Transformers Generation 2 1992 Toy Reviews: Killbison

in 1992, Action Figure Review, Autobot, Generation 2, Generation One, Rescue Force

Transformers Generation 2

General Information:
Retailer: European Exclusive, New Zealand, Australia
Price: Approximately $8-10 in US funds
Accessories: Claw arms x 2

Images:

Europe was always an interesting place to be for Transformers toys, especially from the late eighties to the late nineties. It often received redecos and special packs of toys that you couldn't find anywhere else. The Generation 2 era was no different. While we called our toys "Generation 2", Europe released toys in that era, but just kept the plain monicker "Transformers" without any other sub-titles.

It was during this time frame that Hasbro's European division decided to dig into past molds from Japan to bolster their Transformers line. Among the molds selected for this were members of the Destron team known as the "Breastforce". The name, though a bit silly for english speaking folks actually referred to the ability of these Transformers to separate their chest armor to form a weapon or beast. Even better, this team could form a giant robot known as LioKaiser. To this day, he is one of the most expensive and sought out Japanese exclusive Transformers out there, making these guys even more special.

Given new decos, new parts, stripped of parts and repackaged, four of the six Breastforce members became the Rescue Force - a team of Autobots! However, none of the Rescue Force team members were given individual names, so for the purposes of these reviews they will be called by their Breastforce equivalent names.

Interesting note: all the Rescue Force toys came in two versions. One set had silver weapons and the other had red weapons.

Vehicle Mode:
Breastforce Killbison's vehicle mode was a dual barreled tank. However, such a form probably is a bit incongruous with a team named "Rescue Force", so for this version of the toy, Hasbro took the cannons away and sculpted new pieces to attach to the central turret. These pieces are claw arms, which make much more sense for a rescue vehicle. What's neat is that these aren't just single, solid sculpted pieces. The claws can actually open and close. Also, since the turret turns, it allows for a bit more play value. Also, since the two pegs on the turret are the right size, you can take the claw arms and attach them on the pegs to allow for a different range of movement.

The tank body remains unchanged from its original release. There are tread details but the vehicle really rolls on four small wheels you can see if you flip the toy over. The details on the main body are nicely done including cross hatch spots and vents. The turret has some nice detail work including a sensor array on the front.

Killbison's color scheme is different than the original version of this toy. The turret is gray and the main body is mostly light blue. The claw arms are metallic silver. Stickers on the side add some detail with yellow and black alternating "emergency" lines. The stickers on the rear, side sections also have an Autobot symbol.

Transformation to Robot Mode:

  1. Detach the claw arms.
  2. Slide the rear of the vehicle back.
  3. Flip the toy over.
  4. Flip the robot head up.
  5. Attach the claw arms to the robot fists.

Robot Mode:
It's really amazing what a change in accessories does to the character of a toy. With Breastforce Killbison, the combination of his animal/weapon partner and big honking cannons made him look like one powerful warrior. But with Rescue Force Killbison wielding only two claw arms, he looks like a powerful rescue team member. The toy is bulky thanks to the sheer mass of the tank mode, but it fits somehow since even rescuing requires significant strength. Having the claw arms in his fists looks like he can help clear rubble, get things that are normally out of reach etc. A pretty neat switch.

Sculpt wise Killbison shows a bit of his past with the head sculpt that has horns clearly meant to allude to his former animal partner, a bull. His body has a lot of levels to it instead of being flat like fellow Rescue Force member Jaguar's. The middle of the upper body really sinks in since that is where you would normally attach his Bullbreast partner (who, unfortunately is not included with this toy). The legs have several levels with the knees and feet coming out quite a bit, a design feature allowed by the treads on the sides being rather high.

Killbison's upper body and lower legs are gray. Several stickers add details including more alternating yellow and black line stickers and two Autobot symbols, one on his waist and the other on his foot.

Final Thoughts:
Killbison is a rather simple toy, but that's where a lot of his charm comes from. No fancy gimmicks, just a straight forward Transformer. Of course, to hard core collectors he's a historical oddity being a former Japanese exclusive mold and one of the few Transformers in history without an individual name anywhere. Recommended if a blast from the past is your cup of tea.