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TFC Toys
by yo go re

It is no kind of secret to anyone who's read this site for long that I am a fan of the Constructicons. I own nearly as many Devastators as I own Optimus Primes, and I own a lot of Optimus Primes. So when I heard there was going to be a third-party knockoff, I began salivating like Pavlov's dog.

Of course, it was not a cheap toy: each of the component figures cost upward of $100, which would definitely blow my toy budget. But a serendipitous alignment of cash in-flow and an unbeatable sale meant I finally got the big guy to call my own!

And "big" is no exaggeration. Each of the component robots were pretty large on their own, so their assembled form is most mighty! He's about 15" tall, give or take a half inch depending on how you pose him. He's even bigger than the Palisades statue! Judging by the size of the driver's compartment on most of the vehicles (and accounting for a little mass-shifting to make things fit together), he appears to be close to the same 1:60 scale as the Masterpiece Seekers; so in real-world terms, Hercules would be 75 feet tall - eight stories! No wonder he's the king of Transformers! Well, my king of Transformers.

The individual Buildicons (or whatever you want to call them) plug together using the same kind of big pegs the Energon combiners used. In fact, they're interchangeable, if you want to "Scramble City" them around a bit. The pegs hold tightly, but pull apart when you want them to. They also serve as articulation points. Dr. Crank's crane arm gets offset to the left so it's out of the way of the head, while the bits of kibble from Madblender and Structor combine to form the big purple plate on the chest.

Hercules (or is it "The Hercules?") has side-to-side ankle motion, swivel/hinge knees, swivel thighs, swivel/hinge hips, swivel waist, eight finger hinges in each hand, ditto a thumb hinge and balljoint, swivel/​hinge wrists, swivel/​hinge elbows, swivel/​hinge shoulders, and a balljointed head. Of course, there are lost of other little moving bits from the various individual robots, but those are all the major joints. Most of the joints are ratcheted, so he'll stand up even in dynamic poses. But if you're going to leave him on display for long, you'll probably want to stick to something more upright and restrained.

Despite being big enough to beat anyone who fights him into dust, Hercules is armed with a big blaster rifle. Taking a cue from absolutely everything else about TFC Toys' Buildicons, it's done in a clever, mostly self-contained way: the six blasters the individual robots came with combine to form the larger gun! Oh, that's outstanding! The pieces can be assembled however you prefer, though obviously some bits fit together better than others. And since each robot came with both a purple and a translucent red gun, you can throw in some color if you feel like.

And speaking of translucent red, Hercules gets light-piped eyes just like the rest of the robots do. There are also a few spots around his head that let the line come shining through. The cartoon went back and forth on whether Devastator had eyes or a visor, but Hercules has the option for either: there are two eyes molded on the face, but you can cover them with the visor that came with Neckbreaker - it fits a lot better here than there. Of course, the piece is very flimsy over the bridge of the nose, and could break easily. We can tell you from experience, though, that even if it breaks, the two halves will still attach to the face (fairly) securely. First-hand experience, here.

If you count him as one item rather than the gestalt of six individual figures, TFC Toys' Hercules is the most expensive toy I've ever bought. But despite that, I don't feel cheated by the final product. I buy a lot of stuff that, upon reflection, I should have held out for a lower price on. We all do. But the individual robots are decent, and their combined form is amazing. Hercules definitely isn't a toy we can recommend to everyone, but if it's one you want, and one you're willing to pay for, you're going to love it.

Now, who's gonna give me some money to buy Maketoys' Green Giant?

Exgraver | Heavy Labor | Structor | Dr. Crank | Neckbreaker | Madblender

-- 08/06/13

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