1994 Transformers Generation 2 Combaticons and Bruticus Review

1994 Transformers Generation 2 Combaticons

This is another huge review, with 6000+ words and around 60 photos. But it has to be big because we’re looking at the biggest, baddest dudicus to ever be a metamorphing Bruticus. 

Today I’m joined by my friend Dial H, who runs Dial H for Houston. If you enjoy pulpy science fiction, fantasy, and alternate history novels, check out his website immediately. He writes fun, funny, and snappy reviews of all sorts of books you’ve never heard of. His site has personally encouraged me to order a few books for The Pile. 

Dial H was nice enough to supply both photos and commentary for G2 Bruticus, as I am both missing some of the toy’s accessories and missing all of Dial H’s life experiences and insights. This is a toy that’s notoriously hard to complete, as parts and pieces almost never pop up on the secondary market. 

So we’ve united into our own ragtag combiner force to bring you this review. Dial H is going to bring you a definitive ranking for each member of the team, but I cannot bring myself to choose favorites among my brightly colored 90s children. I do mostly agree with his rankings, though. 

I’ll let Dial H kick things off. 

Table of Contents:

  1. Blast Off
  2. Brawl
  3. Swindle
  4. Vortex
  5. Onslaught
  6. Bruticus

Intro to 1994 Transformers Generation 2 from Dial H

1994 Transformers Generation 2 Combaticons

I’ve always loved Transformers. I mean, robots are rad, cars are rad, so robots that turn into cars (or jets, or dinosaurs, etc) are exponentially radder.

However! In the dim days of the early 90’s, the pop culture zeitgeist had not yet mutated to cater to my every nostalgic whim. So tiny-me would watch re-runs or VHS tapes of the old cartoon … and then wonder why the store didn’t have the characters I saw on-screen. Occasionally, there were workarounds: Powermaster Optimus Prime was the first Optimus toy I ever got my hands on, and he blew my mind. Or sometimes, I’d re-name Micromaster toys after the original Ark crew, and then have them get chased around by a comparatively colossal Scorponok.

1994 Transformers Generation 2 Combaticons

Even still, Transformers eventually left toy store shelves, and other toys (such as the neon-suited GI Joes that this blog is based on) took over my birthdays and Christmases. I’d still bust out the Autobots and Decepticons from time to time, even though neither side was going to receive reinforcements outside of a lucky find at a garage sale or something.

But then, Generation 2 happened! All of a sudden I had the chance to get the rad toys I missed on the first go-round! Neat! Back then, I didn’t care about the different colors, or the neon deco– the toys were still Transformers, with that satisfyingly blocky construction and cool vehicle modes.

1994 Transformers Generation 2 Combaticons

And better yet, they were releasing whole combiners! As again, as a kid, I had a handful of random Scramble City style limbs, but not enough to form a full super robot, not even a horribly frankensteined monstrosity made of, like, two terrorcons, two technobots, and a Nautilator. (Heck, I didn’t even know the Seacons were a thing until years later, but I digress). But here was Generation 2, bringing back molds I’d missed out on before!

I wouldn’t miss my chance. That Christmas, I made it clear to my mom that I needed the whole set of Combaticons, so they could form the big dude. Lists may have been involved. Of the two combiner teams that came out in 1994, I focused on the Decepticons. For one, I just needed more bad guys. On top of that, the Combaticons just offered more variety than the Aerialbots. I mean, when the choice is between five jets, and five different army vehicles (or, well, four army vehicles and a space shuttle), it’s a pretty easy choice. Transformer Combiners look the coolest when they’re a bunch of mismatched vehicles taped together, with tailfins and wings and guns sticking out at weird angles. Which has got me wishing Hasbro properly released a G2 Defensor, but I guess Superion showed up more in the cartoon.

1994 Transformers Generation 2 Combaticons and Bruticus, Deployed for Action

1994 Transformers Generation 2 Combaticons

Thanks, Dial H! Back to me, I guess.

Up until 1998, I didn’t own too many toys from Transformers Generation 2. I had Windrazor, Afterburner, Terradive, five of the six Constructicons, Dreadwing and Smokescreen, Drench, Slag, and Manta Ray. 

Transformers were expensive after all, so I mostly got a few smaller ones for birthday or Christmas presents. I received the Constructicons (and, frustratingly, no Bonecrusher) as an “I’m sorry” gift when my mom purposely exposed me to chicken pox. The rest slowly trickled in from 1993 to 1996 and joined my collection of mostly late G1 Transformers. 

In the summer of 1998, my house burned down. That meant I lost almost everything. Losing our pets was the biggest heartbreak, but no one in my human family was hurt in the fire. My mom encouraged me to see which of my toys I could salvage from the wreck, and I did manage to pull out Slag in mostly decent shape, as well as some GI Joe figures that survived because of an action figure carrying case. 

I’ve talked about my friend Mark before– he was the kid across the street who had Everything. In 1998, he was only interested in Super Nintendo. He was also a pretty good guy so, without a second thought, he gave me most of his G2 Transformers. I got Sideswipe, Powerdive, Leadfoot, another Manta Ray, a full set of Constructicons, and a full set of Combaticons. 

1994 Transformers Generation 2 Combaticons

These toys were missing some accessories here and there, but I was thrilled to have them. I finally had a full Devastator and a full Bruticus! That gift from Mark, which he said was not a big deal, meant the entire world to me. These silly little toys were a huge boost for my mental health. 

The 1994 Transformers Generation 2 Combaticons were my first introduction to the “Scramble City” style of combiner and I absolutely loved them. They seemed less fiddly and more sturdy than Devastator. Plus, I loved the bright color schemes with uniting purple camouflage. On the first day I took those toys back to the hotel where we lived for most of the summer, Bruticus became my favorite Decepticon Combiner. He was later usurped by Piranacon, but he still holds a very close second place. 

I still have those Combaticons I received in 1998. Some of their parts can be seen throughout this review. Last year, though, I found a bargain lot of Generation 2 Combaticons, Aerialbots, and Constructicons. They weren’t complete, but they were closer to complete than my Bruticus or Devastator were, so I could combine the parts. Plus, I never owned Superion or any of his components before. 

1994 Transformers Generation 2 Combaticons

The toys you’re seeing in this review mostly come from that eBay lot, just so I could group the seller’s childhood Combaticons together with minimal mixing and matching. It seemed like a good way to see how the same batch (in overall nicer shape than mine) have held up since 1994. 

As always with these larger reviews, we’ll take a look at each individual toy. Then, at the end, we’ll take a look at the combined form of Bruticus. Since we took so many photos for this article, I combined many of them into single images. You can click on any photo to enlarge and examine it. We tried to be as thorough as possible– I want this to be the most detailed look at G2 Bruticus on the web. 

So read on and please let me know if we missed anything. 

1994 Transformers Generation 2 Blast Off Review

1994 Transformers Generation 2 Blast Off

For this review, we’ll look at the smaller Combaticons in alphabetical order before we proceed to Onslaught and then Bruticus. That means we’re starting with everyone’s favorite Weaponized Space Shuttle– Blast Off! 

Let’s start with his vehicle mode. 1994 Transformers Generation 2 Blast Off is a white and black space shuttle, which looks pretty realistic. The purple camouflage blobs ruin the absolute realism, of course, but it’s a beautiful color scheme. 

1994 Transformers Generation 2 Blast Off

His wings are detachable (which means the one I got in 1998 has no wings) and he also has two interestingly-shaped cannons that can plug into his rear thrusters or onto his wings. There’s a 5mm peg and a 5mm hole, so it’s versatile. I actually used it as a shoulder cannon for the G1 Decepticon Clones at some point. 1994 Transformers Generation 2 Blast Off

The space shuttle looks even cooler with the cannons attached, and I think they work much better when you plug them into the thrusters in vehicle mode– plugging them onto the wings looks awkward. They’re like pool floaties, but for space missions. 

Transforming Blast Off is easy, just like most G1 and G2 combiner limbs. Because his hands are formed from the shuttle’s nose cone, though, he gets Triangle Hands. 

1994 Transformers Generation 2 Blast Off

Blast Off is a neat looking little robot. Purple becomes much more prominent in robot mode, and he has a cool head sculpt– I always like the Transformers with “masks” much more than I like the ones with more human features, and this grim visage fits Blast Off’s cold, calculating characterization quite well. 

1994 Transformers Generation 2 Blast Off

1994 Transformers Generation 2 Blast Off comes with a very cool rifle that has a magazine-like protrusion sticking out of the side. You can equip his shuttle mode cannons in robot mode as well, where they plug into the sides of his legs via the pegs on the bottom of his wings. The rifle doesn’t do much in shuttle mode– you can kind of plug the handle in to the top thruster, but it looks awkward and is not supposed to go there. 

1994 Transformers Generation 2 Blast Off

Blast off has honest-to-god ball joints at his arms to facilitate transformation, which means he has better articulation than most original era Transformers. They can wear out and get wonky over time, though. 

1994 Transformers Generation 2 Combaticons

Blast Off is probably my favorite Combaticon. I love that he mostly just chills out in space and shoots things from orbit. This makes sense, as a space shuttle isn’t going to be able to hang with a tank, a jeep, a helicopter, and a very long truck in most situations. If he does need to join the team in vehicle mode, he fits nicely on the bed of Onslaught’s truck form, which is a nice bonus. 

Dial H Ranks Blast Off at #3

Technically, NASA is a civilian organization, so it’s weird he’s on the military-themed group. But I guess Blast-Off didn’t fit the themes of any of the other combiner teams, so here we are. Per his tech-spec, Blast-Off is a snob who hangs out in space and zaps targets from thousands of miles away. Which, y’know, is pretty tactically sound, until you have to swoop down to the surface every other week so you can turn into an arm.

But, applying logic to a kids toy line shall always be a fool’s errand. Luckily, Blast-Off is a cool toy. The purple splotches on white make absolutely no sense, but look cool, which is peak G2. He looks good in both modes: I like the way his vehicle mode guns sit over his wings, though mounting them on his robot mode legs seems a bit awkward of a place to put them.

Blast-Off is also notable in that his mold is one of the first Transformers toys to use ball joints, which have since become fairly ubiquitous in the toyline. It’s a simple thing, but at the same time those simple ball joints make Blast-Off far more poseable than the likes of Swindle and Brawl.

Also, in the current IDW continuity, Blast-Off has a long distance relationship going with everyone’s favorite flying saucer, Cosmos. I guess the writers decided to make them a … space-ship.

I will not apologize for that joke.

Blast Off makes the least amount of “sense” as a combat vehicle, but that’s one of the reasons I love him. There weren’t many spacefaring Decepticons until late Generation 1, so Blast Off’s shuttle mode is unique. And his Generation 2 color scheme works better for a space shuttle than the G1 version’s Real Ass Military style did, in my opinion. 

As you can see, the paint on this Blast Off’s eyes is very sloppy. That didn’t happen often with G1 or G2 Transformers, but it is possible. Just be aware of that if you’re looking to buy the toy. 

Blast Off has since been repainted into both American and Japanese versions of his Robots in Disguise/Car Robots counterpart (Movor and Shuttler, respectively), and boasts at least four different color schemes in those toy lines. 

1994 Transformers Generation 2 Blast Off

Hasbro also “updated” Blast Off during the 2016 run of Combiner Wars, where they made him a jet. He was just a straight up repaint of Slingshot, actually. I was less offended that Blast Off became a jet than I was at Blast Off losing his trademark mouthplate– Blast Off with a mouth just doesn’t work for me. Takara released a full-on shuttle Blast Off in their Unite Warriors series, but that toy was never repainted into G2 colors. Boo. 

If you’re looking for a Blast Off, you can’t go wrong with any version of the toy. All three RID versions are great, as is the Car Robots version. The Japanese release of Shuttler is even pretty close to G2 Blast Off as far as color schemes go. If you want the best Blast Off available, though, you need to pick up the G2 version. 

1994 Transformers Generation 2 Brawl Review

1994 Transformers Generation 2 Brawl

Brawl is an angry, belligerent lout, and the 1994 Transformers Generation 2 Brawl figure perfectly encapsulates his personality. Brawl is a brutalist work of art– a brightly-colored neon war crime on tiny wheels embedded under his false tank treads. 

But, not everyone loves Brawl as much as I do. 

Dial H Ranks Brawl at #5

Brawl … exists. He’s a blocky dude who turns into a blocky tank, which is then used as a blocky leg. He doesn’t have much in the way of personality, either. Per his techspec, Brawl is a loud, abrasive thug … just like every third decepticon or so. At least his vehicle mode is pretty cool. He’s a generic tank, but if you put the double-barreled cannon on him, Brawl’s look becomes unique, and certainly more interesting than just a brick of a dude who can’t reach past his chestplate.

1994 Transformers Generation 2 Brawl

Brawl is, of course, a tank. It’s a neat little tank with a rotating turret, chock full of furious harsh angles. It’s nicely detailed, and is one of the better tank modes from the first two Transformers generations. It’s green with purple splotches deco ties it closely to the first G2 Megatron, as well– which is fun if you’re a certain kind of person. 

1994 Transformers Generation 2 Brawl

If you need extra armament in tank mode (and Brawl insists you do), you have the option of equipping the toy with a purple double cannon. The double cannon can elevate, which means you have full weapons coverage when you combine it with the turret’s horizontal rotation. If you’d like, you can plug Brawl’s pistol into one of the holes at the front of the tank, or slide it nicely into the double cannon behind the twin barrels. 

Brawl’s transformation is pretty easy, but you need to remember to pull the turret out to give yourself enough room to move his legs out. You’re left with a robot made of sullen shapes and angry angles and he looks FANTASTIC. 

1994 Transformers Generation 2 Brawl

Brawl only moves at the shoulders, and when his arms are pointed straight ahead, they match up perfectly with his pointy bosom, recreating the front of his tank mode. That’s a little bit awkward, but it’s better than not having any arm articulation. He also features a very cool head design, complete with a featureless mask, and I love the tank barrel pointing up behind his noggin. 

1994 Transformers Generation 2 Brawl

Brawl comes with the aforementioned double AA-cannon (which cannot be used in robot mode) and a purple gun of some sort. Let’s call it a Big Pistol. It fits nicely into either of his hands. It also seems to have a 3mm hole on one side, but I’m not entirely sure what that is for. The handle, much like the handle on Blast Off’s weapon, is a 3mm peg. That means hundreds of Transformers Hasbro has released over the years can use Brawl’s weapon, if you so choose. 

1994 Transformers Generation 2 Brawl

Brawl is your bread and butter Combaticon– he’s an angry, homicidal war machine in both robot mode and tank mode. The Combaticons had to have a tank, and Takara’s designers did a very nice job with Brawl. His Generation 2 color scheme was a good choice, too. The green and purple look great together, and a green tank just seems “right.”

Like Blast Off, Brawl was repainted into Armorhide (Hasbro) and Dangar (Takara). Between Car Robots and RID, you have three other versions of Brawl to choose from. His G1 version exists, as well, of course. 

1994 Transformers Generation 2 Brawl

Brawl’s Combiner Wars update was relatively straightforward, but there were some puzzling design choices Hasbro made with the mold. His midsection doesn’t peg or tab together very well, which means he’s a bit floppy. He also has no weapon beyond his tank barrel, which seems silly for Brawl. I will say, though, that Hasbro did a nice job on the color choices and deco for the G2-themed CW release. It’s a pretty nice looking toy. 

I feel like Brawl is another essential early Decepticon. He’s an angry little tank who can work as a limb for any Scramble City style combiner. What more could you want in an enemy goon?

1994 Transformers Generation 2 Swindle Review

1994 Transformers Generation 2 Swindle

Blast Off is the favorite and Brawl is the muscle, but Swindle is the charmer. I think Swindle would qualify as most people’s favorite Combaticon, just from his bio/tech specs and few brief media appearances in early Transformers. Then, when you couple that with his fun portrayal on Transformers Animated, you get a fan-favorite character. I am not immune to this. I will go with the grain and swim downstream. I will consume the lamestream media and huff the chemtrail kool aid. I love Swindle. 

1994 Transformers Generation 2 Swindle

1994 Transformers Generation 2 Swindle is a cute little army jeep, presented in the hyper realistic military colors of bright red and purple. There are nice little seats molded into the driver’s compartment, and the windshield can fold up or down, too, which used to be a feature of most military jeep toys. It’s a solid little toy car that rolls around my tile kitchen floor like a dream. 

1994 Transformers Generation 2 Swindle

Swindle has a little port just behind the seat where his large rifle can plug in, where it forms a turret. He also comes with a smaller pistol that can plug into the side of the rifle, so he can equip both guns in vehicle mode. The gun really completes the look of the jeep, and elevates it to a perfect(ly garish) military vehicle. 

1994 Transformers Generation 2 Swindle

The rifle itself boasts both a 5mm peg and a 3mm peg, so a huge array of Transformers can use it. I’ve received this gun with a ton of TF lots I’ve bought over the year, so it seems pretty popular. I actually got one with a “mostly complete” G1 Squeezeplay at some point, and I didn’t notice the figure was using Swindle’s rifle until I received it in the mail. But whatever, man– Squeezeplay is still using that gun. Swindle’s pistol features a 3mm peg, which also means a lot of other Bots can use it. My Action Master Charger has been using a Swindle pistol for about 20 years now. Swindle’s accessories are good is all I’m saying here. 

1994 Transformers Generation 2 Swindle

In robot mode, Swindle is just a lil guy. He stands a head shorter than his fellow Combaticon limbs, and it gives him some personality. Sure, his shoulders are placed at an awkward part of his torso and he looks like a squat little squareboi, but he just oozes sleazy robot charm. Even though it’s a tiny (and also doubles as a peg you jam into any one of four cavities on Onslaught’s body), his head sculpt is pure charisma. Those big purple optic sensors just tell you that Swindle has something (probably defective) to sell you and that you are going to buy it. You would trade him your USS Flagg for a broken Crazy Legs and three Star Trek pogs. 

1994 Transformers Generation 2 Swindle

Swindle can, of course, wield both of his guns in robot mode. If you’d like, you can store his rifle on his back. The pistol can plug in there, too, if Swindle needs both hands for wheeling and dealing. Swindle boasts the most universally useful accessories of all of the Combaticons, as he can wield all of them in all of his modes. 

Dial H Ranks Swindle at #4

Personality-wise, Swindle is the most fun Combaticon. He’s an arms dealer, in the war for the money. In a faction full of brutish thugs, conniving sociopaths, and megalomaniacal tyrants, it’s kind of refreshing to have a random guy with the smarmy personality of a used car salesman.

Unfortunately, his toy isn’t as noteworthy as his tech-spec. Like Brawl, he has a really solid vehicle mode, and a somewhat lackluster robot mode. He’s a brick-y chunk, and the way his arms pivot is kinda weird if you look at it too closely. The purple splotches on orange really stand out, however. Like, what kind of camouflage is that, exactly? Or maybe Swindle’s been hanging out with Alley Vipers from GI Joe?

1994 Transformers Generation 2 Swindle’s alluringly odd color scheme makes him even more appealing than the G1 version, in my opinion. He’s unique. Sure, he’s a stumpy little dumpo, but that just adds to his robo-magnetism. 

Like the other Combaticons, Swindle was repainted into Rollbar and Greejeeper in the West and Japan, respectively. If you want a Swindle with more Macho Military Colors, all of these repaints might suit you better than either the G1 or G2 versions. But, be warned, Swindle is never dull– three of those four toys also feature some bewitching bright orange. 

1994 Transformers Generation 2 Swindle

Swindle’s G2 Combiner Wars update used the same body as Hound, and it worked okay. Hasbro didn’t quite get the red correct, but it’s still a nice toy. It’s honestly probably the best of all of the CW/UW Combaticons. It has great articulation and a good head sculpt, so it’s a worthier update to our friend from 1994 than many of its contemporaries. 

When you see G2 Swindle, you’ll know at first glance if you like him or not. Personally, I would not be satisfied with my Transformers collection if I didn’t have this particular toy. 

1994 Transformers Generation 2 Vortex Review

1994 Transformers Generation 2 Vortex

Vortex transforms into a moody little military helicopter and uses his “superpowers” (all the powers of a helicopter) to interrogate Autobots. Basically, he’s GI Joe’s Interrogator with the Battle Copter built in. 

1994 Transformers Generation 2 Vortex

According to TFWiki, Vortex’s vehicle mode is a Kaman SH-2 Seasprite helicopter. It’s a naval aircraft designed for killing submarines. In his resplendent blue and purple color scheme, 1994 Transformers Generation 2 Vortex makes for a cool little generic cold war hovergoon– sleek, compact, and a little boxy all at once. It’s a really nice vehicle mode that’s perfect for a Decepticon. 

1994 Transformers Generation 2 Vortex

Vortex features a 5mm peg on each side of his vehicle mode, near the rear, where you can plug in his big honkin’ rotary cannons. He also includes a smaller nose gun, which doubles as his sidearm in robot mode. The copter rotors are also a separate piece, and you’ll note that one of the blades snapped off of mine. Since this is a very hard piece to replace, I’m pretty happy with having ¾ of the accessory. 

1994 Transformers Generation 2 Vortex

Dial H was nice enough to take some photos of the full rotor apparatus and Vortex’s handgun, as I am missing both of those pieces. 

1994 Transformers Generation 2 Vortex

Dial H Ranks Vortex at #2

Now we’re getting into the good stuff. Like Blast-Off, Vortex has ball-jointed shoulders, giving him a fair amount of posability– compared to other toys, at least. Plus, the vehicle bits hanging off of him in robot mode give him a cool looking silhouette. Even if you’ve lost his helicopter blades, Vortex still has his tail rotor hanging off of one arm. I always like it when you can see bits of a robot’s vehicle mode integrated into their robot form.

1994 Transformers Generation 2 Vortex

Speaking of vehicle modes, Vortex’s is no slouch, either. He’s a solid looking helicopter, with a bluish/purplish color scheme that’s … kind of realistic? Ish? Maybe? The way his nose-gun clips in is pretty cool, to boot.

Oh, and as a sidenote, when I was a kid one of my friends’ little brothers stole Vortex, but his parents caught him and made him return it– though in the intervening time he’d lost one of the side-guns. Call it a life-lesson, or something. I’m glad I got the toy back, but in retrospect, that the kid’s parents noticed a single new action figure is kind of a sign of how crazy and controlling his mom was.

That’s nostalgia for you.

As Dial H mentioned, Vortex’s transformation gives him better articulation than most small Transformers of the 80s and 90s. The panel where the rotor attaches can rotate 180 degrees for either mode, though I’m never sure which position I like more for robot mode. As you can see, I’ve done it both ways throughout this review. Your instructions mean nothing to me, Hasbro. 

1994 Transformers Generation 2 Vortex

Vortex’s robot mode looks really good. You can attach the huge rotary cannons to his arms for added firepower, and his tail rotor can flip around to form a buzzsaw weapon (which is just something I’ve always done– it seems like a handy thing to have around for a robot who interrogates other robots). Vortex absolutely does not have real hands, but Takra and Hasbro tried to trick us by molding a half-assed little fist into Vortex’s inner arms. Adorable. 

1994 Transformers Generation 2 Vortex

Vortex’s head sculpt is another winner in my book, too– talk about menace! 

1994 Transformers Generation 2 Vortex1994 Transformers Generation 2 Vortex

Besides this beautiful 1994 Transformers Generation 2 Vortex, the mold also came in G1 flavor and had three repaints in the RID and Car Robots line. Vortex was reused as Ro-Tor in the West and Hepter in Japan. All of the RID/CR color schemes are very nice, and a few of them are even a little bit garish. G2 has truly been a great influence over the years. 

1994 Transformers Generation 2 Vortex

When it came time for The Combiner Wars, Vortex was a repaint of Alpha Bravo (who was always gonna be Vortex). The G2 homage version’s colors are, again, a little bit off, but it works. The helicopter mode is pretty different (it’s a Eurocopter AS365 Dauphin), but it’s close enough. I was pretty happy with the remake. 

Decepticon helicopters aren’t super common, as Megatron’s legions prefer to transform into fighter jets. For that reason, Vortex stands out among his peers. The blue and purple color scheme here makes him stand out further, too. As Dial H mentioned, G2 Vortex’s color scheme verges on “realistic,” but thank god it avoids falling entirely into that particular dreary pitfall. Vortex is a great toy with a lot of fun options in both robot and vehicle mode. 

1994 Transformers Generation 2 Onslaught Review

1994 Transformers Generation 2 Onslaught

Depending on what kind of shape your toy is in, Onslaught is either a treat or an exercise in frustration. One of mine has tight shoulder joints and secure slide mechanisms in his legs, and he’s a great toy. The other one (the one I photographed for this review) has weak leg slides and floppy shoulder joints. This is a toy that can be spectacular or borderline useless, depending purely on how a few 25+ year old pieces of plastic have held up.

Dial H Ranks Onslaught at #1

Is it fair to compare a larger toy to a smaller one? Probably not. Still, Onslaught has a lot of cool stuff going for him. His vehicle mode is a bit awkward, I admit– it’s kind of long and narrow, without much detail on the rest of the truck ‘bed.’ However, his robot mode is where it all comes together. He’s satisfyingly blocky, and the big-ass cannons sticking up from his back make him look more impressive and warlike.

1994 Transformers Generation 2 Onslaught

Onslaught’s shoulders aren’t ball-jointed, but they’re set up so he has a similar-ish range of movement. Which, again, is fairly rare in this era of Transformers. On top of that, the G2 version has arguably the most garish color scheme of the bunch, which makes him awesome. Those purple splotches on bright yellow give me a serious vaporwave vibe.

The tech-spec lists Onslaught as a master tactician, which makes me wonder if he spends his free time playing wargames. Like, the crunchy historical ones, where you just push cardboard chits around a hex-gridded map instead of spending most of your time and money painting space marines. Thankfully, I do not have the time to write fanfic about this.

1994 Transformers Generation 2 Onslaught

As Dial H said, Onslaught’s truck mode is not the most impressive thing in the world. On the surface, it’s an extra-long flatbed with an anti-aircraft gun stapled to it. But there is some nice detail there, the guns are cool (and have been remolded slightly so they can accommodate his missile launcher, too), and he can hold any of the other Combaticons on his truck bed. This is especially useful for Vortex and Blast Off. The orange/yellow and purple color scheme is completely unique, too– there’s no other Transformers toy that looks like 1994 Transformers Generation 2 Onslaught.

1994 Transformers Generation 2 Onslaught

Onslaught’s gun batteries can elevate slightly and “lock” into a raised position thanks to their sliding mechanism. He also includes a rifle, which you can’t use in vehicle mode, and a missile launcher with missile. 

1994 Transformers Generation 2 Onslaught

Before we get deeper into the accessories and robot mode, I want to talk about Onslaught’s third mode– which is not the combiner torso mode! No, Onslaught can also transform into a little battle station. I never learned about this mode until around 2000 or so, since my original 1994 Transformers Generation 2 Onslaught was missing his ramp. But I find myself really liking it. 

1994 Transformers Generation 2 Onslaught

Basically, you fold up the toy somewhere between robot mode and combiner torso mode, flip it onto its tummy, attach the ramp, and plug the gun batteries onto Onslaught’s head. In theory, this can attach to Metroplex. I do have a Metroplex, but I didn’t feel like figuring the whole thing out for this review. Sorry. It makes a neat little gun emplacement, though, and Swindle and/or Brawl can park at the top and roll down the ramp. You can also deploy the missile launcher in this mode. 

1994 Transformers Generation 2 Onslaught

Speaking of the missile launcher– if you’re a GI Joe fan, it might look somewhat familiar to you. That’s because it’s a slight retool of the 1991 Snow Serpent’s missile launcher, done up in a similar purple color. This retooled weapon was also used for G2 Jazz and G2 Sideswipe. Hasbro really got some mileage out of early 90s Gi Joe accessories in the Transformers Generation 2 toy line. 

1994 Transformers Generation 2 Onslaught

Transforming Onslaught is pretty easy. When you’re done, you have a tall, imposing robot that can either point his weapons in multiple directions (and turn his head!) or kind of just flops around and falls over. 

1994 Transformers Generation 2 Onslaught

To complete the look in robot mode, though, you need his chestplate. He looks very plain without it. This accessory is almost always missing from G2 Onslaughts, precisely because there’s nowhere to store it on either vehicle or combiner mode. I have never had this accessory, and I’ve been hunting for one since 1998. It’s just not available. Luckily, Dial H has the piece and was willing to lend a few photos. 

1994 Transformers Generation 2 Onslaught

1994 Transformers Generation 2 Onslaught

Other than the ramp, chestplate, and weapons, Onslaught comes with everything you need to form Bruticus– hands, feet, combiner chestplate, and combiner head. He comes with a lot of stuff, so it’s no wonder pieces are often missing. 

1994 Transformers Generation 2 Bruticus

Like the other Combaticons, Onslaught was repainted for the RID and Car Robots line. He became Mega-Octane and Dolrailer, who sports some nice orange plastic in three of his four repaints. 

G2 Onslaught’s Combiner Wars remake is pretty good. The colors aren’t perfect, but they get the point across. The vehicle mode is very different, but it’s a lateral move. The only thing I didn’t like about it was the lack of a proper robot mode (and Bruticus) rifle. 

1994 Transformers Generation 2 Onslaught

Onslaught is a toy I really like. He’s a big, beefy Decepticon squad leader who’s bristling with weapons and can stare down Optimus Prime himself. If you can find a copy of this toy that’s in good shape, you should absolutely go for it. But, if you can’t find the chestplate (which you need for the robot mode to look good), then you should go for one of the RID or Car Robots repaints. Or the G1 version if you’re a gazillionaire. 

1994 Transformers Generation 2 Bruticus Review

1994 Transformers Generation 2 Bruticus

Now we come to the big bad battling Bruticus himself. 

Dial H: (EXTRA BONUS BETTER THAN #1 SOMEHOW) BRUTICUS, the Big Battlin’ Dudicus!

Of course, the whole part of these toys is combining them into a giant super robot, and Bruticus does not disappoint. He’s a big, imposing robot, bristling with guns. It’s all tied together by that big purple chestplate. It’s garish, and therefore perfect. Kind of like wearing a silk-screened Hawaiian shirt in public. It takes confidence to wear something like that. Bruticus is just daring you to say something about his paint job.

1994 Transformers Generation 2 Bruticus

Like the best combiners, Bruticus is more than the sum of his parts. So while the Decepticons tended to be outnumbered in the hard-fought battles for my bedroom floor, Bruticus was big and impressive enough to give the Decepticons an edge. (At least until the G2 dinobots showed up).

G2 wasn’t the last time Hasbro returned to this mold. Like, they released several different versions of the Combaticons as a guy named ‘Ruination,’ during the early 2000’s Robots in Disguise (Car Robots in Japan) series. Which was kind of a weird line, now that I think back on it, but that may be another article entirely!

It could be another article entirely! I love Ruination. 

1994 Transformers Generation 2 Bruticus

Anyway, 1994 Transformers Generation 2 Bruticus is formed when you transform Onslaught into his torso mode, clip on the big camo-splotched chestplate, and plug the combiner head over Onslaught’s own noggin. Then, you plug the rest of the team into him. 

1994 Transformers Generation 2 Bruticus

Each Combaticon’s head doubles as a combiner peg. In the case of Vortex and Onslaught, another peg is hidden in their chest, which flips out so they can become an arm for the combiner. 

The nominal configuration uses Swindle and Brawl for legs along with Blast Off and Vortex for arms. 

1994 Transformers Generation 2 Bruticus

You can also swap things around, but I find it looks kind of strange. I think it’s just because I’m so used to seeing the air vehicles as arms for Bruticus– but RID Ruination commonly used both configurations in that cartoon, so it’s totally valid. 

If you want, you can leave the individual bots’ extra weapons attached in combined mode to give Bruticus even more firepower. Beyond that, he’s supposed to wield Onslaught’s rifle in one hand and the missile launcher in the other. The launcher is a bit of a throwaway accessory, really, but it does add to his intimidation factor when it’s equipped. 

Bruticus is less fiddly and more sturdy than a toy like Devastator, but you still have to be a bit careful when you’re moving him around. If you want to swivel the arms up and down, there’s a chance that Onslaught’s arms (which they attach to) might become dislodged and knock off the combiner’s chestplate. But, other than that, it’s a joy to play with. 1994 Transformers Generation 2 Bruticus can loom over most of your G1 and G2 toys, and he looks great on a shelf. 

1994 Transformers Generation 2 Bruticus

As I mentioned near the beginning, this is one of my absolute favorite Transformers combiners. The purple camo makes a unified color scheme out of five individual eyesores, and that’s a huge accomplishment in itself. 

There’s some additional playability to be had with Bruticus, as well. You can use any Scramble City style combiner limb with Onslaught’s torso mode, so you can make some very wild and wacky combinations. 

1994 Transformers Generation 2 Bruticus

I never had more than Bruticus until much later in life, but I imagine kids during the G1 years had a great time making mishmash combiners– sometimes out of necessity. 

Though he only moves at the arms and head, Bruticus is a very fun toy. He wasn’t meant as a collector’s item or something to throw in an Ikea display case. He was made to be played with. The Generation 2 Combaticons are all pretty sturdy little things, and the team epitomizes why Transformers was such a beloved and cherished toy line in the 80s and 90s. 

Verdict: If you like old Transformers, you need at least one version of the Combaticons in your collection. I personally think the 1994 Transformers Generation 2 Bruticus is the best one of the bunch, but you can’t go wrong with the G1 version or any version of Ruination or Baldigus, either. This set of toys is Highly Recommended

Additional Resources:

  1. G2 Bruticus at TFU.info
  2. G2 Bruticus at TFWiki

Closing Thoughts on 1994 Transformers Generation 2 Combaticons and Bruticus

1994 Transformers Generation 2 Bruticus

Thanks again to Dial H for joining me for this review and supplying some much needed photos. I urge you to check out his website

We hope you enjoyed our look at the metamorphing dudicus himself. 

Did we miss anything? Are there any other photos you want to see?

Who’s your favorite Transformers combiner team? Let us know in the comments!

7 thoughts on “1994 Transformers Generation 2 Combaticons and Bruticus Review

  1. An entertaining super-review as always, fellas. Regarding the kid who stole your Vortex, I can certainly relate. When I was a little child, a kid from preschool once came over with his mother to visit. While our moms chatted, the kid and I went into our bedroom and I showed him my trading card collection. He was bigger than me, and with a wry smirk on his mug, the little brat began to pocket my cards right in front of me. Not knowing what to do, (and being far too thin to beat him up) I ran to my mother, but I remember not wanting to embarrass the brat’s mother out in the open by complaining publicly. So I tried whispering in my mom’s ear, but she chastised me by saying that it was impolite to do that in front of others. Needless to say, the brat and his mom left with my trading cards. I probably wouldn’t have slept that night, but the brat made a huge mistake: Once home, he bragged about the cards in front of his parents and grandmother, all of whom realized that his collection had grown by leaps and bounds after visiting us. His father got real mad and forced him to admit that he stole them from me. So the mother came back to our apartment and returned my trading cards. All’s well that ends well, except for the brat probably having gotten the beating of his life.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment! And thanks for your patience with my slightly belated reply.

      That was very brazen of that kid, but I’m glad his family did the right thing. I’ve never had anything stolen from me that egregiously, but I did have a few bits and bobs stolen when I’d bring toys to school, daycare, etc as a kid. It was always a total bummer, and it also proves how sneaky other kids could be. And also that I was too trusting… and naive. I probably still am.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Transformers I had stolen from me or ruined during childhood included Action Master Blaster (let a kid borrow him, kid “dropped him in a river”), Seacon Overbite (kid never returned it), and G2 Snarl (let a kid hold it for a few seconds, kid immediately snapped his leg in half at the knee. “Is this supposed to come off?” I still have nightmares). After these incidents I became overprotective of any plastic robot I owned.

    I grew up around the same time as you did, coveting older G1 characters in the days of late G1 and G2, but at the time I didn’t like G2’s bold colors and garish missile launchers and blaring voice boxes. Oh, I still coveted them, of course, because any Transformer was a good Transformer.

    So of the G2 Combaticons, I had Vortex, and I missed out on all the others. I actually don’t remember seeing them much – I think I only saw the Combaticons once or twice on shelves. I saw the commercial on TV one delirious morning and every time the TV was on afterward I’d watch commercials hoping to see the BIG BAD BATTLIN’ DUDICUS one more time (I didn’t until YouTube).

    Sometime after then I managed to find at least a G1 Vortex and Swindle, both in banged-up shape, of course. In the early aughts I got the whole Ruination team – one of my favorite things about that group was how they retooled all the weapons so you could combine them together.

    Since then I’ve owned the whole set of G1 guys (I’m on my second Blast-Off after the first one’s tailfin broke), the WFC video game era versions of the G2 group (great effort, especially on the packaging, but the toys were not great), and the Combiner Wars versions (echoing the same complaints you made, except that Blast-Off’s mouth face grew on me, especially after his moments in the IDW comics).

    Nowadays I’m down to just that core G1 group, and they’re still some of my favorites. I’m all about garish colors, but the muted military schemes of the vintage guys, along with the slightly alien addition of purple to some of them, is just perfect. It all feels “right,” at a glance, but then you still have the total wackiness of an olive green space shuttle with engine-mounted cannons.

    Great review and photos. I really like the combinations of different eras of characters and accessories (don’t think I missed that Armorhide you snuck into one shot).

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Drac my dude, thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment!

      So, did you sell all of your modern Brutici? I love the color scheme on the G1 version too, so I don’t blame you for only keeping that one. I got the Unite Warriors Bruticus since I absolutely had to have one in G1 colors. I’m also thinking about grabbing one of those probably-a-KO reissue sets of the G1 version from China.

      Despite my love for G2 Bruticus, I could not hang with the Fall of Cybertron version. The box was Very Nice, as you said, but the toys were not for me. I bought a few of the retooled “Wreckers” and I just did not like playing with them, so I left the G2 version alone. I do think the Combiner Wars version was mostly successful overall, though.

      But RUINATION. What a good toy! I also love how you can peg all the weapons together (along with Mega-Octane’s chestplate!) so you don’t lose them. Even the ramp plugs into the combined mode. It also has a fantastic (and strange) color scheme, so it’s a cherished robo for me. Even if I wasn’t obsessed with RID, it’s one I’d keep around.

      I actually really liked the CW Slingshot mold, and think it looks great in both G1 and G2 Blast Off colors, but I just can’t see it as Blast Off. I’m happy to have them around as generic Deceptigoons, though. The G1 colors version actually looks neat with one of Legends Nightbird’s yellow swords, for whatever reason.

      Armorhide is glad someone noticed him. He kind of goes solo these days, as I use the desert camo version for the actual assembled Ruination combiner.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m not sure where my original G2 Vortex and RID Ruination ended up – I think with my brother, which means they’re long gone now. I sold the WFC G2 set and the CW set as part of a big cull I did a few years ago, with the intention of getting out of the Generations line to focus on Masterpiece (of course, then the new WFC series pulled me right back in…).

        Kinda wish I’d grabbed the UW Baldigus!

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Baldigus looks great. I wouldn’t mind having that bit of redundancy around the house. I would also love a BATTLE GAIA– even a good KO.

        I don’t blame you for getting rid of those things in a purge, though. I’m kinda psyching myself up for one of those now.

        Liked by 1 person


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