Cliffbee.com: Beast Machines Scavenger Toy Review

Toy Reviews
Individual Review




Name: Scavenger
Series: Beast Machines
Allegiance: Vehicon
Function: Demolition Drone
Alternate Mode: Demolition Vehicle



VEHICLE MODE
Height: 7cm Length: 11.5cm Width: 5cm

   While Scavenger's clearly a demolition vehicle, it's obvious he's not based on any real machine. He's a mix of fluorescent red, olive green and black with some silver paint, some transparent orange and chrome (yes, chrome!) on the back. It's a pretty varied mix, but the fluorescent red is more prevalent on top and the black and green more prevalent on the bottom. It's an unusual colour scheme, which matches the colours of AC Venezia (the soccer club of Venice, Italy), and nothing else. I wouldn't call it a bad colour scheme, but I can think of better colours than fluorescent red. The chrome really raises my opinion of the colour set.

   As I said, Scavenger is clearly not based on an actual vehicle. He has sloped treads at the front, which stick out like pontoons, along with large black wheels at the rear. The chrome is on his claws, which hang off the back and drag along behind him. He has a bucket on top, not dissimilar to that on G1 Scavenger, although this time it's more like a set of jaws than a single open scoop. The rest of the toy is a mixture of green and red techo bits, and on the left side he has a red panel which flips down to reveal a green Vehicon spark crystal.

   There's a lot of play value here for a basic toy - it's probably the most poseable vehicular Transformer ever. The claw sits on top of a red arm, which has both a ball joint and a hinge at the base, as well as an "elbow" between the red arm and the orange neck. There's a false piston inside the neck, and pulling on the end (which sticks out behind the elbow) will lift the upper jaw and open his "mouth". There's a ridge on top of this jaw which does the same thing, so it's nice they actually added the piston - it's an added bonus. The jaw is spring loaded and will close if you don't hold it open.

   While the arm and jaw are impressive in themselves, Scavenger's not finished there. The lower jaw is also hinged, so if you want him open mouthed, just flip down the lower jaw. It's not spring loaded so you can leave it open, and the hinge is tight enough that it wont flop open. There are red weapons on either side of the upper jaw, both of which are on swivels. The right side is a triple missile rack while the left is a gatling gun.

   Thanks to the jaws, which form a sort of head, this mode feels like it's some sort of wheeled drone, although it lacks eyes.

   The end result of the seven points of articulation on this toy? Well, his weapons can point in any direction you like, and he can actually grab stuff off the floor. He can roll along, thanks to hidden wheels inside his treads and there are a bunch of other robot mode joints you can utilise if you want to make your own fanmodes. The colour scheme is unusual, and maybe a little weird, but there are plenty of Beast Machines toys with colours that are worse. The versatility makes this a good vehicle mode - especially for a basic.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

  

   Swing the wheels up to the sides and alongside the jaws, which will bring the robot arms into place. Swing the treads down to form his heelspurs, while his legs swing down and his robot feet flip out. There's a small black panel on top which pops up slightly to form his robot head.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 11cm Width: 7.5cm

   Again a mixture of green, fluorescent red and black, Scavenger's colours are well mixed in this mode. The orange is largely hidden now - confined to his eyes and a panel on top of his head meant for his lightpipe (which doesn't work). His hands are the silver claws with red tips. The colours unify fairly well - better than you would expect, which is largely due to the mix. It's not a great colour scheme, but it's far from bad. Again, the chrome scores points with me.

   His head, as mentioned, is a small black panel, and it's tiny. He ends up being a hunchback with nothing in the way of a mouth, although I suppose it's debateable as to whether or not a drone needs a mouth. I suppose strange proportions are in keeping with some of the unusual design elements that characterised the Beast Machines line, but it's always bothered me that his head is so tiny.

   As you've probably already guessed, this robot mode is about play value. His ankles are hinged, the giant heelspurs attach to the outsides of his shins and can adjust. His knees, hips, shoulders and elbows are all ball jointed - there's even two ball joints per elbow. His claws open and close, and the waist swivels (this one isn't immediately obvious). The giant arm of the vehicle mode is now the core of his robot mode, and all that play value is still available. So all told, this is a ridiculously poseable and playable robot mode with 26 (yes, twenty-six) points of articulation. Again, lots of fan modes are possible, and the giant heelspurs make pretty much anything possible with a little bit of fiddling.

   If you're wondering what the catch is... well, it's poseability at the price of looks. The head looks silly and he doesn't really look like he transforms into anything. If you buy your Transformers for display and don't care for play value, I wouldn't except you to think much of this robot mode.

   The fluorescent red hurts the look less than you'd expect, but this is still a very unusual looking robot mode. His poseability is really only limited by your imagination, so he's a lot of fun and for me this makes the robot mode worthwhile.

VARIATIONS

   None that I'm aware of, although he was repainted (as an Autobot) in RiD.

OVERALL

   Ridiculously fun to play with, Scavenger is well articulated for an Ultra - and he's only a basic. The vehicle mode looks pretty good, the robot mode isn't quite as pretty but features more poseability. Most Beast Machines toys tried to be good action figures, some concentrated too much on being action figures with gimmicks and forgot about being Transformers. Thanks to a simple and effective gimmick, Scavenger is easily one of the better Beast Machines toys, although he's not really a great display piece - 7.5/10

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