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Transformers Toy Review Archive (older series, 1984 to date)
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Reflector's review of: Universe Devastator

Name: Devastator (Hightower, Buckethead, Bonecrush, Long Haul, Scavenger, Quickmix)
Allegiance: Decepticon
Function: Construction
Sub-Group: Constructicons

In 1992, Takara released a group of Micromaster construction vehicles that combined into the Cybertron Sixbuilder as part of their Operation Combination line. Sixbuilder was reissued in 2003, both in its original colors and as a Destron in lime green with purple highlights. In 2004, Hasbro blessed us by bringing the Destron version stateside, under their Universe Micromasters subline, with some much improved paint applications and given the name it certainly deserves: Devastator. (NOTE: I will review each robot extensively following the Devastator overall review. If you're interested in how each Micro weighs in, scroll past the scorecard.)

Vehicle Mode:
So it's kind of cheating, but Devastator does have a sort of alt mode in that his extra parts form into some sort of jet. It's nice to see that some thought was put into the parts to make them look decent in both robot mode and jet mode (like how the feet are swept to make them function as wings), but in the end it's just damn silly. There's no realism. The play value is there, in that one pilot can be stabbed into the cockpit/chest cavity, and I guess it's no worse than Roughstuff and his lot but... I dunno.

Robot Mode:
This is what you all came to see, right? Devastator stands at just about seven inches, which is mighty impressive for a stack of Micromasters. And he sure does look menacing among them, being about four times taller than the average Micro. The detail is well-balanced, with the combined lower-detail figures showing just enough to give it a nice density. The colors are also very smart; the purple and black represent almost as much surface area as the green. Unfortunately, Devastator is a Micromaster at heart, so he only has three points of articulation (neck and shoulders). The thing also looks less than traditional in the way of combiners by making liberal use of extraneous parts for head, hands, feet, torso frame, and upper legs. It feels less like the actual combination of Transformers than like slapping a few onto a frame to make it look better. This Devastator unfortunately doesn't share the broad-shoulders visual menace its namesake had - in fact, it looks a bit lanky and awkward, though the proportions are better than most combiners the ages have produced. In the end, Devastator is a lovely homage and a decent combiner even today.

Transformation: 2 - They're Micromasters. Come on.
Durability: 6 - Not much to break (though the plastic isn't awesome), but much to lose.
Fun: 7 - If you like Micros, you'll love them even without combining.
Price: 5 - $25 for a full Sixbuilder is good, but $4 for one Micromaster is bad.
Summary: 6 - Unless you love G1 homages, combiners, rare Japanese Transformers, or Micromasters, this one probably isn't for you. But I guess that covers a lot of us, huh?

Bonecrusher Alt Mode:
Aptly named, Bonecrusher is the bulldozer of the crew. The vehicle is long and somewhat swept back, giving it a near-futuristic look. There's an almost shocking amount of tech detail, from the inner mechanisms of the treads to the hatch atop the cab. The color scheme is naturally mainly pale green, but its liberal use of black for the immobile treads, plow, and grates and purple for the windows and engine grill compliments very nicely. The detail on the rear of the vehicle and the li'l Decepticon symbol on the bonnet finish this thing's beauty.

Bonecrusher Robot Mode:
He doesn't look much like the original, but Bonecrusher's still a pretty neat Micro. With the bonnet forming his chest and treads on his arms, he looks ready for trouble. The proportions are a little strange (the main problem being that his arms are stuck to his sides), but it still makes a decent appearance from the front. From the sides, you'll notice that the shovel is worn on his back by the shoulders; it looks like it should impose on the arms' posability, but it doesn't. Good thing too, because they're all he has. The colors here are the same with a bit more distribution to the purple. There are better Micros, but few look quite this imposing, and that does lots for the character.

Buckethead Alt Mode:
(Yes, I know it's a silly name. Yes, we should all get over it.) Buckethead's vehicle mode is a payloader that will certainly immediately bring Scrapper to mind for the masses. This is, I think, the least impressive vehicle of the group. The purple apps are quite sparse (though lifting the shovel will reveal a cool outline with a tiny 'Con logo on the underside), and the whole thing looks silly. The arms are easily visible floating above the front wheels, and the cab near the rear is so far down that the driver surely couldn't see over the huge bar that is the shovel's joint. As pluses, it does have some neat little ladder detail and a tiny bit more articulation that most Transformers vehicles, but it's still poor even as a Micromaster.

Buckethead Robot Mode:
One must have fairly low standards to appreciate the Micromasters for the coolness they are, but Buckethead pushes it a little. The proportions are damn silly, with a bulging chest, paper-thin arms, a pinhead (Micromasters usually sport heads that are rather large for Transformers proportions), and shins far too long for his thighs. The already restricted articulation is further crippled by his front axle inhibiting arm motion, but it's somewhat compensated by his ability to nod. Although the head design is neat, the floating shovel behind his legs finishes the ruination of the look, and I wonder if the designer really liked his job...

Hightower Alt Mode:
A reference in appearance to Hook and in name to the RID Build Teamster, Hightower is the Constructicons' obligatory crane. The rig's appearance is very angular and a little futuristic, especially in the windows. There's some natural detail, like the trusses in the crane and the winch on the rear, which goes a long way for the look. The colors are plain and intuitive (black for the wheels and crane, purple for the windows, and green everywhere else) so that it's realistic for what it is, but they're distributed so that it looks good. What's best is that it has an astonishing three points of articulation, which adds so to the building-things fun.

Hightower Robot Mode:
Something about this robot mode just feels cool. Maybe it's the good proportions (which look even better somehow by the huge construct hovering above Hightower's head). Maybe it's the five points of articulation - yes, he's the proud master of feet that aren't intrinsically connected! Praise the lord! Maybe it's the better color distribution, with purple making up the better part of his torso. (I love that the chest was left green, because it looks as though he's wearing a flak jacket. There's also silver on the face in this mode, and a tiny red dot on top of his head. I dunno.) But you know, it's probably the face: it looks like Hook, and that's just neat enough to make everything else good stand out so much more.

Long Haul Alt Mode:
Long Haul is another of the three Constructicons to pay name homage to the original, and he's fittingly the dump truck of the squad. Long Haul is much blockier than most of the other Constructicons; everything except the bottom of the bed is at right angles. It makes for a neat look, but nothing else does. There's not a lot of detail (except for the driver door outline and the hydraulics at the back), and the purple is used so sparingly - grill and windows - that it isn't a lot of fun to look at. It's not a terrible Micromaster for sure, but it certainly feels like filler compared to some of the others.

Long Haul Robot Mode:
Here's a little improvement. Long Haul looks a good bit better standing up: he has pretty decent proportions for a Micro. The purple on the waist and head, unseen in the other mode, balances the colors nicely. He also has a neat head design, and the density of detail here makes it a more impressive look. He's still cursed with only two points of articulation, and he has a bed on the back of his legs and funny hands, but his relative height and aforementioned positive qualities balance that out.

Quickmix Alt Mode:
As the cement mixer, Quickmix is naturally a visual reference to Mixmaster and a nomenclatural reference to the Autobot Targetmaster. It's a rather squat vehicle, looking more like a toy truck than a utilitarian machine ala the early Minicars. It looks fairly blocky, save the drum in the rear. The detail seems lacking at a glance, but I find it's actually well balanced. The best thing about this guy is the color scheme: silver on the drum and bumper, black on the rear of the cab and headlights, and purple for the windows hide the green well. The worst? Mine has an arm that doesn't fit properly, making it less convincing. I don't know if this is a common glitch.

Quickmix Robot Mode:
Quickmix suffers from Fixit Syndrome, in that he has a lame transformation that leaves him looking like a gimp. His legs are indiscernibly such, he wears a truck cab on his back, and he has but two points of misplaced articulation (that is, his shoulders flank his head). Beyond all that, it's neat. The paint is almost marvelous: black chest, silver face and waist, purple shoulders and legs. He also has two pairs of cavities near his ears that one would imagine are blasters, and that almost makes up for the hood look. So-so.

Scavenger Alt Mode:
Wouldn'tcha know, Scavenger is the Constructicons' excavator. (Let's hope the psychofans aren't too upset that he has wheels rather than treads.) It looks a bit like Hightower in its fundamental design, but the details (like the single windshield pane and the four wheels, rather than six) distinguish it. The angular look and the color distribution are quite similar, and I can see folks getting these two confused because of it. If you like one, you'll like the other.

Scavenger Robot Mode:
Thankfully, Scavenger does manage to distinguish himself a bit here. The transformations are nearly identical, and some details (like the cab-for-feet and overhang) are very similar. However, the color scheme and torso/head design really set this one apart. The chest and helmet are purple with silver abdomen and face, unlike Hightower's primary green. Scavenger also has defined "pecs", which are much different than Hightower's flak jacket. I can still imagine some fans getting them confused, but I guess Micromasters will do that anyway...


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