Transformers Movie (2007) Decepticon Brawl Review

in 2007, Action Figure Review, Decepticon, Generation One, Movie (2007)

Transformers Live Action Movie

Brawl Box Art
General Information:
Release Year: May 2007
Retailer: General release (Wal-Mart, Target, Toys 'R' Us etc.)
Price: $9.99 (Depending on retailer)
Accessories: Missile x 1

Images:

Tech Specs:
DECEPTICON BRAWL is built for one thing, and on thing alone - destruction. His programming has been gripped for as long as he can remember by a rage so deep and so hot that he feels little else. The only thing that allows him a few moments of happiness is the fury of combat. There is nothing so sweet to him as the thunderous noise of his shells bursting against the armor of a faltering AUTOBOT.

Strength: 8  Intelligence:Speed:Endurance: 9
Rank: 5  Courage: 9  Firepower: 9  Skill: 3


Packaging:
Brawl is packaged in vehicle mode on a bilster card whose edges wrap around the right and left sides of the card. Technically his name is "Decepticon Brawl" so that is written across the bottom of the packaging next to a picture of the head. The curved portion on the upper part beneath the bubble says "Automorph Technology". On the back his alt mode is only described as "Tank Mode", not indicating the Abrams name at all. His cosells are Bumblebee, Jazz, Wreckage, Scorponok and Barricade.

Decepticon Brawl (who I will just call "Brawl" for the length of this review) is a Decepticon fans have yet to see any leaked footage of at this time. Photographs have appeared on the web of the real life tank / prop he transforms into on the set of the movie, and of course CGI concept images have leaked. Still, this Decepticon and his role in the movie is a bit of a mystery although one can guess he's probably more of brute force muscle than one of the leading robots in charge.

Vehicle Mode:
Brawl was one of the five Transformers in Generation One who combined to form Bruticus. On that team, the original Brawl was a tank. This 21st century reimagining of the character is also a tank, but this time he is based off a real life Abrams tank. This tank is build to provide a heavy armor presence on the battlefield and it fits the name Brawl perfectly.

The basic shape of the Abrams is intact here. The cannon turret has a bulge in the middle leading to the turret with angled lines in the front (though the exact angles are a bit different on the real life vehicle). The bottom section has plates on the side that protect the sides of the treads. Mounted on the front are two mine catchers consisting of a base piece with six blades, something found on variants of the Abrams. There are lots of details on the vehicle as well. Running along the sides and varioius sections of the turret are sculpted lines with raised circles representing bolts. The turret has two hatch doors sculpted into it as well as vertical and horizontal lines running along the sides. The main body of the tank has everything from cross hatch details to circular caps that look like the top of liquid storage tanks.

The designers started with the Abrams tank as the base design for this vehicle form, but then embelished on a lot of the details. For instance, the panels on the side that partially cover the wheels on his treads are angled and jagged shaped as opposed to being straight as they are on a real life Abrams. On the back are two cylindrical tanks and perhaps the biggest addition is the extra set of dual guns on top of the main turret. In addition to those two guns are two smaller gun batteries, each with four tubes mounted on the back of the turret. The extra dual turrets are a nice touch as they hark back to G1 Brawl, who also had dual turrets in addition to his main turret. Brawl conveys a dangerous sense of firepower, perfect for a Decepticon.

Brawl is mainly cast in olive green plastic, with some parts cast in silver and black such as the smaller quad-turrets. Grey camo patterns are painted onto the main body and turrets. The same color is used for a Decepticon symbol found at the base of the main cannon on the turret. It's a simple color scheme but it works since real life Abrams color schemes are generally straight forward camo or desert patterns.

The treads each have two small wheels on either side on the bottom, allowing the vehicle to roll along. His main turret can turn in a circle, and the smaller turret on top can do the same. The quad-turrets are mounted on posts connected to ball joints, allowing for a good range of movement. The mine catchers are also connected to ball joints so you can manipulate them into different positions. The main turret can fire a translucent red missile by pressing the silver trigger on the barrel. There's no doubt that Brawl is one powerfully armed Transformer!

Transformation to Robot Mode:

  1. Swing the turret back.
  2. Move the panels on the side of the turret out, then swing out each arm.
  3. Rotate the base piece that the turret is conected to.
  4. Swing each forward half of the tank's sides back.
  5. Separate each half of the tank's rear section.
  6. Swing the rear tread sections back so they angle outward.
  7. Swing the front of the tank down. This will fold the front portion of the tank treads up along with the robot head.
  8. Swing the turret up and attach it to the back of the upper body piece.
  9. Attach each shoulder section by the diamond shaped pieces on the shoulder panels to the diamond shaped holes on the chest piece.
  10. Swing the front of the robot feet up and swing the drums at the rear of the vehicle back.
  11. Swing the dual turrets so they point up and swing the smaller cannons up and point them forward.
  12. Slide the tank turret up on the right arm.

Robot Mode:
Brawl is a dangerous vehicle, and his robot form is no less dangerous! Thanks to the tank parts condensing into the robot form, he has a bulk that gives him the look of a Transformer with tremendous strength and a tough hide. The gun turret on his back has the gun turret aiming up and the smaller guns aiming forward are great, giving him a nice backpack of firepower. The arms are designed to bend outward at the elbows a bit, indicating extra width around the upper body area, another visual sign of power. While the movie's Megatron may not have a cannon on his right arm, it's nice to see one Decepticon does have this. The tank turret becomes a powerful looking arm cannon and the ability to have it rotate in and out of the way is great, allowing for him to tuck it back in a "rest" position with the firing end pointing up. His legs are thick and could have easily been left big rectangles, yet they have angled sections to match the design aesthetic of the movie. The way the rear tank armor parts angle backwards is great. It's a very small detail that really isn't necessary, but looks fantastic.

Ther is no lack of finer details on this figure. The head design is interesting, being a bit more rectangular in shape than say, Barricade. The more horizontal design of his head and slit eyes give him a gritty appearance, as if he is always ready for a fight. His arms have angled details on many levels. Each hand is made of three large claws in a clutching position. Mounted on the left arm is a combination weapon. The base is a gatling gun, complete with a base, a chain of artillery and barrel. Attached to that piece are two curved blades that can fold back or forward. I love this weapon. It's a small piece on his arm, but the sculpt is so well detailed and a wicked looking weapon that you just have to love it.

The colors from the vehicle mode all carry over here with some black and gold painted parts appearing on the arms and legs. The head has silver around the mouth area and translucent red eyes using light piping at the back of the head.

Brawl has eighteen points of articulation in this form. The points differ than what most would expect. For isntane he doesn't have waist articulation nor can his lower legs be turned outward. However he does have positionable weapons on his back (the quad blasters) and each of his arm mounted weapons can be turned.

There is only one major weakness on this figure. The arms are held against the upper body by the diamond shaped points plugging into equivalent holes. This holds fairly well when simply posing the figure. However if you manipulate the arms they pop right out. It would have been better with a different type of connection (perhaps a simple round peg in hold) or better yet, a clip to keep the parts in place.

Final Thoughts:
Brawl is a powerful looking Transformer who could fit into other lines and the movie line. His Automorph feature looks really cool and he has some cool weaponry to boot. The only thing that keeps this figure from being highly recommended is the problem with the arms. It is a very unfortunate blight on an otherwise awesome figure. Recommended.