barreled cannon, Tank cannon, Machine Gun
*Images above with asterisks(*) and text in italics below from Amazon.com:
When you need a target reduced to a smoldering heap of scrap metal, the Mini-Con Assault Team has the power to get it done. Their combined Centuritron mode is an unstoppable unit of pure destructive force, a walking weapon said to have the power of 100 warriors. Convert, arm and attack with all the Transformers action you can handle! This Mini-Con Assault Team set includes Windshear, Heavytread and Runway Mini-Con figures.
Individually, they're just the team to create trouble. But when they need to unleash a devastating attack, combine them into Centuritron mode, where their force is gathered together to form a massive robot warrior! Whatever mode the Mini-Con Assault Team is in, their enemies will think twice before taking them on!
- Mini-Con Assault Team set lets you create Windshear, Heavytread and Runway vehicles
- Combine them to form 1 Centuritron robot warrior
- Comic book included
Series 2 #013 Mini-Con Assault Team
Ages 5 and up Transformers and all related characters are trademarks of Hasbro.
The concept of "Mini-Cons" was first introduced in the "Armada" toy line. These small Transformers acted as power boosters, tools and more for larger Transformers. Over the years, they have come and gone. Most recently Japan brought Mini-Cons back (as "Microns") in their release of "Transformers Prime" figures. However, those were largely simple model kits, and not the more sturdy Mini-Con action figures seen in the past. As part of the IDW Publishing comic books series, a race of warring robots was introduced. These small robots could combine with each other and form larger robots (something certain Mini-Cons were able to do as well). Now the concept has been reintroduced into the toy line via "Generations", featuring a three pack of Mini-Cons: Heavytread, Runway and Windshear. These three each have a robot and vehicle mode but also have the ability to merge into a robot named Centuritron. In that sense, these Mini-Con figures serve a bit of a dual purpose. You can imagine them being Mini-Cons in the "Armada" universe (after all, they're in the same wave as Armada Starscream) or as the non-Cybertronian robots introduced in the IDW Publishing Comics.
Since this trio is a rather unusual pack of figures in this line, I'll first review Centuritron (which is the way the toys are packaged). I'll then go into each Mini-Con individually and cover how to combine them into Centuritron. In other words, hold on tight - this is going to be a thorough review!
Whenever you combine three vehicles and/or robots into one larger one, you're going to have to face the issue of having some parts on your robot look like bits of vehicles mashed up against each other. Centuritron does have this issue, but in all honesty it does not detract from the appearance of the robot. To the point, Centuritron looks exacty like what he is: a combination of a tank jet and helicopter. The legs and waist area are comprised of Heavytread's parts, which include treads on the lower legs. The middle section is formed from Runway, complete with a jet cockpit forming the middle of the robot in front and the wings forming most of the torso. Windshear completes the picture with a helicopter cockpit sitting right on top of the jet cockpit in the middle and of course he forms Centuritron's head. The design may sound odd, but it works. This is partly thanks to all the vehicles having a common "battle" oriented theme, so putting them on he same team makes sense. It also helps that while there may be a mash up of vehicle parts happening here, all the designs are symmetrical and even. The jet cockpit for instance forms a nice, upward "V" shape on the torso and the arms are mirror images of each other, without need for compromise such as having one formed from the tail end of the helicopter or some other asymmetrical design.
The head sculpt on Centuritron is a very distinct one. It does follow the Transformers convention of a "helmet" section wrapped around a face but the "helmet" area is quite distinct, with a V shaped design that starts at the nose and curves upward to points at the back of the head. Other small details that I like include the design of his legs, which are very angular and thick, giving him a powerful appearance. For those curious, Centuritron's size is that of a small Deluxe figure in the combined form. Not bad, for a robot comprised of three Mini-cons!
Centuritron's weapon is the combined form of the weapons from each team member. The base is a dual barreled cannon, the middle is the tank cannon from Heavytread and the top is a machine gun from Windshear. I can only imagine the devastating amount of firepower this thing can unleash at one time!
It may or may not have been intentional but Centuritron borrows his color scheme seems to borrow heavily from robots known as "Centurions" in the original "Transformers" animated series. These robots were largely green, had some black details but were mostly drones, not sentient robots. Centuritron's primary colors are dark green and black with some dark silver tossed in for variety. The black and the green alternate quite a bit if you go top down. The head and upper arms are black, but the forearms and mid-body are green, then he lower legs are black but the feet are green and so on. Yellow is used to fill in a lot of detailing including the cockpit windows of Runway and Windshear, but also the eyes, the crest on the head and the sides of the knee armor. Grey is used for the face. It was a smart move to make sure each Mini-Con in this team had a similar color scheme, allowing Centuritron to look like one unified form in this mode rather than a mish mash of different colors. The colors also convey a military theme, which is quite appropriate given the vehicle modes of each team member.
Centuritron has ten points of articulation in this form. This includes two on each arm and three on each leg. Understandably, he doesn't have certain points like waist articulation or a ton of swivel joints. Given what goes into forming the robot mode this is understandable for a figure of this scale. I will say what articulation he does have works well for the figure including shoulder, elbow and knee joints. Each of his hands have 5mm ports in them. The combined weapon actually winds up with extra pegs on the top and sides, allowing you to attach even more weaponry - though at that point it'd probably be too heavy for him to hold up properly.
Transformation to Vehicle Modes:
- Pull the top part with the rotor and head off, be careful with the helicopter cockpit as it has a tendency to pop off.
- Swing the panel with the helicopter rotor up, push Centuritron's head in and close the panel.
- Swing the helicopter cockpit up.
- Swing the helicopter tail up.
- Attach the sides of the helicopter to the tabs on the main body.
- Swing the legs up and tuck them under the side sections (where you can see the robot arms).
- Attach the machine gun weapon to the underside of the helicopter cockpit.
- Splay out the blades of the helicopter and Windshear's vehicle mode is complete.
- Pull the middle section of Centuritron out.
- Swing the jet cockpit up.
- Swing the panel on the top of each of Centuritron's forearms to cover the fists.
- Swing each of Centuritron's forearms into the upper arms.
- Tuck the arms under the bottom of the jet.
- Connect each of Runway's arms to the tabs on the sides of his legs (formerly Centuritron's arms).
- Attach the dual barreled weapon to the back of the jet and Runway is now in vehicle mode!
- Take the remaining piece of Centuritron (the legs) and push the two halves of his feet together.
- Push the two halves of Heavytread's body together.
- Attach one of the side pegs on the remaining weapon to one of Heavytread's fists.
- Swing both of Heavytread's arms together, attaching the other peg to his other fist in the process.
- Swing the panels on the sides back to form the sides of the tank and Heavytread's transformation is complete.
Heavytread (Vehicle Mode):
Heavytread's vehicle mode is a tank. In this form he looks roughly the size of a small Commander Class Cyberverse figure and definitely larger than a Legion Class figure, making him bigger than your average Mini-Con. This is quite appropriate for a brutish looking vehicle such as this and it makes sense he would form the base of the combined robot mode. The tank has a lot of details including armor plating on the isdes, a hatch on the turret and even a small three barreled launcher on the right side. The front section has a set of claw-like panels in the front that act as mine plows. Other details include tread details on the sides and bottom.
For those curious, Heavytread measures about 3 inches long (7.6 centimeters) and almost 1.5 inches wide (3.8 centimeters). That makes him larger than the average Mini-Con, which of course makes sense since he forms the bottom of the combined robot.
Heavytread is cast in black and dark green plastic. Green paint is used for the barrel of the turret. Right under the base of the turret are yellow details. On the left side of the turret is a Mini-Con symbol in yellow. The alphanumeric "TVCB1D6" is also on the side, but I am unsure of its significance.
There are four small wheels on the bottom of the vehicle, allowing it to roll along on a hard surface. The top of the turret has a Mini-Con port, allowing you to attach extra weapons or other Mini-Cons. Due to the way the turret is formed, it cannot turn so it's stuck pointing forward.
Transformation to Robot Mode:
- Swing the rear, side panels of the tank down.
- Swing up both halves of the robot feet.
- Swing the sides of the turret out to form the robot arms.
- Attach the turret weapon to one of the fists.
Heavytread (Robot Mode):
Heavytread is one chunky robot in this form. His torso, arms, legs and even his head are rather wide. He has an interesting head sculpt, with one eye looking like a monocle is over it (more likely a targeting scope of some sort). His body is fairly layered complete with angled panels and armor. The armor looks thick and I'd definitely say he's the most heavily armored member of the Centuritron team.
In this form, we wind up seeing a lot more green plastic thanks to his upper body and feet. The rest is black plastic. His face is painted grey and his knee armor is yellow. The "helmet" section of his head is painted black. The color scheme is fairly simple and not particularly striking - but it serves the purpose of this "military themed" robot.
Heavytread has five points of articulation in this form. This includes his arms, which are ball jointed and his legs, which can swing forward. Surprisingly, his head can swing up and down, giving him limited head articulation. Mini-Cons in general aren't the most articulated Transformers out there, and all things considered this guy is moves pretty well. Even better, he can hold his weapon up without a problem. Both his fists have 5mm posts, allowing him to hold extra weapons.
Between his bulk, weaponry and size, Heavytread makes for one powerful looking Mini-Con. He's a fun toy too and I'm glad the designers used 5mm ports on him, allowing you to upgrade his weaponry.
Runway (Vehicle Mode):
Runway is a name that was used for a few different Mini-Con toys in the past. This time out he's less friendly before, but still a jet fighter. The jet is an imaginary one, but seems to have elements of the F-22 Raptor including the distinct "W" shaped patterns seen on that jet. You'll find these patterns on the air intakes on the top of the vehicle and on the thrusters in the back. He has stabilizers on the sides of the cockpit and on the wings. Two of the more distinctive elements on this figure are the thrusters and weaponry. His thrusters are huge, making up most of the middle to rear section of the vehicle (no surprise since it's formed from part of Centuritron's weapon). His weaponry comes from the robot arms, which are tucked underneath the wings and stick out in the front. There, blasters connected to the robot shoulders point forward, a detail reminscent of Thunderwing. He also appears to have machine gun ports in the form of small notches on the nosecone. Overall the vehicle mode has some really nice detailing.
Runway is cast in green, black and soft silver plastic. Green is the main color, making up almost the entire jet except for the nosecone, boosters and the robot arms. The silver is used for the nosecone. Yellow paint is used on the cockpit windows and the top of the air intakes. A yellow Mini-Con symbol can be found on the top of the left wing. It's a pretty simple color scheme and I wish there had been some type of color on the boosters since there is a lot of nicely sculpted detail in there.
There are two 5mm ports on the sides of the vehicle that allow you to attach extra weapons. On the top of the boosters is a Mini-Con peg in the middle, allowing you to attach extra weapons or even another Mini-Con. The bottom of the figure has a Mini-Con port, allowing you to attach Runway himself to another Transformer with a compatible port. I appreciate how such a simple set of connectors adds so much functionality to one little figure. He's not just a Mini-Con in name but incorporates classic Mini-Con play patterns from the "Unicron Trilogy" series.
Transformation to Robot Mode:
- Detach the boosters and set them aside for now.
- Flip the vehicle over and pull the robot legs down.
- Swing out the front of the robot feet.
- Swing down the cockpit to form the torso.
- Attach the weapon to either robot arm.
Runway (Robot Mode):
Runway's robot mode is an interesting design. It's both sleek and bulky all at the same time. The head is narrow with a triangular face, echoing the design of the triangular nosecone that makes up most of the upper body. The arms are also somewhat thin and curved, but then we get to the legs and they are rather thick. That doesn't mean they're blocky. Indeed, they have a really nice curved pattern sculpted into them. Combined with the sheer size of his weapon (relative to his arms) and you get a robot that is a combination of both sleek and powerful looking detailing. It's a really nice design.
Like the vehicle mode, this mode is mostly green, but black plastic is still very much present. You'll find it on the arms, thighs, feet and of course his weapon. The face is painted grey and the cockpit on his chest brings a splash of yellow color to the otherwise dark robot mode. The alphanumeric code "VP51LN" is printed on the left side of the cockpit, though its significance is not readily apparent.
There are eight points of articulation in this mode, with three in each leg (counting the feet) and one on each arm. The hip and shoulder joints are ball joints, allowing for a good range of motion. Each forearm has a 5mm port in it, allowing you to attach his own weapon and another. However, you can attach yet another weapon to his weapon and so on. Of course, there will come a point wher ethe weapons are too heavy for the arms to stay up, but it is fun to toy around with.
Runway is a nice design and I really like the way he looks. I do wish he had a few more paint applications, but that's my biggest complaint.
Windshear (Vehicle Mode):
Wind Shear's vehicle mode looks to be based largely on the Apache helicopter, complete with its distinctive two-man cockpit with a cockpit cover indicating tiers of seating. The helicopter blades splay out two four altogether and there are engines mounted on the sides. The tail section has a horizontal stabilizer on top with a rotor on the left side. It's a good looking helicopter, but it is undermined a bit by the robot mode's lower legs right under the engines on the sides. You can't even really try to visually rationalize them as part of the vehicle mode, they simply look too much like legs. I found myself wishing there was one more joint so they could swing in and tuck under the main body of the helicopter somewhat.
The vehicle mode has some nice detailing. Among my favorites are the booster details on the engines, small mechanical details at the base of the rotor blades and the air intakes on the sides. His machine gun weapon (mounted under the cockpit) has great detail including a square base and several tubes forming the barrel, wrapped at certain points with armor pieces in the center and front. The weapon is almost half as long as the vehicle itself so it's quite impressive looking!
Windshear is mostly cast in black plastic with soft, silver plastic used for the rotor blades. The engines on the sides and the machine gun are cast in green. Yellow paint is used for the windows on the cockpit and the Mini-Con symbol behind the cockpit window.
Windshear has four connection points for 5mm pegs in this form. This includes one on each side, one in the center under the vehicle and the last one under the cockpit. Unfortunately, the cockpit piece is only attached to the rest of the vehicle via small stubs that fit into notches with a tiny clip on top. The result is a tendency for the cockpit piece to pop off whenever you pull on it a bit (such as when you remove the weapon). Be warned because I almost lost the piece twice during this review as it went flying off across the room.
Transformation to Robot Mode:
- Detach the weapon and set it aside for now.
- Push the two sections of rotors on top together.
- Swing the tail section back.
- Pull the robot legs down.
- Swing the robot arms up.
- Swing the cockpit down to form the torso.
- Attach the weapon to the side of one arm.
Windshear (Robot Mode):
Being the part of the team that forms the top of Centuritron, Windshear winds up being the smallest member of the team. He's a little over 2.5 inches tall (approximately 6.35 centimeters) compared to Runway and Heavytread, who are both a bit over 3.5 inches tall (approximately 8.89 centimeters). There's not a lot of surprises here since most of the robot mode limbs could be seen in vehicle mode. The head design is interesting, with a wide, semi-triangular "helmet" section and face. The torso is made up of the vehicle mode's front end. Relative to the torso, the arms and legs on the figure are a bit thin and curved complete with raised heel and foot sections on the feet that remind me of a VF-1 Valkyrie. I like the design, especially with its contrast of more angular parts on the torso with the more curved parts such as the legs. This is all contrasted with the large machine gun that adds a level of brutishness to an otherwise elegant looking form.
Windshear is a combination of green and black plastic. The black makes up the head/torso and lower legs. The arms and thighs are green. Yellow paint is used on the torso and feet. The face is painted light grey. In an ideal world I would've liked more color detail on the arms to bring out the sculpted details more.
There are six points of articulation on this figure. This includes ball jointed shoulders and hips with a hinge on the knees. Both arms have a 5mm port on the sides, allowing you to attach his own weapon and another. You can attach a weapon with a 5mm Mini-Con peg to his machine gun weapon, though after you get to a certain weight the arms won't stay up of course.
Transformation to Centuritron (Starting with each Mini-Con in Robot Mode)
- Detach all the weapons.
- Attach Heavytread's weapon to the top of Runway's weapon.
- Attach Windshear's weapon to the top of the combined weapon.
- Split Heavytread in the middle, make sure the clips on his head section are facing up.
- Swing each of Runway's legs out to the sides.
- Turn Runway upside down and attach him to Heavytread, using the clips on Heavytread and the gap behind Runway's head.
- Swing back the heel pieces on Runway's legs to reveal the robot fists.
- Lift up the back panel on Windshear and swing Centuritron's head out, then swing the panel back in place.
- Swing the torso piece on Windshear up.
- Swing the robot legs back.
- Attach Windshear to Runway using the hole on the underside of Windshear and the peg on Runway.
- Attach the weapon to one of his fists.
How much you are into Mini-Cons will largely affect how much you are interested in this set. If you are a Mini-Con fan, you'll definitely appreciate it. Each Mini-Con is very distinctive and fun in its own way. The set isn't perfect and each the deco could definitely be stronger, but I really like the set as someone who digs Mini-Cons. Recommended!