Cliffbee.com Combiner Wars Killbison Toy Review

Individual Review




Name: Killbison (Ironbison for ... PC reasons)
Series: Combiner Wars
Allegiance: Decepticon
Alternate Mode: Tank



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

   A gold tank with silver painted treads & a silver turret. Killbison has an off white cannon on the front of his turret, yellow painted hatches on the top of the turret, stripes down the sides featuring tiny Decepticon logos and other logo on the front of the tank, right side. For the most part this is a good colour scheme - the gold isn't a swirly metallic colour more a pea-soup yellow so there's no Gold Plastic Syndrome to worry about here - unlike the original. The silver painted parts look good - I'm glad it's not chromed which isn't all that durable. My only complaint is that off white cannon on a silver turret looks a little odd.

   Killbison is - in this mode - a straight repaint of Combiner Wars Brawl. The mould is a fairly generic tank so it does a good job of not being a gold Brawl... but unlike the original Killbison it's a single cannon affair, not a dual cannon setup. The original also had off white rather than silver... so this tank doesn't quite scream "Killbison" like some of his teammates... but it's still Killbison.

   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 - it's a nice bonus I guess, but the guns that come with this gifts work better being used on his teammates, for mine. The hand/foot weapons of course look silly. At any rate you have black or off white double barrelled guns you can attach, should you choose to. The cannon on the from of the turret can lift up to 90 degrees, but the turret cannot turn.

   Probably the weakest vehicle mode amongst the four Breastforce deluxe in the Liokaiser giftset. It's not a _bad_ tank mode, but the others all do a better job of being the character they're intended to be and the mixture of silver and off white is unusual. Play value is reasonable, but it would have been nice if the turret had an extra joint to allow it to turn.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Set aside the weapons, 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, swing out the head and swing out his ears.

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

   A gold robot with off white thighs and ears, as well as a off-white patch on his chest. Killbison has silver fists, upper arms (the treads) and a silver mouth plate with red eyes. Note that the prototype (featured in the promo pic that I've used above) has _gold_ ears, not white. Gold matches both the original toy AND the Victory cartoon... but I suspect the gold plastic was too brittle for the ears. So while the ears aren't character accurate, his head matches the cartoon nicely and helps establish this toy as Killbision. The actual colourblocking is quite a departure from G1 - a by-product of the colourblocking of the mould itself. There aren't too many gold tank bots around though so it's pretty obviously Killbison just down to a lack of alternatives. The colourblocking works better than in tank mode since we no longer have that slight jarring white-to-silver of the turret.

   The elephant in the room with Killbison is the curse that is Gold Plastic Syndrome. My G1 toy is displayed in combined leg mode and will likely never leave that mode. So while this figure isn't all that faithful to G1, I'm thrilled to have a Killbison that can be enjoyed. He lacks a breast partner, of course - no doubt creating that accessory from scratch would have blown the budget (and in truth, the head resculpt does more to make this Killbison).

   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, Killbison 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. As a bonus, if you attach one of the white double guns onto the turret hole now on his back, Killbison will have the twin cannons behind his head, akin to the original.

   While the colourblocking is not a great match to G1 and there's no BisonBreast, the head makes sure there's no doubt who this figure represents. Given the GPS issues the original now suffers, I'm thrilled to have a Killbison I can display in robot mode... and transform. It's an attractive robot mode in its own right

VARIATIONS

   As mentioned he's a retool of Combiner Wars Brawl. No variants that I'm aware of. Ironbison was only available in the Liokaiser giftset with Guyhawk, Fellbat (aka Hellbat), 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

   Okay. So there's some clear shortcomings here. The turret doesn't turn and its colour placement is awkward. The gap in the waist in robot mode may bother some and the colour blocking really is NOT Killbison - though the colours are, broadly. There is no BisonBreast (which would have been unreasonable to expect). But - and I cannot stress this enough - if you want the character, your only other choice is a reasonably scarce and unreasonably brittle Japanese exclusive toy from 1989. So on that front... I'm completely satisfied with this toy. The fact that Hasbro went and gave us a Killbison toy with a rescuplted head in CHUG is fantastic... heck Killbison got a head resculpt before Cliffjumper did! If you have an interest in the character or Victory more broadly, I would happily recommend this figure - 9/10

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