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Series: TFC Toys
Allegiance: Decepticon
Year: 2015

Prelude: Legal stuff first as always. Minos is not a product released by Hasbro or Takara-Tomy and thus not officially a Transformers toy. He hails from third party company TFC Toys and is clearly meant to be Hellbat of the Breastforce, but for legal reasons he can’t be called by that name. Instead he gets his name from the mythical Greek king of Crete, who upon his death became one of the three judges of the dead in Hades, the Greek underworld. TFC really likes their Greek mythology, it seems.

Robot Mode: For all that he transforms into a jet, there is very little classic jet-former about Minos. In fact looking at him from the front you see very little of his alternate mode at all, as he presents himself as a sleek, lean robot in blue, black, and white. You see the tips of the jet wings peek out above his shoulders, but that’s pretty much it. Only from the back do you see that he has the front portion of his jet mode on his back as a rucksack, but it’s pretty sleek and doesn’t hinder him in any way.

Minos is a very nicely articulated robot, featuring double-jointed elbows, twisting wrists, and just about every other joint you need for dynamic poses. The only slight limitation is that his bulky lower legs prevent his knees from bending farther back than about 70 degrees, but that’s still quite enough for posing. He has a very nicely sculpted head that bears a strong resemblance to Hellbat’s noggin’ from the Victory cartoon series and he can even pull off that weird hypnotic dance pose Hellbat did. Very nicely done.

The original Hellbat toy was part of the ‘Breast-Force’, Transformer with detachable breast plates that could transform into animals and handguns. More on that below. Just saying here that Minos has fully realized this strangely-named gimmick and looks good with and without his detachable breast plate. Overall Minos is a really cool robot. Very nicely detailed, fully poseable, and no flaws worth mentioning. Two thumbs up.

Alternate Mode: Minos transforms into a blue Rafale (French for squall / gust of wind) fighter jet from the French Dassault Aviation company, used by the French Aéronavale (Navy) and Armée de l’Air (Air Force). Despite being a pretty basic transformation, Minos just lays down on his stomach and tucks in his arms and legs, basically, the resulting jet looks pretty good and streamlined with no visible robot bits except for the crown of the robot head peeking out underneath. The jet does have an underbelly, as most jet Transformers do, but overall it looks pretty good.

Features include an opening cockpit, a working landing gear, working wing flaps, and you can mount Minos’ bat companion underneath in gun mode, though that doesn’t look all that great in my opinion. Anyway, there is nothing wrong with this jet mode at all, it’s very nicely done. No complaints and thumbs up.

Partner / Accessory: Minos comes with a small add-on figure that can transform from a bat-like creature into a gun and into his breast plate. The TFC version doesn’t have a name of its own, the accessory of the original G1 Hellbat toy was named Kômoribreast. Not a terribly great weapon, but nice as a bat and a chestplate.

Combiner Mode: Minos becomes part of the Hades combiner, aka Liokaiser. He transforms into either the right or left arm of the combiner (the figure comes with both a right and a left hand). I’ll do a separate review of Hades once I’ve assembled the entire combiner team.

Remarks: In many ways the Japan-exclusive Victory cartoon was your typical Transformers story. You had a group of bad guys looking to gather energy with a group of good guys trying to stop them. The bad guy leader, Deszaras, had a second-in-command, Leozack, who secretly (or not so secretly at times) wanted to topple him. The classic Megatron-Starscream relationship. The new thing here, though, was that this time the Starscream, Leozack, had his own Starscream, Hellbat. A cowardly, hypnosis-wielding schemer, who tried his best to undermine Leozack in order to take his place as Deszaras’ second. He even went so far as to kill one of this own teammates, Deathcobra, just to ensure his place in the team (no worries, he successfully blamed it on the Cybertrons/Autobots). What a guy, eh?

Now, as is usually the case when it comes to Combiner teams, the main reason for buying any of the individual figures is, of course, to complete the Combiner. Minos is no exception. That said, I quite like this figure on its own, too. Hellbat was an interesting character and Minos nicely captures that image, the robot giving the air of a smooth-talking, treacherous ass. Add a good look, excellent articulation, a good alternate mode and the Bat-Breastplate-Gun, and you’ve got a pretty good Transformers figure. Yeah, you’ll still buy it mostly to combine Hades, but still: recommended to fans of the Japanese G1 series.

Rating: B+
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