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Combined form of the Build Team:
Crush-Bull, Digger, Gran Arm, Iron Lift, Mixing & Treader

Series: Generation 1 Micromasters
Allegiance: Cybertron
Categories: Combiner Micromaster
Year: 2002 (original from 1992)

Prelude: Many thanks to fellow TF-Fan BlackZarak, who loaned me Sixtbuilder here for this review. Also, given that I photographed and took review notes for this toy together with Sixtrain, parts of this review are copied and pasted from Sixtrain's review. I hope you can forgive me.

Micromasters: The Builder Team is composed of six Micromasters. Now the G1-style Micromasters all shared several characteristics in that they were all more or less the same size and their transformation usually entailed nothing more complicated than unfolding the legs and standing the vehicles on end. Done. Given that, I won’t go into the various individual team member’s robot and vehicle modes, just doing a short overview of each of them.

We’re starting with Crush-Bull, who transforms into an aqua-green bulldozer. According to what I found he’s the team leader. The bulldozer is very nicely sculpted given the size and has a moving shovel up front. In robot mode the shovel goes on the back and you have an equally nicely-sculpted robot with a great-looking chest and head. Standard Micromaster articulation in that he can swivel his arms at the shoulders and bend the knees (due to the transformation). All in all, though, very nice for a Micromaster.

Next we have Digger, a yellow excavator with a fully articulate excavator arm on top. The arm is attached to a swivelling control seat and can bend in the middle. The rest of the vehicle is standard, not quite as nicely detailed as Crush-Bull, but still good. In robot mode he looks good as well, though again, not quite as nicely detailed as Crush-Bull. Same articulation, though.

Next up is Granarm, a front loader in orange and red. The loading shovel can move up and down and he has very nicely sculpted wheels. In robot mode Granarm almost looks a bit pudgy, but still nicely detailed for a Micromaster. Same articulation as the first two.

Moving on we have Ironlift, a red crane. Very similar in vehicle mode to Digger, only with a hook at the end of his arm instead of a shovel. He transforms into a lean, tall-looking robot who is still mostly red, but has yellow legs and a nicely sculpted face. Still the same articulation as the previous team members.

Now we come to the very originally-named Mixing, who – big surprise – becomes a cement mixer. No moving parts (apart from the wheels) in this vehicle mode, though the detailing looks very good and mostly makes up for that. The robot has some red highlights to break up the dark aqua-green. Sadly a big screw sits in the center of his chest, messing up his look a bit compared to the others. Same articulation.

Final team member is Treader, a light orange dump truck. A nicely, though not extensively, detailed vehicle mode that actually features the most complicated transformation of the team, as he doesn’t simply unfold his legs, but also uses the front of his truck mode as chest. He could have used a few more colored highlights, though.

So bottom line: six nice Micromaster robots, standard for their times despite their surprisingly good detailing.

Extra Parts: In Sixtrain’s case the various extra parts required to form the combiner robot were intended to attach to the individual vehicles. Not so in Sixbuilder’s case, here the extra parts all come together to form a kind of jet with a seat in the middle. The weapon forms the jet’s nose, the legs and torso form the body, and the feet become the wings. The result manages to look somewhat aerodynamic despite the fact that the robot legs are still clearly recognizable as such. Not a bad way to take care of the extra kibble.

Combiner: The main attraction of this set is, of course, the combining robot Sixbuilder. He’s roughly 40% extra parts, of course, as his upper legs, his outer torso, and his hands and feet all come extra. Mixing and Trader become the legs, Digger and Ironlift become the arms, Granarm becomes the middle of the chest (mostly his shovel), while Crush-Bull... the polite description would be that he becomes the lower back. But actually he becomes the butt. Crush-Bull is Sixbuilder’s butt. I feel like I should write some funny quip about the team leader leading from the rear or maybe that being leader is a shitty job...

Anyway, Sixbuilder is a pretty cool-looking combiner robot. Granted, he’s mostly a statue, as he can only move his arms at the shoulders and turn his head, but he is no slouch in the looks department. I like his head very much and the big rifle he carries looks good as well. He is a tad taller and broader than Sixtrain, too. So bottom line: a very nice combiner robot despite the lack of articulation and definitely the main attraction of this Micromaster team.

Remarks: While Micromasters had taken over the Transformers toyline almost wholesale in 1989 and 1990, they were forgotten soon after. Not so in Japan, where Micromasters still ruled in ’91 (Return of Convoy) and ’92 (Operation Combination). And the big thing were combining Micromasters, six little bots that could join up with some extra parts into a big combiner robot. These Micromaster combiners were reissued multiple times, the latest being the 2002/2003 “Micromasters” Reissue line from Takara. They were extensively repainted and came with several single-color chase variants. Hardly surprising, in Sixbuilder's case the chase variants were in all-green and were called Destron Sixbuilder, who was later reissued for the first Transformers Universe series as Construction Devastator.

Whatever color variant of these Micromasters you may look at, the basic premise remains the same. Six individual robots that are okay for their size, but little more than that, and use a lot of kibble to combine into a nice-looking combiner robot. I guess it’s a matter of a) whether you like Micromasters and b) whether you like combiners with many extra parts. Personally I probably won’t buy Sixbuilder (nor his Devastator-homage counterpart) unless I get a really, really good bargain, but that’s more a thing of me not being a Micromaster / Minicon fan in general. Objectively speaking: not a revelation, but not bad, either.

Rating: C+
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