(note: my smaller, legends class groove has reprolabels stickers on it, so that's why mine has some extra detailing that yours might not have)
Last year, Hasbro had a "May Madness" where online retailers briefly carried Combiner Wars versions of Wildrider and Slingshot, who had been replaced by other, more interesting guys at retail. Well, it's May Madness again! Have some Deluxe Class Groove, who had been replaced by another, more interesting guy at retail.
I mean, the Deluxe Class-sized Groove that TakaraTomy made for their version of Defensor isn't bad or terrible, by Combiner Wars standards. It feels and operates like all the other Combiner Wars Deluxe Class guys. The same basic transformation steps and everything. But, like, he replaced Rook, who is easily the best Deluxe Class guy in the whole Combiner Wars line. He's got Hulk Hands, yo. Hulk Hands. And it's not like his presence removes Groove from the combined Protectobot form of Defensor, 'cuz there's a Legends Class Groove who becomes the chestpiece thing. Groove can still hang out. So, yeah, I feel like Hasbro made the right move, giving us both Rook *and* Groove.
There are things to like about Deluxe Groove, though. He has translucent plastic! None of the other guys have a sprue set aside for translucent plastic. So that's nice-looking. And he has two handguns with little siren flasher things on them, again using this translucent plastic. Guns with little flashers on them is a neat idea. Maybe not the best idea for a character who's a pacifist, but whatcha gonna do. It's weird that the pacifist is the one Combiner Wars guy who comes with more guns than he can hold. (other than the double targetmaster club subscription guys)
But, like, man, that motorcycle mode of his. Not good! I mean, you have to remember that a bunch of the jets are mostly robot parts with some jet parts stapled on top, but Deluxe Groove's motorcycle mode still feels lacking. His arms just ... sort of go there. And the whole thing isn't terribly motorcycle-shaped, either. It's just a long box with some motorcycle details sketched in. Being able to cover up a small portion of this mode by pegging in his two new guns shouldn't be such a relief. (Also, they're positioned so that if they fired, they'd blast his own hands off.)
Anyway, this toy exists probably to vindicate the smaller Groove that mass retail got. Oh, and to be retooled into Afterburner later on. And sadly, probably never into Sideways.