Cliffbee.com: ROTF Brawn Toy Review

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Individual Review




Name: Brawn
Series: Movie Tie-ins
Allegiance: Autobot
Alternate Mode: Military Truck



TRUCK MODE
Height: 7cm Length: 13cm Width: 5.5cm

   A dark brown armoured truck with black tyres, a black front, black gun on the roof and some black in the tray at the back, Brawn is a rather dark vehicle. The bullbar at the front is silver plastic along with a small dome on the roof while his windows are transparent with a grey tint. There are some painted details but they're subtle and sparse, including orange indicators, red taillights and black badges incorporating silver Autobot logos on either side just behind the doors. It's not a colour scheme which evokes the original Brawn, although there are distinct similarities in the two trucks. It's a no nonsense colour scheme, which I guess does tribute G1 Brawn.

   I'm not sure if this is a real truck - it probably draws elements from a few trucks in fact - but it looks like it could be. There's a good level of detail including vents, door seams and handles, running boards on the sides, a rollcage over the tray, side mirrors and various rivets. The gun on his roof is a well sculpted tri-barrel affair with a scope on top while the tyres have a fairly complex tread. As is typically the case with the movie toys, there's an emphasis on realism over playability in vehicle mode here. He looks realistic, and I'm very happy with the realism here even if he doesn't do a lot. The wheels roll and the gun on his roof lifts up maybe 45 - that's about it.

   It's a fairly straightforward yet detailed truck mode, with simple yet realistic colours and a lot of subtle detail. The gun on top is a great little feature and the attention to detail here really makes this vehicle work. Granted it won't jump out at you on display, but it's a great vehicle mode which fits the no nonsense approach synonymous with the name Brawn.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Brawn is very much a shellformer - to an extent rarely seen outside Beast Wars Neo. It's a fairly convoluted transformation, although it's not difficult once you know where everything goes. There are some clever aspects and in the end we get a robot without a lot of kibble from the front view, but a lot at the back.

   I'll summarise. The front splits to become his legs with the grille area becoming kneecaps and the hood splitting and becoming panels on the outside of his thighs. The underside of the vehicle is the torso & head, the rear section unfolds to become his arms with the roof ending up on the back of the forearms and the rear fenders hanging off the back of his shoulders. The gun ends up visible behind his head while there are handguns attached to his hands in vehicle mode that can deploy without needing to detach.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 15.5cm Width: 11cm

   The brown panels give way to a largely turquoise robot with a metallic gold chest and gold on his shoulders. His head is silver with a sunken black eyestrip and a gunmetal mouth. His forearms are also black along with small stamped Autobot logos on either shoulder. The colours are again dark, even if Brawn is no longer brown. There's a much stronger link to G1 even if it's not immediately evident in this dark scheme - with green limbs, a gold chest and a silver head the colours really do line up to those of the Minibot. Heck, the eyestrip is very similar, to the point of being sunken as in G1. The colour scheme looks good too, and features quite a few subtle highlights.

   As with many movie toys, Brawn is very detailed, although not so much through his sculpt (which is still satisfying) but through the various features. This includes the windows on his chest, the grille as kneecaps, tyres on the outside of his knees and shoulders and the vehicle mode gun behind his head. There are also hood-formed panels hanging off the outsides of his thighs, resembling armour. The panels hanging off the back of his shoulders and off his back are negative features, and while they're not as obtrusive as they could be, they're still just kibble.

   There's a lot of play value here. The vehicle mode gun can deploy above his head, lifting up to point skyward if wish. There are two green handguns - which ingeniously stow in his hands in vehicle mode - that can be set aside if you like. The head, shoulders and hips are ball jointed while there are hinges at the base of his shoulder struts. The elbows and knees are hinged, with rotators just below the shoulder and hip joints to compliment these. The elbows are actually double hinged. Brawn's waist and wrists rotate while his feet and heelspurs are hinged. While the panels on his back mean you need to be alert when posing, Brawn's excellent articulation translates into excellent poseability. I guess one could ask for a ranged weapon, but three targetable guns is pretty nice anyway.

   Aside from the considerable kibble on Brawn's back I have no real complaints here. The colours are dark and offer a subtle yet discernible tribute to G1, the weaponry is cleverly done and the poseability is excellent. Brawn has a few nice little features, rounding out a good robot mode.

VARIATIONS

   None that I'm aware of.

OVERALL

   Brawn has two markedly different modes - a static brown truck and a very poseable green robot. Both are detailed in their own way and while the truck is static, it's quite realistic. I'm impressed by how well the brown truck gives way to a green robot, and how subtle attention has been paid to the tribute. He's typical of the movie toys in that Brawn is highly detailed, but lacks the overly alien feel of some, and unlike many movie name reuses, there's a clear tribute here. He's very much a shellformer, but done cleverly, so it's not a liability as such. Recommended if you like movie toys in general, and worth considering even if you don't - 9/10

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