"Generations" Combiner Wars Buzzsaw Toy Review


General Information:
Release Date: June 2015
Price Point: $9.99 (depending on retailer)
Retailer: General (Toys R Us, Target, Wal-Mart etc.)
Accessories: None

Official images and text below in italics are from Hasbrotoyshop:
Destruction is a work of art for this ruthless spy! This Buzzsaw figure is a dive-bombing beast and he’ll be a match for any Autobot who tries to take him on! He converts fast from beast mode to vehicle mode, but when gathering intel is his mission, he converts to spy tablet mode! Keep converting him back and forth so he can handle whatever his foes dish out!

Includes figure, collector card and instructions. 3-in-1 Buzzsaw figure. Figure converts from beast mode to vehicle mode to spy tablet mode. Changes in 7 steps. Includes collector card

During the pre-New York Comic-Con event in October 2015 it was revealed that several classic "cassette" based characters would be reintroduced into the "Generations" segment of the Transformers toy line in 2016 as part of the "Titans Return" segment. Instead of cassettes, these characters would now turn into smartphones (though the Hasbro web site says "smart tablet" so take that as you will). Check out my video below for a demonstration of how this new functionality will work.

While "Titans Return" has not yet launched, fans have been treated to a bit of a "preview" of the line with the last wave of "Combiner Wars" Legends figures of 2015. Part of this wave includes Buzzsaw, the original Decepticon "cassette" that was packaged with Soundwave in Generation One. Now packaged on his own, Buzzsaw has joined the 21st century as a whole new type of device.

Buzzsaw is packaged in a blister card similar to the other Legends Class figures released this year. The packaging has dramatic art of the character flying in a battle scene with the "Transformers" logo to the right and the "Generations" logo above it. The "Combiner Wars" logo is at the top. Old Skool fans will note that his name is just printed as "Buzzsaw" and not some trademark loophole based name like "Decepticon Buzzsaw" or "Buzz-saw" which is refreshing to see. The back of the packaging reveals his three modes which includes an unexpected vehicle form! There is a collector card included with the figure that has the same artwork from the backing card printed on it.

Beast Mode:
This is the first new Buzzsaw sculpt in a couple of years and is intended as a whole new take on the character. The designers kept one core principle however: Buzzsaw is based off a condor. Of course, I'm using the term "based" very loosely here. This is no techno-organic Transformer. Buzzsaw is all machine and it shows in his design. He has a bird head and neck in the front, thrusters in the "tail" section and wings that have both thick sections and thin, blade like areas and finally he has thin, robotic looking feet on the bottom of the beast mode. There's pretty much no chance that Buzzsaw flaps his wings to fly. Instead the thrusters on his tail section most likely help serve that purpose. In addition to the head, his tail section has some thin protrusions in the back that resemble feathers giving him a more bird-like appearance.

The main drawback to the aesthetics on this figure are the wings. Formed from the sides of his "smart tablet" mode, they are really thick and don't quite have the graceful look you'd expect from a bird.

Buzzsaw is cast in yellow, black and silver plastic. The yellow is analagous to the gold color used on G1 Buzzsaw. The black and silver are directly inspired by the original character. Paint colors include black, silver and orange. The black is found on his tail. Silver is found on the tail section and head. Orange is used for his eyes and beak.

The real dramatic splash of color comes from several stickers found on the top of the figure. Stickers are a rarity in the "Transformers" toy line nowadays so when they do appear it is very eye catching. On the top of his wings and back are foil stickers with a black background and complex patterns on top that resemble circuitry. If you stare you'll also see icons for familiar phone and tablet functions such as a camera, mail and chat icon. The sticker on his back has the mid-section of the Decepticon symbol on it. These details really add a striking visual layer to this otherwise straight forward deco.

Buzzsaw has eight points of articulation in this form. now, I'm going to admit I'm being really generous here. I'm counting the ability of his wings to move and the three points on his neck of course, but I'm also including the ability for the thrusters and tail section to be adjusted. Sadly he comes with no weapons either as accessories or sculpted into the figure. Yep, poor Buzzsaw has his speed and beak to rely on for offense and that's about it.

Transformation to Smart Tablet Mode:

  1.     Push the silver wing pieces in.
  2.     Swing the robot head down.
  3.     Swing the feet up.
  4.     Swing the tail section back.
  5.     Rotate each thruster so the "feather" like pieces are pointed up.
  6.     Push each wing in.

Smart Tablet Mode:
Unlike many alternate modes, Buzzsaw's is a device so there are no flash wings or cool sports car lines. It's really a smartphone despite what the official description says. Like most smartphones it is rectangular in shape. The four corners are beveled and remind me of an old iPhone case I once had. Unlike most phones nowadays the corners and overall design is very angular and blocky (which helps the design stay away from any potential trademark issues).

In addition to the design elements mentioned above, there are three more which rate as super cool in my book. The first is a square "home" button at the bottom of the phone reminiscent of the iPhone's round "home" button. Second, if you look on the bottom of the phone there is a hole that is sized to fit a real life pair of headphones (yes, I tried it). Finally if you look on the sides of the device there are thin buttons that resemble the volume control buttons on some smartphones. No, this is not a functional music player, but these are neat ways to add to the fantasy of Buzzsaw transforming into a functional device.

Most of the phone is yellow plastic in this mode. Silver and black paint form details on the edges, but a majority of the detail is in the stickers that come together to form the screen. As mentioned before the background is black with a circuit pattern on top in various colors including blue, purple and red. Along the top are icons any smartphone user would recognize including the curved "signal strength" icon, a wi-fi icon and on the right a battery indicator. Along the bottom are other familiar icons. From left to right you have: a camera, a document, a chat program and finally an email icon. Put these details together with the sculpted details mentioned above and you have one fun "fantasy" device.

One word of warning: during transformation you might experience issues with the stickers curling up a bit at the edges. This did not happen the first five times I transformed the figure, but after a few more times I noticed it happening. I would recommend being careful about the edges of the stickers, especially when you separate the wings outward.

While this functionality isn't available to fans just yet, this mode is designed to fit into the chest of "Titans Return" Blaster and (presumably) Soundwave. See the video above to see how.

Transformation to Vehicle Mode (Starting in Smart Tablet mode):

  1.     Swing the sides out.
  2.     Swing the black wheel pieces out.
  3.     Rotate the wings so the wheels face outward.
  4.     Swing the beast mode feet down.
  5.     Swing the thrusters out so they point forward.
  6.     Swing each of the thrusters out to the sides.
  7.     Push in the wing sections. The grooves on the wings should line up with the raised portion of the thrusters.

Vehicle Mode:
Buzzsaw's vehicle mode is really a variation of the smart tablet mode. The wheels on the side can turn, allowing him to roll along. The front seems to have rake like sections on it. To be honest, I'm not really sure exactly what type of vehicle this is meant to be. I'm going to go with some type of Cybertronian data courier vehicle until something more official is passed along. It's neat that the figure has this third mode, but I almost would have preferred no third mode and some accessories.

Final Thoughts:
Buzzsaw is a cool toy. At first I wasn't thrilled with him, but the more I played with him the more I liked him. My biggest concern is the issue with his stickers. I would recommend being super careful when you transform him and pay careful attention to the edges of the stickers. Recommended if you're into Transformers that become every day devices.

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