I didn't make it to Comic-Con 2015, but there was no way the show was going to pass without taking a pass at some of Hasbro's Transformers exclusives, including the return of the original Decepticon combiner terror, Devastator.
Every year Hasbro for Comic-Con Hasbro announces what is basically my shopping list and something from Jem. When I can attend the show it doesn't really start until I've made it through the company's exclusives line, and when I can't attend I dream about standing in that sweaty throng, patiently waiting.
Dreaming about waiting paid off this year, as I eventually procured at least half of what I wanted from Hasbro's show exclusives. Sure I didn't wind up with the Star Wars Black Series figure of the new Stormtroopers from The Force Awakens, the Doctor Strange or Ant-Man sets or the Kre-O Sergeant Slaughter GI Joe set, but I did manage to score a couple of lovely My Little Pony items most of you don't want to hear about and the three Transformers exclusives.
We'll start small and work our way up.
In the "things I didn't think I'd love" category is the Kre-O Transformers Class of 1985 box set, featuring 30 miniature figures representing Transformers characters that debuted in that particular year. As a hardcore LEGO fan Hasbro's Kre-o building sets don't do much for me — in my experience they feel cheaper and lighter — but the Transformers Kre-O figures are another thing altogether. These little bastards capture the appearance and personalities of their cartoon and toy counterparts perfectly.
I was so smitten with the set I procured the 1984 set from the previous year as well, and should there be another one next year, I'll be first in line. I hope they do 1986 next!
Next up is the Combiner Hunters box set, a companion piece to Hasbro's extensive and largely well-received Combiners Wars line of toys and IDW's accompanying comic books. The set features repaints of Generations Arcee and Chromia, a pair of figures that were impossible to find in my area, as well as a recolor of Windblade, the 2013 fan-built Transformer. The set comes with some impressively huge weapons, including Arcee's sword — a pink and black version of Transformers Prime Beast Hunters Dragon Fire Optimus Prime, a figure easily three times her size.
This set makes up nicely for the lack of female figures in my area. In face I'd dare say it's a better deal, because pink and black Arcee is freaking amazing, especcially the Autobot logo on her cheek.
But these three are small potatoes compared to the second coming of Devastator.
Well, technically Devastator was the second coming of Japanese toy company Takara's pre-Transformers Diaclone Construction Vehicle Robo team, but who is counting (other than the folks at TFWiki)?
Devastator, the largest and most expensive ($US159.99 retail for the regular version) of the new Combiner Wars teams, and for good reason. At around 18 inches tall, he dwarfs the other teams in the line. This makes him incredibly hard to photograph properly, but here he is standing next to — well, looming over Protectobot Combiner Defensor.
Finally we have a first-party Devastator toy worthy of the fear he'd been genereating in the original cartoons for ages. The original Devastator toy, seen in the video atop this post, only comes up to the new one's knees.
Let's check out each of the six new robots compared to their yellow Generation 2 cousins, some of which are missing parts because I suck.
Hasbro has taken the opportunity to create robots that look much more like their cartoon counterparts and less like they were whittled out of wood in the 1860s.
The spirit is the same, but the scale is off the hook. I enjoy the fact that Scrapper still has to hold up the right side of Devastator's body with his arms.
It's nice that they kept some of the smaller robot's quirks, like the thing on top of his head and his stupid little fists.
I know I have the larger cement truck pointed backwards, but it't the only direction that makes sense. Note the vac-metalized drum — the shiny purple is exclusive to the Comic-Con variant.
Poor tubby Long Haul. From a small bot with a bulky chest to a large bot with a bulky everything. That's what happens when Hasbro loses the extra pieces that connect the bots and suddenly Long Haul has to form upper legs.
Now he's the sort of dump truck you can steal from that one construction site in Grand Theft Auto V.
A rather amazing likeness, largely due to keeping that lovely bib consistent between the two. He eats a lot of ribs. Robo-ribs. Whatever.
The vehicle form of both tread-bearing vehicles is a bit bulkier to accommodate the inclusion of wrists for Devastator's fists (which transform into missile launchers while not in use) to attach to.
These guys could be father and son.
Again a little bulkier, this time to house Devastator's head. In the original the head was a separate piece, which I have lost approximately a dozen times.
Much better arms, a much cooler head — it's almost enough to forgive his finicky crotch (see video).
Remember back before bulldozers had little teeth on their scoops? We were so stupid back then.
These six warriors come together to form Devastator, who once again is just too large for me to photograph without a dedicated mini-studio in my office.
This would be the perfect moment for Hasbro to drop the mic and go wander off into the sunset clutching its Jem dolls to its chest. The new Devastator is the perfect punctuation for the end of the successful Combiner Wars line.
But no, there's still more to come, and then there's something called Titan Wars on the horizon, with a new version of the second largest Transformer ever made based on the first largest. I am going to need a bigger everything.