This review brought to you by the fine folks at Entertainment Earth!
The combined form of the Protectobots team stands against the Decepticons! To date, I’ve had some mixed feelings about the actual combiners within the context of the Combiner Wars, in some cases the result feeling like less than the sum of its parts. While I love Superion, Menasor left me a bit high and dry to the point where I wasn’t sure I was even going to get the Protectobots.
As a kid, I enjoyed the combiner teams, and was a massive fan of the Aerialbots and Stunticons, so I felt a certain nostalgic attachment to getting those updates in the Combiner Wars. The Protectobots, not so much.
But a constant flood of peer pressure from my so called “friends” (you know who you are) convinced me to put the Protectobots on my Father’s Day “wish list” and my lovely wife grabbed me a few of them. I filled in the gaps pretty quickly, and I’ll be honest, I’m very glad I did. Defensor is straight up awesome.
He’s easily a match for Superion in my Combiner Wars love fest, and a good deal above Menasor. The combined form stays together nicely, is aesthetically pleasing, and moves well without completely falling to pieces with every slight motion.
Hot Spot as the torso is a fantastic first step. The way the ladder swings up underneath and plugs Defensor’s head into his shoulders is inspired and works amazingly well. I also love how the framework of the ladder separates into a great looking elaborate chest plate, leaving Defensor looking pretty great even without Groove (who I will get eventually, but don’t own yet).
I chose to go with the Hasbro recommendation for the limb arrangement, which is Blades and Rook as the arms with First Aid and Streetwise as the legs. If you go by the G1 iteration, Blades and First Aid would be arms with Rook (replacing Groove) and Streetwise as the legs. Either way, the “Scramble City” format allows for a bunch of customization. Personally, I like the Hasbro suggested design. Both Blades and Rook function very well as arms with good range of motion and some nice bulk, especially with Rook on the left side.
First Aid and Streetwise are both great looking legs, too, transforming in much the same way as their Stunticon predecessors. The beauty, of course, remains in the torso, since it provides great hip joints to allow for stable poses, unlike Menasor, whose clugey hip joints almost single handedly bring that figure from great to “meh” in my mind.
Defensor’s head sculpt is fantastic, and the combination of color schemes blends really well, looking very “combiner-esque” but also creating a pretty nice flow of colors from one part to the other. Hot Spot’s two laser weapons plug together to form a somewhat rudimentary larger weapon, and the end result is one heck of a great looking Combiner that happens to be made up of some equally great individual figures.
I find it hard to believe that I was going to pass up the Protectobots only a month or two ago, but I’m really glad I let myself get pushed around by friends, as this team is fantastic and was a joy to put together.
Combiner Wars Defensor
What happens when you put five great individual figures together into a single combiner? You get a terrific update to Defensor that looks awesome and poses great. A very clever transformation gimmick for the torso adds some much needed stability to the core, and the scramble city style limbs look nice in various different configurations. He’s a great combiner and a lot of fun in all the different modes.