Studio Series Brawl Review

Discussion in 'Transformers Feedback & Reviews' started by waffel, May 23, 2018.

  1. waffel

    waffel Well-Known Member

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    Brawl was the one I was least anticipating of the wave two voyagers. His design here, while it technically the most accurate brawl to date, kinda left me cold when I first saw the figure. Something about the gappy design made me think he was gonna be a bit of a kibbly panel heavy mess who I would only be getting for completion sake (and for scale with my beloved Jazz). So now that my bias is out of the way...

    ... I can tell you how much I enjoy this figure. I was shocked by how much I like this figure. He is absolutely imperfect and a lot of my original worries are present, but he is just ood fun. And while I do have my gripes about his looks, he is certainly better in person than in pictures.

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    He's a good size, smaller than megaton but suitably taller than the deluxe figures. Sculpt wise there is a lot to love, but also a few jankey bits. The most jankey by far is the shoulders. Yes, they are kinda accurate, but given they're the only part of the figure that's so slavish they end up looking disjointed, especially because the forearm shell makes his forearms look a more bulky than they actually are. I don't think the effect would be as bad if his shoulder were just a little higher up. His torso Is nicely detailed, but it feels a little two dimensional. The details are all there, from straight on he looks about right, it just feels like he's gone down a cup size or two, and this is made worse because of how far the mine sweepers stick out. The shoulder treads stick up a little far, but they look pretty nice regardless. His head is suitably mean, and appropriately large. His legs look killer from the front, they're the right size and a lot of detailing has been sculpted on. Unfortunately you can't avoid the kibble on his calves. it's a bit visually jarring, and it makes his lower legs looks a little underdeveloped. I just feel the shell needed to compress a little more. I do kinda wish his legs were a little more skeletal like the shoulders for consistency, but for the sake of rigidity I'm perfectly fine with what we got. Finally, his backpack. There is part of the tank turret left back there, some of which is accurate like the baby onslaught cannons and the twin missile pods, but this cannon tail annoys me. It's the only robot flaw I haven't gotten over. Its like ratchet's black frame but you can't easily mod your way out of this one. This could have been done much better, either A) have it detach and peg on as a weapon somewhere (its not accurate, but neither is the tail so we might as well have fun with it) or B) have it fold up onto the back so it's at least out of sight. Given all the rest of the turret is on his arms there is plenty of room for it to fold up, it just doesn't. It may sound like I'm ragging on the guy, and I am, but that doesn't mean I dislike him. He hits enough of the marks to satisfy, and it all comes together to make a clumsily charming bot mode that looks killer from a number of angles, I just find the arms do irritate me a bit from straight on.

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    Poseability wise, there isn't much to write home about. Its exactly what you expect from a transformer. Full shoulder range, biceps, 90 degree elbows. Ball jointed head though there isn't much tilt to be had. Full hip range and a just under 90 degree knee. It would have been nice to see ankles and a waist, especially a waist as there is nothing stopping it transformation wise. However, while he can pose, he always looks best in that standard "bruiser relaxed" pose. Y'know the one.

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    For weapons he has that 4 barrel cannon thing, which has some nice silver paint but is a little plain, and his claw chaingun combo which looks very plain. They're both sculpted nicely, but that claw one is dying for some paint and the quad barrel gun really needed to sit higher on his forearm.

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    Now we're getting to the really good shit. The transformation if probably my favourite part of this figure, because while there is a lot of panel fiddling, how these panels come together can be quite interesting. The best bit by far is the chest, which folds up into a neat ball with the head before switching places with the panel it was tabbed in on to from the front of the tank. The shoulder treads have some well placed swivels to adjust their position too. The legs are quite standard, but the arms use some really clever geometry which make the most of their odd shape to hide away in a sleek tank turret. It's a whole lot of fun, and very satisfying

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    The tank mode is almost perfect. Without the robot weapons pegged on he looks absolutely ace, but frankly they dont look that out of place. Everything is proportioned well and the camo looks tight. All the panels means Brawl basically gains a camo paint job through transformation. There's not much to say here other than it doesn't really roll (there are casters but when have they ever worked well) And the turret doesn't rotate. This is a real shame actually, and also something of a head-scratcher. I mean, the transformation involves a turret spin, yet vehicle mode locks it. This little turret rotates though, but the missile pods sit at a weird angle. Honestly, the biggest disappointment is he is slightly too small for a proper scene recreation with jazz. Their vehicles scale well though. Ahh well, that missing mass was put to good us on Megatron, I assure you.

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    Overall, brawl was a pleasant surprise. I thought he looked a little underdeveloped in photos, and honestly in hand he does feel a tad underdeveloped, but there is a lot to like. He's not the most versatile poser, but I don't really mind that with my bruiser characters. He had an uphill battle but he won me over in the end, I really like brawl and would recommend him to any studio series collector, I think if you're not into the movie designs though, he might be just a little to goofy in robot mode to be worth it on his own merits.
     

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    Last edited: May 23, 2018
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  2. Kotori Sonoda

    Kotori Sonoda Yohane's Little Demon

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    Yeah, the shoulders do look weird. And its' sad that there is no apparent easy fix for the tail.
    Still he scratches that itch for a movie accurate Brawl.
     
  3. Snake_eyes1975

    Snake_eyes1975 Peace through Tyranny!!

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    looks utterly fantastic.I thought the same at 1st sight of pics, but now I see its pretty damn good.
     
  4. World Prime

    World Prime Za Warudo!

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    Thanks for the detailed review, @waffel ! Despite the tail (the only truly unforgivable oddity on this figure) I will be getting him for sure after your review. Fun is the main component, after all!

    Is there no easy way to mod the cannon, truly? I really want to cut it off and maybe reattach it with a hinge or something. Even if it stuck straight back that might look better than sticking down, especially after all that work they clearly put in to make him accurate from the front angles.
     
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  5. waffel

    waffel Well-Known Member

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    Not that I can see, certainly not as easy as modding ratchet. You would need to perform some in depth surgery. The final shame there is that the piece is pinned on, not screwed. If it was screwed maybe a 3P company could have devised a replacement part. Ahh well.
     
  6. neevnav

    neevnav The Flying Dutchman

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    Or to make it telescope in on itself, similar to the movie.
     
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  7. World Prime

    World Prime Za Warudo!

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    Even better! But alas. We get nothing.
     
  8. Yaujta

    Yaujta Breadchildren. TFW2005 Supporter

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    Hard pass.
    Aside from being a bit more movie accurate, I can see nothing that can be considered an improvement over the previous Leader version.
    That's a bummer, too. I was looking forward to a new Brawl.
     
  9. Black Convoy

    Black Convoy Proudly Peruvian Transfan Moderator News Staff

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    Quick question @waffel Is there any chance to remove the main cannon to avoid the "tail" in robot mode???
     
  10. waffel

    waffel Well-Known Member

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    If you could remove the large pin holding the turret on then maybe, but otherwise no. It's hard to explain, but the cannon piece is keyed to slot into the base of the rotation, but the pin holding the turret on goes directly into the cannon part. If you could unpin it entirely yes, the robot mode would still hold together, but I have no idea how you would go about doing that and it would ruin the vehicle mode
     
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  11. World Prime

    World Prime Za Warudo!

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    Would you mind posting a couple more pics of that area of his bot mode? Thanks!
     
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  12. Black Convoy

    Black Convoy Proudly Peruvian Transfan Moderator News Staff

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    Thanks for the info! Anyway your review made me add him to my next purchase!
     
  13. waffel

    waffel Well-Known Member

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    Sure, hope some of these are helpful
     

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  14. BombSquad

    BombSquad Lies! It's all lies!

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    Thanks for the review. Was looking forward to Brawl, but unfortunately it just has too many problems. I hope Bonecrusher turns out better.
     
  15. World Prime

    World Prime Za Warudo!

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    Wow, they did NOT make that easy. So awkward! Looks like the best thing to do would be to somehow install a hinge in the barrel that allowed it to swing to the side and up. But even that seems awkward. Maybe if there is a way to cut it off and install a peg so that it’s removable?
     
  16. Dirge121

    Dirge121 I'll be your end of days

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    I know people are down on this but I can’t wait for it. I liked the leader mold but he doesn’t really scale well with anything modern. I’ll still keep the leader, he can just be his own thing.
     
  17. Snake_eyes1975

    Snake_eyes1975 Peace through Tyranny!!

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    Agreed. Ill keep my leader as well. some of these studio figures are worth getting if you just like TFing toys. These are great, well made, and are an excellent retail bridge from MPs to regular retail TFs.

    I know I kinda poo poo'd this one from 1st picsw, but it looks great now, and I know ill love it in hand.

    I like the new studio series SO much, ive sold or traded alot of my "real nice" older TFs from different lines to make premium space for them.

    The main gun IS an issue for me..I love how the leader had that gun like armada megatron. Has anyone figured out where his main gun really goes in the CGI model? is it like this? I thought I remembered him using it from the waist in the movie, but I was wrong, my buddy and me watched the brawl parts and I didnt see it.

    Either way looks fun. I can see a real nice 3rd party set, that replaces that whole pinned area and allows the main gun to rotate to a hip or back position.
     
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  18. World Prime

    World Prime Za Warudo!

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    The main gun just telescopes into the turret right away in the movie. It isn’t present on the robot mode.
     
  19. HunterRose

    HunterRose Well-Known Member

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    The thing I don't like about the LDR is that his hips are too narrow, so all the kibble on his calves make his legs all nubby.
    Also the LDR is HUGE and takes up space.
    This looks like it will be a fun little dude.
     
  20. World Prime

    World Prime Za Warudo!

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    Not to mention his tank turret ruins the silhouette. Of course he was amazing for the time though! One of my favorite TFs for years.
     
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