Monday, February 13, 2012

TFC Hercules - Review

Today we have the culmination of many months (and many dollars) invested in what was promised to be THE combiner Devastator toy for your "classics" Transformers collection. At this point I've reviewed all six of the individual figures in TFC Toys' Hercules series, so I'm not going to dwell on a technical review and just blatantly gush about the toy instead! Jump ahead to see "Hercules" in all his devastating glory!

TFC Toys
$n/a (components sold separately)

You won't have to read throught endless paragraphs to figure out how I feel about Hercules: I F**KING LOVE HIM! He's awesome and delivers on nearly every level for a fan of G1 Transformers. Sure, a lot of it is owed to Devastator's design, but TFC delivered lots of detail to make this guy look like he stepped off the page of a modern Transformers comic.

Having Hercules combined, though, I once again see Heavy Labor's (aka Long Haul) shortcomings. He's great on his own, and probably still my favorite, but when he's next to the rest of the team or combined with them, I have to say he's the weakest one. Seeing him in Hercules mode I feel he should have been wider, his height is fine, but his width makes the gestalt's proportions look just a bit off. That's really my only gripe with Hercules.

I like to tuck Exgraver's (right arm) shovel arm into the back of the vehicle mode, streamlining his arm mode, but you have have the option of rotating it out G1-style, too. Some fans griped about Madblender (left leg) having a green mixing drum, prefering instead that he have a purple one, but I'm cool with the green. Although, if they ever get around to releasing an alternate purple drum, I'd still add it because it's fun to have different options for displaying a figure, especially when both looks would be accurate (to either the G1 toy or the cartoon).

So as I mentioned in the individual reviews, each figure's blaster combines with the others to form Hercules' blaster. Since each 'bot included a purple and translucent red blaster, Herc ends up with two blasters also.

There is a specific way to assemble the combined weapon, but you can mess around and rearrange it if you so wish. I probably should have photographed Hercules holding the gun from the inside to show off the handle portion. The handle has a post that plugs into a hole inside Hercules' hand, then you can wrap his fingers around the handle. But sometimes there are jobs that require a more "personal" touch and a laser blaster just won't do. That's when Hercules pulls out his BFS...

Yep, Dr. Crank (upper torso) supplies a large club for Hercules in the form of his extended crane boom. Thanks to Hercules' fantastic articulation (which includes a ball-jointed head, swivel/hinges at the wrists, elbows, shoulders, hips and knees, swivel waist and rocker ankles!), he can grab the club with both hands and hold it in a threatening fashion.

But Hercules' arsenal doesn't end there, you can also cover both his fists with the shovels from Exgraver and Neckbreaker, respectively. It looks a bit odd, specially on his right arm, but is a cool little feature nonetheless.

Devastator is often depicted as being a giant, not just because he's formed out of several construction vehicles, but also because he mass-shifts while combining. Obviously, delivering this in toy-form is damn near impossible, however, for the first time ever we have a Devastator figure that is comprised of individual robots that are near-Voyager size. This means the combined form ends up being large enough to be a significant threat to the figures in your classics collection.

So, now that we have our completed Devast-, I mean, "Hercules", what's next? Well, you may have noticed that Exgraver is decked out with nice decals, those of course are from Repro Labels and I have Long Haul's set coming in this week with word of Structor's decals being available soon. I hope we won't have to wait too long for the last three sets because Hercules won't be Devastator until he's covered in Decepticon symbols!

You may have noticed that this post doesn't start off with a scan of Hercules' bio card like the individual reviews have, that's because there is no bio card for Hercules... yet. TFC announced via their Facebook page that there will be a bio card for the gestalt, however they did not disclose how it will be released. Being a fan of trading cards I'm happy to hear that, the six cards I have so far have been placed in a binder where I keep various promo sets and smaller sublines. There's a spot reserved for old Herc.

We can also look forward to future add-on kits for Hercules with other third party companies like Dr. Wu and Crazy Devy getting in on the action with an alternate "roaring" face plate and G1-style replacement head, respectively. I don't particularly like either of those, but I'm interested to see what TFC might come up with later.

I'm just happy to finally have Hercules on my shelf. When I first saw promo pics of Hercules last Summer, I had an odd "giddy" feeling in my stomach that I haven't felt for a toy in quite some time. TFC did a great job on Hercules and have raised the bar for not just third party companies, but official toy manufacturers, too!
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