Clay's review of: Nemesis Breaker
Giant arm for Galvatron
For the past umpteen series, Optimus Prime has been able to combine with other large, semi-expensive toys in an effort to gain more power and collect more money. Cybertron Prime is no different, but one of his combining buddies is: Leobreaker, now repainted and sinisterly titled Nemesis Breaker, is what an old Mississippi blues man would call a backdoor man.
Picture Optimus coming home after working a seven-to-eleven, sixteen hour shift. He opens his front door and hears his backdoor slam. It must be one of those new-fangled, backdoor men! Yes, in the world of Transformers, the Leo/Nemesis Breaker mold is a two-timing hussy, playing all parts of the field. Not only is it able to form a gigantic cat-arm for Prime, it can do the same for Galvatron!
And thus the repaint. Fair enough, Nemesis Breaker is part of the Cybertron cartoon making it a canon repaint. As opposed to recoloring the toy to present a different type of cat, Nemesis Breaker is painted black, silver, grey and teal in order to coordinate with Galvatron as well as look the part of a baddie. And it works for the most part, but a color makeover doesn't fix the problems inherent with the mold.
Leo... er, Nemesis Breaker's alternate mode is still that of a lion (or, if you're faithful to the Japanese Galaxy Force version, a liger), albeit a big black mostly-mechanical one. It's quite striking in person, but I'll attribute that to the sorrowful teal instead of taking the easy, well-trodden road of lauding black repaints for being evil-y looking. It makes the kitty look sad, which is more interesting than evil.
Articulation is decent in this mode: each leg has three or four points of movement, and... that's it. It's basically enough considering it's a transforming, combining, cat-robot, but a bit more in terms of joints would have been wise for reasons soon to arise...
...once you've transformed it into robot mode. This is where my biggest critique of the mold comes from: the unnecessary lack of joints hurts the articulation of the robot mode (I tend to expect more from a robot mode than from a beast mode on average), and combined with the fact that most of the existing joints are in places that make the limbs woefully out of proportion really make the robot mode a visually unpleasing, relatively un-poseable eyesore.
Moving the knees a bit higher and giving the waist a rotating joint would have made the robot mode a world better and would not have interfered with the lion mode one bit. Moreover, it would have enhanced the combined mode as well by giving the giant cat-arm articulation that's needed even more than in the robot mode.
For all the bile I've spit up so far, I love the giant cat-arm! It's far and away the mold's most redeeming feature, whether combined with Galvatron or Prime. It's simply so visually distinct from anything else in Transformers that I find it quite appealing. Either Prime or Galvatron, both wonderfully symmetrical robots in their normal states, become hulking, off-centered masses of funk when combined with Leo/Nemesis Breaker.
This isn't a ground-breaking style, though: it's actually a design homage to the GaoGaiGar/Goldy Mar combination from the last series of Brave in the late `90's. The Cybertron counterparts of GaoGaiGar are quite a bit cheaper to come by, though.
The combination isn't perfect: Galvatron's floppy feet make the gestalt mode impossible to balance on carpet. It's very stable when placed on a wooden shelf and leaning against a wall, but it's a tedious affair to get it to stand on softer surfaces (I.E., on poster board in front of my door to take pictures for this review).
It's also not terribly poseable, either. Again, a rotational joint in the waist would have greatly improved both the robot mode and the combined mode. But that's hindsight, I suppose.
Amusingly enough, one giant cat-arm attached to an even-more giant robot looks neat, but two giant cat-arms look weird. Ponder that.
4. Basing that on how well it's designed, and... it could have been a lot better.
10. On the bright side, it's nigh impervious.
X. If you like your bots stand-alone, you'll be extremely disappointed. If you like big combining robots that serve no purpose other than to milk more money out of parents/collectors that have already bought Prime or Galvatron, you'll think it's ace!
4. $20 at the Hasbro Online Toyshop. I rate this low as the toy could have been much smaller, lighter, and more stable when combined with the bigger bots if they had simply skipped the sound box.
3. Really worth skipping unless you're gung-ho to have something to hook onto your Galvatron, which is a fine toy all by itself. It's certainly a visual statement and does look nice when combined, but given all the shortcomings of the robot mode, it's essentially a twenty dollar, underwhelmingly engineered arm and little else.
I intend to keep mine as I really do like the way the combined mode looks, but I would not advise picking this up for any reason other than having a big, mutant arm for Galvatron.