Cliffbee.com: Brawn Toy Review

Toy Reviews
Individual Review




Name: Brawn
Series: Generation 1
Allegiance: Autobot
Function: Demolitions
Alternate Mode: 4x4



4X4 MODE
Height: 3cm Length: 5cm Width: 3cm

   An army green four wheel drive with a chromed silver grille and headlight assembly and black front windshield, Brawn has ridged black plastic tyres and a black spare tyre on the roof along with black spotlights. The front bumper is yellow. Brawn's heritage is exposed by the fact that he's an actual four wheel drive, and not an SUV - this vehicle is clearly designed to go off road.

   As with the other Minicars, Brawn is taken from the Microman line, and is part of a subline of toys that represent toy-car sized characters. As a result, he's cute rather than realistic - although there's more realism here than in many later, more detailed, Armada or Energon toys.

   Brawn is actually the most detailed of the Microman inspired Minicars, which makes sense when you consider that sports cars generally have more fluid lines than off road vehicles. He has engine moulded indicators, engine ventilation, roof racks, side and rear windows, doorhandles and a gas can on the back. So while he's cute Brawn has pretty good detailing - better than on a lot of larger G1 toys.

   Play value here is limited, which is to be expected. The wheels roll, although not that well. While I don't expect much more, fans of later series will find this disappointing. Despite this limitation, Brawn's 4x4 mode is good for what it is, and the blend of detail and the cute feel of his subgroup works for him.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Swing the fenders down and back to form his legs, pull out the side panels to reveal the arms, swing the arms over and into place. Stand him up.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 9cm Width: 3.5 cm

   The army green is now largely on Brawn's back and legs, with the yellow that was only hinted at before now dominant - Brawn's head and torso is a large yellow plate. His face is a fairly simple silver affair with a black eyevisor, while his arms are chromed silver. There are some foil stickers on his waist and groin and an Autobot symbol - also a foil sticker - on his chest.

   Since his legs are the fenders of the vehicle mode, Brawn's legs attach to the outsides of his torso, giving him reptile hips (think about the squat position of a crocodilian). I've never been totally comfortable about this configuration, and in the cartoon they corrected his bodyshape. The cabin of the four wheel drive forms a very compact backpack, and the cartoon kept this feature - most likely to keep toy accuracy, since they also gave Brawn a mouth and eyes rather than the eyevisor and mouthplate. His hands are little more than hooked claws, and again this was expanded upon in the cartoon.

   There's a little more play value now. While his small feet don't allow for any leg posing, the arms can swing up and down, although on mine the shoulders are a little too loose for this. The elbows are permanently bent since the arms have to fit into the sides of the cabin, making for a naturally relaxed arm shape. Again, this is a toy for G1 fans, and fans of more recent lines will find Brawn needlessly simple.

   To be honest, I'm not that much of a fan of Brawn's robot mode. While I don't like the divergence of the toy and cartoon appearances, I don't really hold that against the toy since the toy came first. The main thing that bugs me here is the reptile hips. Brawn in the cartoon is quite a compelling character for G1 fans, and fans like myself who were exposed to the cartoon first will find this somewhat limited robot mode unsatisfying.

VARIATIONS

   There are two versions. The first version had a detachable faceplate - which could be unscrewed from the back of the torsoplate, while on the second version only the eyestrip detaches. This second version has a rubsign indent on the right side door - I have the second version. Outback is a recolour and significant retool of Brawn.

OVERALL

   While the vehicle mode is actually really good in comparison to some of the other Minicars, Brawn's robot mode is both disappointing and significantly different from that of the cartoon Brawn. Despite this, the character has a lot of appeal, and despite Sunbow's use of poetic license, this toy clearly represents the tough little Autobot in the cartoon who may have died in TF:TM (I'm not going there!). Recommended to G1 fans mainly for the character, but if you're after the toy for it's own sake, I'd recommend Outback instead - 4.5/10

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