Cliffbee.com: Submarauder Toy Review

Toy Reviews
Individual Review




Name: Submarauder
Series: Generation 1
Allegiance: Decepticon
Function: Undersea Warfare
Alternate Mode: Submarine



SUBMARINE MODE
Height: 5cm Length: 9.5cm Width: 5.58cm

   A bright purple lump with some mid blue, Submarauder is only a submarine because Hasbro say so. There's a grey wraparound window painted on the front, which is all we get in the way of meaningful colour - although there are some generic stickers. I can't say I think much of this colour scheme - the shade of blue used is nice, but doesn't really belong with the bright purple. The concept of a bright purple submarine is rather strange - yes I know there was a hit song about a Yellow Submarine, but John Lennon actually meant that particular tune to be absurd.

   Whilst some Pretenders have fairly convincing alt modes, Submarauder isn't much more than a purple lump. The window at the front and some jets at the back of the cockpit are the only aspects that define this vehicle - and the window is awfully generic at that. He's pretty much just a lump with a purple gun on top, and I get the distinct impression that the alt mode was defined to match the shell, since this could really be called anything at all (and still wouldn't be convincing).

   There's no play value here - Submarauder pretty much sits there being a folded up robot. The end result is a vehicle mode that's poor even by Pretender standards. This is worst the alternate mode amongst the Pretenders I own - and I have all six components of Monstructor. A pointless submarine mode which inspires me to _not_ transform Submarauder.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Remove the gun, swing the sides down to form the legs. Flip up the feet, fold out the arms, give Submarauder his gun.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 12.5cm Width: 5.5cm

   Submarauder is again mainly purple, with the blue on his thighs, feet and head. The face is grey and his moulded eyes and mouth, which don't really stand out since the entire face is grey - the purple overwhelms this grey anyway. This colour scheme is about on par with that of the submarine mode. While it's just as crappy, it's slightly less absurd since there's no good reason why a robot can't be purple. "Decepticon purple" might have been nicer choice, but Submarauder's a lost cause anyway, so I don't really care.

   Submarauder has a reasonable level of moulded detail, but it's all rather generic and other than the facial features, there's not really anything I can even mention as noteworthy. He has poorly moulded fingers on his fists and stumpy feet. The bodyshape is reasonable, although he's stuck with his legs slightly apart, which looks a tad strange. Play value is limited to shoulders swinging and a head that turns - the latter doesn't bring much since there are blocks on the shoulders that make looking to the side pointless.

   This is Submarauder's better mode, simply because it's quite clearly a robot - albeit a rather generic bright purple one. This is one of the least interesting robot modes I've seen. I don't really want to transform him back to vehicle mode - maybe I can hide him in the shell and see if things get better.

The Pretender Shell

   A mid blue shell that's slightly darker than the blue on the inner robot - I'd call it ocean blue. The arms are grey while the eyes are crimson, the mouthparts bright orange, the torso armour blue and some suction-cap like circles green. Other than the orange this is actually a decent colour scheme. The detachable belt is purple, along with the shield and sword accessories that the shell uses exclusively. The purple robot gun can also be used here, rounding out a set of purple accessories.

   With a decent colour scheme and choice of accessories, this is already way out in front as Submarauder's best aspect. There's no single animal theme here - a bipedal sea monster seems to be the best way to describe this creature. The head and groin have reptile-like scale moulded (which is also on the back of the hands) while the mouthparts look to be squid-like. The fingers end in claws that don't really fit anything aquatic (maybe a werewolf). There's a dorsal fin that extends to form a crest on top of his head, along with two smaller fins on the back of his legs. While the head lacks ears or a nose, the mouthparts and eyes give Submarauder a face of sorts. The end result is a monster theme that works fairly well.

   This is far from the best Pretender shell, but I do like it. The theme is actually quite good, and is certainly more interesting and creative than many Autobot Pretender shells from the same series. I guess it goes without saying that this shell beats the robot mode and vehicle modes.

VARIATIONS

   None that I'm aware of.

OVERALL

   Submarauder's shell is reasonably good - but you might as well stop there. The robot inside is about as uninspiring as possible, and the vehicle mode is quite frankly pathetic. If you like the sea monster Pretender shell, pick it up, but don't pay any extra for the junk inside - 2/10

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