Cliffbee.com: Steamhammer vs Razorclaw Toy Review

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Thanks to Pulse for donating Steamhammer & Razorclaw for this review



Name: Steamhammer
Series: Cybertron
Allegiance: Autobot
Alternate Mode: Armoured Truck

ARMOURED TRUCK MODE
Height: 3cm Length: 7.5cm Width: 3cm

   A repaint of Armada's Knock Out, Steamhammer is a yellow armoured truck with some black camouflage and a large missile launcher on his roof which packs a long orange missile. He has six brown wheels and silver painted windows, as well as some orange bits on his sides. There's a powerlinx port underneath the front and grey trigger on the left side of the launcher. The repaint is essentially similar to Knock Out, although the colours aren't as realistic. I'm not sure where a yellow and black armoured truck would find camouflage.

   Steamhammer has a lot of moulded detail, including headlights, hatches, taillights. One of the hatches, which is under the launcher, is a Minicon symbol. The Autobot logo is stamped on the back left hand corner of the truck - it's very obscure in this mode. The spring loaded launcher will fire his missile it will fire about a metre.

   A fun mode with good detail and interesting colours - I like how the camouflage hides the visible robot head very well - you don't pick it unless you look for it. The camouflage is odd combination of colours, but I can live with it - it is much better than the bright purples seen in G2, for example.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Swing the front and middle wheels to form his arms, swing the rear down to form the legs and fold his boots down. The missile launcher swings down to the right hand side and the head - which is attached to the launcher - will flip out. Swing the arms down to his sides.

   On my Steamhammer, at least, there is clear evidence of mould degradation. The waist hinge pops out very easily and the knee joints are slightly off - his boots end up at slight angles in robot mode.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 6.5cm Width: 4cm

   A yellow robot with orange shoulder joints, groin, thighs and a black head with a grey eyestrip. And, oh yes, a _huge_ shoulder mounted missile launcher. The front of the truck is Steamhammer's robot chest. He has big boots and small feet, but is fairly stable. The head is not the monochrome affair that Knock Out's was, thankfully. Steamhammer has tiny holes in his fists (too small to hold anything).

   The missile launcher is again his main gimmick and fires just as well in this mode - in fact being higher it fires a little further. The arms swing at the shoulders, his knees bend and the hips swing. The Minicon symbol is now on his left shin, while the right shin has a plain hatch. That Autobot logo is again very shy - it s on the back of the top edge of his left boot, and is less prominent than in truck mode.

   The huge shoulder cannon overshadows his head, although the black head still stands out. The cannon overwhelms most of this robot mode, actually, and makes for a rather powerful looking Minicon. Steamhammer's robot mode is simple but solid. I just wish mine didn't keep splitting in two during transformation.

VARIATIONS

   As mentioned, he is a repaint of Knock Out of the Land Military Team.

OVERALL

   An uncomplicated but effective MiniCon mould repainted fairly well - the camouflage works visually despite not being a realistic camouflage scheme. The missile launcher is the centrepiece of the mould and makes Steamhammer a fun toy. The mould degradation issues I'm experiencing make me think that Knock Out was the better toy, but this is still a mould worth getting despite the flaws here - 7.5/10


Name: Razorclaw
Series: Cybertron
Allegiance: Decepticon
Alternate Mode: Stealth Bomber

BOMBER MODE
Height: 2.5cm Length: 5cm Width: 8cm

   A black repaint of Armada's Thunderwing with a silver paint on his canopy, some silver lines on his wings and a silver Decepticon logo on the portside tailfin. There's some white trim on the tailfins also, but this a very black plane overall. Which makes perfect sense for a stealth bomber, so while Steamhammer goes backwards in terms of realism, Razorclaw is very realistic, colourwise. He's a flying wing - as Stealth Bombers tend to be. The nose is made of a soft black plastic for some reason, and he has a very narrow canopy. It's a fairly non-descript plane mode, but is still a good one with lots of moulded plane lines on his wings and fuselage.

   Razorclaw has two moulded bombs under each wing and a lot of undercarriage junk, which is mostly hidden but still manages to be an issue. Basically, he rests on his powerlinx socket with protrudes further than the robot bits around it, giving him an annoying tendency to keel over and rock backwards. This limitation is caused by his weapon mode design, and I'm not sure the weapon mode is really worth it.

   There's really no play value here - Razorclaw sits there being a Stealth. While I don't really expect much play value, a more stable base wouldn't go astray.

   This plane looks really good, but doesn't do much other than balance on the powerlinx socket. Razorclaw's visually more impressive than previous toys of this mould, mind you, so I am pretty happy with the repaint in this mode, despite the limitations the mould has.

WEAPON MODE

   By swinging the wingtips back and resting the robot arms on top, Razorclaw becomes a throwing star, with a rotating powerlinx socket underneath so you can attach him to larger toys. The right wingtip actually forms the point at the rear of this four-pointed star, while the left one tucks away for symmetry. The arms on top don't quite work visually, and I suspect would affect the flight of this star (I'm not going to throw him at a wall to test this theory). This is a novel idea but it doesn't end up being anywhere as nifty as they probably thought it would. The black again works in Razorclaw's favour, mind you - the lack of contrasting colours make for a very uniform star. It's still somewhat silly, but Razorclaw looks much better than Thunderwing in this mode.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Fold down the legs from underneath the plane, swing out the arms and fold down the jets to form his chest, which will also reveal his head.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 6cm Width: 8cm

   A black robot, unsurprisingly, although there's some cobalt blue now on his forearms and boots. His face is silver with red eyes, and the colours of the face suit him perfectly - very evil for such a dark toy. The wings sit behind his shoulders and work fairly well as wings for the robot mode. A great repaint, yet again.

   Razorclaw has a very disjointed torso - below the line of the engines his torso is more or less hollow, with the hardpoint forming the central torso, with nothing on either side, except for the backplate which consists of some rather unappealing hinging and other stuff you don't want to see. The black does mask this quite well, but it doesn't change the fact that Razorclaw has a gappy torso. The groin is the soft nose of the plane mode forms a tail of sorts. As with the bomber mode, I'm not sure that the problems caused by this rotating socket are justified by the weapon mode - although this time around the black not only helps the weapon mode, it also lessens the impact here.

   The poseability is okay. The shoulders and hips swing while the knees and elbows bend. All of these joints are needed for the transformation, so he doesn't have any jointing purely for the sake of his robot mode. Razorclaw lacks heelspurs, and with small footprints he ends up having no useful leg poseability, although you can pose the arms.

   A limited robot mode, but the colours are about as good as you're going to get here. He's a little unstable but the wings and head look really good.

VARIATIONS

   As mentioned, he is a repaint of Thunderwing of the Air Military Team.

OVERALL

   A pretty damn fine repaint of a limited mould. While Thunderwing was never a bad MiniCon, he wasn't a great one either. The colours make this mould about as cool as it can be, so I really like Razorclaw as a repaint, even if the name is annoyingly generic. The mould is weaker than Steamhammer's but the repaint is a lot better - so they're about even. I would actually recommend this toy to MiniCon fans even if you have Thunderwing, the repaint is that well done - 7/10
PACK OVERALL

   A good pairing of military plane and a truck which looks capable of shooting that plane out of the sky. Steamhammer takes a great mould and brings it down a notch, but Razorclaw takes an average mould and makes it work really well. I'd recommend this duo to MiniCon fans on the strength of Razorclaw, since his yellow partner is still a decent toy. The mould degradation of Steamhammer is annoying but not a fatal flaw, but it's not enough to dampen my enthusiasm for Razorclaw - 7.5/10

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