Wednesday, 21 December 2016

TFSS 4.0 Thunder Mayhem Review

Transformers Subscription Service 4.0 Grabuge

You're never going to be onto a real winner doing a new version of Ruckus as the sandy beige and purple clash so badly. The Transformers Subscription Service make things harder for themselves by using Off Road, who's pickup truck mode looks NOTHING like Ruckus' traditional Baja Buggy. Honestly they'd have been better giving the seldom used Combiner Wars Dragstrip an airing, just 3 uses in Combiner Wars, painting that purple and beige. The First Aid. version of Off Road would have then made a decent version of his fellow Triggercon Crankcase, currently enjoying popularity as part of the Scavengers.

Not great. and as for the name.....

Transformer Subscription Service 4.0 Windsweeper

Take the Windsweeper colours and do the Skydive mould in them. Job done. Extra Decepticon Combiner Wars jet. Throw in a bio note making reference to the frequently held belief that Windsweeper should be an Autobot Triggerbot, and pack with a Matrix, nicked from the Reveal The Shield Battle in Space set, for the combined mode and you're laughing.

Transformer Subscription Service 4.0 Needlenose

Firefly's visored face makes him an ideal choice to serve as a new version of Needlenose, with Generation Scoop's Targetmasters serving as new versions of the original toys with Holepunch becoming Zigzag, now renamed Zputty, and Caliburst becoming Sunbeam. Coupled with Firefly's original hand gun and HandFootGun there's too many weapons now for the toy toy hold at once!

The only slight moan is that the Harrier Jump Jet vehicle mode isn't quite F-16XL the original had as a jet mode but since it's an extra Decepticon jet and the rest works so well I'm not complaining!

Transformer Subscription Service 4.0 Spinister

Spinister has become a bit of a "go to" Decepticon Helicopter repaint in recent years appearing as a Revenge of the Fallen Legend repaint of Blackout, Botcon version of Tomahawk and a Legends Minicon repaint of Generations Legends Bumblebee's Minicon Blazemaster. Some of these, like the Tomahawk repaint, suited Spinister as they had his distinctive angled nose: why was Cybertron Bulkhead never redone as Spinister? Others didn't and I'm afraid the more rounded nosed Alpha Bravo very much falls into that category even if he does still have helicopter cockpit feet.

Generation Scoop provides the Targetmasters here with Holepunch becoming Hairsplitter, now renamed Shute, and Caliburst becoming Sunbeam, now named Singe. The helicopter & robot are both now very much overloaded for weapons.

Doesn't quite work, but just about makes it into the "it'll do" category.


I can understand why when making a new version of Transformer Subscription Service 4.0 Bludgeon they chose the Combiner Wars Onslaught toy, as it's the closest of the Combiner Wars Voyagers to Bludgeon. However I'm still not sure it's really suited to him. Really Bludgeon should be a tank: If you're going to do him in Combiner Wars make him a Brawl repaint.


Although, in my opinion, Combiner Wars SHOULD have a Voyager Tank & combiner core available. I'd have done Megatron as a Voyager, to face off against Optimus Prime with Galvatron as his powered up combined mode. Do it initially in silver as Megatron then in G2 Green, Archforce Purple, Megaplex Grey & Blue and then whatever colour you want Bludgeon to be. I'd do the Tank & Voyager robot in the Bludgeon inner robot colours with the skull head folding out for the combined mode. Instead Combiner Wars gave us a Leader toy which didn't really fit with the rest of the range and struggled to sell it's repaint!


They've gone for Bludgeon's inner robot colours for the Voyager here too and I'm not sure it really works. The main body of the vehicle is green, with patches of brown and purple guns. Given that it's an unfamiliar vehicle mode I might have been tempted to go form the shell's orange. The combined mode's white head, concealed on the publicity image by text, also shows up really clearly in the middle of the turret where the Bruticus head previously blended in.

The new swords are nice, recyclced for Transformers Go Optimus Exprime but they don't quite work as the handles are too long for the closed ends of the robot mode's fists. Unfortunately that's the least of the robot mode's problems!

The robot looks even more patchwork with a large amount of brown revealed revealed on the chest and the shell's orange introduced on the shoulders. There's a new leering visored head in this mode and I really can't tell what it's aiming for. I suppose it's a bit like his boxart. If anyone recalls Bludgeon's original head then they think "skull in samurai helmet", nobody remembers the inner robot head! NEST Bludgeon used the Pretender shell's head and when Generations did a new version of Skullgrin as a Darkmount/Straxus repaint they stuck the Pretender head on the robot's body because it's more distinctive. I could just about, JUST ABOUT, accept this as Bludgeon's inner robot with a different vehicle mode if the combined mode was intended to be the shell with that head. But it isn't and there lies more problems.

Transformer Subscription Service 4.0 Thunder Mayhem

There are some good multicoloured combiners out there. Abominus from the 80s. Sky Reign.Optimus Maximus, if it uses the Red Voyager Optimus instead of Battle Core Optimus. Grand Galvatron is superb.

This is however is a train wreck of the highest order.

Physically EVERYTHING clashes. EVERYTHING. The main culprit is all the green on the chest and body which doesn't work with Vortex's pink. Or Grabuge's mutually clashing purple & beige. Or Windsweeper's red. Needlenose escapes by mainly being a more neutral grey.

The swords don't work in this mode, the handles don't recess into the combined mode fists without stressing the plastic. Not good.

The combined mode is, like we've said, not meant to be Bludgeon instead it's Thunderwing. THUNDERWING. OK, I get the connection all the toys in this set were in various versions of the Mayhem Attack Squad with Thunderwing. But the colours in no way suggest Thunderwing at all, who's mainly grey. They've slapped some off white paint on the chest but it's not nearly enough, the entire chest & waist piece needed to be that colour. Then there's the head. The collectors club hasn't had a good year in 2016 with their new heads. Ravage & Tigatron were distinctly 2d, you really don't wan to see these side on, and Impactor's head lost something in translation from design to plastic. Thunder Mayhem's head looked like a grinning loon from the word go though! OK the original Thunderwing head ain't great but they did a decent job with the Generations toy.

We mentioned that Voyager Bludgeon would have worked better if the combined mode had been his Pretender form and I think the same is true here. If you want to do Thunderwing then make him a Combiner Wars Silverbolt repaint as his inner robot and jet and stick the Thunderwing Pretender Shell head on instead of Superion's as a Matrix powered up Thunderewing.

A disaster as a combined mode!

Of the set the two jets are good, and the helicopter will do. The rest could be so much better, I'd have done the Ruckus from Mirage instead of Off-road. I'd have also thrown two extra toys in, instead of the Autobots in TFSS 4.0, to complete the sub groups involved, making Quake from Brawl and Crankcase from First Aid.

Club could have done so much better with their 2016 combiner, not impressed at all!

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