Cliffbee.com: Braver Toy Review

Toy Reviews
Individual Review




Name: Braver
Series: Japanese Generation 1
Allegiance: Cybertron
Function: Strategist Knight
Alternate Mode: Racing Car

Thanks to Pulse for lending me Braver for this review.



CAR MODE
Height: 5.5cm Length: 15cm Width: 7cm

   A red racing car which vaguely resembles a Ferrari, Braver has transparent blue windows at the front and sides, with pale blue painted windows at the back. He sports a sticker on the hood with white stripes and the number 3, which is also on his doors. The wheels are blue with black rubber tyres - something pretty much unheard of in G1 after 1986. The colours are simple but work okay, save for the jarring difference between the front and rear windows.

   As much as I like the use of rubber tyres, I don't really like this car mode, visually. Braver is big and chunky, in an oversized knock-off way, without anything that really makes this car look good. Many of the details are quite simple - the most complex sculpt here is the seams around his pop-up headlights.

   The play value is okay here. The rubber tyres roll quite well although the robot's chestplate underneath has a tendency to run against the table. You can plug his blue sword into a hole on the roof, although this is more for storage than as a weapon. You can also plug his cannon assembly into this hole. Not that it looks much like a cannon - it's the foot and hand of Roadcaeser, and it's very clearly an attempt to put the combining stuff somewhere, rather than weaonpry as such. All the same, I'm happy the designer gave Braver a way to store this stuff. The roof and windshield lifts up, revealing a cabin in which you can seat his mini Brainmaster figure as a driver. None of this is especially impressive, although it does spice things up a little.

   A boring car mode, really. There's nothing here to get excited about aside from the rubber tyres. For his size, Braver really needs more detail - this detailing would have been suitable on a toy half the size. Sure, he combines, but the engineering in this toy isn't impressive enough to carry such a basic, low detail, generic sports car mode.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Remove the driver and weaponry, set aside. Split the rear and rotate to form legs, stand him up. Fold back the front of the car onto his back, swing down the chestplate, insert the mini figure, close the chestplate which will cause the face to slide up into the head. Give him the sword.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 16.5cm Width: 7cm

   Again mainly red, Braver has a blue torso and head, grey thighs and hands, a silver waist, silver face and red eyes. Again we have a sticker with an Autobot logo, central on his chest, along with some yellow stickers here and there. The colour scheme works well enough, but it's very generic - along with everything else here, including the face, making this a very unremarkable robot mode.

   Braver has a very simple car mode and a simple transformation. So it's almost fitting that his robot mode is uncomplicated. The sculpt is just as spartan as the car mode, despite almost everything visible here is from the underside of the car, so the designer had a blank slate. And much of that blank slate still looks blank, sadly.

   The play value is again pretty minimal. The Brainmaster figure offers a nice gimmick, and the toy really relies on this gimmick, failing to capture the imagination as an actual Transformer. The arms swing and this is all Braver gets in the way of meaningful articulation. The weaponry can plug onto either arm, looking again like kibble attached to the robot, although there is a semblance of a cannon about the giant fist piece.

   The Brainmaster figure itself, which is unnamed as far as I can tell, is essentially a scaled down version of Braver - the limbs are red and the body and head blue. The face is silver, with silver eyes this time, and is well sculpted. The arms swing and the legs move as one, allowing it to sit. It has more poseability than Braver himself.

   This robot mode isn't really any better or worse than the vehicle mode - both are simple and disappointing. It's a poor robot mode - articulation is almost absent, the sculpt and colours are far from enough to save this robot mode.

VARIATIONS

   None that I'm aware of. Motovator Lightspeed is a repaint of Braver, using a lighter shade of blue.

OVERALL

   More than anything else, Braver suffers from being far too simple for his size. The sculpt, articulation and transformation are all a joke and the car mode is far too generic. The Brainmasters that combine to form Roadcaeser far too simple to offer any impressive engineering. The brain gimmick is okay, but isn't enough to make the Transformer work. If you could snap this guy up for retail he'd be okay, but he's not worth the premium his rarity will likely add to the price - 3/10

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