Combiner Wars – Trends and Predictions

combiner-wars

So far, exceeding expectations…

Hi y´all! This week I will try something different… We are almost a week past some awesome reveals at the 2015 Toy Fair in New York. And at least for me, seeing the mold uses for the Protectobots, Cyclonus and Viper set my imagination in motion. So I thought I´d make a summary of the combining characters so far and what molds they use, and using this, as well as other clues given by toy listings, comic covers etc, try to predict which the upcoming Combiner Wars characters are and what molds they will use… This post will be quite lengthy, but I have a lot of thoughts to convey, so please bare with me!

First, let´s take a look at an overview I made of released and upcoming combining toys in Combiner Wars, containing everything we know so far. The colors in the cells signify molds, so if two characters share a color they also share the mold. Let´s take a look now!

CW now

(Click for larger view)

This is about it. Many gaps, but we can still see some patterns, and base on these make some predictions. These are:

We have nine Scramble City-styled teams so far, and the Autobots outnumber the Decepticons

Assuming that Optimus Prime and Maximus will get their own full teams, and assuming that Onslaught will be followed by the rest of the Combaticons, we have six (!) Autobot teams and three Decepticon teams, so far. Given that Decepticon combiners historically have outnumbered Autobot teams, it is an interesting development, but it might get evened out eventually…

MM3

Most likely, the Blackjack mold, too…

The Motormaster mold is used three times…

Usually the norm for Transformers is that each mold will be used two times (I think Metroplex´s one, will he get one, will be found on Caminus). As for Combiner Wars, it however seems that every mold being part of a gestalt will be used at least THREE times each. It is especially “Optimus Maximus”, the white Optimus Prime paired with a Legends Rodimus (Blackjack remold) that has made me convinced of this. But further, seeing how easily Silverbolt was turned into Cyclonus mainly by switching the jet strapped to his back for a new one, it is easy to see how the same could be done for Scattershot. Further, Off-Road, having already been repurposed as First Aid, is a likely base for Swindle, and Alpha Bravo, already sharing mold with Blades, in principle looks like a Vortex repaint. Overall, this concept, let´s call it the “three per one rule”, leads us to another realization…

Molds

Above: The “base teams”

We have seen all the molds used for the “vehicle leg” of Combiner Wars (but none of the beast ones… )

As much as I want to see new molds, I think the remaining combining teams will be using molds we have already seen in the previous teams. This is, for teams with vehicle-based alt modes. Since Hasbro has said Combiner Wars will continue into next year, I think it is safe to assume that the beast-former combining teams will appear, and that these will constitute their own cluster of molds and mold-sharing. But as for vehicle formers, using the “three per one” assumption above, it is easy to see how existing molds can cover the remaining characters, with quite some accuracy at that.

E02E435A-3F7E-4A8A-87D3-EDE1BAF6B521_zpsgddvxktv_1422144921

These, plus nine deluxe molds…

Further, consider the picture for the torso section in the poll for the fan made combiner. Here Hot Spot´s and Groove´s molds were first revealed, but no others. I think this is basically it; there will be one large jet accompanied by a small jet, used for gun, a truck cab accompanied by a small car forming a chest, and a long truck with a motorcycle forming a chest, and those are the choices, since these molds are the ones that will be used, period. It is somehow symmetrical as well; three Legends, three Voyagers and nine Deluxes together make up nine Gestalts… Now, Rook´s mold was indeed not in the poll and turned up eventually, and it could be that Brawl and Nosecone will share a mold, but then I don´t see where Rook would be used next. In the Optimus Maximus team, as… Bulkhead? (Would be cool). On a hole, however, it seems that there are three “base teams”, the Aerialbots, Stunticons and Protectobots, that are providing the molds for the other teams. Now, assuming that this is correct, extrapolating on the “three per one” rule”, as well as using some other hints from elsewhere, I have made the following predictions…

CW predictions

(Again, click to zoom in)

So, what can we make out of this? Let´s see…

r_roadpig057

Above: 2015 – The glorious return of Road Pig?

Combaticons: There will be a new member, turning into a bike

Since the pattern for Hot Spot/Groove seems to be a set one, judging by the recurring Motormaster/Blackjack pattern, and the seemingly recurring Silverbolt/Powerglide pattern with Cyclonus/Viper, supported by the schematic representations of these in the Fan Built Combiner poll. Also, it seems that we will get a Brawl without treads, but exchange that claw Rook´s vehicle mode is using for a hefty, twin-barreled cannon, and paint him military green, and he will look the part. Just like Off Roads mold will be excellent for Swindle, and especially, Hot Spots for Onslaught! Blast Off? An Aerialbot remold, most likely…

scattershot

Above: Probably close to the truth. By Siegfried07 at the TFW2005 forum

Technobots: Remold Galore

As awesome as all-new molds would be, the Technobots will use a mix of molds from the previous “base teams”. In short: Scattershot will be a remold of Silverbolt, Strafe a more or less heavy Aerialbot limb remold and Lightspeed a Stunticon (most likely Dead End) remold. Afterburner will not be a motorcycle, but the slimmest car on offer (Drag Strip´s) and Nosecone, well… Rook´s vehicle mode is the beefiest one, and notice that hole it has in the front? Seems like we could fit a drill with a 5mm peg there… Also, there will be a new little mini-jet member, unless another Legends mold which can be used as a weapon is used. This would be a quite reasonable way for Hasbro to recreate a quite unique team in an economically sound but still somewhat satisfying way. For purists, there is always Quantron…

bb

Above: Siegfried07 does it again

Optimus Prime team: Bee is the last piece of the puzzle

Well, we´ve seen him combined with the Aerialbots, but there have also been listings of upcoming deluxe class Prowl, Mirage, Ironhide and Sunstreaker, suggesting that a full team for Optimus is coming our way. The one thing we don´t know about yet is who would form the chest plate, but for this crew, Bumblebee seems like the obvious choice. For one, he can be seen in the poster below (albeit in his Classics incarnation)…

Ab5u415_1421533185

Above: Riddled with clues…

Optimus Maximus team: The new Autobots in the 1986 Movie 

Say “White Prime” and any G1 fan will answer “Ultra Magnus”. While an upcoming toy is named “Optimus Maximus” he is indeed a white Prime, and seeing he will use Rodimus for chest plate further evokes our favorite City Commander, and the combo of the two is evocative of the 1986 animated movie. My personal take on who the remaining members will be is therefore that they, too, will be classic characters from the movie; Arcee, Blurr and Kup reusing Stunticon molds and Springer reusing the helicopter mold. I however admit that this theory is not rock solid; Rodimus and a Magnus core bot lookalike could in all honesty mean anything…Maybe some random Lost Light Crew members? Maybe they will be 1987 Autobot Targetmasters (based on an idea below)? We´ll see… Personally I am however disappointed that the third use of this mold was not the awesome Thunder Clash, it could however be remedied by giving him a unique toy…

10829735774_7890f5fbed_b 10829900523_e99b7a8145_b

Above: Let´s hope I´m right!

Decepticon Jet Team: The 1987 Decepticon Targetmasters make their comeback 

Seeing Silverbolt being remolded into Cyclonus and Powerglide becoming Viper, them belonging together seems obvious. So what about the limbs? It could of course be that these are Scourge and the classic Seekers Starscream, Skywarp, Thundercracker, but I don´t think so for a number of reasons. First, they don´t fit together thematically. Cyclonus, Scourge, Ramjet, Dirge and Thrust of course constitute the 1986 “Decepticon Jets”, but this too is a rather loose connection. Rather, I suspect that we will see a 1987 Decepticon Targetmaster team, with more or less extensive remolding turning the Aerialbot limb members into Scourge, Triggerhappy, Misfire, and Slugslinger. If not else, this is an excellent opportunity to boost the attractiveness of these otherwise obscure characters (save Scourge). Befittingly enough, Viper would effectively become the Targetmaster of a Targetmaster-themed gestalt! Also, since a Starscream repaint of Leader Thundercracker (himself a remold of Leader Jetfire) seems to be in the works (befitting for Cybertron´s current leader) we might assume that Skywarp will follow and that this is how we will enjoy the classic Seekers in the years to come…

Buest Guess

Above: My best guess…

Fan Built Combiner Team: Hot Spots third use

We already know that this team will hail from the Sea of Rust and have a mixture of cars and planes for limbs. As for the torso, I call it now; this team´s leader will use the Hot Spot mold. Look at the table above and you realize that this way, every Voyager mold gets used three times. I for one chose this mold when voting, maybe just because of the novelty factor, and maybe Hasbro counted on this for having it winning, or maybe they already had a finished design in the pipeline… Either way, it just seems obvious that there will be a third use for the “long truck” mold…With a mix of random cars and planes 😉

Bonus Predictions…

There is some other speculation which can be done on the basis of the above, let´s check it out…

predaking1 r_abominus-033

At least these two are essential…

Beastformer combining teams, evening the odds

Again, I am pretty sure that there will be a “beast wave” following the vehicle leg of combiner wars covered above. I think we will see Predaking, possibly next year, not Scramble City-styled, but Titan-sized, much like Devastator of this year. We will then see Abominus and Piranacon, sharing molds to some degree. If the “three per one” pattern is correct and consistent, there should be a third use for these molds as well… Monstructor? This way, we would have, all in all, six Scramble City-styled Autobot teams, and six Decepticon ditto, which would finally even the odds a bit for the Autobots (although we would have to ignore the Titans…) Other possibilites… Combining Dinobots? After a combining Optimus Prime, nothing truly surprises me…

TRANSFORMERS-GENERATIONS-LEGENDS-HUFFER_1412829376

He looks good, but is it really Huffer?

Yet more extensive mold reuses as a rule?

To have three characters per mold makes a lot of sense in Combiner Wars given the large number of often similar characters which has to be covered. But what if it doesn´t stop here? If we get a Leader Starscream, we have a non-combining mold getting more than two mainstream toys. While this has always been the case for the Seekers and the Datsun brothers, having Jetfire sharing molds with the former seems to mark the start of a new era, where we might have to expect more than two uses for many new molds. This is indeed a cost-effective way of covering more characters with less investment in product development, but it could sure cause an outcry among fans if its use becomes too widespread or careless. Combiner Wars Huffer, anyone?

Ultramagnusg1toy Magnuslongshot

Left: Two characters in one toy? Right: Never truly canon in the first place anyway?

Ultra Magnus will be split into two characters

We seem to be getting a new (combining) white Prime, around roughly the same time as we get a Leader Class Ultra Magnus, the former toy is based on the cab/inner robot of the G1 Ultra Magnus toy, the latter on the trailer/battle armor of the same toy. Could this be a way for Hasbro to end the ambiguity about the existence of the inner white Prime of Magnus, by making it a separate character, Optimus Maximus? It makes great sense, financially, as it creates an incentive for all the detractors of the “inner white Prime” to start buying previously undesirable white Prime redecos as they retroactively become incarnations of this new character… The existence of Minimus Ambus in the Leader Class toy somehow underscores this… Minimus is Magnus now, the white Prime someone else… …which also would render Fansproject´s City Commander kit irrelevant from a canon point of view (Leader Magnus seemingly already has for many on pure esthetical grounds). From now on, maybe Optimus is a character for which we can expect at least two mold repurposes for every toy as standard?

G1_UltraMagnusPreviewVersion_toy

And this guy, the new standard repaint for Ultra Magnus, never mind the “inner blue Prime”?

As for Optimus Maxmimus, if he is indeed “White Prime” from now on, I wonder what kind of personality he will have? There are indeed many exciting things ahead for us!

Thanks to Seibertron for reference pics, the TFW2005 forum for the combiner poll pics, and to forum member Siegfried07 for his excellent digibashes!

EDIT: Jalaguy of the Allspark forum kindly pointed out to me that Hasbro has been releasing Generations figures in a 6 Voyagers – 16 Deluxes pattern for the last few years, meaning that some of the Voyagers above might remain void of their own exclusive limbs. However, seeing the new three toys per mold rule (rather than the usual two toys per mold) seen in Combiner Wars might change this. It is true that Optimus has been illustrated combined with Aerialbots, but the current combination scheme for Superion on the back of the Aerialbots packaging shows Drag Strip as one of the limbs, so it might just be a matter of the irregular release schedule for the toys. Let´s wait and see… It´s a great year to be a Transformers fan! 😀

EDIT 2: I have realized that I might not have expressed this explicitly, but another clear pattern that did influence my predictions is that for the teams released so far no mold occurs twice in the same gestalt. Also, another member of Allspark noted that each (Scramble City-based) team has featured one new member so far. This was an oversight in my above analysis, and if this holds true for the Technobots Afterburner might be released “on the side” using the Groove mold, possibly being wielded as a weapon. In that case, taking all the above into account, the chart would look like this:

cw altered

In time, soon enough, we´ll see!

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