"Generations" Combiner Wars Fellbat Toy Review

in 2016, Action Figure Review, Breastforce, Combiner Wars, Deluxe, Destron, Entertainment Earth, Generation One, Generations

Generations

Fellbat General Information:
Release Date: November 2016
Price Point: $129.99 (suggested retail)
Retailer: Entertainment Earth Exclusive
Accessories: Hand/Foot/Weapons x 4; Swords x 2 (Dezarus); Drill (Drillhorn); Blasters x 2 (Fellbat); Blasters x 2 (Guyhawk) & Cannon (Ironbison)

Official photos provided by Hasbro during San Diego Comic-Con 2016. In Box photo provided by Entertainment Earth.

Disclosure: Entertainment Earth was cool enough to provide Ben's World of Transformers with a sample of this boxed set for this review. BWTF thanks Entertainment Earth for their kind consideration. You can purchase your Liokaiser and support BWTF via this link. For a limited time after this review is being posted (November 2016) use coupon code SINGLES to take $20 off your purchase!

Official Text from Entertainment Earth:
Boxed set includes 6 Decepticons who merge to declare victory over the Autobots as the mighty Liokaiser! Tanks, jets, and space shuttle form robots and dinobird as the most awesome Generation One-era toys from Japan you never knew you missed! Platinum Edtion set features an awesome box, poster, and trading card. Behold the mighty Liokaiser! The Destrons are a foul group of criminals and convicts that also happens to be one of the most elite strike teams in the galaxy. Together, they become Liokaiser, a Combiner whose sheer power is rivaled only by his penchant for evil.

Transformers Generations Platinum Edition sets feature figures with a high level of detail, plus premium features and packaging. These sets highlight some of the most memorable scenes, powerful warriors, and epic storylines in the Transformers universe. This 7-in-1 Liokaiser collection pack celebrates the Combiner Wars. In the Combiner Wars, teams of Autobots and Decepticons combine to form giant super robots and battle with the fate of worlds in the balance.

Join the battle and build a Combiner super robot with this Combiner Wars Liokaiser Collection Pack! Get 6 Destron figures that combine to form a Liokaiser Combiner figure in this 1 Platinum Edition set. The Voyager Class Dezarus figure forms the torso of the Liokaiser Combiner figure; the Deluxe Class Guyhawk, Drillhorn, Ironbison, and Fellbat figures form the arms and legs; and the Legends Class Ion Scythe figure becomes a Combiner weapon.

The Combiner Wars universal connection system means these figures work with other Combiner Wars figures! Combine the Dezarus figure with other Deluxe Class Combiner Wars figures or combine the Guyhawk, Drillhorn, Ironbison, and Fellbat figures with other Combiner Wars Voyager Class figures to build more Combiner super-robot figures! (Additional figures are each sold separately.) The pack also includes 12 accessories, a Combiner Wars poster, and a collectible Liokaiser character card.

Imagine it is the latter part of the 1980's. "Transformers", once one of the hottest toy brands around has begun to fade. In North America, the toy line has become dominated by Pretenders and Micromasters but other than a comic book, there is very little media to support it. It is a particularly disconcerting part of Transformers history, especially for a fan like me who grew up with the original line.

Now, imagine you suddenly learn that there is a whole other universe of Transformers overseas you did not know about. Even more amazing? There are cartoons and characters and toys you did not know about! That was the experience of learning about the Japanese Transformers shows such as "Victory". For a long time, the pure elation and mystery behind the Japanese Transformers have helped create a mystique around Transformers toys that continue to this day. Even in an era where Japanese characters such as Sky Shadow are acknowledged in the "Generations" line, direct references to these Japanese Transformers are uncommon in the line.

Enter: Liokaiser! Originally confirmed at Botcon 2016 (somewhat by accident) this set was officially revealed at San Diego Comic-Con 2016. Who is Liokaiser you might ask? Liokaiser is a Combiner giant formed by the six members of the Destron (aka Decepticon) "Breastforce". The team was named this due to the ability of their chest panels to pop out and form small animal robots. This set only came out in Japan and was never reissued (though four of its members were reworked as Autobots in Europe). To this day the original Liokaiser remains a highly sought after figure by collectors.

For fans not looking to spend thousands of dollars on Liokaiser, Hasbro has created a Platinum Edition boxed set based on the Generation One Breastforce! Using "Combiner Wars" sculpts, this set brings these (former) Japanese exclusive characters into the modern age.

Packaging:
Liokaiser is packaged in a box that is similar in style to other boxed sets such as G2 Superion and Victorion. The box is a large rectangular box with dramatic box art in front featuring Liokaiser combined fighting smaller Transformers. If you are facing the box the right side has a vertical "Transformers" logo on it with the "Generations" logo above it. On the other side is a note about the poster included inside and photos of each team member in vehicle and weapon modes. Below that is the "Combiner Wars" logo with the name "Liokaiser" under it.

That isn't all however. Under Liokaiser's name is a silver reflective strip over a purple one indicating this is a Platinum Edition release. This is likely due to the extra weapons and retooling involved in the creation of this set. Another interesting note: above the photos of the team members is the term "Destrons", indicating the team name for this Combiner. The term "Destron" was used in Japan for many years to refer to the Decepticons and has been acknowledged a few times outside Japan, but it is still relatively uncommon.

The back of the packaging features a grey background with a grid on it. Overlapping that are photos of the individual team members on the side and the combined Liokaiser in the middle. Above that is the following text: The DESTRONS are a foul group of criminals and convincts that also happens to be one of the most elite strike teams in the galaxy. Together, they become LIOKAISER, a Combiner whose sheer power is rivaled only by his penchant for evil.

Fellbat may seem like an odd name until you consider the Japanese version of the character was named Hellbat. Such names tend to send marketing folks screaming for the hills and thus his name was changed to Fellbat which, honestly makes it sound like he just trips a lot in caves but I'll take it.

The base sculpt for this figure was originally released as "Combiner Wars" Skydive. This base sculpt went on to be given a new deco and in some cases retooled as:

This review will focus on the changes made to this figure

Accessories:
Three of the accessories included in this set match up with Fellbat. One is the hand/foot/weapon piece which is the same design as the one that came with Skydive (featuring two rockets in front). The hinge piece is cast in grey plastic. The other two accessories are the same dual barreled blaster that Skydive has, but they are cast in grey plastic instead. In a sense the dual barreled blaster makes perfect sense for Fellbat since G1 Hellbat's weapon also had two barrels (and was partly cast in light grey plastic). I appreciate the inclusion of an extra blaster as it looks better to have one under each wing in vehicle mode.

Vehicle Mode:
The Skydive sculpt is a great choice for Fellbat's vehicle mode. In G1 Hellbat transformed into a jet that featured triangular wings with extensions on the ends. The front section was wide at the base of the cockpit and then narrowed towards the nosecone. Two parts differ from G1 Hellbat: the fins in the back and front. On G1 Hellbat, the rear section only had one vertical fin. Here there are two vertical and horizontal fins. Also, G1 Hellbat had two horizontal fins on the front of the vehicle, but there are no such fins here. Still, the overall aesthetics of both figures match up nicely and I think it was a great choice.

Fellbat is cast in three main colors: metallic dark blue, grey and black. The blue is a beautiful color. It's actually a tad lighter than the color on the original Hellbat figure, but its metallic color really helps it stand out. The grey is used on the wings and black is used on the nosecone.

The paint colors on this figure are based on G1 Hellbat's colors. This includes orange paint on the cockpit windows and silver on the rear stabilizer fins. One of the nicest color combinations are found on the wings. There you'll find yellow triangular details with black borders tampographed on the wings. On top of the yellow are Decepticon symbols. These designs are based on the stickers from G1 Hellbat's wings. The rockets molded under the wings have been painted red. I was particularly surprised by this as these details have generally been left unpainted, but I guess that's why this is a "Platinum Edition" figure! I really love this deco and I love how closely it pays homage to the original figure.

All the weapons attach nice and snug so no worries about functionality in this mode.

Transformation to Robot Mode:

  1. Detach the weapons and set them aside for now.
  2. Swing the wings up.
  3. Swing the horizontal fins up.
  4. Swing the nosecone section up, then swing it forward and attach it to the back.
  5. Swing the robot arms out.
  6. Swing the arms up at the shoulder joint, lining up the shoulders with the chest armor.
  7. Swing the arms down.
  8. Rotate the head around and swing the horns on the top out to the sides.
  9. Pull the front half of the legs forward and the rear halves back.
  10. Swing the lower leg halves down, then connect them together.
  11. The weapons can fit in his fists or be stored on the wings.

Robot Mode:
Fellbat features a new head sculpt based on G1 Hellbat's head design. This is a very distinct looking head that seems to take design cues from a bat (yes, that's a bit on the nose I know). The head sculpt looks great. The helmet section has two thin "eyes" on it with a thin, central crest. He has thin eyes leading to a mouthplate with a raised chin piece on the bottom. On the sides are basically tiny bat wings forming the sides of the head. From a sculpting standpoint this head design looks great and I especially appreciate the "wings" on the head being pieces that actually swing out instead of just being sculpted flat against the head or some similar cost cutting measure.

This mode is largely made up of a combination of the metallic blue and grey plastic colors. Grey is focused on the torso with some other grey parts on the arms, head and thighs. For the most part the grey on the torso and thighs lines up with the color scheme on G1 Hellbat.

The colors are enhanced by a surprising amount of paint applications. This includes grey on the mouthplate and torso. The eyes are painted red while several parts are painted yellow including the knee armor and the insides of the forearms. I had not expected so much paint on this figure when I first saw the preview images. However, up close I see how the extra grey on the toros makes sense as it emulates the chest armor form of G1 Hellbat's partner, Komoribreast. The yellow paint is inspired by stickers on G1 Hellbat that were mosty yellow. As a update of the original, the designers did a great job of giving plenty of G1 nods and clues as to his identity.

Fellbat's joints are all nice and tight and he can hold his weapons up without an issue.

For your reference I have kept the limb transformation instructions below. The limb functionality and commentary check out the Liokaiser review.

Transformation to Arm Mode (Starting in robot mode):

  1. Detach all weapons.
  2. Transform the fist piece into the hand. Flip out the four fingers that are sculpted together, then swing the thumb up to the side you want to form.
  3. Swing the horizontal stabilizer fins up.
  4. Swing each robot arm out to the side.
  5. Open up the halves of the robot legs and swing them down, then reconnect them together.
  6. Swing the cockpit section up and back.
  7. Swing each wing up.
  8. Swing the shoulder sections up, then fold the forearms up, bending the arm at the elbow. There are notches on the outside of the forearms that align with the tabs on the underside of each wing.
  9. Swing the robot head down to reveal the limb connection piece.
  10. Attach the hand to the bottom of the feet.

Transformation to Leg mode (Starting in robot mode):

  1. Detach all the accessories.
  2. Take the fist/foot piece and push in the fingers (if they're out) and swing the thumb back to form the heel.
  3. Swing the jet cockpit piece back.
  4. Swing the head back and point the connector piece up.
  5. Swing each rear half of the legs back, then swing the legs up on the knee hinge and reconnect the pieces together (as if you were forming the vehicle mode).
  6. Swing the shoulders down.
  7. Swing each robot arm down to the sides, connecting the notches on the forearms to the tabs on the sides of the legs.
  8. With the cockpit sections facing front, attach the foot piece so the rocket launcher details are facing the same way.

Final Thoughts:
From vehicle mode to robot mode Fellbat is a great homage to G1 Hellbat. I love how well the vehicle mode represents the G1 character's jet mode and the new head sculpt is solid. Add on top of that the gorgeous colors (especially the blue) and you have one awesome G1 character update.