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Transformers Toy Review Archive (older series, 1984 to date)
Robot Mode:
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Ganon578's Review: Combiner Wars Deluxe Class Vortex

Name: Vortex
Function: Interrogator
Subgroup: Combiner Wars
Size Class: Deluxe

Decepticon Vortex is the interrogator the Decepticons call when they need someone to cough up information. Heíll take his targets for a wild ride, twisting, turning, looping, and diving through the sky. Itís enough to make any bots cough up their secretsÖ and then some.

I canít tell you how many times I passed on this guy and thought that he was just plain ugly. Some of that feeling still lingers, but itís softened a bit over time. Vortex is a pretty good toy all around, minus the garish color palette. Even so, he mimics the original toy quite well; truth be told, I only bought him to complete Bruticus. This version of Vortex is a repaint of CW Alpha Bravo, and a repaint/retool of CW Blades.

Alternate Mode:

Vortexís alternate mode is a military helicopter. The mode is rather sleek and features good molded detail. Most of the garish color palette is hidden by grey while in helicopter mode, and I think it works rather well. Aesthetically, the downside is the arms arenít hidden very well on the helicopter sides. The missile racks on the forearms do a little to obscure this, but they stick out a bit too much for my liking. Itís definitely not a deal breaker, and something that can easily be overlooked. Otherwise, the paint applications are clean and crisp, and thereís a good amount of molded detail all over the helicopter mode that should please most people.

The rotors spin well, and donít typically bump into anything when heís transformed properly. The blades are a little too Ďbendyí in my opinion, but I suppose that helps them from being snapped during play. You can tab Vortexís gun into the helicopter side for storage and for a bit more armaments. Vortex does not come with any landing gear to speak of, so setting down the helicopter happens either on itís belly, or thankfully with the included combiner weapon. With all of my combiner figures so far, the combiner weapon has been a part I leave out if theyíre not combined. With Vortex, however, the hand/foot has two fantastic Gatling guns on the bottom, so it fits in nicely with the military helicopter mode, and gives him some Ďlanding gearí to work with. In this case itís a very nice inclusion.

Robot Mode:

Like almost every other CW figure on my shelf, Vortex features a rather simple, yet effective transformation. You wonít find any surprises, and youíll find the same leg mechanics at play that can be found with Blast Off (and Quickslinger and Firefly) or Ironhide (and Trailbreaker and Off-Road). Everything tabs in nicely from mode to mode, and youíre left with a pretty sturdy robot. Aesthetically, Vortex has a lot more purple, teal, and yellow in his robot mode. As an added bonus, you get a little red thrown into the mix in the abdomen and visor. In my opinion, itís rather garish, but it is a good mimicry of the original toy. The molded detail is done well, and again, paint apps are crisp.

Vortex is much like the other CW figures in that he has a great range of motion. Between swivel and ball joints everywhere, you can get Vortex into a variety of positions with relative ease. Weight distribution is done well enough to not make him heavy in any spot. The only issue I have is in the hips Ė itís not that they donít have good range, but the ones on mine donít fit quite right. The ball joints are loose in spots and really tight in others, so keeping him in certain positions can be a chore, and the legs tend to pop off. Otherwise I feel that the quality is good and you can do a lot with Vortex.

Overall, Vortex is a pretty solid toy, ugly coloration and all. A good range of motion, some decent weapons, and a good heli mode make for some good fun. If you add him into a complete Bruticus set, he works very well.

Marks out of ten for the following:

Transformation Design: 5. Average and simple.
Durability: 8. Good quality plastic, but the hips are a bit off. The rotors are bendy enough to avoid breaking.
Fun: 8. Vortex is really good within a complete combiner set. Otherwise, heís just average.
Aesthetics: 5. His coloration bugs me, but itís close to the original. The detail is nice and paint apps are crisp when present.
Articulation: 8. Ball and swivel joints are plentiful, and really nothing is hindered.
Value/Price: 7. I got Vortex at a discount, which made me happy. At normal MSRP, this really isnít as high of a score Ė more like a 5.
Overall: 6. As part of Bruticus, Vortex is a nice piece to have. If you can only get Vortex, you really should think twice. I donít think heís that good on his own.
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