Published on January 9th, 2011 | by Sharp-O0
Mint in Box #8: PCC Bombshock and Combaticons
Back in the 80’s, arguably the best Transformers toys were the combiners. These titans of titanium were formed by teams of five figures or more often incorporating a theme such as construction, rescue, or military vehicles of various design. They’d be able to pull off being a vehicle, a robot and then the limb of a gestalt, and that was the norm for decades. Now, we have a distinct shift in the paradigm with the Power Core Combiners line. This sub-line, introduced last year, consists of scout-class “commander” figures packaged either with a mini-con partner for a two-pack or a set of four drone vehicles in five-packs.
Today’s review is a five-pack from Wave 1 of the line, Bombshock and the Combaticons. And they certainly do look like combat vehicles, all out of scale with each other and on their way to meet their doom at the hands/claws/tails of some giant monster. The main event is obviously Bombshock but I’ll first mention his drone companions. There’s a jeep, a tank, an armoured car and some sort of rocket artillery vehicle. They roll on their wheels and that’s pretty much all they do in this form, moving on.
Bombshock himself takes cues from his ‘85 Combaticon leader grand-pappy, Onslaught. He’s a long-ass flak cannon truck and is pretty dull. In robot mode, this doesn’t improve any since he’s so small and insignificant, even for a scout-class figure. He looks like kind of like a bomb disposal technician so that could explain both his name and his appearance, being as he looks too small for his own skin…. armour…. Whatever.
Well I think it’s time to talk about the main gimmick of these toys. In the old days, combiner limbs came with assorted detritus that had to be pegged onto the toys in various ways to form the limbs. The PCC rectifies this parts leprosy by means of these ugly blue pegs on the commander figure. Just simply slot one of these into the orifice of any vehicle and POW! Automorph extremities! What I mean by that is that the frankly sexual act of plugging a peg into a socket makes the vehicle drones unravel themselves into arms or legs. These pegs and ports are interchangeable with the other five and two-packs but with one limit. Legs will always be legs and arms will only ever be arms. So the more sets you pick up, the more combinations and playability there is. The only drawback to this, especially on the five-pack sets of the first two waves, is that some of the pegs and ports don’t fit quite snugly and have a nasty tendency to pop off. I have that problem with the legs of this figure where the leg pegs are too small and the springs in the leg drones are too strong.
Alright then, let’s get big! Bombshock’s combined mode ends up around the same size as a voyager-class figure and cuts a rather impressive silhouette. Little Bombshock was obviously destined to be this chunk of torso and little else. He certainly looks the powerhouse with his masculine metal mammaries, frightful ferric facade, and abominable asymmetrical arms. Alliteration is fun! In terms of articulation, he’s got everything the nursery rhyme requires. Heads, shoulders, knees and…. waists…. Okay, maybe not all, but you can’t have everything and you especially can’t have elbow joints!
Can I recommend this set? Sort of. If you can find it for cheap, definitely, otherwise go for one of the later wave figures such as the Constructicons or Dinobots. It’s a fun idea with a lot of potential, unfortunately let down by some design flaws in its early outings. For now, Bombshock is returning to the back of my Decepticon shelf to look imposing and tower over my newly acquired Generations Darkmount.
– Richard Sharpe