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DocWho Reviews: Power Core Combiners Bombshock with Combaticons

Well, by now, you have all probably seen this toy or some other Power Core Combiner in stores and formed some kind of opinion on it. Lord knows I have. What I think about the concept is irrelevant to the quality of the toy. But that's the question, isn't it? How good is this toy?

Thanks to the generosity of Hasbro PR, we have the means to find out.

First, let's look at the individual drones in their vehicle mode. The jeep and the halftrack are by far my favorites. The jeep even has a point of articulation, in that the missiles on top can turn 360 degrees. Both of these toys are very solid, and look nice standing (parked?) next to Bombshock. However, the tank and missile carrier are another matter. The hand so obviously hanging off the tank is incredibly floppy, and the whole of the missile carrier is like a Slinky. However, that weakness can be used to turn the missile carrier into a turret for Bombshock to use. Simply take the blue peg on Bombshock's arm, rotate it out so it's pointing the same direction as the fist. Plug in the missile carrier, set the hand part on the ground, and you're done. Not bad as fanmodes go. So, the drones themselves are actually pretty neat on their own. I could see myself shelling out money to get a 4-pack of drones by themselves to go with the 2-pack PCC figures.

Bombshock Vehicle Mode

Based on this vehicle mode alone, I'm going to call Bombshock Not-Onslaught from now on. This is so obviously an Onslaught homage that I can't believe Bombshock wasn't just called Onslaught. His alt mode is basically a mini version of Onslaught's. And it's not very good. 

It seems more like an afterthought. The gist of his transformation is basically lay him down, and fold his arms back. 

It's not a bad alt mode though. It just seems like it would've fit in better with the alt-modes of Armada or Energon. A few years too late, Not-Onslaught.

Not-Onslaught Robot Mode

Now, my feelings on the overall execution of Power Core Combiners aside, I really do love the individual scout molds, and Not-Onslaught here is no exception. They've all got nicely proportioned robot modes and nice articulation, which is why I'd actually recommend him for purchase when he's repainted. 

Continuing the trend of homaging G1 Onslaught in every mode, he also sports two cannons on his back that can be positioned over his shoulder due to the fact that he doesn't have conventional weapons. 

The only problem that I can find with this mode is that due to his nap-like transformation, he has weak feet. His heels are practically non-existent. Therefore, he tends to be a little top-heavy. This is still a minor quibble, and it's still a nice robot mode overall. 

And now, on to the entire point of Power Core Combiners.


Getting Not-Onslaught into his torso mode isn't that hard, really. Just rotate the backpack 180 degrees, pull it up over his shoulders, and that's pretty much the gist of it. Then just plug in the appropriate drones, and you're done. 

Let me get the good part out of the way. Not-Bruticus looks really nice as a display piece. The cannons also function in this mode. 

From his waist down, Not-Bruticus also has very nice articulation. It's about on the level of the Energon combiners, except less hampered by kibble. 

Now, on to the less than pleasing upper half.

The arms have exactly one point of articulation: a shoulder swivel. Both of Not-Bruticus' arms can move up and down. That's it. If you want to get creative with the transformation, that adds a little bit more articulation, but it's pretty poor for the most part. Not to mention the fact that the hands are extremely floppy. (Although I hear this has been fixed with the Protectobots and the Destrons)

Even though Not-Bruticus looks nice, in the end, he can't do much, which is disappointing.

Final thoughts

I think Power Core Combiners are a pretty cool idea in concept. So far, it's worked 50% of the time, with the Aerialbots being a pretty soild set. The individual 2-packs are actually really neat, and I'm recommending that's where you spend your money if you're looking for some neat scout and Targetmaster figures. But this review is about Bombshock. 

And unfortunately, I can't give Bombshock a hearty recommendation, not at $20. If he was at $10~15, then I could recommend it to someone who enjoys gestalts and thinks the concept is pretty cool. If you must have a PCC drone/commander set, I recommend going after the repaints, either the Protectobots or the Destrons. 

Bombshock's final score can't be any more than a 6 at his current price. It was a good first attempt, and apparently Hasbro's learned from their mistake, which is excellent. 

6s are slightly above average. If you're really into what you've seen of these pictures, you'll like the figure. If you haven't been sold yet, you probably won't be.

My next review, will be Searchlight with Backwind. Will that be enough to prove my theory that the 2-packs are vastly superior? Stay tuned...