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Brawn

Transformers Generations
by yo go re

Let's hear it for righteous anger and supreme self-confidence!

Brawn takes on any challenge thrown his way, even if it is the size of a planet. As one of the strongest and most macho Autobots, Brawn could take out any Decepticon in one punch, easily, or at least he thinks so.

We did already get a "modern" Brawn, but that was nearly a decade ago, back before Universe 2.0 changed over to the Generations line we have now. Considering how much Hasbro loves to rebrand their toylines (there is a pragmatic reason for it: remember, stores like "new" things, and would rather carry the first series of a line than the seventeenth, so changing the name piques retail interest), it's amazing to think that Generations has been running continually since 2010. Sure, it gets rebranded with a new imprint and new packaging design every so often, but officially it's still the same beast. It's just interesting.

The last time there was a Brawn toy, Transformers' directive was "look like the old cartoon." Now it's "look like the current comics." Of course, the current comics' directive is "look like a cross between the toy and the cartoon, but with a lot more panel lines," so Brawn looks like a cross between the toy and the cartoon, but with a lot more panel lines. For instance, he has two curved, vertical bars on the sides of his chest, like he's always had, but rather than being perfectly smooth, they have little support structures, inset rectangles, stuff like that. This sort of upgrade continues over the entire body. So while all the broad strokes are the same as they've always been, this is a much more "realistic" robot, simply by virtue of being covered in extraneous, pointless details.

His colors are very nice. The chest is a bright, vibrant yellow, with matching spots on top of the shoulders, while his legs are a dark green and his forearms and fists are silver. The last Brawn toy had an inexplicable black face, while this one gets a much better silver. Still keeps the blue eyes, though, to attract all the lady-bots.

Brawn has a swivel neck; balljointed shoulders, elbows, and hips; swivel thighs; and hinged knees. Little flaps fold out of the back of his feet to help keep him stable. He has a little shield dealie that can plug into either arm (amusingly enough, making him look slightly like his almost-namesake) or be stowed on his back. There's a piece of immobile kibble that rises up above his head, which is a holdover from the original toy, but still looks annoying here. Especially since it makes it hard to turn his head.

Brawn's altmode is some sort of heavy-duty jeep thing, which is to be expected. It is, like his robot mode, covered in plenty of small sculptural details to help sell the "reality" of him. It does look like the sort of sturdy off-road thing that you'd see rolling around in the wild back country, with thick fenders, a silver brushguard on the front, and a reinforced roof rack with a spare tire in case of emergencies. The vehicle is 3" long, 1⅝" wide and 1½" tall, and all four wheels roll.

Since Brawn is a new Legends-class toy in the Titans Return portion of the line, he has storage space for a Titan Master, and appropriately enough, it's right in the truck's passenger cabin. A hatch consisting of the entire front half of the roof hinges open, and any Titan Master can sit inside there. And since Brawn was also released as a Titan Master, that means he can ride himself. And if you're worried about losing his shield, fear not: everything it would cover is still fully sculpted, so your toy won't look stupid without it.

The last Brawn was a simple little toy, while this one is more complex. The Headmaster gimmick doesn't add much to him, but neither does it get in the way of any fun.

-- 07/18/17


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