Power of the Primes Volcanicus Gallery and Review!

Rampaging into the Allspark studios today is the monstrous Volcanicus!  Will he save the day and defeat the Decepticons on your shelf, or will he exclude the sole female member of his team AND discover that his top heaviness is the result of his design schematics and not robo-vertigo, as he originally thought?  Tune in after the break to find out!

Volcanicus is the king of mixed reactions.  Is he a giant bad-ass Decepti-smasher, or the realization of bad fan fiction (Admit it, you had this idea as kid too…it’s not SO bad…is it?)  I will always remember the reaction a good friend of mine had to his existence.  “I don’t know how I feel about it”.  It struck me as a strange statement at the time (Either you like the idea or you don’t…there is no feel… 😉 ).  As weeks went on and the various dino components were released, it seemed to be a common sentiment.  After all this time, with numerous fan made and 3rd party realized Dinobot Combiner teams…people still were not sure what to think of the concept.

That never bothered me.  I decided I was going to dive full steam into the fan fiction and embrace this new configuration.  I even wrote my own horrible fan fiction bio, to which I am going to mercilessly expose you right now:
The Super Unofficial Bio of Volcanicus

“Volcanicus is the long whispered about Dinobot Nuclear Option. He has yet to be used in a real battle for good reason, as he’s too powerful to be unleashed without significant collateral damage. Volcanicus is the bot which all who are aware of his existence hope to never see, because his appearance means we have truly come to the darkest hour.
While all the original Dinobots form the core of the beast, Slash is not fully integrated and serves as a hidden weapon during the first strike. Prior to engaging a target full on, she can be removed from the torso and flung at the opponent, as a surprise attack. It is hoped that in her powered up state, the combination of added strength and surprise attack is enough to defuse the situation before Volcanicus reaches the target, and decimates everything within his blast radius.”

Man, there is nothing good about that!  Breath in my horrible fan fiction and love it. I did my best to make it fun, goofy and hole ridden like a lot of the G1 bios. 😛 I love referencing the fan mode for combining Slash with the team.  It’s a shame there is not a better way to integrate her.  More on that shortly.  Let’s go ahead and take a look at this beast!

 Volcanicus Combined Mode
I will keep this short and sweet.  There is a lot of potential in this combiner mode.  It looks pretty awesome as show in the instructions.  Add the extra fists from the appendages to the sides and it gets a little better.  Add Slash as an additional piece and I think it gets better still.  Sadly, there are a few things keeping Volcanicus from being a truly great combiner.
The Bad of the Design:

  • He is highly top heavy and therefore, unstable to pose in action shots.
  • His true hips are Grimlock’s hips, and as such they sit too high on the figure, adding to the instability.
  • His shoulder pads easily detach from the shoulders, making his torso arm configuration too weak to withstand mild posing.
  • Swoop is not a great combiner arm due to QC issues that I have to assume everyone has, like the legs that form the forearm not wanting to hold together well while posing.

The Good of the Design:

  • All of the appendage dinos balance well on the form.
  • The appendage dinos parts looks to serve an offensive (Snarl) or defensive (Slug) purpose.
  • The color schemes unify well, even though we don’t have a red Swoop (please give us a red Swoop, HasTak!)
  • The combiner head screams King Grimlock.
  • You can totally add Slash to this mode, as you will see in the gallery.  It works better than it should, simply use her robot and dino legs to hug Grimlock as shown.

Where Do We Go From Here?  Upgrade Time!
There are two add-on sets coming in the few months from Perfect Effect and TWC.  I am a little torn between them because the both address different things:
The TWC set provides nicely G1-inspired individual weapons and addresses the hip issue in a way I think really works well for the balance of the figure, and it uses extra parts to fill out the look.  I HATE the hands for the set.  They do NOT fit the design aesthetic for the line, and do we REALLY need Transformers with fingers that can separate like that?  Still, I like the rest of the set, and I want something that will guarantee I get a figure with solid shoulders…and that sword is awesome!  I am getting this set.
Perfect Effect Sets
The Perfect Effect sets come in two separate purchases, and are slightly more expensive, but not by much.  These sets need less add-on parts to complete Volcanicus, and they follow the design aesthetic of the set/series better than the TWC set does.  Bonus for not having overly greebly hands.  I have to have the “Dino Riders” looking pieces for when this set is not combined, and I love the simplicity of the design.  Not sure about the replacement parts for Grimlock, though it does seem to look a little better to make him taller.  I am also not sure if the combined mode shoulder design will be the superior one.  I need this set as well.
I will likely want to try both sets and see if there is one that I like better than the other.  I am thinking I may end up using parts from both to get the best version of Volcanicus.
I like Volcanicus a lot, in spite of the short comings.  His existence means we have the first true complete set of Dinobots since G1 (Bayverse does not count IMO), and he can stand nicely on a shelf, if it is stable.  He looks impressive and will be even better once the add on parts arrive.

Volcanicus gets a 7/10 in his current state due to the design issues like stability and joints that do not hold.  I will get the 3rd party add on parts and review him again in the near future, and I expect him to get higher on the scale once I have him modified.  I still very much recommend you owning all the separate components (including Slash) and I think that if you combine him a few times, he will grow on you.