Cliffbee.com: Scattershot Toy Review

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Name: Scattershot
Series: Generation 1
Allegiance: Autobot
Function: Technobot Leader
Alternate Mode: Futuristic Space Cruiser



SPACE CRUISER MODE
Height: 8.5cm Length: 17cm Width: 17cm

   A red, maroon & white space cruiser, with a small blue bridge towards the front of the craft, big red wings at the rear and a set of small grey twin cannons about halfway back. He's tapered, with a cylindrical nose at the front and wingspan at the back, as well as a central tower (and one to match on the bottom). Basically, think of a dart and you get the idea. On top of this tower we have a small maroon radar dish, which can turn with a little effort.

   I'm often critical of Transformers who have alternate modes not based on any real vehicle, since often it's something of an easy way out. A lot of 1988 Pretenders fall into this category. Scattershot may be purely made-up, but he _looks_ like a giant space cruiser. The bridge at the front gives him the impression of being sufficiently large, the rear of the ship has two circles - the rockets. The stylings work in his favour, also. He's got quite a few stickers placed around him, adding to the technological feel. On either side of the central tower, there's two small moulded sets of cannons, which are painted silver over white plastic.

   What impresses me most about all this is the fact that these small things are deliberate - there's no bridge and no cannons at all on the underside. There is an undercarriage however. While this may not seem unusual, consider that the grey central cannons are on his hand in robot mode - and the other hand (on his underside) doesn't have them. These things have been specifically added for this mode. He has a rubsign (the 1987 version, anyway) in front of the grey cannons, and an Autobot symbol on each wing - which face towards the centre for some reason.

   The front section, as mentioned, is cylindrical. There's a grey button just behind the bridge, which when pressed causes the two halves of this cylinder to open to the sides and a grey gun to push forward. It looks suitably like a final assault weapon. This cannon is not actually meant for Cruiser mode as such, since it's part of the battle emplacement mode, but it works well in this mode. Incidentally, when you fold the halves back in, the cannon slides back in automatically.

   Overall, this is an excellent alternate mode. It's got play value, by virtue of the cannon up front, and the attention to detail in this mode really impresses me. The colours don't grab me all that much, but they work fine, and co-ordinate with the other Technobots.

TRANSFORMATION TO BATTLE EMPLACEMENT MODE

   Fold down the rockets, them fold in (down) the wings. Press the button behind the bridge to reveal the cannon.

BATTLE EMPLACEMENT MODE
Height: 10cm Length: 19cm Width: 10cm

   Like pretty much ever other Scramble City torso (Snaptrap and Hun-Grrr the exceptions), Scattershot has a third "base" mode. As with the others it's pretty obviously an add on. Unlike the others, it's worthwhile. He's basically a giant battlefield cannon, that'd take two or three smaller Technobots to operate. I think the cannon works for two reasons. Firstly, unlike the 1986 combiners, he's not a Concorde/Truck/whatever trying to be a base. He's a non-earthen vehicle being a giant gun. Second, he's a gun, not a base, so there's no add on ramps, and no need to try make a flat platform so someone can park there.

   Thanks to the fact he's basically a long shaft on legs, he looks like a gun emplacement. It also means he can point up and down to a degree, although he's not really meant to. The hip joints are in just the right spot for this. Any further forward and he'd be a gun-butt swinging up and down. Any further back and you'd have a front-heavy gun with a tendency to tip forward.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE (from cruiser mode)

   Fold the undercarriage up, swing the nose about 45 down, then swing the rocket/wing assemblies forward. Twist the centre section 90 to the left, then swing the nose section right back and swing the legs down fully. Fold the wings back, fold down the chestplate. Pull out the hands & position the arms, pull the head up. You can give him his handgun, and place radar dishes in his shoulders - one should be there in his left shoulder from cruiser mode anyway

ROBOT MODE
Height: 18cm Width: 9cm

   The red, maroon & white carries into this mode, and the small amount of blue that he had on his cockpit is carried into this mode, although it's his face that's blue. He's got maroon shoulders & boots, a red groin, chestplate and red forearms/hands. The head, torso and thighs are white. He's got a lot of stickers, from his kneecaps to his waist to his elbows.

   Scattershot is taller than most Scramble City torso sections, he towers above the other Technobots. In fact, his lower legs (which look like boots, as I've alluded to) play no part in Computron. He's also quite blocky in this mode, with two blasters on his left hand. These two combine with the size to make him look rather powerful.

   His poseability is probably his weakest feature. His knees & hips bend, though the wings hanging off the back of his legs make sitting poses impossible. There are three joints on each arm, but only the shoulder joints make sense - the others are only there for the transform. His waist can swivel 360, but it's limited by the nosecone on his back.

   This nosecone and the waist joint had made Scattershot somewhat famous, actually. If you fold down the nosecone and twist the waist 180, Scattershot's suddenly _very_ happy to see you. What makes this even more phallic is the central post that shoots out when you press the button. The nosecone is disproportionately large for ... that part of the anatomy ... which makes it worse still. For adult fans, I guess this unintended feature adds a bit of comedy to Scattershot.

   Despite his sexual prowess, Scattershot's robot mode is pretty good. There's no real flaws as such, although the poseability is ruined a bit by the nosecone & wings attached to this mode. I wouldn't go so far as to say they get in the way of the robot mode, since he has pretty good poseability for 1987 anyway, and they're not hanging off the sides or tipping him over, but they are there, affecting play value a little.

VARIATIONS

   The 1987 version has a rubsign indent on the centre of the cruiser (groin of robot mode), the 1988 version does not.

OVERALL

   A good toy, with a terrific cruiser mode. I especially like the attention to detail paid in this mode - he definitely avoids the problem of being a block that Hasbro define as something - he _looks_ like a space cruiser. He's also got a strong robot mode and a worthwhile third mode, which is unusual for combiners. And then there's his comedy value. All this and he joins with the other Technobots to form Computron. Basically, a toy that's well worth getting - 9/10

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