Friday, 19 June 2015

Combiner Wars Legends Reviews - Powerglide, Bombshell, Blackjack, Viper and Groove

combiner wars legends viper powerglide bombshell

One of the best things to come out of Combiner Wars, has been the rebirth of the Legends class figures. More akin to the old scout class in terms of size and complexity, though sadly not pricing, we have gotten updated versions of old favourites in some new and interesting ways.

I am going to take a look at my 5 favourite so far, in one rolled up all inclusive super post.

Hit the jump to read the review

*Soundtrack - Dusty Rhodes WWF theme - Common Man Boogie


combiner wars powerglide

First up on the list is one of my all time favourite Transformers. As a kid, "The Girl who Loved Powergilde" is probably the episode that most stuck with me. A giant Red robot jet, falling in love with a woman named after various hotel chains (Astoria Carlton Ritz).

I used to be a big fan of the Atari's, and actually thought the song "So Long Astoria" was named after her - hey, I was super drunk.

But I am a big Powerglide fanboy if that was not already clear.

Anyway Powerglides jet mode is very reminiscent of his original, though it features the more realistic curves of the military Warthog fighter jet, than the straight edges of Powerglides animation model that made it hard to figure out if he was a fighter jet, or some sort of passenger plane.

The colours are bang on, and my only gripe are the hands being so visible and looking a little like he is making a certain obscene British gesture.

He does have landing gear, but the back sits so low in comparison that it makes the jet angle upwards sharply.

I really like this mode, as I adored the G1 Powerglide toy and swooshing it around. This guy brings back all of those memories, and is a wonderful update.

Combiner Wars Powerglide

His transformation is pretty simple, but there is a nice turn which involves rotation the face. The only thing I can't figure out is if the boosters on his legs are supposed to pulled up, as they are on a sliding joint which I assume is for the gun mode.

Anyway, it is a great looking Powerglide, who looks a bit wider than his G1 inspiration, but that only makes him look even more like he wants to punch someone.
In the face.
Combiner Wars Powerglide superion

In Combiner Wars land, Powerglide is tenuously considered an Aerialbot for his ability to transform into a ropey looking cannon that features a Blue sight, and rockets on the underside of his forearms.

To be honest, I would not use this mode myself as it is not great. Best just leave him in his awesome robot mode, with his arms on his hips.


combiner wars viper jet

Next up is a remold of Powerglide, in lovely shiny Blue plastic. Friends, let me introduce you to Viper.

He is aptly named, as his colour scheme is based on a Cobra Rattler - yes from GI:JOE!!!!! I think, that this might be the first official crossover Transformers/GI:JOE figure to hit mass retail?
Even if I am wrong, it does not rob Viper of his awesomeness, as an already great mold moves up a notch with that colour scheme and the brilliant Cobra Decepticon combi badge on the wing.

He also has the markings of Cobra pilot Wild Weasel on his wing, which is convenient because...

combiner wars legends viper


Yes, his face is modelled on the helmet of the aforementioned GI:JOE character and it really is lovely. Hasbro have removed the small gun, which was on Powerglides head, but I like that because it is another element of difference.

Viper also has the Cobra Deception badge on his chest, and it looks ace.

I am gushing something chronic about Viper, because this toy surprised me when I got it. As a repaint of Powerglide, I knew I would like it, especially with the Cobra connection, but I did not to love it as much as I do and even prefer it to Powerglide.

For a whole 5 minutes I think it was my favourite toy ever. Even if one of his arms keeps popping off when I move it.


transformers generations blackjack

Another Decepticon, we have Stunticon chest-o-bot - Blackjack. Based on the G1 Micromaster of the same name, he actually started out life with the intention of being Runabout and/or Runamuck (you can see the head sculpt is very Battlechargery).
Hasbro could not get the trademark to the name, so changed him to Blackjack and he is really, really cool.

The Black and Purple work lovely together, and that car mode is great to look at.

combiner wars blackjack

Transforming Blackjack is a pretty easy affair, but it does not mean there isn't some cool stuff going on. The whole top of the car flips over his head, leaving the rear windows as his upper chest.

His only blemish is that his upper arms hang down really low, making him look a bit apeish in proportion.

Blackjack is one super poseable bot though, and is covered in an overwhelming amount of ball joints (okay 8) for such a small bot. The joints at the knee are scarily tight if you wish to swivel the knees, and I think mine my break if I keep doing so.

The paint is nicely applied, but the Decepticon badge on his right shoulder is really faded so I only noticed it was there when I was taking these photos.

combiner wars menasor blackjack chest

Blackjack is the only legend so far to come with an accessory and that is a....hand fan.

I jest, it is supposed to be an axe but pretty much fails at being anything other than daft. As an axe it is too big, and not shaped to really look like an axe, and in car mode it only gets worse.
It forms a spoiler, and clips into the two peg holes on his feet, but because of how short the peg holes are, the handle is pushed upwards by the roof.
This whole thing seems like it exists purely to facilitate the upcoming Hot Rod repaint.

For his final mode you take him in car mode and stick him onto Menasors chest, to emulate that G1 skateboard car thing. But it does not peg on securely so falls out with any kind of movement.



transformers legends groove

Probably the most sought after of all the legends figures so far, we have perennial Protectobot-only this time shrunk down so he cannot form a leg for Defensor.

He has been replaced in the core team by Rook, but Hasbro figured they would try and satisfy fans by giving them a Groove- just a bit tinier.

I like this toy, but it tinged right away by Groove not being deluxe sized and a true part of Defensor. That is the Protectobot team I really want.

CW Groove

Grooves bike mode is cool, and evokes his G1 counterpart, but in a more modern style. The bike is almost futuristic, and you can barely see the back wheel giving it a floating appearance.

A nice touch, is that Hasbro added the G1 style star with an Autobot logo in it. The colours are nice and very much taken from G1, and it just does look lovely.

On one side of the back is a peg hole, and on the other a peg- but I have no idea what these are for. Just in case maybe?

A kickstand is molded on, but it does not really need it as he balances perfectly well as the wheels are quite thick.
Still, props to Hasbro for adding the detail.

combiner wars legend groove

Transforming Groove is a bit more interesting than the usual legends fare, mostly just due to the way his arms fold out. But going back to the bike mode, getting the back tyre to clip together can be frustrating as the pegs have to go in certain places. Also, Black pain has chipped off the back seat where it flips over to form the feet.

Straight away you notice how tall he is, Groove is a very lanky bot. He looks like Groove though, and the Gold windscreen flips over to give him his Gold chest.
Surprisingly, his tiny head does swivel and again he is covered in ball joints and hinges so you get a lot articulation out of him.
But I just can't get over his lankiness, it looks a bit weird.

Groove does get pancaked somewhat into forming a chest shield for Defensor, but it looks a bit silly. I want Groove as a leg only, so currently he is draped decoratively over Rook.

See, I am a total G1 fanboy.


transformers legend bombshell

Lastly we come to possibly my favourite of the bunch, or at least joint favourite with Viper and Powerglide - Bombshell.
This is one of the G1 Insections and is presented here with a chunky look that would be right at home in a Dreamwave comic. 
It works, brilliantly.

I am surprised by how accurate he is to the original, all of his features are carried over, but with a more cartoony aesthetic. The paint has an almost Masterpiece feel to it, and I swear I am not exaggerating when I say that. 

Bombshell is immense fun to play with, even if he does not quite fit with the Shrapnel figure that came out last year as Bombshell is bigger and chunkier.

The head sculpt comes in for particular praise as it is gorgeous for a figure of this size. Doesn't rotate though, but then if it could he would not be able see due to those shoulder bits.
Tunnel vision then.

transformers insecticon bombshell

Transforming Bombshell is mostly achieved in the same manner as his G1 toy, but his insect legs can be a bit of a faff to line up. His robot arms form boosters due to the intakes on his fists, and there two pegs that stick out of the back that suggest it was intended to have an extra weapon mode to fit on to a combiner in some respect.
But it is not mentioned anywhere in the instructions so perhaps it was abandoned? Or someone just really likes adding handles to figures?

If it was not evident from the post above, I am a big fan of the legends figures released so far. Each of the ones above are fun new molds, and look to have more care and thought put into them than many recent figures.

The are fun, decent quality (even if they vary wildly) and inexpensive enough to keep picking up. 
Really worth buying if you have not already.

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