Cliffbee.com Combiner Wars Deluxe Groove Toy Review

Individual Review




Name: Groove
Series: Combiner Wars
Allegiance: Autobot
Alternate Mode: Police Motorcycle



MOTORBIKE MODE
Height: 7cm Length: 14cm Width: 5cm

   A white motorbike with black tyres, seat and on the back end. Groove has a transparent blue windshield and transparent red strobes on either side of that. There are silver engine elements on the sides and his wheels are also painted silver. He sports "POLICE" in black text above the rear wheels and an Autobot logo on the windshield. Unusually for a Combiner Wars deluxe, Groove has red painted taillights - and he also has a clear colourless headlight underneath the windshield. His optional gunmetal guns look good on either side of the rear wheel and add a second set of red strobes - I include them here and he looks incomplete without them.

   This colour scheme is both vey much Groove and vey much a police motorbike. Moreso than the somewhat ambiguous Legends version. The shape is a little weird, though - the windshield sits directly in from the the white handlebars (not really above them) and it needs to be much higher than it is. It still looks like a motorbike, but the main block of the bike is as tall as the windshield. The other detraction here is that the robot fists are visible behind the engine block. They don't stand out as such, but they are there.

   Play value here is probably better than you'd expect of a motorbike. Technically you can attach the side guns, but I mean he's really designed to have them attached. But hey, they can pivot up and down to aim into the air. There's a port on the top where one can plug in the awkward hand/foot gun thing, if you want. There's a little white kickstand underneath the left side - it can flip out and he CAN lean on it, but he's also capable of standing upright on his tyres as well. About the only thing we could hope for that we don't get here is a steerable front.

   While this isn't the best motorbike shape - thanks to the overly short windshield - it's far more of a police bike than the Legends toy; and it's clearly Groove as a result. The colour scheme is pretty good, if straightforward and the play value is decent.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Detach and set aside the side guns. Unclip the saddle, split the rear end as his boots. Pivot the boots back and clip his calves into place; flip the halves of the rear wheel onto the outsides of the boots. Rotate the waist, unclip the engine and swing down to the sides to form his arms. Swing up the front tyre and windshield assembly, swinging the tyre all the way up; then pivot the assembly down onto his back. Rotate his head, give him the guns as handguns and you're done.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 15cm Width: ~8cm (depending on pose)

   A white robot with a gold chest, silver arms, black knees and feet a black head with an amber face. The central stripe of his chest is white and there's an Autobot logo on the left side of the chest. His eyes are colourless with an effective light pipe. This colour scheme is very much Groove, as is the detailed sculpt of his head. The rear tyre ends up on the outsides of his boots rather than between them... but it still feels like Groove.

   This is G1 Groove's robot mode with the shape cleaned up - rather than being the lump with a head and a rear tyre bay for the legs, it's a well proportioned robot. The Legends version is leggy and too stylised to be Groove, making this robot more of a tribute to G1 - if you're after that. He's also the same size as the other Protectobots (well, okay, he's slightly shorter than Hot Spot).

   Poseability is by the numbers. His head, shoulders and hips are ball jointed and while the ball joint on his neck doesn't move up or down much, it's still effective. The elbows are hinged with ratchets and rotators. The waist turns while the knees have hinges and rotators. His feet are fixed in that slightly spread pose while the fists are also fixed. His guns look good in his hands. Surprisingly there's nowhere else they can plug - not even to stow.

   A very nice update of G1 Groove with a good colour scheme, good sculpt and respectable poseability. He scales with his teammates and has a rare light piping effect. I like the fact that this is a visually faithful update to the G1 robot mode... but with a proper robot shape.

VARIATIONS

   The Unite Warriors version has some slightly different colourings but it's much of a muchness. He combines with the other Protectobots to form Defensor & can form a limb of other combined robots.

OVERALL

   An oddly shaped motorbike but it's more of a police motorbike than the Legends toy. While the Legends version scales better with the rest of the team in bike mode, it's only vaguely Groove while this toy is Groove through and through. What will ultimately dominate your feelings towards this toy is whether or not you want this Groove that scales with the other Protectobots as a robot... if you want that G1 nostalgia... or you want the vehicle mode to scale. I'm firmly in the nostalgia camp, and to be honest given the heavy Scramble City nostalgia that Combiner Wars evokes, I feel this makes more sense than the Legends version. That said, it's great we're given the choice. The light piped eyes are a great touch, and while the short windshield in the bike mode is a notable flaw, this is a rewarding upgrade of G1's resident hippie - 8.5/10

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