Thursday, 24 September 2015

A Concise Review of Cybertron Scrapmetal In 500 Words Or Less

Pricepoint/Vintage: Scout, 2006
Modes: Robot and Spider Tank.
Transformation Style: Lay back, limbs become legs.
Play Patterns: Robot and tank, key gimmick.
Points of Interest: Leader of some Insecticon inspired armybuilders, but known as Rumble in Japan. Noted for having more humanoid head that Hasbro rejected.

The Good
Scrap Metal is a toy that squeezes a lot of play and charm out minimalistic engineering. The robot mode is immediately attractive, with bright colours, good light piping, and a massive shoulder cannon with a universal mount. His overall poportions tend towards the blocky and traditional style Cybertron favoured when not sticking to a planet theme, but the head is insectoid, giving the toy a slightly monstrous appearance. Posability is in the goldilocks zone, having eight balljoints where they are useful, for a total of 11 joints. Play value in robot form is basically ideal, the arm kibble folding over the hands for Rumble-like hammers or spikes. He can just about do a ground-pound stance, while the key gimmick unleashes a removable blade. This guy can shoot, stab, slash AND smash you, and doesn't need to borrow accessories to do it. The transformation is very simple, but has enough going on to separate the modes. His walking tank mode retains 8 points of articulation, looks cool, and makes full use of the cannon.

The Bad
In a curious near-miss, the fists are at a 90 degree angle, so Scrapmetal is doing permanent bicep curls. There's also an unexpected gappy feel to the altmode, as there's no underside to the cockpit area, and a case of Visible Head Syndrome.

The Mediocre
Aside from wear and tear, basically, nothing. Nowt.

The Alternatives
This mould has quite heavily reused circa 2006, but hasn't been touched since. Hasbro put out a yellow version, Japan had three colour variations, and the Coby Sen'yō Rumble, whom used the mould's original head. Botcon 2006 used it for a custom toy class, becoming either G1 Rumble, or Beast Wars Inferno, under the Universe banner. Any number of insect themed transformers also come to mind, although any list of comparably fun toys of similar pricepoints is going to be short.

The Verdict
Scrapmetal is a fantastic toy, and one where buying multiple examples would not feel like a waste of money. The robot mode is almost ideal, the altmode distinctive, and its crams enough play features to shame bigger toys. Is it the most complex toy ever? No. Does it suffer for that? Not really. This mould is a true must-have, and has held its value very well on the secondary market. Take a chance.

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