Transformers Vintage G1 Reissue Devastator Set Toy Review

in 2018, Action Figure Review, Constructicon, Decepticon, Generation One, Generation One (Vintage G1), Wal-Mart Exclusive

Generation One Vintage G1 Reissues

Devastator

General Information:
Price: $74.00
Retailer: Walmart Exclusive
Release Date: 2018
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

Official Photos above and text in italics below are from Walmart.com:
Experience the figures that started it all. This Transformers: Vintage G1 Constructicon Devastator 6-figure pack is designed like the original G1 version -- including figure styling, packaging, and art inspired by the 1985 G1 release, plus classic tech specs and accessories. (Re)start a vintage Transformers collection with this Devastator figure.

Devastator is awesome and terrifying, a bizarre combination of 6 Constructicons: Scrapper, Constructicon Scavenger, Bonecrusher, Constructicon Hook, Long Haul and Mixmaster. With enormous height and incredible strength, he can knock down bridges with one punch.

This Devastator figure converts between 6 4-inch Constructicon figures and a 9-inch Combiner super robot figure. Constructicon figures change from construction vehicle to robot and back. Clip and save the on-box tech specs to share and see how this figure compares to other heroic Autobots and evil Decepticons (each sold separately).

Transformers and all related characters are trademarks of Hasbro.

  • Re-creation of the G1 Constructicon Devastator 6-figure pack
  • Inspired by the styling of the 1985 G1 release
  • Vintage decoration and sticker decals
  • Tech specs showing the capabilities of Devastator
  • For Devastator, thinking and winning do not mix
  • Includes 6 CONSTRUCTICON figures, 6 laser pistols, 2 target shooters, 2 fists, 2 rotor blades, 1 super robot head, 1 set of twin blaster missiles, 1 magna laser, 1 super wing, 1 missile mount, 1 laser, 1 wing, label sheet, and instructions.
    Ages 6 and up
  • WARNING: CHOKING HAZARD - Small parts. Not for children under 3 years.

As of 2018, Transformers is almost thirty five years old, making it one of the longest, continuously running action figure toy lines on the market. Of course, as time passes, so does the potential for nostalgia, especially for the original series that started the toy line. Recognizing this, Walmart announced a series of "Vintage G1" figures based on the sculpts of several Generation One figures. Among these was a set of the original Constructicons in one box (or as we called them in the 80's, "Gift Sets"). The Constructicons had most recently been reissued as part of the Takara Tomy "Encore" line. However, this set is not a second production run of the "Encore" figures. There are many differences between the two sets, which I will go into in this review.

Packaging:
While the "Encore" release of Devastator recreated the packaging from the G1 Japanese release of the Constructicons, Hasbro used the G1 Hasbro box as its template. This meant the box is still rectangular, but not as wide. It features the classic "Transformers" logo in purple and silver colors with the "More than Meets the Eye!" catch phrase and a Decepticon symbol with the words "Evil Decepticon" coming out of it on the sides. A yellow triangle calls out the ability of the Constructicons to form Devastator. White text tells you that "Each Constructicon converts from construction vehicle to robot and back!" (in English and French). Back in the days of G1, transforming robots were not taken for granted the way they are now, so this callout was common on Transformers boxes. The box also features each Constructicon's individual package art next to their names. However, some of the names are different due to trademark reasons. For instance, Hook is now "Constructicon Hook". If you look at the lower left hand corner, you will see the retro 80's Hasbro logo which adds quite the nostalgic touch to this box.

The back of the box utilizes the same basic graphics as the original G1 box. This includes a large space battle scene featuring characters such as the Dinobots fighting the Insecticons while Shockwave flies overhead. To the right are photos of the Constructicons coming together to form Devastator. There is also a tech spec (again, in English and French) and next to it is the spot where the G1 packaging had the "Robot Points" for mail in offers. This modern day packaging opts to put the "Authentic Transformers" logo there instead. The bottom of the package differs from the original North American release with the addition of a black bar where legal information is printed in both English and French. It is also interesting to note that this figure is "Made in China", which is unusual for Transformers nowadays since most are made in Viet Nam. This is likely due to these older tools never being moved from the warehouses in China. Overall the packaging is a wonderful callback to another era of Transformers toys and I think it looks amazing.

General Thoughts:
When I first heard about this set's release, I was convinced that Hasbro was just going to spin up another production run of Takara Tomy's "Encore" Devastator (sans springs in the forearms and Mixmaster) for this release. However, as soon as I took the plastic tray out of the box, I realized something was different. As I started looking at these figures side by side with the G1 and "Encore" versions, more differences became apparent. This review will focus on these differences. Some changes are specific to each figure while others are more general. Here's a rundown of the general changes made to this set:

  • The iconic neon yellow-green color used for the G1 and "Encore" sets is very different here. The color is a much brighter one, leaning more towards yellow than green.
  • It appears each of the yellow-green parts have been recast for this set of tools. Many details are less sharp than previous releases. I will go into this more with each individual Constructicon.
  • The springs from Devastator's forearms and Mixmaster's head have been removed for safety reasons.
  • All of the heat sensitive symbol stickers are a different design than the ones used on the G1 and "Encore" Constructicons. Each symbol's black outline has a wide "chin piece" at the bottom which was not present on the G1 stickers. Also, the silver around the symbol outlines is brighter than previous stickers. Finally, the original stickers had a clear layer of plastic over the top, which caused a very specific reflection off the surface. However these stickers lack this layer.
  • The shade of purple on the Decepticon symbol stickers is much darker on this set than the "Encore" set.

The bulk of this review gets a bit granular, so if you just want my overall recommendation, check out the photos below then skip down to my final thoughts.

Bonecrusher Review

Here are the differences between G1, "Encore" and "Vintage G1" Bonecrusher:

  • For those worried about materials, G1, "Encore" and this Bonecrusher all weigh in at 1.1 ounces.
  • The trigger on the Devastator forearm piece can move, but with the spring gone it cannot launch the drill accessory.
  • The ankles are attached with a flat pin instead of a screw.
  • All the parts on this figure are significantly tighter than the "Encore" Bonecrusher (note in my photo, "Encore" Bonecrusher's chest can't even stay up).
  • The detailing on the yellow-green parts such as the treads are not as sharp and deep as they are on the G1 or "Encore" versions.
  • The mouthplate on the face is painted silver while other versions leave it black.
  • On the "Encore" version, the alpha numeric code "J211" is etched onto the bottom. This is not present on this version.
  • The alpha numerica code "E2053 80801" is printed in silver on the chest panel, but this is not present on other versions.
  • The copy right information is different between the "Encore" and this version. The "Encore" version only says Ⓒ Tomy Made in China. However this version says "C-3138A 2017 Hasbro SA".

Hook Review

Here are the differences between G1, "Encore" and "Vintage G1" Hook:

  • Again, for those wondering about weight, have no worries. All three versions weigh the same: 1.7 ounces.
  • Above the left shoulder is a code that includes the numbers "80801" on it printed in silver.
  • "12111" is etched into the left leg near the knee, something not present in other versions.
  • Sculpted details such as the circles on the crane arm are not as deeply cut as previous releases.
  • The middle metal piece is held down by a flat, round metal piece instead of two screws. The G1 and "Encore" versions use screws.
  • Some metal parts like the connector for Bonecrusher in Devastator mode are much shinier than the "Encore" or G1 versions.
  • Each version of this figure has different copyright information. The G1 version has "Takara Co. LTD. JAPAN 1980, 1984" worked into the sculpt. The "Encore" version has "Ⓒ Tomy Made in China" sculpted in. In contrast, this version has "C-3138A Ⓒ Tomy Made in China 2017 Hasbro SA" in the sculpt.

Long Haul Review

Here are the differences between G1, "Encore" and "Vintage G1" Long Haul:

  • Sculpted details on the yellow-green sections such as the grille hatch are not as sharp and deeply cut. However, parts like the head (which is black plastic) look the same as previous releases.
  • Each version of this figure has different copyright information. The G1 version has "Takara Co. LTD. JAPAN 1980, 1984" worked into the sculpt. The "Encore" version has "Ⓒ Tomy Made in China" sculpted in. In contrast, this version has "C-3138A Ⓒ Tomy Made in China 2017 Hasbro SA" in the sculpt.

Mixmaster Review

Here are the differences between G1, "Encore" and "Vintage G1" Mixmaster:

  • The spring has been removed from Mixmaster's head, though the trigger is still on the side.
  • The yellow-green plastic details (such as the windows) are not as sharp.
  • The heat sensitive symbol is on the back of the vehicle mode for the G1 and "Encore" figures, but here it is on the top of the cab section instead.
  • "#E2053 80801" is printed in silver on the back, something absent on other versions.
  • Each version of this figure has different copyright information. The G1 version has "Ⓒ Hasbro 1980, 1984 Takara Co. LTD. JAPAN 1980, 1984" worked into the sculpt. The "Encore" version has "J2118 Ⓒ Tomy Made in China" sculpted in. In contrast, this version has "C-3138A 2017 Hasbro SA Ⓒ Tomy Made in China CE" in the sculpt.

Scavenger Review

Here is a rundown of the differences between Scavenger's G1, "Encore" and "Vintage G1" releases:

  • Oddly, this is the only Constructicon that weighs less than its predecessors. While G1 and "Encore" Scavenger weigh 1.3 ounces, this figure weighs 1.2 (I weighed it three times to be sure).
  • Sculpted details such as the cross hatching in the vehicle mode are not as sharp or deep on this version.
  • On the torso there is a sticker with red circles. These have thin, orange circles around them. These orange circles are not present on the G1 or "Encore" versions.

Scrapper Review

Here is a rundown of the differences between Scrapper's G1, "Encore" and "Vintage G1" releases:

  • The canopy cover is darker in color than the rest of the yellow-green on the figure but it is not as dark as other releases.
  • J2011 is etched into the inside of the right leg, something not found on other versions.
  • Each version of this figure has different copyright information. The G1 version has "Ⓒ Takara Co. LTD. JAPAN 1980, 1984" worked into the sculpt. The "Encore" version has "Ⓒ Tomy Made in China" sculpted in. In contrast, this version has "C-3138A Ⓒ Tomy Made in China 2018 Hasbro SA" in the sculpt.

Devastator Review

Devastator represents a culmination of all the various changes made to the Constructicons, so there's no need to parse all those again. What I will say is that the powers that be made sure that all the joints hold together nice and tight. I will say the hip pieces do not quite "snap" in as satisfying a manner as the G1 and "Encore" versions, but the parts hold together just fine. Devastator has six points of articulation, all focused in the arms but for the most part he's one of those Transformers toys you wind up using a lot of imagination as part of the play pattern. That said, I have such fond memories of this guy as a kid I have zero issues with doing that.

Final Thoughts:
The "Vintage G1" label for this line of figures lives up to its name in its execution. When I was a kid the Devastator gift set was nothing but a pipe dream (I only ever owned two Constructicons as a kid). Having this set available hits all the right nostalgia buttons for me. I will say that I was disappointed that some of the details on the yellow-green plastic are not as sharp as they should be, something I speculate has to do with the tooling being redone to accommodate the different copyright information. From that perspective you may want to look into getting the "Encore" set instead, but it is likely to cost you at least $20-30 USD (if not more) than this set.

At the time I am writing this, the set has only been popping up sporadically on Walmart's US site, however it has appeared on shelves in Walmarts in Canada so I am hopeful at some point it will be fairly easy to obtain (for a brief time anyhow). Recommended if you are looking for a cool nostalgia hit or just want a set of complete Constructicons to display.

Pros:

  • Packaging is a beautiful recreation of the G1 US box.
  • One of the more unique G1 Combiners that did not rely on the "Scramble City" type designs.
  • Recreating the heat sensitive symbols is a very nice touch and shows a dedication to classic elements of the G1 figures.
  • Joints are tight on all these figures (see note about Bonecrusher above).

Cons:

  • Some of the details on the yellow-green plastic are not as sharp as previous releases.
  • At the moment this set is fairly difficult to obtain.