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N.E.S.T. Bonecrusher

by yo go re

I liked the first Transformers movie. We all did; it wasn't until later they stopped being something you'd go see in the theater. Despite that, I never got any Bonecrusher toy from the first movie, making him the only character I didn't have in one form or another - not even a little Legends Class version! I considered getting the Studio Series release of him, but it disappeared almost immediately. Then came this version, in the Target-exclusive Buzzworthy Bumblebee line.

Bonecrusher gathers intel on a reconnaissance mission disguised as a N.E.S.T. vehicle.

Considering all the jokes (at the time when this movie came out) about how indistinguishable the various Transformers were, it's interesting to go back and compare what we got in 2007 to what we get today. By modern standards, Trans1mers is veritably a slow-paced, plodding film with crystal-clear fight choreography and Decepticons that are color-coded like the rainbow and have silhouettes as distinct as Team Fortress 2. As one reviewer raved, this is very watchable."

Bonecrusher's posture is certainly unique. He has a broad torso on short legs, with a head that sticks out the front of his chest rather than sitting on top of it. He's got long arms, and his feet are basically claws forming a cage around a tire, which is why he can skate along the highway and through busses so easily. As the live-action movie designs got less and less overtly robotic over time, the better one like this looks. Forget a past they have no hope of understanding, this is the kind of thing those "RETVRN" weirdos should be agitating for!

The articulation is as good as it can be. Because of the way his arms are designed, his hands will always face up or his arms will always face in; was there really no way to put some kind of swivel anywhere south of the elbow? Was the digital model similarly handicapped? I hope not, there had to be something Hasbro could have done to make this better. The shape of the head and torso means the neck hinges side to side, while the head simply swivels on the tip of it, giving a nicely inhuman mien when looking around. He has no accessories, but the claws on his back can be folded forward for a direct attack.

Converting Studio Series figures is always a little complex - not quite on the level of Masterpiece or anything, but still fairly involved. Bonecrusher is a bit tough the first few times you change him, in either direction, but soon enough it makes sense. Just remember, you have to turn his legs around individually to face the back, and don't forget about those two little tabs that help hold the hips in place, or the waist won't go where it's supposed to. Plus, the first two tires you get into position are his spares - they're supposed to be on an angle. (That one threw me at first.) Overall this is some impressive engineering, with a lot of bits that look like they'd be faux-kibble turning out to be real parts of the finished vehicle.

Bonecrusher's altmode is a Buffalo mine-disposal vehicle, which is kind of like a bulldozer, but not really. And also a bit ironic, since there was a Beast Wars Maximal who shared the name and turned into an actual buffalo. This military transport has a fork on an articulated arm designed to scoop up any mines that get in its path, but when it was chosen for the film, Michael Bay was fooled by a photo on the manufacturer's site that used forced perspective to make it look like the scoop was as wide as the vehicle itself, instead of a little more than a foot wide. So the props department had to build a larger version that could be affixed to the real one for shooting.

The original Bonecrusher was tan, setting him apart from Brawl's green and Blackout's blue, but this is an exclusive repaint, which sees him redone in s very dark grey, same as the other Buzzworthy movie figure released at the same time, NEST Ratchet. Considering the bio says Bonecrusher is going undercover with NEST, it's probably not too wise a choice for him to have the serial number "4LL H4IL M3947R0N" printed on his side, but no one ever said he was the smartest robot in the world. The truck's wheels roll, and the scoop arm is articulated enough that it can turn around to face in front of him, ready to flip human cars out of his way.

NEST Bonecrusher hung around stores a little longer than the original Studio Series release did, but I still never bought him: in fact, I got this one not at Target, but at Ross when I was desperately (and fruitlessly) trying to find a "Velocitron Speedia 500" Cosmos. There are a few complaints with the toy, but I'm still glad to finally have the last original-movie Transformer who didn't have a spot in my collection.

-- 04/16/24

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