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Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Generations Combiner Wars Menasor - Pictorial Review

The review of Stunticons wouldn't be complete without reviewing the combiner himself, the mighty Menasor.

Dreamwave's G1 Menasor
Pic Credit : Web

Decepticon's 2nd combiner after Devastator, Menasor is the name of the combined form of the Stunticons. The Stunticon's ability to match the Autobots dominance of the road is the not the end of Megatron's secret weapon. Unveiling their combined form when they were confronted by the newly created Aerialbots, Megatron predicted his genius Plan B to be smart and foreseeing the end of the Autobots, only to be matched Superion, the combined form of the Aerialbots.

G1 Menasor
Pic Credit : TFWiki

Combiner Wars Stunticons

Combiner Parts

First, let us see Hasbro's double-edges combiner appendages, the foot/hand.

The combiner hand is nicely design by Hasbro, although without individually articulated fingers aside from the thumb. To hold the weapon, there's a 5mm port making it easier than using peg on the palm that might loosen up or overtime, stressed.

Even better, the thumb is on a hinge that can rotate to both side so that the hand can be used as both left and right.

Not only that, the hand can be changed into combiner's foot with the thumb used as a heel. Yes, clever. But we'll look into their practicality after this.

Combiner Limbs (Alternate Configuration)

Comes with scramble-city ability, all four Menasor's limbs are interchangeable, which means each of them can transform into an arm or a leg. Let us look at the alternate configuration first.

Dragstrip as Menasor's Leg

Dragstip in leg mode requires only small amount of transformation from alt mode. Most people tend to forget to flip the end part of his alt mode, ended up with that leg longer than the other.

From the back, there's almost no visible robot parts and aside from the chest.

The same with Dead End. 2/3 of his alt mode does not require transformation at all.

I've mentioned an issue with Dead End during previous review where the legs/back of the car doesn't peg well together. It's a huge problem in this mode but luckily, the port that connect to the foot is not half-and-half but instead full round hole which means even if the part portion of the car splits open, the foot still attach to Dead End (also true for all the limbs of Menasor and Superion).

Back View
Just like Dragstrip, from the back, Dead End's robot parts is pretty well hidden.

Breakdown in arm mode however, not my personal favorite. Don't get me wrong, he's solid but don't really prefer Breakdown's feet folded down like that (official configuration).

Offroad as Menasor's arm is the weakest of all the alternate-configuration limbs in my opinion. The hands doesn't really peg anywhere, the feet can't be folded or hidden anywhere where they are kind of obvious.

Offroad will be repainted into Combiner Wars Protectobots First Aid in Wave 3 and from what I see, I don't think he'll be retooled anymore other than the head. So it can be expected that First Aid will have the same issues as Defensor's arm (unless you use the official configuration for Combiner Wars Defensor and First Aid becomes the leg).

Combiner Limbs (Designated Configuration)

Many would not prefer him as replacement for Wildrider but as Menasor's leg however, Offroad is quite solid and not a bad substitute. Still, we'll see whether Takara will release Menasor with Wildrider or not.

Not sure why, despite also being solid leg, Breakdown is still my least favorite limb. But again, preference, nothing more I guess.

Dragstrip transform into a decent combiner arm, the mode is solid and well designed. For those who complaint about the visible upper legs, it's the same as most 3rd party combiners out there.

Just like before, the fact that Dead End's legs can't peg together securely is my biggest issue with him, in all modes.

Combiner Mode (Official)

Before I proceed, just want to clarify that I won't be doing review of Blackjack, individually or as Menasor's chest plate. In fact, no other legends figure will be used, at all. Personally, I don't collect any CHRUG figures smaller than Deluxe size, not even for Minibots. I made that exception with RTS/United Wincharger before (and Wipeout) but I'm too lazy to sell them now. My version of Minibots are based on older CHRUG releases ie [Deluxe] Bumblebee, Cliffjumper, Warpath, Swerve, Wheelie and [Ultra] Powerglide.

However, for those who complaint that Menasor SHOULDN'T have separate chest plate, I think this is worth mentioning. No, he doesn't have separate chest G1 cartoon. But, his G1 toy comes with a roller car that can be used with G1 Motormaster 'base' mode. The existence of the roller car also can be seen in Marvel UK continuity (Second Generation), Dreamwave Generation One continuity (Passive Aggression) and GI Joe VS The Transformers continuity (The Art Of War). Well, the roller car shouldn't be Blackjack (based on Blackjack of the Sports Car Patrol Micromaster) but you get the idea. Moving on!

Behold, the Menasor we've been waiting for....!!..... Hasbro's combiners generally are great, I really like their Superion and the upcoming Defensor (from what I saw in the pictures) but the design of Menasor is really weak. All the limbs are well designed but main body is too bulky (making him look weird with thin arms) but at the same time, hollow making him an unstable figure. Not to mention they cheated on the upper legs as they are only 'for show', with panels folding up making him looks like he has proper legs.

Back View
While I don't usually mind how combiners look from the back but Menasor's back reveal too much of his weak design, the upper legs 'illusion', the thin main body, the visible fists and Motormaster lower legs.

Not sure why Hasbro went for this head sculpt for Menasor as the horns are really out of place. However, the detailing is good and the finishing is nicely done.

I can't really find any place to attach the small weapons [so that they make sense] that comes with all four limbs aside from Dead End's weapon.

Not the way I prefered but Motormaster's chest can be split open revealing another chest but with excellent detailing (lacking paint though).

I can't help but notice, the detailing bear resemblance to Age Of Extinction Galvatron. Curious...

Close-up Menasor body and hips
Another issue is that that one-piece crotch plate hinder his hips movement. It can be flipped up but not without making Menasor look weird.

Not certain angle

Combiner Mode (Alternate)

While being able mix-and-match the limbs is a good gimmick, I don't think it really works for Menasor as he somehow looks bulkier than the previous configuration.

Unofficial Configuration

These are just random attempt to improve Menasor's look (from my perspective) without any modification.

Since Menasor is a bit too bulky for his height, bend Motormaster's hips at smaller angle to give him taller looks. However, by doing so, the panels can't peg anywhere.

Also, this still doens't solve my issue witht the one-piece crotch plate.

Preferred Configuration

Although not perfect but this is my prefered configuration, with Motormaster's lower body not rotated (the same way as it is in robot mode). In this configuration, Motormaster's knees are used for Menasor's forward movement of the legs while his hips are for movement to the side. As I said, this configuration is not perfect as the Motormaster knees are too low which makes him look a bit weird. Still, it improves his articulation and the proportion.

To make it better, Motormaster's hips and knees should be tighten. However, for this review, I didn't do it. In addition, if any 3rd party companies can come up with a new chest plate that extend lower than his original crotch plate, maybe this configuration can improve more.

Menasor Crush!!  Destroy!!


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  3. Thanks a lot for the post. I had not picked up on that trick for dragstrips feet.

    1. Glad I could help. Thanks for the support!

  4. Great photographs as usual. I do prefer the taller mode Menasor, but I picked up a cheap M3 in this guy's wake so I think I'm sticking with that.

    First aid is supposedly more of a retool than just the head, and Wild Rider / Slingshot are now confirmed for both sides of the pacific. Guess we'll see where this all goes!

    1. hopefully Perfect Effect will be able to do wonders on these guys.

      Really? Tried looking at First Aid's stock photos, maybe I missed something