Wednesday, 17 February 2016

Combiner Wars/Titans Return Buzzsaw

Combiner Wars Buzzsaw

We first saw Combiner Wars Buzzsaw at Botcon 2015 where he was revealed to be a triple changing update to the original gold eagle/tape toy. He arrived in December 2015 in the Combiner Wars Legends wave 5 assortment packed in bird mode.

He's quite a chunky blocky bird with very thick slab like yellow wings which include a thinner grey piece which stretches back from them, hidden in early pictures. Also hidden were the grey legs and feet that help support him in this mode. The tail looks very blocky, really no idea what's going on there, and the pieces of plastic sticking forward from the sides of the tail restrict access to the 5mm holes on each of them. Given that and the direction they face the only weapons that really spring to mind to fit there are the Legends Optimus Prime guns. Fortunately I have a ready supply of these now and one inserted in each hole improves the look of the toy no end by approximating Buzzsaw's original cannons. But to be honest the tail sides look like they should be pointing the other way with the thin pointed strips of plastic stretch behind the toy.

Articulation is .... odd. The wings flap in and out at the shoulder and can turn via a joint just on the wing side of the shoulder. There's two neck joints but the one at the base is very loose, I mean VERY loose while the one bellow the head is quite stiff which results in the base one flopping about every time you move the head. The joint the tail assembly is on can flop about a bit. Each side of the tail moves up and down independently. The look like they should fold down to the sides but can't in this configuration.

Transformation: remove any weapons. Fold the head under and into the body. Recess the grey rear to the wings into the main bulk of the wing. Fold the legs up to each side. Fold the whole tail assemble back 90 degrees then swing the outer parts forward 90 degrees, before folding them out to the sides 90 degrees: there's a small cut on each side of the black central tail block which allows this manoeuvrer when the silver square on it faces up and the points on the yellow outer pieces face forward. Fold the wings in so the tips recess between the thin strips of plastic pointing out of the yellow tail blocks.

Replacing the traditional tape mode is what looks to be a hand held device like a flat screen phone or iPad. The bird feet sticking through the wings form volume rockers on each side while the base actually has a 3.5 mm hole masquerading as a headphone socket. It's a bit something of nothing, a rectangular block, but when you see something like this with Buzzsaw you think tape and sure enough this mode can be loaded into either of Titans Return Blaster or Soundwave. I can't see too many of these surviving in pristine condition: the tablet screen is made up of several stickers, some of which catch on transformation and all of which look like they're peeling!

We'll form Buzzsaw's third mode from the Tablet mode we have him in. Fold the wings out to the sides. Fold the bird feet down. Rotate each wing tip down and in so the stickered surface fold in towards the toy. Fold the black panel on the outer side of the wing out and down. Fold each of the yellow tail blocks in & up, then rotate back 90 degrees. Fold the wings back in.

Common consent is that this vehicle is probably meant to be a forklift with the prongs sticking out the front. Common opinion has it that it's a bit rubbish. It rolls along on 4 wheels and that's it. TFW 2005's gallery suggest raising the forklifts, and using them as gun mounts, again with Legends Prime rifles, with the vehicle facing the other way which sort of works.

However, at time of writing, I don't think we're fully appreciating what this toy can do. although it's been released with Combiner Wars on the packet it is effectively a Titans Return toy designed to work with the Titanmasters and the Leader/Maximus base modes. In the middle of the vehicle mode, usually concealed in the other modes, is a very small shallow peg about 1mm in diameter and height which is designed to be used as a foot stand for a Titanmaster head figure.

Not the best Legends figure I've owned, it feels weak in all modes. I can see my opinion of it improving when the toys it's meant to be compatible with come out but by itself it isn't really good enough.

Titans Return Laserbeak

Where there's Buzzsaw there's usually Laserbeak and vice verse. Laserbeak was revealed at Toyfair 2016, but wasn't one of the toys even rumoured in advance though it was obvious there would be one! At first I thought he was just in the official images because he's not easy to spot in the display shots but you can find him in tape and eagle mode perched on Soundwave.

It's an odd colour scheme for Laserbeak, mainly black with not enough red. The only red really is the tails to each wings. Most odd. Have they coloured him this way to differentiate him from Rumble? It won't work, with a mainly black tablet mode he'll look the same as any Ravage they do!

Future Repaints

Blue as Garboil or Orange as Sundor would be good bets!

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