Review: Transformers Combiner Wars Rook

Aside from the oversaturation of redecoes, the one major issue many Transformers fans have with the Generations Combiner Wars toyline is the notable replacement of one member of each combiner team with a new-yet-somewhat-identical character. Superion had Alpha Bravo and Menasor had Offroad, though both of the “proper” limbs were eventually released through online stores (albeit as redecoes of a teammate). For Defensor, Hasbro tackled the matter a bit differently. Instead of dropping Groove altogether, he was made a Legends class accessory figure, and the missing limb was filled in with an entirely new character: Rook, some dude who just sort of happened to be standing near the other not-officially-called-Protectobots when Starscream shot enigmatic combination magic at them and forced them into Defensor.

Combiner Wars was dumb. But Rook isn’t!


Vehicle Mode

Rook’s altmode is a SWAT armored personnel carrier, which could generously be described as a type of rescue vehicle (though if you include police cars in the description, SWAT vehicles fulfill a similar function). It’s basically a big block on wheels, but it looks fairly nice thanks to the decent amount of paint applications. Judging by the size of the windows, though, Rook should be huge. In fact, he might scale well with Ultra Magnus. Now that we’ve cracked that can of worms…


Like a handful of CW Deluxes, Rook has a bit of unique weapon integration for his Hand-Foot-Gun in the form of a peg mounted atop his vehicle mode, matching up with a 5mm port in the “palm” of the HFG. The result is not particularly impressive, but it doesn’t look terribly out of place. I question the worthiness of giving Rook’s HFG this unique functionality, and I also question the place of an armored SWAT vehicle with missiles mounted atop it in a team called the Protectobots.


Robot Mode

As a brand-new character, Rook is rocking a totally original design. Thankfully not bogged down by a need to appear somewhat like the limb he’s replacing or be a very obvious redeco for a later toy like Alpha Bravo and Offroad, Rook looks striking and very cool. He’s bulky and broad-shouldered, and despite his really skinny thighs, he looks the part of the “big guy” of the Protectobots. His headsculpt was explicitly stated to look like the rook chess piece, but it can just as easily be seen as an ushanka, which is awesome.


Hey, I finally get to do an articulation rundown! Rook can move pretty well for a big guy, with ball jointed neck, shoulders, and thighs, and swivel elbows, biceps, waist, thighs, and knees. He also has an additional transformation joint that gives his shoulders an inward/outward motion, which is awesome. The other surprise bit of articulation: ankle tilts! They’ve got a pretty good range, too, making Rook the most poseable CW Deluxe so far.


Aside from the HFG, Rook comes with a weird claw/cattle prod thing. As Rook lacks traditional fists in favor of big 5mm ports on his knuckles, the weapon looks like some kind of replacement hand thing. I dig it. His unique 5mm hands open up a number of weaponry options, most notably by plugging in the HFG as actual hands, giving Rook the power of HULK HANDS!


You can’t tell me this isn’t awesome. What’s not so awesome is that my copy of the toy suffers from some seriously loose joints, mainly in his hips and right elbow. Hopefully it’s just bad QC on mine, but it’s not the worst issue in the world. He can still hold poses well enough.



Rook may be the best Deluxe Combiner Wars mold yet. He’s got the most impressive range of articulation, looks super cool, and he’s the only toy that can use the HFG in a way that looks silly awesome. If you’re a die-hard Protectobot fan who’s still mad about Groove getting shunted down a size class and kicked out of the limb foursome, I still say pick up Rook since he’s a cool toy. If  not, though, this mold is getting a heavy retool later in the line for both Swindle and Hound, so odds are you’ll end up with one of the three. I think the Swindle version of the mold looks the most interesting, but Rook remains unique as the APC and a pretty cool original character. Now if only we could get some proper fiction for the guy.

Where to Buy

One Response to “Review: Transformers Combiner Wars Rook”
  1. This figure is fantastic. I just resigned with the ball joints and apply floor polish to every figure almost right after I open them…works wonders, but you have to make sure it has Future Shine in it.


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