SDCC Combaticons – Brawl

Oh man do I like Brawl!

I mean,  yes, he’s a tad on the scrawny side, but then again the whole set of guys are, so I’m not holding that against him.  There’s just something so I don’t know, simplistic and very G1 Brawl-y about him.  There’s no gimmics, no new shoulder joints (well, sort of, they do fold “out” from the body), nothing tricky or special about his transformation.  He’s just…Brawl.

But here’s the thing – I think I figured out a way to transform his back assembly a bit better and that’s why I’m posting this tonight, because I don’t see anyone else doing it yet and maybe it’ll help.   Initially, he looks like this:

Front view

Side view: Rear of tank hangs down, cannons straight up –

Here’s how I’ve been doing it:

Side view: rear of tank folded all the way up until it “clicks” and cannons pushed forward at an angle –

This removes the “coat tail” kibble behind the legs and gives the cannons a bit more of a dynamic position, allowing for a better firing position like may of the other Transformers with rockets and such on their shoulders.

Perhaps its just me, but I do feel this improves his appearance a bit.  I mean, nothing can be done about the unfortunate placement of that leg attachment post but, even from the back it doesn’t look bad.  The cannons don’t peg in anywhere so they are technically “loose” but still feel sturdy.

I do wish the cannons had hollow barrels.  Mine, again, have a QC paint chip, but I can fix that with a silver paint pen.

At first I felt Brawl’s head should have been black – but once again, after playing the FOC Demo, this is truly game accurate, so I’m fine with it.  Its a great head sculpt, and very Decepticon looking, which is good.

And hey, look at that! a Decepticon sigil!  YAY!

Very magnum-like pistol

Another G1-esque feature of Brawl is his pistol.  The original toy came with a simple battle pistol, as most combiner limbs did, and SDCC Brawl’s carries a similar weapon, though it has a very Magnum like look to it, which is so …so awesome.

Brawl’s alt-mode is, of course, a (Hover) Tank.  He had a design already from War for Cybertron and they did a pretty good job of replicating it, albeit a bit on the small side…and streamlined.    I guess I can see how some people would be put off by it – you could make the argument that its a very lazy alt-mode.  The Tank doesn’t even have proper hover treads like WFC Megatron and in fact just rests on the bottom of the vehicle.  But I’m not sure anything else would have worked without getting in the way of being a limb.

Besides, look how articulate the cannon is!  I mean, 360 and upward angles make it so he can aim just about anywhere.  I like how the pistol fits really well between the cannons too.

Here’s the ‘Bee shot for size:

Knock, knock –
who’s there?

Now, I say this with full confidence – Brawl’s “leg” mode is easily the most successful of the four guys:


Unlike Swindle, who basically just sits on the rear of his vehicle mode (though, that’s MORE G1 than anything here, lol) – Brawl uses several adjustments to his Tank mode to produce a very sturdy, very good looking leg.

Part of the success, not only in foot mode, but in Tank mode as well, has to do with all the wonderful tabs all over.   Brawls body tabs in just about everywhere creating a nice, solid feel that won’t easily come loose during movement:

One of several different lock-in points via tabs

So yeah, I love me some Brawl.  I mean, it doesn’t hurt that he’s basically the Mr. T of the Combaticons, but where some feel this figure isn’t very good, I can’t disagree more.  Mine did have a tough time standing, and this may be a bit common, due to the relatively loose feet in robot mode, but seems my resale value on this set was shot out of the box (I’ll get into it with Onslaught) I did tighten both Brawl’s and Vortex’s hip joints with a touch of super glue, so now he’s a LOT better.

I think Swerve is going to be next.  I’m VERY excited for Swindle, but I feel like saving my last two favorites for last and get Swerve done first.

PS – do yourself a favor and check out Cheat’s re-paint of Bruticus here – it’s all kinds of amazing! If you have the cash, I highly recommend putting in a bid – Cheat’s paint jobs are VERY strong and sturdy, well worth the investment.

We’ll be back after this commercial break!