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Transformers Classics
by yo go re

The old Transformers combiners have been having a rough go of it, lately. One got name-checked in a movie he wasn't even in, one got smushed down into a single body, and yet another has lost his components, leaving just the central hub all by his lonesome.

If Onslaught enters into direct combat, it's only because something has gone wrong with his battle plan. He prefers to remain on the sidelines of a fight, directing the action and revising his tactics second by second. Nothing gives him joy as much as a well-executed ambush, or the swift, organized destruction of an Autobot base. When he must get involved in a fight himself, he does so with cold fury, advancing meticulously across the battlefield with his fire focused on the most dangerous opponent. Every variable in a fight is taken into account in his mind, every possibility assessed, and every contingency planned for.

Onslaught was originally the central component in Bruticus, the gestalt ostensibly formed from WWII Earth vehicles. You know, WWII jeep, WWII helicopter, WWII space shuttle, and so on in that manner. Onslaught was the WWII anti-aircraft truck, but that's been drastically changed for the Universe/Classics line. They're going for mostly realistic, modern vehicles, so they needed something new.

Now Onslaught's altmode is some sort of made-up armored assault vehicle. He's done up with SWAT logos, so maybe he's working for the same precinct as Barricade. There's a giant cannon on the roof, with a spotlight and flashers on the turret. The wagon has six wheels, and two battering rams/scoops on the front. There's a (sculpted) winch between the headlights, and a hatch on the roof opens to give the SWAT team better access. The "serial number" on the front sides - MONZO 12782 - is a reference to a Transfan who was either born on January 27 or December 7 in 1982.

Press a button on the top of the tank, and lights flash as one of two electronic sounds plays: a siren or a burst of gunfire. Unfortunately, the soundchip is screwed up, so it only plays a short blip of audio. A running change will eventually correct this, so that should be nice. Additionally, the middle wheel on the left side activates a "crushing" sound when it turns. A shield can be attached to the roof for "attack mode," but it's not very attacky, is it?

Transformation Conversion is decent, a heck of a lot nicer than the other Ultra class figures in this line. In that he's more involved than "stand up and you're done." There is a bit of a cheat in the process: on the prototype, the hood and winch folded down to form the robot's stomach; on the final thing, the winch stays on the shoulders (split in two), while there's a separate winch sculpted on his waist even before you fold the hood down. Cheaters.

Onslaught's head isn't quite as square as it was in previous depictions, but he does have the trademark paired gun barrels over his shoulders. At 9½" tall, this Onslaught is almost the same height as the combined form of G1 Bruticus - how's that for an upgrade! He has really good articulation, with a swivel neck, shoulders, biceps, wrists, hips and thighs, and hinges at the shoulders, elbows, hips, knees and toes. The major ones are ratcheted, so he'll hold his pose despite his increased weight. There's a flip-out gun on the right arm, and the riot shield can plug onto his left. Pressing the button for the electronics will light his eyes.

As a part of the new Classics 2.0 line, Onslaught is a good toy. Sure, he isn't a combiner any more (not that there are other Universe Classics versions of the Combaticons), but I bet you anything there's a customizer out there working on a way to do it right now. The Japanese "Henkei! Henkei!" version will have colors closer to the orignal toy and cartoon (just darker, basically), but turning what was once a flatbed truck with a gun on the back into a heavy-duty urban assault vehicle has worked really well.

-- 01/13/09

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