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Transformers Classics
by yo go re

Wolverine, Edward Elric, Joe Pesci... every story needs its short angry guy.

To Brawn, Earth is essentially a hostile environment - and he loves it. Strong, rugged, agile - the most macho of all Autobots. Delights in challenges. Sorry for those not as tough as himself. Second strongest Autobot - can lift 190,000 pounds and knock down a small building with one punch. High resistance to artillery fire. Vulnerable to attack by electromagnetic waves.

Like a D&D character who sunk all his stats into STR and CON, Brawn is very good at hitting things, but not very good at thinking about the consequences of doing so. Yes, he can knock down a building with one punch, but rarely will he pause to make sure it's the right building he's knocking down. His circuitry is unsophisticated, and most of his components are just designed for brute force.

Brawn is packaged in robot mode, but slightly mistransformed: his arms are upside down, with the shoulders down near his hips. Brawn was always one of those characters who looked entirely different when you compared the toy to the cartoon, and like most Classics figures, this one favors the animation model. The old toy's head looked like a Cylon Centurion, while this one gets a real face - eyes, nose, mouth... everything.

Articulation isn't the greatest, but the figure's only 3" tall, so what do you expect? He gets ball-and-socket joints for the shoulders and hips, and that's it. Because of the way his legs are constructed, you can just get a smidgen of motion out of his knees, but it's not an intentional design feature. His chest is orange with a silver Autobot logo, and he gets two shades of gray for his limbs: light for the legs, and darker for the arms (matching his head). Bonus points for giving the bottoms of his feet a slight angle, so he can stand naturally with his legs slightly part.

Brawn was one of the original Transformers, released in 1984: in fact, due to the way the catalogs were laid out, he was the first Transformer identified by name. Back then, he turned into a slightly modified Land Rover Cruiser, and this figure is much the same. It's some generic SUV-type vehicle, 2¾" long, 1¼" wide and 1¼" tall. It's a nice dark shade of green, with black windows (though the rear windows remain unpainted).

The sculptural details on the truck are nice. There's a vent on the hood, and a detailed luggage rack up on the roof. Door handles, turn signals, a gas cap... they didn't skimp on the small stuff. All five wheels roll freely - yes, five. There are the four on the ground, of course, and a spare on the back. The original toy had a spare tire sculpted on the roof, but this one is a separate piece, the same size as the others, mounted to the rear gate. That's unexpected and just a bit unnecessary.

Brawn is a great update, and like we said before, using the Legends-class pricepoint to update the old Mini-Cons is brilliant. At least he was easy to find, unlike some figures we could mention - Cosmos, Warpath, I'm looking at (and still for) you.

-- 12/01/09

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