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Series: TFC Toys
Allegiance: Decepticon
Year: 2012

Prelude: Legal stuff first, as always. Neckbreaker is not an official Transformers product from Hasbro or Takara-Tomy, he hails from third party provider TFC Toys. He’s clearly meant to be an updated version of G1 Bonecrusher, but for legal reasons he can’t be called by that name.

Robot Mode: As always, let’s start with the resemblance to the original. Bonecrusher and Neckbreaker really don’t look that much alike. Yes, they both got the crawler tracks of their alternate modes as legs, but that’s pretty much it. Okay, technically they both have the big bulldozer blade on their chests (or part of it in Neckbreaker’s case), but while the design is similar, the look is vastly different. So while the two robots share some similarities, they don’t really look alike.

Articulation and detail work adhere to the same standard as the other TFC Not-Constructicons, meaning they’re pretty good. The only slight hindrance are the parts of the bulldozer blade that adorn the top of Neckbreaker’s legs, but he can still pull off plenty of poses without problem, it just needs a little fiddling now and then. There are multiple ways to position the pistons on Neckbreaker’s shoulders, either flat or at various angles, so you can be a bit creative here. Just like all the TFC members he carries two guns, one purple and one translucent red.

Neckbreaker has the same problem in robot mode that Exgraver has. He has that big hand belonging to the Hercules combiner with him and no good place to put it. It just hangs off his back in robot mode, clearly visible, and you can’t even hide it with a shovel or anything. So the best way is to simply leave it off somewhere to the side and pretend it vanishes into subspace.

So all in all Neckbreaker has a good robot mode, but just like Exgraver he has that big hand issue. If you leave the hand aside, though, he’s fully okay and has a decent, if somewhat unspectacular robot mode.

Alternate Mode: Neckbreaker transforms into a bulldozer, or rather, into a more or less bulldozer-shaped collection of parts. The blade up front and the crawler threads look good, but the rest of the vehicle looks pretty pieced-together. You don’t necessarily recognize it as a folded-together robot, but the body of the vehicle is quite obviously not a single piece. Also, while Neckbreaker shares Exgraver’s inability to hide the big Hercules hand in robot mode, unlike Exgraver he can’t properly hide it in vehicle mode, either. It hangs off the back of the vehicle. A little less obvious than in robot mode, but still: it’s a pieced-together bulldozer with a big purple hand hanging off its back.

Play value is also strictly limited here. The bulldozer blade can move up and down, but doing so without it coming apart in your hands requires quite a bit of finesse and it doesn’t move that far up and down to begin with. So the bottom line for the vehicle mode is simply this: leave him in robot mode or better yet, leave him as the Hercules arm.

Combiner Mode: Neckbreaker becomes the left arm of the Hercules combiner, for whom I’ll do a separate review here on TFU.

Remarks: Bonecrusher was far from the most prolific of the Constructicons and his characterization was mostly about how he liked to demolish stuff. Like most of the team (except Long Haul) he did get to be team leader once, as he lead the Constructicons in the Marvel comic story “Totalled!” when they recovered Decepticon prisoners from the Ark. Apart from that, though, he’s mostly been a follower.

Transformers with bulldozers for an alternate mode seem to be a bit cursed. Sure, G1 Bonecrusher wasn’t any better or worse than the other Constructicons and RID Wedge was a cool little guy, but starting with Armada Scavenger and continuing right to ROTF Rampage, we haven’t really seen that many good Bulldozer-Transformers. Neckbreaker doesn’t break that trend, unfortunately. He’s not bad as such, but neither is he particularly good and at the price point he comes at, I’d have expected a bit more. So the bottom line here is quite simple: you’re going to have to get this guy to complete your Hercules, but that’s pretty much the only reason to get him. Otherwise I’d think twice about getting him even at a normal Voyager price and wouldn’t even consider him at the price he comes at.

Rating: C-
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