Sunday 9 February 2020

Battlemaster Smashdown

I’ve been pretty unimpressed with Battlemasters from Siege so far.  They’re small (not cheap) and generally lacking paint. The two Battlemasters I’m actually interested in are too big for their purpose and one is an exclusive.  Yes, I am talking about the guys needed for Spinister’s weapons.  So why do I have Smashdown here? 

Because he has an animalistic robot mode.

Smashdown isn’t the saving grace of the Battlemasters sized figures.  He also isn’t the shame of the Battlemasters sized figures.  I get a bit of a Battle Beasts jive from this toy and I like that.


“Robot” mode.

Is what he is packed in.  He has super chunky lower legs and arms and a bovine head.  Maybe buffalo or something?  What little paintwork he has is nicely applied and seems enough. 

Sculpting wise he is a chunky boy too. There seem to be some hoof type marks where his toes would be.  In the chunks of his fore arms, he has teeny-tiny-two fingered-one-thumbed hands.  From the back it’s all panels and robot looking bits.  I find it interesting as he does have a thick neck with bits that could resemble the Trapezius muscles of a body builder (Look at this pic).  I also like the way they’ve kind of blocked his back from straightening all the way.  It gives him a constant crotch thrusting (no pictures for this one, sorry) stance which adds to his animalistic nature.


You can attached the handle of the hammer to him to form a huge mega long tail if you so wish. Or you can have him hold it as a weapon.  or a lead pipe I guess….


Articulation is not too shabby.  Ball jointed head, shoulders, hips and a waist hinge for transformation.

Transformation is simple enough and he falls into a parts-former category I guess, as without the weapon, he is a rectangular prism.  Slap the pole on him and you have a hammer.


Hammer mode

Erm, yeees. Okay…


It doesn't quite give off a good hammer vibe to me.  The handle is too short to make it look effective and the head is as long as the handle so the balance on this thing must be awful.  (if it were a real hammer)

There is some good chunky detailing (and a bovine head) on this mode.  He also has some 5mm ports on either end for effect parts.  One of which he comes with, a kind of impact effect.  It looks all right.  Slap a jet blast effect on the other side and you have a rocket powered hammer to contend with.  That’s cool.


I’ve spent a fair bit of time staring at this mode and I suspect that perhaps in original design, the chunky square pieces were meant to slide over the thigh/upper arm sections.  This would end up with a hammer that closely resembles a robotic version of Thor’s Mj√∂lnir.  Which would kind of make sense considering how popular the Avengers are at the moment.


However, those pieces don’t do that so it’s not a compact cool looking hammer.  It’s and awkward looking rectangle on a stick.  Really, I always feel that to have a toy wield a weapon like a hammer coolly, the toy would need a winged wrist.  As far as I know, none of the siege toys have one so all they can do is kind of “hold” the hammer.

He also doesn’t have any other way to connect to a Transformer except for the handle.  There’s no cool back-mounting of this hammer going on.  Even though you can attach a blast effect to the handle, it can’t attach to anything else, so free-standing gun emplacement perhaps??


So, to sum this guy up.

Smashdown is not totally without merit.  The robot mode is inventive, cute and fun to play with.  I can see him being a good sidekick type of figure for another robot, which I think is what the Battlemasters figures are supposed to be about.  So in that way he is a successful Battlemaster.  I like the idea of the hammer, but I wish that they did a bit more to his transformation to make it look less like a long block on a stick and more like an actual hammer.  Whether or not my Thor theory is true, I am not sure so it is just speculation however I firmly believe the hammer would be better if it was more compact.

So, a decent toy.  I would say get it if you like different looking robot modes as there are worse ways to spend you money.

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