Cliffbee.com: Salvo Toy Review

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Individual Review




Name: Salvo
Series: e-Hobby exclusives
Allegiance: Decepticon
Function: Assault Gunner (clone of Bombshell)
Alternate Mode: Horned Beetle



BEETLE MODE
Height: 4cm Length: 12cm Width: 6cm

   A black robotic beetle with a prominent chrome silver horn at the front, Salvo's head is midnight blue while his thorax is red die cast metal and his rather boxy abdomen is midnight blue . On top of the thorax is a transparent red panel, and on either side are small solid yellow lumps. His feet are dark brown. It's a much brighter colour scheme than that of Bombshell, and works really well both visually and in differentiating him from the original.

   Salvo's essentially a small block on wheels, since the front and rear legs have black wheels on them. The silver protrusion at the front is his most notable feature, yet he's not boring. There's something of a charm to this insect mode - it's simple and stylised. There's a Decepticon logo on top of the transparent red panel and a rubsign at the right corner of the abdomen, along with some other stickers here and there giving him a little colour.

   The play value is pretty much what you'd expect of a Diaclone based Transformer - the wheels roll and he has an accessible cockpit. The transparent yellow panel lifts back to reveal the cockpit, although you have to swing the abdomen back a little if you want to lift the hatch right back. There's a joint at the base of his horn which allows it to lift up and down, which gives some poseability.

   The horn manages to resemble both a stinger and a ranged weapon, which makes it a worthwhile centrepiece for this mode. It's biggest shortcoming is the heavy reliance on chrome - if your Salvo's chrome is worn he'll sport a half-yellow horn. Having said that, this is a toy specifically aimed at collectors, so the odds of picking up a worn, second hand, Salvo are pretty low.

   A simple yet nice beetle mode that's really all about the horn. Chrome aside there's not really any shortcomings, aside from the fact that it's clearly _not_ an organic insect. The repainting is by the numbers but the two reds work well together and the colours actually work a little better than those of Bombshell.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Fold the abdomen up and out to form his legs, flip up the leg-assemblies to form the robot arms, swing the insect head back to reveal the robot head, fold the horn up to form a head-mounted cannon. Give him his chrome silver handgun.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 12cm Width: 7cm

   There's a lot more red now - since his entire torso and his boots are red. The outsides of his shins and head are midnight blue while his arms are dark brown, while the shoulder sockets are yellow. His thighs and overhead stinger are chrome silver while his face is silver (not chromed). There's actually more red than midnight blue or silver, so while Bombshell's robot mode revolved around black, Salvo's is based on red. As with the insect mode, the colours work well as a set.

   There are two main features that stand out in this robot mode. The first is of course the stinger on his head, which is a really nice feature that was used to full effect in the cartoon. The second is the rather unorthodox knee joints. Like a lot of G1 Transformers, Salvo's legs flip out in transformation - the knees bend to the point where the thighs fit inside the boots. Most toys have the shins fitting inside the calves, but on Bombshell they fit inside the shins. So it's immediately noticeable that this guy has hollow shins. I'll stop just short of calling this a flaw, since it's clearly a deliberate design feature, but I will say that the visual effect isn't necessarily positive.

   Personally, I'm not bothered by the shins, since there are well defined feet below the (gaping) shins, and the dark colours help hide the gaps. It did take a fair bit of getting used to, though. I'm more troubled by the possibility of worn chrome on the stinger and thigh - even though my Bombshell's chrome is in fine condition.

   There's some poseability here - more than on the average small Diaclone toy in fact. The shoulder joints rotate, the hips swing about 45 and the knees can bend about 20 backwards (and of course all the way forward). There are two hinges attaching the stinger, so you can aim the thing up and down, although you'll have to be careful not to cover his face. For some reason Salvo's stinger is the unnotched version (Bombshells varied), which surprised me since Takara usually reproduces the best variant of a toy when reissuing. The unnotched stinger is incapable of pointing forward, coming to rest at about 30 above the horizontal. It's a minor flaw, but an annoying one.

   Bombshell had one of the more distinct G1 faces, and Salvo has inherited it - his mouthcover looks like the grill from a knight's helmet.

   This is a robot mode for G1 fans, since there's really not that much play value. The colours are well done and the stinger on his head is a really cool aspect of this robot mode. The shins are weird, and if they bug you you're likely to dislike this robot mode, so it really all comes down to that one feature. As a repaint it works very well since there's a distinctly different feel than that of Bombshell's robot mode.

VARIATIONS

   None that I'm aware of. As mentioned, this toy is based on the unnotched variant of Bombshell.

OVERALL

   A nice Diaclone based Transformer with a lot happening for it's size, but Salvo is very much a toy for the G1 fans. The colour switches work in his favour, and while they're not as drastic as those on Shot Hole, they're enough to make this my favourite repaint of the set. Whether or not you want to fork out for all three (Zaptrap is the third toy in the box) is up to you, so all I can really say is that it _is_ a good set of repaints - 7.5/10

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