Et tu Bruticus?
I’m going to do things a bit differently here. Rather than start with the parts, I’m going to talk about Bruticus first and then we’ll get to the Combaticons proper.
This is the Universe 25th Anniversary (Combaticons) Bruticus. A redeco of the Bruticus Maximus from Energon. Not to be confused with the other Universe 25th Anniversary Bruticus who is a redeco of Cybertron Scourge. For a wiki about the Bruticus we’re talking about, check it out here.
As a kid, one of my major criteria in judging characters was raw power and chivalrous honor. So it wasn’t enough to just be an immensely powerful brute, you had to act honorably, even if you’re a villain. It’s okay to lie and to cheat, just so long as it’s done in a fair and just manner.
What am I rambling on about and how does this relate to (G1) Bruticus? Well, it’s just a setup to explain why Bruticus has always been one of my favorite gestalts while Menasor… was not.
Let’s face it, as a kid, the power to destroy is an important character trait. I remember when my nephew was asked who he preferred, Spider-Man or Optimus Prime? And despite being a big fan of Spidey, he went with Optimus Prime “…because he’s powerful and can kill things” Wise words…
Same with me when I was a kid. I was a major Bruticus fan since his debut in “Starscream’s Brigade“. I mean, what’s not to dig? He defeated an entire group of Decepticons and made Megatron say “uncle”, and he even punched out Devestator. He lost to Menasor, but as a kid, I never acknowledged the lost because it was done through a “sucker punch”. Then we had “The Revenge of Bruticus” where Bruticus basically took over Cybertron. He lost by being shot in the back, but that lost I acknowledged, because it was an attack at his “only weakness”… These apparent double standards make sense when you look at it from a child’s perspective.
Naturally, as a fan of Bruticus and the Combaticons as a whole, I was never a fan of the Marvel comics interpretation of Bruticus, which depicted him as being so single minded that he actually couldn’t do anything unless directed. Sure, once he has an objective, he’s unstoppable, but still, the whole “unable to act without instructions” thing was silly to me.
But that’s Bruticus to me. One of my favorite gestalts, which is a pretty major reason why I bought this set.
I’ll say this right off the bat, Bruticus is stable. Which frankly, surprised me. I got the Classics Devestator set back in 2006/7, and as much as I do like Devestator, he always felt a tad loose to me. This was mostly due to Steamhammer/Scavenger’s legs, which didn’t feel particularly solid in Torso mode. Not so with Bruticus, he’s extremely solid from every angle.
Bruticus looks great, and it basically doesn’t matter what configuration you’ve got him in. In fact, I’d recommend messing about with how you want to arrange Bruticus’ limbs. The reason is, they’re all surprisingly good. At first, I was just going to do Bruticus with the tanks for legs and the copters for arms, but then I found the copters looked pretty good as legs and the tanks made surprisingly good arms, especially since the tanks had “elbows” while the copters… not so much. It also doesn’t hurt that out of all three combiners, Bruticus comes with the most convincing hands and feet, regardless of which configuration you’re using.
Another advantage of Bruticus’ solid build is the fact that he’s got good posability. For instance, while the Constructicon cranes look great as feet for Devestator, the fact that they have what amounts to balljointed shins for Devestator mean that things can get a little top heavy when you factor in Devy’s weight. Of course, this isn’t a problem for Bruticus, thanks to the aforementioned solid and stable build.
I’d also say that Bruticus is a joy to form up. Obviously, the limbs are easy enough to form, especially with the tanks, Brawl and Blast Off. You literally just stand them up (though as you can see, I like mixing things up a bit). But what I mean with Bruticus being a joy to transform, primarily has to do with the main torso part. The shoulders and thighs are easy to form up, which is as it should be, and I believe this contributes to their stability. However, the main chest/torso portion is fairly involved. This gives forming Bruticus a bit more entertainment value than just standing up the vehicle mode on it’s rear bumper or something.
If I have any problem with Bruticus, it’s simply the fact that he has a highly elongated chest. His head is set way to the back of torso, and his epic manboob doesn’t help the aesthetics. But this is just a nitpick at best.
Big and imposing, Bruticus looks really good. Yet, he has a high level of playability, both in terms of his posability and just being able to mess around with him. I can see why he’s everybody’s favorite of the 3 Energon Combiners.
3.3 out of 4.0
0.0 – 0.0 = I’d pay to get rid of it
0.1 – 0.5 = I’d give it away
0.6 – 1.0 = I wouldn’t take it for free
1.1 – 1.5 = Very Bad
1.6 – 2.0 = Bad
2.1 – 2.5 = Average
2.6 – 3.0 = Good
3.1 – 3.5 = Very Good
3.6 – 4.0 = Excellent