Cliffbee.com: Salvage Toy Review

Toy Reviews
Individual Review




Name: Salvage
Series: Movie Tie-Ins
Allegiance: Autobot
Alternate Mode: Chevrolet Silverado Pickup Truck

Thanks to Tiby for loaning me Salvage for this review



PICKUP MODE
Height: 4.5cm Length: 14cm Width: 6.5cm

   A darkish red souped up sports pickup with black plastic tyres, silver hubcaps and a silver front grille & bumper assembly. Salvage is a repaint of Dropkick, without the giant allegiance symbol. The windshield, side windows, foglights and headlights are transparent blue plastic while the taillights are painted red - I'm impressed that they've made the effort to paint red over red. There are white Autobot logos on the doors flanked by "SPARKPLUG & SON" and "SALVAGE", also in white. The G1 tribute is fun and a credible enough name for a small enterprise. The rear vision mirrors, rear bumper and doorhandles are painted silver while the front indicators are painted yellow. The colours are both markedly different to those on Dropkick and far more realistic - unsual for a repaint.

   There's a decent level of detail here, including side mirrors, doorhandles, a turbocharger, grille details, transparent plastic foglights and a spoiler behind the tray cover. The tray cover (and spoiler) detaches, revealing a red tray, which features lines on the floor and well shaped wheelbay protrusions on either side.

   There's some play value here - although not much. The tray cover features a bronze knob, pushing it back reveals a gunmetal claw that pushes down the tailgate. The claw is essentially set of pliers, complete with grip and wiresnips. Turn the knob and the pliers open about 30. It's a silly gimmick but it doesn't get in the way of much, although the knob is quite visible. If you don't like it (I'm not a fan), you can always leave the leave the tray cover aside anyway. The tailgate is on a spring, so when you fold it down it pops back into position once your finger is removed - or the pliers are retracted. I appreciate the spring, since the taillights go down with the tailgate, and this doesn't look quite right. The wheels roll as you'd expect.

   A good truck mode and a good repaint. The removable tray cover provides an unusual gimmick which can be left aside if it doesn't appeal - without any loss. The detailing is pretty good, making this a nice truck mode. The tribute to G1 on the doors is a nice touch which will please many fans.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Remove and set aside the tray cover if you haven't already. Split the front and swing out to either side, swing down the folded up legs from under the tray, rotate and fold out his lower legs. Fold out the heelspurs and swing the ankle struts back. The legs are digitigrade (think BM Cheetor, without the ridiculous stability issues). Clip the sides of the front into the the sides, collapse the tray onto his back. Lift up the roof, the head will pop out. Fold back his shoulder spines, lift up the fenders to form shoulderpads, which will release the doors, allowing the to swing forward and form wings. Fold down the arms from behind the grille plates, which swing out to the outsides of his forearms. Lastly, swing down the guns on his hands.

   It's a complex transformation for a deluxe, although once you understand it, he's not really difficult. He's a shellformer in many ways, however there's far more than just a bunch of unfolding panels, and he doesn't end up with panels hanging off getting in the way.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 15cm Width: 15cm

   Salvage's robot mode is a mixture of red, bronze and various shades of silver, with some of the obligatory "AllSpark" light blue painted highlights. His thighs, shoulderpads and head are red while his torso, lower legs and forearms are bronze. His upper arms are gunmetal while there are light silver shoulder spines and guns hanging off his hands. The eyes transparent blue with a decent lightpipe while his mouthplate is painted bronze with some silver an blue. There's a black Autobot logo on his chest, on an AllSpark blue panel, which itself sits underneath the panes of his front windshield - these panes float as a prominent feature. The red, bronze and various silvers would work well if not for the AllSpark blue here - he just didn't need that extra light colour, and it's not one which has a good reason for making an appearance. The end result is garish, yet should have looked good.

   Aside from the stupid decision to slap blue on Salvage, this is an attractive robot mode with a _lot_ happening. The chest has a distinct engine sculpt, on what is actually the inner cabin. The doors work well as wings while the fenders look good as shoulderpads, even with the tyres quite visible. The rear tyres are on the knees and the boots curl backwards, reminiscent of Beast Machines Cheetor, as mentioned, but with real feet and better proportions. The double-barred guns on his fists work visually, although the panels on the outside of his forearms are nothing but kibble. I'm impressed by the attention to detail here, from the chest sculpt (which still sits underneath the clear windows) to the guns on his fists to the placement of much of the truck mode around his shoulders to the complex legs.

   The tray cover can plug into either hand as a sort of pincer weapon, although the big red plate on the topside looks awkward - I really just prefer leaving it right aside. The fist guns work nicely anyway. The arm poseability is great, especially considering there's two panels around each shoulder. The shoulders are ball jointed and the elbows hinged. His head sits on a ball joint, which effectively functions as a single swivel while the waist is fixed. His legs aren't that poseable - the hips are unrestricted ball joints, the knees are basically fixed and the feet and heelspurs can swing. The knees hurt his leg poseability quite a bit. Salvage's arms pop off at the shoulder's really easily - at least Tiby's Salvage has this problem while my Dropkick doesn't.

   The colour scheme is distinctly different to that of Dropkick, but the AllSpark blue doesn't belong here. The pop-off shoulders are rather annoying and I suspect they _are_ a result of mould degradation. The poseability is a bit limited, but it's still an impressive robot mode as the engineering goes. The weapon is weak, but is easily set aside.

VARIATIONS

   None that I'm aware of. As mentioned, he is a repaint of Dropkick.

OVERALL

   A great mould with added realism second time around should make this a great repaint, and while Salvage's truck mode is arguably better than that of Dropkick (it depends on how you look at it), the robot mode suffers from two needless flaws which drag him down. The AllSpark blue was a plain bad idea here - it clashes horribly with the earthy red & bronze - while the arms pop off far too easily. I'd still recommend Salvage if you missed Dropkick - it's an excellent mould - but I'd recommend Dropkick first. The unusual transformation leads to a visually interesting robot mode, so the mould has merit, even with the garish blue detailing in robot mode. The truck mode is great, and with a little more focus the robot mode would have been as well - 7.5/10

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