Posts Tagged Combiner
He’s big, he’s bad, he might even be battlin’, but this Dudicus is somewhat awkward. Fall of Cybertron Bruticus!
As I mentioned in Jazz’s post, in the Fall of Cybertron line everyone is tremendously more bulky in game form than they appear in toy form.
There’s a million and one real world reasons for this and in my opinion it’s fine in most cases. I find the bulging designs of most of the characters in the game to be too much, I like the slimmer look of the toys. However, nowhere is this difference more apparent than the default combined mode for Fall of Cybertron Bruticus.
One arm longer than the other, his top is spindly, gangly, lanky, awkward; whichever word you choose. He takes the weight loss paradigm a little too far and definitely doesn’t have the impact his game incarnation has.
With the proportions reversed, using Swindle and Brawl for arms with Vortex and Blast Off as legs, things don’t any better.
Also, despite being a Scramble City style combiner, there really is a kind of default with Vortex and Blast Off as arms.
Fortunately you don’t have to do the default transformation for Vortex and Blast-Off. Unfortunately this lead me to an even bigger disappointment.
Not just hands, but each one has the ability to be either a right or a left arm, meaning each one has right and left hands — some by simply rotating the thumb piece around to the appropriate angle, some just have two full, separate hands. Though Brawl gets the award for worst, the best hands are actually on Swindle. Vortex’s karate chop/salute hand really annoys me.
So, how to use the best hands when they are both on the guy that is best used as a leg?
Step one, easily extract said hands by removing two screws and sliding them off their bars with Swindle none the worse for wear. Steps two through done; cut some dowel rods, make alternate transformations for Blast Off and Vortex, attach the hands, and voila.
The best hands in the set with a transformation that makes Bruticus a little less lanky.
Any other potential flaws are inconsequential enough that this alone moves these guys from “pretty ok” to “freaking awesome”. Also, falling in the “freaking awesome” category is the packaging for the exclusive G2 themed set.
Adorned with G2 Decepticon symbols and completed with painstakingly accurate original-style box art, the box itself is a masterpiece.
The lettering, the colours, the “Clip and Save!” Bio and Tech Specs, all perfect. One thing the package doesn’t do, is make one mention of Fall of Cybertron.
Why is this important?
Well, fictionally, it means there is no actual tie between this incarnation of Bruticus and the one from the videogame. Yes, the videogame has downloadable content to use the G2 coloration, but it also has a G1 Optimus Prime skin you can use.
So, why should you care?
You shouldn’t. Unless you run the TFWiki, in which case you then have to include the retail, SDCC, and TakaraTomy releases under “Fall of Cybertron” but include the G2-themed release under G1.
I’m still only including these guys on my War for Cybertron/Fall of Cybertron display. Continuity gives me nosebleeds.
The sum of his parts versus the Dudicus as a whole… your mileage may vary. Fall of Cybertron Combaticons!
With the two “game accurate” (not counting downloadable content) releases being ridiculously expensive — the San Diego Comic Con version initially selling for a laughable $100 and the initial import prices for the TakaraTomy release putting it at $150 before shipping, I went with the $60 G2-themed BigBadToyStore/Amazon.com exclusive. Providing even more odd symmetry to my personal saga of Bruticus, the G2 version is most likely the only one I will keep in my collection. There is a retail version, but as I discuss later, I’m only picking up the rest of them if I find them discounted; in Onslaught and Brawl’s case, heavily discounted.
On that ominous note, how do these new incarnations stack up against the originals?
Onslaught is the biggest disappointment for a lot of people. Though most say he is a disappointment because he is a deluxe release, not a larger, perhaps Voyager release, I disagree. Him being the same size class as the rest of his squad makes perfect sense to me for a number of reasons, primarily the fact that he does not appear much larger than the other Combaticons in the game.
Most important for me, his arms lack shoulder articulation which is just inexcusable in a modern Transformer. Also, they missed an easy opportunity by not allowing his gun to attach to his back in robot mode, like it does in combined mode.
My own biggest complaint against Onslaught has to be his mess of an alt mode, especially considering how straightforward the original Onslaught’s alt mode was.
Chief among my complaints are that his robot mode arms and hands are just a little too visible and his alt mode is missing most of its mass in the back. With its missing rear middle section, this Onslaught clearly stole his alt mode from G1 Kup.
From my least favourite we move on to my own personal biggest disappointment. Brawl shares Onslaught’s issue of having way too much hanging down in the back in robot mode. Though the reason he is my biggest disappointment out of the set isn’t even the toy’s fault directly. He has two cannons instead of one, his head is all angles instead of the boxy helmeted look, and… yeah, there’s just nothing really Brawl about him at all. Given that Brawl is my favourite G1 Combaticon, this make me sad.
Also, in the War for Cybertron/Fall of Cybertron world the hover tank is done absolutely to death already. They managed to pick the most boring design of all to give to Brawl.
Moving away from the two slight disappointments, there’s the three designs I like the best in the set. Swindle is really good from the front and actually comes off slightly bulkier in the upper torso than his game model.
Much like his sleazy sales-based personality, it’s all a front. (Haha! See what I did there?) Turning him around reveals a robotic skeleton.
His alt mode is really well done, this is helped along tremendously for me by the fact that his alt mode is the basis of my second favourite level from Fall of Cybertron. In Chapter VII: Belly of the Beast, tearing along at breakneck speeds under the Autobot Energon Transport endeared this little “Assault Transport” to me.
I not entirely sure what it is, but there’s something I really like about Blast Off’s design. Unlike Brawl, Blast Off’s head is clearly an update of the original.
The fairing of his humongous engine forming his shoulders gives him a very distinct silhouette.
In fact, I liked him enough that, when I saw his retail release at a discount, I grabbed him so fast it would make your head spin.
I have to say, his alt mode being almost 50% engine is grand.
My favorurite of the Fall of Cybertron Combaticons is easily Vortex. Not so coincidentally, my favourite level in the game is Chapter VI: Death from Above a.k.a. “the Vortex level”.
As my favourite, it didn’t take much for me to buy his retail release.
The reason he’s my favourite, though, as I pointed out in my post about the game, is Vortex’s alt mode was the best thing about the game for me. The toy does a wonderful job of capturing that.
I wish there would have been some sort of alternate transformation that mimicked the video game’s booster flight mode.
The other thing I am wondering is why they gave two swords to the guy with four blades already permanently attached to his arm. I like to think that Blast Off and Vortex end up on missions together quite a lot (like the one in Chapter VI) so they swap weapons.
Overall, out of the five Combaticons, there aren’t really any I would call outright failures and as display pieces they all work.
All together, I can easily imagine them as an elite Decepticon squad. Well, assuming they all lived through that last battle that sent Bruticus spiraling off into space and potentially hurtling back to Cybertron from orbit.
Speaking of whom, next up, Fall of Cybertron “G2″ Bruticus: is he big? is he bad? is he… battlin’? (What does that actually mean?)
A mighty post (or three) for a mighty metamorphin’ Dudicus. The Big, Bad, Battlin’ G2 Bruticus! (Oh, and Ruination too.)
First, I apologize.
Second, watch this:
Third, I apologize, especially if that was your first encounter with the infamous “Dudicus” G2 rap. That was brutal (NO! That was Bruticus!) but the more I watch these old G2 commercials, the more I realize how awesome they are. Sure, “awesome” in the “so bad it has looped itself back into greatness” sense of the word, but awesome nonetheless. What, ultimately, does this have to do with the rest of the post? Nothing.
Bruticus was one of those that I hunted down during G2. Of the G1 combiners I had only ever wanted to complete the Combaticons. However, despite my best efforts, I was only ever able to get my hands on my favourite Combaticon, Brawl. After acquiring the G2 ‘bots, I used it for years as an excuse never to go back and get the G1 versions. Providing an odd symmetry between then and now, I still only have G1 Brawl.
It was therefore somewhat ironic that when G2 originally hit Brawl was the only one I was unable to find. It would be years later that I would specifically hunt down a G2 Brawl to complete the set. I am missing Bruticus’ right fist so he has a stand-in for now.
Just when my “Oh, I already have the wonderfully day-glo versions, who needs G1?” excuse was about to wear out, along came Robots in Disguise to provide me not one, but two new choices of the molds. I went with the easier to obtain Hasbro release, named Ruination (one of the best Transformers names of all time) over the more cartoon accurate Takara release.
One great thing this mold did was include a hole on top of Mega-Octance’s alt mode cannon to store the ramp that comes with Mega-Octane. A couple years later, as I was again considering picking up the G1 version, Ruination was repainted and released as a Walmart exclusive.
The following year saw yet another repaint and release as a Walmart exclusive — swapping the unified black, white, and grey camo for a desert theme – but by this time my patience for the mold had run out. Heck, I still hadn’t mustered the wherewithal to finish my G1 set. Some day I will go back and get the other four, though I am still kicking myself for not biting the bullet and picking up the 2009 Encore release.
The individual toys are alright, by G1 standards. Along with the name of their comined form, Ruination, the Robots in Disguise release brought some of the most He-man sounding names to the Transformers universe. Case in point, Ro-Tor, the repaint of Vortex.
Case in point number 2, Movor, the Blast Off repaint. Both Vortex and Blast Off have the best arm articulation, but lack any leg articulation.
The normal-sounding Rollbar, previously an Autobot name, was used for the repaint of Swindle; a block with no real useful articulation.
With an also relatively normal-sounding name, Armorhide, was the repaint of my favourite, Brawl. Granted, he suffers from arms that don’t reach past his chest.
The one name that I go back and forth liking and disliking is the Onslaught repaint; now named Mega-Octane. He also has relatively good shoulder articulation, he shares his squad’s lack of any useful leg articulation.
Arguably, the best part about most of the Combaticons are their alt modes.
Being Scramble City style combiner, he can use the aforementioned ramp to create a “Base Mode”.
As far as military vehicles go — and especially military vehicles being used as alt modes for bad guys — the tank is a pretty obvious choice. One of the reasons Brawl is my favourite of the Combaticons was the particular choice of tank, the Leopard 1, has always been a favourite of mine even with the decidedly G2 Megatron-ish paint scheme he got as part of his own G2 release. Of course, once you add his extra weaponry, he really starts to live up to his bio, “Resistant to most conventional artillery, noisy, irritates everyone and is blusteringly belligerent. He’s a terrifyingly effective warrior with enormous strength.”
Swindle’s alt mode should be considered the short end of the stick.
However, mounting his weapon on this otherwise innocent looking jeep suddenly makes him far more effective in battle.
In truth, it is actualy Blast Off that you should feel sorry for.
“Aristocratic and aloof, disguises his long distance loneliness.”
Awww, poor lonely space shuttle dude. Almost makes you feel sorry for the guy, that is until you get to this sentence,
“Cruelly efficient at raining destruction on Earth.”
If I had to pick a second favourite after Brawl, it would definitely be Vortex.
Though it is certainly not for his plain SH-2G Super Seasprite alt mode, but for the weaponized version of it.
Like I said, I am definitely kicking myself for not grabbing the Encore release of the G1 version, but I’m sure I’ll get around to filling in that particular gap one way or another. In the meantime, enjoy this awkward family reunion.
So, what happens when you take these guys and give them a full on videogame-inspired update? Next up, Fall of Cybertron “G2” Combaticons!
Make like the Fatboy Slim song and “Build It Up, Tear It Down!” G1 and G2 Constructicons combine to form Devastator!
These have been my Constructicons for so long (almost 20 years since I bought them new in a Toys R Us) that I no longer recognize them as specifically the G2 Constructicons. They have simply been the Constructicons this entire time, to the point where these other guys — despite being the originals and the colour scheme you see in almost every fictional appearance — don’t seem quite right to me,
I think part of the reason it is so difficult to recognize the yellow Constructicons as G2 is the fact that construction vehicle are supposed to be yellow. One of the hallmarks of G2 is that the colour schemes are predominantly non-real-world accurate. When I hear “G2 Constructicons” I think of this.
Thanks to the awesome Arkvander over at Mostly Transformers Redux, I have some shots he provided of his recently acquired set of orange G2 Constructicons. Purportedly only released at KayBee Toys, the orange Constructicons are more of the wilder, fantastic paintjobs we’ve come to associate with G2. Like their fellow G2 release, the launchers remained neutered.
Setting aside flying front-end loaders and exceedingly armed cement mixing trucks, construction vehicles can sell toys to kids, especially in a toy line primarily aimed at boys. Therefore, just their alt modes alone could have made the Constructicons a very popular grouping of Decepticons regardless of the Generation.
As much as I might poke fun at some of the weaker robot modes in the bunch, they’re still pretty good by G1 and G2 standards.
However, ever since their first appearance — be it on toy shelves for some or in the episode “Heavy Metal War” for others — the Constructicons have been remembered and beloved for one thing: being the first ever Transformers combiner group.
“Constructicons! Merge for the kill!” were Megatron’s words in the 1986 movie as this behemoth tore into Autobot City. These guys were the only combining team until the appearance of the Decepticon Menasor and the Autobot Superion. However, they remained the only combined form made up of six members at the time. The “Scramble City” style combiners, like Defensor, that came afterwards and even most of the non-Scramble City types like Predaking were larger robots formed by only five components. It wasn’t until 1989 when the six component super robot would return.
There aren’t any notable differences between G1 Devastator and his two G2 releases, unless you count those neutered launchers for forearms.
Which I do, as it has removed Devastator’s ability to perform a good, ol’ fashioned, spring-loaded rocket punch.
Now, I have reinforced the fact that the yellow G2 Devastator is really my Devastator and will most likely remain so. This was to such a degree that after buying the recent reissue of G1 Devastator, I actually had a moment of buyers remorse, questioning my decision. Here’s where that “perfectly timed” part from my first Constructicons post comes in. Along comes two 3rd party companies vying for my attention, vying for my dollars, and giving me a real good excuse for having purchased the Encore set.
Devastator add-on kits are nothing new. CrazyDevy has been doing piece after piece to enhance your Devastator for a while now. However, buying all of their pieces individually can get quite costly. Recently Junkion Blacksmith, makers of the awesome JB-01 and JB-02, a.k.a. Headmaster Optimus and Soundwave, and a group called XTransbots both announced all-in-one add-ons to articulate the heck out of your Devastator. Comparing the pictures, I found I liked the design of the JB-07 Power of Destruction Devastator Upgrade Set by Junkion Blacksmith better. It also didn’t hurt that it was $15 cheaper and came with both cartoon and comic book accurate heads.
Another piece of cartoon accuracy that has become a mainstay of these Devastator upgrades is a replacement purple mixing drum for Mixmaster. For reasons I can’t seem to determine, this set came with not only the purple mixing drum, but also another green one? If anyone can tell me what I am supposed to do with the second green one, it would be very appreciated.
It’s a great piece that now allows me to have a more cartoon accurate, highly articulated Devastator standing next to my original, wonderful yellow G2 Devastator so I couldn’t be happier.
A little bit tin man, a little bit cowardly lion, a whole lot of scarecrow. G1 and G2 Constructicons Scavenger and Bonecrusher!
Having learned my lesson, I am starting out with the kooky secondary alt modes this time rather than ending with them. This might just backfire on me as Scavenger and Bonecrusher, who form Devastator’s arms, actually seem to have the most decent secondary alt modes of all the Constructicons. Using the pieces that constitute Devastator’s forearms as drill devices, the G2 release was neutered to remove the launching mechanism built in, but the Encore reissue restores the launchers as they were in the original G1 release.
The reason showing these first might backfire is that, for as decent as their secondary alt modes are, both have robot modes that leave a lot to be desired.
Scavenger has a very “scarecrow” look to him; thin arms and legs attached to a blocky chunk. This is made worse by the shovel mechanism from his alt mode that juts awkwardly from his back. Scavenger also gets the vote for most pathetic Constructicon. ”Everything is worth something, even me” would almost be an endearing motto if it weren’t for the rest of his bio, which describes him searching for “things of value in a desperate attempt to prove his worth to his comrades”. I rarely agree with Megatron, but can’t help it in this instance when he says that “such behavior would be charming in a puppyoid, but ill-becomes a Decepticon warrior.”
Bonecrusher, on the other hand, is something of an artist. Unfortunately for everyone in his general vicinity, his idea of art is “rubble-strewn wasteland”, “for him, demolition is not merely a job – it is a performance.” As swell as this might be, his robot mode is even more scarecrow-like than Scavenger’s.
Mostly this is due to the fact that Bonecrusher’s arms are permanently bent at the elbows like a scarecrow’s arms hanging from its crossbar. His shovel chest also gives him a somewhat hollow look overall.
Then again, maybe I did do this in correct order. After all, if there is one thing that all of the Constructicon toys do very well, it’s alt mode.
There isn’t much to say about them, but in this case, that is a good thing.
Seeing these well-detailed, powerful construction vehicles one could easily believe their ability to build a big, strong, imposing Decepticon fortress or, perhaps, their leader Megatron?
Up next: Merge for the kill! Devastator!
Form feet and legs! Form torso! And I’ll form the gastrointestinal area! G1 and G2 Constructicons Long Haul and Hook!
I promised myself I would not point out the fact that the Decepticon named Long Haul essentially forms the stomach and rear-end area of Devastator. Obviously I lied.
Furthermore, I promised myself that I would also not point out that the Decepticon that forms the stomach and rear-end of Devastator transforms into a dump truck. Obviously not only did I lie, but I also have the sense of humor of a seven year old.
Meanwhile, back in the very serious Adult Toy Collector land, we have Long Haul, the Decepticon Dump Truck who forms the… lower half of Devastator’s torso.
Long Haul has a somewhat misplaced (for a Decepticon at least) work ethic; “Unhappy with unglamorous role, but understands its importance”. He is basically the Constructicons’ materials hauler. This can lead to a little bit of understandable frustration when you’re surrounded by folks like the master designer, Scrapper, and the brilliant but mad chemist, Mixmaster, but not nearly so much as the “snobbish, supercilious, unpopular perfectionist” Hook.
An engineer with an artistic bent, Hook’s redeeming quality is that he has “the precision of a fine jeweler”. That’s not a quality you find in many evil robots, arrogant or not. His toy’s robot mode does a pretty decent job with the problem many transformers with crane alt modes have. Basically a decent looking front end.
But on a lot of them, from the back it’s all construction equipment and dangling crane arms. Hook’s is actually nicely proportioned and doesn’t rest on the ground.
Long Haul has a one of the weakest robot modes of the Constructicons. He has arms that can barely reach past his entire truck cab for a chest with long, thin, and hollow legs .
Then there’s the secondary alt modes. Other than the large extra weapon, Hook’s addition of Devastator’s folded up head really does nothing but impede his crane arm.
Whereas Long Haul’s adds weaponry while completely eliminating the useful part of his alt mode, the bed of his dump truck.
I should really stop ending with these kooky secondary alt modes. Kind of anti-climactic.
Voted the two robots most likely to star in a Cybertronian retelling of the Telltale Heart. G1 and G2 Constructicons Scrapper and Mixmaster!
It’s been a while since I did a proper set of combiner posts but the timing on this one is perfect. Why perfect? You’ll have to hang in for the very last of the four posts to find out why.
When Generation 2 hit — the occurrence that actually got me back into Transformers — I was initially turned off by the odd colour choices with one exception: the G2 Constructicons. The Constructicons were the only toys I was actually turned off by the original G1 version of. Construction vehicles shouldn’t be… whatever shade of green this is:
This is something G2 actually corrected, giving them the normal yellow of real world construction vehicles.
Granted, someone decided this was far too realistic and not bright enough for G2 and a later, smaller run recast them in astoundingly bright orange colours.
Cartoon inaccuracy meant very little to me at the time. In fact, I preferred my yellow G2 Constructicons so much that they were the only versions of this mold I had up until this past year, when Takara choose to reissue the originals in the Encore line. It was well timed, I had a birthday coming up and decided this reissue of the original giftset, containing all six of the Constructicons, would be my present to myself.
Starting from the ground up, we have the two Constructicons that form Devastator’s legs.
Despite being the right leg, Scrapper is considered the leader by virtue of being the only Constructicon with a Rank over 4. He has a 5. Sometimes a single point makes all the difference. Of the Constructicon toys he actually has one of the better robot modes. Scrapper is one of those quiet types that turns out to have bodies hidden in the basement. By “in” the basement, I mean incorporated into the structure itself and by “bodies”, I mean still living. Maybe that’s how he got that extra point in the Rank category? Anyone that challenged him found themselves as support beams within the walls of Decepticon headquarters.
My favourite of the Constructicons is Mixmaster. He has a good robot mode coupled with a great name, a name that ensures that he has a backup career as the Decepticon bartender if his gig as the Constructicon’s mad chemistry set on legs/wheels doesn’t work out. Scrapper isn’t alone in his gruesome source of building materials, Mixmaster “will use anything from unliving rock to living robots in making new materials”.
Along with his other charming qualities, Mixmaster also incorporates a missile launcher directly above his head. That’s pretty hardcore. Or at least that’s pretty hardcore for G1 Mixmaster, unfortunately this feature was neutered for his G2 release.
So kids would have something to do with all those leftover parts, each Constructicon can incorporate a piece of the combining mechanism used to form Devastator. For Scrapper, it’s Devastator’s chest piece, that attaches to the back of his alt mode forming a rather ridiculous looking flying payloader.
Mixmaster, however, comes with Devastator’s large gun, which can be mounted on his alt mode to form the most heavily armed cement mixer in history.
Up next: Long Haul and Hook!
For all the flashes of brilliance in the long history of the Transformers, there are some ideas that seem so utterly half-baked it is a wonder that anyone of authority ever green-lighted their manufacture.
I say half-baked because the theory itself is sound: have a single robot mode with multiple, simultaneous alt modes. Magmatron proved out that this can actually be amazing when orchestrated correctly. Huh. I was just re-reading my Magmatron post and I think I might not have been feeling well when I wrote it. First, so many typos (now fixed). Second, I called the Duocons “pretty decent”? Granted, this was written shortly after getting Flywheels, so I might have had “new purchase blinders” on. Well, the bloom is certainly off the rose on this one.
He does have two very solid alt modes.
Strategically intelligent, Flywheels is a complete, concurrent air and ground support system. Very useful in a battle.
Now, take these two together and make a decent robot out of it. Not too difficult, right? The cartoon did it, well, at least Headmasters, making a nicely proportioned robot out of Flywheels. The toy designers in charge of the Duocons on the other hand decided that just having two alt modes for one robot mode was not enough. They also gave them an auto-transformation gimmick. I think they might have focused a little too much on the gimmick, as that actually works quite well and is pretty genius in its simplicity.
Push until it clicks and then let go, up springs… well, the results are less than spectacular.
Ok. Setting aside the obvious dwarfism going on here (Transformers can have little people too if they want), what’s with “feet” that are as long as the entire robot is tall? Also, those arms. Flywheels’ T-Rex arms are so bad I think he might actually be an honorary member of the G1 Terrorcons.
Transformers may not normally worry about scale, but proportion is another thing altogether. Umm, at least he has a nice headsculpt?
Second only to my love of the Masters of the Head, Target, Power, and Micro variety is my love of the Mini-Cassette sub-group. Enough so that the tipping point that made me pre-order the upcoming Soundblaster and Twincast Encore releases was the fact that Soundblaster would be coming with Mini-Cassette versions of Wingthing and Enemy; Twincast with such remarkably obscure pieces of Transformers history as Stripes and Nightstalker.
Spoiler warning! If you intend to, but haven’t yet seen the Japanese series Transformers: Headmasters and somehow made it 24 years without learning of the shocking events of the second episode “The Mystery of Planet Master”, skip ahead.
Those other folks gone yet?
Good, we’ll catch up to them in a moment (time travel!)
After the death of Soundwave and Blaster — a condition that is only temporary, something only Steeljaw appears to understand at the time — they are rebuilt into Soundblaster and Twincast. In the cartoon they continue to soldier on with their respective army of mini-cassettes, but in toy form Twincast got a little boost in his numbers thanks to the Japanese exclusive W-Cassettebots.
I had heard a little bit about these “astonishingly rare” Japanese exclusive Dino-cassettes but was unaware of the fact that they were also Combiners. I actually only caught up to that fact when they appeared on the alternate cover to Spotlight: Blaster in 2008.
In May of this year an Ebay auction for just two of them, Dial and Saur, ended at $370. That was minus their weapons and about half of Saur’s stickers. Another auction, for a mixed lot of Transformers in which Dial and Saur can be found amongst the images, ended at $622.85. Needless to say, much like their artificially overpriced boss, Twincast, these were never going to make it into my collection.
That is until Takara decided to re-reissue Twincast (he was reissued once as an e-Hobby exclusive in 2006) and someone decided to do
high-end replicas knock-offs of the W-Cassettebots.
Even the packaging is a very good recreation. For the purists out there, there are still tons of telltale signs that easily distinguish these from the originals. Different groups have taken upon themselves to put out guides to spotting these differences to make sure nobody smart enough to read gets snookered into spending hundreds of dollars on a counterfeit.
These guys are given the sub-sub-grouping of W-Cassettebots with the “W” representing their ability to combine. “W” being pronounced “Double-U”, for those that don’t quite grasp the very tenuous association. There were actually four sets of combining Mini-Cassettes released, but the two of them exclusive to U.S. retail and only offered as mail-aways in Japan never officially received the “W-Cassettebots” association.
All four of the W-Cassettebots transform from Mini-Cassettes into dinosaur robot modes and then combine into a humanoid robot mode. Dial and Saur combine to form Legout. Until someone can tell me what the heck “Legout” is supposed to mean, I’m going to put it down to the fact that he comes from the same country that gave us Kirk, Loafer, and Rodney.
However, robot dinosaurs are still what’s cool, so these guys will take their place on the shelves in their individual robot forms.
Saur, on the left, is adorable and Dial, on the right, looks rather effective in his role of “Cybertron Natural Resource Scout”. “Dial” is actually a bit of a naming controversy. “Dairu” really doesn’t translate into anything that makes sense. Perhaps it’s meant to be “Dile” as in “Crocodile”, but even that’s a stretch. If only they had added a “y”, he would have been “Dai-ryu” (something to effect of King Dragon?)Oh well, until someone from Takara clears it up, I’ll stick with Dial. It makes as much sense as Legout.
Of course, as cool as robot dinosaurs are, it’s pretty damned funny that these guys transform from extinct animals to an extinct sound recording format.