Combiner Wars Brawl Toy Review

Individual Review

Name: Brawl
Series: Combiner Wars
Allegiance: Decepticon
Alternate Mode: Tank

Height: 5cm Length: 12cm Width: 6cm

   An olive green tank with grey painted treads & a black cannon. Brawl has a few subtle painted details - most notably Decepticon logos on either side of the turret, some silver bits at the back and a tiny Decepticon logo on the front - but for the most pat he's a rather functional looking tank. He does have a fairly good sculpt so he doesn't look sparse. And the colours, while simple, are also a good match to those on the G1 toy, although the green is more olive green than army green of his G1 toy.

   As is common for the line, there are attachment points for his weaponry in this mode - aside from the rolling wheels this is all the play value we get. There's a hole on top of the turret and two on either side for weapons attachment. In truth, I don't really see the need to attach more weapons to a tank. At any rate the silver hand/foot accessory can be attached as a weapon... but looks goofy so I recommend leaving it out. The cannon on the from of the turret can lift up to 90 degrees, but the turret cannot turn. Brawl can roll on small wheels underneath the treads.

   I'm quite partial to this tank mode because it really does remind me of the G1 toy - but it actually has less play value than the G1 tank, since the turret can't turn. While that would have required an extra piece or two and I guess put him over budget, it's noticeable. Visually though, Brawl is great - he's well sculpted and the colours really nail this tank down as Brawl.


   Set aside the silver weapon, if attached. Pull out the sides of the front, then the sides of the rear, which pivot back to form his boots. Rotate the legs, swing down and pivot the groin into place - there's two hinges involved and while the end result looks like it's not clipped into place, once you get it right, his groin will stay in place. Rotate the from sides down to form his arms and swing down the forearms. Fold back the turret and swing out the head. Detach the cannon, placing into his hand as a weapon if you feel so inclined.

Height: 17cm Width: ~7cm (depending on pose)

   A green robot with light grey thighs, grey forearms, a gunmetal groin and a gunmetal head. The facial sculpt matches the G1 toy, although his eyes are red not orange as seen on both the toy and G1 cartoon. That tiny Decepticon logo is now on his chest and the back cannon - if you left it in place - is behind his head. Visually this robot is somewhere between the G1 toy (head sculpt) and cartoon (upper arms are the tank treads). The olive green shade somewhat matches the show, incidentally.

   While it's not something that bothers me at all, I know some don't like the gappiness of his waist. There IS a distinct gap and a hinge with a fairly shallow connection where he clips together. While his waist _does_ clip together, it's not the strongest connection. The gap isn't so much visible from the front as such, but really does look weird from the side. I really like this robot mode, visually, as it really does nail the character down (and he's always been on of my sentimental favourite characters), but I'd feel different if the gap bothered me. On my Brawl the waist stays clipped in place, but I've heard this is an issue for some.

   Poseability is good by the already decent standard of Combiner Wars. His head and waist turn while the elbows and hips are ball jointed. His shoulders swing and lift out to the sides while his knees are hinged with rotators. Unusually for a CW Deluxe, Brawl gets ankle tilts. The cannon on his turret detaches and can fit in either hand as a gun. There's a trick to getting it out - press from underneath the turret. It works well as a handgun - as do the double barrelled gun options.

   While the gap in his waist is the only flaw here, it's one that will bother some. On my Brawl the waist stays together just fine and I don't find the it really ruins the look of this robot mode. The colours are very much Brawl and everything flows in that regard (to the point that you don't really notice the fact there's three different greys used!) while the combination of olive green, treads on his uppers arms and the toy-like head sculpt make him an unusual strong G1 tribute as Combiner Wars goes, while also straddling the fairly wide gap between the look of the toys and cartoon that the Combaticons had to deal with.


   There's a bunch of repaints / retools. The Unite Warriors version has a cartoon-coloured face, while the G2 version has much brighter colours. Unite Warriors Dangar is a repaint of Brawl. BotCon 2016 Ram Horn, Combiner Wars Nosecone, Unite Warriors Ironbison and Drillhorn, are all retools of Brawl.


   There are some clear shortcomings here, but I feel the positives are enough to carry them. The turret doesn't turn and there's a gap in the waist. The latter doesn't bother me, but I know it bothers some (I don't know if there's variation in how well that waist joint holds together, but on the various versions of the mould I have, they're all fine). I do wish the turret could turn, but on the upside the robot mode poseability is above what I'd expect of a Combiner Wars deluxe. The sculpt is good and the G1 tribute is above average for the Combiner Wars line - quite a few figures are only in the "spirit" of the character but this really does feel like an update of G1 Brawl - 8.5/10

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