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TOY REVIEW

Name: BRUTICUS
Allegiance: Predacon
Function: Predacon Dog
Beast Mode: Technorganic Cerberus
Price: 26 AUD

BEAST MODE

Originally intended to be released as part of the Transformers Beast Machines: Battle for the Spark line as a Maximal, this toy was instead released as a Predacon for Robots In Disguise, evidently with its Spark gimmick removed. Measuring at about 18cm in length, Bruticus is a mostly red, black and yellow Cerberus. The Cerberus, also spelt as Kerberos (from the Greek) is a mythological three-headed hound which was said to have guarded the gates of Hades. This mode is almost completely mechanical in nature (much like the beast modes of Beast Machines Silverbolt and Night Slash Cheetor). The only really organic looking parts are the cheeks of the central dog head. Most of the torso and upper legs are coloured red with some black accents and are sculpted in a way which resembles Greco-Roman armour (which is fitting, since the Cerberus comes from Greek mythology). The rump and lower rear legs are coloured a bright canary yellow, which really clashes badly with the rest of the toy's colours. The tail is also yellow, although it becomes marine blue towards the end with metallic sky-blue tips. The tail ends (there are three tails) resemble cables and are tipped with an axe, a knife and a drill.
Each head is different. The left head has a black face with a yellow jaw and tongue. The eyes are lime green and the neck is red and black with a marine blue blade running along the back of the neck. The major drawback about this head is that the jaw cannot move and the mouth is permanently open. The middle head is the largest. It is red with a fur grain running along the cheeks and the face is mostly black with red accents and blue eyes. There are two winglike fins running along the back of the neck which are marine blue with gold accents. The main weakness of this head is that it has the most limited neck movement. The right head is black with a red muzzle and a yellow jaw. There is a metallic orange and silver buzzsaw protruding from the back of the neck as well as a blue spiked armour plating behind it. There are also two spikes protruding from either cheek. The main drawback about this head is that the muzzle is a bit too big and tends to obscure the eyes (which are pink).

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

Detach tail. Unfold left dog head, forming robot arm. Rotate fist and swing blade into place. Swing throat plating up to form shoulder plate. Pull right head forward, swing up shoulder plate (spiked) and lift up muzzle. Swing chest section up 90 degrees. Separate cheeks of the centre head, forming robot face. Swing robot face down in front of robot head. Open chest panel. Rotate waist 180 degrees and close chest panel. Swing robot legs across 180 degrees and rotate lower legs 180 degrees. Spread out rear legs. Insert tail weapon into right fist.

ROBOT MODE

Although the colour scheme still resembles the Belgian flag, there are some interesting details to note about the robot mode that were either not visible or arguably less noticeable in beast mode. First of all, the head has three faces -- the largest face has batlike wings protruding from the top and has some doglike features. Another face is also black with pink eyes and has a more pronounced muzzle. The third head is red with green eyes and resembles a mechanical bulldog. And because Bruticus' head is on a ball joint, it can actually spin around to reveal the different faces Quintesson-style!

The chest plate is blue and resembles a rib-cage. There are two shoulder plates, one of which has a large spike on it. The left hand wields a large blue knife and the right holds a weapon which resembles a cat o' nine tails, only with three whips. However, each whip is tipped with a weapon, as described above (see tail description). The thighs look like Greco-Roman armour plating, complete with black buckles and spiked knee pads. The lower legs are black with the left ankle featuring two sharp spikes and the right ankle has a "dog collar" sculpted onto it with a yellow chain (although the chain only has three links and isn't attached to anything).

Furthermore, although it is not mentioned in the instruction booklet, there are an additional two sets of arms which can be used in robot mode. Simply unfold and extend the rear dog legs to form another pair of arms. These arms are an awful canary yellow and have marine blue fists and weapons. The left hand wields a dagger and the right holds a mace.
Other than the use of canary yellow, the major drawback of this mode is that there is a big cavity in the gut region. Also, the hip area doesn't lock on anywhere in particular and feels a bit loose.

SPARK CRYSTAL LOCATION

On the back of the head.

OVERALL

Bruticus is well articulated featuring 17 points of articulation in robot mode (not including the additional arms). With nightmarish details in sculpt and structural design, yet enough use of canary yellow to make him look like a Bird-keteer (ya know, Big Bird's fan club), there, it becomes difficult to judge this toy. Basically, if you can get over his colourful exhibition of Belgian patriotism in, Bruticus is actually a reasonably good toy.

Images courtesy of Benson Yee
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