Editor's note: Today we're reviewing Hasbro's SDCC Bruticus box set, so we'd normally review all the figures together. However, since they'll soon be available single-carded, it made sense to give the pieces the full reviews they deserve. To save time, we're posting them all at once, so follow the links for the whole story.
Onslaught believes precision and planning
are the keys to success. He spends hours devising battle plans considering contingencies, and deliberating troop disposition before ever committing his forces to battle. Once the fight is joined, however, no robot is a fiercer fighter.
That bio could just as easily describe the original G1 Onslaught as this guy. He first appeared as a DLC multiplayer character in War for Cybertron, but looks to have an expanded (ie, "real") role in the upcoming Fall of Cybertron. He was also mentioned in the Exodus novel, so basically he's popped up in every piece of "Unified continuity" fiction except Transformers: Prime itself.
Several changes have been made to this toy when compared to the
actual game renders concept art. He's overall skinner and less armored,
which doesn't seem like a sound upgrade strategy on his part. The design of the toy tries its best to copy the game, especially in the chest and the placement of the wheels on his shoulders and shins, but the limbs are noticeably thin. There's an excess of kibble on his back, though that may be unavoidable with three modes' worth of stuff to keep track of. But really: big gaps, giant pieces that obviously belong to other modes... it's not the best.
The head is much larger on the toy than in the art, which is part of what throws off his look. Rather than appearing to have a tiny head protected by a lot of armor (think Starcraft Marines), the head is more proportional to the body. By updating the G1 head, it ends up looking a lot like the head on Universe 2.0 Onslaught.
Onslaught's weapon is a silver, double-barreled cannon that can be held in either hand. Yes, his hands: not mounted behind his head. Yet. Despite the fact that this figure is supposed to be more G1-styled than the normal release (or the ghastly G2 version),
his colors don't really match at all. He's mainly grey with some green highlights, rather than the blue and brown seen in the '80s (or the blue and green from Fall of Cybertron). Odd choice. It seems inspired by this Onslaught. Articulation is mostly good, with one specific oddity: while his head, waist, hips, thighs and knees all move the way you'd expect, his upper arms only move in the most awkward way imaginable, meaning that you have to rely on his elbows (balljoints and ratchet hinges) for any kind of range.
Converting Onslaught isn't terribly complex. Fold over his lower legs, raise the arms, lower his butt-plate, tuck the head away, bend the waist backwards, and put the arms together over the top. The attach the cannon to the pegs on the arms, and you're finished!
The truck is 2½" tall, 4½" long and 3½" at its widest point. Technically that widest point is because of some large chocks used for combining into Bruticus, but so is ¼" of the length.
The G1 Onslaught turned into a flatbed anti-aircraft truck, while this one does not. In fact, there's an utter lack of G1 references in this mode, something that's highly unusual these days. The altmode is some kind of Cybertronian truck, but it's not a flatbed; and while there are two guns on the top, they're not the anti-aircraft sort.
Honestly, it looks more like a pre-Earth version of the SWAT truck than the original Combaticon. Interesting choice!
The shape of the truck really makes it look like a sturdy, armored assault vehicle. The front end is nearly vetical, perfect for ramming through obstacles, while the rest is covered with sharp angles to deflect enemy fire. The wheels are thick and chunky, so they wouldn't puncture when driving over wreckage. The overall appearance is just as game-inaccurate as the robot mode, but it's close enough in all the ways that matter.
Onslaught is a good Transformer - not just because he becomes part of the larger Bruticus, but because he's got a nice design in both robot and vehicle modes. The arms could move better, but that's about the only thing wrong with him. Since he'll be available single-carded in the Generations line (and retooled into Impactor), It's good to know there's more to him than just being someone else's head.
Onslaught | Blast Off | Vortex | Swindle | Brawl