Thursday, 23 April 2015

Combiner Wars Rook

Generations Combiner Wars Rook

Rook is the new member of the Protectobots. So how does he measure up?

Like most modern deluxe Transformers he comes in robot mode. To transform into vehicle mode start by pulling his backpack out so it points away from the robot. Straighten both legs and fold the lower leg up round the upper leg: the knee has a Generations Trailcutter style link with the inside of the ankle. Straighten the arms to the sides and rotate each lower arm out 90 degrees at the bicep so the larger blue panel on the forearm face forward. Fold the arms back onto the robot's back, pegging the slots on the inside of the shoulder onto pegs on the back. Rotate the head 180 degrees and fold back between the shoulders. Fold the feet down under the legs to form the lower front of the vehicle. Fold the backpack down onto the back of the legs to form the upper front of the vehicle. We've got as far as seen in the promo picture but that really isn't the complete vehicle mode: take the hand/foot/vehicle weapon and push the extra peg hole in it's underside onto the black peg to form a turret. Peg the "jaws of life" hand weapon into one of the holes on the rear of the vehicle.

Rook's vehicle mode is a police swat vehicle judging by it markings but looks like a sort of armoured personnel carrier of the sort we've seen before with Movie Wreckage or Anti-Blaze. He's mainly white, with blue highlights on his lower half and six wheel. The turret looks a bit out of place in black but the vehicle really needs it to look right. There's three 5mm holes on the top of the vehicle to place the weapon in, two at the back, one at the front, but the one at the front is partially obscured by the turret. There's an additional hole on the front of the vehicle for an extra weapon.

Remove the weapons to start the transformation back to robot mode. Pull the front of the vehicle up so it points straight up in the middle of the vehicle mode. Pop the shoulders off their posts and fold the rear of the vehicle out to the sides to form the arms. Separate the front of the vehicle in half down the middle and pull out to the sides, forward, and then in to form the legs. Fold the lower front of the vehicle down under the legs to form the feet. Fold the head forward and turn 180 degrees. Fold the front of the vehicle onto the robot's back. Turn each arm in 90 degrees at the bicep.

Rook's robot mode is nice and imposing with a mainly black body and white limbs, with blue elbows and upper legs. His head sculpt I'm told resembles a rook in Chess but I can't really see it. The silver face is covered in an American football style helmet.

Probably one of the most interesting features on this figure is the hands. Instead of having the traditional 5mm peg hole between the fingers the hands are moulded into closed fists. The peg holes are found on the outer side of the fists, at the end of the arms, in effect turning them into gun barrels. I've heard a few people say the don't like them but I think they're great. His own weapon has a 5mm peg at the rear that will fit in there but raid your weapons box for other weapons like sword blades which can be plugged in there. I'd quite like to find a couple of missiles to try there but can't find anything suitable! Suggestions?

Articulation is great: Ball jointed head, shoulders which swing back at the body and have a ball joint connection to the arm. He also has bicep swivels, bending elbows, a rotating Waist, ball jointed hips, Thigh swivels and bending knees. The most interesting piece of articulation involves pivots at the inner side of each leg to allow the feet to remain flat as the legs are spread.

To form the arm mode start from robot mode and fold the backpack out. Bring the legs together and fold the feet back, Fold the arms onto the robot's back as per the vehicle mode. Fold the backpack back onto the arms locking the tabs on it into the tab holes on the lower half of the shoulder. Fold the head back between the arms. Transform the weapon into a hand and peg into the bottom of the arm. Fold the connector out of the chest and use it to slot into the shoulder of Defensor or any other combiner.

You've probably got a good idea what to expect from a Combiner Wars arm: it turns at the shoulder and can be raised out to the side. The robot waist becomes a bicep swivel while the legs give it a double elbow and the peg for the hand wrist rotation. The hand has the peg hole between thumb and fingers to enable the arm to hold 5mm weapons but the 5mm peg hole in the palm, used to mount he weapon in vehicle mode, allows Rook's arm mode to have a weapon plugged into his palm: the jaws of life with him are perfectly suitable.

The legs is best formed by starting from vehicle mode: fold the front top of the vehicle over the rear top. Actually this action alone give you quite an interesting alternate vehicle mode with the hand holes visible under what was the front of the vehicle mode. Anyway, back to the leg. Bend the lower front of the vehicle down and under then pegs the front of the vehicle into the foot. Fold the connector up to form the knee joint.

The leg mode looks odd with a bulging top and less build up lower half. The rear of the leg looks more built up than the front but there's no way to rotate the waist and get both sets of bulk on the same side of the leg: I tried, going as far as transforming the lower leg into the robot legs and turning the waist then before transforming back but the pieces wouldn't fit round the waist that way round. The connector form the thigh swivel and bending knee for the combined robot while the ankle turns from side to side.

I like Rook a lot: I feel he brings something new to the complete combiner with the palm hole, the vehicle is good and solid and the robot, with it's differently positioned fist holes and ankle tilts has something most of the rest of the Combiner Wars deluxes don't. He's the only new mould Protectobot limb so I'm tempted to say if you only get one Protectobot get him but that's be doing down some of the work done to First Aid & Streetwise. But it's a solid top toy, well worth having.

Future Repaints

A fairly easy straight repaint would be as Cybertron Defence Hotshot.

My suspicion is the next time we see Rook he'll be extensively remoulded as Brawn: replace the wheels with tank treads. The vehicle weapon becomes the tank turret with a 5mm peg hole in the front that lets you peg his hand gun in to form the tank's gun barrel.

From there a remould of the front, together with a plug in drill would make a decent Nosecone.

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