Not Bruticus on a budget! …Armageddon-it!
These 5 figures are Zeta Toys Masterpiece Scale “homage” to the team Combaticons and character of Bruticus from the 1986 Transformers combiner range.
I remember my dad coming home with a Transformers VHS tape one day which had “The Revenge of Bruticus” episode on it, looking back I wish Starscreams Brigade episode was also on there, but from that point onwards Bruticus has always been my favourite combiner. I think it’s just because he was so seemingly unbeatable until the convenient back acne cropped up towards the end of the episode. Bruticus also popped up in the comics and I remember being gutted when Megatron crushed Brawls face, comics were always much more brutal than the cartoons, well, until the movie turned up…
Anyway, I digress, toys! I’ve wanted a good Bruticus figure for ages. So many popped up but didn’t work out for me. As a kid I loved my G1 Bruticus, but since then there hasn’t really been a representation that’s worked for me. I also think that sometimes we look back at the G1 figures through rose tinted glasses. I picked up the “Fall Of Cybertron” Bruticus that came out alongside the game, however to say he was fiddly and then a tad, well, gangly, covers him. I was tempted for a long time by the third party Warbotron, I remember even going to a chaps house to pick up SDCC Metroplex one time and seeing him, but, he was CRAZY expensive and in my mind, just the wrong side of the what I wanted to cost ratio to make him a purchase. The Combiner Wars Bruticus came and went. He was pretty good in all fairness and I did like the fact he could hold the legends class Shockwave figure in a nice G1 throw back, but, again, he wasn’t quite right, he was significantly closer than the Menasor figure, but, was just something “off” about him, close but no cigar. Yes, I probably sound like a G-whiner here, but, I like what I like and be honest, Brawls waist was unforgivable! I saw there was then a KO version of the Warbotron figure, that was reasonably priced and up sized, so, HUGE! So, I have mixed feelings about KO figures and I’m really not sure that third parties should be KO’d, so I gave him a miss too.
Roughly around “The Combiner Wars” time period, the third party wars also seemed step up a gear with multiple choices of multiple figures becoming available, seriously, how many version of the Dinobots are now available? We became spoilt for choice, cartoon accurate, toy accurate, IDW accurate, plucked out of the imagination of someone you’ve never met accurate, you name it, it’s probably out there somewhere! Wallets quivered as mouse clicks were made and I even went through a period of enforced behaviour trying not to spend too much on my plastic crack addiction. I was doing quite well too until one of those dreaded Kapow! sale posts went up on Facebook. I was actually looking for a Gigapower metallic Grassor but he was sold out, which was probably for the best, so I ended up having a nose around the general Kapow! site. I then saw what looked like a bloody great version of Blast Off, that was reasonably priced. My curiosity piqued and Take Off and Whirlblade slipped into my shopping basket and were heading towards me within a matter of moments.
Zeta Toys ZA-01 Take Off
Straight off the bat I was thinking, damn! The box is one of those that is part of a mosaic image so I have to keep it long enough to at least see what it looks like all joined up. I have to admit that I didn’t think that they could have taken a much better picture of the robot mode product shot for the side of the box. I do like the foam padding inside the box, a nice change from polystyrene which often has an effect of causing a mild snowstorm during the un-boxing process. I don’t mind the plastic clam shells they often come in, but this foam padding feels more secure to me. He comes packaged with 3 guns, all of which although nothing special have no faults and his main gun does have a nice splash of paint. Packed in his robot form he is kibble-tastic around the legs area, I’d be OK if the leg kibble was detachable I wish that you could drop the back of the next over hang off too, I’d be happy with them being detachable for the look, but, yeah, he looks pretty cool. Size wise, he’s massive! Just a hair shorter than a Masterpiece Seeker, so pretty much perfect. The transformation process is fairly smooth and one of those that you could probably figure out for yourself as you go along, which I always like as they make me feel smarter than I actually am. Shuttle mode, well, it’s spot on! It looks like a shuttle, not more can be said. It’s a large brown shuttle, the end. Of course, He’s not going to be seen much in robot mode or shuttle mode, for the vast majority of his life he is going to be an arm. Not going to lie, during the transformation process to what is looking like a massive arm, I could not for the life of me get the combiner port out of it’s slot. I am going to need to hit the Tfw2005 forums and watch a few instructional You Tube videos to see if there are any tips and trick as to getting this sucker out. Soon as I have that done, I am looking forward to getting him into arm mode and completing the massive Armageddon!
Is Whirlblade a perfect figure? No. However, he is the same price as an official Leader Class figure from Hasbro and Hasbro could not do what Zeta have done in this budget range, he is a bargain and does have a certain amount of charm and overall, a welcome addition to my collection.
Zeta Toys ZA-02 Whirlblade
Box wise it’s the same as Take Off above and again with the foam insert. He comes out in robot mode and the first thing I noticed when I took him out of the box was along side his gun and rather powerful rockets was a little pile of pieces, yes, there is some assembly required here. On my first figure I noted that some bits were missing, however a quick email to Kapow! and this was all sorted out for me. To be honest, I have not fully constructed my Whirlblade at the time of writing this, this is only because once he is fully assembled he won’t go back in his box and for the time being, he needs to live in his box. In robot mode, although I love this figure, there isn’t much getting away from the fact he has a large amount of kibble going on. His back, his legs and his slightly boxy arms all have a high amount of kibble going on. If I think about it, he doesn’t look too unlike Blackout from the live action Transformers movies in some regards. However, he has a good face sculpt and, I like him. I don’t know why, I shouldn’t, I referred to myself as G-Whiner not 5 paragraphs ago so I should be complaining about this guy, but, I like the chunky large monkey. He’s a bit shortly than blast off but, still a good size. I’m wondering just how big Armageddon is going to be. The transformation process is OK, I didn’t enjoy it per say, bit more fiddly than Blast Off and a few clearance issues, but I didn’t hate it. The end result is well worth it though. The helicopter is stunning to look at and mine didn’t even have the propellers attached yet! I think Zeta have presumed, rightly or wrongly, that most people are going to have the collection posed altogether as Armageddon and put effort into the vehicle modes, which are most visible in the combined mode, leaving the robots a touch in the kibble zone, but, overall, it’s not going to matter, well, not for me anyway. I popped him into arm mode, which was actually possible on this figure which is a bonus, and he is going to look fab!
Like Blast Off before him, Whirlblade isn’t perfect, but he is fantastically priced has charm, a great alt mode and makes a fairly awesome looking arm for the incoming gestalt! I am getting excited for this!
Zeta Toys ZA-03 Blitzkrieg
Zeta Toys ZA-04 Uproar
There is nothing more I can say about the box and cool foam insert at this point, they have a style, I like it. You get a little bag of bits for him too, spare tracks and the like and his guns then pull him out of the box. The first thing I had to do was spend a few ever increasingly frustrating minutes get his tracks stuck back to the back of his legs. Too many links, not enough, they slip, they slide, they basically, don’t want to be where they are supposed to be and I ended up just sort of shoving them and clipping them down, did not look tidy at all, but, they were holding and that, at that point, was good enough to me. It really did hinder my initial appreciation of the figure. I don’t know about anyone else, but when I take a figure out of the box I take a minute to have a good inspection and gather my initial feelings on what I am holding. When bits start falling off and refuse to go back on, it doesn’t make for a good first impression! I finally had the treads where they needed to be strung around the back of his legs and had a good look, he looks like Brawl, like the others he is chunky but in this case the only real kibble area is the back of his legs everything else, well, just looks like a tank that transforms into a robot, Brawl almost always has a tank shell with a turret back pack, so I don’t count it as kibble in this case. His quality, is good, I like the face on him, he’s Brawl and I’m happy with that. Much like the previous two, I forgot to mention articulation. It’s actually really quite surprising, seeing as how chunky they are you’d think it would be restricted, but, it’s much better than you think it’s going to be and you can get some fairly dynamic action poses out of all of them, again though, the truth is these guys are never going to be displayed in robot mode to be honest. The transformation process is quite straight forward and gets to tank mode quite logically. Of course, there is one area where you may have a few issues. It’s those damn track again! They fell off on one side and on the other where I shortened them to make the robot mode easier, they were then not long enough. There was some cursing occurring, I’m not going to lie! Finally though, we had a tank. I don’t have much to say about his tank mode, it looks like a very sturdy tank, doesn’t do much else. Now, the tracks, what’s funny here is that they look and act great when he is down in tank mode, but, I just don’t think how great they look is worth the sheer unadulterated hassle of getting them to look good. I think it would be nice if they released a rubber track we could thread through or something in a future release. I am probably just going to take them off and leave them in a baggy in the bits box when the time comes. Getting him into leg mode, I will give you three guesses what the annoying moment is, but you will only need one! That’s right, the tracks strike back! Just SO fiddly! However, once he is in his solid leg mode, I again found myself wondering just how big he’s going to be as it’s huge, especially when you consider he’s just the lower leg!
This figure is a mixed bag, he has 3 very solid modes, in his robot, tank and leg variations, he is also an important part of what is shaping up to be a great Bruticus. However, frustration with the tracks between the modes dominates the overall feelings towards him and I actually dread having to put him back to leg mode, especially as I accidentally knocked the tracks when I put him back in the box, meaning I know misery awaits me when the time comes!
Zeta Toys ZA-05 Racket
Zeta Toys ZA Armageddon
Overall Thoughts on the set.