Thursday, 3 September 2015

A Concise Review of Cybertron Shortround In 500 Words Or Less

Pricepoint/Vintage: Scout, 2006
Modes: Robot and Hovercraft.
Transformation Style: Wraparound arms, elementary automorph for head.
Play Patterns: Robot and hovercraft, key gimmick.
Points of Interest: Has the (in)famous toilet fanmode. Non-show character. Toy collector.

The Good
Shortround's hovercraft form is quite convincing, both in terms of moulded detailing and paint applications. Of particular note are the fans highlighted in gold, and his windows in purple. Switching between modes is a comparatively novel and well-telegraphed process, and has a primitive but useful automorph that frees the head for robot form. Said robot mode reveals more colour and detail, and is effectively articulated with 15 points. His head is another highlight, looking like a mecha fishman. Meanwhile, the key gimmick* is well-integrated in both forms, being an unobtrusive set of decorative missiles. He also looks weird, and barely humanoid, but I consider this a plus.

The Bad
Shortround has slightly low play value for a toy of his vintage, and relies on his key gimmick and rolling wheels to compensate. He doesn't have true hands or 5mm ports, and that would have opened a whole world of options. He's also got a case of Visible Head Syndrome in hovercraft mode, and needed some more paint for the air cushion. The non-humanoid robot form is going to be a negative for many.

The Mediocre
Shortround does feature a gun, which can be used to obscure the head in vehicle mode, but its not based on a common peg system. His knee joints also want to lock into place, not move smoothly.

The Alternatives
This toy was repainted once for the bayverse, with that repaint being repackaged for Universe, and Cybertron was pretty good at this pricepoint. If you are just looking for a Cybertron scout, there's plenty of worthwhile choices, such as Scrapmetal or Armorhide. If you are merely seeking a hovercraft though, look at 2010 Sea Spray, whom is much bigger, less weird, but has flippers for whimsy.

The Verdict
I'd be lying if I said I didn't pick this fellow up just for his fan mode, because I'm like that, but he turned out to be a surprisingly competent scout. The vehicle mode is nice to look at, the robot mode delightfully weird, and switching between is fun. Unfortunately, while not lacking in play value, he needed a 5mm fist hole or two, and not everyone likes weird. Consider him the curiosity he obviously is, not a compulsory purchase, but still one I would personally recommend.

* Please note: my example lacks an Earth Key, so I borrowed one from another toy. This has no real effect on things, but I like to be honest.

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