"Generations" Impactor Toy Review


General Information:
Release Date: July 2013
Price Point: $12.99
Retailer: General release (Toys R Us, Target, Wal-Mart etc.)
Accessories: Missile launcher, Missile, Dual barreled cannon

*Images with asterisks above are from Amazon.com
Impactor never hesitates to volunteer his team for the riskiest missions. It’s not that he loves danger. He’d rather see every soldier under his command safe, but he also knows that his team is the best the Autobots have. When a mission absolutely must succeed, the Autobots know they can count on Impactor and his team to get it done. The battle between Autobot and Decepticon is never over, and this Impactor figure is the next generation of awesome Transformers action! Your Impactor figure is a fierce Autobot who can convert to Cybertronian missile carrier mode when the battle gets intense. But when he wants to really bring the hammer down on his Decepticon enemies, he and his allies can combine into a giant robot! Collect all 5 Wreckers (other figures sold separately) so you can build a complete Ruination robot. Keep converting your Impactor figure back and forth so he can handle whatever his Autobot enemies dish out, or make him part of your giant Ruination figure! Transformers and all related characters are trademarks of Hasbro.

One of the surprise releases in the "Generations" sub-line was a set of five Combaticons who combined into the powerful Bruticus. Combiners as a whole have been relative rarities in recent years and to have one at this scale was virtually unheard of. Such an investment is not to be taken lightly, and as part of the process of making sure the sculpts pay for themselves and then some, a redeco/retool was inevitable. Instead of another team of Decepticons, the Combaticons were given new decos, identities, head sculpts and weaponry. Representing the Autobot team known as "The Wreckers", the designers decided to get a little meta.

Back in 2000, Japan released a series of Transformers in a series dubbed "Car Robots". This would later be imported into other countries as "Robots in Disguise". This line was made up of a combination of new molds and redecos of older ones. One of these redecos used the original Bruticus figure from Generation One, giving the group a whole new identity. One of these was "Dolrailer", part of the Valdigus team and a redeco of Generation One Onslaught. Later, Dolrailer would be released outside Japan as "Mega-Octane" in the "Robots in Disguise" toy line. In a rather slick and cheeky move, the designers decided to use Dolrailer as part of the inspiration for Impactor, who himself is a redeco of Generations Onslaught who in turn was a redeco of San Diego Comic-Con Onslaught. This circular reference is amusing from a long time collector's standpoint and even before diving into this review I'll say I appreciate the forethought that went into this figure.

Unlike the other members of the Wreckers team, Impactor is the only character that has not received the toy treatment before. The character was originally introduced in the Generation One Marvel UK comic books as the leader of the team known as The Wreckers. Although he never had a toy in Generation One he appeared quite a few times over the years and even appeared in the recent IDW Comic Books.

All the Wreckers come with the same weapons as their base-Combaticon sculpts, but they also come with additional weapons. In the case of Impactor he comes with a large missile launcher. It looks like a heavy duty cannon, but instead of a generic missile he comes with one with three blades on it, resembling a harpoon. This is significant because both versions of Impactor (G1 and IDW) had a harpoon built into his right arm. Instead of retooling one of Impactor's arms to fire a harpoon this weapon substitutes just fine. Indeed, it is large enough that when the figure is holding the launcher it looks like it is part of his hand (and it covers up his hand).

The launcher is gunmetal grey with the missile and trigger cast in silver. Unlike the other Wrecker weapons this weapon doesn't transform. Instead it's a simple missile launcher, but it works well and it fits the theme of the character perfectly. The launcher also features two pegs on the bottom that are designed to attach to the holes on the top of the dual barreled weapon to form a super weapon.

Robot Mode:
Using the "Generations" Onslaught figure as its base, Impactor features a brand new head sculpt. This sculpt is based on his appearance in both the Marvel and IDW comic books. This includes a rounded helmet section with small protrusions on the sides. The helmet comes over his nose like ancient armor. He also has a heavily pronounced chin like his IDW counterpart. It's a great head sculpt and it's so distinct from Onslaught's that it really helps sell this sculpt as a different character even though the body is the same as Onslaught's.

The main plastic colors used on this figure are only partly inspired by Mega-Octane. Most of the figure is orange, which was one of the main colors used on Mega-Octane. However the rest of the colors seem to align more with colors found on other members of the team including dark blue, gunmetal grey and black. The orange makes up large parts like his torso and lower legs, but it's nicely balanced out by parts like the dark blue forearms and gunmetal grey thighs. The head is cast in dark blue with silver and light blue deco. One of the nicest deco touches is a variant of the Autobot symbol specific to the Wreckers. This one has a more flattened out top and exaggerated sides. This variant has its origins in the Botcon Wreckers crew from the Botcon 2001-2 time frame. This is painted in light blue on the top of the chest and is a wonderful call back to that time. Interestingly, he has a second "regular" Autobot symbol on his chest in red. Other parts are painted to give some dark contrast to the orange parts including dark blue on his shoulder armor and black on his chest.

All of the joints on this figure are nice and tight. Even better? The issue I had with Onslaught's arms popping off doesn't seem to occur here as easily. Sure you can still pop'em off, but it takes more force to do it. Indeed, his arms are strong enough to hold his weapons up even combined. This was one of my biggest strikes against Onslaught so I'm glad the parts were tweaked a bit for this release.

Transformation to Vehicle Mode:

  1. Detach and set the weapons aside for now.
  2. Swing the panel on rear end down.
  3. Rotate the lower body around.
  4. Push the robot head down into the chest.
  5. Swing each lower leg up on the sides, connecting it to the knees using the pegs and holes.
  6. Rotate each arm at the shoulder so the angled "headlights" on the shoulder armor faces the same way as the red Autobot symbol.
  7. Push the chest piece back.
  8. Swing each arm in and then move the forearms back so the pegs on them face upward.
  9. Swing the armor from the robot shoulders back.
  10. Attach the two weapons together.
  11. Attach the dual barreled cannon to the pegs on the robot forearms.

Vehicle Mode:
Since a lot of the orange parts wind up being compacted in this form, Impactor's vehicle mode winds up looking much more orange than the vheicle mode. Fortunately a lot of the orange parts have dark details on them including dark blue and black. The wheels are also black offering more balance to the color scheme. The black is a combination of painted parts and black plastic. The rims are painted light blue, a detail that was left out of Onslaught's deco. It gives him the look of a character that is "glowing" like the characters did in the "Fall of Cybertron" video game.

Having the weapons combined on the top of the truck really gives him an extra powerful appearance. The shame is that the dual barreled cannon points down slightly, which is cool if he's aiming at something on the road ahead of him but I wish it pointed directly ahead instead. Having the harpoon gun on top makes up for this a bit however.

Transformation to Torso Mode:

  1. Swing each lower leg up.
  2. Swing the panel on the back of the figure out.
  3. Rotate the upper body around at the waist.
  4. Push down Impactor's head to reveal Ruination's head. Turn Ruination's head around.
  5. Rotate the forearms around, then turn them up at angles so the fists hold on to the vehicle mode headlights.
  6. Swing the triangular shaped panels on the shoulder armor up.
  7. Swing the waist panel from step two down and up to form the waist armor.
  8. Other limbs can be attached to the square connection points on the shoulders and legs.
  9. The dual barreled cannon can be attached to the two pegs on the back of the figure.

Torso Mode:
Impactor is one of the few redeco/retool figures you can say has not only one new head sculpt but two. This is due to the figure serving as the torso (and part of the legs) for Ruination - the combined figure created by The Wreckers! The new head sculpt replaces Bruticus' head. It's not a retool, it's a completely new sculpt. It has similarities to Bruticus' head sculpt with long antennae on the sides, a crest in the middle and vents on either side of the head on the helmet section. However, the lines on this head sculpt are a lot more curved on the back. The rest of the detail is influenced by the character of Emirate Xaaron, the leader of the Autobot underground resistance in the Generation One comic book by Marvel Comics. One of the first appearances of the Wreckers involved Xaaron, so using his head as the Combiner's makes sense. The top of his head looks a bit like a crown and his mouth has a distinct design with two "teeth" like bars set vertically in between the top and bottom "lips". The "vent" lines on the sides of his head are also directly inspired by Xaaron. To any fan familiar with the character it's instantly recognizable and honestly, I never thought we'd see Xaaron in toy form in any way.

The new head is cast in gunmetal grey with silver details on the face and vents. His eyes are painted light blue. A majority of the parts here are orange with dark blue patches of detailing. The lower part of the chest has the black detailing from Impactor's chest. Appropriately, the light blue "Wrecker" symbol is right in the middle of Ruination's chest. The orange is balanced out in part by gunmetal grey on the waist area. Overall the torso section looks fantastic.

Final Thoughts:
This figure has some great retooling done to it and it looks great. I was concerned about the forearm "popping off" issue but that seems to have been resolved for the most part. Add to all this that it's the first time we're getting "Impactor" as a toy and the reference to Xaaron and this toy is a winner in my book!

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