Friday 8 September 2023

Brawn (G1 & Studio Series)


In an effort to protect the crew, Brawn is the first to act when Decepticons attack the Autobot shuttle.

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Recently, Hasbro and Takara Tomy have been updating versions of the G1 Minibots, reminiscent of the original cartoon models, including beloved characters like Huffer, Cosmos, and Beachcomber. These releases have been a refreshing change, as the Masterpiece series has so far overlooked them, making this a more budget-friendly option for collectors. 

The Studio Series has truly excelled in capturing the essence of Brawn. It's evident that the robot mode took centre stage in the design process, but the vehicle mode still maintains a decent appearance. 

Brawn is packaged in robot mode and comes with a cardboard backdrop featuring the Autobot Shuttle. In the earlier Transformers series, Brawn played a significant role, but he met a tragic end in Transformers: The Movie when Starscream used Megatron in gun mode to bring him down. 

In robot mode, Brawn boasts a good range of articulation, although my copy had a stiff head joint that required a bit of gentle persuasion to free up. The robot legs can be a bit finicky, as they split apart during transformation, and the toes are somewhat loose. However, unfolding the robot legs allows you to recreate the look of the original G1 toy. 

Brawn comes with a small handgun, although in the cartoon, he rarely relied on firearms, given his reputation as one of the strongest Autobots. 

The transformation process is involved but satisfying, featuring clever moments like the arm and leg folding. The gun can be attached to the spare tire on the roof, and the tire itself is removable. Brawn's vehicle mode bears a striking resemblance to a Jeep, and the painted windows are a welcome touch. The only drawback is the plastic pegs for the wheels, which give the impression of a less premium toy car. It wouldn't be surprising to see an Outback version from this mould in the future. 

The original Brawn made his debut in Takara's Micro Change line as the "MC04 05 Micro Robot Car Jeep." Interestingly, Brawn, Huffer (Semi Truck), Gears (Truck), and Windcharger (Trans Am) differed significantly from the Penny Racer styled cars like Bumblebee, Cliffjumper, and "Bumblejumper." They were initially intended for a separate line called "Mysterians," which explains the "M" logo stamped on these vehicles. However, the "Mysterians" line was ultimately cancelled, leading Takara to re-purpose the moulds for Micro Change. Within the "Mysterians" line, Brawn was intended to be named "Jeepar." 

Released as part of the Transformers original 1984 lineup, Brawn was a small green Jeep with a straightforward transformation. His robot mode had an alien-like appearance, and like the other former "Mysterians," he lacked a humanoid face. The original cartoon took creative liberties with his robot mode, completely redesigning it into a humanoid shape while retaining the colour scheme. It wasn't until the release of the Studio Series version that fans got to see a cartoon-accurate rendition of Brawn.

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