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Series: Cybertron
Allegiance: Decepticon
Categories: Scout
Year: 2005
Function: Xenobotanist

One of many scientists working for Megatron, Brushguard has dedicated his life to xenobotany - the study of alien plant life. A firm believer in Decepticon supremacy, he hopes to find unique toxins in Earth plants for use against the Autobots and their human allies. Though he dislikes violence, he has been retrofitted to fire short-range bursts of superheated acid from his chest.


Prelude: There have been quite a few scientists among the Transformers, including geologists, engineers, general mad geniuses and so on. Brushguard, however, might be the first botanist, unless you are counting Beast Machines Botanica. So here we have Cybertron Brushguard, the Decepticon version of DC’s Poison Ivy, ready to kill all enemies of the Decepticons in his lethal version of Homes & Gardens. Let’s say go.

Robot Mode: Brushguard is a straight-up repaint of Cybertron Overhaul. No structural changes to the toy apart from removing the molded Autobot symbol on the right shoulder, just a new paintjob. Seeing as it’s been eighteen years since my review of Overhaul, it might be time to take a closer look regardless. Brushguard is a Scout-Class toy and very stocky in build, almost as broad as he is tall. He is clearly a car Transformer, as you can see the doors on his shoulders, the tires on his arms, and the hood and windshield on his legs. Brushguard has a bit of a winter-themed paintjob, being mostly blue, silver, and black.  

Articulation is pretty good. Twisting hip, turning head, articulated feet, quite agile. The only slight limitation is the rather weird design of his arms. The shoulders actually connect to the door wings on a ball joint and the elbow is permanently bent, simply moving side to side. Brushguard can still do all sorts of poses with his arms and those claws attached to his wrist, but it takes some getting used to. And speaking of the claws (or should that be garden rakes?), they certainly look cool on him and, together with his head design, give him a definite Wolverine flair… if Wolverine had found his love for botany, you know?

Brushguard’s Cyberkey gimmick is the same as Overhaul’s naturally, a missile launched from his chest. In his case it’s supposed to be an acid burst (or a heat blast, if you are looking at the Universe version). Either way, it’s a missile launched from his chest by inserting a Cyberkey into his back. A cool gimmick, the only downside being that the missile is pretty long and, when inserted, the end sticks out of his back quite a bit.

So bottom line: a nice little robot with some peculiar design decisions. Not spectacular, but good.

Alternate Mode: Brushguard transforms into a Humvee-like offroad vehicle. Here, too, it’s really the same vehicle as Overhaul, naturally, just in blue, silver, and black. The headlights are painted yellow, otherwise the paintjob is pretty uniform. The purple claws from the robot mode are visible on the rear of the vehicle, but otherwise there are no obvious robot parts to be seen. The shaft for the Cyberkey is still visible on the back and you can insert the key here, too, but the missile won’t fire in car mode, as it’s covered up by the windshield.

Two tiny peculiarities: one, Brushguard has a symbol on his hood, a circle with what looks like a mountain range inside it. We have seen this symbol before on Energon Landquake, but what significance (if any) this has was never explained in any official material. Simply because they are both somewhat polar-themed vehicles? No idea. Second, there is a molded wheel symbol on top of the spare tire (present on the Overhaul version, too). Here, too, no idea if it was supposed to have any meaning or is purely ornamental.

So bottom line for the vehicle mode: nice. Nothing particularly sensational here, but no flaws, either (except maybe that the Cyberkey gimmick should have been designed to work in this mode, too).

Remarks: Just like every Transformers toyline, Cybertron too was full of repaints. Some of them appeared in the cartoon, usually as powered-up versions of the originals, but many were simply there to put more toys on the shelves. Brushguard is among the latter group and never appeared in the cartoon. He does have two appearances in Timelines text stories under his belt, though. Force of Habit and Dark Heart of Sandokan. He survived both stories and was last seen being part of the crew of the dread pirate Cannonball. The figure itself was reissued twice as part of the Universe toyline, first in 2007, then again in 2010 (when the Universe line was technically already over).

When I reviewed the original toy way back in 2006, I called him a perfectly average Cybertron figure and gave him a minor bonus for actually appearing in the cartoon in a fairly important role. Brushguard lacks the cartoon presence, of course, but for some reason the fact that his profile text makes him a botanist is hilarious to me and has made me really adore the little guy. It’s weird how these things work sometimes. So bottom line: basically the exact same figure as Overhaul and making up for his lack of cartoon presence with a truly hilarious backstory. That, and his likeness to Wolverine elevates him somewhat above average for a Cybertron toy.

Rating: C+


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