Transformers Car Robots Valdigus Toy Review
The Valdigus team is a blast from the past (of Transformers that is). A key part of the original Transformers toy line was the combiner (or gestalt as some know them). This usually \involved three or more Transformers who could combine into one larger robot. Among the early groups of these Transformers were the Combaticons, a group of military vehicles, each able to transform into a robot and military vehicle. The five members of this team: Onslaught, Blast Off, Brawl, Swindle and Vortex combined to form the powerful giant Bruticus.
The Combaticons were re-released twice before. One release was a repainted group of Combaticons released for the Transformers Generation 2 toy line. They were the same characters as the originals, just in new colors and no decals. The other re-release of these molds was the character Battle Gaia, a Japanese exclusive toy that was released in a gift set and is highly sought after by many fans because of its rarity. The Battle Gaia team was a whole new set of characters, not the Combaticons.
Valdigus is a new release of this group. Sold as both a boxed set and individually carded figures, Valdigus is yet another group of Transformers using the Combaticon molds. Part of the reason for explaining this history is for fans to keep in mind that these toys were created well over ten years ago, long before the age of highly detailed sculpts and ball joints all over the toys. It is also important to keep in mind that back in the mid eighties, toys were generally given decals to fill in detailing that the toy production machines could not create well.
This review will cover each member of the Valdigus team and the combined giant. For the purposes of this review, I decided to rate them in comparison to the Generation One age of toys rather than the Beast Wars/Beast Machines era of toys. So if you see a toy rated "B" here, it is not the same "B" as a Beast Wars/Beast Machines era toy.
Note: Many spellings of Valdigus' names were translated early on including Vuldigus and Baldigus. For the purposes of this review, I will stick with Valdigus.
Dangar is a repaint of the Generation One Combaticon Brawl figure.
In vehicle mode, Dangar is a tank. His color scheme is a desert camo pattern consisting of a beige base with brown and black camo details. The tank treads, dual cannon and front mounted gun are all a metallic brown color and the main turret is black. The details on this toy are nice considering the design limitations of the time. Although the tank actually rolls on four small wheels, the treads are molded to look like real working treads with the rectangular patterns on the treads and the wheels that would roll them along.
The dual barreled cannon mounts on the back of the tank. Dangar's smaller weapon can mount on the holes on either side of the tank towards the front. One place it can also mount is in the hole in between the two cannon barrels. This was not a feature of the original toy, but rather an added feature. This allows you to form a tri-barreled cannon and serves as a feature of combined Valdigus mode (more on that below).
In terms of articulation, the dual barreled cannon can aim up and down. The turret can be turned and the small gun mounted on the front can be turned as well. That way, Dangar can fire in three different directions at once! Tanks are always a favorite among military vehicles for collectors and kids alike. Dangar is a cool looking and fun tank.
Transformation to Robot Mode:
Begin Dangar's transformation by removing the weapons. Lift up the turret and fold back the rear of the tank. Fold down the front of the tank and swing down the sides a bit to form the robot arms. Press the turret back in and then place the small weapon into the hole at either of Dangar's arms. Dangar is now in robot mode.
Dangar is one of the most better looking members of the Valdigus team. The desert camo pattern carries over to the robot mode and looks fantastic. A nice touch is the upside-down Generation 2 Autobot symbol on his chest, the symbol representing those loyal to Black Battle Convoy. His robot head is the same color as the guns with orange eyes. A cute, seldom mentioned detail on Dangar can be found on the inner part of his arms towards the end. There you will find a cartoonish hand molded into the plastic.
Dangar has four points of articulation, the arms and legs. This sounds low by today's standards, but by the standards of the time, this was typical, especially of smaller members from combiner teams. Dangar is a cool toy overall. B+
Dolrailer is the largest member of the Valdigus team. If purchased individually carded, he comes with his own weapons and the necessary pieces to form the combined giant Valdigus. He is a repaint of the Combaticon leader Onslaught.
In vehicle mode, Dolrailer is a mobile cannon transport. He is mostly olive green with black and gold camo patterns all over the truck. Interestingly enough, he is the only member of the team with stickers. All the other members of the team did not include the original Combaticon stickers. The stickers for Dolrailer however are different than the ones form Onslaught. Rather, the end of the truck has a light green metallic foil sticker with black and brown camo details while the sides of the doors have the same green metallic foil color with black camo patterns and the upside-down Generation 2 Autobot symbol in the middle. Along the sides of the vehicle and on the cannon is a bright orange color. The cannon barrels are a metallic olive green. Dolrailer's orange gun can be mounted on the orange section of the cannon to form a tri-barreled cannon.
Dolrailer's cannon can swivel upwards. You will notice there is a lot of room behind the cannon. This allows enough room for one of the Valdigus team members to fit in that area. You can also take off the cannon entirely if you wish to create room for another team member. As a side note, if you do not want to mount Dolrailer's rifle on the cannon, there is a smaller hole which will accomodate the smaller weapons of Dangar, Shuttler or Greenjeeper.
This is a cool vehicle mode and the fact that you can put one or two of the members of the team on it give more of a feel that this is the leader of the group who can support his troops.
Transformation to Base Mode:
Begin the transformation by detaching the dual barreled cannon. Pull down the rear section of the vehicle. Swing each side out to the sides and push them in so the camoflage pieces overlap the black joints. Split the halves of the front of the vehicle and swing it to the sides. Attach the dual barrelled cannon to the robot head. Now take the ramp piece (included with Dolrailer) and attach it to the section that was the rear of the vehicle. Dolrailer is now in base mode.
The base mode is a nice touch to this Transformer. Like the vehicle mode, this allows another level of interaction with the other members of the Valdigus team. Interesting factoid: In this mode, this toy could connect to the original Transformers Decepticon city Trypticon via connector pieces. Unfortunately, these were not included with the re-release of Trypticon: Gigastorm. This also offers extra play value as a "temporary base camp" for the Valdigus team.
Transformation to Robot Mode (from vehicle mode):
Pull out the rear section of the vehicle. Fold up the end most pieces of the vehicle. Split the rear sections and even them out, these are the robot legs. Split the front section of the vehicle and swing it down to the sides. Slide out the robot fists and if it is not mounted on the back, mount the dual barreled cannon on the back of the robot. Also if not connected, attach the rectangular chest piece on the robot chest. Valdigus' chest piece can act as a shield for Dolrailer. Attach the shield to his arm by attaching the peg on the shield to the rounded hole in the orange section of his arm. Place the orange rifle into either hand and Dolrailer is now in robot mode.
His colors from the vehicle mode carry over to this mode, but a lot more orange and the olive green color of the cannon barrels is used for the upper body of the robot. The robot head is black with orange eyes. The camo pattern from the vehicle mode can still be seen on the legs. The only decal for this mode is on the chest, featuring the upside-down Generation 2 Autobot symbol.
In this mode Dolrailer has nine points of articulation, above average for a toy from Generation One. Dolrailer is a rather formidable looking robot. Tall, with wide shoulders and the rifle, Dolrailer looks rather tough.
Thanks to his third mode and ability to interact with the other Valdigus team members, Dolrailer is a cool toy to own as part of the Valdigus team. A
Greenjeeper is a redeco of the original Combaticon Swindle.
In vehicle mode, Greenjeeper is a military jeep. His main color dark metallic green. The black cannon and gun mounted on the vehicle is black. The upside down Generation 2 Autobot symbol is on the rear of the vehicle in black. On the front of the vehicle are the letters GV with a star in white on the front of the vehicle.
Greenjeeper has a fairly exceptional details for a small member of a Generation One combiner team. There are two seats and mechanical looking details between them. The front of the vehicle has headlights molded in. The cannon can be turned and the smaller gun attached to the larger cannon can be turned upwards. This makes Greenjeeper a fun vehicle to play with, and a cool part of a military team.
Transformation to Robot Mode:
Separate the cannon from the vehicle. Pull out the back and flip the robot legs outwards. Pull out the sides of the jeep to reveal the robot arms. Swing back the front of the vehicle. Attach the cannon to his hand. Greenjeeper is now in robot mode.
Greenjeeper reveals a bright new color in this mode, orange. His chest and waist area are both done in orange. The robot head is black with green eyes. Greenjeeper can carry the cannon with the gun attached to it, or you can separate the smaller gun from the cannon and place it into his other hand. As a robot Greenjeeper has four points of articulation, fairly average for a smaller member of a Generation One combiner team.
Greenjeeper is a cool robot and vehicle. B
Hepter is a redeco of the original Combaticon toy Vortex.
In vehicle mode Hepter is a helicoptor. His primary color is a dark metallic blue. The front of the helicoptor and the guns mounted on the sides are red, and his helicoptor blades are black. A nice detail is a spray painted pattern leading from the dark blue into a white color on the lower sides of the vehicle. The cockpit windows are silver.
As vehicles go, Hepter looks like a vehicle that means business. He has three weapons in this mode, a gun in the front and two cannons on the sides. The helicoptor blades can turn as well. The larger blade turns very well, spinning for quite a bit after being spun quickly. For landing purposes, there are three wheels, two towards the front and one in the back. A cool vehicle mode overall.
Transformation to Robot Mode:
Begin by detaching the small gun in the front and the cannons on the side. Rotate the section that the main helicoptor blade is attached to so the rounded piece faces the back of the helicoptor. Pull the cockpit section forward and fold down the front sections to form the robot legs. Pull up and fold down the end of the helicoptor down and then split the rear of the vehicle and swing the pieces down to the sides. Attach the small gun to the peg on the inner part of the right arm, and attach the cannons to the thick pegs on the outside of each arm at the ends. Hepter is now in robot mode.
In robot mode, Hepter is probably the most colorful member of the Valdigus team. His robot head is the same color as the weapons, and the robot eyes are white. His chest is mostly orange with white at the waist area. This gives him a nice appearance as the colors work with each other well.
Hepter shows a mold that was one of the first to use ball joints, in this case it is in the shoulders. In total, Hepter has six points of articulation. Remember that "cute" hand detail from Dangar's robot "hands"? Hepter has the same details, but the fists molded into Hepter's arms are rather large and out of proportion with the arm. Also, for curiosity enthusiasts, look on the inside of the right arm and you will see a copyright date of 1986 and the company listed as Hasbro.
Hepter is a cool member of the Valdigus team with great coloring. B+
Shuttler is a redeco of the original Combaticon toy Blast Off.
In vehicle mode, Shuttler is a space shuttle. His primary color is a dull white and details such as the wings and nosecone are black. A nice touch are slight spray patterns of green on the main body of the shuttle which looks like burn marks from re-entry into Earth's atmosphere. On his left wing is the upside down Generation 2 Autobot symbol in black. The cockpit windows are purple. The cannons you can mount onto his rear boosters are dull white.
Shuttler looks good with or without his cannons attached. Without the cannons he looks like a regular, run of the mill space shuttle. With the cannons (that attach to the rear boosters), he looks more like a futuristic space fighter. A cool vehicle mode overall.
Transformation to Robot Mode:
If you have the cannons attached, detach them and set them aside. Fold up the wings and pull out the rear section of the shuttle. Pull forward the front of the shuttle and then split it in half and swing the halves down the sides. Rotate the ends of each arm to face the holes upwards. Place the small gun into his either hole and attach the cannons to the sides of the legs. Shuttler is now in robot mode.
Shuttler's robot chest is orange and black. His robot legs are black and his robot head is dull white and purple. Shuttler joins his fellow aerial Valdigus team member as one heavily armed robot. The two cannons on his legs and hand held weapon make him look quite formidable. Also, the detailing on his weapons and his chest is very nicely done. Shuttler is also one of the first Transformers toys with ball joints, in this case on the shoulders.
Shuttler only has two points of articulation. Although below normal for other Transformers toys of the time, it was fairly typical of the small members of combiner teams.
Shuttler has a nice vehicle mode and a fairly threatening looking robot mode. B
Transformation to Valdigus:
The following describes the transformation of the five team members into Valdigus. It assumes you are beginning with each member of the team in robot mode. Many of the Generation One combiners utilized what is known as the "square peg/head" technology which involved the four smaller members of the team connecting to the larger, main body section via their robot heads or connectors that had square ends. This allowed for four different configurations of the giant, depending on which team member became an arm or a leg. These instructions will refer to the configuration pictured on the Takara catalog pictures of Valdigus.
Take Dolrailer and detach his rectangular chest piece and remove the rifle from his hand. Push in his fists and swing the arms back. Swing the feet out to the sides and point the lower legs down so it looks like he is squatting. Push the lower leg sections up to cover the black upper legs. Attach Valdigus' chest piece to Dolrailer by placing it where the rectangular chest piece was. Now fit Valdigus' head over Dolrailer's.
Now take Greenjeeper's weapon out of his hands. Push in his robot arms and Push the robot legs up and attach Valdigus' right foot piece to the underside of Greenjeeper's robot legs so that the orange robot body piece faces forward. If you get confused as to which foot is which, flip them over. One is marked "R", the other "L".
Next, remove Dangar's weapon from his hand. Swing the robot arms up so they align with the front section of the tank mode. Pull back the cannon turret and then flip up the robot legs. Rotate the turret so the barrel faces down and attach Valdigus' left foot piece to the bottom of Dangar so that the front of the vehicle mode faces forward. Interesting note: Although this is the way Valdigus is assembled, the original Bruticus transformation reversed the foot piece so the tank turret faced forward. You can do it either way, Dangar will still connect. If you get confused as to which foot is which, flip them over. One is marked "R", the other "L".
Now for the arms. Remove all of Shuttler's weapons and set them aside. Turn his "hands" so they align with the cockpit halves, and then lift up the cockpit halves and reconnect them. Push the cockpit area to cover the robot head. Push the robot leg area in. Flip up the rectangular piece on the top of the shuttle. This is the piece that will connect Shuttler to Dolrailer. Attach Valdigus' left fist to one of the larger thrusters at the rear.
Hepter becomes Valdigus' other arm. Remove all his weapons and swing up the rear helicoptor pieces. Swing the arms up and lock them together. Now push the section down so it covers the robot head. Swing out the red rectangular piece on the Hepter's main body. This piece will connect him to Dolrailer. Attach the right hand to the underside of Hepter's robot feet.
Assemble the pieces by connecting the square connector pieces on the arms to the square hole in Dolrailer's shoulders, Shuttler on the left, Hepter on the right. Attach Greenjeeper to Dolrailer's right leg. Attach Dangar to Dolrailer's left leg.
The next phase of the transformation illustrates an interesting move on Takara's part. The original Bruticus, its Generation 2 counterpart and Battle Gaia all simply held the rifle from the main body as its weapon. For Valdigus, Takara decided to make him look more powerful by having Valdigus use all the weapons from the Valdigus team members in this mode. To do this, a few of the weapons were modified with extra holes or pegs including Greenjeeper's cannon and Dangar's dual barrelled cannon.
Take Greenjeeper's cannon and attach his black gun to it. Now take Hepter's hand gun weapon and attach it to the peg on the other side. Now connect Dangar's dual barrelled cannon to the top of Greenjeeper's cannon by using the hole between the two cannon barrels to connect to the peg on top of Greenjeeper's cannon.
For the other weapon, attach Shuttler's hand held gun to the right side of Dolrailer's rifle. Connect Dangar's hand held gun to the other side.
Take Hepter's red cannons and attach them to the place where they would normally go in his vehicle mode. Now attach Shuttler's weapons to the pegs on the underside of his wings. Now attach the combined weapons into his hands and Valdigus is finally complete!
Valdigus' colors are of course a combination of the colors of the different Valdigus team members. However, all the pieces used to create Valdigus' feet, arms, head etc. are the same olive green color as Dolrailer's cannon barrels. The robot head also has silver for detailing and orange eyes. Pictures of the prototype for Valdigus showed more of a gold color for these pieces, but that was changed in final production. The chest section is detailed with black lines and the upside down Generation 2 Autobot symbol appears again, this time on a sticker at the center of his chest.
I think it was a great idea to combine the weapons of the team members into "super weapons". This makes him look very impressive and heavily armed, appropriate for a giant made up of military vehicles. Valdigus really only has four point of articulation, all focused in the arms (his arms go up and down and his fists can be turned to the side). This may seem odd in an age where combiners such as Magnaboss have many points of articulation, but for the time period this combiner came out, combiners were not the most articulated toys. The novelty was in the fact that they were combiners.
Valdigus makes for one fun toy. Unlike the previous Generation One combiner re-release God Neptune, this toy has all the pieces that came with the originals. The only drawback is the loss of stickers for the individual team members which takes away a lot of visual appeal. Overall, this will be cheaper than going out and buying the original set and it has great play value. However, if you do own the original Bruticus or a Battle Gaia set, you may want to avoid this toy unless you are a completist or the whole
"combined weapons" thing really appeals to you. B+