I go through phases when it comes to my love affair with Transformers, and typically those phases follow along the track of a particular animated series. This started in the 90s with Beast Wars, then resumed with Transformers: Animated, then Transformers: Prime.
Interestingly, however, is that while I am once again aggressively buying retail Transformers, it’s not because of Robots in Disguise now, it’s because of Combiner Wars. No, there’s no cartoon to draw me into that universe, but I’ve always loved Combiners, and yes, I know Hasbro has done plenty of them in the past, but they’ve always seemed somewhat hacked together and an afterthought. I thought that maybe, just maybe, an entire line devoted to the combiner concept might get some of the ideas right.
Oh yeah. They did.
I hesitated to pick up Skydive a couple of weeks ago, using a gift card left over from Christmas, and I was immediately hooked. It was a great figure with a pretty basic transformation that functioned really well in both modes. Considering Superion was one of the only combiners I actually owned every piece of in my childhood, this was a no-brainer.
But I just couldn’t leave Drag Strip on the pegs, and so once I got Drag Strip, I knew I’d get all the Stunticons, too, which was okay, because everyone knows that a Superion needs a Menasor. It’s just how it’s done.
I haven’t gotten my hands on any limbs beyond Drag Strip yet, but I picked up a Motormaster from Amazon and I have to say, he’s pretty awesome. I still use Classics Optimus Prime as my default Prime, so I felt no need to pick up the new Combiner Wars version. As such, Motormaster is a brand new experience for me, and even though he doesn’t very strongly resemble the full semi truck of the old days, he’s a great, fun toy nonetheless. He has his familiar new head, and just the right amount of scattered tooling changes to make him feel new, even if you have Optimus. Like the other Combiner Wars figures, his transformation isn’t overly complex, a fact that I love. I don’t want to have to have an engineering degree just to play with my toys.
I love this figure in truck form and in robot form, and even though I only have one of his limbs, he looks good so far in Menasor torso mode, too.
Now, one thing I didn’t realize is that Menasor would look horrifically incomplete without Blackjack, leaving a large cavity in his chest, which didn’t look entirely right to me. But that will be the subject of a different review.
I don’t always buy Transformers, so when I do, it’s because Hasbro is doing something right…normally it’s the aesthetics of the animation models that hook me, but this time it’s straight up awesome looking toys that did it, and I’m glad for it.
Menasor looks woefully incomplete and Motormaster stands somewhat alone at the moment, so I’ll be eagerly anticipating the other Stunticons to arrive.