Alternate Mode: Helicopter
Thanks to Excelon Zero for loaning me Buzzsaw (and Trigger) for the purposes of this review.
Height: 8.5cm Length: 16cm (19 if rotor extending forward) Width: 18cm (rotorspan)
A bright yellow chopper with a "Decepticon" purple rotor on top, green painted windows on his cockpit and some white and green painted windows. There are a few cherry red details painted on the fuselage and wings, rounding out a varied yet still unified colour scheme. I'm not a huge fan of the yellow they've used here, but Takara (who pioneered this repaint) laid the colours out quite well. The yellow and white make up about 80% of the chopper with the other colours all peripheral, so he's not a mess of colours. The light colours bring out his high lever of detailing, and while much of the sculpt is fairly generic, the effort is still appreciated. There's a moulded and painted Decepticon logo on the starboard wing which is a nice feature.
This is a long way from a realistic Earthen helicopter, which belies the Armada origins of the mould. He's still quite obviously a helicopter, and there's a long tail at the back, although it sports tailfins and no stabilising rotor. There are winglets on the sides of his fuselage, but rather than acting like wings they serve as attachment points for weapons systems, similar to those on Apache helicopers.
While I don't have Armada Cyclonus, I'll still cover the main mould changes here. The live hardpoints on the outside of the weaponpods are gone, replaced by grey boxes for his clear Planet Key (code: df58) to slot into. The Planet Key has a nice raised Decepticon logo and it's even painted purple. The boxes aren't so good - they really do look grafted on as an afterthought. The angular front has been resculpted to look more complete, since Buzzsaw doesn't come with a MiniCon. The Micron Booster Trigger can slot into the space underneath the front, but I don't think Hasbro (or Takara, for that matter) are expecting you to have to track down a blindpacked figure for this chopper mode to work.
Despite the loss of a MiniCon, Buzzsaw still has quite a lot of play value. There's a grey trigger under the tail which - when pulled it causes the rotor to rotate clockwise, and the faster you pull the faster the blades spin. In theory you keep pulling back on the trigger (which snaps back) the rotor will continue to spin, although the mechanism is a little heavy, resulting in a slightly jerky motion, but it's still impressive. There are two small grey guns at the front underneath the windows which move from side to side as the trigger is pulled, but they barely move so this part of the gimmick fails. You can lift up the front and plug in Trigger if you have him, and his cannon will pulsate side to side quite nicely. The entire toy is built around the trigger gimmick really, and while it makes for a simple Transformer, it is quite effective. The loss of the MiniCon here is then a significant loss, although the rotors are still impressive. Plugging the Planet Key into either box on the weaponpods will cause his to fire purple missiles, which adds some more play value, although I'm not sure that the sheer size of the weaponpods is worth this gimmick.
A decent chopper mode overall, but I really do lament the loss of the MiniCon, since the mould is designed around the gimmick - and Crumplezone was a significant part of Cyclonus's overall design. The colours work well, and while they're a fairly weak match to those of BW Buzzsaw, he still tributes that toy fairly well. Not everyone's going to enjoy the bright yellow, mind you - I'm not a huge fan, but the colours have been put together fairly well. Despite the loss of a key element, this is still Buzzsaw's stronger mode - even if it's not a fantastic helicopter mode.
TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE
Swing down the runners underneath to form his legs, rotate the waist and fold back the grey heelspurs. Fold down the tail to form a backpack, slide the groin down and click into place. Flip up his head from on top of the cockpit and swing down the weaponpods to form arms.
Height: 15.5cm Width: 13.5cm
I'm ignoring the rotor in the above dimensions, BTW. Anyway, he's again mainly yellow and white. His boots, chest and wrists are yellow while the forearms and winglets (which anchor the arms) are white. His head is purple with a yellow face and green eyes. The upper arms, waist and thighs are all purple while his fists and groin are grey. The cherry red is still visible on his winglets, and the right winglet's allegiance symbol is still visible. The colour layout makes this mode a little garish - the extra purple is the main culprit. The head vaguely resembles the BW version's - the colours are spot on but the sculpt isn't that great, making this element a disappointment.
The simple Transformation allows Buzzsaw to retain some of the play value, but the trigger gimmick is non-functional which is disappointing when you consider how much of him goes into making that feature work. The missile launchers are on the outsides of his arms and there are hardpoints on the outsides of his knees. In theory plugging MiniCons into the knees causes grey guns to lift up on his shins, but the activation point is so deep that it's a lot easier to just flip the guns up by hand. These guns still work, but the gimmick has outsmarted itself. By the way, the tail hangs off his back, and it's quite visible (and slightly phallic) between his legs. It's close to his body and the heelspurs are quite handy, so it doesn't cause balance issues.
Poseability is okay, but must of it is residual as a by product of his transformation. The shoulders are hinged - remember the arms attach to the undersides of the winglets which are shoulderpads of sorts. The elbows are hinged, his his swing and the knees are hinged. Without any rotators in his limbs, Buzzsaw isn't able to achieve any dynamic poses. Compared to many Armada moulds his poseability is average, but alongside most Cybertron toys Buzzsaw is unposeable.
A limited robot with awkward colours and poseability that's a little disappointing. The play value is okay, if less than his vehicle mode enjoys. This robot mode is a the main reason I never bothered with the mould. While there's nothing downright awful here, Buzzsaw's robot mode lacks any real strengths.
None that I'm aware of.
The chopper mode is okay with good play value and it manages to use his questionable colours well but the robot mode is pretty disappointing. Whilst the remoulded nose of the vehicle looks better than that of Armada Cyclonus, I would have liked to see Buzzsaw shipped with a MiniCon, since he's really designed to work with one. The homage isn't as strong as those on Longrack or Blurr, which might have sold me on this toy. It's probably the best version of this mould and if he came with a MiniCon, I would likely have picked up Buzzsaw, but unless you've managed to pick up Trigger I wouldn't recommend Buzzsaw - 5/10