Cliffbee.com: Grindor vs Scrap Iron Toy Review

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Thanks to Pulse for donating Grindor & Scrap Iron for this review



Name: Grindor
Series: Cybertron
Allegiance: Autobot
Alternate Mode: Hovercraft

HOVERCRAFT MODE
Height: 2cm Length: 6cm Width: 6cm

   A aqua and silver futuristic hovercraft thing with white fans on either side. Grindor is essentially leaf-shaped, looking like something out of the Jetsons. The top of the vehicle is very rounded with a black cockpit-window section and blue brackets at the back housing smaller white fans. I do like the end result, although I'm not a huge fan of this mode because the main reason for such an unusual vehicle mode is to allow Grindor to form the bulk of a combined robot. The colours here are a distinct improvement over the more garish orange-based scheme of the same figure in Energon, with an Autobot logo added to the right side of the nose.

   There's a single powerlinx port underneath, pretty much dead centre. The fans on either side can pivot up or rotate to face backwards, giving him forward thrust rather than lift.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Pull the fans out slightly, so that they form arms. Open the nose up to reveal a head underneath, pull out and rotate the rear brackets to form feet. This is a pathetic transformation by Minicon standards. It made more sense in Energon where that version came with High Wire & Sure Shock.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 6.5cm Width: 8cm

   A largely aqua robot scant blue paint on his chest, which is part of a rather bare, flat, wide torso plate. The arms - which are very obviously the fans - are white while his short legs are white with blue feet. The head is black while Grindor's green face is simple with an eyestrip and mouthplate. I don't think much of the blank torsoplate at all - it really needs more colour. I do appreciate that the designer has changed the paintmask, but this wasn't the best way to go about that.

   This robot mode is a cheat really - the main aim here is to stay close to his vehicle form so that Grindor can form the basis of Perceptor. Again, considering that this figure didn't sell with the other two components, this makes Grindor somewhat unsatisfying. Having said that, I got them all (along with Scrap Iron and his buddies) in a single transaction, so I _am_ satisfied. The shoulders and ankles are ball jointed, and while the later don't help much, arm poseability is pretty good.

VARIATIONS

   As mentioned, he is a repaint of the Energon toy of the same name, but comes without the other components of Perceptor. Perceptor isn't mentioned on the packaging, but is covered in the instruction booklet.

OVERALL

   Whenever a trio combines to form a large robot, one member of the team always does more than the others to facilitate combination. Usually that toy sacrifices a lot to make the combination work, and is easily the weakest member of the team. Grindor takes one for the team but doesn't come with that team. I do think this is a better colour scheme than we saw in Energon, and if you're going to get the trio, I'd go for this version - 6/10
Name: Scrap Iron
Series: Cybertron
Allegiance: Decepticon
Alternate Mode: Satellite

SATELLITE MODE
Height: 2.5cm Length: 9.5cm Width: 4.5cm

   A white satellite with a black checkerboard patter on the main barrel piece on one end and twin grey solar panels on top, which in turn are painted gold on their top edges (resembling the gold leaf seen on actual satellite panels). The base of the solar panels and the tip at one end are purple, which is not a colour one would expect on a satellite, but then the gold and white are more realistic than the original Armada version's blue and red. There's actually a fair bit of robot kibble here, but since satellites are usually functional with lots of equipment dangling off them, you can't really see most of it - the only thing that really stands out is that one end is a robot hand. If you're keen you'll notice the others is the purple tip of a missile, but it's designed to look like an antenna. This missile does fire in satellite mode, there's a purple trigger on his underside, but it only shoots a few inches. He has a powerlinx socket on the underside.

   The name strikes me as horrendously inappropriate. Satellites are very expensive pieces of equipment which are made of expensive materials (like the gold leaf found on solar panels) - I doubt there's much scrap iron in them. Okay, so he's a MiniCon repaint with a brand spanking new name, and I do appreciate that. But that doesn't change the fact that this was poor choice of mould for that name.

   The missile launcher represents all the play value of this satellite mode. It has no wheels, cockpit or any of those things that are common to Transformers that satellites do not have. Satellites pretty much float through their orbit being satellites, so any sort of play value is a bonus here. On that note, the missile launcher is a nice way to make a decent mode into a fun mode.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   The solar panels fold up to form the robot legs. Fold up the ends of the satellite, flip up the grey sensor block on one side of the satellite to form the robot head, and then bring the two halves of the torso up and clip them over the base of the sensor block (which is now the central part of his chest. This is quite a clever transformation, but the chest halves have a tendency to pop off, as does the left forearm.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 7cm Width: 5.5cm

   A white robot with purple thighs, silver legs, a silver head and a purple groin, Scrap Iron has a purple missile tip for his right hand, and the butt of the missile sticks out of his left shoulder. His face consists of two yellow circles and sports large navy blue panel on the right side. It's a very unhuman face, but perfect for a drone, and it means his face becomes a sensor array in satellite mode, which is a really nifty design feature. There's some navy blue paint added to his chest, an area which was unpainted on Astroscope. There's also a Decepticon logo added to his right shoulder.

   Scrap Iron's articulation is dictated by the unusual and asymmetrical transformation, His left elbows is hinged, his arms can lift out to the sides and his hips are ball jointed. The effective poseability of this toy is limited by the giant missile launcher that is it's right arm - you have to get his stance right, or he can topple over sideways. He's not impossible to stand, but a lot of poses are out.

   While the poseability is very limited, Scrap Iron does have a big ass missile launcher he can use. His shoulder isn't swivelled, so he can only shoot the missile out to the side when he lifts his arm up, but it's a _huge_ missile, in proportion to your average Minicon - it's longer than he is tall!

   A nice robot mode, even with the right arm being a checkerboard barrel. The colours still work while the missile launcher's just plain fun. Scrap iron has his shortcomings, but still has enough going for him in this mode.

VARIATIONS

   As mentioned, he is a repaint of Armada's Astroscope, but comes without the other components of the combined blaster - which isn't mentioned on the packaging, but is covered in the instruction booklet. For some reason that blaster has had a name change this time - to the Umbral Blaster.

OVERALL

   Scrap Iron has two good modes on an interesting mould, and the repaint has something to offer, being a little more conventional than Astroscope. The giant missile launcher is a definite plus - this is a mould that's definitely worth getting - 8.5/10
PACK OVERALL

   Scrap Iron is a good repaint of a good mould with a terrible name while Grindor is a decent repaint of a poor MiniCon. Both combine with MiniCons sold in other packs, and while Scrap Iron works anyway, Grindor is really designed around the combination. I'd recommend Scrap Iron on his own merits, but would only recommend Grindor if you're planning to put Perceptor together. As a pack they're a decent pair, mainly on the strengths of Scrap Iron - but if you have the moulds I'm not sure the repaint pack is worthwhile if you're not completing this series - 7/10

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