Transformers Encore Devastator Gift Set Toy Review
Release Date: December 2011
Price Point: $130 (depending on retailer in North America)
Retailer: Japanese Exclusive
Accessories: Hand held weapon (1 per Constructicon, 3 yellow, 3 black), Devastator rifle, Devastator waist plate, Devastator "Super Wing" chest armor, Devastator fists x 2, Devastator head, Devastator hip connector, Devastator forearms x 2, Drills x 2, Mixmaster head missiles x 2
Paperwork: Tech spec cards for each character (including Devastator), Instruction booklet, sticker sheet, Takara Tomy web site insert
Image Gallery: Gallery of pictures featuring the Constructicons and Tech Specs cards
*Tech Specs translations provided by Doug Dlin
When I was a kid and Generation One was simply known as "The Transformers" it was rare for my friends and I to have all the components of any Transformers Combiner. Often we would figure out who had which piece and get together just so we could fully assemble a "giant" (as we called them back then). Devastator was the first of these Combiners that we sought to assemble. It took years and some logistics behind who bought which piece, but eventually we managed to put all the pieces together (for the record, my contribution was Scrapper). That was the last time for many years that I would own a fully assembled Devastator. Interestingly for many years there were knock-offs of Devastator widely available in a variety of colors, some coming very close to the original G1 colors. However, in 2011 Takara Tomy finally reissued the Combiner under the banner of the "Transformers Encore" line.
For the purposes of this review, I will go through each Constructicon first. After that will be instructions to have them form Devastator starting in vehicle mode. A final summary will cover my thoughts on the set and figures overall.
Abilities: Has titanium-steel armor and short-range concussion bombs. Combines with fellow Buildrons to become the giant robot "Devastar".
Profile: Has a thorough love of destruction and crushes things mercilessly.
Weapon: Beam Attacker
Bonecrusher is a bulldozer in his vehicle form. His design is basic, but has several of the primary elements found in most bulldozers. There is a section for the driver in the back protected by a flat cover. The middle section is where the engine is housed (presumably) and there are two pegs sticking out of it. While these serve a practical purpose (allowing you to attach weaponry to the vehicle form) but the details also resemble smokestacks. In the front is a large shovel flat in the back with triangular sides and an extended front end. The entire vehicle rests on two treads with round details sculpted into the sides and ridges along the treads. Fans nowadays are very used to treads on Transformers not functioning, but having small wheels in the bottom. These do not have that, so I don't recommend moving the vehicle along the ground unless you intend to scrape the bottom of the treads up (which happened to many a Bonecrusher when I was a kid).
The vehicle mode is cast almost primarily in a bright, neon green-yellow color, commonly shared amongst all the Constructicons in this set. A bit of the purple and black plastic from the robot mode shows in this form as well. There are four primary stickers used on this figure to provide extra detail. On the sides of the vehicle are hazard stripes. The top has a Decepticon symbol on the left side and the shovel itself has a heat sensitive rub symbol that works perfectly.
Bonecrusher can use one of Devastator's forearm pieces with a drill attachment in it as a weapon in this form. Using the forearm piece with holes side by side and attach them to the "smokestacks". In this version you can press the trigger on the forearm piece to launch the drill at enemies (or Decepticons he doesn't like). This spring loaded feature was removed from certain iterations of the figure, so it's good to see it intact here.
Transformation to Robot Mode:
- Swing the halves of the engine section out to each side to begin forming the robot arms.
- Rotate the arms around and bend them at the elbows.
- Swing the treads forward.
- Swing the cover for the driver's section back.
- Swing the black piece up to see the robot head.
- Swing the shovel up to form the robot chest.
- At the end of each leg, pull the ends down and swing them forward to form the robot feet.
- Attach Bonecrusher's hand held weapon to one of his fists.
Bonecrusher is fairly small by today's standards. He probably wouldn't even be considered a Scout Class figure, but back then most components of Combiner figures were about this size. He measures about 3.5 inches tall (about 8.89 centimeters). In this form we get to see several new colors of plastic. His upper arms, fists and head are cast in black plastic. His forearms have vacuum metallized silver on them. The panel that faces front from the back to the waist area is purple.
While the previous mode had a conservative amount of extra details, this mode has quite a few stickers giving it mechanical detailing. On the underside of the canopy from the vehicle mode is a silver, blu, blac, yellow and red sticker showing wiring. Stickers on his forearms are silver, yellow, black and red with "V" shaped details overlaid by circles. His upper arms have silver, black and blue details with triangles on them. On his purple waist panel is silver and black sticker that look like several layered armor panels. The middle of that same section has a red and black sticker with horizontal black details. The most elaborate of the stickers is the one found on his chest, which has all of the colors from the other stickers with a complex set of vent lines, circles, rectangles and more. Overlaid on top of this is a Decepticon sticker. In contrast to his vehicle mode it's really quite the explosion of colors and looks fantastic.
Bonecrusher has four points of articulation in this mode, all concentrated in the arms. They can turn up and down and bend at the elbows. That doesn't sound like a lot, and it isn't, but back in the days of G1 this was very typical of most Transformers so I don't count the articulation against this figure. Almost all the joints on this figure are tight, but there is one in particular on mine that isn't. The left food doesn't lock in place. Instead, it just flops around a bit if you pick the figure up and shake it. Sometimes with reissues and having to create new tooling for old figures this can happen. It's hardly a deal breaker since he stands on the foot just fine. I would simply be remiss if I didn't mention it.
Function: Combat Medic
Transformation: Crane truck
Abilities: Has rocket launcher and laser pistol. Combines with fellow Buildrons to become the giant robot "Devastar".
Profile: A perfectionist, always prides himself on precision in his work.
Weapon: Beam Thunder
Gren (aka "Hook" in most English speaking countries) is a crane in vehicle form. I'll just call him "Hook" for the sake of this review. His vehicle is split into two halves. The front end has a driver's section on the right side and a flattened section on the left. The middle is fairly thin and connects to the larger rear section. The rear has the actual crane arm on it, as well as another compartment for a person to sit in, presumably to control the crane itself. The front half rests on two wheels and the rear half sits on two on each side. There are some smaller details worked into the figure including headlights in the front, ridges on the top of the driver's area and raised, rectangular panels on the base of the crane. The crane arm itself extends from the back to the front of the vehicle and has a hook hanging on the end. Overall it's a good looking vehicle that is instantly recognizable for what it is.
The standard "green-yellow" Constructicon color is used for most of the vehicle form. the wheels are cast in black and the windows of both halves are deep purple. The middle section and the hook on the crane are vacuum metallized silver. Hook has a few stickers in this form. The crane itself has two hazard line stickers on it (gold and black). On the left side is a purple and silver Decepticon symbol sticker. The other side also has a Decepticon sticker, but it is a heat sensitive sticker instead. On the back of the vehicle are two stickers in silver, red, yellow and orange that represent the rear lights of the vehicle. I really like the use of stickers to give vehicle mode details. I do wish there was a bit more visual color here, but the general design concept behind the Constructicons was to have relatively simple vehicle modes give way to more complex looking robot modes so I'm okay with that. There are silver details painted onto the sides of the wheels as well.
Hook can roll on all six of his wheels. His crane can turn at its base and the arm itself can move up or down. What's even cooler is that the crane arm can extend at the end and the hook can swing on its hinge. All this functionality works very well. Each section is tight and moves without a problem. I was very heartened to see this as not all reissues always work out so well in the functionality department. Hook originally came packaged individually with Devastator's head and the weapon that attaches to the side of his head. He also comes with a hand weapon. All of these components can attach to him in vehicle mode. The Devastator head folds down with the weapon attached. The purple base section attaches to the middle section. The small black hand weapon attaches to the left side of the vehicle in the front. This gives Hook quite a bit of weaponry in this mode and I think it looks really cool. I really enjoy how Hook is meant to be a construction vehicle, but is loaded up with weaponry to be destructive. Sounds just right for a Decepticon!
Transformation to Robot Mode:
- Swing the crane arm up.
- Pull both ends of the vehicle in opposite directions.
- Swing the front end of the vehicle forward to form the robot feet.
- Push the two halves of the vehicle back together.
- Swing the crane arm down.
- Pull the arms out the sides of the vehicle.
- Swing up the black tab in the middle to form the robot head.
- Attach the black hand held weapon to one of the fists.
Hook's robot mode is rather blocky in robot mode. His upper body is very rectangular in shape, from his head to his chest down to the waist. His legs have some angles thanks to the design of the vehicle's front end. This mode shows off a lot of purple on the front panel of the body from his chest down to his waist. The upper legs are vacuum metallized silver. His head is cast in black and the rest is green-yellow. As I mentioned in the vehicle mode review, a lot of the detailing for this figure comes into play here in the robot mode via stickers. The purple panel on the figure is literally covered in stickers. I won't beore you with a blow by blow description of each (there are eight of them altogether). In general, they use colors including black, silver, red, blue and yellow. This also includes a Decepticon symbol in the middle of his body. The face has silver paint detail on it, making it one of the few paint details on the figure.
Hook has four points of articulation in this form. His arms can move up and down and his lower legs can be swung back thanks to his transformation scheme. All of his joints are tight and the weapon fits very well in either fist. I'm really happy with how well this sculpt has come together in this reissue.
Transformation: Dump Truck
Abilities: Equipped with heat-seeking missile launcher. Combines with fellow Buildrons to become the giant robot "Devastar".
Profile: Helps fellow Buildrons construct massive energy-recovery installations for fueling their onslaught, but secretly wishes to become a full-time warrior.
Weapon: Beam Miracle
Long Haul is a dump truck in vehicle mode. He has a very typical dump truck structure with an extended front end that includes his grille and headlights. The left side of the front end has the driver's cabin while the right appears to have some thype of engine on it. A panel covers half of the front section while the back has an open-box section to store whatever Long Haul is carrying. Long Haul rides on six wheels, two in the front and four in the back. Interestingly the ones in the back are doubled up against each other, not something you see often. There are some nice details on the figure including cross hatching on the grille, round headlights in the front and raised ridges on the sides of the open-box and on the panel covering the top of the vehicle.
Long Haul uses the green-yellow color found on all the Constructicons, but his vehicle mode shows off a bit more purple than other Constructicons. That includes the engine in the front and the sides of the front end. The middle section next to the driver's cabin and the wheels are cast in black. Unlike many of his fellow Constructicons, Long Haul shows off a lot of stickers in this mode. On the front end is a Decepticon symbol in silver/purple. The purple sections on the sides have silver and black bands. The open-box is where most of the stickers are. The edge towards the middle and the back end have silver, red, black, blue and yellow stickers with lots of mechanical detail similar in styling to the other Constructicons. The left side of the open-box also has a heat sensitive symbol on it, set at an angle.
Thanks to the way the figure transforms, Long Haul can actually tilt his open-box to "dump" whatever he is carrying. However, I have noticed these joints are slightly more loose than the G1 Long Haul I own. That isn't unexpected in a reissue, but it does make it very difficult to pose the figure with the open-box angled down. There are tabs on the sides of the open-box that you can attach Devastator's hip panel to. Then Devastator's waist armor can be attached to the hip panel. On either side of the panel are blasters, giving Long Haul some weapons to along with his powerful looking vehicle mode.
Transformation to Robot Mode:
- Pull the side panels with the front wheels out to the sides, then swing out the robot fists.
- Swing the open-box down and forward to form the robot legs.
- Push the vacuum metallized silver parts forward to lock them into place.
- Swing the panel covering the driver's section back.
- Flip up the black pane to form the robot head.
- Attach the hand-held weapon to either fist.
Long Haul is one of the few Constructicons who uses a significant portion of his vehicle mode in his robot mode's front facing form. The entire front of the vehicle forms his upper body and his legs are formed by the open-box. There are some new details however. His head has a curved helmet section, visor eyes and a mouthplate. Interestingly this head piece was left up in the original character model sheets, causing his head to show up whenever he was drawn in vehicle mode. He also has some grooves sculpted into his arms giving it some extra detail.
Long Haul is mostly yellow-green in this mode. His purple colors show up on his engine piece and his arms. There are some black parts making up his fists and head. Thanks to all the sticker details on his open-box section in the vehicle mode his legs have plenty of detail. He gets a bit more in the form of a sticker on his waist. with line details and a triangle in the center. He looks great, but quite different from his brethren.
There are four points of articulation in this form. His arms can move up and down and his legs can swing back thanks to the transformation. While his legs are loose when trying to use it as a dumping mechanism, they lock nice and tight in this mode. His arms also have tight joints. The sculpt looks crisp and looks great as well.
Transformation: Cement mixer
Abilities: Equipped with 8,000˚C infrared cannon, projector that makes things seem distorted. Combines with fellow Buildrons to become the giant robot "Devastar".
Profile: Can make anything out of living robots, and fights with the hope of ruling the world.
Weapon: Beam Bomber
Mixmaster is a mixing truck in vehicle mode. The layout of the vehicle is very basic. The front section is box-like in shape, leading to the back which is flat on the bottom with a mixing drum set at an angle above it. The back section has a funnel on top and a spout sculpted into the back. I really liked his some of his finer details including raised, ridged sections on the top of the driver's section, a smaller window panel sculpted in behind each of the side windows and the headlights and grille on the front of the vehicle. Mixmaster rolls on three wheels on either side, one in the front, two in the back.
The green-yellow plastic used on most of the Constructicons makes up most of the vehicle, but he shows off some purple too in the windows and on two small sections sticking out the sides behind the front wheel wells. His front grille/headlight section is vacuum metallized silver. His wheels are cast in black. There are four stickers providing details in this form. On the back are gold and black hazard stripes on either side. On top of the cab section is a silver and purple Decepticon section. At the very back of the vehicle is a heat sensitive symbol. As a bit of warning, when I combined this figure into Devastator's leg this sticker moved a bit, so be careful with it.
Mixmaster can accomodate two weapons in this form. On the top of his driver section you can attach his small hand held weapon. On the right side is a hole at the front of the mixing drum that can accomodate Devastator's rifle. I dig how threatening Devastator's rifle looks attached. He's got to be one of the more threatening of the Constructicons when equipped like this!
Transformation to Robot Mode:
- Swing the front section over to form the robot feet.
- Push the robot legs up.
- Pull each robot arm out.
- Attach one of Mixmaster's missiles to the section above his head.
- Attach his hand-held weapon to one of his fists.
Mixmaster is one of the taller and sleeker looking Constructicons. His body is basically one long rectangle. Add to that the rear of the vehicle forming the section on top of his head and Mixmaster has a unique look. His primary body panel has a ridged line design on his chest, which then narrows down around his waist before widening at the hips. His legs are pretty much fused together, a common design element in G1 figures. He has a very interesting head design complete with a "Y" shaped face with a crest that also has a "Y" shape on it. The fact I can even see that attests to how sharp the sculpt still is.
In this form Mixmaster shows off purple, black and vacuum metallized silver plastic. The purple makes up most of his chest, waist, hips and parts of his legs. The vacuum metallized plastic is on his upper legs. The head is cast in black. A bit of silver paint provides detail on the head while his purple parts all have stickers on them. They range from a silver and purple Decepticon symbol on his chest to yellow, silver and blue stickers on the sides of his legs. The stickers really give a lot of detail to the figure, enhancing the existing sculpted details.
Mixmaster has two points of articulation in this form: his arms, which can move up and down. His cartoon and comic book portrayals generally used his dual blasters/missile attached to his head, but Mixmaster also comes with a single missile/blaster that connects to the same point. If you press the black trigger on the left side of the figure it fires the projectile. All his joints are tight and the purple tabs on his legs keep his upper body from swinging back. Since Devastator's rifle has a small peg on it, Mixmaster can also hold it in his hands.
Transformation: Power Shovel
Abilities: Has gas sensors that detect fuels and such. Combines with fellow Buildrons to become the giant robot "Devastar".
Profile: Always desperately accepting missions to make his teammates recognize his abilities.
Weapon: Beam Cyclone
Scavenger is an excavator in vehicle mode. He has a shovel arm in the front connected to the base of the vehicle. That is set on top of two treads. He has one of the more carefully detailed sculpts out of all the Constructicons. His treads have ridges designed on the top and bottom while there are circles sculpted on the sides to represent wheels. He also has a driver section with three window ports sculpted into it. The really detailed section comes into play on his shovel arm. Each segment of the arm has really nice detailing including pistons and wires. The shovel itself has teeth sculpted into the end and looks great.
The top half of the vehicle is mostly cast in green-yellow. The plastic used to create the arm is slightly more flexible than the plastic on the rest of the figure and interestingly enough is a bit off in color from the green-yellow used on the base. The lower half is cast in purple. The windows are also purple. There's minimal sticker detail here. There are four altogether. On either side are gold stickers with two black arrows. Under the front window of the driver's section is a silver and black Decepticon symbol. On the back of the figure is a heat sensitive Decepticon symbol. It's not ultra complex in terms of sticker detail, but that fits with the theme of relatively simple vehicle modes leading to more complex looking robot modes.
Scavenger's shovel arm can move in two places, the base and the middle. The entire base of the vehicle can also turn in a circle. If you want Scavenger to go from a construction vehicle to a rolling weapon, you can attach one of Devastator's forearm pieces to the two pegs on the right side of the vehicle. You can then insert one of the drills into the forearm piece to give him a weapon or a projectile to fire. Despite being a vehicle on treads, be very careful pretending to have Scavenger "drive" around. He has no wheels on the underside of his treads, so if you push him around on the ground you'll wind up scraping the plastic up.
Transformation to Robot Mode:
- Swing the treads down and rotate each end around. Rotate the feet to form each robot foot.
- Pull out each side of the vehicle's green-yellow section to form the robot arms.
- Flip the black piece up to form the robot head.
- Attach the small weapon to one of the hands.
- You can use the excavator arm to help balance Scavenger in robot mode.
Some aspects of the robot mode are typical such as treads serving as his legs and the bottom of the vehicle forming his upper body, but I've always felt the shovel arm behind him looks almost like a tail. His torso section has a curved section on the chest with a wide hip/waist area. With the legs being made of his treads his legs wind up looking pretty stocky. His head design has a rectangular helmet section with a mouth piece that looks like an extended chin piece. I like this design quite a bit and it emphasizes how different each Constructicon is from the next.
Scavenger's colors are pretty much split in half. The top of his body is green-yellow while the bottom half is purple. In the middle is a vacuum metallized piece that goes from his chest to his waist area. His head is cast in black. Like the other Constructicons, details are provided by several stickers on the figure. In this case there are nine going from his chest down to his feet. The stickers on his chest are shaped the same, but have different details. They also use the same colors as the other Constructicon stickers including silver, red, yellow, blue and black. He also has a Decepticon symbol on the left side of his chest.
Scavenger has three points of articulation in this form. He can move his arms up and down and his legs can swing forward thanks to his transformation scheme. All his joints are tight, however his feet have a tendency to pop off when you're turning them. It's not a huge deal as they slip right back in.
Transformation: Shovel Car
Abilities: Can fly at 60 km/hr by attaching his levitation wing. Combines with fellow Buildrons to become the giant robot "Devastar".
Profile: Makes it his mission to design fortresses and energy plants, and takes his pride in them.
Weapon: Beam Hurricane
Scrapper is a payloader in vehicle form. He has a large shovel out in front connected to two arms that then link to the front of the vehicle. The middle of the vehicle has a section for a driver and a cover on top. Scrapper rolls on four large wheels. The front of the vehicle is curved and sleek looking while the back is more blocky and angular. There are some nice details in the front on the shovel arms and the shovel itself has a row of teeth across the front.
Scrapper is almost completely green-yellow in this form. His wheels are cast in black with silver on the sides. He has two stickers in this form. On the front is a silver and purple Decepticon symbol while he has a heat sensitive symbol on the back. I'm not sure why, but the plastic used for the canopy is a slightly different shade of green-yellow than the rest of the vehicle form.
Scrapper can roll on all four of his wheels and his shovel can be moved up and down. You can attach Devastator's chest shield to the pegs on the back of the figure. Not only does this give him some weaponry, but I always imagined that it also gives him the ability to fly. I also noticed that the canopy cover is glued down in this version, whereas in my G1 Scrapper the piece comes off very easily.
Transformation to Robot Mode:
Scrapper was the first Constructicon I ever owned so to me he was always the "primary" Constructicon and the most "standard" looking of all the Decepticons in the team. His look is very angular. His head, arms and legs are all very rectangular in shape. His torso has a base section with a central section angling out and then down to his waist. His face has a crest on the top of his head and he has a mouthplate on his face.
This mode adds purple and vacuum metallized plastic to the colors in the form of his upper body and legs respectively. The purple section of his body is full of stickers (nine altogether) that have various mechanical looking details including crosshairs on the left side of his chest and shapes like rectangles and circles on the other stickers. It uses the same palette as the other Constructicon stickers including silver, red, yellow, blue and black. On his legs are two stickers at the knees. The sticker details definitely add a lot of cool details to the figure and it would look super dull without them.
Scrapper has four points of articulation. His arms can move up and down and his lower legs can swing back thanks to the transformation scheme. All his joints are tight, but his arms aren't as tight as the ones on my G1 Scrapper. They're not loose at all however. They can hold up just fine, but they just don't feel super tight.
Function: Giant Warrior
Transformation: 6 Construction vehicles
Abilities: The six Buildrons combine to form the Destrons' mightiest warrior. Can knock down a bridge with one punch. Has 10,000˚C solar energy beam rifle.
Profile: When his six minds become one, his destructive force is so terrible that nothing can stand in its way. However, is sometimes unable to put out sufficient power because he forgets his allies.
Weapon: Build Laser Cannon
Transformation to Combined Mode (starting with vehicle modes):
- Attach each of Devastator's fists to the forearm pieces.
- Connect the rifle to one of the hands.
- Connect the yellow blaster/weapon to Devastator's head.
- Hook/Gren: Pull the front of the vehicle forward, then swing it around to connect it side by side with the rear section. Swing out the vacuum metallized bar on the half with the crane.
- Bonecrusher: Attach the forearm piece to the peg on Bonecrusher's underside.
- Scavenger: Swing out the central vacuum metallized bar, then attach the Devastator forearm piece.
- Long Haul: Swing the open-box section down. Then swing the panel on the top down.
- Scrapper: Swing the robot arms forward, and swing the shovel up.
- Mixmaster: Pull the front section forward, then swing it up.
- Slide the Devastator head piece into the vacuum metallized silver section.
- Attach the hip piece to Long Haul by sliding the central panel in between his legs.
- Attach the waist piece to the slot under Long Haul's chest.
- Connect Mixmaster to the hip piece to form the left leg.
- Connect Scrapper to the hip piece to form the right leg.
- Attach Scavenger to Hook by using the tab to connect to the slot on the right side.
- Attach Bonecrusher to Hook by using the square peg.
- Connect the purple part that connects to Devastator's head to the peg and hole on Long Haul.
- Attach the chest plate to the peg on the chest and clip it to the front end of Hook's vehicle mode.
Devastator (aka Devastar in Japan) is a name that holds a lot of resonance with Transformers fans. Say it to almost any fan, old or new and their faces light up with some positive reaction, be it recognition, happiness or reverence. Devastator is a really crazy looking robot if you think about it. He looks like a mash up of construction vehicles and there are few details here you couldn't have seen by looking at the Constructicons separately. The robot head is the primary "new" design. He has a large central crest over wide eyes and a face with a protruding chin piece. Attached to the side of his head is a weapon that is absent from most of his television show and comic book interpretations. The wing shaped chest armor gives him a cool, sleek look that he wouldn't have otherwise. I enjoy the way all the various panels and pieces used for extra weaponry on the vehicle modes of the Constructicons easily double as Devastator parts.
The most prominent "new" details on Devastator are the stickers on his chest armor and waist armor. The chest armor has several angled and sleek details that align in design with the ones on the individual Constructicons. The designs include vent-like lines, triangles and circles. The waist plate has angled details on the sides and rectangular details in the middle with a triangle in the center. Silver paint is used on the crest and face while the eyes are painted yellow.
There are only two articulation points on the figure: the arms. Each can move up and down. If you want to stretch things a bit, the point at which the forearms connect to Scavenger and Bonecrusher can also serve as an articulation point. If you really want to stretch even further, his hands can turn at the wrist. They can also be launched at enemies and replaced with the drill weapons or Mixmaster's "head" missiles.
For the most part, all the joints and parts connect very well. However, there is one exception. Bonecrusher's connection to Hook is not that strong. If you turn him to the side and shake him a bit Bonecrusher goes sliding right off. Out of everything I've noticed in this review thus far this is perhaps the biggest flaw in the figure. The thing is, I can't guarantee that it would happen on every single set out there. It could just be mine or a particular day's run of this figure. However it is something to keep an eye out for.
The Devastator gift set is among the holy grails of many fans in the collecting community. The opportunity to own this set is fantastic, and I can't help but be happy with it. There are some minor imperfections, the biggest one of which is the Bonecrusher flaw so there are some points lost there. Recommended, but it's not a perfect reissue.