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Transformers Combiner Wars
by yo go re

Ah, push it! Push it real good!

Bonecrusher is a bulldozer, because that's what Bonecrushers usually are. Reportedly, he's capable of moving 30 miles per hour (four times faster than the average bulldozer) and exerting a force of 800,000 psi, equal to the pressure 120 miles below the surface of the Earth. Forget stealing energy sources, the Decepticons could just have Bonecrusher create diamonds and buy all the energy they wanted!

The bulldozer is 5¾" long, 3" wide, and more than 2⅝" tall. In Generation 1, it was a small dozer, the sort that might be used in average home construction; but judging by the ladders on the sides of this one, and the size of the cab on top, this is one of those huge numbers used in the mining industry. The blade is hinged, so you can move it up and down, and there are wheels under the treads.

Back in the day, Bonecrusher came with a piece of Devastator Kibble that could either hold the big guy's hand, or become a drill launcher that fit on top of the bulldozer. This one, clearly, does not. There's a piece that's similar, but it neither turns into a drill nor attaches to the vehicle in any way. The best you can do is rest it on top of the hood, with the handle tucked into a gap.

Converting Bonecrusher is a little tricky. It's not because any of the moves are particularly confusing, but there's a bit where you have to swing the tread down to become legs; the plates the hips attach to are really hard to get together, and once you do, they come apart again really easily. It's a really confusing design choice, and weakens an otherwise nice toy.

A rubble-strewn wasteland is Bonecrusher's idea of a beautiful landscape. Rare is the edifice that he feels is better off left standing. For him, demolition is not merely a job - it is a performance. He loves to show off for his comrades. And Megatron realizes that the fear and terror sowed by this Constructicon's wild ways are bonus by-products that can only help the Decepticon conquest of Earth's resources. Bonecrusher's attitude about the world around him can best be summed up by his personal credo: "Everything is dust - or it will be when I get through with it!"

The original Bonecrusher didn't have much in the way of a face - like most of the Constructicons, he had a remarkably square head, but his only facial features were a big visor that took up half his face, and a small bump on his chin. This one is based on the cartoon, with a smaller visor, a nose and a mouth, and the box is part of the head, not a separate feature.

Takara's release favors the cartoon for the paint details, as well. The chest has just a few spots of red and purple, and the arms are fully green; if you buy either of the US releases, you'll get silver outlining on the chest and a lot more detail on the arms. You win this round, North America! The bucket sits a little too high on the torso, so he constantly looks like his chin is tucked down against his chest. The sculpt matches the shapes seen on the old decals, which is a nice touch. The upper body ends up larger than the lower, which wasn't the case in 1985.

Even the articulation shows no improvement - Japanese Bonecrusher (ボーンクラッシャー, Bōnkurasshā) has all the same joints as the US release, and no extras. The head is a balljoint, but doesn't have the range to do much other than swivel. The waist turns, but the chest armor is attached below the joint, so it stays still. He has rocker ankles, but if you pose the legs that wildly, the hips will pop out of place. On the plus side, Takara gave him a little black laser pistol that Hasbro did not. No matter which one you get, He can use the Devastator kibble as a large, handheld rocket launcher.

Turning Bonecrusher into Devastator's arm is very simple: you just unfold a bit of kibble from the bottom of the vehicle mode, and reposition the blade slightly. As in the '80s, the actual forearm is a separate piece you have to attach. The forearm is detailed really nicely, with little pistons and whatnot that make it look like a functioning piece of machinery. Unfortunately, it's hollow on one side, limiting the angles from which it looks cool. Also, the short pegs that allow the fist to flip out and replace the missile are so short that the entire thing tends to pop out of place when you try to turn the wrist. You kind of have to pinch the sides when you turn it, to keep everything where it should be. The arm attaches to one of Hook's large black tabs, while a smaller tab on Long Haul's arm attaches to the treads to keep everything stable.

Bonecrusher isn't very exciting by himself. The vehicle is kind of plain, the transformation is at times frustrating, and the robot feels slightly too skinny to befit such a destructive character - remember, he's supposed to have thick titanium-steel skin to protect him during the many, many times that he's accidentally knocked something down on top of himself and gotten stuck underneath. But, he turns into an arm, and he's got five friends backing him up and making him a lot more fun than he'd be by himself.

Hook | Long Haul | Scavenger | Bonecrusher | Scrapper | Mixmaster

-- 03/29/16

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