There are times where all the work entailed in toy hunting isn't worth the trouble. When all the lurking on philippine toy boards, daily checks at Toy Kingdom Mega and Podium, back and forth trips on the MRT from Makati to Trinoma, and fruitless visits to Marikina and Taytay, just doesn't seem to be worth the effort.
My quest to obtain a Leader Class Movie Brawl at sale price is one of those times.
The toy was originally priced at P3,000, but after warming the shelves at Toy Kingdom for a year with no takers, the distributors finally decided to drop the price on Brawl, Megatron, and Optimus Prime to P1,000. Now all of a sudden, everyone wanted it and they were leaving the store faster than the sales reps could shelf them. I'd hear about a sighting in Glorietta in the morning, and when I go there that evening, poof.
Wouldn't you know it, after covering more of the metro than I have since early college days shopping for arcane architecture equipment, I meet a dude at Podium for a completely unrelated deal and he tells me they've just re-stocked them. Sort of an anti-climax.
After the excitement of the hunt, the toy itself is a bit of a let down. I was really impressed with the Leader Class Prime, and was expecting more of the same with this toy, but there are so many things that lessen the playability of Brawl.
He comes out of the box as a robot, so we're starting there.
He's a pretty imposing figure, towering over the Autobots and looking good with even the Classics line. He's bristling with weaponry; guns poking out every which way and blades for when he gets bored of distance fighting. That's the good part.
The bad part is that despite his articulation, he. will.not. stand. up.
For some reason, instead of giving him proper feet, Hasbro designers gave him these claw like things at the end of his legs. After a bit of unfolding, the storage pods (or whatever) at the back of the tank become weird protrusions that have very little actual surface area.
Don't let that last pic fool you, you won't have him doing any high kicks on you're desktop. The tiny foot print, coupled with oddly weak hip joints,limited knee mobility and his lack of thigh cuts (?!) make him a bitch to stand in any but the most static standng poses.
For most collectors this is fine, since he's usually just going to be standing behind their collection of smaller Decepticons. He'll look a bit knock-kneed but you have voyager and deluxe class figures to hide that. However, if you want him to be terrorizing a mass of Autobots... well, it's not going to happen. You can fake it with a camera, but keeping him in position isn't really easy and he's liable to fall over and off your shelf when you aren't there.
Kibble-wise he's pretty good, though.
Yeah you can see alot of the tank parts in robot mode, but most it's pretty well integrated into the look. The big turret becomes a kind of knapsack of guns, the barrel a cannon. All that armor plating is still armor plating. He does have the mine plows on his chest, but it makes him look ornery, so I'll let that pass.
In tank mode, he fares a lot better. There's not much to ask of him in this mode, but they put some good stuff in there. His turret goes round, and the barrel goes up and down. They rocket launchers move, as does the mine plow up front. The whole thing looks scary.
The electronics work much better in this toy than they did in the Optimus Primes. The lights are at the barrel opening and the rocket launchers in the back, but it's the sounds that are great. There are several triggers; the barrel, the turn of the turret, two buttons on the top of the tank, or when you pop his head out. It's all pretty cool until it gets annoying. I'd tell you to just remove the batteries, but I never really got a chance to find out where the compartment is.
Brawl's a great looking toy, but he's not as fun as he could be. If you caught him at P1,000, I'd say good on you, but I wouldn't recommend paying too much more.