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with Groundspike

Series: Power Core Combiners
Allegiance: Autobot
Categories: Commander
Year: 2010

At his core, Heavytread is a gentle soul. He enjoys the fragile beauty of Earth, appreciating it all the more because of the ease with which it could be ruined. He is glad of the power he now wields, because it gives him the ability to defend the delicate creatures he loves.

Robot Mode: A stocky little robot, Heavytread can’t really hide what it is he transforms into. He’s got tank treads on his arms and legs and a big gun turret as a rucksack on his back. One very positive thing I'd like to note right here: unlike many other tank-formers who have their turret on the back, Heavytread can actually still use the tank's gun in robot mode. The turret can slide forward/upward into his shoulders behind his head and he only needs to bend over a tiny bit in order to fire. Very nicely done.

Okay, what else can I say here? There is nothing really wrong here, as articulation is good, detailing is good, everything works as it’s supposed to, no complaints. Just about the only thing I don’t like is that Hasbro chose to colour their Powercore connecting ports a bright blue, no matter the colour scheme of the toy in question. If those things on his arms had the same colour as the rest, you’d barely notice them. But being bright blue, they stick out. That’s pretty much the only downside here, though.

Well, not quite. One other thing that slightly bothers me is the lack of hands. Heavytread has a hole in his right forearm where he can stick in his Minicon partner in weapon mode (see below), but that’s it. Not even any sculpting around it to simulate a hand. That’s my last complaint, though. Otherwise a very nice robot mode, especially considering that it’s been built around a gimmick.

Alternate Mode: As was pretty evident from the robot mode, Heavytread transforms into a tank, more specifically a Merkava tank, an Israeli model that first entered service in 1979 and is still being used today. Not sure what the significance is in a peace-loving, gentle Autobot choosing a tank mode in the first place and of a model that’s seen more military action these last 30+ years than just about any other post-WW2 tank to boot.

Anyway, a very solid tank mode. No visible robot bits, the turret can turn a full 360 degrees, the only negative thing are – once again – the bright blue Power Core combiner ports, which stand out against the camouflage pattern the rest of the tank sports. Apart from that, though: no complaints. A very nice alternate mode.

Partner / Add-On: Heavytread’s Minicon partner is called Groundspike. His robot mode looks pretty good, though the translucent blue plastic makes it hard to see much of his detail work. Like all PCC Minicons he has three alternate modes and unlike most of the PCC Minicons the three modes actually manage to look somewhat different. He can become a chest plate for Heavytread in robot or combiner mode, he can become a kind of snow-plow / mine-sweeper attachment for the tank mode, and can also serve as a kind of hook-weapon to be held in hand. So bottom line, definitely one of the better PCC Minicons.

Combiner Mode: Just like every non-Minicon figure from the Power Core Combiner line, Heavytread can become the torso of a combiner robot which can use any of the PCC drones as limbs. The transformation from robot to combiner torso is pretty simple, as Heavytread tucks in his arms and legs and exchanges his smaller head for a bigger one. Well, not quite, the rucksack is configured a big differently, now having the cannon barrel sticking out behind one shoulder and a second, missile-launcher-like barrel being lowered over the other one.

Combiner Heavytread retains the full articulation of the robot in his legs and hip, while his thick construction makes him one of the most stable of the PCC torsos. And while he works just fine with just about every set of drone limbs, he looks really, really cool when combining with the Iron Army dudes. Yes, those aren’t official Transformers, but rather Third Party figures, but still. They look like they’re made for each other. So bottom line, Heavytread makes for a great combiner torso. Best of the entire line in my mind.

Remarks: The Power Core Combiner toy line was a good idea… on paper. Offer up figures with an endlessly interchangeable combiner gimmick, keep it clear of the usual suspects (Optimus, Bumblebee, Starscream, etc.) except for the occasional homage here and there, and just make them good, fun toys. Well, it was that last one that kinda failed in reality. The PCC line did have some great figures, but the emphasis here is “some”. Quite a few were mediocre at best and quite a few fans never got over their disappointment that the drone limbs didn’t have robot modes of their own. And so the PCC line died a quiet death, even as some of the final toys that came out were among the best of the bunch.

Case in point: Heavytread. To me he is quite simply the best of the PCC toys. Good robot mode, good vehicle mode, best combiner torso (though Bombshock comes very, very close), an all-around great package. So unless you’re completely allergic to the entire Power Core Combiner concept for some reason, there is really nothing at all wrong with getting this guy. Oh, and grab the Iron Army dudes, too, while you’re at it.

Rating: A-
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