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Mini-Con Assault Team

Transformers Generations
by yo go re

Let's get small!

When you need a target reduced to a smoldering heap of scrap metal, the Mini-Con Assault Team has the power to get it done. Their combined Centuritron mode is an unstoppable unit of pure destructive force, a walking weapon said to have the power of 100 warriors.

A hundred warriors, Centuritron... I get it! The name originally appeared as one of the choices in the Fan-Built-Bot poll, so I guess that means we should be seeing characters named Eclipse, Charon, Wraith, or even Cashtron in the future (presumably Hasbro had to trademark all the options before revealing them, to keep competitors from jumping on the rights before the voting finished, and it doesn't make sense to let that go to waste). Although, to be honest, if anybody wanted "Cashtron" they could probably just have it.

Centuritron is not an Autobot or a Decepticon - in fact, he's not a Transformer at all! He's a Stentarian, an entire separate race of shape-changing robot folk! Hey, the universe is a big place. They're divided into the Ammonites and the Terradores, but we don't know which faction Centuritron belongs to: he just has the Mini-Con symbol.

This isn't a large bot - he stands only 5¼" tall - but he moves at the shoulders, elbows, hips and knees. He's mainly green and black, with yellow highlights and a pale face. He's armed with a pretty impressive gun that almost looks like three guns jammed together into one fantastic super-gun! I wonder if there's any reason for that?

One of the ways in which Stentarians are better than Transformers is that while TFs are still trying to master Combiner technology, STs are omnicombinational: all of them can combine with all the rest of them, and there's no upper limit. Centuritron isn't quite that complex; he's only made from three smaller guys.

Heavytread is a formidable attacker in his tank form, taking to the frontlines with speed and purpose. His smaller size gives him incredible agility in battle. He is part of the Mini-Con Assault Team alongside Runway and Windshear.

Heavytread is a tiny little brick of a robot - not a brick in the "unposeable" sense, because he's got hinged hips and balljointed shoulders, but a brick in the sense of being wide and square. If Eric Cartman exists on Cybertron, he looks like this. He stands about 3⅛" tall, and carries a giant rifle.

Turning him into a tank is really just a question of putting his arms in front of his chest and flattening his feet. After all, he's a Mini-Con, there isn't meant to be a vastly complex conversion. The black and green colorscheme is maintained here, and a tamp on the lefthand side says "TVCB1D6" - considering that the only Ammonite we've been properly introduced to in the comics was named "16444/9," it's possible that's his name. The big gun Heavytread carried obviously becomes the main gun on the tank.

Runway's blistering speed in the skies spells doom for enemies unlucky enough to be in his sights. Armed with his twin arm-cannons, Runway can take out both long-range and short-range targets with ease. He is part of the Mini-Con Assault Team together with Heavytread and Windshear.

Runway (or "VP51LN," judging by the stamp on his chest) is sleek and angular, like pretty much every Transformer plane ever. Each leg is approximately the size of his entire torso, and his wings stick off the sides of his butt. He's got a pointy head, slender arms, and a big double-barrelled cannon as his main weapon.

The jet mode just looks like the robot is jumping into a pool "cannonball" style. The gun becomes the jet's engines, but unfortunately, the planned paint apps that would have let the piece blend in with the vehicle had to be cut from the budget, so the rear end is just plain black. The spike on top of the robot's shoulders end up looking like machine guns in this mode, which is a nice touch.

Windshear provides combat support for Runway and Heavytread as part of the Mini-Con team. In chopper mode, Windshear is able to fly undetected until it is time to strike.

Windshear is the smallest figure in the set, barely breaking the 2½" mark (not counting the blades on his back). He's got super skinny legs, which make his arms look thick by comparison. The helicopter's rotor drags behind him like a tail, but that does keep him standing. His head is ovoid, and he moves at the knees, hips and shoulders.

He also has the distinction of falling apart more than any other figure in this set: the one shoulder is constantly popping off, and the canopy/cockpit of the hilcopter doesn't want to stay on very well, either. The rotors on top and on the tail spin, and the Gtling gun plugs under the nose. The name "7H37A" is printed on the tail - it sure looks like it says "theta," doesn't it? That would make Runway "upsilon," and Heavytread... Tuck Building? Maybe not.

The Mini-Con Assault Team is packaged with a free reprint comic (as was the style at the time). Their comic is More than Meets the Eye #24, which puts Centuritron on the cover, but inside we just see nameless hordes of Ammonites. Now, Image Comics publisher Eric Stephenson may have chosen to shit all over people who get comics as a pack-in with a toy, but it's actually pretty amazing how engaging this story is even when I'm only getting bits and pieces of it that way. By now I'm able to follow along, and it makes me want to read the whole thing. So, "suck it," I guess?

The idea to make Mini-Cons an entirely separate race is a pretty clever way to bring them into the modern continuity, and making them combiners is a clever way to make me buy them. They work well individually and as Centuritron, so this set is a winner.

-- 03/18/14

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