When Combiner Wars ended we were left with a question – where are the Seacons? A handful of teams were omitted, but the Seacons popularity made their absence all the more notable. The Terrorcons did later appear in Power of the Primes and that ultimately laid the groundwork for the Decepticons aquatic monster combiner to finally make their debuts. Unfortunately it hasn’t been without controversy.
Released under the Generations Selects banner they’ve been incredibly tough to get hold of – often selling out as soon as they are available. It’s also an expensive set and there has been much debate on whether it’s justified. I personally think it is but the one thing I’m sure everybody can agree that the job Takara have done with the Seacons is spectacular. So now that I have them all, below you will find my thoughts on each member of the team.
Next to each toys name I have put their Japanese equivalent, where they have one, because this is a Takara originated set. Enjoy!
First up is Snap Trap. He’s the leader of the group, transformed from the Terrorcon Hun-Gurr by the Takara goop. A heavily armoured turtle, Snap Trap revels in the gorgeous teal and pink colour scheme of that made his G1 toy so distinctive. His original toy featured a mechanism where you moved a switch from side to side and the cannons would extend and retract as if firing. That mechanism is absent here, but the gimmick lives on as each barrel can slide up to semi-simulate the effect. Much like Hun-Gurr he suffers from weird legs, but they are too many other exciting distractions to care.
Thanks to the obscene amount of retooling, the villain in a half-shell adds plenty of new tricks. Rather than being a slavish recreation of something from the past, his new head follows the old style Generations path of taking vintage elements and spinning them into something modern. His back cannons are now separate, removable parts, so should you wish to unleash his T.U.R.T.L.E power you can pull them off and slap them in any compatible 5mm peg socket. Piranacon’s chest shield can mount on his arm or Snaptrap can wear it on his back like something he found in Hot Topic. Rounding out the weaponry is a sword and an enormous rifle, presumably for epic games of Time Crisis.
Instead of poncing around the Decepticon’s underwater, volcanic lair in his traditional robot mode like any normal Transformer who isn’t a Dinobot, in Masterforce “Turtler” spent most of his time upright in his beast form. You can sort of fan mode a version of it – but I wouldn’t call it successful.
Snaptrap is hands down the best figure in the set and a retool so extensive that it is its own toy. With so much more to talk about I regret not reviewing it separately. Had I done I’d definitely give it a 9.95…
If one toy in this set dates itself – it’s Overbite (or Jawbreaker if you read Marvel UK as a Kool Kid). Not because he’s antiquated, but because if you watch a Northern British sitcom from the late 80’s – I guarantee someone walks by in the background of a pub wearing those colours on a top. Overbite applies that to a killer shark in a manner resembling Jaws if Spielberg had run his movie through a G2 filter. The toy itself has the typical Takara luxury treatment of new parts and lots of paint to sell the illusion that this is not just a recoloured Rippersnapper.
Overbite goes from Street Shark wannabe to probably my favourite robot mode of the entire set. Mixing teal, purple and pink, complimented with gold, silver and red, does an amazing job at masking that this form is virtually identical to Rippersnapper. The two main changes that justify the use of “virtually” are a new chest plate and a belter of a head sculpt. The 80’s excesses this toy displays aren’t reflected in its accessory count, he only gets a rifle and a sword, – it’s in the volume of paint apps. Which is more valuable than any extra weapons or trinkets.
I’ll be very surprised if Overbite isn’t on my “Top 10 of 2020” list when Christmas rolls around.
This is not the sort of catch you’d find on your local chip shop menu. Skalor is a deluxe sized, Mileena teethed monstrosity that only a Shao Khan could love. Normally with a Transformers review I’d be throwing out facts about the vehicle mode’s, but all I’ve got here is – “fish”. Like maybe a Street Shark if one of them was actually a Goldfish? It’s a very compact and solid fish but unfortunately my Skalor’s legs can barely hold him up. The picture you see above? Took about ten minutes and me invoking a whole host of ancient supernatural rituals and spirits of evil. Yep, and now I’m wrapped in toilet roll chasing cats in leotards.
Plenty of details from Blot’s robot mode carry over to Skalor but that is only really apparent if you are the sort of person who is desperately searching for them. Which is a questionable way to spend an evening – take it from someone who spent all of last night watching Belarusian football. New tricks include a massive fish head on his back, a tail that turns into a gun, two large cannons and a sword, but like many of the other members of this aquatic outfit – it’s the colours that do all work.
Another retool of Blot, Nautilator takes a completely different approach. Instead of compacting into a box on legs, his rock lobster form follows the Combiner Wars Aerialbot template of the legs opening and compressing. Added to the mix are a new tail, crustacean legs, large lobster claws and a massive beast head with opening jaw. So you could technically feed him. The rear legs have nubs designed to sit in corresponding slots on the underside to keep them in place, but their weight causes them to sag too much to make a connection.
Where the other Seacons are all about bright mixtures of colour, Nautilator’s strength is how powerfully he evokes that simple, blocky, G1 look the original Seacon robot modes owned. Prevented the colours from mingling simplifies things in a way that feels very vintage and stops you thinking he’s just Skalor with a hair grip stuck to the back of his legs. What is extra interesting about Nautilator is that aside from his rifle and axe accessories he’s one of only two Seacons who get a tail weapon that integrates into their fishy forms. The other being Skalor – another Blot retool.
And then we come to this guy. Where do you even start? Any official description of Tentakill’s squid form will only be more disappointing than the toddler Godzilla monster he is in my imagination. Channelling all the Lovecraftian Muppet Babies vibes I could wish for, he’s the weirdest Transformer you’ll come across all year (don’t @ me – this isn’t a competition). The face is AMAZING and the upper tentacles are either “I’M BATMAN” or inebriated Whitesnake fan and it’s ingenious that they’ve had the smarts to re-purpose the robot arms as articulated tentacles.
On the negative end of things, as a retool of the Moonracer mold the robot mode has weird feet and a ginormous backpack. To balance that out Takara have re-sculpted almost everything and given John Tenta-kill plenty of articulation, and thankfully he seems more stable than the previous car wearing versions of the mold. On the accessory front there are two lasers and a flail thingy but his best feature by far is the tentacles on his back flowing behind him like he’s fresh out of a Bonnie Tyler video.
Even in a field of oddities Seawing is distinct. His Manta Ray alternate form boasts large, mechanical wings that each wield the vintage characters “Venom Lasers” and he’s the only Seacon who doesn’t have an opening mouth, although that’s not really one for the plus column. And does anyone else think his fish legs look like they are on backwards? Still, it’s a fun mode and the one bot Manta Force does a great job of hiding that it was once the Terrorcon Cutthroat.
Having one of the best head sculpts of the group doesn’t distract from Seawing’s awkward body shape. It’s not bad, and I am certainly not body shaming but that chest…it’s a bit Cable kidnapping a child, strapping it into a pappoose and then going on a jaunt throughout time isn’t it? The teal and black combo is fiendishly Decepticon though, and the wings add a unique element that let’s him stand out next to his bro’s. A decent array of weapons, including 3 guns and a sort of axe/flail, do add something extra to this fisherman’s friend.
Each of the Seacons also has their own Targetmaster (see Hasbro: “Submarine”) style mode that can be wielded by their combined form – the mighty Piranacon. I didn’t mention each separately because we’d be here all day, but it’s fun that Takara still managed to include them. The combiner hands that each deluxe comes with can also act in homage to the stands that were also unique to the vintage Seacons. It’s these sort of indulgences you are paying a premium for with Takara.
People complain about the high prices these figures command but when you are getting the paint jobs, absurd amount of retooling and accessories that this set bundles in – I can personally justify it. Despite the intent being to combine them, each robotic fish monster stands as a great toy in it’s own right and Takara’s commitment to covering all the bases is front and centre in every element of this set.
Piranacon (King Poseidon)
The individual bots are fantastic but the core appeal of this set is their ability to combine into the weaponised fish mongers known as Piranacon. Combination follows the standard Combiner Wars template you’d expect, so any deluxe can act as any limb, but with a few extra elements thrown in due to the extensive retooling involved. For example, there’s a fun, but super unnecessary, bit of tooling where peg holes flip from one side of Snaptrap’s legs to the other, to not only allow his cannons to peg onto Piranacon’s back – but also fill the gaps on the torso.
I could type hundreds of words gushing about how pretty the combined mode is, but you probably have eyes so you can already see it. No matter what set up you opt for the colour scheme is breathtaking as the individual components all come together to create something so visually unique that any idea of it being a retool evaporates. Each of the teams weapons combine into a massive weapons, with the sword being the clear standout. Piranacon can also wield any of the deluxes in their gun forms but you can probably guess how successful that is when the elbows are the limb bots ball jointed hips. Still, they make great pimp canes.
Finally, Piranacon has brand new combiner hands which have individually articulated fingers even though he the weapons are held via a peg hole in the thumb. One hand is included with each of the deluxe figures, whilst newly tooled feet come with Snaptrap and give the gestalt decent stability as well as bright pink toes. Though I find the one plugged into Tentakill tends to turn round of its own accord and I genuinely don’t know if I have a poltergeist – or if Piranacon has restless leg syndrome.
The cost, the nature of release, and the seemingly limited quantities have all generated plenty of debate – but none of that should overshadow what has been achieved with these toys. Not only is it one of the last teams we are missing, but the degree of love that has been poured into their production is simply staggering. Which is all we really want – isn’t it?
If you can track down a set and justify the expense, then I highly recommend it as the only feelings I have towards it are all positive. People like me bought the Takara versions of toys precisely for the luxurious finishes they applied to Hasbro toys and the Generations Selects Seacons are a pinnacle of that concept.
My Seacons were purchased from the fantastic Kapow Toys. Check out their site to find Earthrise, Siege, Masterpiece and tons more great toys.