Devastator – the original – was one of those legendary toys that got away for me. Transformers were often prohibitively expensive, and my parents, somewhat wisely, wanted to contain my collecting within certain lines so that I wouldn’t want everything. And in general, there weren’t a whole lot of them that I wanted, but Optimus Prime was one, and Devastator was another. Something about the purple and green scheme clicked – the other Combiners, with their different colors, seemed like a messy patchwork compared to the unified scheme. And the new toy reflects that – unlike other Combiner Wars figures, he comes with all six vehicles in the one package, and does not feature interchangeable articulation points like the other Combiners, which can mix and match limbs.
Anyway, I was pumped to get a review sample in the mail. Let’s see how he measures up.
Devastator comes in a large window box with a slipcase – once the slipcase is off, there’s a big “bulldozer scoop” that can open up to reveal the robot inside.
For scale, I’ve included the Voyager Class Bayformer Optimus Prime from the last movie line. The box is about the same size as the ones for NECA 18″ figures.
The vac-metallized parts and the head with eyes are exclusive to the Comic-Con version – a Japanese version also exists that includes more old-school weapons and improved articulation on the component robots.
Contrary to something we said earlier, he does not come with a comic book. He does include a Combiner Wars trading card, and an instruction sheet. [UPDATE: supposedly the comic is handed to you separately with purchase.]
LIke the NECA Pacific Rim Jaegers, Devastator comes in a cardboard tray that’s styled like a giant hangar. Though you wonder why he needs it, given that he can split into six vehicles that can use parking spots.
He is a pretty badass bot, but unlike the NECA Jaegers he won’t kill anyone if you hit them in the head. He’s relatively light for his size, and would probably split apart if you whacked him on anything. Striker Eureka, on the other hand, would crush whatever he fell on.
One of the things that dismayed me about the movie Devastator – no, not the nutsack – was that the individual components didn’t turn into separate robots, onscreen or on the toy, despite the fact that there were individual construction-themed robots elsewhere in the story and the toyline. It was just lazy. Fortunately, the Constructicons can stand individually here.
The extra Devastator parts work as handheld or clip-on weapons. Now, while the gang look cool in a group, I do have an issue. They feel light and hollow even moreso that Devastator, and their sculpts are so basic as robots they could almost be Generation 1. They may be Voyager Class, but I think you’d feel ripped off if you bought them individually as Voyagers.
Here’s one next to Deluxe Class Evac, from Universal Studios.
Now, before you argue that Evac is a Bayformer and thus has extra detail that may or may not be pointless, let’s look at a comparison with one of my recent Stunticon acquisitions.
These are both from the Combiner Wars line. If you didn’t know better, would you say they were aesthetically part of the same line? I grant that Devastator’s more complex mechanics may require certain parts to be more solid, but sculpt detail needn’t be lost.
As vehicles, they actually look quite nice.
But is the toy as a whole $180 worth of good? Considering that, say, an equivalent giant robot like Striker Eureka runs $110? I intend to display him as a giant robot, in which form he looks incredibly kickass, and is pretty much market price for one with extra action features. I will say that each individual Constructicon would feel like a ripoff at $30, while the combined form seems reasonable at the full tag.
So if you want Constructicon toys for playing with, rather than a Devastator for display – you may wanna look to the more playable and better-sculpted Superion and Bruticus.