Alternate Mode: Pteranodon
Thanks to Pulse for donating Brimstone for this review
Height: 10cm Length: 16cm Width: 23cm
A grey and fluorescent yellow pteranodon with smoky transparent wings and some orange on his head, red eyes with black pupils. There are purple front edges on the wings while his lower jaw is black and the crest purple. It's a varied colour scheme that comes together quite well considering how disparate the colours are. The yellow robot head is visible on his back - well the top of it - but otherwise the colour scheme is laid out very well. While Brimstone isn't going to win any beauty pageants, I do appreciate how well the colours have been combined. There's a stamped Decepticon logo on the right wing
While we're on the subject of beauty, there are Beast Machines Maximal overtones here - the sculpt is generally mechanical without being overly blocky or angular. There are a couple of organic aspects - teeth on the lower jaw and scales on his neck - but he's more technorganic than anything else. Thankfully the transparent plastic here isn't as jarringly obtrusive as on many of the BM Maximals, and there's a clear attempt made to ensure that the bodyshape isn't too abstract as on toys like Geckobot or Silverbolt. The sculpt is generally pretty good, aside from the robot head. There's a nice engineblock feel to the slot at the back for his Planet Key and nice detailing on his wings.
Brimstone's poseability is limited, but the stuff you'd want to move does so. The lower jaw opens and shuts while the neck is hinged allowing the head to lift up and down. The hips and knees are ball jointed while the ankles and arches of his feet are hinged, allowing for a range of leg posing - although he's only stable in a few poses due to the weight of his wings. Mind you, this would have been the same for a real pteranodon. If you plug his green Planet Key (code: d0h3) into the block at the back, colourless spines with a flourescent yellow-green paint on the inside blade-like edges will pop out of his wings. This gimmick is simple but it largely stays out of the way of the Transformer itself, which I appreciate, and it works fairly well.
A decent beast mode overall, despite the shades of Beast Machines. The colour set used was flirting with disaster, but Brimstone manages to make them work fairly well. The sculpt is good and the transparent plastic is subtle, not overbearing. The poseability is okay and the gimmick works well without getting in the way. A solid beast mode if not a great one - it does what it sets out to fairly well.
TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE
Fairly simple yet elegant. Unclip the tai, swing down both the tail and head to form robot legs. Rotate the waist 90° and straighten the legs. Flip up the upper jaw and tail to form feet. Lift up the head, swing the wings up to about 45°, rotate the claws and repose to form hands.
Height: 14cm Width: 18cm
The exact dimensions will vary according to what you do with the wings, but I find a 45° angle works best - putting his shoulders at a natural position. The arms actually attach to the underside of his wings.
Anyway, Brimstone is again grey and yellow, with some black. The chest, claws on his hands and the right boot are grey while his forearms, right foot, left boot, both thighs and waist are yellow. The black is on his upper arms, the groin and his and left foot. The wings provide that transparent plastic and the front edges are green, while those purple top edges are again present. His face is black with red eyes while there's some black on vent-like sculpting on his chest. There is orange paint on both knees and the purple crest on his right knee. Somehow the marked asymmetry works here - since it fits into the overall feel of the toy. That's not to say it's going to appeal to everyone, but it works in the context of the design philosophy of this figure. So while Brimstone's colours are again a motley, they achieve what they designer wanted to do here.
Due to the nature of his transformation, Brimstone's shape is very distinct. The waist is _very_ narrow - making Barbie look downright overweight. The chest is the body of the beast, allowing for wide shoulders and flat shoulderblades. The wings help ensure that while he's kinda spindly, Brimstone is not gaunt. The talons make for pretty good hands thanks to the jointing. There are two grey claws on each hand, opposed by smaller yellow thumb-claws (the beast heelspurs). The sculpt is again pretty good although the facial sculpt is lost amongst black and with so many bright yellow areas, other elements don't come through as well as they could. There's enough variation in colour to make this guy look detailed anyway.
Brimstone doesn't come with any weapons, but the spines on his wings can still be activated by the Planet Key. His poseability is impressive. The head and waist turn while his shoulders, elbows and hips are ball jointed. The wrists, knuckles, ankles and knees are hinges while there are rotators in the thigh giving him full range of leg motion. The heelspurs are solid enough to give Brimstone a good range of stable poses, too.
A good robot mode that makes excellent use of the wings and the hands impress me. The colour layout is not going to work for everyone, but the overall colour map compliments his asymmetry. The lack of a handheld weapon - or hands that could hold them - does count against Brimstone, but I appreciate that the key gimmick works in this mode also, and still manages to be unobtrusive.
None that I'm aware of.
A toy that would be more at home in the Beast Machines line in some ways, but Brimstone avoids most of the pitfalls that plagued the beasts from that series. The sculpt is complex, the colours unorthodox and the transformation fairly simple - and there's use of transparent plastic. The colour set may be unusual, but the designer has used them well, and managed to make them work together. The transformation is simple but it's elegant - so it's far more satisfying than some of the lazy attempts we saw in BM. The poseability is good and both modes have pretty good proportions. Lastly, Brimstone's key gimmick is fairly simple but works well enough and doesn't overwhelm the toy. The concept here isn't going to work for everyone - but he's well executed for what he is, so if you like the idea of this toy, then I'd recommend Brimstone - 7/10