Friday, 30 September 2016

Combiner Wars Liokaiser boxset

Combiner Wars Drillhorn

The leaked images of Liokaiser prominently show a Nosecone version of Brawl used as Drillhorn, the Breastforce drill tank.

Essentially the entirety of the toy is grey bar the turret, front tread covers and front of the tank which are blue. As you'd expect he comes with the drill attachment rather than the tank barrel. He's got a new head resembling the original that features a fold out horn on the forehead.

Yeah, it's another Brawl. Struggling to get excited about it, sorry.

Combiner Wars Ironbison

Drillhorn isn't the only Brawl in the Leokaiser box as he's also been repainted in gold as Killbison. Where Killbison was a twin barrelled Gepard anti-aircraft tank Ironbison is the more traditional single barrelled version albeit with a dual barrelled HFG you can mount on top. Again there's a new head here, this time featuring twin horns that pull out to the sides.

I'm sorry but this is cutting corners a bit too much, Killbison really needed his more traditional configuration. It'll be interesting to see whatr TakaraTomy do IF they do Leokaiser.

Combiner Wars Fellbat

Really the limbs in the Liokaiser Giftset are a complete game of two halves. I couldn't care less about two the new Brawns used as legs but new Decepticon Jet limbs? Oh yeah. Like Unite Warriors Grand Galvatron the Liokaiser giftset repaints both the Skydive & Air Raid versions of this mould and generally they're really good fits for the characters they're being asked to be.

I presume Fellbat has been renamed from his original toy Hellbat due to sensitivities about the name. Nevertheless they've done an excellent job here replicating the dark blue jet with grey wings. A lovely touch find the missiles moulded under the wings painted red.

The robot mode looks pretty great too with a lot more grey being revealed. I love the new head, an interpretation of the cartoon Hellbat head which looks like a stylised Optimus Prime head with pull out fins from the side.

Fabulous toy, love it.

Combiner Wars Guyhawk

Gaihawk & Hellbat are a bit special to UK fans as we didn't get versions of them in Rescue Force, our Autobot repaint of Breast Force. To this day nobody is 100% sure why but evidence from the UK release of Brainmaster Cars and Yellow Constructicons plus the exclusivity of G2 Superion and the non release of G2 Bruticus suggests someone at Hasbro UK had gone off combiners big time.

Gaihawk looks quite similar to the original F15 Decepticon jet so it's only appropriate he should use the Combiner Wars F14 Swing Wing version that looks like it was made to be turned into Starscream, Thundercracker & Skywarp. The shocking pink with silver wing is particularly lurid but then Gaihawk never was a subtle toy. Black and yellow highlights are revealed in a robot mode topped with a rather egg shaped head that is the only Liokaiser Destron team member to not feature fold out pieces.

The colours are just insane on this toy but I love it, there hasn't been a bad repaint of CW Air Raid yet. My only problem is that both the slots and tabs for holding the arms onto the wings in arms mode are painted making them impossible to fit together properly in that mode.

More Combiner Wars Decepticon Jet limbs please!


There are not many options for repainting Sky Lynx. In fact your best bet might to be go something mad and shattered glass. But Hasbro managed to come up with a sane, albeit slightly off the wall, suggestion in a new version of Deathsaurus. The main connection here would appear to be likening Deathsaurus' upright dragon mode to Sky Lynx's 4 legged dino beast. It's odd, but it kind of works ..... and kind of doesn't either.

To be clear, throughout this review the original Destron leader is referred to as Deathsaurus, as that's the version of the name I'm used to, and the new toy is Dezarus as per the spelling on the box

The only real piece of remoulding in Dezarus' modes adds a sharper swept back crest to the top of Sky Lynx's head and shuttle, much larger than the small one which was already there. It looks like they've cut that chunk out of the existing mould and plonked a new piece in as there's a very visible gap between the old and new pieces.

Otherwise the differences are supplied by remoulding and paint. The head and jaw, previously white, are now an off white as are the combined mode lower chest & waist, which were blue. The new combine mode head *LOOKS* to be moulded in the same white plastic, but I wouldn't bet my life on it. The rest of the white all becomes greeny blue as does the red used previously on the lower legs. The red on the upper legs, and some of the neck joints, stays red which looks a little odd in "dragon" mode. The rest of the neck joints and all the grey becomes a pale blue. Blue paws become black. Black paint is used abundently.

For a new version of Deathsaurus these are some odd colours. Liokaiser fans will recognise them from Leozack which gives a hint at the combined form's purpose. I can see why they went Dezarus with the name. It doesn't quite fit the toy, but fits it better than Leozack would and helps maintain the Victory Breastforce connection than any other name choice.


Liokaiser is a very much desired Japanese toy which would probably in most people's top 3 Most Wanted Japanese Reissues lists. Most of the components lend themselves well to repaints of existing Combiner Wars toys. Drillhorn & Killbison become CW Drillhorn & Iron Bison by repainting Brawl and his remould Nosecone while Hellbat & Gaihawkare turned into Combiner Wars Fellbat & Guyhawk by repainting Combiner Wars Skydive & his remould Air Raid. Guyhawk & Hellbat are so similar I'd have been tempted to use the same toy twice and the remoulding between the two Combiner Wars jets makes them feel slightly too far apart. In all cases the effect is completed by a new robot head but otherwise they're very similar to their Combiner Wars predecessors.

The problem is Leozack & Jaruga, who form the original Liokaiser's body. All Combiner Wars toys have had a single body and, for better or worse, the use of two new toys for a giftset combiner torso was ruled out, which is where our Sky Lynx remould Dezarus comes in. Whatever doubts you have about Sky Lynx as a new version of Deathsaurus it makes an exceptional impersonation of Leozack & Jaruga's torso mode. Dezarus' shuttle tail fins, and the rear beast legs when painted as they are do a great impression of Leozack's cockpit and chest formed from his wings aided by some gold paint in just the right place on the legs to hint at the wing details. We have a new head, similar to the last one, but looking a lot more like Liokaiser's head complete with faceplate. The sides of the head appear to be the same off white plastic used elsewhere on Dezarus but the top of the head is black, like other paint apps, where it might have been nice to have a green/blue paint app to match the plastic.

Throw a couple of extra CW jets dual cannons into the box and a preassembled Arms Micron Gul as Iron Scythe, to represent the Breast Force companions, and you've got a decent set. Yes there might be some doubts about the individual robots but, combined, this feels like Liokaiser even though the torso isn't formed out of Liokaiser's original two body components. I might hesitate if you want the individual bots buts for a combined Liokaiser I think this makes a really good attempt at the original which hasn't quite been captured by the photos of it out there.

An Entertainment Earth exclusive in the US, it was available from far east suppliers in late September 2016.


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