Monday, May 30, 2011

Review: [Hasbro] Transformers Power Core Combiners Steamhammer with Constructicons

Figure Information
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Origin Series: Transformers: Power Core Combiners
Scale: Non-Scale
Height: Approximately 11cm tall (Scout Robot Mode)
Approximately 19cm tall (Combiner Robot Mode)
Original Price: 20 USD

Figure Box:

Because Steamhammer is a 5-pack from the PCC line, he gets a box instead of the 2-pack blister cards, and it's definitely huge probably around double the wider box of Revenge of the Fallen Voyagers. Though again, it still gets the same red design and the transformation level. The line logo stays on the bottom of the package. A really nice touch is that instead of the 2-pack's vehicle mode with the minicon partner art, we get the combiner mode art, and Steamhammer really has a such a badass art which I really loved but yeah, do note, boxes can deceive... And you'll know why later on.

Figure Details:

And this will be a long one since this is a 5-pack, there won't be any part 2 reviews and extra sections since the Torso mode is included in here as well as the drones. Anyway, starting off with the alt mode; with my limited resources, all I can say is he transforms into, obviously as his drone units are named constructicons, a construction vehicle which I have no idea what it is called. Anyway, convincingly enough, the alt mode is neat it has enough points for you to tell it is a construction vehicle and a little neat detail about it is that its plow has these scratch marks all over at the bottom parts which pretty much shows it's been heavily "used". Though once again, I am bothered by the very visible light blue boxes that is the combiner port, which is really an eyesore not to mention with his ridiculous neon green color (which is the one thing I particularly did not like about Steamhammer overall), I know he's really neon green in the box art but the toy's got a MORE lighter shade which kind of makes it a pain for the eyes.

As a bonus, even though he has no minicon partner, there is a powerlinx port in his vehicle where you can peg a vehicle weapon mode minicon from another set with, which in the image below would be Chopster, which is PCC Smolder's partner minicon (whom I borrowed from my sister's collection since aside from Groundspike, I haven't have any other opened 2-packs PCCs yet during Steamhammer's shoot).

Now the bot mode is kind of so-so if you ask me in many ways, well, first of all, he's pretty blocky overall unlike how other commanders do look at least decent despite looking blocky due to their kibbles but yeah, this guy... the only real kibble he has would be the big plow on his back but yet he still looks too blocky and plain. But his head is good for one but then again, neon green doesn't make him that menacing overall and again, two of the combiner pegs pop out like hell while though popping out have a very good use as a way to balance and have Steamhammer standing perfectly; additionally those wheel part kibbles near his shoulders does give him a cool look.

He does have a powerlinx port which is located at the back of his left arm which is pretty out of place and you can really only attach a minicon on it if you don't tilt his left arm which... of course, gives him a bad point again.

Looks like I'm pretty disappointed at his bot mode huh? So, is it the end for Steamhammer? Will he be forever bad? Apparently not, there's one thing that will save him from your blogger's negative comments... And it's...

The Constructicons!

Steamhammer commands the Constructicon drones, his own team. And there are 4 of them that come along with Steamhammer so instead of a minicon partner, you have a drone team!

Wait, drone team??? Well, yeah, basically, the idea of the power core combiners are to be like gestalts but instead of being a new bot with its own personality, the central piece which are the commanders get to retain their own thoughts and minds since the drones are drones, mindless pieces of creations. (Thus also allows scrambling through out the whole line despite the logos!)

So yeah, given that they are drones, they don't really have a bot mode and their real purpose would be to form the limbs of a commander in their torso modes and be used under full control of the commander. I wouldn't really break down into their details but yeah, you can view it on the pics since these drones are pretty small too and here's a breakdown of them:

The Drill Drone which becomes one of the arms

The Front End Loader Drone which forms the other arm

The Plow Drone that turns into one of the legs

And the Steamroller Drone which completes the combiner mode forming the other leg

And with the drone team introduced, it's now time for Steamhammer to access his 3rd mode...

The Torso Mode!

In to form the giant combiner mode, you simply need to connect the combiner ports on each drone to those energon blue combiner pegs, and upon connection, the drones automorph into the limbs that they are supposed to form.

One particular drone here which would be the Plow Drone needs to be bended first before being connected since it doesn't run fully on automorph function. But do note, that the limbs are interchangeable but legs will be legs and arms will be arms.

Following by book, the correct arrangement would be the Drill as right arm, the Front End Loader as left arm, the Plow as right leg and the Steamroller as the left leg. And then we have the combiner mode, which is what I like to call it, or most of the times referred to the as the super mode.

Now this is where Steamhammer wins it, putting aside my dislike of the color, he's pretty good in combiner mode, he's got this Noisemaze-ish head and his arm drones are aesthetically good as both arms have long shoulder pads (which in other 5-packs usually comes with a long shoulder pad and the other being having a short shoulder pad) and additionally this is probably the most decent arm limbs where the hands/claws actually look as what they're supposed while the feet does a pretty fine job as well at giving a good display. What's more is that his Torso mode isn't ridiculously wide as others and the head size is just right.

Surprisingly, despite the failed powerlinx port that the scout size bot mode had, he had a surprise powerlinx port in his torso mode thus, allowing you to plug minicon armor in it which other previous 5-pack torso modes didn't have, and additionally each of the drones have their own powerlinx ports where in torso mode, mostly the arms are good to carry minicons in their vehicle weapon modes while the legs for more armor madness.

As to those curious how big the combiner mode is, they're in between Deluxes and Voyagers and here's a little comparison with his leader, Megatron.


Now to the scout commander first; Steamhammer has a neck swivel that's pretty tight and is sure to hold as long as you swivel it a bit since it would lock the lever that brings his head down that is used for the transformation process.

He does posses the basic arm joints of most transformers, his shoulders uses ball joints allowing a very versatile range of arm movement both upwards or sidewards. He also has a bicep swivel so you gain an additional options despite him having only a 90 degree bend due having a hinge on the elbows.

Now this is where his articulation gets effed up while I do appreciate him having a thigh and shin swivel. The most failed piece of articulation I've seen in articulation history is that he can't really raise his friggin legs, as because of the the tick hip design he has, it prevents it and if you force the raise, his legs pop out! WHAT!? And yeah, basically if you want them to at least bend, there's only one way, pop out his friggin legs, and attach them back in raised position and note that again due to his weird blocky design, the hips doesn't perfectly lock, it's a bit slanted. Lastly his knee joint is a hinge which allows another 90 degrees bend.

A failed hip joint, and no waist joint pretty much renders this robot mode a failure as he doesn't even have friggin weaapons, his arms does turn into piledriver-like stuff but to do it you have to friggin bend his arms which isn't that long so it's pretty much useless and he does have claws in a reverse manner but still doesn't make any awesome poses with it.

So yeah the only saving grace for this bot mode is that if you give him weapons, and thankfully his hands are 5mm ports and thus, applicable to hold a lot of transformer weapons, so yeah, unless you have accessories for him, he's pretty dull.

Now surprisingly, the Torso mode is better articulated, he's less limited in terms of design constraints but due to the automorphing arm limbs, he loses the important elbow joints; the combiner peg itself acts on a swivel so you are granted good articulation for the shoulders and additionally where the combiner pegs are attached, there is a hinge which allows a neat sideways movement. Additionally each of the arm drones have thumb hinges which allows an interchange play as well as a good addition since it is indeed a finger articulation even if it's just one.

And a miraculous addition, the drill drone arm has a hand hinge which adds a little bonus despite the lack of arm joints.

His leg articulation points remain the same as the bot mode (ball jointed hips, knee hinge, thigh and shin swivels) but the good part, he can freely adjust his legs now just making your annoyed blogger cool and calm again XD And ridiculously, his knees can bend slightly more than his scout counter part.

Oh yeah, he has a neck swivel as well but doesn't rotate as far the scout neck can due to the mass of his head.

Despite being huge with no weapons, the combiner mode is really great even without an elbow joint, he's pretty steady and his combiner pegs doesn't come off easily like how others reportedly have. And yeah, he does pull off some decent poses and yeah he's a pretty cool play against minicons and scouts, he's really a menacing one, and the last of his amazing feats is that he can friggin grip some scout classes and his hands does not effin fall down which really amazed me.

And additionally for some fun with his alt mode and two of his drones, there are hinges for some parts which might be fun for kids XD

Final Thoughts:

Well, pretty much mixed opinions, I'd suggest him for a very solid combiner mode and a decent set of drones but I guess other than that, he pretty much isn't worth against his price, pretty much some people would only go after him for his drones really (which was the real reason I had initially) but yeah, the combiner mode is really sweet and I love this 5-pack only for that but the scout bot mode and vehicle mode, meh! So yeah, unless you're okay with this not gestalt piece and his neon green epicness, then I won't really recommend getting him ,though if he goes on clearance (which is in my case) then he's worth picking up especially if you're only after the drones (for another commander's use or army building for the line's scramble play).

Rating (Out of 10)
Details 8
Price 8.5


  1. Dude, that's pretty detailed! Nice review, and a fairly nice figure. I mean, no combiner will ever beat Bruticus, but its unfair to hold this against that majestic hulk of plastic and metal. Fairly good for its size, since they're scout class, though.

  2. But that is not-Bruticus :)) that is the combat colossus with the supposed "Bootleg" parts XD But yeah, 3rd parties in TFs rock none the less, they'll also be creating powerful limbs for these PCCs thus giving god like articulation, hope they're not too expensive though XD