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Onslaught was a foregone conclusion. I don't just mean that Combaticons were inevitable when Combiner Wars started, but generally everyone agreed that Hot Spot would be retooled to make it happen. We were proven right at Botcon, and I couldn't have been more pleased.
Onslaught has a respectable amount of new parts. The shoulders, chest plate, feet, the backpack...
And of course the head. The head I think favors the original G1 toy very strongly, sadly not reflecting the slightly more complex shape introduced with the Universe Ultra Class toy.
The top of the head slopes forward a bit, and it unfortunately makes Onslaught seem to be looking down all the time. There's no movement to the neck besides swiveling, so the downcast look can't be corrected in posing.
The new backpack is a little bit less tidy looking. The variety of parts makes it seem more like there's just junk hanging from the back. Sadly the toy is losing the built in third leg for pose support Hot Spot benefited from. A ladder's not appropriate for Onslaught, but the extra support was convenient sometimes.
I'm really impressed by the joint tolerances. Let's take the knee for example. You might recall from Hot Spot that the knee design is unusual and has to be locked to the shin in a specific way so the leg doesn't come apart in posing. But with Hot Spot it was still possible to pull the knee out even after settling it in correctly. Onslaught does not share that. When this knee is set, it's set. It can be unlocked when it's time to transform, but I haven't had any unintended leg separations during posing yet. I thought this design was okay as long as you understood how to use it before. But Onslaught gives it strength enough to just be good without a qualifier.
It's not just the knees though. Every functioning joint on the toy has this great, solid stiffness. Even the little toes have strong hinges with soft stop points that will hold against the weight of the figure. You can balance Onslaught on its toes, assuming you can find the right balance point for it.
Besides the matters of aesthetics, I'm not exactly satisfied with the backpack in a functional sense either. In order to have the back cannons properly, you have to have the wings open at least this far.
The problem it can make for posing the arms quickly becomes evident.
The correct alignment also relies on these tabs fitting these grooves and keeping the movable lower half of the backpack stabilized. They don't really grab that well though. There is a greater than zero grip on the tabs, but those slots feel in practice more like guides than structural locks.
If not for the cannons, it wouldn't really be an issue. Just ball everything up a bit more and be done. It'd make the backpack junk look worse, but it wouldn't have a particular negative impact otherwise.
Onslaught has a nice steel blue making up the majority of visible robot space. The toy is substantially cast in this color. The light grey that makes up the backpack and other bits and pieces is the next most prevalent color, but stands very insignificant by comparison.
Most of the rest of the visible colors are paint, which I find reasonably impressive.
The thighs are painted, and the dark gunmetal here gives them a great finish.
The military green at the pelvis and shoulders helps a lot to guide perception of the body shape and de-emphasize the blocker structure around them.
The chest is pretty fun. The panel has tech details molded in, and that's then painted to resemble the G1 toy's chest sticker. On one hand, I like the complexity as a counter to all the big areas of different unbroken colors. On the other, having intricate tech detail there might not be my first choice. Especially since the shape of the frame around it and the shapes just below read to me like a fake and very stylized front end of a truck, and that's the angle I think I'd prefer to play up.
Onslaught's transformation features minor differences to Hot Spot. I'd recommend doing the legs before the arms. The stiffer joints make their process a little more difficult, and you'll need to be able to lift the turret out of the way to give them room. The arms are then no issue at all to finish up.
I really like the concept of the vehicle mode.
Using retool parts to reverse the direction of the original vehicle form, and effectively give it a majorly different appearance with very few new pieces.
Now with that being said, the new front end looks pretty weird. I'll ignore the gap down the middle for now since it's not even the problem.
The weird little armored pods make the vehicle confusing. Windows on an armored vehicle would be small like this, but I find it to still make the scale feel weird. There's also that it has two of these implied compartments which thanks to that gap aren't connected to each other.
For the wrong reasons I like the fists being clearly visible on the very front. This truck doesn't just hit you, it punches you in the face.
The back end has an open chunk. It's the combiner ports, and on Hot Spot they were hidden by the fire truck windshield. No such luck here. It's not too terrible though.
The turret is I think at best a mixed result. It's more confined, and more stabilized than the ladder which I feel like is a positive. But I think the ladder helped hide how much gap space there was to the vehicle - a task the turret can't hope to accomplish. The turret doesn't read a whole lot better here than it did in robot mode, either.
It's actually worse in one way where the top of Bruticus's head seems to stand out much more clearly now.
More than that though, I don't think it feels like it fits in with the rest of the vehicle. This gap calls the structural connection in to question. And the winglets folded down against the sides don't integrate visually.
It's not organic. It feels like tacked on parts that aren't supposed to be here. It does help at least one way though. There's a notch in back here to fit the lightbar, and it ends up being a good way to tell if you have the vehicle aligned correctly.
Onslaught has a specific connection point that fits Shockwave's handle.
However, there's no grip. Shockwave stays put, but is not actually held in place. The port is open in back, and so has no capacity to hold the peg. The square cutout in front is just to permit the front half of the handle to fit. So it's fine... as long as Onslaught is sitting flat. It's pretty disappointing. I wasn't expecting any amazing integration, but I certainly thought that Shockwave would be attached securely. Or, you know, at least attached. I have to admit, there's a goofy appeal about sitting a giant space cannon on top of this. But it's really doing nothing to help the aesthetics, nor fix the tacked on parts problem of the turret. As for how Shockwave works on Bruticus, that'll be for next time, as will be the details of Onslaught's torso mode - stay tuned!
Obvious by now, Onslaught has the same guns as Hot Spot. These are able to stay mounted in the backpack and turret at all times, even through transformation. So if you want you can pretend they're just integrated parts of the toy. You can attach them differently than I'm showing, but this is what the instructions depict, and what works best for all modes.
Sadly Onslaught is not quite capable enough to repeat the Hot Spot trick of being able to grasp and draw the guns off their storage points.
Hot Spot easily took place as my favorite of this line's Voyager molds, and if anything, Onslaught just makes those good qualities better. There's a little loss of improvised functionality with the ladder going away, but Onslaught has such a better, stronger feel in all the joints than my Hasbro Hot Spot did.
The more visible vehicle mode gaps are a bit unfortunate. And while I like the design intent of making the retool have a different vehicle orientation to further set it apart from the prior use, I can't say that the execution quite lived up to the idea. That said, I want to see this trick used more. Transformers has become good about making mold reuses feel more distinct from each other, and this is another way to go about that which I think can only turn out better with further efforts.
This is a mold that I'm more than happy to have twice. And if the instance of it in the Victorion set is even nearly as well put together as Onslaught, I'll be thrilled to be in on it for a third time as well. Oh, and then there's gonna be G2 Bruticus, so that'll be a fourth one. Oh, and I'll totally go in for Unite Warriors which'll be a fifth, and then...
|Date||December 18th 2015|
|Score||(9 out of 10)|
|Link||Combiner Wars Onslaught Review Gallery|
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