Power Core Combiners Steamhammer Review

By Loran

It seems that even the most disliked of Transformers lines all seem to get that one wave that people just go ga-ga over when the prototype pictures get revealed. Love the line or hate it, this wave was looking pretty awesome from the pictures-Constructicons and Dinobots? Everyone loves them! Could adding some of the most popular subteams in Transformers be just what this line needed for people to warm up to it? Let’s take a look at the Constructicons, shall we?

The leader of this team is Steamhammer. I like this guy’s character. Yeah, there’s another team of Constructicons out there, but does this guy care? Nope! The name was actually used for a Constructicon back in 2004, unsurprisingly enough.

Even more unsurprising is his alt-mode-a bulldozer. We’ve had one of these on just about every Constructicon team, so it’s appropriate that we’d get one here. He comes molded in that delicious green color we’ve come to love our transforming construction vehicles in, though I would’ve liked a splash of purple for that nice G1 feel. Unfortunately he has some empty space in his middle, and those ugly blue Power Core pegs behind his treads.

His shovel is HUGE, and actually has some articulation. Most importantly, however, is the weathering on it! It looks all chipped and worn with some silver drybrushing. It’s awesome.

When transforming Steamhammer, take care with the pegs on his hips. They lock into place REALLY well and I’m a little afraid they’re going to break. If they get stuck, take a really small flathead screwdriver and gently lift the piece out.

What a tiny robot mode! Even for a scout-class guy, this guy would be stumpy. Despite this, he’s actually quite poseable, save for the hips. The shape of the parts make it difficult to move them forward and backwards. A real shame considering how well everything else works, even the arms with the ridiculous kibble. Speaking of kibble, what’s with the backpack? The shovel makes a really cool backpack, but the treads just… float there, and no, I can’t find any way for them to not be annoying. His backpack also makes him extremely back-heavy.

I LOVE the head on this guy. It looks so dumb and brutish, almost like Frankenstein’s monster. He has this look of, “Yeah, I’m dumb, what of it?”

Quibbles about the articulation and kibble aside, I do like this robot mode. He’s certainly one of the more distinct members of the PCC lineup, that’s for sure.

Now… onto the gimmick. This assortment of drones is awesome. Breaking the tradition of cranes, excavators, dump trucks, and front-end loaders, we now get a drill excavator, a wacky mining bulldozer, a SNOWPLOW, and a STEAMROLLER! Hoo boy. I’m in heaven. The snowplow and steamroller even have the same weathering as Steamhammer’s shovel.

Steamhammer’s super mode/combined form… well… there are no words. It is glorious. This is quite possibly one of the best combined modes in the line so far. Much like the other modes, be careful with those waist pegs. The tread pieces are still noticeable in this mode, but they blend with the design much better.

The head sculpt rules. It evokes images of the Cyberjets from Generation 2 and the grunts from the War for Cybertron. I just love these total-face visors. They look so delightfully evil. It has some side-to-side movement, but it’s kind of hindered by the design. Oh well.

Most impressive of all are the arm drones-he has actual HANDS! Yeah, with fingers and thumbs! I don’t know why it took them so long to give us these, but they look great. Even the legs are nice and sturdy. As a side-note, though, you might want to try “manually” deploying the leg drones just to get them broken in for the first few transformations.

Like the other figures in the line, he can wear a Mini-con as chest armor, provided you have any, that is.

Yeah, Steamhammer’s really cool, and has one hell of a combined mode. All of the shortcomings the commander has are totally made up for by the amazing combined mode and fantastic choice of drones. Highly recommended, and I’d dare say he’d be an insta-buy if you saw him in-stock at FP. Now I need those damn Dinobots…


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