Friday, 7 August 2015

Hasbro Combiner Wars Titan Class Devastator Review (Part 2)

How did I close the first part of this review? Something about ‘big fun toys’? Well holy hell, son. Come meet one of the biggest.

Devastator has a lot to answer for. Me being late for bed the past couple of nights. Daft drunken video messages. My massive unrelenting stupid smile. And a pictorial review that basically devolved into playtime.

So forgive me if I gush and rest assured I promise not to dance around the flaws.

We’ll get something out of the way straight off the bat though. Getting Devastator together was one of those moments that will keep me a fan of Transformers forever, as building up this gargantuan green giant was an utter joy. There’s a penny that drops when creating the legs and you’re rewarded with some inspired transformation that increases both height and stability via multiple locking mechanisms. This continues with the firmest torso this side of The Rock. Stuff just pegs and tabs and slots in everywhere on this thing. There’s some good design here and it results in an enormous combined form that isn’t coming apart without a fight. It’s easily the most solid gestalt I own. Official or otherwise.

And that solidity is actually a bit of an issue. The chest shield in particular tabs into no less than four slots on Devastator and likes to stay there. It also likes to stay together itself as you slot its wings into the central piece. So far, so good and no stress marks. But both invite the use of force. The same applies to Hook and Long Haul’s chest and torso combination. Myriad points of contact, all of which are so, so happy to be one and so, so reluctant to easily come apart.

Again, no issue thus far in separating them but your eyes might widen the first couple of times round.

Let’s have a proper look at Devastator. The face sculpt, as with the individuals, is a highlight.

Considering this is my third time round the block with a version of the definitive G1 gestalt (and only my first official punt at that), man are Hasbro doing it right. He’s got that cartoon look down. A towering colossus, his bulky torso attaches to legs that look like some twisted amalgamation of scaffolding, cement mixers and scoops. Arms that might need to be bigger. Maybe. PE and Shadow Fisher think so. Not convinced yet.

I’m no huge fan of the hands though and find myself bracing the wrist when rotating to stop them popping out. That swivel is seriously tight. Irritating.  I would have liked to see articulated fingers too. He also doesn’t hold the gun well. I mean, he does, but it doesn’t seem to slot in anywhere. He just grips it. Like I would. And I drop stuff all the time when people pose me at the bar.

He does the articulation thing pretty well though, as we’ll see later on. One thing of note is that the green plastics used are of two types, with a subtle difference in colour and feel. There’s a flexibility to one of these that I can’t decide is worrying or deliberate, and it may well be based on the size of the moving parts and the pressure that these might be subjected to.

Scrappers ‘foot’ for example. I’m not saying leave him in this walking pose but he can hold it and that’s down to the flex in the scoop. I'm siding with deliberate based on keeping the big bugger intact.

 In case you haven't twigged, Devastator is huge. 18 whole inches of huge. Here he is with his Combiner Wars friends and enemies. 

Like a photo at the disco with the school bully

If the definitively scaled collection is your aim, you may find Devastator to be no friend of yours. Although I do quite fancy his chances at edging into an MP display *drops bomb and walks away*

Articulation. Let's do this. Here he is demonstrating that Long Haul sounding like cocking a gun actually has a purpose rather than just being for show.



 Setting him against a similar sized adversary yields plenty of rewards, eh?

Don’t leave him like this either. He’ll get a big head.

Don't though. I don't wanna wreck your awesome toys through drunken tomfoolery

 Continuing this you can also have a ton of fun with him by taking those insane cartoon mass shifting moments to new heights. Playtime. It kind of became inevitable.

That is indeed one of the most regarded and sought after Prime's a man can buy...

..serving his own damn purpose

Devastator is hands down impressive. There is far more going on under the hood than its initial simplicity and detractors give it credit for. A surprisingly robust six figure combiner, his full robot mode is a serious amount of fun to both toy about with and display. It just looks and feels immense. I have voiced concerns about how tightly he tabs together in areas, but this hasn’t caused me issues. And I really can’t emphasise enough just how much presence, character and ooomph the fella has.

3P’s abound (PE, Nonnef, Shadow Fisher, Dr Wu) are queuing up to pimp this set depending on your preference of improving the individual figures or the big guy himself. Takara are going more anime accurate in terms of colour, paint apps and adding further articulation to some of the core figures.  And it’s going to be a customiser’s wet dream. All of this is cool.

But taken on its own merits, Hasbro's Devastator set is an utter success. These are 30 year old legacy characters long overdue the official treatment and they have been given some serious love here. That '8+' on the box is fooling no 30+ year old walking down a toy aisle.

Big fun toys. I've said it before and I’ll say it again:

 It’s all I need. 

The first batch of Devastator sold out quickly but you can preorder our second batch arriving in about 4 weeks here.

The Japanese version is out in January 2016 but can be preordered here at a lovely price far below RRP