Computron - Generations Combiner Wars - Combiner Figure Review

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So we've seen the seven individual Technobots: Scrounge & Cybaxx, Nosecone, Lightsteed, Afterbreaker, Strafe, and Scattershot. Time to bring it together and put this to bed.

First up, one last individual figure's mode to consider. Scattershot's torso mode is structurally identical to both the Betatron version - and to Superion, Silverbolt's torso mode. A lot more effort has been made to make it look like Computron this time out though, with improved but mixed results.

The color layout is patterned after G1 Computron's toy, of course - and while the inner layer of maroon was less prominent there, the layered nature of the torso works even better for Computron than Superion. That maroon really helps things. A lot.

And the fact that they didn't go to the effort of painting the head in the wrong colors helps even more. The colors are based on the toy version of Computron, though the faceplate should be red rather than magenta to complete the color scheme. To help balance out the magenta chestplate though, it's not a bad move. It still raises the question of why they chose to go with a faceplate for this mold in the first place: G1 Superion's toy had a face, so using that version would've given you a capable match for both Superion AND Computron. Oh well.

As with Superion, the antennae are very soft, and are very subtly warped on mine. Also, the plate the head sits on is painted, and Hasbro has this problem where the softer plastics they use can draw paint off of painted parts of figures. I learned that the hard way from storing my Marvel Universe figures in a bin together.

One other thing I want to note: those tampographed details on the sides of the chest are based on stickers on the center of G1 Scatterhot's chest - details represented by the blue vents on this toy. That said, they look good, they add some variety to the torso, and they help tie together the blue on the chest and legs instead of Computron just going around with a couple of weird blue dots on his crotch.

Lastly, we look at the hands and feet. The hands are single mode, dedicated nonposeable fists. G1 Style all the way. There's some sculpt work here that looks an awful lot like what you see on pin joints, so I have to wonder if there was some abandoned thought as to adding poseability to these during development. Considering that these are the first Combiner Wars fists with non-poseable fingers, even counting Victorion's dedicated hands, it seems possible.

The feet are based on G1 Computron's feet. They take a lot of details from those and make them into something more substantial than the bedroom slipper style G1 footplate, or the Combiner Wars standard HandFootGun. They have extremely strong five-position ratcheting rocker ankles.

The hands store in a set of brackets underneath. There's no official use for those in any of any figure's modes, but seeing as they look like large shields or booster pods of some sort, you can have a lot of fun with them.

Nothing left to do now but go for it.

What we've got here is a mixture of toy, cartoon, and compromise. The toy generally wins out, and coloration is the biggest connection there. Computron's face and Afterbreaker are the biggest indicators of that. Like much of Combiner Wars it's not an exact match for any flavor of G1 formwise, but I think the spirit is there.

A few things worth mentioning. The accessory placement here is what the package shows. I like it, both because the thigh guns look good and because it means all individual parts are in use for the combined form, something Combiner Wars was not always good at.

If the shotgun on the leg bugs you, try this!

The package shows Strafe's wings pointing outwards. This is silly. GeeWun, but silly. It would leave Strafe without a functional elbow. So Super GeeWun, in fact!

Lastly, there are two official configurations for Afterbreaker. This is the Hasbro version.

This is the Takara version. If having that wheel stick up is important to you, the Afterbreaker mold's got you covered. And I think Takara's onto something with locking the arms down - though I see why Hasbro didn't.

If you don't, Strafe and Afterbreaker's arms make a quasi-symmetrical decoration across Computron's shoulders. Which of course is not a thing you can do with Blast Off Strafe.

Of all the Silverbolty parts left over, the gun bothers me the most. It's just so very much Superion's Gun in Magenta. Putting Lightsteed's shotgun on top actually helps; it reminds me of the scope on G1 Computron's `80s mecha anime space gun. The other alternative I'd like to recommend to the Shapeways crowd, if they're listening, is a new stock to attach to the front part of the gun. (Hi, Shapeways crowd!)

So that's aesthetics. Articulation wise, there's some issues. The arms work fine; they're the two best molds. The legs are not only the lesser of the four limb molds overall, but they're also the worst at being legs out of the set. But you can coax a broad stance out of Computron's fancy new rocker ankles. What I'm hoping is a problem limited to mine is the combiner port latch on the Nosecone leg. It can't bear any weight whatsoever. You can use Scattershot's elbow to work around it, but once the review is complete I'm going to risk cracking it open to see if there's not something I can do.

And posing the legs around that weak latch and trying to use the weak ankles will inevitably lead to Argh. It's at this point you'll realize the hips could be stronger too. Sadly, Argh will happen at some point, though not to an unworkable degree. That's been the case with every single Combiner Wars combiner I've handled, to some degree or other. But this is more prounounced than most.

You can cut down on that at least with Scramble Power! Lightsteed makes a middling arm at best, and Nosecone is atrocious. Absolutely atrocious. But they're at least not load-bearing there. And Strafe and Afterbreaker make pretty fine legs! Downside being that all mediums show Computron with the very specific configuration shown on the package. Whether the ankle troubles outweigh that or not and whether you want to cope with Nosecone as an arm, I leave up to you.

So let's ponder this. This Computron is more toy accurate, has new hands and feet, features new Technobot-specific parts beyond headsculpts on all but one figure - Lightsteed - and includes the first-ever figure of Scrounge. For a hundred bucks, I don't think that's bad.

Takara's is going to cost more, but is more animation accurate and has what will in all likelihood be better legs - and they really went above and beyond on Scattershot in particular to make him look more like both Scattershot and Computron. It also has a bunch of new weapons. The people I really envy are the ones who can afford to do both. I think the ideal Computron for me would end up being Hasbro Afterburner, Strafe, Scrounge, and the new hands and feet alongside Takara Lightspeed, Nosecone, and Scattershot.

That said, I don't think you should think of this as Consolation Prize Computron. These are THE best hands and feet Combiner Wars has produced. Afterbreaker looks better than the Takara version, and Strafe is a pair of detachable guns shy of being flawless. And Scattershot looks good in all three of his modes. Scrounge is great. Lightsteed and Nosecone are both visual and technical weak links due to issues of limb function and similarity to their G1 selves, true. But neither is an irredeemable toy, and using them as legs can be fussy at times but not impossible. By Combiner Wars standards, Computron is Hasbro going all-out within their inviolable constrictions of budget. And judged by those standards, I think it's a success.

DateAugust 23rd 2016  
Score 8 stars (8 out of 10)  

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