Combiners. Multiple bots combining into a bigger, meaner, grander bot. While this genius concept came before Transformers was a thing, there is little doubt that combiners form a significant part of the Transformers lore. If you too are a fan of combiners, there’s no better time than now to be Transformers toy collector. Nearly all combiners have been revisited in the past decade but naturally, not all have had the same amount of attention given to them. Today we’ll take a look at Astaroth, the first member of Satan which is TFC’s take on Abominus, one of the lesser done combiners.
BUILD QUALITY, PLASTIC QUALITY & PAINT APPLICATIONS
RATING: 5 / 5
Astaroth is based on Sinnertwin, one-fifth of the Terrorcons. If you are familiar with TFC products, especially those in recent years, then you will know that there isn’t much to fault in terms of build and material quality. Everything holds well and the plastics can take a good degree of stress and flex, as experienced during transformation. More on that later. All the pegs fit snugly into the holes and crevices as intended. The silver paint applications, though limited, are neatly done.
AESTHETICS & PROPORTIONS
RATING: 4.5 / 5
TFC has established a distinct look for their recent combiners and one can almost immediately see the consistent organic design aesthetics between Astaroth and TFC’s Poseidon. I love how imposing Poseidon is and I’m expecting Satan to be pretty much the same. Astaroth stands very handsomely in bot mode although I would have preferred if there were more paint applications to break up the colours a little.
Beast mode proportions can be quite tricky to get right sometimes, but I think Astaroth managed to hit all the right notes. The organic style works well for the beast mode. The dragon heads are well-sculpted and rightfully so, since the twin heads are what give Sinnertwin his identity.
I must also commend on TFC’s efforts in getting the colours right.
DESIGN, ENGINEERING & ACCESSORIES
RATING: 3 / 5
Astaroth has quite a standard transformation sequence. But having said that, the transformation of his lower torso from bot to alt mode was a tad frustrating. The instructions and most of the video reviews did not clearly mention how the legs should fold in order for the lower torso to lock onto the upper half. Thankfully, I chanced upon a video by a Korean reviewer and despite not understanding the language, his deliberate attempt to show the transformation in detailed steps made it easy to understand what needed to be done to get it right. And as mentioned in the earlier segment of this review, the sturdiness of the plastics alleviated any concern I had when flipping and flexing the lower torso multiple times to fit everything together.
Astaroth comes with a blaster which can also be pegged on his back in beast mode. Additionally, he also comes with one of Satan’s foot which can be detached at the toes segment to form a shield in bot mode. Pretty cool bonus feature.
JOINTS, ARTICULATION & BALANCE
RATING: 4 / 5
Articulation in bot mode is pretty efficient and he strikes poses with minimum effort. Articulation continues to be great in beast mode. The articulated necks, jaws and legs definitely gave life to the beast mode.
TFC has kicked off the Satan series with a strong figure. I’m looking forward to the rest of the team and I hope it won’t be too long before Satan is finally realised.