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Series: Microblaze Creations
Allegiance: Decepticon
Categories: Voyager
Year: 2014

Review by Laserwave13:

Prelude: This is not an official Transformers toy, but a Third Party figure and upgrade kit. The initial - and so far only - release of Microblaze Creations, meant for nobody less than Fall of Cybertron Bruticus. The upgrade parts go for all four team members, while the leader, Onslaught, gets fully replaced. For copyright reasons the figure does not call itself Onslaught and so far, he calls himself nothing, I believe. Only the set itself is named Military Titans. And we all know how desperately we needed something like this is for FOC Bruticus, so who cares for names? It’s what’s inside and what it can do that counts for us.

Packaging: A simple box of thin cardboard with a blister shell inside holds the figure and all the parts. First thing, this is meant to go with the standard Hasbro retail version, which did not bear the game colors but rather those of a fruit basket. Fans know and lovingly call him Fruiticus. A sticker on the box claims this to be an exclusive first run release including some bonus parts. As far as I know there never was a second run or any other version that did not include those.

The parts are meant to accommodate the foot piece for Swindle and Brawl to fit with your SDCC or Platinum game color versions. Furthermore there is a second face for Bruticus without the mouth plate, called Berserker, which looks stupid and should be forgotten ASAP. So all in all there are three Bruticus options to use this set with. Sadly no optional metallic parts for the Takara release and whether there ever will be a G2 version, who knows? Personally I decided to go with Fruiticus because it fits the new Onslaught and I was never so fond of those mostly unified game colors anyway.

Upgrades: Since this will eat up a lot of time and text if I handled everyone individually, we’ll do this all at once. Vortex and Blast-Off both get a new and pretty big rifle that will transform into the base skeleton of the arm mode. Also, Blast-Off gets two jet-engine-like pieces that combine to make the flamethrower for Bruticus. Not much but all you need.

Brawl and Swindle on the other hand get a lot of new stuff, including upgraded robot modes. Swindle gets a whole new chest and head, leaving the original chest plate on his back. Makes him more bulky and less hollow; looks nice and the colors match almost perfectly. Brawl gets the mother load, though: new hands, a new crotch plate, and new, bigger, and more poseable feet. And if that weren’t enough, he gets a whole set of guns and rocket launchers for his back. The new feet hold the weight of this easily, sadly the knees and hips are not so good. But that is not the fault of the upgrade and it is nice that everything serves a purpose in every mode, no spare parts lying around, what more could you ask for? And on the good side for Brawl, all those parts can stay attached while switching modes, which is kind of impressive. Very nicely done. Of course the only thing the official Onslaught gets is his butt kicked off the team, more than deserved.

Vehicle Mode: At this point you should know that I did get Fruiticus sometime after I bought this upgrade. Before that I saw no reason, as the G2 version did not compel me to invest in other releases. So no comparison of the vehicle form, but I guess we all know that the official vehicle barely counts as one. Not so on the new guy, he is a big, massive block on wheels. Not really a tank, but something that comes for you and there is no way to stop it. Besides the colors the vehicle may not be perfectly game-accurate, but close enough and far better than the official one. Not overly detailed, but good enough. Only that simply green gun on top looks a bit cheap, but I can live with that. Considering this is a triple changer this may well be his weakest mode, but still very, very nice-looking and a good, solid chunk on wheels that holds together nicely. Nothing to complain, this will roll and bust through anything.

Robot Mode: Transformation to robot mode is not overly difficult, but still involves a lot of steps to get there. Worth doing for a definitely Voyager-sized result and even on that scale he is not among the smallest. He easily towers over his team members - as he should - and looks and feels about three time the size and mass of his original predecessor. Like the vehicle his robot mode is also not entirely game accurate, but again: more than close enough. Less blocky, but then again very nicely articulated given his proportions. He incorporates every joint you could ask for except wrist and waist swivels. But since his arms can twist at the shoulder and the elbow, the wrist rotation is superfluous anyway and asking for a waist might have been a bit much due to this triple transformation. But he can easily live without it and hold up some great poses. The open hands as well as his face are sculpted very nice and he looks a bit more detailed than his vehicle.

Plastic quality itself is a bit different than, say, MakeToys or other top companys, but far from cheap or flimsy. So far I had no problems switching between modes or combining him and no QC issues to be found. There are a few small parts that do not hold together perfectly, but considering the amount of joints this is not really a problem and you won’t notice it because it does not affect his stability. The joints that are most important, like his shoulders and arms which will form the waist and upper legs of Bruticus, utilize very strong ratchet joints, so no problems there, either. Even without the combination, this is a very worthwhile standalone figure if you so choose. Definitely an eye-catcher on your WfC / FoC shelf as a real team of Combaticons.

Bruticus: Onslaught is all well and good, but let’s face it: you will buy this for the combined mode, hoping to get a real Bruticus out of it. While Swindle and Brawl transform mostly the same way, you will need to separate Vortex at the waist and Blast-Off, well, you basically rip him to pieces and attach them all individually. Sounds kind of horrible, but it’s easy to do and the Hasbro figures will take no damage from this. Onslaught’s transformation into torso mode is also not hard to do, but satisfyingly complex, involved, and fun. Combining them and setting everything up and into place may take a while but when done, this is Bruticus like you’ve never seen him before. Transformed from a thin, disproportionate flabby shadow of himself back to a very big, massive, and imposingly strong looking combiner now wearing the name of Bruticus with pride!

The proportions are great and he looks just like the brutal force he should be. His stability and range of motion have improved a lot and everything holds together nicely. Even his head leaves no room for complaints, being the spitting image of the original. But to be honest, what I like most about him are the new hands. These look so very good. Individual fingers with two points of articulation each and a ball-jointed thumb. Those small fingers look really good, not the usual stubby fingers that many combiners have, and guess what: the wrist not just rotates, it can also bend up and down. Love it.

The colors, again, not game accurate, but who cares, they look great and colorful. In this mode Onslaught even shows some metallic paint on his waist. This combination suits me well and I think that, as nice as those extra parts for the SDCC Platinum game color are, a matching Onslaught would also be needed to look as good as this set does. But you could also make a mix of your limbs between all the various version and I think no matter how you do it, this will still look great. At the end of the day this is the Bruticus we all wanted in the beginning. A big, bad, massive, unbeatable, brutal force, that's Bruticus.

Conclusion: For fans of Fall of Cybertron, Bruticus and combiners, this set is not just recommended, but kind of obligatory. Maybe not as perfect as most complete stand-alone Third Party combiners, but considering what this figure can do with three modes and bringing in a lot of upgrade parts for the others, you will definitely get your money’s worth. Had this been made by one of the premier companies like MakeToys or FansProject, it might be all perfect, but also far more expensive, I’m sure. You may find some very minor issues if you are really nitpicky, but otherwise this is a fine first release from Microblaze. Do they have other things in store for us? Who knows, but at least I wouldn’t mind getting this set again if they ever do a full game color or G2 version of it. Now Bruticus can stand proud alongside other Combiner like Feral Rex and Intimidator. Definitely recommended.

Rating: A-
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