Between the first two waves of Transformers Generations under the Combiner Wars theme, Hasbro has delivered updates of two of the classic G1 Combiner characters. The Autobots have their Aerialbot enforcer Superion, while the Decepticons can once again include the massive, monstrous Menasor into their ranks.
Menasor is the combined form of the Stunticons team, a squad of six high-speed cars which all transform into robot and vehicle mode, as well as assemble to form the colossal 13″ tall Menasor figure. The roster of the team has changed a little since the G1 version, now including team leader Motormaster (the Voyager Class figure who forms Menasor’s chest), Blackjack (who provides the chestplate of the giant robot), and four Deluxe figures who form the limbs– Dragstrip, Breakdown, Dead End and new character Offroad.
As we’ve seen in the past, there’s less uniformity among the Decepticon designs, as opposed to the Autobots, so each figure in this team gets their own unique colors and overall shape. Breakdown and Dead End are stocky and bulky, while Dragstrip is much more lanky. The Stunticons may not look like a team at first glance– other than their proclivity for bludgeon weapons– but what they lack in uniformity they make up for in personality and menace. This is a nasty looking bunch of bots!
I think my favorite of the Deluxe figures is Offroad, with his sickly green, sneering face and battle axe. Between his colorway, his shell-like battle armor and the personality in his face sculpt, he’s just one of those inherently cool looking Transformers that you like, despite a lack of investment in the character. All of the Stunticons feature great sculpts, with a lot more personality than the intentionally neutral Aerialbots, and this not only helps distinguish the bad guys as their own thing, but makes them visually dynamic, as well.
Motormaster is a beast, one of the biggest and bulkiest Voyager figures I’ve seen. His domineering presence works perfectly for his role as leader/ master of this motley crew. The character has surfaced in the Transformers collection a few times over the years, but due to copyright issues at the time, he was often referred to as Menasor, the name ascribed to the Combiner he helps form. This is the first properly-named Motormaster figure since the G1 days, which is cool and (obviously) helps alleviate confusion between him and the fully assembled titan.
Speaking of Menasor himself, the new figure looks great. A massive hodgepodge of angles and scrap metal, Menasor is the exact opposite of the svelte unity seen in the combined form of Superion. The wildly different colors, shapes and sizes of the Stunticons results in a much more anarchic looking giant robot, in keeping with the chaotic tradition of the Decepticons.
And he’s BIG! Menasor towers over Superion, in terms of height and especially mass. Based on size alone, this guy seems like more than a match for the Autobot Combiner. Despite his disparate appearance, Menasor’s sculpt is fantastic, loaded with detail and mechanical texture, and his face sculpt is awesome, with an angry expression and big horns that allow him to live up to his menacing name.
While Menasor is a great looking figure, he comes with some issues that Superion managed to avoid. Some of the parts on this Combiner figure don’t hold together as well, making him a little less stable than his Aerialbot opponent. The biggest offender is Blackjack, who forms the robot’s chest plate. The smaller figure is supposed to plug into two pegs inside Menasor’s chest, but he barely balances on these pegs on my version. This means that anytime I move the giant figure, the chest plate falls right off and has to be re-applied. This definitely inhibits Menasor’s playability as a whole toy. Likewise, the odd hip configuration, with locks that click in place at a 45 degree angle, don’t always support the considerable weight of the massive figure, coming undone easily if you start posing him around. My Menasor has dropped his chest plate and both legs countless time while I was posing him for these photos. As awesome a sight as he is to behold, this Combiner lacks the integrity and durability that made Superion a great toy.
I love the Combiner Wars concept, and these figures have served as a great re-introduction to the impressive work Hasbro’s team is doing with Transformers. While I think Superion is a better figure overall, there’s a lot to love about Menasor and the Stunticons that compose him. This is a fun team of Transformers, packed with interesting character designs, eye catching colors and solid sculpting. These Stunticons certainly feel like a legitimate threat to your Autobot army!
Thanks to Hasbro for giving us the chance to shine the spotlight on the Generations Stunticons. Check back tomorrow for our feature of the exclusive Quickslinger and Brake Neck figures, which can complete your G1-accurate Superion and Menasor figures!