Friday, May 20, 2011

Review: [Hasbro] Transformers Power Core Combiners Heavytread with Groundspike -Part 1-

Figure Information
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Origin Series: Transformers: Power Core Combiners
Scale: Non-Scale
Height: Approximately 10cm tall
Original Price: 10 USD

Figure Blister Card:

The power core combiner 2-packs pretty much adapts the generations' style of packaging, red and all with the transformation level on the upper right. And the actual toy line in the card beside Heavytread and Groundspike's alt mode combi as their art. The package is pretty small around the same as a scout class package but just a little wider. So yeah, inside, there are two clamshells with a different color for the minicon partner. So yeah, just so-so and that's it. XD

Figure Details:

Going to his Vehicle mode first, Heavytread transforms into a tank, and I must say, the tank looks great, the paint apps, the details, they're pretty well done even with the plastic-y feel. Tanks were never the ones to have metallic colors since you know... they destroy lives in war and military operations... One thing's off though, and it's those combiner ports, they're light blue and they're just friggin off overall, I know it's part of the gimmick but it would've been good if Hasbro did paint them in a way that they'd blend in with the bots colors so you know, it'd look good. And another thing which I feel is off would be those yellowish parts on the tank, so yeah, basically detail wise, he's good but paint apps, not so much.

Heavytread's bot mode is really decent, and his head, it's great, he doesn't look weird (plus the fact that your blogger here likes it best when bots have battle masks or sorts). He's pretty solid in terms of details but really what bugs me is the kibble in his hands, it's just weird in many ways since you can really just see his hands when you view it from above; view it below and all you see are some tank plates. And, of course, like my complaint in the vehicle mode, those combiner ports really look off, well, it's good that two of them are still hidden (though more visible this time), two ports remain ridiculously visible but aside from those, Tread's nice overall.

A pretty neat feature Tread has would be his back turret in robot mode, basically in the transformation to his Torso mode (which would be discussed in Part 2) requires you to rotate it 90 and then swivel the pipe upwards and there then there's actually a part of the turret which you can flip out to become a shoulder cannon of sorts, well, you can do it with Tread's scout class bot mode and it does make him look even cooler.

Additionally, you can flip the said adjusted turret upwards and make it some sort of cannon backpack since even the tank's actual blaster acts as another shoulder cannon. Talk about possibilities with this guy.

You might've wondered why I call his bot mode scout class. Well, basically, if you noticed then height data as well, all commanders in PCC are just around scout class size. And below's a comparison with Breacher.

Going to the other robot, his minicon partner, Groundspike. Groundspike's pretty much really there to become his accessories since the robot mode really can't do anything amazing on its own. It's really weird though that Hasbro had to go with clear plastic to make these minicons and what's even more weird with Groundspike is that he has a solid colored upper half of his legs which really looks weird in many ways and lastly a metallic silver colored plate attached to his arms as probably a kibble, it would have been A LOT better if they just used solid colors instead even if the color was just monotonous but at least you can see the details more, I mean, I can't even see how this guy looks like thanks to his clearness.

My favorite mode of Groundspike is his 1st weapon mode, the claw mode for Tread's bot mode. It's pretty menacing and kind of reminds me of Liger Convoy back from Galaxy Force when I attach it to Tread's right arm peg. And Tread has two options on using this savage claw, you can either peg it on his arm as I've mentioned in the earlier statement or you can just plug it directly on his hands and he can hold it firmly.

Next one would be his armor mode.

To attach the said armor, you need to flip out a powerlinx peg found in Tread's chest and attach it to one of the two holes in Groundspike's body. Of course, you can peg any other minicon here and other applicable stuff :p

And since I dislike Groundspike's armor mode becuase of that awful peg sticking up the center, I changed his armor mode's look and that's one of the wonders of these minicons, they're very applicable to fan mode, but yeah, I think may fan armor mode would work better on Torso mode XD

Last of Groundspike's modes would be the 2nd weapon type which would be for his partner's vehicle mode, which looks like a pincer or something. And similarly to the bot mode, you can flip out the same powerlinx peg and attach the minicon there.


Starting off, I'll be quick with his head since I forgot to take shots of it but he's got a ball jointed neck although he's not really completely free but still it has a decent range on it s own.

Basically iirc his shoulders are made up of a hinge with a swivel and you really have a decent range for it, heck, he can even bend it inwards when raised up; while it has a pretty decent extent sideways, it's not completely a 90 degree raise sideways due to his shoulder pad. His swivel works pretty well allowing a 360 rotation since there aren't any kibble on his back. Tread's elbows is powered by a hinge and there's also a swivel below it which gives him good articulation even if the hinge isn't double jointed; and because it's just a hinge, you can at max bend it at 90 degrees.

What's good about Tread's design (and probably thanks to his Torso mode transformation process as well) is that it gives him a waist swivel, something rare for TFs but still, yeah, really decent since waist joints does give a some major major factor if it is present.

Similarly to how his shoulders were structured, the hips uses the same structure of joints but you guessed it, it's more free in terms of movement, you can open his legs sideways to a 90 like those athletic jumps :p; the same joint also gives tread a prefect split. His knee joints are hinges and they can actually be bent a little more than 90 which is pretty neat, and lastly this guy has a thigh swivel so basically that does give him quite a range. My only gripe probably is that he doesn't have any ankle joints and in some cases, he looks off since his feet doesn't entirely touch the ground. But yeah, despite having no ankle joints, this guy passes the kick test!

Tread's really well articulated since you pretty much have enough points of articulation to play around with him pretty well in many many ways and add the factor the you basically can go fan mode on Groundspike makes this pack pretty fun and yeah, since there's a 5mm port on his right arm, then you can basically make Tread even more HEAVY with some more equipments. I mean, yeah, some of the kibble might look weird but he's really a pretty good toy overall.

As an extra note, while in tank mode, you can actually rotate the turret 360 without any hassle.

Final Thoughts:

Tread's a pretty neat 2-pack, in fact, he's probably the best looking Autobot there is in the PCC as a scout class commander, and his minicon Groundspike is pretty mean on its own being a sort of small Ligerjack in his savage claw mode. So yeah, PCC might not be loved by many, but even so, it still has some good stuff to it, so, yeah, if you happen to see Tread, do think over it and try to get him, this thing's fun in its own even without the Torso mode (and I actually really like him better as a scout bot mode than his Torso mode). Do note that the overall score here does not include any Torso mode related factor since I really think it's just a gimmick added for the line to succeed, I mean, why would I grade an incomplete combiner (since you know... Drones are not included here).

Rating (Out of 10)
Details 8.5
Price 10


This section will be updated once the Part 2 review is up, basically the Part 2 review is everything about the Torso mode (which I'll also do in other Commander 2-pack reviews in the future) which includes Torso mode details and articulation factor, though the said part 2 will not be affecting the overall score above but just a reference. Tread's Part 2 review will probably be up only after I take home Bombshock since I think it would be best to attach the Combaticon drones to Tread since both him and Bombshock are military themed vehicles and as much as I'd like the drones to be autobots, I just can't find the Stakeout and his Protectobot drones here.

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