"Generations" Combiner Wars Bruticus Toy Review
When "Generations" Bruticus was released, he was composed of five Deluxe Class figures. However, this caused some proportion issues where the main body wound up looking too small (or the limbs were too big depending on how you want to look at it). To prevent that issue with these new figures, the torso/head/thigh section is now a Voyager Class figure. "Combiner Wars" gives Bruticus a second chance at being a cool Combiner.
This time out, Bruticus is composed of five figures with one "optional" figure:
You'll want to read the individual reviews for each of the Combaticons above to see how they form their various modes including the limb modes and Shockwave's blaster mode. This review will focus on Bruticus' combined form.
Using the "standard" configuration with Vortex and Blast-Off as arms and Swindle and Brawl as legs, Bruticus winds up measuring about 10.5 inches tall (about 26 cm) and 7.5 inches wide shoulder to shoulder (about 19 cm). If you decide to use Swindle and Brawl as the arms instead he winds up having skinnier legs and bulky arms, giving him a brutish appearance (pun intended). This effect is enhanced by the rather thick looking palm sections of his hand accessories. To me the preference is to keep him in his "classic" configuration but I enjoy the idea that depending on who is an arm or leg he has different functionality.
This mode has a lot of design elements that were found on G1 Bruticus. The head design has G1 Bruticus' distinct thin central crest and flat panels on either side of the head. His mouthplate has a distinct chin piece on the bottom and two separate eyes above it. The torso armor panel is a wing shaped piece that looks like it could belong to an aerial vehicle complete with "wings" on the sides of the chest and vertical "fins" closer to the center of the chest. Onslaught's rifles attach to the back in this form, a call back to G1 Bruticus who also had cannons on his back (thanks to Onslaught). Other design elements carried over from G1 include Blast-Off's nosecone pointing up (if he is an arm), rotor blades on the sides (if Vortex is an arm) and Brawl's tank turret sticking out in the front (if he is in leg mode). Overall "Combiner Wars" Bruticus has many of the major design elements of G1 Bruticus and is instantly recognizable as the Combaticon giant.
From a color standpoint the Combaticon figures leaned towards the colors used for the G1 Combaticon toys. While many of the colors on the characters are not the same (beige on Swindle versus dark blue on Onslaught versus brown on Blast-Off and so on) because they are all pretty dark in tone the colors come together very nicely. Bruticus' head has a gorgeous gunmetal color on the helmet with silver on the face and mouthplate. His piercing eyes are painted red. This mode also allows some details from Onslaught to show on the thighs, namely the "hazard stripes" now painted purple with silver underneath. This suggests complicated machinery underneath the armor panels powering this war machine.
From a functional standpoint there is one important issue I have with my copy of the figure, and I have seen the same issue in others. The hip joints have a tendency to lean forward a bit. Now, with enough playing around and balancing of the lower legs, bending of the knees and so on you can get him to stand. However if you want him to stand up straight, he will wind up leaning forward slightly. This is frustrating at times, but it's not a dealbreaker either.
There are thirty four points of articulation in the "classic" configuration with Vortex and Blast-Off as the arms. A lot of this articulation comes from the arms where almost every section moves in some way. Onslaught's rifles can detach and be held in his hands or they can be combined and held as one large super-weapon. The only bad part is you lose the classic Bruticus profile if the weapons aren't attached to his back. Fortunately you do have an option! If you have Shockwave you can have Bruticus hold him in blaster mode. This is also a callback to the G1 episode "The Revenge of Bruticus" where Bruticus threatens Shockwave and winds up using him as a weapon before launching him into space. If you want to mimic that scene, Shockwave can also attach to Bruticus' back pack! Indeed, having Shockwave as the back pack actually helps alleviate the "forward lean" mentioned above slightly.
Using the "classic" configuration Bruticus has about seventeen different spots you can attach weapons with 5mm pegs. This means you can have all the Combaticon accessories attached and then some! I do love the idea of a group of military themed Decepticons able to hold so many extra weapons in this form.
Bruticus is one of the better Combiners to come out of the line. I love how he manages to have lots of visual callbacks to G1 Bruticus while having modern articulation and styling. I also love the interactivity with Shockwave and the way it pays homage to a classic G1 episode. The "leaning" issue is annoying however, but since he's still able to stand without support and be posed it's not a deal breaker in my book, but it does knock the figure down a couple notches.