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First/Last Comic Appearance (US) - Issue 24, January 1987 / Issue 41, June 1988
First/Last Comic Appearance (UK) - Issue 63, May 31st 1986 / Issue 187, October 15th 1988
First/Last Cartoon Appearance - Episode 58 (Season 2 #42), December 10th 1985 / Episode 98 (Season 4 #3), November 11th 1987
First Toy Appearance - 1986
Click here to see Figure Details and review
Manufacturer - Hasbro
Toyline - ROTF
- Replaced the head with the G1 version
- Added a Decepticon symbol to the chest
- Added a Decepticon symbol to the roof
I have previously mentioned that I really liked the Combaticons when they arrived on the scene back in '85. So it stands to reason that I would like their leader, Onslaught, right? Well, yes, I did. Onslaught had a really sinister headsculpt, with those orange eyes peering out above the expressionless mouth cover. He also had heavy armaments on his back that put Megatron to shame. Again, we would see the mould re-used years after the initial release for the 'Robots In Disguise' cartoon, where he was the immensely powerful commander of 'Ruination'. The fact that Hasbro saw fit to re-purpose such old toys led me to believe that perhaps they were concerned that they had forgotten how to make combiners well. And if they were, then the Energon combiners illustrated that they were correct to worry. So, read on to see my opinion on what is one of the poorer re-imagined Combaticons.
Appearance (Robot Mode) 5/10
One issue with this figure is that it looks absolutely nothing like the '80's character. The headsculpt is completely different - he has no mouth cover for a start, and he also has a pair of 'ears' stolen from Princess Leia's style guide. His head is also too small for his body. I addressed the head issue by removing the stock one and sticking a G1 head in its place. Now at least he bears a passing resemblance. Colour-wise there is not a scrap of blue on him - contrast that to the original figure who was about 50% blue. He is also lacking the cannons which, if present would still go some way to evoke the character. I use the front portions of the shotguns wedged into the backpack to try to at least homage the cannons in some way. But, out of the box, he is lacking any feature which would even hint at this figure being Onslaught. Looking at the figure overall from an objective viewpoint, it is actually quite nice. There is a decent amount of detail on the figure. His proportions are great, unlike his fellow team leader Silverbolt. However, when you see him from any angle other than straight on, there is one huge problem, and I mean huge. One of the delights of commuting into London is having to squeeze yourself into an over-crowded tube train without air conditioning, jostling for a small pocket of oxygen you can call your own as you embark on yet another tortuous journey. This problem is amplified in the summer when London is overtaken by large groups of foreign exchange students or back-packers, with all of their worldly goods strapped to their backs in unfeasibly large backpacks which protude from their skinny frames like a gigantic malignant wart. If they turn around their enormous burden smashes into anyone standing within a 3 foot radius. Such is the problem with Onslaught and the main reason I detest this robot. He has the stupidest amount of kibble just hanging off his back, it really is ridiculous and is probably the most half-assed piece of laziness I have ever witnessed from Hasbro. I mean the poor guy can barely stand up, because he has pretty much his mass again hanging off his back.
Appearance (Alternate Mode) 7/10
Thankfully all of this terrible kibble is put to good use in the vehicle mode, which with the enhancements courtesy of Reprolabels and FansProject is pretty decent. The original vehicle is a stumpy-looking thing; with missile pods which just kind of hang above the cabin. Thankfully FansProject have made Onslaught a trailer again, and have even added the signature cannons. Because I have the 'version 2' upgrade set with the non-asia exclusive Onslaught there is a disparity in the colour of the rear of the vehicle, but I don't really mind. In this mode at least, the figure is now unmistakably Onslaught and the look is complete when Blast Off is put in position on the back of the trailer. FansProject really pulled Hasbro's asses out of the fire on this one.
This has actually been simplified by FansProject's additions somewhat, the legs now are just tabbed together and the thighs are slotted into the lower leg. The arms fold up to form the sides of the cab section and the front wheels, and the huge back kibble is rotated and then slotted into place, covering the robot head in the process. The waist is also rotated and then you are pretty much done and is is just a matter of fixing the various FansProject pieces into place.
First I will take you through the articulation which is good, and shamefully let down by other aspects of this figure. The head and waist is on a swivel, there is lateral and side-to-side movement in the shoulders and equivalent in the hips, with the added bonus of ratchet joints! This figure also sports bicep and thigh swivel, as well as knee and elbow joints. So not bad at all but unfortunately much of it is rendered very difficult to enjoy. Onslaught has balance issues to say the least, and it is a real struggle to keep him upright. Suffice to say, you will be trying to minutely adjust his very tight hip joints in order to stand the thing up and pose effectively. Plus he looks like Quasimodo at any angle other than straight on.
No matter how many times I have thrown this figure it has not broken. Seriously, this is a pretty durable robot, bearing in mind he has to carry the weight of all of the combiner limbs you can understand why ratchet joints were used in key areas, and all the rest of the joints feel solid too. In fact, I would have scored this figure higher were it not for the fact that FansProject have made it worse by adding the new combiner head, of which the 'stalks' have to be slotted into the fist holes when stowed away. These 'stalks' are particularly prone to damage if the utmost care is not taken during transformation.
Overall - 31/50
Yeah this figure is not great, make no mistake about that. I like to think I have fixed it somewhat but it's still average at best. Be thankful then that when in combined mode, much of the ugliness is obscured. Bruticus is clearly greater than the sum of its parts in that regard which is why it is such a triumph. If you don't care about combiners and just want to have a decent Onslaught in your ranks, then I suggest you get hold of the Ultra-class Universe figure and augment it with the Headrobots upgrade. (if you can find it!)