Monday, April 23, 2012

Transformers Powercore Combiners: Heavytread and Groundspike

Presenting the Autobot Heavytread and his mini-con companion Groundspike from the Transformers Powercore Combiners series. Back in March we featured the Autobot Combiners Grimstone and his Dinobot drones.

What I did not mention in the review was that the Grimstone and his Dinobot 's manual mentioned another  Autobot combiner and showed him combined with the Dinobot drones. That Autobot was Heavytread. Ever since then I would go out of my way to look at the shelves to see if he was available because he looked quite cool combined with the Dinobots. But alas he was not. With the Transformers Powercore Combiners on sale and disappearing from the racks I lost hope that I would ever find one till I wandered into Toy's R Us in Powerplant Mall in Makati where I found him, alone on a shelf and on sale. So I took him.

Heavytread's blister card reads "At his core, Heavytread is a gentle soul. He enjoys the fragile beauty of Earth, appreciating it all the more because of the ease with which it could be ruined. He is glad of the power he now wields, because it gives him the ability to defend the delicate creatures he loves." In other words, he's an Autobot member of Greenpeace. 

Heavytread in Transformers lore was originally a M1A Abrams Main Battle Tank back when he was a mini-con member of the Transformers Armada Safeguard team along with Flatfoot and Makeshift. 

In his new incarnation as a Powercore Combiner, Heavytread is an Israeli Merkava Battle tank - probably a Type 2 Mark C variant. 

Groundspike, his mini-con companion transforms into an anti-mine plow that sits up in front of Heavytread - except this plow has two claw-like appendages instead of just the smooth blades of the plow. 

What's to like about Transformers Powercore Combiners Heavytread and Groundspike?

Heavytread is a tank both in terms of what he transforms into and his robot mode. He's solid, feels hefty, looks armored, tough, and ready to stand toe-to-toe giving as good as he get with whatever Decepticon is dumb enough to stand in his way. You can imagine him barreling his way through his opponents, or slugging it out point-blank.

And to make things even better, Heavytread is one of those rare Transformers that can twist their torsos making him surprisingly flexible as well as tough:

Now should Heavytread's Decepticon opponents prove to be too tough for his fists, all he has to do is unfold his chest mounted cannon - a much smaller version of the one on the chest of Transformers Generations Warpath

Now should the fighting intensify, Transformers Powercore Combiners Heavytread has the ability to combine with Drones:

I'm actually not totally sold on Heavytread's incarnation as a Drone Combiner because of his apparent lack of a middle torso.

By now you've also noted how solid Heavytread looks like in tank mode - save for the gaping hole in his back. His turret can rotate a full 360 and he has rollers to make up for his static tank-treads.

What's NOT to like about Transformers Powercore Combiners Heavytread and Groundspike?

You've probably already figured it out or seen it at this point from the pictures of Heavytread combined with the Drones: Groundspike.

Groundspike looks like plates of scrap-metal that suddenly got animated by energy being held together by a flimsy force-field. I can't even make out his face and in fact, coming or going in his case makes no difference.

Articulation is very basic, and balance is an issue for Groundspike.

Aside from the Robot and anti-mine plow, Groundspike also transforms into Heavytread's weapon - which is a xistera (The hand-basket used by Jai-Alai/Pelota players) looking claw which fits with my vision of Heavytread being a close-in fighter. However he has difficulty using it as Groundspike is a bit wide so Heavytread is better off without Groundspike in my opinion.

Groundspike can also attach himself to Heavytread's front cannon while Heavytread is in robot mode. Heavytread looks ridiculous with Groundspike attached. I sincerely doubt that he can throw a punch with Groundspike up front.

Surprisingly, Transformers Powercore Combiners Heavytread and Groundspike is available on for a whopping US$ 24.99 (PhP 1,074 plus shipping) - and honestly I think he's worth it because of how solid and versatile he is, just get rid of Groundspike. I picked him up at Toys R'Us Powerplant on sale for PhP 300 (US$ 6.97)

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