Thursday 30 April 2015

Combiner Wars First Aid and Rook Review

combiner wars First Aid and Rook

Continuing my Combiner Wars wave 3 reviews, this time I am not just focusing on one figure - but two.

Here we have perennial Protectobot pacifist Ambulance type First Aid, and APC Hulk hand wielding newcomer - Rook.

Hit the button below to read the reviews

First Aid

Alt Mode

First Aid combiner wars g1

Remolded from the ashes of Wildrider usurping Stunticon Off Road, First Aid is no longer a flat fronted 80's Japanese Ambulance, but a Rescue SUV.....thingy.

It is quite the heavy remold from Off Road with nothing in the vehicle mode being the same, but with enough similarities that you will be very familiar with it.

Unless you don't have Off Road, and then I have to ask why? Samurai, axe wielding, Blue headed, Wildrider clothes wearing nutter bot?
He rules - IDST.

combiner wars first aid side

His paint scheme has been updated with far more Red thrown in there (I bet Takaras version will be more gorgeously G1). The pattern looks like he has driven through a giant Red puddle and the spray has stuck to the side!

Despite being based on Off Road, First Aid as a complete back end as opposed to Off Roads truck bed. There is a window on here and there Blue paint is actually matched to the Blue stickers on G1 First Aids windows.
I love, love, FRICKIN LOVE touches like that. 

What I don't like, is random gaps and under the clip on the top the windows just turn into holes despite being intended to be windows.
I guess whoever is in the back will just have to get wet.

There is an awesome retro Autobot logo on the front, and something I have really enjoyed from Combiner Wars so far has been the return of the faction symbols on Silver backs.

Just looks pretty,no?

Combiner Wars First Aid ambulance mode

The Combiner piece that is included is identical to Off Roads, though evidently not Purple. It also pegs on to the vehicle mode in much the same way as Off Roads except this time to the roof. 

Actually, it ends up evoking the original double cannons the G1 toys came with, which is cool.

Peg holes are also available on the side so First Aid can carry his axe, although why wouldn't he carry that inside....?

Overall it is a cracking alt mode, and the lengths Hasbro have gone to differentiate from Off Road are commendable and hopefully will continue with all the Combiner Wars remolds.

Robot Mode

Transformers MTMTE First Aid combiner wars ratchet

The transformation is precisely the same as Off Roads, which at the time of writing I realise I have not uploaded the review for, despite starting it over a month ago.
Life - get out the way please.

Ahem, back to transforming the blighter, you open the legs, extend, pull out the arms, flip over the bonnet and you are done. 
It is simple, but no less satisfying for it.

combiner wars first aid head

First Aid looks perfect, this is the greatest First Aid figure to ever exist and if you disagree we should fight (not really, you'd win, easy).

Just like alt mode, every thing is remolded and that includes the chest just to reinforce that he is a different character.

The head I just cannot believe they have nailed it so well. Whilst he is not a stack of blocks like the G1 cartoon animation model, to me he still feels more like that character than the IDW interpretation.

Multiple shades of Red are used to great effect to stop him looking like his wearing a onesie, and Samurai shoulders of Off Road are gone with much more Protectobot appropriate replacements.

But look at that head, it is wicked. Though I don't think the Silver face mask on mine has been full painted.

Sad face time dudes.

Generations First Aid combiner wars

To complete his look as the Universes fiercest pacifist - Combiner Wars First Aid comes with a brutal looking axe. Yes, it is Off Roads axe molded in black.

I would prefer him to have come with a gun, but an axe makes sense for smashing down doors in burning buildings I suppose.

Might be my messed up eyes, but does the axe also look like a musical instrument with those buttons on the back?

Transformers Combiner Wars & G1 First Aid

Posabilty is all the rage in the Combiner Wars (I should have gone into advertising) and First Aid is no exception.
Despite his massive lower legs, he has great articulation and they help keep him very stable for glorious super mad posing action (TM).

His head is on a ball joint, which makes for some great disapproving of fighting looks when you place him in a battle scene.

combiner wars first aid limb

He is nominally an arm for Defensor, but can also be a leg. In my opinion he works a lot better as arm because his leg mode is massive and blocky.

Incidentally I do really like that all the deluxes are transformed almost to robot mode as an arm, or alt mode as a leg. It is nice to have a consistent theme and aids the playability no end, plus it homages Scramble City (try doing that in a Japanese style impression).

If it is not obvious enough already - I love First Aid. I have always been a big fan of the character and his design. I ache for a spot on representation of his G1 self, but this is close enough but also new enough to be his own guy.

It is a brilliant figure, and one if we get Wave 3 in stores over here I will buy a second of. That is one of the highest compliments I can pay this figure, as I am super tight and it takes a mammoth effort to force myself to not fight for 26p cash back on Quidco.


Alt Mode

combiner wars rook

Whilst most of the Protectobots tend to be rescue centric vehicles, Rook is an armoured APC - like that one in Die Hard that gets blown up by a Bazooka (Decepticons take note).

It is a really basic alt mode, and a plus is that it is mostly seamless, whilst a negative is that is because most of it is one giant panel.

His Combiner piece pegs onto the roof via a peg hole on the underside that is the most blatant foreshadowing of this mold being re purposed into Combaticon Brawl I think they could have come up with.

The view port on the roof is very Brawl, as is the turret, and I think that will remain on Brawl, whilst the front which has what looks like it supposed to be windows (and forms the robot feet) will be remolded. The wheels could easily be replaced by treads and alakazam- we have Green Tank Combaticon.

combiner wars rook weapon

The "vent" problems I moaned about with Hot Spot are here too, with random rectangular holes cut out of the roof that serve no purpose and the worst offender being the small viewing port on the top.

There are 3 windows that at first you will think are painted black, but if you look closer you will notice they are in fact just holes. Now, that bugs me because if that was a real vehicle, bad dudes will just shoot in there, and chuck grenades through to disable it.

In my room, where I believe Toy Story happens and all my toys come to life, I don't want Lex Luthor taking advantage of Rooks gaptastic weakness.

Errr...I am struggling to say much about this mode as it is rather bland. That does not mean I don't like it, I am as much a fan of rolling bricks as anyone but it just feels like it is missing something to make it really stand out.
The bright Colgate Max Whiteness of it all does not help.

It is okay, and I could see this being remolded into IDW style Soundwave, Brawl (as mentioned above), Nosecone and possibly an IDW style Fort Max (if only it were bigger).

In summation, and as JRoc from Trailer Park Boys would say - it a'ight.

Robot Mode

transformers combiner wars rook

Transforming Rook is just as simple as any of the other Combiner Wars figures, and in fact is probably the easiest. The roof lifts up, and you unfold his arms, head and legs from there.
It is a crazy simple process, that you could do in your sleep if you like to hold your Transformers in your sleep.

I don't, I prefer clutching Teddy Bears....(that is what I name my empty Rum bottles)

transformers combiner wars rook fists

Now you have transformed Rook from a blandish vehicle, the alt mode is a complete 180. Far from looking plain, Rook looks like the love child of the Autobots and Oktober Guard from GI Joe (that was the name of the Russian guys, right?).

There is an Arctic feel to him, with all that Blue and White, which is amplified by his head looking like one of those furry Russian hats and all round bulk. He is only a small deluxe, but his proportions and aesthetics make him appear like he is supposed to be a big bruiser of a bot.

His look reminds me of Bane from the 3rd Nolan Batman film (the worst one), and the mask plays up to that. Underneath that is an awesomely G1 looking face that I wish I could see.

It so pretty.

transformers combiner wars rook blast off

Instead of a gun, Rook is supplied with a litter picker. Maybe his role in the Protectobots is to go round picking up other peoples rubbish, and enforce anti litter laws.

He cannot hold it like a regular weapon as he lacks ports in the usual place on his fists, but instead he has them on the front of the fists. Bit weird you might say, and you would not be wrong, but it does cool plugging in weapons there especially melee weapons like First Aids axe. Kind of befits a Protectobot I guess.

Sadly, there are not many guns he can hold due to most not having pegs on the back, but I have found one of Leader Megatrons fits perfectly.

It is an interesting choice, and one which works for Rook as a novelty, but I hope we don't see it too often.

transformers combiner wars rook hands

Because of the hand ports, it does mean you can also plug the combiner hands in and give him over sized fists - or Hulk hands.

It is not too hard to recreate that scene from Platoon with the hands, and a couple of creepy looking Combaticons.

transformers combiner wars rook superman punch

Rook is one of the more articulated Combiner Wars figures, which says a lot because none of them are slouches when it comes to Kung-Fu posing.

But Rook has too little extra bits of articulation that make a lot of difference, hinged shoulders and ankle tilts.

The extra hinge on the shoulders for transformation allows the shoulders to move backwards giving you a far larger scope for dynamic action poses.
Ankle tilts are always a great thing, and seeing them here makes me a little sad for what could have been with the other deluxes.

transformers combiner wars rook limb modes

His combiner limbs are decent, with the arm definitely being the better of the two modes. It makes a great arm, whilst the leg configuration suffers from the roof of the vehicle sticking out really far.
Still, I have him in leg mode, in honour of my fallen brother from a robot mother - Groove.

Rook has replaced a classic G1 character, and does a decent job of being the substitute teacher. His alt mode is okay, but his robot mode is excellent. So it is a shame he will be forever in combined mode for most people, being perennially lambasted for not being someone else.

Hopefully a 3rd party comes along and does a deluxe Groove to not only satisfy my Geewun fanboy OCD, but to also give Rook a chance to shine in his own spotlight.

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