- Unite Warriors Technobots and COMPUTRON!
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- Combiner Wars Protectobot Groove
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- TFC Toys HERCULES
Now, what I mean by this is, Hercules and his six component figures are stand-alone entities - they're not upgrade kits, and they don't require any official Hasbro product in-order to function. They are literally TFC's very own take on the Constructicons and their gestalt, the mighty Devastator. And this thing is an absolute BEAST! It's massive! And lest we forget, this was the first time any Third-Party had ever attempted to produce something so ambitious - before Hercules, no Third-Party company had ever attempted to tackle a combiner team, much less to produce their own take, completely independent of Hasbro's own products. Hercules was not only a roaring success, but it also set the precedent for other indie companies to follow...and follow they did. TFC has much in the way of competition these days, many having produced combiner sets of their own that have surpassed the quality and sheer awesomeness that is represented in Hercules - but it remains incredibly sought-after, because this was the set that set the standard; with Hercules, TFC laid the groundwork for others to build on, a foundation for others say, "This is what we need to beat," and it's a hell of a mountain to climb.
Interestingly, included in the lot with the figures themselves was TFC's own official upgrade set for Hercules, The Rage of Hercules, which introduced additional parts that allow the figures to combine in a slightly different way, and alters the gestalt form by lifting the shoulders, giving it new forearms and a new head design, including an angry face for accentuating more aggressive poses, and generally giving the gestalt mode a more Generation 1-accurate appearance, which many collectors clamoured for during Hercules' production run, as the sandard configuration is based in Devastator's design as he appears in IDW's Transformers comics. I prefer the IDW design myself, but that's not to say I don't appreciate the additional options for display that the Rage kit brings to the table, as the new pieces can also be used by the individual Constructicons to tool up their robot modes with some serious firepower.
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At the time of my writing this, there is still one recent acquisition I've made that has yet to arrive on my doorstep, so stay tuned - the package is running a few days overdue, but I'm hoping it will show up before this weekend is out. I'll update this post with a rundown on my impressions and some pictures of this one when it arrives -- and take my word for it: this one's going to be every bit as worth the waiting-for as Hercules has been for me, these last few years.
Keep 'em peeled, people!