Cliffbee.com: Armada Scavenger Toy Review

Toy Reviews
Individual Review




Name: Scavenger
Series: Armada
Allegiance: Autobot
Alternate Mode: Shovel

Thanks to Griffin for loaning me Scavenger, making this review possible - I only have Rollbar myself.



VEHICLE MODE
Height: 9.5cm Length: 23cm Width: 14cm

   A lime green power shovel with some random purple highlights, burgundy shovel arms and rubberised black treads at the front. The tread mechanisms are grey while the rear wheel is a single purple drum with spines. The colours are superficially similar to those of his G1 namesake, but with different allegiances and vehicle modes, the similarities are fairly weak. That's not to say that this is a bad looking vehicle - it just doesn't look like the Constructicon.

   This vehicle mode feels like a toy rather than a model - while it looks "fun" it doesn't look terribly realistic. This is a deliberate decision, one I don't really agree with - but I'll concede that Scavenger succeeds where play value is concerned. The detail here is actually reasonably good, but the detailing is stylistic rather than realistic. Some aspects - the inside of the bucket especially - are fairly obviously detailed to hide robot mode aspects, while others such as the detailing on the tread mechanisms are actually fairly realistic.

   And now for the gimmicks. The simplest gimmick here is the open cockpit. Rollbar is able to sit inside the cockpit, and if Scavenger has batteries installed, as you plug Rollbar in Scavenger emits an engine starting sound. As you roll him along on his treads and the rear drum roll. The bucket will move up and down slightly - which isn't really that impressed but there's a lot of mass there. Also, if the batteries are installed he'll make an engine noise as he rolls. The sounds are rather tinny, but at least they're focused. Scavenger has only two hardpoints in this mode - one on either tread, and neither are live. Still, Rollbar does interact through the cockpit.

   A fairly heavy, simple vehicle with lots of play value. The lime green used is a bit bright for my tastes, although I suppose it makes sense on a toy that's quite obviously aimed at being fun for kids. I can see what the designer was aiming for here - and he's succeeded - although I'm not sure if more mature fans will really appreciate it.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Pretty simple, really. The toy basically morphs around the giant block that is the electronics. Unclip the back ends of the treads and swing treads forward. Rotate the front section through 180, slide the treads forward to reveal the head, slide treads and head forward into position. Fold out the purple claws, turning the treads into arms, flip up the chestplate. Split the bucket, swing either side over to form the boots. Swing out the purple feet, kneecaps and ankleplates. Attach the ankleplates to the sides of the drum and you're done.

   An unsatisfying transformation for a mega sized toy, since everything moves around the huge central block. The legs generally won't look right either, since they'll end up in mid stomp.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 18cm Width: 13cm

   Again mainly lime green, with black rubberised arms. The purple is limited to his claws, kneecaps and feet now. The head is black with a silver face and yellow eyes, the chestplate is also black. The burgundy struts are visible on the outsides of his thighs and there's a burgundy antenna on the right side of his head. Scavenger's bodyshape sucks, and even in lime green this is quite apparent - the arms and head are basically hanging off a large rectangle. There is a raised Autobot logo on his chest, but as with many earlier Armada toys, both the symbol and relief are painted red. Visually, this is a very disappointing robot mode.

   The limitations on this robot mode come down to the gimmicks. The drum again rolls, and as you slide him forward the boots - well the halves of the bucket now hanging off the front - stomp. If the batteries are installed you'll hear an underwhelming stomping sound. While it's an unusual gimmick, I don't think it justifies such a simple mega toy. The walking motion isn't realistic, since the upper body stays completely level. Scavenger really needs to compare notes with Omega Supreme. There are three hardpoints here, the two dead ones now on the outsides of his arms and a third on his right hip which fires a single burgundy missile when a Minicon is attached. The position of this launcher is somewhat suspicious, but I still enjoy this feature more than the walking gimmick.

   As you might expect, there's no leg poseability here. The head and waist can turn, but the latter isn't much use with such a square torso and no proper groin. The shoulders swing and lift out to the sides. Scavenger's elbows have very restricted hinges inside the tread mechanisms while both the outer claws (which look like fingers) and inner claws (which resemble opposable thumbs) can move.

   This mode really is all about the walking gimmick. If it's not your thing or you're not sold on it, then quite frankly you're going to hate this robot mode. Regular readers of my reviews will know that I generally don't care for electronic gimmicks since they detract from the engineering of the Transformer itself, and Scavenger is a prime example of why I feel the way I do. Even if you do like gimmicks like this, I'm not sure the gimmick works all that well. At any rate, the bodyshape sucks and the poseability is quite limited. A pretty bad robot mode for a mega, really.

Name: Rollbar
Allegiance: Minicon
Alternate Mode: Dune Buggy

DUNE BUGGY MODE
Height: 2.5cm Length: 5cm Width: 3cm

   A white dune buggy with black ridged tyres, a grey tray at the back and black seats inside his two seater cabin. There's actually a rollcage on this vehicle, giving Rollbar an advantage over his G1 namesake (no relation). He sports moulded sports lights and grille on the front, and has a fairly rugged look thanks to the rollcage, big tyres and lightrack (which remind me of another Throttlebot, Searchlight). There's some grey on the underside and purple visible underneath form behind, but Rollbar is basically white with some black. This is a pretty cool little buggy.

   There's not a lot of play value here, but I don't mind since the buggy works very well. The powerlinx port is underneath, just in front of the rear wheels, and all four wheels roll quite well. Rollbar rolls about as well as you come hope for a toy with no axles and plastic tyres. He feels quite solid, which fits into the rugged feel, and holds together very well.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   A nifty transformation that's clever but not difficult. Lift the rollcage forward, unclip the seats and swing back the rear (and seats) to form his legs. Split the front to form his arms, stand Rollbar up and fold down his feet. Lastly, lift out the forearms and push the rollcage down onto his back.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 6cm Width: 4.5cm

   The white is still around on his boots and arms, but Rollbar has a lot of grey now. The torso and head are grey, along with the knees, which are the painted grey tray from buggy mode/ His feet and forearms are black along with the tyres now hanging off his thighs and waist. His simple face is red while the thighs are Decepticon Purple. The port is suspiciously located on his groin. While he doesn't quite look as nice as he did in buggy mode, Rollbar is still nice. The tyres get in the way a little aesthetically, and prevent the arms from swinging down to his sides - mind you they swing down to about 175, so I'm not really complaining.

   The poseability here is limited in places and excellent in others. The shoulders can swing out and the forearms lift a little. His hips swing and knees are hinged - the legs aren't attached and they can move independently of one another, even if at first glance they seem like they should be attached. Rollbar can attain walking or sitting poses, better than you'd expect of a Minicon. This nifty leg articulation rounds off a really nice little Minicon.


VARIATIONS

   None, thankfully. There was a repaint in Energon called Treadbolt - complete with a repainted Rollbar (still called Rollbar).

OVERALL

   Whilst Rollbar is a nice little Minicon, Scavenger represents poor value as a mega. He's all about his walking gimmick, really. If you like the gimmick you'll like this toy - which is clearly designed around its gimmick rather than designed as a complex Transformer. I hate Scavenger, and I don't think the gimmick is really all that good - there are better Transformers out there with walking gimmicks, and certainly better construction vehicle Transformers - 4/10 (and two of those marks are for Rollbar). I picked up Rollbar loose, but intentionally passed on Scavenger.

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