"Generations" Power of the Primes Punch/Counterpunch Toy Review
Release Date: June 2018
Price Point: $24.99 (depending on retailer)
Retailer: General (Toys R Us, Target, Wal-Mart etc.)
Accessories: Blasters x 2; Foot pieces x 2; Autobot Enigma
Official images with asterisks and text below in italics are from Amazon.com:
Celebrate the Prime Wars Trilogy with this special edition Power of the Primes Punch-Counterpunch figure. Featuring 2 robot modes (both Autobot and Decepticon) and a vehicle mode, the Autobot double agent was a huge hit when he was originally released in 1987. This version has been faithfully designed to reflect the original G1 figure. Plus, it comes with the special edition clear ice blue Prima Prime Master figure. The 5.5-inch scale Deluxe Class figure comes with a 1.5-scale Prima Prime Master figure and a Prime Armor accessory. Insert the Prime Master figure into the accessory, attach it to the figure's chest, and imagine Punch wields the power of a Prime. The Punch-Counterpunch figure converts from Decepticon to Autobot in 9 steps and from robot to sports car in 13 or 18 steps. The Prime Master figure converts between robot and spark modes in 1 step. Transformers all related characters are trademarks of Hasbro.
- Special Edition Transformers Generations Power of the Primes Figures
- Deluxe Class Punch-Counterpunch figure converts between Autobot, Decepticon, and sports car modes
- Punch-Counterpunch figure is designed to reflect the G1 release with 2 distinct robot modes and features premium details
- Includes a special edition Prima Prime Master and comes in special edition packaging
- Includes Deluxe Class Punch-Counterpunch figure, special edition Prima Prime Master figure, 2 accessories, and instructions. Ages 8 and up
2018 has been a fantastic year for Amazon exclusives. As a follow up to Blast-Off, Repugnus and Nemesis Prime Amazon released a new version of Punch/Counterpunch in September 2018. This figure is an updated version of a character first introduced in Generation One. An Autobot by allegiance, Punch could transform into a car and an alternate robot form: a Decepticon disguise known as "Counterpunch". In 2010 the Transformers Collectors Club created an update of the character. More recently they released a "Combiner Wars" Counterpunch (who had shed his "Punch" identity). This is the first release of the character outside the Collector's Club however, making it highly desirable among fans.
Like Blast-Off and Repugnus, this set comes in a window box with a flap that folds over the front. The front features beautiful artwork of Punch and Counterpunch together. Above the artwork is the "Prime Wars Trilogy" logo. The side has the vertical Transformers logo with the "Generations" logo above it. The side features artwork that shows other exclusives including the Autobot Clones. This artwork is meant to be put side by side with Blast-Off and Repugnus' boxes to form a combined scene.
Open up the flap and you will see Punch in robot mode inside the box. In a corner is Prima Prime and below that is his blaster.
The back of the packaging shows off the figure in all three modes. The top shows off a bio with half an Autobot symbol next to half a Decepticon symbol. The other side shows off Prima Prime in Spark Mode. The callouts show the Prime Armor in action and lists the number of steps for each of his transformations (18 for the vehicle, 9 to go from Counterpunch to Punch and 13 to go from Punch to the vehicle). The packaging is absolutely gorgeous and I love the attention it was given in this special release.
Punch includes two accessories: One is a blaster that appears to be a modification of the blaster design originally included with "Titans Return" Arcee. It has a similar barrel and circles on the sides, but this one features a couple extra details including a rail running across the top. This piece is cast in yellow.
The other accessory is a Prime Armor/Combiner fist piece. This is the same sculpt included with "Power of the Primes" Jazz featuring a distinctive pair of thrusters. It is cast in black with a clear cover over the slot where you can insert a Prime Master in Spark Mode.
Like the two sets before it, this set includes a Prime Master figure. Punch comes with Prima Prime who was last seen in the Optimal Optimus set from San Diego Comic-Con 2018. There have been no tooling changes made to the Prime Master. This is a straight up redeco of the previous version.
This time out Prima Prime is cast in translucent blue and silver plastic. Parts like the head and arms are translucent blue. The lower legs and torso are silver. Silver paint is used to fill in most of the robot mode details (such as the head and arms). The symbol on the back is painted light blue. Overall I prefer this deco over the version included with SDCC Optimal Optimus. It looks really nice!
Assembly Note: Early reports indicate that Punch/Counterpunch has a slight assembly error. The pieces that connect to the arms need to be flipped upside down for the vehicle mode parts to fit together tightly. The photos in this review do not reflect this "fix" as the intention of these photos is to show you the product as it comes out of the box. You can read about the "fix" and see photos of it on Seibertron.com.
That said, The Allspark reports that the figure is not misassembled and that fans just need to fiddle with the figure a bit more. However, the article acknowledges that performing this "fix" does make transformation slightly easier.
I did perform this fix to see how it would work out after I finished my photos and indeed, the car panels in the front do seem to line up better. At the very least, you do not have to fiddle with the front of the car as much to close up gaps in vehicle mode. Your mileage will vary, but I always recommend extreme caution whenever doing any "fix" or customizing figures.
Unlike Blast-Off and Repugnus, this figure is not a retool and/or redeco of a previously released figure. Speculation is that the base sculpt for this figure will be appearing in the upcoming "Siege" line as a yet-to-be-announced character (some speculate he could be one of the Autobot Targetmasters). Regardless, this figure is special among the three Amazon Deluxe Class releases.
Punch's sculpt features several design elements inspired directly by his G1 counterpart. These include:
- The head sculpt features a helmet with a central crest, antennae on the sides and a mouthplate that comes to a line in the middle. This is based on the head design featured on the original G1 toy and its box art.
- The chest features two distinct circles on either side with two rectangular indentations under them.
- The shoulder sections feature vertical strips with a series of horizontal lines running from top to bottom. This is based on sticker details from the G1 Punch figure.
- The "abdominal" area features a six sided shape with raised sections inside. This is similar to a detail on G1 Punch (but he had circles inside instead).
- The thighs feature vertical strips similar to sticker details on G1 Punch.
Unlike G1 Punch who looked rather boxy in robot mode, this figure is rather tall and sleek looking. Also, the parts that become Counterpunch's shoulder armor wind up sweeping back at a striking angle, adding a dynamic element to the robot mode design. I really like how this figure manages to incorporate aspects of G1 Punch's design while having its own distinctive appearance. This modern version of Punch looks sleek and cool.
Punch features mostly blue, black and orange plastic - all colors found on G1 Punch. The blue makes up most of the body with the shoulders, torso and part of the head cast in orange. Black is used on smaller parts like the thighs. The color arrangement is very similar to the one used on G1 Punch, with the main exception being the forearms which are blue here but were black on the G1 figure.
Paint colors on this figure include silver, red and blue. The silver is used on the face, thighs and lower legs. Red is found on the fists, matching up with G1 Punch's fists. The blue is used on the eyes. One of the nicest details is a tampographed Autobot symbol on the chest in red against a silver background. Under that are some nice black details. Red is used on the thighs over the silver, replicating the look of one of G1 Punch's stickers. Perhaps the most beautiful color is a metallic black used on the thigh pieces. The figure looks great and I'm very happy with the deco.
There are fourteen points of articulation on this figure. This includes four on each arm and two on each leg. There is also waist articulation. All the joints are super tight allowing for a good amount of stability. Each fist has a 5mm port, allowing Punch to hold his weapon and/or Prime Armor. The Prime Armor can also be attached to the back as a rocket pack. Of course, being part of the "Power of the Primes", Punch can connect the Prime Armor to his chest. Just flip down the panel with the Autobot symbol on it to reveal a 5mm port. Attach the Prime Armor and then Prima (or any other Prime Master) and you have a "powered up" Punch!
Transformation to Counterpunch
- Detach any accessories and set them aside for now.
- Straighten out the arms and legs.
- Flip the panels on the sides of the forearms out, then push the red fists in and reveal the blue fists.
- Swing the panel with the Autobot symbol down.
- Push the black part of the helmet piece on the head down, covering up Punch's eyes and revealing Counterpunch's eyes on the other side.
- Swing the panel with the Decepticon symbol on it (on Punch's back) up.
- Swing the shoulder armor sections out.
- Swing the shoulder panels up, then rotate them around, then push them down.
This mode takes several design cues from G1 Counterpunch with emphasis on the G1 artwork and "Headmasters" animation model. These include:
- The head sculpt features a central crest with sharp "horns" coming out the sides.
- The mouth has a mouthplate like piece around it and a pronounced chin piece.
- The shoulder armor shows off the front wheel wells from the vehicle mode, flaring out to the sides and showing off the wheels.
- The thighs feature a vertical strip with a series of horizontal lines inside of them.
- The forearms feature several horizontal line designs.
- The lower legs feature several designs in the front inspired by stickers from G1 Counterpunch.
Overall this figure is instantly identifiable as G1 Counterpunch. It also features some additional line detailing on the chest and some extra lines on the legs. Like the Punch mode, this form is taller and sleeker than his G1 counterpart and it looks great.
This mode mostly shows off blue plastic with smaller parts like the head and thighs using the metallic black plastic. The face is blue with red eyes and a silver mouth/chin section. This was inspired by the "Headmasters" animation model for the character. The chest has a purple Decepticon symbol over a silver background.
Transformation to Vehicle Mode (Starting as Counterpunch):
- Swing the panels with the Autobot and Decepticon symbols down.
- Lift Counterpunch's chest panel.
- Swing out the middle section of the vehicle mode's hood.
- Pull up the shoulder armor pieces.
- Push the forearms against the sides of the torso. There are tabs on the forearms that connect to slots on the torso.
- Rotate the shoulder armor pieces around, then push them down.
- Push the chest piece down, connecting the central panel to the two shoulder armor pieces. This forms the front of the vehicle.
- Swing the back of each lower leg out, then swing out the window piece inside.
- Push the two lower legs together.
- Swing the lower leg pieces over the thighs.
- Swing the cabin cover panels up and connect them in the middle.
Similar to his G1 counterpart, this new version of Punch/Counterpunch is a sleek looking car in vehicle form. According to the TFWiki, this vehicle mode combines the front end of a Camaro, the general shape of the Infiniti G37 and TE37 wheels. I can see these elements however a lot of them look more thin and sleek than the real life vehicles. Also, the wheel wells come up higher on this vehicle than they do on any of its real life sources.
In a very interesting design note: the wheels on this figure appear to be the same wheel sculpt used for "Combiner Wars" Breakdown (which then went on to be used for Sunstreaker, Wheeljack and the Collector's Club Counterpunch). I was surprised at first, but it makes sense that Hasbro could reuse CG assets when designing figures to cut down on the time needed to develop the toy. Also, these are some pretty sleek looking wheels so I have no problem with their reuse.
The vehicle is mostly blue plastic. The windows are clear plastic with blue parts painted on top. The front, sides and rear window feature silver paint. Some gunmetal is used in the front. Red paint is found on the sides of the wheels and the rear lights. The red on the sides of the wheels in particular are a brilliant callback to G1 Punch/Counterpunch's vehicle mode. The colors in this form look beautiful and striking.
There is a 5mm port on the top of the vehicle allowing you to attach his weapon and/or Prime Armor. On the back are two small Prime/Titan Master pegs, allowing Punch to give his little buddies a ride!
Punch/Counterpunch is absolutely awesome. First, this is (mostly) a brand new sculpt for fans to enjoy. It also features a relatively rare transform pattern (one vehicle form with two robot modes) and he looks like a sleek update of the original. I only wish he had come with two blasters (one for each robot mode) but other than that I highly recommend this figure!
- Beautiful sculpt in all three forms with many details inspired by the original figure.
- Good deco in all three modes with callbacks to G1 Punch and Counterpunch's stickers.
- Prima Prime has a beautiful deco.
- Beautiful packaging.
- I do wish the figure had come with two blasters like the original.
- The shoulder assembly "issue" may or may not turn some people off. The figure is functional without having to do the "fix" (see my note above) so to me this is not a huge deal.