"Generations" Combiner Wars Onslaught Toy Review


General Information:
Release Date: February 2016
Price Point: $24.99 (depending on retailer)
Retailer: General (Toys R Us, Target, Wal-Mart etc.)
Accessories: Rifles x 2

Official images with asterisks and text below in italics are from Amazon.com:
Onslaught has made the Combaticons into a nearly unstoppable strike force. He commands his team with the precision of a general and expects them to carry out his brilliant plans to perfection. The Combiner Wars are heating up and this 2-in-1 Onslaught figure is ready to lead the way one more time! This powerful leader of the Combaticons is a clanking menace in robot mode, but he's just as scary in rumbling tank mode! He’s also got the power to combine with other bots (sold separately) to form a massive Bruticus figure. Convert, combine and attack with this awesome Onslaught figure! Transformers and all related characters are trademarks of Hasbro.

As "Combiner Wars" entered its second year another Combiner team was put into the spotlight: the Combaticons! Led by Onslaught, this team of military themed Decepticons could combine into the powerful Bruticus. Unlike the other "Combiner Wars" groups, the Combaticons had been released in the "Generations" line before, but those versions were all Deluxe figures, leading to a combined form with some awkward proportions. This set was important as it led to the development of what would become "Combiner Wars", with each team featuring Deluxe scaled limbs and Voyager Class torsos.

Onslaught was released in early 2016 (though some sparse sightings were reported here and there in late 2015). This figure is a significant redeco and retool of "Combiner Wars" Hot Spot so check out that review for my thoughts on the base sculpt.

The packaging for "Combiner Wars" creates a very clear delineation between the main "Robots in Disguise" toy line for 2015 and the more collector oriented "Generations" segment. While the packaging uses the same basic "Transformers" logo as the "Robots in Disguise" line, it is set against a black background instead of white on the right side of the box. Above that is an Autobot symbol with the word "Generations" indicating the segment of the line. The figure itself is on display in robot mode through a window. On the lower left side is a blown up version of the artwork from the card inside the package. Instead of recycling art from the "Legends" mobile game, this art is new and based on the figure itself.

The back of the box features the toy in both modes with a small write up in multiple languages. There are sadly no tech spec stats. The right side shows off a schematic drawing of Bruticus, with the center highlighted representing Onslaught. Under that are photos of all five Combaticons.

The "Combiner Wars" figures all come with collector cards printed on thick cardboard. The artwork is new artwork based on the figure.

Onslaught includes the same two rifles as Hot Spot. The design features one long barrel and a smaller one underneath. The back of each rifle has a thick cable connecting the top section to the bottom. The front section has a thinner cable wrapping around the barrel of the weapon. The rifles are not exact copies of each other, rather they represent two opposite sides. Each has a small peg on the inside to connect the weapons to the vehicle mode. The weapons are cast in silver plastic with no paint applications.

The left rifle has a peg in the back that allows it to connect to the barrel of the other rifle, but it's rather loose and they really don't look that great together. This is likely to combine the weapons to give Bruticus a large looking weapon, but I prefer him holding them separately.

Robot Mode:
The designers put a lot of effort into retooling Hot Spot to make him into Onslaught. This doesn't sound like it would really work at first, but they managed to pull it off. Here's a rundown of what was changed:

  • The head sculpt is a whole new one based on Onslaught's G1 head. This includes a high crest with a rim above the eyes. His eyes are "visor eyes" over a distinctive mouthplate.
  • The chest panel is new, featuring a series of small details that look like a circuit pattern with tubes and wires. This design is based on the sticker and colors used on the G1 Onslaught action figure.
  • The panels on the shoulders are different than Hot Spot's. Instead of featuring hazard lines, the panels are layered with what looks like a door to a small compartment on each. This echoes the design of the sticker on G1 Onslaught's shoulders, down to having small circles that look like bolts on the edge.
  • The entire structure attached to the back is different. Whereas Hot Spot had a ladder from his vehicle mode there, Onslaught carries many of his Bruticus parts on his back including the head and torso armor.

The rest of the parts on this figure are carried over from Hot Spot. This includes the forearms, waist/hip ares and legs. In general the only detail that kind of throws me off a bit are the lightbars on his knees. This is a carry over from Hot Spot's fire truck mode. The good thing is that the light bars are thin enough that they don't stick out a lot, but they're also hard not to notice. Overall this figure is instantly identifiable as Onslaught to any G1 fan. I am really happy to see such a large percentage of parts being redone for this figure.

Onslaught is cast in several plastic colors including: teal, gunmetal grey, silver and black. The teal is a dark shade of the color and it makes up most of the figure. The gunmetal grey is used for the thighs and parts on the back. Silver is used for parts on the "back pack" as well as parts of his elbows. Black is used for the head. These colors do a nice job of calling back to G1 Onslaught, but the designers really worked hard on the paint applications to solidify that association.

Onslaught's paint colors include red, silver, yellow, blue, olive green and purple. The eyes on the head are painted red, which contrasts beautifully against the black plastic. The chest is a complex pattern of silver, yellow, blue and red based on the pattern on G1 Onslaught's chest sticker. His waist/hip area and shoulder panels are painted olive green, adding a military flavor to the figure. Purple is used on the waist and lower legs. A combination of purple and silver is used to paint the hazard stripes on the sides of the lower legs (another carry over detail from Hot Spot). The finishing touch is a silver and purple Decepticon symbol tampographed onto the middle of the chest. I really love this deco. The chest in detail looks amazing and I found myself surprised that the designers worked so hard to replicate the sticker from the original figure but I'm really happy they did!

There are twenty one points of articulation on this figure if you include the foot and heel pieces. This includes four points in each arm and six in each leg (again counting the heel and foot pieces). The one point that some people have had mixed results with are the knees, which some have described as improperly assembled. They seem fine to me, and his knee joint allows you to pose the figure so I think even if there was an assembly issue, it all seems to have worked out nicely.

Onslaught's weapons are the same as Hot Spot's. For the most part they look like flamethrowers (especially thanks to the tubes in the back) but the ends have a distinctive barrel that resembles G1 Onslaught's G1 animation model. These weapons can be held in his hands or attached to his back via the black "back pack" section in the middle. When you do this, it creates the appearance that Onslaught had in G1 with cannon barrels going up behind his head. Unfortunately putting them there means he has no weapons in his hands, so it's a trade off.

Transformation to Vehicle Mode:

  1. Remove the weapons and set them aside for now.
  2. Straighten out the arms and legs.
  3. Swing the chest panel forward.
  4. Swing the robot head down and swing the chest panel back into place.
  5. On the sides of the shoulders, swing up the small blue panels.
  6. Swing the arms up so it looks like the figure is reaching forward.
  7. Swing the shoulder sections up.
  8. Rotate the arms up, then swing the two arms in and connect them.
  9. Swing each foot up.
  10. Push the heel pieces up.
  11. Rotate the lower legs around so the wheels face outward.
  12. Swing the lower legs up and push them in to cover the thighs.
  13. Swing the lower body piece up. There are tabs on the robot hip area that fit into a slot created by the two lower legs.
  14. Swing the wing-like sections on the turret down to the sides.
  15. Attach the weapons to the 5mm ports on the sides of the turret section.

Vehicle Mode:
Like the robot mode, Onslaught's vehicle mode is a brilliant exercise in taking one vehicle and turning it into something completely different. You wouldn't think that you could turn a fire truck into a military artillery truck, but here you go! The smartest thing that the designers did was reverse the vehicle. The section that made up the front on Hot Spot is not the back of the vehicle and vice versa. This inversion of the vehicle mode helps create the illusion of a different vehicle all on its own, but there are several tooling changes as well:

  • The parts that made up the cabin section of Hot Spot's vehicle have been removed, just leaving a flat section with a small opening in the back of the vehicle.
  • The entire section in the middle has been changed. Instead of Hot Spot's ladder this section is mostly made up of Bruticus' head and torso armor folded up. This is also the section that the weapons attach to, evoking the look of G1 Onslaught's vehicle mode.
  • The front of the vehicle now has small cabin sections complete with small window-like openings. This helps add context to this end as the front of the vehicle even though the very front uses the same parts found on Hot Spot.
  • The sides of the front section have some different sculpted details. Instead of the round tube like details these look more like armor plates, befitting a vehicle designed for combat.

From a sculpting perspective the only part that throws me a bit are the light bars. Now, to be fair they are largely covered up in this mode by the middle section that the weapons connect to. Still, they do peek out and it's a very obvious reminder that this is a retool. I really wish they had been removed for this release but I'm getting retooling this part in addition to all the others simply wasn't in the budget.

Where this mode falls flat is the deco. The teal color makes up most of this mode. Black plastic is used for the wheels and part of the middle section. The parts formed by Bruticus' torso armor and the weapons help break up the dark colors in the center. Purple paint is used on the light bars and some details stick out from Bruticus' head and the robot waist section, but that's really it for paint detailing. It's really a shame because there are a lot of intricate, sculpted details on the vehicle that could have been brought out more with a little bit of paint. This is perhaps the most disappointing aspect of this figure since the designers got a lot of other changes right. This cloud does have a silver lining however. The sides of the vehicles have Decepticon symbols tampographed onto the plastic.

Onslaught rolls on eight wheels, though be careful when you're transforming him. I had one wheel pop off when I accidentally pushed on it a bit. If you raise the sides of Bruticus' torso armor, the section in the middle can turn in a circle and function as an anti-aircraft weapon. Due to having pegs on the bottom and sides, you can attach each weapon in two different ways depending on your preference.

Transformation to Bruticus/torso Mode (Starting in robot mode):

  1. Detach the weapons and set them aside for now.
  2. Swing the chest panel open, swing the head in and then close the panel.
  3. Swing the forearms up against the shoulders, attaching them using the small tab and peg.
  4. Swing the panels on the sides of the shoulders up, then swing down the sides of the shoulders.
  5. Rotate the robot arm/shoulder sections up.
  6. Flip the figure around and rotate the back pack.
  7. Swing the cover over Bruticus' head up.
  8. Swing the cover piece to the back, fully revealing Bruticus' head.
  9. Swing the side "wing" like panels on the torso armor out. The tabs on the back of the "wings" connect to grooves on the robot arm pieces.
  10. Swing the lower section of the armor down.
  11. On each lower leg, push the foot and heel pieces up.
  12. Rotate the lower legs outward.
  13. Swing each lower leg up over the thighs.
  14. The weapons can be attached to the sides of the back or held in Bruticus' hand.

Torso Mode:
The torso mode is the center of Bruticus' body including the head and thighs. Thanks to the torso armor and head section being totally different than Hot Spot's, the look of this torso mode is very different than Defensor's This partly works because the torso armor panels cover so much of the body the head sculpt was done with a lot of care to pay homage to both the G1 toy and animation model. The head features a high, curved crest with antennae like protrusions on the sides. The face has mean looking eyes with a mouthplate that ends in a distinctive chin piece. The chest/waist armor takes the G1 version of the armor and modernizes it slightly. It still looks like the wings of an aircraft, just like they did in G1. I really like a lot of the small details including a raised dome on the left side of the chest armor and distinctive line designs on both the chest and waist armor.

This mode shows off a lot of silver thanks to the torso armor. The teal color is still very present, especially on the thighs. The head is gunmetal grey with a silver mouthplate and red eyes. Some purple and silver are used on the thighs, in particular on the "hazard line" section, a carry over from Hot Spot. The hazard lines are painted purple while the machinery underneath is painted silver. The finishing touch is a huge silver and purple Decepticon symbol in the center of Bruticus' chest.

Like Onslaught's robot mode, you have a choice as to whether you want his weapons attached to the back or if you'd prefer to have him hold them for battle. Of course attaching them to the back creates the traditional Bruticus appearance, so that's my preferred look. In an interesting design choice, Legends Class Shockwave can be attached to the back. This is a callback to the episode "The Revenge of Bruticus" where Bruticus actually uses Shockwave as a gun! I love having this semi-obscure reference in toy form!

Final Thoughts:
Onslaught is a fun toy and a good example of imaginative retooling. That said I'm still disappointed in the lack of paint deco in vehicle form. I do recommend this figure, but that doesn't mean it is without issue so set your expectations accordingly.

Lightbox Gallery