Sunday, 6 February 2011

Power Core Heavytread & Groundspike

Power Core Minicon Groundspike

Groundspike is the Minicon supplied with Heavytread. His robot mode, mainly clear blue plastic with olive brown upper legs, doesn't look anything special. It's quite poor in fact with a blank curved head, arms formed from the front of what look like wings connected by ball joints to the body. Both front and back of the body have Minicon sockets, the hips are ball jointed (poorly as it turns out), the knees bend the wrong way (a waist would have fixed this) and the ankles bend.

To transform into vehicle add on mode, fold the arms down to the sides, swing them back 180 degrees so they point upwards and then fold out to the sides to form one long wing blade over the front of the chest. Fold each leg out to the sides, probably popping off it's ball joint in the process, then bend the knee & ankle to form a claw. Peg onto the front of Heavytread's tank mode to form a device similar to the mine clearer found on the front of this Assault Breacher Vehicle. It's one of the more integrated Minicon/Vehicle combinations in Power Core.

From here fold the wing halves up and the legs down to form his armour mode. It's one of the better ones covering a large area of the robot's chest.

From there bring the legs together, still bent, and fold the wing tips back to form a claw weapon capable of being held by Heavytread or plugged into the underside of his right arm.

No two ways of saying this, it's a poor Minicon even before the legs fall off if you even look at it wrong.

Power Core Heavytread

The new Heavytread, not the first or even the second Transformer to bear the name, is a Power Core Tank. think he's a Merkava Battle Tank. From the photo at the top of the Wikipedia page I was thinking no, but if you scroll down to the Mark III pictures you can start to see a resemblance.

Right it's time for The Transformer Tank Test !

Does the turret turn? YES

Does the gun barrel elevate? NO

50% score for Heavytread. We've seen better and much worse.

As usual we've got moulded plastic treads with inset wheels and an olive green body with a darker green camouflage pattern. His gun barrel is just about narrow enough to use as a bar for the clip & bar weapons. If you look at the front of the vehicle there's a 5mm peg hole on the left. The placement of this is a little odd giving the tank an unbalanced look as soon as you mount a weapon on it and restricting the turret's ability to turn. I'd have put the hole on the Turret's roof, but would have seriously considered swapping it for a Minicon peg. He does have a a fold up Minicon peg on the front of the vehicle, which allows his Minicon Groundspike to be attached to him to form a device similar to the mine clearer found on the front of this Assault Breacher Vehicle. It's one of the more integrated Minicon/Vehicle combinations in Power Core.

An alternative turret configuration is available: Fold the back of the tank up and out to the side to form a cannon. Swing the main gun round to the side to face the same way as the cannon. Rotate the turret so both cannon and gun barrel face forward. Yes the result is uneven and lopsided but it's a nice little variation.

Transformation: Fold the Power Core connector blocks at the rear of the tank down so they point backwards. Slide the rear sides of the tank out to the sides and back, covering the blocks and exposing the robot's upper legs. Pull the remaining front half of the sides out to the side and up slightly. Fold the legs down at the hip's hinge and then swing forward to lock into the underside of the middle of the front of the tank. Pull the legs slightly out to each side, unpegging from the panel between them which folds up to form the front of the waist. Fold the turret down onto the robot's back. Fold the panels attached to the other set of Power Core Block Connectors forwards. Pull the sides of the tank forward to form the arms, and then turn each forearm so the open hand faces up. Raise the small black backed head through the hole in the chest.

The robot mode feels a little odd. Essentially he's Combaticon Brawl, but with a bit more articulation. The forearms don't look right, too wide and the arm articulation is odd: swivel bellow the elbow, bending elbow, another bending joint bellow the shoulder, ball jointed outer shoulder that allows some movement to the sides and hinged inner shoulder which lets the arms shrug up. The head is on a ball joint and the neck can move to each side a little. While we're on the head, the visored eye and back of the head are both solid black, looking like an aborted lightpipe gimmick (it's the 96 Beast Wars basics all over again!). If they were clear plastic it would be so much better. The waist turns, the hips rotate and bend to the sides, there's a thigh swivel and the knees bend. The configuration in the instructions has the tank barrel pointing straight up in the middle of his back but rotating the turret to the side, folding up the gun barrel and swinging over the cannon allows you to beef up his weaponry in this mode. His fists might not look like it but the can hold the standard 5mm weapons pegs. However .... < Phil realises he needs a certain Minicon and spends half an hour in THE LOFT OF JOY trying to find them. > No, his fist hole isn't deep enough to hold Smoulder. Boo. His Minicon Groundspike can be attached to his chest, using the fold up Minicon peg that was on the front of the tank, or pegged into the underside of his right arm as a Wolverine-esque claw.

Transformation to torso mode: From robot mode fold the front of the chest forward and fold up the large robot head with the small robot head folding into the back of it just like Armada Overload. Fold the flap down when finished. Straighten the arms and raise them at the shoulder so they point forward. Rotate the forearms so the fists face in then fold them back against the shoulders. Push the arms in against the sides of the chest, locking the head hatch, and reforming the front of the tank, but with the Power Core Connector Blocks folded out to the sides. Straighten the legs, fold the tracks in front of the knee back and fold the covering of the lower legs up over the upper legs exposing the Power Core Connector Blocks there. Rotate the waist 180 degrees. Swing the gun barrel to the side, rotate the turret so the gun barrel face up and fold the back of the turret over his shoulder as a cannon.

Heavytread provides Power Core with probably it's best torso so far. There's no loose bits flapping around like on some other PCC toys, it's a solid lump with the body formed from the front of the tank and the waist & legs from the back. You can turn the arms without the shoulders feeling like they're going to come off. The articulation is worth mentioning here. The shoulders turn and bend up, the waist turns, we still have universal hips, bending knees and now a swivel bellow the knee. The tank's barrel points up over one shoulder and a rectangular cannon that can be elevated upwards leans over the other. There's a fold up Minicon socket on his chest and a 5mm peg hole on one side of the chest (I've had Airlift sitting in there). I've got him standing on my shelf wearing the Combaticon limbs which very much suit him. Top class stuff.

Overall: Decent tank. so so robot but superb torso mode. Well worth a look.


My first reaction would be Warpath but he's got a Generations toy coming soon so it won't be him. A desert version like Movie Brawl might be good or as a Generation 2 Megatron/Archforce.

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