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|Cybertron Scrapmetal||Reviewed by Thunderscream|
|Terror of the Scrapmetals|
Anyone who watched the Cybertron animated series were treated to a whole horde of little beasties called Scrapmetals, which were described essentially as robotic locusts on speed. Though the series refers to the critters in the plural, reading the Tech Spec on the package indicates that Hasbro intended Scrapmetal to be a singular entitiy, while his "clones" were referred to as "Terrorcons". Nevertheless, this figure, also called Ramble or Rumble depending on one's translation, raised some eyebrows when it came out. This reveiw will concentrate on the Cybertron release.
Scrapmetal's vehicle mode is... well, for lack of a better description, an insect-like pod walker. The series description of "spider" is rather apt, despite the fact that he only possesses half the limbs. From the front, he actually looks rather scorpion-like and he has the same spindly appearance as most arthropods.
Scrapmetal's primary colors are a fire orange (on the limbs), black (cockpit and feet) and dark gray (main body, gun, and sheild). There's a bit of dark red on the cones of his back feet as well as silver on the disks (also on his back limbs). Transparent red plastic is also used on the cockpit windows and along the top of the gun. Takara also sold two variations on the mold, one yellow, one blue; Hasbro will soon be selling the yellow version.
Unlike earlier "bug" formers, the joints on Scrapmetals limbs are sufficently stiff that he doesn't end up on his belly. His main points of articulation are concentrated here, though displaying him will probably be limited to walking and standing. The gun over his back is set so that it can rotate 360 degrees on the horizontal and can also swing up and down.
One oddity I've found is on the armor panel behind the cockpit. A Decepticon insignia has been heat stamped on the lower portion. Considering the little beasts had no real allegiance to either side, I see it as rather odd. But it's a minor quibble.
As one might expect from a basic sized figure, Scrapmetal is relatively easy to transform. There are quite a few steps involved, but they're not difficult.
First, pull the back legs away from the main body, then raise the brace that holds the gun and armor panel. Swing this until it's horizontal with the body (it doesn't matter which direction you turn). Raise the panels into the tabs under the brace and turn the gun so that it faces forward. Straighten the arms and turn back the ends to reveal fists; make sure you turn the arms so that they fall next to his body. Next, pull the front legs away from the cockpit; straighten those. Next, push the cockpit and the brace its on up until the pod is almist verticle with the body, then push the cockpit down to form the chest and reveal the head. Finally, psh the two halves of the hips to together, flip the feet and lower arms. Scrapmetal is now ready for battle in robot mode.
Scrapmetal stands about 3.5 inches tall in robot mode, a little more when one adds in the cannon on his shoulder. There's very little color change; his head's dark gray with transparent red eyes, but that's it. His main points of articulatiton remains the same, though his head can turn from side to side (and even pull an "owl"). His cannon is still capable of its full range of motion, though one will have to raise and lower it to clear his head. Be wary trying to pose Scrapmetal, as his big gun can mess with his overall stability.
There have been several comparisons between Scrapmetal and the Rumble/Frenzy molds from the original G1 line in other reviews. Not being familiar with that line in general, I'll leave that opinion up to those who are more in the know. That being said, however, one can see where the idea came from. Though not mentioned in the instructions, there is a small feature that on Scrapmetal that needs its due. By flipping the panels on his arms down over his fists, he can use the cones on the end as drills of sorts or, by pushing the cones back so that the disks are now on the end, giving the impression that he can use these as piledrivers, much in the same way Rumble and Frenzy did in the G1 series. It's a neat little feature that should have been mentioned.
Though he can theoretically use just about any Cyberkey, Scrapmetal comes with a clear Decepticon Cybertron key. It has the same silver trim as the Cybertron Defense team and Starscream, but the violet 'con key makes it clear that he's not one of the good guys. I still think its odd he has a Decepticon key, considering his kin on the show attacked anyone from either side. Still, it's minor quibble.
Insert the key into the port on the back of his cannon and a long, transparent red blade flips out. One can probably imagine this as a wicked sort of energy saber, though there do seem to be serrations and "blood grooves" molded into the blade itself. Because of the way it's positioned, I see this more as a ramming weapon than a slashing one. Also, unless the key is still in its port, it's virtually impossible to put the blade back. This feature can be activated in either mode, though watch out when doing so in robot mode as it contributes to Scrapmetal's unsteady nature when trying poses.
Despite his flaws, I like Scrapmetal. He's a decent figure for his class, much better than what most might expect. His vague connections to G1 Rumble and Frenzy will definately wax nostalgia in some. I've bought two so far; one of which I've repainted into my own personal version. If Hasbro decides to release a blue version of the character, I would not be adverse to getting him, despite my wariness to repaints. Highly recommended - but not in swarms.
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