"Transformers Universe 2.0" Brawn Toy Review

General Information:
Release Date: December 2008
Price Point: $4.99 (varies depending on retailer)
Retailer: General (Toys R Us, Target, Wal-Mart etc.)
Accessories: None

Text from Hasbrotoyshop.com:
Team up with the AUTOBOT alliance and take on the DECEPTICON forces! This quick-conversion figure is ready for action and prepared for whatever adventure is in store! Battle even the mightiest opponents in robot mode and then convert the figure to SUV vehicle mode and prepare for battle!

With the late 2008 wave of "Legends" class figures, Hasbro took a fantastic turn with the sub-line of the Transformers brand. Rather than simply reinterpreting characters who had been created in other size classes, they decided to use it as a way to resurrect a small sub group of Transformers from the days of G1: Mini-Bots. The Mini-Bots were originally a sub-line of transforming cars meant to be slightly deformed versions of existing vehicles such as the Volkswagon beetle and Trans Am. Considering the small size of the Legends line, it is the perfect place to update these characters. The Mini-Bots were touted as Autobots who acted as "spies or messengers", but over time the individual characters took on much more specialized functions and created a small group of characters who have not been given much attention since (with some exceptions such as Bumblebee). One of the characters who has been popular with fans for years with his tough attitude and strength is Brawn, and he was chosen as one of the first Mini-Bots to be reborn as a Legends Class figure.

Robot Mode:
Many of the G1 Mini-Bots differed in their toy designs and animation/comic book models. Brawn's original figure had rather thin legs, claw hands and a face with a mouthplate and thin, visor like eyes. When the time came to translate him into the cartoon (and later the comic book), he was changed a bit to make him look a bit more humanoid. He was given blocky arms and legs instead of thin ones, his claws were changed to hands and his face was changed to a normal one with two eyes, a nose and a mouth. It is this model the designers used to create this figure.

Brawn's robot mode design has not been altered all that much from the original animation model. His head has a half dome like design with a regular robot face on it. The center of the dome is a raised section that looks like a crest. His arms are wide and blocky detailed with raised trapezoid designs on the shoulders and individual fingers sculpted on the hands. The chest has a curved design with horizontal line details running across the chest. This section leads to a thin rectangular section with an indented line inside and circles on either side. Under that is the waist piece with a triangle sculpted into it, another detail directly carried over from the original animation model. His upper legs are long and curved on the edges, giving it an almost tube like shape, but his lower legs are blocky like the original Brawn's animation model. The combined effect is an undeniable recreation of the original character.

Brawn is cast in black, silver and green plastic. Green is used for the arms and lower legs, silver for the shoulder joints, waist and upper legs and finally black for the chest and head. The chest is painted orange, again matching the G1 design of the character. Silver paint is used on the head, lower arms and on the chest for an Autobot symbol. His eyes are painted light blue, in keeping with the theme of blue eyes on Autobots.

I was really surprised how much the designers stuck with the G1 form, keeping away from "reimagining" him too much. Since we never really got any transformable Brawn figure that looked like his cartoon form, this is basically the Brawn toy fans have been waiting for. I love this robot mode and it gets

my thumbs up!

Transformation to Vehicle Mode:

  1. Swing the waist piece down.
  2. Connect the two lower legs together.
  3. Swing the legs back and swing them on the hinge.
  4. Raise Brawn's arms up.
  5. Swing the shoulder joints down and snap them into place.

Vehicle Mode:
Brawn's vehicle mode appears to be loosely based on the Land Rover. It has the Land Rover's rather blockish, rectangular shape along with the three windows along the sides and round lights on the back. Brawn appears to have been outfitted with extra parts to make him more rough and tough, keeping with the character. The front end has a frame guard over the front grille and headlights, complete with extra light details and raised, horizontal grille line details in the center. The hood has vent lines sculpted on top and there appears to be a storage rack on top inside a rectangular cage with curved edges. Among other nice details are door handles for four doors and tall sideview mirrors on the sides. Finally on the back of the vehicle is a spare tire mounted onto the back. This is a great update of his G1 form and stays true to the spirit of the character.

The colors from the robot mode carry over here, including paint applications. This includes dark silver which is used for the front guard/grille and black for the windows.

Final Thoughts:
Brawn is a fantastic update of a character fans have wanted for years in true G1 form. He fits right in size-wise with the deluxe sized Universe figures since Brawn was always meant to be shorter than many of his fellow Autobots. Highly recommended!

Lightbox Gallery