Bruticus was originally conceptualized for a Diaclone subseries called “Jizai Gattai”, or Free Combination, which would have included the Stunticons, Combaticons, Aerialbots, Protectobots, and Metroplex. Each team had a theme, each limb figure could combine with any other team leader as any limb, and each leader figure had some sort of base mode, usually, with a spring-loaded vehicle launcher. All the figures could also interact with Metroplex. However, Transformers’ imminent success put Diaclone and Jizai Gattai on ice. It was Transformers’ long term success that saw these designs to completion, however. Bruticus was designed by Daishirou Shibukawa and the US Patent titled Toy robotic humanoid assembly (aka Transformers G1 Bruticus) was filed on October 17, 1985 (U.S. Patent No. USD294055 S).
The Combaticons attach directly to Onslaught using the standard rectangular connectors (frequently the smaller figure’s heads) to form Bruticus’ limbs. Like all US G1 combiners, he requires a number of accessories to complete his combined robot form, namely fists, footpads, a head, and a chestpiece. The fists and feet attach by a standard 5mm peg. Bruticus is characterized by his wide stance, large double-cannons on his back, and large jet-like silver chestplate. The individual members can form any limb of Bruticus, but typically Blast Off and Swindle form the right arm and leg, and Vortex and Brawl form the left arm and leg, respectively.
Bruticus’ Combaticons are all relatively sturdy, and their weaknesses are described in their individual articles. Always use care when removing Bruticus’ limbs from Onslaught, to prevent breakage of the heads or connector pegs.
Blast Off has several production variations. The most noticeable was the shift from a painted metal chestplate to a plastic chestplate sometime in 1986. A later version does not include a rubsign on the cockpit side, and the indentation has been filled in, corresponding to the 1990 European re-release.
Bruticus was available in 1986, individually carded and boxed. Due to the popularity of the combiners, he was available again in 1987 with or without a random purple Decepticon Decoys packed in the small members. He was re-released on new gold colored cards and box in Europe’s G1 as the Classic Combaticons in 1990. A gift set of the 1986 version was available in Japan.
Redecos & Retools
Bruticus’s mold was redecoed in 1992 in Takara’s Operation Combination as the Battle Gaia gift set. The mold was used again in 1994 as G2 Bruticus in various bright colors camouflaged with splotches of purple, available only individually. The mold received minor modifications to the weapons to become Car Robots Baldigus in 2000, and the U.S. release Robots in Disguise Ruination (individually carded) the following year. Ruination got a gift set-only urban camo deco and rounded-off Movor nosecone in 2003’s Wal-Mart Exclusive Ruination, and a desert camo with the same mold the following year in Universe Ruination. The RiD-era retool of Bruticus was used in the 2009 Takara Encore Bruticus.