Transformers came to its peak in 1986, but Hasbro had nearly exhausted licensable designs from other manufacturers, including old Takara toylines. Hasbro and Takara turned to unused Diaclone concepts and designs, such as the combiners. The Special Team Leader Onslaught, a green fictional cold-war era cannon truck/flatbed semi, was born from this development.
Onslaught 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.
Onslaught transforms into a green and black camouflaged apocryphal military prime mover. The truck mode invludes a traditional cab with three axles, and a long flat portion with tandem axles at the rear. The way the dark green upper deck wraps up and over the the central axle pair gives the impression of an eighteen-wheeler semi truck, but there is no articulation of the trailer (then again, Motormaster has no trailer articulation). Onslaught mounts a huge double-barreld cannon to the front end of his “trailer” The cannons can be elevated, or mounted pointing to the rear of the vehicle. This is usually done in his ramp mode, which separates the long rear truck halves to attach the silver ramp. The Western release of Onslaught has green shapes molded into his truck bed, remnants of a spring-loaded vehicle launcher for the ramp mode. The Takara release still includes this feature, however.
Onlsaught's transformation from a blocky truck to a blocky robot is simple. The cab divides to the sides as his arms, while the fists extend from the grille. The trailer folds in half and extends away from the body to form the legs. Onslaught includes a small chestplate specifically for use in his robot mode, and can wield his huge rifle in robot form. He transforms to the torso of Bruticus by pressing his arms against his body, pivoting his thighs outward, and rotating his cab-arms back. He then wears the Bruticus head over his, and the large winged chestplate covers the entire front of his body.
Onslaught is a fairly sturdy figure, and not particularly prone to any breakage.
Onslaught has several production variations. The most noticeable was the shift from a painted metal chestplate to a plastic chestplate sometime in 1986. The 1987 version, produced in Macau, changed the metallic silver accessories (including the barrels of his large cannon) to a flat light gray. 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. This version restored the silver accessories.
Onslaught was available in 1986, individually boxed. Due to the popularity of the combiners, he was available again in 1987. He was re-released on a new gold colored box in Europe’s G1 as a Classic Combaticon in 1990. A giftset was available in 1986 in Japan.
Redecos & Retools
Onslaught&resquo;s mold was redecoed in 1992 in Takara’s Operation Combination as Great Cannon, sold only in the Battle Gaia gift set. The mold was used again in 1994 as G2 Onslaught in yellow and splotches of purple. The mold received minor modifications to the weapons to become Car Robots Dolrailer in 2000, and the U.S. release Robots in Disguise Mega-Octane the following year. Mega-Octane got a gift set-only urban camo deco 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 Onslaught was used in the 2009 Takara Encore Bruticus.