Tuesday, 19 January 2016

A Concise Combaticon Review of Combiner Wars Onslaught (And Bruticus) In 500 Words Or Less

Pricepoint/Vintage: Voyager, 2015/2016.
Modes: Robot, Anti-aircraft Vehicle, Combiner Torso.
Transformation Style: CW voyager, expanding backpack style.
Play Patterns: Robot and vehicle, combiner, 5mm weaponry, partner legends mould.
Points of Interest: Extensive retool of Hot Spot with an inverted vehicle mode.

The Good
Onslaught retains most of what was good about Hot Spot, and gains a few articulation related refinements. He has 21 joints, gaining a heel spur, adjustable toes, and a smaller backpack. This allows for easy posing, gun-fu being very much a strength. Visually, the robot mode is a good interpretation of the character, a new head, chest, and shoulders going a long way. The transformation has been reworked, giving us a completely different altmode, and its possible to change between all three modes without removing the guns. Bruticus meanwhile has a gorgeous head sculpt, a balljointed neck, reduced kibble at the knee, and a rather impressive silver chest plate. More importantly, as rubberised plastic has been removed from the mix, he's a more solid torso than Defensor. Its a nice looking combiner too, with effective use of grey on all five main components, and the limbbots pair so well.

The Bad
Onslaught inherits Hot Spot's myriad of vehicular sins, and warning lights, while displaying Bruticus' scalp. The new parts look nice from many angles, but all those gaps still remain, it doesn't roll that well, and some play value went with the ladder assembly. There are some slight tolerance and tabbing issues, notably with his neck and the front end of the truck. Bruticus ends up with wheel assemblies on the shoulders. You can fold these down, with the instructions indicating this, but this affects stability. Bruticus also has a slight tendency to lean forwards.

The Mediocre
Both Onslaught and Bruticus are characterised by the twin back cannons, which in this case are Hot Spot's weapons in grey. As no other accessories are provided, using them spoils the look of the toy, but Shockwave would compensate for this. Be aware: his knees are mistransformed in box.

The Alternatives
Onslaught is relatively well-served with alternatives, as not only did he get a non-combing version for Universe, he's remained a constant in the team. While most of these are worth considering, his TFSS remould Bludgeon has swords, the FOC version is pretty bad. A running change will bring a tan combiner chestplate to this toy in wave 6.

The Verdict
Onslaught typifies the Combaticons as a whole, capturing the character, but with a questionable altmode and a feeling we've seen this all before. He's basically the same as Hot Spot, with a great robot mode, but with a flawed vehicle mode. Bruticus however shines brightly, and I expect him to shine more once I get my hands on Shockwave. It makes up for all mould reuse. Long-story-short: buy this guy for the combined mode, but he's not without his own charms.

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