"Transformers" Mini-Con 8 Pack Toy Reviews
Release Date: 2010
Price Point: Approximately $28 USD at time of release
Retailer: European Exclusive
Back in 2010 Hasbro released a sub-line of Transformers called Hunt for the Decepticons, a spin-off of the Revenge of the Fallen line. This line would kind of morph later in into another line called Reveal the Shield which has been considered by many fans as a component of the larger Generations line. Mixed into this era were a bunch of store and country exclusive figures including a European exclusive 8-Pack of Mini-Cons. This set appeared very briefly on the market. Based on some old posts I found on various fan sites, it was around maybe about six months or so and then sold out. To this day this set has never had a release outside of Europe.
When this set was released, it was not really designated as a Reveal the Shield set. It just had a Transformers logo on it without any sub-brand. I'm putting it in this section as this is the one that "most fits" the set.
Each Mini-Con in this set is a redeco of an existing one so I link to my reviews of the original sculpts under each section below. Check out the original reviews for my original thoughts on the sculpts and transformation instructions. The reviews below will focus on the changes made to the figures for this release.
Airlift is a redeco of Overcast from the Giant Planet Mini-Con team. This Decepticon is one of my favorites from the Cybertron era. His vehicle mode is similar to the Martin P6M SeaMaster but with huge honkin' missile launchers mounted under the wings. Due to the need to follow toy safety rules, the missiles have to be 2 in (about 5.08 cm) or more long. On this vehicle they wind up looking almost like some type of high powered bomb or missile. To connect him to a Mini-Con peg, use the port underneath the cockpit section.
This figure is cast in grey and black plastic. There is black and red paint on it, filling in some nice detail including the engines on the wings. These colors carry over to the robot mode where the face has red on it and the black arms and missiles offer nice contrast to the grey plastic.
All the joints are nice and tight on my copy of this figure and the "pressure launch" feature of the missiles in the arms work just fine.
Barrel-Roll is a redeco of Thunderwing from the Classics Clear Skies Mini-Con team. This Autobot Mini-Con transforms into an F-14 Tomcat and may be one of the thinnest jet Transformers in vehicle mode. He has a little bit of undercarriage junk, but not a lot and they even sculpted in some landing gear. The Mini-Con connection port is located in the back as part of the thruster.
The jet mode features mostly olive green plastic. The cockpit is painted black and there are light green camo details on the top of the vehicle. The robot mode reveals some dark green parts on the legs along with silver and gold paint on the head. The chest features a Mini-Con symbol and light green paint.
Given the thin vehicle form, you'd think the robot mode would have trouble standing but it actually does so pretty well thanks to the shape of the feet. The oints on my copy of this are nice and tight too. Fun note: a version of this character appeared in the IDW Publishing comic book in the 2013 issue "The Illusion of Control".
Buckshot is a redeco of Firebot from the "Night Rescue Team". This Autobot transforms into a fictional version of the Oshkosh Striker, an aircraft rescue and fire fighting vehicle. This Mini-Con has a distinctive, boxy shape with an angled front end. Mounted on top are two water hoses (which I say can double as weapons for fun). The Mini-Con connection port is located on the bottom of the vehicle.
This figure is mostly made up of green and black plastic. The front end of the vehicle is painted brown and there are Mini-Con symbols painted in silver on either side. The windows are painted with a metallic flake silver which really makes them sparkle!
This robot mode is one of my favorites out of the entire 8-pack. It has a rather "heroic" look to it and I dig the way the water cannons become cannons on the forearms. The joints are nice and tight on my copy of this figure.
The Decepticon Mini-Con, Diveplane is a redeco of Deepdive from the "Giant Planet" Mini-Con team. The name "Diveplane" refers to a Diving Plane which refer to parts of a submarine which allow the vehicle to move its bow and stem up or down. I love the sculpt of this vehicle mode which features some nice details on top and the aforementioned diving planes on the sides. The Mini-Con port is found on the bottom of the vehicle in the middle.
Diveplane is mostly brown plastic. Silver paint is used for lots of detailing on the top, sides and bottom. The Mini-Con symbol is painted red.
The robot mode features a surprising amount of silver paint thanks to the way the silver from the vehicle mode comes together. The visor eyes appear in some light to be metallic light blue but almost silver in other lighting. The robot mode also reveals some black plastic on the thighs. All the joints on my copy of this figure are nice and tight.
Heavy-Liftor is one of the more curious pieces in this set. First, his name's use of "or" at the end was a common practice at the time (presumably to make trademarking the name easier). Other "or" names in the past include Revenge of the Fallen Tankor, Comettor, Dark of the Moon Dualor and Armada Demolishor. It's seems silly now, but for a while it was quite common.
The other interesting aspect of this figure involves a couple layers of meta references. First, this figure is a redeco of Wideload from the Demolition Team whose alt-mode is a dump truck. In G1, there was an Autobot Throttlebot named Wideload whose alt-mode was also a dump truck. Now this time out, this sculpt has been cast in orange and black plastic with black, blue and silver paint. These are colors inspired by the G1 Throttlebot Wideload! I appreciate the double callback and the colors look great.
Heavy-Liftor is a rather oddly designed Mini-Con. His feet are hardly small, but the legs bend in such a weird way you have to play with it a bit to get him standing right.
Iron Claw is a redeco of Classics Dirt Digger. This is one of my favorite Mini-Cons of that era thanks to the awesome retro vehicle mode which is a combination of several cars including a Plymouth Barracuda and a 70s era Dodge Charge. His Mini-Con port is found on the bottom of the vehicle towards the back. His robot mode features his distinctive knife and claw hands (hence the name) and it really gives the character a distinctive look.
It would be easy to mistake Iron Claw for a Decepticon. In vehicle mode he is mostly black with metallic purple windows. The front features metallic orange headlights and the Mini-Con symbols on the doors are silver. The robot mode features an additional color: Turquoise. This appears on the chest and thighs. The head has silver and gold. The black base helps the other colors really pop and it looks great.
Iron Claw is one of those Mini-Cons who has a bit of a problem standing. You need to tilt the upper body forward a bit because of the way the feet are designed. There are no loose joints on my copy of this figure.
Ironside is a redeco of Broadside from the Classics Demolition Team. His vehicle mode is based on an M1 Abrams tank. The name Ironside can refer to a strong person with great endurance. There is also a military connection to the term, referring to soliders that served under Oliver Cromwell. Both meanings fit a Mini-Con who transforms into a tank. While Broadside was a Decepticon, Ironside is an Autobot.
Ironside is made up of light grey and black plastic. Paint colors on this figure include black, gold, silver and green. Like Iron Claw, I love the distinctive hands on this figure which includes a blaster on one side and a fist on the other. One of the hands on my copy of this figure has a tiny bit of flash on it, but I don't mind it. Due to the way the feet are designed, they are somewhat thin and you have to adjust the feet carefully to get it to stand but it is possible. My photos above did not use any hand support.
Ironside's design does not allow for much movement. The arms can swing in and out but up and down movement is partly obstructed by the legs. You can turn his head around however so that's something. His Mini-Con port is on the bottom of the vehicle mode.
Reachout is a redeco of Longarm from the Giant Planet Mini-Con Team. This Decepticon transforms into a construction vehicle with two crane arms. One arm has a large claw on it while the other has what appears to be a loop of some sort. Part of me thinks it was meant to be a hook but was made into a loop for safety reasons. Another part of me thinks it is meant to be a rope of some sort. This figure features one of the more unique Mini-Con transformations with the front of the vehicle forming the legs while the rest folds in half to form the torso, head and arms. The end result is a unique and cool looking robot form.
This figure features light brown, medium brown and black plastic. White, black and silver are used to paint in details including stripes running along the sides of the vehicle and the Mini-Con symbols towards the front.
Unlike Ironside, this figure can stand on its own just fine. He's bulky, but the feet can support that bulk. The joints on my copy of this figure are nice and tight. The Mini-Con port is found on the bottom of the vehicle mode towards the middle.
Reviewing this set in a time when Hasbro is once again releasing Micromasters really creates an exercise in contrast. Compared to today's Micromasters (which are based on G1 designs) some of these little guys in this set have really weird and strange designs. It was a really experimental time in Transformers design and it shows (for better and worse). I'm also really happy with the deco in this set. All that said, I cannot recommend you run out and go buy this now since its availability is fairly scarce even on ebay and even if you found it, I guarantee it would cost a lot more than the average fan wants to pay for Mini-Cons. Recommended, but mostly for the really hardcore Mini-Con collectors out there.
- For the most part these Mini-Cons are well built. No loose joints, the Powerlinx attachment points still work well and the transforms work well despite some of these sculpts having been used a couple of times.
- Good amount of paint on most of these figures.
- Fun, oddball designs in many cases, the likes of which you really do not see anymore.
- Gorgeous packaging showing off all the Mini-Cons using nice thick cardboard with attractive graphics. Even Leader Class figures nowadays do not get this treatment.
- The aforementioned "oddball" designs many not appeal to everyone.
- This is a really really expensive set of Mini-Cons to get on the aftermarket.