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View Full Version : Some Thoughts About Universe Bruticus


jaydisc
23rd November 2008, 04:29 PM
(not a review ;))

Energon was a series that was released in between my two bouts of collecting, but like most collectors, I'm quite partial to combiners, so I've always wanted to acquire Energon Bruticus Maximus and Superion Maximus. I was very excited to hear that they were to be re-released under the Universe moniker, so I shelved my intention to acquire the Energon versions.

Thanks to STL and LCZ128, I acquired Bruticus on Friday... and I love him.

As is the case with many re-releases/re-paints, some of Hasbro's decisions attracted some ire and complaints, most notably the fact that Swindle was done as a Helicopter while Blast-Off was done as a tank. Also, many didn't like the vehicular colors and in TF08's fantastic photos, it appeared that the Energon extremities were of varying colors, drawing further disgruntlement.

Colors
Similarly, Hasbro's decision to make Powerglide a gray A10 with red highlights as opposed to a red A10 with gray highlights, drew the ire of many collectors. Hasbro defended the decision by stating that with the Universe line, realistic colors were of great importance and G1 tributes and homages were not going to trump this in every case. I think this decision is enforced with the colorings of these Combaticons. I find these Combaticons to be considerably more realistic looking color-wise than there Energon comrades. Here are some comparison photos (pardon my bad ones):

http://lindalane.com/temporary/tf/unibruticus8.jpg
http://www.seibertron.com/images/toys/files/25/r_onslaught062.jpg
http://lindalane.com/temporary/tf/unibruticus9.jpg
http://www.seibertron.com/images/toys/files/25/r_bruticus032.jpg

Swindle vs. Blast-Off
Although I can't recall where, I thought I had heard that the decision to swap the land vs. air styles of the two was partly based on the decision that Blast-Off was more suited to a tank (due to the word "Blast" than a helicopter which doesn't really blast off). While this made a slight bit of sense, this theory is either falsified or at the very least incomplete by the poor description of Blast-Off on the back of the box: "Arrogant Loner Astronaut". :p

I've since come up with another theory that perhaps this decision also lends itself to Hasbro's attempt to balance realism and tributes. G1 Blast-Off was brown and purple, and purple isn't a very realistic color for any of these vehicles. Swindle's helicopter alt mode is all pretty exposed in his robot mode, unlike Blast-Off the tank, which can hide its rich purple highlights in alt-mode, but nicely expose them in robot mode, thus providing tribute without sacrificing realism.

Regardless, this never bothered me. I welcome change as much if not more than tribute and it certainly doesn't detract from this great set.

Energon Weapons
When I saw TF08's photos, I thought that the photographer's lighting caused the slight descrepancy in colors of the Energon weapons. On personal inspection, the color difference is quite obvious, but it's not random and without thought. In what I think is a very nice touch, each limb's Energon weapon matches its light piping, it's Energon star hole, and in the case of the tanks, some other clear highlights and in the case of the helicopters, the cockpits. I think it's fantastic! It's extremely hard to capture in photos, but here's a couple tries:

http://lindalane.com/temporary/tf/unibruticus6.jpg
http://lindalane.com/temporary/tf/unibruticus7.jpg

Alt Mode Markings
An other thing worth pointing out is Hasbro's choice of paint-applied writing on each figure:

Onslaught: ON-SLT and C5 (a tip of the hat to his Takara team ID number) on his bonnet.
http://lindalane.com/temporary/tf/unibruticus5.jpg

Swindle: A subtle blend between the character "S" and a dollar sign "$" on his side.
http://lindalane.com/temporary/tf/unibruticus3.jpg

Blast-Off: "B" and "O" on each side of the tank fenders with a star on the bonnet.
http://lindalane.com/temporary/tf/unibruticus2.jpg

Brawl: "1MJ9" ("BRWL" upside-down in calculator-speak)
http://lindalane.com/temporary/tf/unibruticus1.jpg

Vortex: "V-1" on his roof
http://lindalane.com/temporary/tf/unibruticus4.jpg

In my opinion, these are nice subtle touches that show me that Hasbro does "care".

Beyond all of that, I won't get further into a review except to say that I think these guys are all good individual figures and the combined mode is also quite good. The individual articulation on the limb figures is fantastic: ball joints at every joint and Onslaught has all the right joints in the right places, although he is a bit burdened with a backpack. On top of that, Bruticus is arguably the best modern combiner.

Brief Note: I can't be nearly as positive for Universe Superion. The colors aren't realistic at all. Luckily, I acquired Superlink Superion a week ago which I greatly prefer.

Stompy
23rd November 2008, 05:27 PM
Excellent thoughts jay!

I can't wait to open my sets and see for myself. I have always loved the little symbols and words that Hasbro has been putting on a lot of the Universe figures. Subtle nods and easter eggs for those in the know.

Did Classics Devastator actually get a general release here in Australia? I won't mind acquiring one to complete the Energon gestalt set of repaints. Anyone want to part with theirs?

Gutsman Heavy
23rd November 2008, 05:54 PM
Did Classics Devastator actually get a general release here in Australia? I won't mind acquiring one to complete the Energon gestalt set of repaints. Anyone want to part with theirs?

No and No :)

kup
23rd November 2008, 09:55 PM
Saw them in Real life today. I have never been a fan of the mold so the Swindle/Blast off decision on this toy ruined the G1 tribute for me which was its only selling point as far as I was concerned.

TheDirtyDigger
23rd November 2008, 09:57 PM
I just don't like that he's got no fingers/hands and is wearing snow skis. Same, if not more so , goes for his buddy Superion.

Autocon
23rd November 2008, 11:21 PM
what were the original components to bruticus?

tank, helecopter, missile tank, jeep and????

im not so keen anymore

Pulse
23rd November 2008, 11:34 PM
After playing with these today, I still have no desire to obtain them.

what were the original components to bruticus?

tank, helicopter, missile tank, jeep and????


space shuttle :)

griffin
24th November 2008, 01:59 AM
Brawl's lettering makes sense now, sorta. We were trying to work it out at the meet yesterday, but couldn't figure it out. Not sure why they would have it as upside-down 'calculator' lettering.

SilverDragon
24th November 2008, 07:11 PM
Brawl's lettering makes sense now, sorta. We were trying to work it out at the meet yesterday, but couldn't figure it out. Not sure why they would have it as upside-down 'calculator' lettering.

Maybe it looks more realistic that way?

Paulbot
24th November 2008, 07:19 PM
Nice review and photos. I'm hoping I can pick one up tomorrow.

Stompy
24th November 2008, 07:40 PM
After finally opening an playing with the two combiners I must say I am pleased.

Mainly the playabilty that such gestalts give you. Individual bots with alts and then combining. Not to mention the mix and match nature of the limbs. My Bruticus limbs snapped well easily enough. Although, with Superion I had a lot of trouble snapping on the limbs. Especially on the legs as the thigh just keeps swinging down.

I must say that Bruticus individual bots/characters moulds are much more to my liking that Superions. The paint job and detail is very asthetically pleasing. Bruticus' gestalt robot is much mroe human like especially when both copters are used as arms especially with the energon weapons resenbling hands. Top stuff. Now if only I can track down a Classics Devastator.

dirge
25th November 2008, 08:01 PM
I'm really not a fan of this repainted set, but I'm glad you're enjoying it, Jay (:

Sutton
25th November 2008, 08:59 PM
I'll be getting both of these sets, I'm pretty happy with both of them, but with a couple of alterations...

For starters I'll be painting all the hand/foot pieces in either silver/medium gray, maybe black, and I may well be using the alternate arm transformation for Superion to give him slightly better hands.

Apart from that, they're decent little sets. My son has a lot of the original scouts, along with Steamhammer. The scouts are good toys in and of themselves, the fact they combine is just a bonus.

And seriously, does Superion really NEED hands? It's not like he's going to be typing up memoirs in his downtime. There's a LOT of details in the guns that make up the hands on the 'jet' bots. I think a coat of 'boltgun' metal with a really dark wash over the top would make them look fantastic, likewise with his feet. Maybe do Bruticus' extremeties in black.

And another tip, the helicopter guy's guns can be pulled apart so that you get 2 smaller guns, which look awesome John Woo style. There's a leftover piece this way but, you know, meh. I guess you could give those to Onslaught to use as some wierd-ass spiked weapon.

jaydisc
26th November 2008, 12:41 PM
Bruticus Alternate Arm mode:

http://lindalane.com/temporary/tf/DSC04504.jpg

STL
26th November 2008, 11:43 PM
Another Alternate arm mold

http://img135.imageshack.us/img135/8803/dscf4188ah1.jpg

E|dan
27th November 2008, 12:53 PM
I wanna give some on my thoughts on it as well :P
i always wanted combiners...and i went and picked up both of them yesterday..like most of u guys have said..im liking bruticus more then superion..never owning a combiner before, bruticus felt as tough it was made to combine and to be one rather then superion where it was design and built according to the blueprint that was left behind.. just my thoughts tough.

Lint
27th November 2008, 09:16 PM
looked ridiculous in energon and looks ridiculous today. Not even a tamer paint scheme and quirky touches could save him this time in my opinion :D

Deonasis
27th November 2008, 10:06 PM
I'm very happy with Bruticus Max :D
I don't have the Energon versions, but as recolours I will rank them as..
1. Universe Bruticus Max
2. Classics Devastator
3. Universe Superion (some of the Energon colours look better + the fragile chest + poorly shaped limbs = my least favourite)

lcz128
30th November 2008, 09:37 AM
I LOVE the alternate arm configs that you guys came up with. Having just opened mine, that's how mine will be! :D

Thanks boys!
I don't think I need to get the Superlink Bruticus anymore... but we'll see :D

jaydisc
30th November 2008, 10:46 AM
I don't think I need to get the Superlink Bruticus anymore... but we'll see :D

Don't do it. I looks like combined PEZ dispensers.

http://www.seibertron.com/images/toys/files/25/r_bruticus032.jpg

DigDug
30th November 2008, 11:14 AM
I'm still a bit disappointed that Bruticus and Superion weren't slotted into the official 'classics' lineup in keeping with devastator :( Oh well, even with the more complex paint scheme and the absence of rub signs, these 'universe G1s' are still close enough to fit in with the classics range I guess.

Apart from this, the toy is pretty awesome. The combiner arms and legs do seem a little more g1-like when mismatched, still I prefer the tank-legs style. Bruticus' feet aren't so hot in that mode but he appears to be a bit more solid and the hands look mad that way :D They probably would look even better in black or silver though, as Sutton suggested.

GoktimusPrime
30th November 2008, 03:22 PM
Meh, I'm counting my Universe G1 Dirge and Roadbuster as part of my Classics. :p
Odd how these toys aren't officially part of Classics, yet apparently Hasbro's G1 Soundwave reissue is... should be the other way around IMO.

TheDirtyDigger
30th November 2008, 04:14 PM
Both my Universe Bruticus and Superion are staying in their boxes as MISB display pieces and shall not be part of my Classics range.
I think some Acid Storm repaints would make better Classics Aerialbots.

jaydisc
30th November 2008, 04:17 PM
Odd how these toys aren't officially part of Classics, yet apparently Hasbro's G1 Soundwave reissue is... should be the other way around IMO.

Why do you say Soundwave is officially Classics? His packaging says "Commemorative Series"

Wheel-J
30th November 2008, 05:20 PM
Why do you say Soundwave is officially Classics? His packaging says "Commemorative Series"

I also consider soundwave to be part of my classics primarily based on its packaging.
I really like the classics 1.0 packaging and is one of the other reason why I'm keeping them MISB. :)

I found some some reads about the commemorative series on tfwiki (http://tfwiki.net/wiki/Classics_(2006)).

Sutton
30th November 2008, 05:47 PM
I'm still a bit disappointed that Bruticus and Superion weren't slotted into the official 'classics' lineup in keeping with devastator :( Oh well, even with the more complex paint scheme and the absence of rub signs, these 'universe G1s' are still close enough to fit in with the classics range I guess.


Well, it is also known as 'Classics 2.0', even Hasbro called it by that name more than once. They just keep the official name to 'Universe' so they can slot in a few cute oddities here and there, like the odd Beast Wars or Armada figure.

As far as what fits in to a collection as being part of the 'classics' line, I guess it's all a matter of taste. I have an Energon Downshift filling the role of Wheeljack quite admirably, for example. Soundwave is represented by either Cybertron Soundwave Titanium Nappywave (Crud, but more in tone and scale with the regular classics than the larger and more 'severe' Cybertron offering...). The fact Hasbro released a Blaster repaint of the Cybertron Soundwave ratifies it as a legitimate Classics figure, IMO.

I bought a Cybertron Metroplex for my kid's Christmas present yesterday ($50 FTW) and I think that could quite easily pass as Classics Metroplex with a few small paint modifications, same goes for Energon Omega Supreme.

TheDirtyDigger
30th November 2008, 09:20 PM
. I have an Energon Downshift filling the role of Wheeljack quite admirably,

Me too...and when I was intoxicated and bored the other night I made some refinements. (still got a little bit to go)

http://img167.imageshack.us/img167/2977/wjnj7.jpg (http://imageshack.us)

Sutton
1st December 2008, 06:28 AM
Me too...and when I was intoxicated and bored the other night I made some refinements. (still got a little bit to go)

http://img167.imageshack.us/img167/2977/wjnj7.jpg (http://imageshack.us)

Nice start, dude. Thinking the windows need to be black or dark silver...the red detracts. But nice work on the guns - Wheeljack's shotgun is awesome.

TheDirtyDigger
1st December 2008, 08:28 AM
Nice start, dude. Thinking the windows need to be black or dark silver...the red detracts. But nice work on the guns - Wheeljack's shotgun is awesome.

Yeah good idea on the windows. I may not though as I'll only ever display in bot mode so they are pretty much totally unseen. Just want to get rid of all the green bits and may make his legs and feet totally white.

kup
1st December 2008, 09:16 AM
Meh, I'm counting my Universe G1 Dirge and Roadbuster as part of my Classics. :p
Odd how these toys aren't officially part of Classics, yet apparently Hasbro's G1 Soundwave reissue is... should be the other way around IMO.

I think not even Hasbro knows where they are supposed to go so its open to the imagination.

GoktimusPrime
1st December 2008, 12:05 PM
Why do you say Soundwave is officially Classics? His packaging says "Commemorative Series"
Well, he's about as Classics as Ultra Magnus and Skywarp are... :p But yeah, like kup said, Hasbro's made it so ambiguous and confusing that it's hard to tell what goes where.

iceburn
1st December 2008, 12:09 PM
so..the POWER is ours to decide... (Soundwave rulez)

Paulbot
1st December 2008, 12:27 PM
Yes, didn't we have a poll on this already?

kup
1st December 2008, 12:45 PM
Yes, didn't we have a poll on this already?

I think we did and although Soundwave is specifically stamped with the 'Commemorative Logo' making him a part of that reissue line and many of us thought of it as such including myself despite the then 'Classics' themed packaging; there is a new issue to consider:

The new Universe Ravage mold that comes with Hound looks to be specifically made to fit in that Commemorative Soundwave's chest making him also a part of Universe (Classics) as well as a Commemorative Reissue since there is inter-toy interaction. Hound in turn is not really a Universe Classics Series line character but that of the 25th Anniversary subline which by logic is defacto Classics but not officially mentioned as such in package (I need confirmation on this but that's how Hasbro has announced it).

Yes it was a dumb idea to make a 'fit all' line specially when Hasbro has a history of ADD in the past 5 years or so. It has been messed up as where Universe toys belong and its such a jumble that there is not much of a logical pattern without finding gaps and inconsistencies.

Its such as soup of lines that its pretty much open to the imagination and personal interpretation where you want what to go where.

Personally I put the comic packs as part of my War Within collection including the relevant Titanium figures with the exception of Springer who is a bit of a Misc since he doesn't look much like the character and his Botcon 07 toy is a much better character tribute so he is my Classics Springer.

Pulse
1st December 2008, 01:01 PM
Hmmm, so where does Swerve (http://tfwiki.net/wiki/Swerve_%28Chevy%29) fit in? :confused:

Or is he just so damn cool he's a one-of-a-kind... ;)

TheDirtyDigger
1st December 2008, 01:13 PM
Just some words on Ironhide as I've opened mine at work and am playing with him.
Pretty cool but he definitely needs the touch ups lcz saw fit to mark him with. The baby blue face is just wrong.

kurdt_the_goat
1st December 2008, 01:26 PM
The new Universe Ravage mold that comes with Hound looks to be specifically made to fit in that Commemorative Soundwave's chest making him also a part of Universe (Classics) as well as a Commemorative Reissue since there is inter-toy interaction. Hound in turn is not really a Universe Classics Series line character but that of the 25th Anniversary subline which by logic is defacto Classics but not officially mentioned as such in package (I need confirmation on this but that's how Hasbro has announced it).

The Universe Ravage cassette is one cassette thick, like the originals.. therefore designed to fit in all G1 Soundwave toys period, not just the wide chested reissues.

kup
1st December 2008, 01:48 PM
The Universe Ravage cassette is one cassette thick, like the originals.. therefore designed to fit in all G1 Soundwave toys period, not just the wide chested reissues.

ok, I was under the impression that it needed a Soundblaster chest. Cool but it still encourages the same ambiguity as there is no other 'real' Classics Soundwave for it to interact with.

Kyle
1st December 2008, 02:09 PM
I now display my Classics/Henkei and Music Label with some of my G1 Reissues/Encores. The more recent reissues/Encores are shiny and they don't look too bad next to the modern toys. They go quite well together. I see the Classic/Henkei as rebuilt/re-scanned versions of the G1 characters.

d*r*j*
1st December 2008, 02:32 PM
Just some words on Ironhide as I've opened mine at work and am playing with him.
Pretty cool but he definitely needs the touch ups lcz saw fit to mark him with. The baby blue face is just wrong.

I suggest that you do the mod for the head to lift properly and make his gun/ sword thing into a gun metal colour first. If Hasbro are changing the paint applications on this guy for the next wave of figures (which is what they announced) then the baby blue will become a very cool variant figure.

GoktimusPrime
1st December 2008, 02:42 PM
Just some words on Ironhide as I've opened mine at work and am playing with him.
Pretty cool but he definitely needs the touch ups lcz saw fit to mark him with. The baby blue face is just wrong.
^Henkei FTW.

ok, I was under the impression that it needed a Soundblaster chest. Cool but it still encourages the same ambiguity as there is no other 'real' Classics Soundwave for it to interact with.
Yeah but there still is a coolness in the toy being able to interact with G1 Soundwave, as out-of-place as the toy may be with a G1 toy. :p It's like how Happy Meal Armada Hot Shot has Mini-Con ports that you can attach Mini-Cons to. They're dead ports, so they don't activate any gimmicks and the Mini-Cons look weird when attached onto the much smaller Happy Meal Hot Shot toy, but it's still a neat feature IMO. :)

Also, it means that if HasTak decide to make a Universe/Henkei Soundwave in the future, then it ought to be compatable with Universe Ravage - which mean that it would then become compatable with G1 cassettes! :)

TheDirtyDigger
1st December 2008, 02:44 PM
I suggest that you do the mod for the head to lift properly and make his gun/ sword thing into a gun metal colour first. If Hasbro are changing the paint applications on this guy for the next wave of figures (which is what they announced) then the baby blue will become a very cool variant figure.

Link to the head mod please?

Paulbot
1st December 2008, 03:11 PM
Head fix has been discussed here (http://www.otca.com.au/boards/showthread.php?t=2664)

It's starting to look this like chunks of this thread should me merged back into the Universe comments thread as talk has moved on a long way from Jaydisc's Bruticus review.

Mr_K
8th December 2008, 10:04 PM
Hey hey,

just wanted to share my rendition of Bruticus. It is similar to others but of noticable difference is the feet. The feet on the others really bothered be so I changed them slightly and I reckon it works well in terms of look and I know it works well in terms of stability :D

http://img168.imageshack.us/img168/1759/dsc00664qo0.jpg

http://img248.imageshack.us/img248/1843/dsc00666qp8.jpg

STL
8th December 2008, 10:25 PM
Yup, I've done that one awhile back. I find the problem is tha the double arms look too large and then can't be turned as freely. Plus for this version, I think the helicopters must be on the top half to give it a better colour scheme otherwise the legs just clash with the darker top. My personal favourite is Jaydisc's a few pages back.

iceburn
9th December 2008, 08:44 AM
STL and jay...you wanna try this out?

http://i46.photobucket.com/albums/f147/TFmaster01/P6212396.jpg

STL
9th December 2008, 08:50 AM
that does look nice but we won't have the hands... I've got to dig up my parts now and we'll see howte colour scheme goes

jaydisc
9th December 2008, 10:29 AM
WOW Icey! Those arms are awesome. Where'd you find that? I'd like to inquire to the owner where the hands came from! The left leg looks like a Constructicon/Combaticon kitbash too.

jacksplatt11
17th December 2008, 03:52 PM
Got it today, and as I said in the acquisitions thread, the individual bot modes are nothing special, in my opinion anyway, but the combiner factor really redeems it. I feel it's a pretty faithful tribute to the G1 version, apart from the obvious Blast Off as a tank, Swindle as a helicopter etc

The one thing I must mention though, on the back of the box for Blast Off it says "Arrogant Loner Astronaut"... I don't know many tanks that go into space... :confused:

Hereticpoo
18th December 2008, 10:06 AM
Has anyone tried to put the anime hands from the 1/48 valkyries by yamato onto Bruticus? That might look pretty good...:)

GoktimusPrime
18th December 2008, 01:51 PM
where did the head come from, icey?

STL
24th December 2008, 01:04 AM
Got it today, and as I said in the acquisitions thread, the individual bot modes are nothing special, in my opinion anyway, but the combiner factor really redeems it. I feel it's a pretty faithful tribute to the G1 version, apart from the obvious Blast Off as a tank, Swindle as a helicopter etc

The one thing I must mention though, on the back of the box for Blast Off it says "Arrogant Loner Astronaut"... I don't know many tanks that go into space... :confused:

Which of the configurations do u like the most for the combiner?

jacksplatt11
24th December 2008, 01:21 AM
Which of the configurations do u like the most for the combiner?

2 helicopters as arms, 2 tanks as shoulders. The helicopters look more like arms I think, and their energon weapons look pretty much like fingers... The tanks are too bulky for arms I feel but make great legs, and their energon weapons look pretty much like feet.

I don't pay too much attention to which one is on which side or whatever, just 2 tanks as legs and 2 helicopters as arms

autobreadticon
4th January 2009, 10:46 PM
cool both helicopter arms look much cooler now, lame thing is it didn't even occur to me that there could be different ways to config it.:)