Power of the Primes Punch-Counterpunch Gallery and Review!

Revealing very little about himself today in the Allspark Studios is cool-headed faction swapper, Punch-Counterpunch!  Will he make friends of Autobot and Decepticon alike, or will everyone just end up as a suspect in his overly paranoid mind?  Tune in after the break to find out!

Usually I start these reviews with a story from my childhood, or my second childhood (when my wife got me back into Transformers). This time I don’t have much. What I can tell you is that I always loved the idea of a double agent. I also remember fondly starting at Punch-Counterpunch in the ’87 Transformers pack-in catalogue my best friend Curtis had received with his Ultra Magnus. I stared a lot at those toys but never owned a single one till adulthood. When the Transformers Collectors Club made Punch-Counterpunch twice, I bought both versions with joy. The Classics mold hasn’t stood up well to the passage of time, but I find great appreciation to this day for Combiner Wars Counterpunch. (Side note: I really miss FunPub and all their wonderful exclusives). While that is a great toy, Amazon exclusive Punch-Counterpunch is better still, since it fills all the requirements to completely make the character(s).

Vehicle Mode
Punch-Counterpunch’s vehicle mode is that of a high-end luxury race car. It reminds me a bit of a Tesla, which is kind of a neat car from which to take inspiration. Beyond the shape, it takes its cues from the G1 vehicle mode: blue body, silver windows (the rear-view window), black tires and red rims. He may no longer be a boxy G1 brick (no offense), but he remembers his roots.

The transformation scheme reminds me a bit of the Archer/Siebenaler era of Transformers car design, for two characteristics. First, it has clear windows which are jointed. Second, the formation of the back of the car from the legs requires some neat, if not semi-intricate folding of parts akin to plastic origami. Panels fold out, then out again, then again, then the entire assembly gets wrapped around the torso to form the back and center top area of the car. All in all, it’s an ingenious way to get the back end of the vehicle out of the lower legs and feet that avoids the standard transformation tropes.

Punch Robot Mode
This is a close representation of G1 Punch. The tampoes, the molded detail, the colors…everything needed to get the spirit of the original character is present. The lower legs break from the G1 toy a bit, taking a small cue from the extended leg (fan) version of the transformation, but lose some of the detail because the Punch side of the legs are the window side of the back of the car. A minor issue, if that. Some neat attention to detail is a small amount of yellow paint on the shoulders that evokes the yellow plastic on the original toy’s shoulders. Additionally, the bar that connects the front of the vehicle to the shoulders is reminiscent of the shape of G1 Counterpunch’s arms, as they lay tucked away in Punch mode. Punch’s G1 accurate red hands stand out nicely against the blue forearms, which sadly break from the original color scheme. Punch’s face sculpt is spot on and looks like it could have been ripped right out of the Headmasters cartoon. Overall, is the Punch mode perfectly in sync with the original? No, but it gets the spirit of the character correct, and that’s what is most important.

Counterpunch Robot Mode
I prefer my Autobots to be Decepticons, so Counterpunch is way more my style. The G1 blessings land heavily in his favor, because Counterpunch is the robot mode that doesn’t make any sacrifices. Well… maybe just a few small ones. While Counterpunch hits all the stops of being blue with black thighs and purple at the knees, he’s missing a few minor details. The chest windows are clear instead of gray. There is no green or black on the knees, and his “feet” do not pop out from the lower legs. Still, with yet another cartoon perfect face sculpt, G1 accurate shoulders, and great articulation, Counterpunch is definitely the robot mode to choose…if you only bought one and have to pick. 😉

Overall Bot Mode
The figure sports all the standard articulation:

  • knees
  • (some) lateral thigh movement
  • ball jointed hips
  • rotating waist
  • ball jointed shoulders
  • lateral bicep movement
  • elbows
  • and a ball jointed neck (with better than expected range).

Even though he is not a combiner limb and does not have a combiner peg, Punch-Counterpunch comes with a Combiner Wars hand/foot/gun. The panels for both Autobot and Decepticon logos conceal holes that allow you to attach the hand/foot/gun to his chest or back, depending on which mode of the character he is in. He only comes with one weapon, but as some people online have pointed out, he only sported a yellow weapon as either robot in the cartoon, so cartoon accuracy wins the day.

There are numerous posts for how you can modify Punch-Counterpunch and what the benefits are if you do. I’m not going to refute any of those reports. If you get your figure in hand and feel like it requires work to transform properly, I feel no strong need to dissuade you. What I can say, should I speak to this issue, is that I don’t feel the need to perform this modification with my figure. It seems perfect out of the box, and I won’t be modding mine because I don’t feel like mine is defective. I have two (one for a friend) and both seem flawless, but nothing can account for variances in molds. Your figure may need something extra to make it work properly. Do whatever makes you happiest with your own toys. 😉

Primemaster Prima
Prime is a grey and mint green Primemaster with silver highlights. The Primemaster “faceplate” itself is mint green with a few sky-blue highlights. As Primemasters go, there isn’t much else to say.

I give Punch-Counterpunch a 9.5/10!  I highly recommend Punch-Counterpunch for older fans, with one minor reservation for younger fans. This is a solid figure in any mode. The car is sleek and nicely updated. Both robot modes come as close as possible to giving us a nice homage to both the G1 toy and cartoon model, with very little sacrificed for the other. Both robot modes sport solid articulation, and while the panels for the back end of the car mode take a little work to align, it’s a satisfying and not overly difficult transformation for older fans. I do think some younger fans might have issues putting him in car mode, but your younger fans’ mileage will vary on that one.

He is currently sold out on Amazon, but if you have a Prime account, you can preorder one and they will ship it to you when they get more in stock. I did this with an extra POTP Nemesis Prime and expect no issues for my second Punch-Counterpunch. Order yours today!