Cliffbee.com: Skram Toy Review

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Individual Review




Name: Skram
Series: "European" G1
Allegiance: Autobot
Function: Crack Patrol (US) / Platoon Trouble Shooter (non-US)
Alternate Mode: Chevrolet Corvette



CORVETTE MODE
Height: 2.5cm Length: 8cm Width: 4cm

   A blue 1980s Corvette (more like Freeway than Tracks) with black plastic tyres, a chrome exposed engine block and some pink pinstripes. Skram has white painted headlights and red taillights and a G2 Autobot symbol as a bagde on his bonnet. There are two distinct versions - the late G1 non-US version has transparent pink windows while the G2 US version has transparent blackish windows. Both work equally well, since the pink manages to more or less match up with the pinstripes, although obviously the blackish windows are far more realistic.

   While Skram is fairly low detail, there's enough here to clearly define him as a Corvette - they have pretty distinct curves anyway. The large engineblock and pink trim aren't too realistic but then Skram was produced in an era that saw many fluorescent Transformers, so he fared relatively well.

   Skram doesn't do much more than roll along in this mode, but then for a $5 toy I don't expect much more. My only real complaint is that the G2 stamp is awfully visible across his windscreen, which spoils the motif a little.

   Despite not really being terribly realistic, Skram has a nifty feel about him. As a toy Corvette he works quite well, with both pink and blackish windows. He's small and simple but this car mode works in it's own way. I just with the stamp wasn't so prominent.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Remove the engine block by pushing it down and out. Flip out the back to form his feet, pull the doors out to the sides to form his arms (the front tyres sit on his shoulders. Flip the head up through the gap left by the engine and fold down the bonnet to form his chest. Give Skram his engineblock as a gun.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 8.5cm Width: 5.5cm

   A blue robot with fluorescent orange thighs and groin, Skram has a silver head with a lightpipe (same colour as the windows) and a fairly good silver gun. Skram's fluorescent orange is minor enough to not get in the way of itself (or anything else), and thankfully there's not enough pink (even on the non-US version) to ruin things. The orange and blue actually contrast quite well, while the silver and black also help push the orange to the background. The facial sculpt is impressive, with a mouth, chin and shaped cheeks.

   The front of the car forms his chest in a fashion similar to Prowl while the boots are the back half of the car (with a gap between them). Skram is better for having prominent car aspects in this mode - partly because it means less orange but mainly because it gives him something of a classic Transformers feel about him, following on from the 1987-1990 era when most TFs didn't really have distinctive alt mode aspects in their robot modes.

   There's some poseability here, Skram's forearms can lift up to 90 while his shoulders lift out to the side. Otherwise he pretty much just stands there with wide shoulders. Skram is no better or worse than most Transformers of his era in this regard, mind you. The lightpipe works well on the pink version although the US version (which I have) needs a strong light source directly behind the head for it to work.

   As simple as it is, I quite like Skram's robot mode. It's a simple concept that's been executed as well as I would really hope for at this size and pricepoint. The detailed face and emphasis on Corvette parts here really make Skram fun even if there's not much to him.

VARIATIONS

   As I've already discussed, the non-US version, released at the tail end of G1, has pink eyes and windshield. This was followed a few months later by a G2 version in the US with the transparent parts now a smoky colour. Australia actually got both versions.

OVERALL

While he's far from fantastic, Skram is a good toy for what he is. The Corvette mode is well defined, the colour scheme is quite sedate for a toy with some bright colours and the robot mode is well put together with a great facial sculpt. While there's nowhere near enough play value for me to recommend hunting Skram down at all costs, if you come across him, grab him - 7/10

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