"Generations" Combiner Wars Guyhawk Toy Review
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.
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.
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.
Guyhawk (sometimes spelled Gaihawk) was a founding member of the Breastforce in G1. The base sculpt for this figure was originally released as "Combiner Wars" Air Raid (which in turn was originally released as Skydive). The base sculpt for this figure also exists as:
This review will focus on the changes made to this figure so check out the reviews above if you want my original thoughts on the base sculpt.
Guyhawk includes two of the same blaster. This is the same sculpt that came with Air Raid but this time they are cast in black plastic. He also has a hand/foot/weapon piece cast in black with a grey hinge piece. This is the same design that came with Air Raid featuring two rockets sculpted into the front.
The choice of Air Raid's sculpt for Guyhawk really makes sense in this mode. G1 Guyhawk was a jet fighter with two vertical and horizontal rear stabilizers. Unlike G1 Guyhawk, his wings sweep back instead of just sticking out to the sides and the vertical stabilizers in the back stuck up at angles instead of being straight. Still, I think this was a fantastic choice for a modern day version of Guyhawk. Thanks to both the design of the jet fighter and the distinctive pink color Guyhawk is instantly recognizable to any fans familiar with the character.
Like the robot mode this mode primarily features pink plastic. The nosecone is a softer, rubbery plastic also colored pink. The wings and stabilizers have all been cast in a flexible plastic and painted silver. On my copy of the figure there are no parts sticking out to indicate what color this plastic was before it was painted, which is a good thing since that means the paint job was thorough! On each wing and stabilizer fin you'll find yellow and black lines. On the wings Decepticon symbols overlap the lines. These patterns are direct call backs to the sticker details on G1 Guyhawk. In a rather humorous bit of coloring, you'll note a bit of black on the back of the cockpit section. Why this random black coloring? Because on G1 Guyhawk there is a black plastic hinge that is part of the transformation mechanism! I found it both amusing and amazing that such a small detail would be given a nod in this version of the character. Adding to the "details I never thought would be painted" pile, the rockets under the wings have been painted black. Finally the cockpit is painted orange, just like G1 Guyhawk's. Overall this is an insanely awesome deco and the designers deserve major kudos for show much thought went into it.
All three weapons attach to the vehicle without an issue. The blasters attach to the underside of the wings and stay there and the hand/foot/weapon piece can fit into the top 5mm port without a problem. You can also sweep the wings forward without any problem.
Transformation to Robot Mode:
- Swing the wings all the way forward.
- Swing the horizontal fins up.
- Pull the cockpit section back, bend it using the hinge in the middle and then swing the section with the cockpit on it against the back of the robot.
- Swing each of the wing sections in against the cockpit.
- Swing the arms out to the sides, then push them up at the shoulders and swing the arms down.
- Pull the panels that form the front and back of the robot legs out, swing them down then connect them together.
- The weapons can fit in the fists or attach to the wings on the back for storage.
Guyhawk features a brand new head sculpt. As his name implies, his design is heavily influenced by a hawk (or really, a generic bird in this case). The helmet section of the head has a distinct, pointed top that is meant to resemble the crest on a bird's head. There are thin eyes sculpted into the top section of the head and the area right above the forehead has a small "beak" in the center. His eyes look like oval sunglasses and stick out a bit from the face (which matches the character's G1 animated appearance). Overall it seems like the designers drew more from the G1 animation model than the toy. That's not a bad thing. The head sculpt looks great and I'm glad they kept the animal-influenced design theme.
This figure has been cast in pink, black and grey plastic. Pink is not exactly a color you see often in the Transformers line so Guyhawk really stands out. Lest you think this is some type of new fangled, modern take on the character he has always been pink, though the G1 version of the character was a much darker shade. Black makes its most dramatic appearance on the torso, where it forms the Combiner connection piece in the middle. In a way, this is a call back to G1 Guyhawk whose Breastforce partner Hawkbreast formed his chest and wound up having a black piece right in the middle. Grey only appears on the shoulder joints and the thighs. The pink color may turn some fans off because of bright it is (especially compared to the rest of the team) but I think it really helps Guyhawk stand out. It also serves as a reminder of the era the figure has its roots in when such colors were much more commonplace.
Guyhawk's paint colors are largely based on the G1 figure, with some additional embelishments. The section most obviously based on the G1 figure are the lower legs. The knee area has yellow and silver, both of which were colors found on G1 Guyhawk's knee area. His torso features yellow and black paint, which calls back to the sticker details on Hawkbreast. Additional black paint is used on the arms, which is unique to this version of the character. The original figure for instance had pink arms, without tons of black on the sides. Look on the shoulders and you'll see some silver on the vertical line details on the shoulders. Finally, the head has yellow paint on the "beak" section and silver on the face. I really love the deco on this figure. The black contrasts beautifully against the pink. The yellow and silver also really pop. I also think it's great the designers did not shy away from G1 Guyhawk's colors but instead embraced them.
The joints on my copy of this figure feel nice and tight. The "least tight" joint is the left leg, where it connects to the ball joint at the hip. It's not floppy at all, but if you pick the figure up and thrash it about a bit the leg will move out to the side a bit. If you want to tighten t his up I recommend using some clear nail polish on the ball joint to tighten it up. Given how many times this base sculpt has been used, I think it's amazing there aren't more loose joints!
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):
- Detach all weapons.
- 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.
- Swing the horizontal stabilizer fins up.
- Swing each robot arm out to the side.
- Open up the halves of the robot legs and swing them down, then reconnect them together.
- Swing the cockpit section up and back.
- Swing each wing up.
- 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.
- Swing the robot head down to reveal the limb connection piece.
- Attach the hand to the bottom of the feet.
Transformation to Leg mode (Starting in robot mode):
- Detach all the accessories.
- Take the fist/foot piece and push in the fingers (if they're out) and swing the thumb back to form the heel.
- Swing the jet cockpit piece back.
- Swing the head back and point the connector piece up.
- 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).
- Swing the shoulders down.
- Swing each robot arm down to the sides, connecting the notches on the forearms to the tabs on the sides of the legs.
- With the cockpit sections facing front, attach the foot piece so the rocket launcher details are facing the same way.
Guyhawk is one of the most successful reimaginings in this set. The colors are modern but take inspiration from the original. I also love the new head sculpt and the boldness of using such an unconventional primary color.