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!