"Transformers Universe 2.0" Onslaught Toy Review

General Information:
Release Date: June 2008
Price Point: $24.99 (varies depending on retailer)
Retailer: General (Toys R Us, Target, Wal-Mart etc.)
Accessories: Shield

Images and text from Hasbrotoyshop.com:
If ONSLAUGHT enters into direct combat, it's only because something has gone wrong with his battle plan. He prefers to remain on the sidelines of a fight, directing the action and revising his tactics second by second. Nothing gives him joy as much as a well-executed ambush, or the swift, organized destruction of an AUTOBOT base. When he must get involved in a fight himself, he does so with cold fury, advancing meticulously across the battlefield with his fire focused on the most dangerous opponent. Every variable in a fight is taken into account in his mind, every possibility assessed, and every contingency planned for. Hear cool conversion sounds as you twist and turn this awesome DECEPTICON warrior from battle-ready robot figure to assault vehicle mode. The roar of the vehicle?s engine lets you know that this fierce fighter is ready to roll out into battle. In robot mode, the protective arm shield helps to keep enemies at bay. The battle is on, are you ready?

In the Generation One series, the concept of combiners became quite popular than it is today. The idea was having several characters merging with each other to form one larger Transformer. Generally, each of these combining teams were associated with a theme. One of these groups were the Combaticons, a group of military vehicle based Transformers led by a Decepticon known as Onslaught. In Universe, Onslaught returns as an Ultra sized figure as a stand alone character without a combining feature. That may sound like a total negative, but this figure has its own strengths and is best judged on its own merits.

Vehicle Mode:
Trading in his military ground carrier mode, Onslaught is now a more compact, six wheeled, military styled SWAT vehicle. The vehicle has a very different shape than the typical vehicle modes found in the Transformers line. The front end is triangular looking from the sides and comes to an edge in the front. Six claw-like scoops are connected to the underside of the front section. The six wheels are huge and layered, giving them a tough appearance. The main body of the vehicle is chunky yet sleek looking thanks to the angled lines on the sides and back. Mounted on the top of the vehicle is a dual barreled cannon along with sirens. The cannons are a nice callback to the dual cannons that were mounted on the back of the G1 Onslaught figure. Overall, the shape of the vehicle mode is very powerful and bold looking and definitely catches the eye.

One of the things I've always liked about larger scale figures is the ability to incorporate a lot of cool sculpted detail, and in that respect Onslaught does not disappoint. From front to back there are plenty of details on this figure. On the front end, the aforementioned claws are really dangerous looking, with upswept claws that go over the front end of the vehicle slightly when raised up. At the front tip of the vehicle itself is a non-working winch sculpted into the front, with lights on either side. The front end of the cannon turret has several windows which allow you to peak into Onslaught's control area where there are very wide seats sculpted inside. This is the type of detail I'm a sucker for since it doesn't have to be there but the sculptors took time to incorporate it. The turret also has a round spotlight in the center and nicely designed vents with raised edges behind it. The nice thing about these vent pieces are that they mask the sound box speaker but look like they belong there as part of the vehicle's design. Behind the vents are the sirens.

Reminding us that this is a vehicle meant for rough and tough action, there are several designs all over the vehicle that look like armor panels with bolts on the edges. These include a rectangular panel on the back, two panels on the sides and panels on the top of the vehicle. Other details include vents towards the back and horizontal bars sculpted into various sections including the side panels towards the rear of the vehicle. Overall, there's a ton of detail here and it all looks fantastic.

Onslaught is cast in metallic blue-grey, translucent orange, black and silver plastic. The metallic blue is the most prominent color. However, while its color is inspired by G1 Onslaught, the shade of this blue-grey is lighter than that of G1 Onslaught. Translucent orange can be found on various parts of the figure including the windows, the siren and the small lights on either side of the winch in the front. The black plastic is mostly used for the wheels, and one of the wheels actually has a bit of black rubber, used to activate one of his sound features (more on that in a bit). The silver plastic is found on the turret, where it is used for the cannons and on the front in the form of the claws. I like the way these colors were (for the most part) inspired by Onslaught's G1 incarnation and they go really well together.

Paint details are done in several colors including black, metallic green, orange and white. The most prominent color is metallic green, found mostly on the armored panels that cover the length of the vehicle mode. This color harkens back to the green found on G1 Onslaught, so it goes well against the blue-grey. You'll also find the green on the vents on the top of the vehicle and The black color is used mostly on the edges of the claws in the front section. Neon orange is used on three parts in this mode: the two "lights" in the back of the vehicle and the button behind the siren that activates the vehicle's sound features. The orange is a bit too bright and distracting for my tastes, but it certainly draws the eye which I'm sure was the point in the case of the button. White is used for text along the sides of the vehicle. The word "S.W.A.T." is in bold letters on the sides (as well as on the shield). Perhaps the neatest detail is the word "Monzo" with the numbers "12782" under it. "Monzo" is a direct referece to fellow Transformers fan who has been of great help to Transformers fans and Hasbro over the years with his diligent research into obscure characters and trademarks. It is also a bit of a double reference as the name "Monzo" originates from G1, where the character was the Headmaster of the Decepticon Weirdwolf. The numbers "12782" refer to Monzo's birthdate. It's really cool to see a fellow fan get a shout out on an official Transformers figure!

The turret on the top of the vehicle can turn in a complete circle. When you press the button behind the siren, two sounds will activate: a siren and a machine gun sound. On early releases of this figure, the sound effects were truncated, each lasting only as long as you pressed the button. In later versions of this figure (including its Japanese release), the sound effect lasts much longer. I happen to have the earlier, truncated version. Another sound effect is activated by rolling the vehicle along a surface (preferably a flat one). When the left side, middle wheel moves, a crunching and crashing sound activates that sounds like Onslaught is running over something (or someone!). I really like the thought process behind such a sound effect and gimmick. It could have easily been simply made a third sound effect added into the turret's button control, but this makes it more interactive and fun. The shield included with this figure can be attached to the top of the turret where it fits over the siren. A small panel on the back edge of the shield flips open to allow you to press the button and activate Onslaught's sound effects. When the siren sound plays, the sirens light up red, but when the machine gun sound plays the clear panels leading to the cannons light up red instead.

Transformation to Vehicle Mode:

  1. Detach the shield if attached.
  2. Swing the back panel up and swing the smaller panel in.
  3. Swing the panels on the sides out.
  4. Swing the front wheels in and then lock the silver cage piece over them.
  5. Straighten the sections with the wheels out, and then swing them down to begin forming the robot legs.
  6. Rotate the legs to face front and then swing the side panels from the vehicle in to form the front armor and feet.
  7. Split the front end of the vehicle and swing the halves out to the sides.
  8. Extend each front half to form the robot arms.
  9. Flip the robot fists out from the forearms.
  10. Swing the chest down and swing down the piece in the center and clip it to the mid-body of the robot.
  11. Swing the panel behind the robot head back.

Robot Mode:
Truth be told, by modern day standards, G1 Onslaught's robot mode is not particularly thrilling in design. It's a very blocky design and it's not heavily loaded with detail, but considering the time in Transformers history it originates from, it was a cool toy for its time. When designing this robot mode, the designers were not restricted by the need for Onslaught to have to combine with other figures, allowing them to create a lot more detailing and cool design elements than G1 Onslaught. In robot mode, Onslaught definitely has a fearsome looking outline. His cannons stick up from his back (a visual homage to the G1 figure which did the same) while the claws and front end of his vehicle mode form armor that angles out and then sweeps up higher than his robot head. His shoulders are wide and many of his parts are thick and blocky such as the forearms and legs, conveying a sense of intense power. Even his fists are rather large and "meaty" looking. Combined with the large tires from the vehicle mode sticking out a bit on the sides of his legs, this is definitely one rough and tumble looking Decepticon.

A lot of the details from the vehicle mode carry over into the robot mode thanks to panels and sections of the vehicle mode becoming part of the robot mode. This includes the panels from the sides of the vehicle forming the front of his legs and the cabin section forming his chest. I really like the way the panels on his leg line up so well to form sections of the leg including knee armor and his feet. They even angle just right to allow him to stand properly. One detail I find interesting and cool is on his waist. In the middle of the waist is a winch, the implication being that his front end somehow becomes part of his waist (either that or he was built with a winch in his waist for some odd reason). I like the idea of a vehicle mode part carrying over into the robot mode like this in a place that you wouldn't expect to find it.

The head design is largely based on the design of the G1 Onslaught's toy head. The general design looks like the helmet portion is wrapped around one large visor eye with a crest in the middle. The animation model had slightly more squared off sections on the sides whereas this design is more curved. Onslaught's head design is also distinctive since the mouth piece has a raised section in the middle. The head design looks undeniably like G1 Onslaught and it looks awesome. His arm cannon also seems to emulate some of the design aspects of Onslaught's G1 weapon. The end is flat and shaped like a parallelogram leading to a tube that narrows at the barrel. Even if it's not intentional, it's a cool design and coincidence.

There are some other details I really like on this figure. The ones that stand out the most are on the shoulder armor pieces. Specifically the parts that angle upwards have details in them including tubes, circles, wires and what looks like screws. There are also a lot of smaller details that add nuances to the design including notches on the four corners of each shoulder piece, raised horizontal bars on his mid-section and he has a raised rectangular piece on the center of his waist.

All the same colors from the vehicle mode carry over here, except more black and silver shows here on the head, fists, shoulders and legs. Newly revealed details include neon orange, metallic green, silver, purple and blue paint. The neon orange is found on the sides of the front panel on his waist and on the dot in the middle of his forehead. The metallic green is found on his feet and parts of the middle of his body. Silver is perhaps the boldest color, used to great effect on his shoulders from the front panels up to the parts that angle upward. Silver is also found on the head, where it paints most of his brow and the side sections leading to the raised mouthpiece. The purple is used for a large Decepticon symbol on his left shoulder. The blue color is close (but not exactly a match) to the blue that made up a lot of G1 Onslaught's body. The shield Onslaught carries has metallic green paint over the vents and the word "S.W.A.T." in huge letters towards the bottom of the shield.

Onslaught has seventeen points of articulation in this form including four points of articulation on each leg and four on each arm. On the right forearm, press the black button and his cannon will flip out. The shield attaches to a tab you flip out on his left arm. The sound effects still work by pressing the button on his back. You can actually activate his "running over" sound effect too by pushing the small black tab on the left side of his waist. What's cool is that while the sound effects play, his eyes light up red as well! It looks really cool since his visor eyes are very wide, allowing a lot of light to come through.

Final Thoughts:
Onslaught is a spectacular figure. He has fantastic detail in both modes and the homages to the original Onslaught are very much appreciated. At first, I was disappointed that there was no combining feature, but truth be told after playing around with the figure I can honestly say I don't particularly miss it. This figure definitely does the character justice while being fun to boot. Highly recommended!

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