Cliffbee.com: CyberSlammer Brawl Toy Review

Toy Reviews
Individual Review




Name: Brawl
Series: Movie Tie-Ins
Allegiance: Decepticon
Alternate Mode: Tank

Thanks to Tiby for loaning me Brawl for this review



TANK MODE
Height: 6cm Length: 13.5cm Width: 7.5cm

   An army green tank with black painted treads and black camouflage patterning, Brawl lacks any other colours save for some silver on his mine plows. On the upside, this means he avoids the ridiculous transparent guns of leader Brawl, but also misses out on the black guns of deluxe Brawl. There's a black Decepticon logo stamped on the front, nestled in the camouflage. The black paint used is matte, which is a nice idea although it looks a little odd next to the shinier green plastic, especially when a light source is reflecting off the plastic. The colour scheme does what is has to at this level, but barely.

   The play value really relates to the gimmick, which is accessible in robot mode. He rolls very well on black wheels hidden under the treads and there are rubber tyres and an axles on the rear wheels, to assist the gimmick. The turret is fixed, the five cannons are all fixed - and sadly they're moulded very cheaply with no gap under the barrels of the secondary cannons. The main cannon and secondary cannon are far too short, making this a very poor, static tank. There's a switch underneath but it doesn't do anything in this mode, except to transform it.

   The simple detailing and loss of cannon action makes this a limited tank, the paint job is passable but can't save him from the bad moulding. The dimensions aren't as kiddie as on many CyberSlammers, but with the poor cannons, he's just as unconvincing as the rest. The play value - well utter lack of it - is my main gripe here.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Slide the white switch underneath back and the centre pops up, revealing the robot. The front slides back slightly.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 13cm Width: 7cm

   There is where all the paint went. While Brawl is still mainly army green, his face is a nice mixture of silver and gold with red eyes, there's black and silver on his chest, gold on his shoulders and silver false blades on his left arm. The Decepticon logo at the front is his only allegiance symbol here. The torso paint job is complex, but doesn't do a great job of representing Brawl as we saw him in the film - the silver and black false mine plows aren't very obvious while the camo splotch on his chest is awkward. Still, at least the paint job isn't cheap.

   I'm not too impressed with this robot mode. There are no legs, which means that the front of the vehicle doesn't really look like feet - even if the mine plows sort of resemble toes. I've seen some fans compare the CyberSlammers to the Throttlebots - but they latter have legs, and while they're short, they ensure that the Throttlebot robot forms are robots - despite the bad proportions. The shape here is far from humanoid, the head is the only instantly recognisable body part at a glance. The arms are simply the sides, and unlike the G1 equivalents (Throttlebots, Battlechargers), they don't lift out to the sides at all. The arm cannon on his right fists is moulded in front of the fist while the claws of the left are moulded in the same place - a nice idea except they end up hiding the fists and making the arms look less like arms. The gap between arms and torso is relatively well defined, at least. While the arms lift up, springs ensure they spring back down, so we can't even use the arms to help with a humanoid shape. The elbows are sculpted bent anyway, so with the arms down he's weapons forward. Brawl himself leans forward.

   The gimmick doesn't really justify the poor robot shape (or the very simple tank). The idea is that you push down the robot onto the base and it'll roll forward. Okay, so pushing him down does reform the vehicle mode as they planned - which is nice - but from a standing start he rolls about two feet. A little more if you push him along as you do it, but this isn't enough to really impress. This doesn't really compare to the Throttlebots which will happily zip across a larger room - it's about as impressive as the Battlechargers (but sturdier). The gimmick is dumbed right down for a young audience (we're talking 3 year olds), but I still don't see why such a poor gimmick was implemented when a better gimmick such as a pullback motor would have worked better, and allowed a better robot mode.

   A disappointing robot mode. While the gimmick is lame anyway, what really annoys me is that the paint job and arm sculpting are so unfocused. As usual, the bodyshape is awful, so the end result is a bad robot mode by the standards of CyberSlammers. With an unimpressive gimmick - I can see kids becoming bored with it awfully quickly. Judging by the slow movement of CyberSlammers in stores around here, I don't think they've been that successful, and Brawl is one of the weaker ones.

VARIATIONS

   None that I'm aware of.

OVERALL

   While Brawl isn't the worst CyberSlammer, there's very little effort in the tank mode, which is screaming for at least one decent cannon and the robot mode is sloppy, despite a fairly detailed paint job. With a little more effort this could have been one of the better CyberSlammers, but he's pretty forgettable. If you after a cheap Brawl for a kid, grab Legends Brawl instead - 2/10

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