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TFC Toys Hercules

As the first combiner team in the TF Universe, the Constructicons are the most recognizable gestalt group among hardcore TransFans. Many combiner teams have come since their appearance, but no other unit has had the legacy that is claimed by this platoon of six Decepticon construction vehicles. They made their first appearance in 1984 in the G1 episode “Heavy Metal War”, one of my favorite G1 eps of all time. The six evil builders sneaked into the Ark for some mischief, not expecting to be overpowered individually by the Dinobots. And just when it looked like the Dinos were gonna turn them to slag, the Constructicons combined to form the fearsome Devastator!

Since the introduction of Classic figures in 2006, hardcore G1-ers such as myself have been crying for an update of the Constructicons that would fit well into the Classic-verse. We all knew that the chance of it really happening was small. Hasbro has not made a true combiner team since god knows when. Their recent approach to gestalts, such as the ROTF Constructicons and PCCs, are nothing short of disappointing. A true combiner team in the G1 spirit does indeed feel like a heavy undertaking, something Hasbro was not prepared to invest in.

Enter TFC Toys, a third party in the same vein as FansProject or iGear. I don’t have any background information on this company. But they were willing to give us what Hasbro will not. Similar to the 2010 FansProject homage to Combaticons, TFC Toys is giving us “Hercules”, a team of six constructions vehicles that can each transform into a robot and combine to form the giant Hercules. Since TFC Toys is not affiliated with Hasbro in any shape or form, they cannot use official Hasbro names to the characters. But it’s obvious that this team of 6 is an homage to the original Constructicons.

This set is not cheap. Each figure is about $100. I’ll let you do the math for how much it cost for the entire set. Clearly this is for hardcore collectors only. Each figure is about Voyager size. I bought the first one back in Oct of 2011, and I completed the set in Feb of this year. Each is packaged in robot mode. A group shot of them individually appears below.

Top row (left to right): Exgraver (Scavenger), Heavy Labor (Long Haul), Neckbreaker (Bonecrusher).
Bottom row (left to right): Madblender (Mixmaster), Dr. Crank (Hook), Structor (Scrapper).

And here is a group shot of them individually in their alt modes.

Each figure in the set is well constructed and feels solid and robust. From a pure aesthetics perspective, these figures draw heavy influences from G1 and the Classic-verse (no weird Movie designs here). Transformation for each figure is also not difficult, and should be obvious to anyone who has played with enough G1 or CHUG toys. I won’t go too much into each figure individually. Just know that I am impressed with each of the 6.

I should point out however that there are 2 constructions issues. The first one has to do with Heavy Labor’s hip joints. TFC was willing to acknowledge the issue and has included a replacement part with Neckbreaker. This post goes into the fix in good detail. The other issue has to do with Neckbreaker itself. It’s a pretty easy fix that I did in about 5 min. Check out this post for the fix. I realize that at $100 a piece, they should be issue-free. However this is TFC Toy’s first attempt, and they were responsible enough to provide fixes, so I don’t see it as a big deal.

Ok, now onto the real reason I bought this set, the giant Hercules. This figure is awesome when combined! Check it out!

Hercules is such a towering giant of a robot that you can’t help but be impressed when the figure is witnessed in person. Transformation of each of the individual components is not difficult, but putting them together to form Hercules does require some work. The joints that connect each component is super tight! I really had to apply force to get the pieces to combine. That’s probably a good thing, considering that each figure is Voyager size, so the tight connection will help Hercules stay combined.

Neckbreaker also comes with a visor that you can put over the eyes of the head of Hercules. This is so you can decide between how you want Hercules to look, either more like the G1 toy (no visor) or more like the G1 show (with visor). The picture above is the only one here where I did not put on the visor. Personally I like how he looks in the G1 cartoons, so the visor is included in all shots below.

One thing that I really like about this set is the fact that extraneous pieces are not required for combining. With the G1 toys, merging into the mighty Devastator required a extra head piece, a extra chest piece, a extra hip piece, 2 extra forearms, and 2 extra fists. Many of these pieces had no where to go when the Constructicons are separated, in either or both alt and robot modes. Combining the toys were impossible without the head and hip piece. The Hercules set has no such issues. Extraneous pieces are not required for combination. Almost everything needed is built into the figures. Take Hercules’ head for example. It is built into Dr. Crank’s back. All connectors are also built into each component. The only pieces that can be argued as add-ons are the fists and chest shield. However, there are places to store these in both individual alt and robot modes, so they are accounted for. Even the guns used by individual figures are accounted for when combined (more on this later). I give TFC Toys high praise for engineering a combination mechanism where add-on pieces are very minimally used.

Below are some size comparisons pics. See for yourself what a massive figure Hercules really is.

For a gestalt, Hercules is quite poseable. There are pivot points at the neck, shoulder, elbows, fists, fingers, hips, and feet. The only key places absent of articulation are the knees. The gestalts made by Hasbro are not articulated at all, so I feel TFC Toys has given us more than enough.

One last thing that I wanted to show is the giant rifle used by Hercules. Take a careful look at the picture below. The rifle is formed by taking the six pistols used by each figure and combining them. Very very cool. I did not know of this until I bought the set. TFC Toys really put a lot of thought into the design of Hercules.

To summarize, I cannot say enough good things about Hercules. I give this set the highest possible recommendation. Yes I know the price is gonna be a turnoff for many, but it is so worth it. As of this writing, BBTS has a sale on third party figures, which may alleviate some of the financial burden of owning something so awesome. If you like combining transforming robots, you owe it to yourself to acquire this in your collection.

With Hercules, TFC Toys has established themselves as a solid 3rd party in the Transformers Universe. I look forward to what they will produce next… Transform and Roll Out!

Comments

comments

Categories: Pics, Toy Reviews
  1. Gemini
    April 8th, 2012 at 23:47 | #1

    Dude, you wrote that there is no articulation for the knees. There is articulation since the knees can bend. Anyway, nice review. The next gestalt coming from them is computron and abominus. Looks like they’re not the only one doing computron though since either Maketoys or Fansproject also released a sketch for a computron gestalt.

  2. April 9th, 2012 at 20:41 | #2

    dude you’re right! I checked again and the knees do bend. Totally forgot how the connectors are. That just means Hercules is perfect! Computron… I like Technobots too. But I wonder why they don’t do something more recognizable, like Aerialbots, Stunticons, or Protectobots. btw, the FP Aerialbot set upgrade is not a real update, IMO.

  3. Gemini
    April 10th, 2012 at 02:32 | #3

    I was wondering the same thing when I saw the teaser images of what’s planned. I agree that the FP aerialbot upgrade is not a real update. I think FP should’ve done what they did to the combaticons upgrade set and released some new toys to replace some of the limbs.

  4. April 21st, 2012 at 23:31 | #4

    $600? Damn. I need to own this. I’m going to have to sell some things. Great review.

  5. April 25th, 2012 at 05:29 | #5

    Thanks Calum. Its $600 but you won’t regret it! This set is a must have.

  1. August 17th, 2013 at 00:13 | #1
  2. December 31st, 2013 at 04:41 | #2

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