Cliffbee.com Combiner Wars Hellbat Toy Review

Individual Review




Name: Hellbat (Fellbat for ... PC reasons)
Series: Combiner Wars
Allegiance: Decepticon
Alternate Mode: Fighter Jet



FIGHTER JET MODE
Height: 5.5cm Length: 14cm Width: 11cm

   A navy jet with an orange canopy, Hellbat has white wings with yellow centres & Decepticon logos on each wing. His vertical stabilisers are silver with black edges and the tip of his nose is black rubberised plastic. It's a pretty faithful homage to G1 as colours go - although the original toy had a single vertical stabiliser. The blue plastic has a very slight metallic swirl to it, which is easy to miss. There are sculpted red missiles under the wings - something the original lacked, but I note they're painted a similar red to the little guns that Jaruga came with - a nice touch!

   Hellbat is a repaint (retool) of Combiner Wars Skydive, but you don't really see anything but Hellbat here - the colour and general lines are a good match for the Victory version. Curiously, both Hellbat & Skydive have single stabilisers in G1 and dual in Combiner Wars. The arms are visible against the fuselage between his wings and horizontal stabilisers but being mostly navy blue they're not conspicuous at all.

   As is common for the line, there are attachment points for his weaponry in this mode. One hole under each wing and a hole on top of the fuselage. He comes as part of a giftset containing two black and two white dual-cannon guns (along with two black and two white foot-hand pieces). In theory you can attach one of each under either wing or on top in that hole. In reality, I'd recommend arming him with two of the dual cannon guns under either wing as one just looks horribly unbalanced (and it's not like Killbison needs a gun - being a tank). He's still armed without thanks to those red missileranks. The weaponry options represent all of Hellbat's play value in this mode.

   An attractive plane mode, and while it's a made up plane mode original built with Skydive in mind, these colours and the mould itself work well for Hellbat. While he's not a character everyone will be familiar with, those familiar with Victory (or who own the G1 toy - I've owned him since the late 1990s) will instantly recognise this jet as Hellbat. There's not a whole lot of play value & while there's some undercarriage kibble, the arms are far less prominent on this colour scheme than on some CW jets.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Detach any weaponry & set aside. Swing the nose section up, then pivot back down and clip into the fuselage. Fold up the horizontal stabilisers, detach the arms underneath his wings, lift up the rear of the fuselage, swinging back the legs and them fold the rear section down and plug into his legs. Split the legs, stand him up. Pivot the wings & arms up to form his shoulders - clipping these into place so the chest is flush. Swing back his wings, pivot the arms up so they're on the outsides of his shoulders. Rotate the head and swing out his ears. Arm as desired.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 17cm Width: ~8cm (depending on pose)

   Hellbat is now a more even mixture of navy blue and white - his shoulders, forearms, boots and head are blue while the elbows, torso and thighs are white. His mouthplate and bat-wing like ears are also white while his eyes are red. There are splashes of yellow detailing and some blue around the edges of his torso. The colour layout here is actually something a departure from the G1 toy - it's general following the cartoon (which had a vastly different head to the toy). Again, if you'e familiar with Victory, this is clearly Hellbat. Curiously there's no Deception logo in this mode.

   While the G1 toy had a white head with a red face, the Cartoon went with a very distinctive blue head with a helmet, central crest and bat-wing ears - all of which this toy has on the really nicely resculpted head. It only lacks at the "bat eyes" on the top of his helmet. There's no bat breast partner - the chest has the central leg that really shows this mould is a "Scramble City" inspired mould. While the chest clearly isn't Hellbat's, the head does such a wonderful job of establishing that this robot is Victory's resident accidental assassin. The combiner peg on his chest is the only aspect that says "Skydive" rather than "Hellbat".

   Poseability is standard for Combiner Wars - which is nothing to be disappointed about. Hellbat has ball joints in the neck, shoulders and hips. His elbows and knees have hinges and rotators. The feet are fixed in that slightly-spread pose. His ankles, wrists and waist don't move. He can hold the various weaponry in either hand... of course the hand/foot pieces look pretty stupid. Sadly the guns do not look like the G1 bat-gun at all.

   Lack of a breast partner aside, there's not much more one could ask for here. Given he's using an existing CW mould, I don't have an issue with the peg in his chest. The colours and retooled head are all Hellbat & he's a visually attractive robot. The play value is nothing special - and while I understand the breast partner would have really blown the budget, it would have been a great touch.

VARIATIONS

   None that I'm aware of. Hellbat... well, Fellbat, was only available in the Liokaiser giftset with Guyhawk, Ironbison (aka Killbison), Dezarus, Drillhorn and Ion Scythe.

   Incidentally, I bought this set for the limbs & promptly sold off Dezarus and Ion Scythe - so I may never review those two or the gestalt.

OVERALL

   This gifts shows just how much a head retool can go to use an mould designed for one toy to represent another. This figure really doesn't feel like Hellbat being shoehorned onto Skydive. The colours, head and general look of this toy are all Hellbat. It's a good mould, too - and while there's no breast partner, I'm aware that engineering that piece just for this giftset would have been fancifully unrealistic for a set like this. The main negative here is that Hellbat's weapon options are generic and honestly pretty awkward in jet mode. I suppose the other one is that if you want Hellbat you've either got to buy the whole set of buy him off someone who has split the set (which can be a tricky thing to do, and often expensive). Setting aside the giftset nature of his release, this is a great revisit of a character that was always an unlikely one for Hasbro to ever give us - 9/10

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