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Old 2014-07-26, 07:45 PM   #39
Likes Beast Wars toys. A lot.
Warcry's Avatar
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

In honour of this week's big combiner reveal, have some Energon combiners!

These guys have got a lot of flak over the years for, essentially, not being G1 enough. The fact that they were marketed as Aerialbots, Combaticons and Constructicons didn't help, I suspect. But I like them!

At the time I was fairly short on cash, and distribution wasn't very good, so I never really had a chance to build complete combiner teams. But lucky for me, there were only three unique molds per combiner, so I could pick and choose my favourites without missing out too much. I only bought one of the team leaders, since Storm Jet and Steamhammer didn't impress me at all, but I wanted to get one of each of the Scout molds. That didn't quite work out (I didn't like the blue crane in the first wave, so I wanted for the green and black one and he didn't come out here) but I got most of them, and I'm quite happy with my mixed-and-matched set.

Barricade is probably the best modern combiner torso, not that that's an especially difficult feat. He's got a good-looking, well-articulated robot mode, albeit with a huge, mostly-hollow backpack. He looks good as the core of a combiner, and I especially like the unique, not-at-all-G1 head that they gave him. His alt-mode isn't bad either, since it's got a decent amount of play value even if his head is clearly visible from the sides. The biggest knock on him, IMO, is that like the other two combiner team leaders, he came with no accessories of his own.

Kickback (the tank) is probably the weakest of the bunch. His vehicle mode is cool, and I like that he's an anti-aircraft tank rather than a battle tank. Paired up with Barricade's missile launcher, the two of them are nice thematic opposites for the Autobots' combiner -- designed to shoot down planes. But his robot mode is pretty awkward. He's got ski-feet, awkward back kibble and guns hanging off his ears.

Storm Cloud isn't the helicopter guy I wanted originally, but once I realized that the final wave (including the much-prettier purple Blackout) wasn't going to show up, I got this guy instead. But despite my fears, the blaze orange isn't really that bad. The gold and brown counter it nicely. His robot mode is cool, with good articulation, though hampered a little bit by an overly-large chest. His helicopter mode isn't bad either -- though his arms and legs are pretty clearly just hanging off of him, at least some effort is made to make them look like they belong. He's also got the distinction of having the only Energon weapons of the bunch that actually look like weapons.

Sledge suffers a bit from having obvious legs making up the back half of his vehicle mode. His robot mode almost makes up for it, though. He's got good articulation and a good "look", really pulling off the tough-guy construction worker feel that they were going for. The subdued colour scheme is nice too. I also like that he can use his Energon weapon (nominally a fork or something) as a shield, which seems fitting for a construction guy.

Treadshot is one of my favourite Basic/Scout sized guys ever. His vehicle mode is a bit weak, I'll admit, but his robot mode is pretty great. He's got the same basic "Cyberjet" layout that a lot of small TF jets have, but he pulls it off better than most. He's got ball joints everywhere and a good range of motion. I really like his colours, too. There's a few other versions of this mold that look good, but none of them top his black/baby blue/yellow/silver deco.

Sky Shadow (why exactly isn't Treadshot the one with a gun in his foot?) is one of about a zillion A-10 Thunderbolts in the history of the Transformers franchise, but one of the few molds that aren't a reference to Powerglide. His asymmetrical feet and gun-turret head are neat touches, as are having his engines become hands. I quite like him, though it's taken a while for me to come around to appreciating him -- when I first got him, I thought he sucked because he wasn't G1 enough.
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