Bulldozer and Excavator
This year, almost in respons to TFC's Herculese set, MakeToys has begun to release thier own renditions of the Constructicons, starting with limited releases of the group in thier yellow G2 colors. The first set features Bulldozer (aka Bonecrusher) and Excavator (aka Scavenger). Like the Herculese set and the Constructicons of old, when you get all six figures, you can combine them to form the Mighty Giant (aka Devestator). We won't be looking at the Giant until after all the sets are released and reviewed. but for now, lets have a look at our first pair, starting with...
Bulldozer. MakeToys has done a good job in making thier figures very solid. The plastic has a nice feel to it and the joints are very tight. Bulldozer has a very solid robot mode, but looks completely different from the G1 character that inspired him. Given that this is 3rd party figure it's quite forgivable. He has 19 points of articulation consisting of a ball jointed head, ball jointed shoulders with hinge joints for added mobility, bicep swivel, double jointed elbows, ball jointed wrists, waist swivel, ab swivel, ball jointed hips, ball jointed knees, ankle swivel and ball jointed toes. The Biggest knock against him is that in robot mode, the Giant's connections hand on the back and are pretty easy to spot.
Transformation to and from vehicle mode is pretty easy. The only tricky part is moving the shovel on the front. It splits apart at the shovel and is on small ball jointed arms that are ment to rotate it behind the robot mode, only thing is that the waist and legs often get in the way. Twisting the waist sideways make things a little easier but it still needs to be done carefully. The Vehicle mode itself looks very nice but is pretty much a brick. There are no wheels in the treads so it can not roll and the only articulation is in the shovel. It still does the job very well and looks very nice on display.
Excavator is the reimagined Scavanger of the group and has a lot more in comon with the G1 Scavanger than Bulldozer has with Bonecrusher. He has all the same articulation points that Bulldozer has with the exception of his wrists being swivel joints instead of ball joints. Excavator also has articulation in the shovel arm on his left arm which allows him to use it as a melee weapon. Once again the biggest grip is the large connection point hanging off the back of the figure. A way to store and hide this connector would have been greatly appreciated. Another concern I have is in the head transformation. There is a small piece of plastic that the head is on and when its moved into place there is fear of breakage due to having to lift the head up slightly while moving it. Otherwise this is a very solid toy.
Excavator's vehicle mode is quite a piece of pretty plastic. Again, Excavator is a brick in vehicle mode. He has only articlation in the shovel arm. The transformation is easy enough to achieve, with the head transformation as the only concern spot. The overall look of the vehicle is quite nice. The details are well done and all i feel either of these guys need are some G2 con logos.
The accessories included tie in better to the Giant's combined mode than the individual bots, but im not gonna give any spoilers on how just yet. They come with a purple cylinder that splits into the guns for the two bots, and a pair of portable genarators designed to attach to later releases in the Giant collection. There is one way that the genarators interact with Bulldozer and Excavator, but you'll have to guess until the right time comes.
When comparing the MakeToys figures to the G1 Contructicons, the differences and similarities are easy to spot. It's quite clear that MakeToys paid close attention to how the G1 figures worked and did everything they could to preserve thier look, while at the same time refigning and updating the characters to meet with modern standards. The figures stand roughly the size of a Deluxe class Hasbro figure and in my opinion fit in better with the Classics than the Hercules group did. Individually, the Constructicons were not the biggest bots around, standing at about eye level with the average con, so in my book, the MakeToys figures scale better.
Overall, MakeToys has done a stupendous job of crafting these fine figures and i am very eager to see how the rest of the set will turn out. There are rumors of a proper Green Version of these figures coming around the end of the year, but whichever color you choose to get, I highly recommend these figues. As the Giant series is released, I'll be reviewing them and will in time show you what the fully formed Giant is like. So until then, take care.