Release Date: October 2012
Price Point: $9.99
Retailer: Toys R Us Exclusive
Accessories: Blaster, Arm panels/shields x 2
With an ever expanding market in Asia, Hasbro China announced last year the release of several Transformers redec os for the "Generations" line that (at the time) were intended for a purely Asian release. However, fans got one whiff of this and they wanted these toys on the spot! Many of these redecos were rather inspired, while others were head scratchers. Either way, Hasbro US saw fit to find a channel to bring these toys to the US, in new packaging to boot! In an ironic move, while the Chinese versions of these characters were released on purely English packaging, the US releases have Chinese characters on them, representing their "exclusive" origin. You may sometimes hear these figures referred to as "GDO" Transformers. For those curious, this is not a Transformers term, it is an economic one, standing for "Global Development Organization".
Among the four Scout Class figures released as part of this set is a redeco of "Revenge of the Fallen" Breacher. Brawl is unique in that he is the only one of the four whose original sculpt was not reused at least once prior to this release. There was going to be a redeco of Breacher known as "Bodyblock", but that figure was never released. This review will focus on the changes made to the figure for this release. My original thoughts on the sculpt itself can be found in my Breacher review.
Unlike the other three Scout Class figures in this line, Brawl's robot mode doesn't really match up instantly in my mind with the character, who has traditionally been a tank in vehicle form and thus carries over a lot of those parts into his robot mode. With the Breacher sculpt being an armored personnel carrier, the parallels to being a tank are there, but it's a bit of a stretch in both theme and form. That said, I can kind of see where the designers got the idea to make this mold Brawl. The way the chest design comes to triangular points in the front combined with a bit of the vehicle mode's cabin section does somewhat evoke the look of G1 Brawl's torso, which was mostly made up of the front of his tank mode. If you add to that various armor panels that suggest a military vehicle, I can see how the designers decided to use Brawl as the character for this sculpt.
The other aspect of this figure that doesn't exactly work for me is the color scheme. Don't get me wrong, it's a nice looking color scheme. Most of the armor panels are now green and a lot of the robot sections under the armor such as his arms, feet, waist and thighs are brown, giving the figure a very gritty, "earthy" appearance that befits a vehicle slogging through a battlefield. The odd part here is that I can't recall a version of Brawl that used brown this heavily. In general, Brawl was green and grey, so I'm thinking the brown was an aesthetic choice to make this figure unique, which is valid but given how the other three members of this Scout Class wave stuck so closely to the colors of their G1 counterparts, this was a bit of a surprise.
The deco on this figure is relatively sparse. Gold paint is used on his hip joints, the triangular panels on his chest and the head. The deco on the head in particular does evoke G1 Brawl whose eyes were yellow (here, gold stands in for yellow). His face has been painted red, matching up with the red mouthplate on G1 Brawl in the television show. A bit of silver is used on the edges of his chest panels and two large Decepticon symbols are tampographed onto the sides of his chest. Finally, a tiny bit of silver is used on the legs, right under the knee armor. I would say the head deco and the Decepticon symbols are the parts that most evoke G1 Brawl. It's a nice color scheme and I can see how the designers really tried to "connect" it to Brawl, but it's not very successful in my eyes.
All of the joints on this figure are nice and tight and his weapon still clips onto his fist without a problem. Functionally speaking this is still a rocking figure and one of the most dynamic looking to come out of that era.
Transformation to Vehicle Mode:
- Swing each foot up against the inside of the lower legs.
- On the back of each leg, swing out the panel that rests against the back of the lower legs.
- Pull the chest piece forward and the central white hinge piece will extend.
- Push the robot head back, then push the small blue panel in the front down.
- Rotate the cabin cover section on the robot chest around.
- Swing each arm back, position it so the wheels point out to the sides and then swing them under the robot chest piece.
- Swing each forearm up on the ball joint, connecing the small pegs on the upper arms to the corresponding holes on the central piece.
- Swing each fist back and secure the side blue panels into place.
- Rotate the robot waist piece around.
- Swing the central white hinge forward.
- Fold the robot legs up against the front of the vehicle.
- Swing the knee armor panels up in the back and connect them together.
- Clip the weapon to the bar on the top section of the vehicle.
While the robot mode has a somewhat tenuous connection to G1 Brawl as a homage, I can see how the vehicle mode evokes G1 Brawl. Three main points help achieve this:
- The turret on top has a gun mounted to it and can turn, much like on G1 Brawl's tank mode.
- The front end has an angled design reminscent of G1 Brawl's tank mode.
- The vehicle is a bulky, military vehicle meant for rough terrain, evoking G1 Brawl's tank form.
Most of this mode is made up of the green armor panels, which evokes G1 Brawl's tank form nicely. Surprisingly, the sides of the wheels have been painted green to match the green plastic (and very well I might add). In addition to the details seen in robot mode, there are additional details on the sides near the front of the vehicle with the alphanumeric sequence "D67". This is a reference to the Japanese number designation given to Brawl in the G1 toy line. Here we also get a better look at the windows in the front of the vehicle, which are painted black.
The turret on the vehicle turns without a problem and all the "C Clip" bars can still serve as weapon attachment points. Functionally this sculpt is as good as ever.
Of the four Scout Class redecos put out for this line, this is perhaps the least successful homage, however the toy itself is still really well done and looks very cool in both modes. If you think of it more as a cool, military looking Decepticon and less as a homage it's definitely worth adding to your Decepticon army!