Cliffbee.com: Destruction Team Toy Review

Toy Reviews
Individual Review






Name: Buzzsaw
Series: Armada
Allegiance: Minicon
Alternate Mode: Excavator

EXCAVATOR MODE
Height: 3.5cm Length: 8cm Width: 2cm

   A yellow and darkish grey excavator, with a big conveyor, a big bucket-loaded wheel and a small cabin for the driver. The cabin is on the left hand side of the conveyor and is quite small - without any painted windows I missed it until I went looking for it. Considering its size this guy is a big vehicle - as conveyor-based excavators tend to be, anyway. In fact he'd be bigger than most non-Minicon Armada toys, and certainly bigger than Drillbit.

   Anyway... so he's got a conveyor that's yellow at the front, grey at the back and green at the very front. The wheel at the back is yellow. The front half of the conveyor is actually painted yellow, so it's a slightly different shade than the other yellow bits on this toy, but not enough to really worry about. The grey on the underside of this conveyor, along with the treads, are painted. The painted treads do bother me, because they could easily scratch if you roll him along much - and the gimmick kind of anticipates that you do. What makes this bad is that the bottom of the treads become the front of the robot legs. There is clearance between the rubberised wheel and the treads, but I'd hate to be a collector in five years trying to find a Buzzsaw that some kid hasn't ruined.

   Moving onto the gimmick, it does what its meant to do. Push the toy along with some downward pressure and the wheel turns quite nicely. He only has one wheel underneath, but it works all the same. This gimmick is all he has in the way of vehicle mode play value. But for a toy this size, It's enough.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Fold the treads back and then separate the front and back halves of the conveyor and fold them down. The yellow half has to be swung up at the shoulder joint. Position both arms as desired - slightly forward will help him stand. Fold up the chest plate, turn the head 180 degrees and swing out the feet. Pretty involved for a toy this size. Easy enough once you get the hang of it, but satisfying enough.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 5.5cm Width: 5cm

   As you can probably guess from the dimensions above, Buzzsaw is pretty stocky. The left arm, which is grey, has a nice big bucket wheel at the end, while the right arm, which is yellow, has a green fist at the end. The head is yellow with a green face, the chest is yellow with hints of green and grey. The chest panel is a nice touch. It's sole reason for being there is to cover up gears and other gimmick mechanisms. Hasbro probably could have gotten away with leaving them exposed, but didn't, deciding to add the chest panel, which looks about five times better than the gears would have. The legs are that painted grey colour mentioned earlier, with yellow groin and feet.

   The colours used on Buzzsaw (and Dualor, too) are basically the same as the Autobot Pretender Monsters. Buzzsaw might be Armada Chainclaw, which I suppose would make Dualor Armada Catilla. This set is designed to add functionality to Cyclonus, though. I'm not sure if Catilla & Chainclaw would agree to that..

   Of course, these guys are, as Minicons, meant to be neither Autobot or Decepticon. All three toys in this set seem to be designed with the bad guys in mind though. Especially Buzzsaw, who looks like the rogue henchman. The Minicon symbol on his left shoulder keeps him officially neutral, though.

   Buzzsaw's got eight points of articulation as a robot, not including the axis on which the wheel spins. His head and waist both swivel, his shoulders and hips swing and his feet can swing down - which can help posing, I suppose. With legs made of treads, he has no knees to speak of, nor does he have elbows, actually. So he stands at attention looking imposing, and does it quite well.

VARIATIONS

   None that I know of.

OVERALL

   A nice little toy, with some minor design flaws, but the only one really worth worrying about is the painted legs. The lack of certain joints I can live with, for a toy this size. Of course, you have to get him with Dualor, who's also nice, and Drillbit, who like his Beast Wars counterpart, is the worst in his group. A nice set, and this guy is certainly a nice toy. Individually I give him 7/10
Name: Dualor
Series: Armada
Allegiance: Minicon
Alternate Mode: Tank

TANK MODE
Height: 3cm Length: 5.5cm Width: 3cm

   A yellow and darkish grey tank, with twin side-mounted cannons. He really reminds of Half Track from the Micromaster era (Battle Squad, to be precise), although he's bigger and different colours. This mode is also very similar to Drillhorn of the Breastforce. Anyway, he's predominantly grey, the cannons and front of the tank are yellow plastic. The wheels inside his treads are painted yellow and above this there's blue-painted armour. There's some blue panelling on top of his turret, and a yellow trapdoor, which is shield-shaped, also on the turret.

   He shares his colours with Buzzsaw, and these grey and yellow are also present on Drillbit. Interestingly, the other team released at the same time, which is a trio of racing cars, makes heavy use of the yellow & grey. Hasbro must've gotten a good deal or something. I don't really mind the colours, so I'm not going to harp on about it. But it does hark back to the days of the pair-coloured Micromasters.

   Dualor has yellow plastic wheels underneath the front of the tank and a rubberised wheel under the rear, which activates the gimmick. Pushing him along a hard surface causes the two cannons to slide back and forth, as if recoiling from firing. They're opposite, so one moves forward as the other moves backward. It's worth mentioning that this gimmick still works when the turret is rotated - and it can rotate 360, which is a nice touch. His gimmick requires less force than his teammates, too. Drillbit pretty much _needs_ excessive force, but Dualor just needs some downward pressure.

   I really like this mode, but to be even, I should make mention of it's weak point - the robot legs are separated, and as a result in this mode there's a split on the front half of the tank - similar to the gap at the back of the G1 Seekers' F-15 modes. This doesn't ruin the effect or anything, but it's still a shortcoming.   

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   I read a review on Tformers.com that likens his transformation to that of a Micromaster. It's a bit more involved and better executed, but there are some similarities. Pull out the front half to form the legs, and then flip the front panels out form his feet. Turn the head around 180, ditto the turret so the cannons point up. Position the arms.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 8cm Width: 3cm

   A rather tall Minicon by virtue of the two cannons sticking up on his back. He's fairly blocky and solid, although he doesn't look like a bouncer, which Buzzsaw does. The dominance of grey is continued into this mode - yellow and blue again really only there to break the monotony. His groin, thighs and feet are yellow, and his eyestrip is blue. There's some yellow visible on his chest, which is part of his gimmick mechanism. Oh and the black rubberised wheel is also in view on his chest.

   His Powerlinx connector is rather awkwardly placed on his groin. It's awfully hard to not notice how phallic this is. And that's as far as I'm going with that.

   As mentioned, he has an eyestrip, sort of similar to Transmetal II Dinobot. I quite like the look. It gives him a "weapon of destruction" look. His arms are concealed behind the panels that are the treads, a trick often used in the Micromaster era, but much better defined than a lot of the Micromasters' were.

   While his robot mode bodyplan resembles a Micromaster, it's more poseable. He's got swivel joints at the shoulders, neck, hips and groin. You can move the feet, too, but that's really just a relic of the folding needed for the transformation. It's a pretty good robot mode, without any real flaws.

VARIATIONS

   None that I know of.

OVERALL

   Only one real flaw drags Dualor down, and it's not a very big one. The phallic Powerlinx isn't really a flaw, more an unusual feature. He's got good poseability, good robot and tank modes. The colours scheme is great, while he's dark, there's a suggestion in the whole design of the toy that he's built to destroy things (beyond him being a tank) - so I can deal with a "neutral" toy looking so dark. Probably the best of his set, although Buzzsaw is also a nice toy, between the two of them I'd recommend the set, even if you treat Drillbit as baggage, as I did when deciding to get this set. If you have Armada Cyclonus, these guys can attach to Cyclonus and form weapons for Cyclonus, so it makes the set even more fun to play with, and adds to the idea this guy is built for destruction. 9/10
Name: Drillbit
Series: Armada
Allegiance: Minicon
Alternate Mode: Drill Truck

TRUCK MODE
Height: 2.5cm Length: 7.5cm Width: 2.5cm

   An orange & grey truck, with a silver drill at the back and random yellow bits for some reason. The front has treads, the rear has six wheels, although only the rear set are actual wheels - the front sets are moulded. The cabin, tread and wheel guards are orange, the side windows blue, front windscreen grey. The wheels and smokestacks are grey, as is the random bump on top of the cabin (it's the robot mode head). The drill fades to orange as it comes back into the grey drive shaft. Which is a nice touch on an otherwise muddled colour scheme. Pity the drive shaft is held in place by _yellow_ brackets. Orange would have made much more sense.

   Lots of paint has been used to make Drillbit the colour he is. The cabin, treads, moulded wheels and drill are all painted. So while it may not look that great, at least it wasn't done that cheaply.

   This mode is a funny looking thing, since it's not like any truck I've ever seen. It looks like some sort of mole vehicle, although I'm still trying to work out why the drill is stuck on the back. I suppose it reverses in and drives straight out - which I can live with.    The drill works when you push the toy down and either backwards and forwards. Thanks to ratcheting, it's pretty hard to get the gimmick going. But at least the rear wheels are there, so you're not pushing the thing on one wheel.

   So he drills backwards... except the drill bites while he's being pushed forwards, and retracts when he's being pushed backwards. So while it looks nice, he wouldn't be able to drill. At least he has nice compound teeth on the bit. As I said, it looks nice. Play value is limited to sliding it along (the ratcheting joint is tight enough he slides unless you push down fairly hard) and the drill mechanism. It does make a fairly loud sound when there's enough force to activate the gimmick. He clicks away as he drills in the wrong direction! (c8   

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Fold the tread/wheel assemblies down to form the legs, and fold the feet down. Swing the drill forward to form one arm, and swing the other bracket forward to form the other arm. Swivel the head 180. The head part is lame. So is he, since he effectively has one arm. But I'll bitch about that later...

ROBOT MODE
Height: 5.5cm Width: 4.5cm

   A cabin with two legs, a head and a big drill for an arm. The cabin _is_ the torso, with big windows being it's features. The right arm is the drill & drive shaft, with the Minicon symbol on his shoulder (the grey drive shaft). The left arm is a stubbly little gun-like thing. It looks like he's lost the bottom half of his arm in combat, it's so small. It swivels at the shoulder, but it's so small there's no way you can position it so he doesn't look like he's had his arm stuck in a vending machine (it'll grow back, right?).

   So while one arm is almost not there, the other, being the entire drill assembly, is huge. Put it straight down it's a couple of millimetres from the ground. Which is fine, except for the fact it makes the right arm look even worse. The legs are nice and symmetrical. The insides of them are orange the outsides grey, and the feet are grey.

   Poseability is reasonably good. The head swivels, the feet, hips, shoulders all move. The drill, of course, swivels. Knees would have made his poseability more meaningful, but he's okay in this department. It's probably the robot mode's best feature, aside from the colour scheme in which the yellow is barely visible - being only his face & shoulder joints.

VARIATIONS

   None that I know of.

OVERALL

   Like his Beast Wars namesake, Drillbit is the worst in his group. What I find worst is that he could have been much better, A left arm would have been fairly easy to do. Getting rid of the yellow outbreaks in vehicle mode would have been no trouble. Adjusting the mechanism so that he drills correctly would have been a little tougher, but I'm not so worried about that, although a weaker ratcheting joint would have been nice. The grey and orange work well together, and in truth they're probably his best feature. Overall, while Dualor and Buzzsaw are both worth getting, I'd only really recommend Drillbit since the other two are both good toys and he comes along for the ride. Individually, I'd say forget this toy - 3/10

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