In 1985, the second series of Generation 1 held a major watershed moment for the toyline: the introduction of combiners. Devastator was the first of his kind to appear in the Transformers, and at the time towered over many of the other robots available. He is comprised of the six Constructicons, cobbled together using several accessories to facilitate the attachment of the figures to one another.
Devastator was originally designed for Diaclone, around the time that Takara stopped focusing on interactivity with the Diaclone drivers. Dropping the driver concept allowed Takara to design at a different scale, making robots that represent larger vehicles without a larger price point. These smaller construction vehicles could then be made to combine into Construction Robo, Devastator’s predecessor. Construction Robo was released in two primary color schemes, with the 1983 version using yellow and red, and the 1984 release using different assignments of yellow and red as well as predominantly blue figures. Construction Robo was sold either as a set, or individual members. The gift set version also included a large plastic play-base, featuring rocks and tread marks.
Devastator is a large chartreuse and purple robot comprised of various construction vehicles. As such, his right arm features a hanging excavator boom, his left leg has a mixer barrel, and a crane boom hangs over his shoulder. His purple box-like lower arms and fists belie how dependant this form is upon its accessories, but also give Devastator articulation at his elbows, a rare commodity for G1 combiners. He also has articulation at his shoulders, but is otherwise solid. Devastator is one of the few G1 combiners to feature a self-consistent color scheme, allowing the members to blend together visually. Despite his stature, Devastator’s size would soon be surpassed by nearly all of his combiner contemporaries.
The legacy of Devastator’s Diaclone heritage is obvious in his design weaknesses, as he is one of the more fragile combiners. The specific problems are discussed in the Collector Notes of his individual members.
There is one major variant of Devastator, from French licensee Joustra. This version replaces the green plastic with yellow. The shade of yellow is similar to that of the Diaclone version, and darker than that of the G2-era versions (see Redecos & Retools, below), but he retains the dark purple parts and accessories, opposed to the Diaclone’s blue. Several minor variants of Devastator’s components exist, discussed in the Constructicons’ pages.
Devastator was available in G1 in 1985, either as a gift set or individual carded figures. Due to the Constructicons’ popularity, the individual carded figures were again available in 1986. Oddly, the Constructicons were not available in the UK, and the European Devastator gift set was only available in Italy. He was reissued in Japan in 2011 as part of the Encore line. This version featured minor variations, as it was apparently cast from new molds.
Redecos & Retools
Devastator’s mold was first used to make Diaclone Construction Robo in two versions: red and yellow, or red, yellow and blue. It was sold again in Europe’s extension of G1 in 1992, simply called “Constructicon”. This version used bright yellow instead of green, had a gray highlights, and could not form Devastator, as the members lacked combining accessories. The bright yellow carried into G2 Devastator, who eschewed the gray highlights, and again included the combiner parts, albeit using a much lighter shade of purple and featuring remolding. KB Toys sold an exclusive G2 version the same year, replacing the bright yellow with blaze orange. The Encore reissue was redecorated slightly in the 2013 Devastator Anime Color, using a brighter colors, different paint applications, and a slightly different sticker set.