Blackjack's Review: Legends Class Bonecrusher
Ah, Bonecrusher! In the first live-action movie, Bonecrusher and Brawl (Devastator) were two Decepticons introduced alongside Starscream right during the assembling scene. Both had no characterisation whatsoever other than being big growly violent metal monsters.
However, both had very distinctive designs, especially so for Bonecrusher! It's not enough that his alternate mode was this crazy Buffalo mine-clearing vehicle with a simply gigantic claw, it's not enough that the short road fight scene with Optimus is easily the most spectacular, fast-paced and violent battle in the entire movie. No, like all the other movieverse Decepticons he's got a distinctive designs that sets him apart from the others. He's got these roller blades as feet, he's got these long rugby player arms, and his most distinctive feature had to be his back-mounted tail which snaps like some sort of mad venus flytrap thing.
As if that's not enough, Hasbro's tech spec went all out for Bonecrusher. Instead of doling out a generic Decepticon tech spec, Bonecrusher's bio was written like a G1 character in that it actually defines a real character instead of just some generic. Basically Bonecrusher hates everything in the world, even himself, even Megatron, but he's not tough enough to defeat Megatron. Bones' characterisation as a big ball of hate has grown into some sort of meme over the fandom.
And rightfully so! His one line of spoken dialogue (other than calling out Prime's name) was 'AH HATE YAAAA'. Well, it could easily be 'buh-loody hell' or something similar, but I disgress.
So, anyway, Bonecrusher's got himself a Deluxe Class toy, which is a pretty spectacular toy even by today's lofty standards. Bonecrusher also had a Legends mold made for him much later in the toyline, but it was in a two-pack with the crappy Jazz toy, and pretty rare to boot.
However, in some countries Bonecrusher was released in an exclusive single pack. It was in 2010 where I saw a shelf filled with Bonecrushers. At half price! Well, I can't resist such a cute widdle killing machine, can't I? Besides, Bonecrusher is everybody's favourite Decepticon! Be it director Michael Bay, or the army department that lent the Buffalo to the Movie... Michael Bay named his dog after Bonecrusher (fitting name), while at one point the army used Bonecrusher's Deluxe Class toy as a mascot or something for their Buffalo MPVC.
Now Bonecrusher was hardly a new name. His name went as far back as the first year of Transformers as one of the Constructicons (which caused Bonecrusher's counterpart in ROTF to be named Rampage). G1 Bonecrusher was this violent, destructive demolitions expert. In Beast Wars the name was reused for a toy-only Maximal bison. In Armada the name was again reused, this time for one of the earliest Mini-Cons, which allowed him to get some semblance of personality in the comics. It was then reused for three different members of three Constructicon teams in the Energon and Universe lines. Then there's this guy.
Not a really memorable bunch, eh? I bet the layman fan is only aware of the G1 and Movie guys at most.
Bonecrusher has a kickass Deluxe class toy, but does his Legends class toy hold up?
Bonecrusher transforms into a Buffalo mine-clearing vehicle. It is a great, badass vehicle and a refreshing change from the constant stream of jets, sports cars and tanks that bog down the majority of Transformer alternate modes. The Buffalo is a nice, refreshing change from your average run-of-the-mill alternate mode. Like all Movie series toys, it evokes the distinctive silhouette of the vehicle, whilst having a sizable amount of detail for its size. Understandably the level of detail, moulded or otherwise, is not to the level of its Deluxe class counterpart; no doors, for one.
Bonecrusher is nearly entirely cast in tan, however — this includes the wheels, which should by rights be black or gray. Everything about him, from front to end, is tan other than the painted blue windows and the lonely Decepticon emblem on his right flank. This makes for a rather boring alternate mode. I mean, I'm against garish, unrealistic paint schemes, but surely this is just them being lazy. Compared to more 'modern' Legends class toys, the level of paintjob on Bonecrusher is severely lacking.
The Buffalo has six wheels in contact with the ground, a pair in front and two pairs at the back. In addition there are two spare wheels on either side of the vehicle, just behind the front pair of wheels. All unpainted, of course. Of all these, only the front pair and the second from the rear, rolls.
Bonecrusher makes up for it by having a movable mine-clearing fork. Note that in real life the Buffalo's mine clearing claw isn't as massive as the humongous thing Bonecrusher has, but it is not far-fetched to think that Bonecrusher couldn't have upgraded his alternate mode a wee bit while scanning it. Rule of cool trumps real-life accuracy when dealing with giant effing robots, after all. The claw is pivoted at three parts, one where it is attached to the vehicle, one in the midpoint and one in the claw. The claw can swing rather freely, but the other two joints don't go all the way. Don't try to force the joint to extend down to 180 degrees, you'll break poor Bonecrusher's claw.
Kibble wise, Bonecrusher's upper legs and a bit of his waist/crotch section shows quite blatantly. The legs aren't held together quite securely, and mine flops around often if you so much as lift him off the ground. Considering that this is among Hasbro's earliest attempts to make Legends Class toys, it's pretty forgiveable compared to how some others hide their robot mode kibble... but compared to more 'modern' Legends Class toys, Bonecrusher is a poor affair in this mode, I'm sorry to say.
Bonecrusher's transformation is a simplified mirror of his larger Deluxe Class toy, with the same parts arrangement. Instead of having the real cab be the chest, Bonecrusher's rear halves split apart to become limbs (with the wheels forming his iconic feet) and the claw and the real cab on his back. Frankly the faux cab is the only way you can do this in a size class smaller than Voyager, and boy isn't it a gorgeous transformation.
However, the problem that plagued many Movie Legends class toys like Optimus, Bonecrusher, Brawl and Blackout is that their arms are molded bits in their vehicle mode kibble. Thankfully for Bonecrusher, for having long, spindly arms folded while not in use, he pulls this off better than his wavemates. Although that long jutting piece of kibble gives the impression that one of his fingers is permanently pointing ninety-degrees down.
Again, unlike his Deluxe Class toy which was quite a bit more colourful in the shades of gray, tan and military green, Legends Class Bonecrusher is a plain affair, being entirely tan other than the sole bit of silver paint on his chest, his gold-painted face and a bit of blood-red detailing on his eyes and face. Yes, face. So he looks like he has a red mustache with the middle bit shaved.
Still, it bears a quite nice resemblance of his complex CG model, and rather decently articulated for a toy his time. He is articulated in his shoulders (two kinds of joints), waist and tail-claw. He can also bend down thanks to his transformation scheme. Now the tail-claw is permanently fixed in the mine-plow formation and cannot change into the wicked venus flytrap-like trap formation as seen in the movie, but it can still reach forwards to slash at enemies.
While he does bear a lot of resemblance to the Movie design, clearly the designers were confused on how to translate the complex designs into a small toy. So there are places where the toy designers clearly fudged things — like the arms — which makes the final product look slightly comical, unlike the ROTF-era Legends Class toys that look like miniature versions of their larger counterparts in terms of aesthetics. Bonecrusher just looks... a little wrong. Okay, he doesn't quite look as terrible as Blackout or Brawl or Bumblebee or Jazz, but still... there's just something off about him. Maybe it's the goofy arms, I can't tell exactly what.
Sadly, the ball joints on mine where the legs meet the waist is very loose, and he is prone to toppling with the barest provocation! This is apparently not a widespread issue so keep your fingers crossed if you're getting this guy.
Another point to note is that Bonecrusher is in perfect scale with Legends Optimus Prime. While the first Movie toy is crap, he's a nice size to re-enact the battle scene with ROTF Legends Prime, a much superior toy!
While he might pale in visual appeal compared to the newer Universe/Classics and ROTF Legends toys, Movie Bonecrusher is undoubtedly the pinnacle of the Movieverse legends... which sadly doesn't say much for the rest of the line, since in today's standards Bonecrusher is average tut-tut.
Marks out of ten for the following:
7/10 Well, it worked for the Deluxe class toy, and is pretty serviceable in a smaller scale.
4/10 The waist are really loose on mine and feel like it might actually snap instead of just pop off, and I am really, really worried about the tail/mine sweep snapping off.
7/10 It quite looks like Bonecrusher, which is a great design. The proportions are just correct. However, there are bits where designers try too hard to streamline Movieverse designs into a simpler toy and the result looks comical of sorts. Also, he's 97% a single colour.
7/10 You get to re-enact the highway scene with Legends Class Prime. But otherwise it's pretty much your average Legends class toy. By virtue of appearing on-screen raises the fun bar for me.
5/10 It might be amazing at its day, but newer Legends Class have shown that Bonecrusher was only a stepping stone.
7/10 Well, it was at half price...
6/10 Bonecrusher is a great toy at its day, but compared to newer toys, he seriously lacks in his aesthetics department, in the division of molded detail versus painted ones and stuff like that. I love the toy, for the record, but he's not really that
good that you have to hunt him down.