Clay's review of: Superlink BuildronName
: Buildron (Scavenger, Scrapper, Bonecrusher, Long Haul, Glen)Allegiance
: Construction, DestructionSub-Group
: Constructicons/Buildrons"Destroy is forever and universally!"The super strong power that was put under a spell is broken by the emperor of destruction Galvatron, and that power is going back to destron troops. Now he is combinable with his comrade "Burutikas" and therefore their attack of combination is versatility. When they are combined, the power of "super link" is revived!
Quote and techspec translated by Lucifer of TFArchive.com
And here you and I are again, with another Superlink combiner giftset review. I purchased Bruticus and Superion at the same time, but Buildron was not yet available due to being a Toys 'R Us Japan exclusive. When it finally did become available, my initial reaction was to just wait and get the Energon version. The price was repulsive!
After a while though, it started eating away at me... I already had the other two, so this little voice kept saying, "Why not, Clay? Go ahead and get it...you know you want it...spoil yourself...it's the holidays.". You get the idea. Eventually, I gave in and ordered one. Now, it's review time!Vehicle Modes
Just like Bruticus and Superion, Buildron is comprised of two molds used twice for limbs, and a center-bot for the torso. The arrangement we are given is two cranes, two front-end loaders (or tractors, to be simpler), and a backhoe. However, unlike the Superion and Bruticus sets, the arrangement suffers a little from the monotony of vehicles. The other two are based on military craft, and it makes perfect sense to reuse molds since military craft usually come in squads. With heavy equipment, though, more variety is required.
There were six original Constructicons, and they had six different alternate modes. Among them, it was concievable that they could build something. With Buildron, most of the functions are filled, but it could really use a dump truck and a cement mixer (they can probably get by without a bulldozer). But, that's a minor complaint. The reason for the re-use of molds was stated as financial and not from a lack of creativity, and Demolisher (a dump truck) is already present in the Energon line, so I can live with it.
The tractors rock. The Energon weapons attach to the rear of each as a sort of backhoe. They're very sturdy, and their little buckets move correctly. Having them side-by-side really helps illustrate how different paint jobs can differentiate the toys. For the most part, the colors are rough opposites: a part that's dark on one is light on the other, and vice versa. One of the better things about them is that the robot mode is so well hidden. Very believable as 'Robots in Disguise'.
The cranes have roughly the same color patterns as the tractors: What's light on one is dark the other. The crane arms can extend, and the turrents they're mounted on can rotate. They have little hooks, but those are obscured by the energon grapples. Other than that, there's not much to say about them...
The backhoe is... is very distinctive looking. I can't place it, but I know I've seen some sort of artwork with vehicles like it before. It can rotate at its base, and the scoop has some good movement in it. Overall, I'd say the squad in vehicle mode is good for foundation prepping, but not for building highrises.Robot Mode
The robot modes are what really make the Superlink/Energon combiners work. Articulation, detail, and articulation again.
The tractors turn in to Scrapper and Bonecrusher. Scrapper is light and dark green with some black, and Bonecrusher is brown, tan and orange. They have ball-jointed knees, hips, and shoulders. Their elbows bend one way along a metal pin, and their wastes and heads can rotate. There are a number of neat little details in the molds that are highlighted differently because of the two decos, and it does a good job of making them distinct from each other. The transformation is really well thought out and intricate without being a puzzle, and it hides the robot parts well. The Energon parts can be used as clubs or hand picks.
The crane robots are Glen (the green one) and Long Haul (the blue one). They don't really use the same method of divergence as tractors. Instead of painting in mold details on one and leaving bare another, they mostly just alternate light and dark colors. As a result, they're a bit more similar looking to each other than the other pair. They feature great articulation as the tractors do, and with good reason. They look like dorks! Big feet, Destron belt-buckles, turtlenecks, one arm longer than the other... yeesh. But, I like them anyway. Think of them as Transformers in the midst of adolescence. They have a lot of appeal in their robot modes, but not in the 'super spectacular looking, transforming robot from outer space' way. More in the 'funny, ha ha' way. As a side note, Glen was the name Takara gave to the original buildron/constructicon crane: Hasbro named it Hook.
The backhoe turns into (I think) the leader, Scavenger. Like the two other torso bots, he uses a wacky number of joints to accomplish that goal, so his robot mode benefits from lots of articulation. The only non-functional joint is his head. It sits between the two tracks and doesn't have any room to turn, but there is a pin connector there. His left arm is the backhoe bucket, and to some people that means he just has a big, ugly ornament that can't hold any weapons. However, the bucket can open and close, meaning he can hold weapons as well as pinch smaller bots to annoyance with it. He's also noticably taller than the other members; it's much moreso than with Onslaught or Afterburner and their respective teams.Buildtron Mode
And, the combined mode. First, to clear something up: the original group were called Constructicons in the US, and Buildrons in Japan. The gestalt name was Devastator in the US, and Devastar in Japan. Hasbro has apparently lost the copyright/trademark to Devastator since then, as the micromaster set was released under the universe line as "Decepticon Devastator". Takara, on the other hand, already used the name Devastar in Micron Legend for the character called Scavenger in Armada. Thus, Buildron is equivilant to Constructicon Maximus as far as name origins go.
Anyway, Buildron is the most articulated out the three new gestalts. The designers cleverly made use of the rotating wastes and knees of the smaller robots to give a good range of motion in the elbows, and this is on top of the standard knee, hip, waist, head and shoulder joints of the gestalt itself. The Energon parts are perhaps the best of the three as well. They're very well attached and capable of holding smaller toys in their clutches. Even the fronts of the cranes can be opened and used as claws.
He also has the most stable feet of the three, by far. They're long and wide enough that he can be put into a variety of poses without falling over. (Bruticus' helicopters are perhaps the opposite. As feet, they're very narrow in the front, and he can't really use both as legs and stay standing easily).
I also like the asymmetrical approach to the torso. Because of the backhoe's bucket floating above the left shoulder, it gives Buildron a very distinctive look compared to Superion and Bruticus.
Finally, Buildron is somewhat the combative antithesis of Superion. Whereas the cybertron is bristling with high-tech weaponry, Buildron is armed simply with claws. I think of him as the deceptions' premiere melee fighter, ripping autobots, cybertrons, and maximals apart with his bare talons.Transformation
: 8 - Very well thought out. The robot modes are all fairly well hidden, and the joints for the individual robots are utilized again for more articulation in the combined mode. Good marks here.Durability
: 7 - The litte crane arms are spindly, and one accidental step could be the end of them.Fun
: 9 - The only features that really detract from this mark are the homogeneous types of vehicles. Superion and Bruticus can get away with it, being group-based military vehicles, but Buildron doesn't fare quite as well. Everything else is great, though.Price
: 1 - Blech. Get the US versions for this reason alone.Summary
: 4 and
10 - Buildron is a great toy. The price is a bit high because of the import status, on top of being an exclusive. I had my reasons for getting it (mostly already having the other two giftsets), and I would probably do it again, but it's too much, really. The toys themselves are great: the Superlink/Energon combiners are probably my favorites of any Transformers so far. As for this *specific* release of this set, I would recommend hunting down the Energon versions, unless you live in Japan and can just go buy it in the store.
Thus the dual score: Four for being so expensive, and ten for the toys themselves, independant of price, as a cheaper version should (hopefully!) be available soon... in separate waves. I guess you just can't win...