Click the image above to see the alt mode, or view more photos here
First/Last Comic Appearance (US) - Issue 10, November 1985 / Issue 19, August 1986
First/Last Comic Appearance (UK) - Issue 61, May 17th 1986 / Issue 62, May 24th 1986
First/Last Cartoon Appearance - Episode 16 (Season 1 #16), December 15th 1984 / Episode 93 (Season 3 #28), November 19th 1986 First Toy Appearance - 1985
Click here to see Figure Details and review
Manufacturer - Maketoys
Toyline - Type 61
- Added Decepticon symbols to various parts
There were many defining moments in the Transformers animated movie - such as the death of Optimus Prime, Megatron (kinda), and half the 1984 cast, the arrival of new characters and races, as well as the appearance of a giant planet-eating demi-god intent on devouring Cybertron. It is perhaps surprising then that my over-riding remembrance of the movie is when Devastator suddenly went from a rather innefective, bumbling and easily-defeated combiner into the Decepticon ultimate weapon. Springer et al attempted to down him with a huge missile launcher (which they could barely move), only to have half a building thrown at them for their trouble. Even the mighty Dinobots (well, four of them) were tossed around like ragdolls. he basically kept half of the Autobots occupied day and night with his imposing presence. He would revert to type later in the movie by being easily de-combined by Frenzy and Rumble. He was also criminally underused in the comics, being soon brushed aside for the newer Scramble city-type combiners. But, thanks to his defining appearance in the movie, I am not alone in my admiration for this awesome character. Since his initial release back in 1985, Hasbro have managed a few homages, but none which you would be happy to include in a Neo-G1 collection. Thankfully, 2 third parties decided to give him some much-needed attention, and so we were treated to the release of 2 homages within a year. TFC toys with their massive Hercules, and Maketoys with their smaller Giant. I plumped for Maketoys, beacuse I preferred their aesthetic, and also the overall size sat better with the existing FansProject-augmented combiners. So, is this Maketoys offering worth the agonizing wait?
Appearance (Robot Mode) 9/10
The biggest praise I can give this figure is that it is Devastator. More than any other re-imagining of the original toys I have seen, this is what I see when I imagine the lime green menace from the movie. From top to bottom he exudes power. The shoulders are suitably broad with the silhouettes of the 2 Constructicon vehicles representing them perfectly. The lower arms are superbly sculpted, with large articulated hands which look like they could do significant damage. The vast gun is made up of all of the individual robot's weapons and is impressive. The upper legs are extremely solid thanks to Long Haul being such a hench individual robot. The lower legs perfectly homage the original combiner. I have a slight criticism of the upper torso, which is that there is a significant gap in the cabin side of the Hook component. This is caused by the weight of the combiner arm, as the gap is not present when the arm is not there. I have made matters worse by adding a Decepticon symbol, which is neatly bisected! For many people, the head and facial expression caused some controversy. I actually like the original head and its inscrutible expression, which you can see in all of my photos. The Hercules set was similarly criticised, and as a result, there are about 8 billion 3rd and 4th-party heads available for it. Maketoys sought to address this by making a head with a poseable mouth. It was a nice idea, and some people like it. I despise it and to me it looks like a ventriloquist's dummy. But, props to maketoys for adding it in as an extra. I have spoken at length about the quality of the paint apps on the individual figures and the colour of plastic used which is the perfect lime green shade, so it is no surprise that the overall impression is excellent. I doubt that there will ever be a better looking Devastator (unless you ask Hercules fans!)
Appearance (Alternate Mode) 9/10
I class the combiner alt mode as being all the vehicles together, and how well they display as a group. And I can't really fault these, at all. The Constructicons were always the most cohesive of the combiners, being a uniform colour and having vehicles that you would naturally associate together. They were always piling around together, up to mischief, building whatever Megatron's latest diabolical scheme was. Even though scale is way off with these guys, there is nothing really glaring which looks stupid. The fact that Long Haul is larger and bulkier than the rest of the components makes sense as well, since the dump truck would be huge in the real world. The great thing about the alt modes is that everything required to make Devastator can be stowed on them. I choose not to display the pheumatic drill/screwdriver bits which attach to Long Haul because they are a bugger to remove, and offer little value in my opinion, although I have seen some collectors use them more imaginatively. Also, all the guns can stow on the vehicles but this ruins the look of them for me. The forearms becoming trailer hitches is genius.
Combining Devastator is pretty simple, the various sections clip together with quick-release catches that keep the alt mode rigid. The legs require some modification to the front end to tilt the cabin sections forward, this entails pressing a tab to extend the waist joint somewhat, which then allows for a bit of extra height and articulation. Scrapper's heel is a pain to put together to be honest, and the engine block is uesd to solidify the whole thing. Even the release button for his waist is devilishly positioned, as I have moaned about in his individual review. I would definitely say that Scrapper is Devastator's 'Achilles heel' which is appropriate in this case.
Long Haul has to be transformed the most from his alt mode (standard fare for the torso combiner components), and you take him halfway to robot mode, but reverse the leg transformation. The 'codpiece' (for want of a better word) can be pulled out slightly to allow more articulation in the hip area. Affixing the 2 legs to Long Haul is straightforward, with the components locking satisfyingly into place. Next Hook suffers the indignity of being folded in half, and a couple of clever flaps are lifted up to reveal the arm sockets. The combiner head is then unfolded, and shimmied into the center of the folded vehicle via a precariously-small bit of plastic. I find attaching Hook to Long Haul rather difficult, as there are a couple of tabs you must find before engaging the clips. But once all together, again the connection is very nice and solid.
The 2 arms have an identical transformation which involves moving their treads down to free the combiner joint and placing the treads back into position. They are then affixed to hook, and the forearms are attached. The forearms are then opened to reveal the hands. Finally the chest plate is slotted into place, and the gun is assembled. And, with that, Devastator is ready to go forth and smash stuff.
For such a huge and ungainly-looking figure, there is an awful lot of articulation on offer. The head is ball-jointed and has a good range of movement (something improved following issues with the yellow version) and the waist swivels on a solid ratchet. The shoulders are ratcheted and offer some lateral movement as well. The elbows are jointed and the wrists have swivel, with individual articulation for each finger, and a ball-jointed thumb. There is also bicep and thigh swivel. The Hip articulation is exactly the same as for Long Haul, and this is where the meaty ratchet joints really come into play. The knees also have solid joints, and the ankles are on ball-joints, allowing the feet to be firmly planted in most situations. Devastator is a very heavy robot but thanks to his large feet, clever distrubution of weight and solid connections/ratchets he can be posed surprisingly dynamically. Really excellent.
Overall, Devastator is rock-solid and he has been designed superbly well, in terms of how the various robots interconnect. The plastic used is very high quality which you appreciate all the more when you realise the forces conspiring to make this impressive figure collapse. You can pick up the robot by the torso, and, while appreciating the qualitative and weighty feel of the thing in hand, give him a shake. Not that I'd advise that, but mine holds together perfectly. I have some small niggles with the individual robots (particularly Scrapper) but my only real gripe about the combined figure is the head balljoint, which is pretty small, and the small piece of plastic the head sits on. I have placed various smaller robots in Devastator's clutches (for scientific reasons, of course) and the joints are up to the task.
Overall - 43/50
A combined Devastator is a beautiful thing to behold, and Maketoys have captured the core essence that made the original figure so wonderful, and propelled it into the stratosphere with modern poseability and engineering which make this an absolute must-have. Every collector needs to have at least one iteration of the big green menace in their ranks, and it is really a question of which one you feel does the character justice. The current Hasbro choices are incredibly disappointing. The Energon remould comprises only 5 characters and 2 of those share the same mould, so there are only 3 distinct moulds! The ROTF Devastator is a disastrous Michael Bay-inspired clusterf**k and even the special lime green version cannot save it from being terrible. Hasbro's ineptitude leaves 2 clear frontrunners - Maketoys or TFC Toys - the choice is yours. But, for me, the Maketoys version is cheaper, scales better with my other figures, is better out of the box (Hercules apologists have to spend loads more money 'upgrading' their set to make it look decent), and, most importantly, is the right shade of green! Giant is a fantastic figure and I urge you to get him if you have any interest in doing this iconic combiner justice.