Saturday, 19 December 2015

Unite Warriors Groove

Unite Warriors Groove

All four of the Combiner Wars interpretations of the 1986 combiners initially featured some form of compromise: Superion had Alpha Bravo instead of Slingshot and Menasor had Offroad instead of Wildrider. Both of these were remedied in the Unite Warrior versions of the toys by recolouring an existing limb robot and these recolours were in turn released as western exclusives. For Bruticus and Defensor something different happened: Bruticus uses a green Firefly as Blastoff instead of creating a new toy for the shuttle mode. Defensor replaces Groove as a limb with Rook relegating the motorcycle to a Legends class piece of add chest armour. We don't yet know for sure what Takara will do with Bruticus but TFYuki has been tweeting Blast Off Space shuttle hints. With the Unite Defensor set we have got our long awaited Combiner Wars limb Groove.

Groove retains his white police motorcycle design but is somewhat sleeker than he has been before. His windshield is a clear blue with clear red lights to either side. Neither windshield, handlebars or front forks turn. The arms form the engines under the saddle, with one forearm possessing a fold down stand for the motorbike. The saddle itself has a 5mm peg hole on it and looks to be the mounting point for his HandFootGun in vehicle mode and his HFG looks to be inherited from Blades, Alpha Bravo and Vortex. In addition to the HFG he has two silver grey paint over clear plastic handguns pegging into the rear of the vehicle to form his Twin Vaporators.

Transformation: start from motorcycle mode. Rotate the front of the motorbike through 90 degrees so that the wheel points up and then fold onto the saddle. Unfold the arms so they're along the side of the motorbike, with the top of the fist hole pointing down. Fold the rear of the saddle & bike back and fold the upper legs out, just like Alpha Bravo, closing the rear of the bike up to form the lower legs. Separate the legs and fold the wheel halves out to each side. Rotate 180 degrees at the waist and finish by putting his guns into his fists

It's Groove, updated. Just looking at it there's nothing to complain about. In fact he's got something no other Combiner Wars toy has: Lightpiped eyes!The entire back of his head is a massive clear plastic panel feeding through to his eyes which are tinted yellow. In fact all the different colours of clear plastic on the toy, and there are several, appear to be tints over clear plastic. Articulation is superb: bending knees & elbows, rotating thighs & biceps, ball jointed shoulders & hips, rotating waist and ball jointed head. Top stuff. My one complaint is there's no obvious place for the HFG in this mode but since his Twin Vaporators each have a 5mm peg hole you con do some weapons combination

Leg Mode: Start from motorcycle mode and begin with the first steps of the robot mode Transformation. Rotate the front of the motorbike through 90 degrees so that the wheel points up and then fold onto the saddle. Unfold the arms so they're along the side of the motorbike, with the top of the fist hole pointing down, and fold down tabbing onto the rear of the bike. Put the HFG into foot mode and peg into the rear of the bike. Stand on the foot and attach.

Very solid leg mode, no chance of this coming to bits like Dead End and his derivatives. Provides the usual articulation for the combined robot it's part of: thigh swivel, bending knee and rotating ankle.

Arm Mode: Start from robot mode, fold the arms down into the sides and then rotate each arm 180s degrees out to the side and back so they point out the back of the robot alongside the front of the bike. Fold the head back into the bike's saddle bringing the combiner connector out the chest. Tab the legs together and insert the HFG in hand mode into the back of the bike/underside of the feet.

Usual arm mode articulation here too: The connector provides the rotating shoulder and raising out to the side while the robot's waist is now a bicep swivel and the hips/knees are a double bending elbow with the hand peg providing the wrist swivel. Again, No complaints.

Groove's a decent update of the original and his lightpiping puts him a cut above the other Combiner Wars limbs. If you've bought another Combiner Wars limb you'll know what to expect in robot mode and his motorcycle mode is better than some I've seen over the years.

All in all it's a pretty good package. The problem is the only way to get him is to buy Unite Defensor and that's proving too big a pill to swallow for some fans who've already bought the Combiner Wars version. If it helps sway you I think my Unite Hotspot holds together in torso mode far better than Combiner Wars Hotspot does.

As yet no western release and no repaint/remould of Groove has been announced.

Somewhat amusingly the Unite Defensor packaging comes with an exclusive coin ..... whose container is shaped like the chest armour formed from Combiner Wars Legends Groove!

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