Cliffbee.com: Ascentor vs Payload Toy Review

Toy Reviews
Individual Review






Name: Ascentor
Series: Cybertron
Allegiance: Autobot
Alternate Mode: Tank

TANK MODE
Height: 3cm Length: 5.5cm Width: 3cm

   A yellow and darkish grey tank, Ascentor is a repaint of Dualor of the Destruction Team, and for the most part, the two main colours actually swap place. The tank is mostly yellow with twin grey cannons on either side of the turret. The treads are painted grey while there's copper coloured plastic at the front of the tank (which would be grey if this was an exact colour inversion). There's a small Autobot logo stamped on top of the turret, facing backwards. While Ascentor is very bright, I'm glad that yellow is the only bright colour here.

      Ascentor has copper coloured plastic wheels underneath the front of the tank and a rubberised wheel under the rear, which activates the gimmick. Pushing him along a hard surface causes the two cannons to slide back and forth, as if recoiling from firing. They're opposing, so one moves forward as the other moves backward. It's worth mentioning that this gimmick still works when the turret is rotated - and it can rotate 360, which is a nice touch. This gimmick doesn't require excessive force, just a little downward pressure.

   I like this mode, but I should make mention of its weak point - the robot legs are separated, and as a result in this mode there's a split on the front half of the tank - similar to the gap at the back of the G1 Seekers' F-15 modes. This doesn't ruin the effect or anything, but it's still a shortcoming. I can't say this is a better tank than Dualor - grey is a far more logical colour.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Pull out the front half to form the legs, and then flip the front panels out form his feet. Turn the head around 180, ditto the turret so the cannons point up. Position the arms.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 8cm Width: 3cm

   A rather tall Minicon by virtue of the two cannons sticking up on his back. He's fairly blocky and solid, with a very angular shape. The dominance of yellow is continued into this mode - the grey is only really prominent on his groin and thighs, while the copper plastic is on his shins and feet. His face is simple with a black eyestrip while the Autobot logo is now on his back. I can't say I think all that much of this figure, since the copper is now his second colour and against bright yellow this isn't such a good thing.

   His Powerlinx connector is rather awkwardly placed on his groin. It's awfully hard to not notice how phallic this is. And that's as far as I'm going with that.

   As mentioned, he has an eyestrip, and this is really all you see of his somewhat simple face, since the other details are drowned out by the yellow plastic. His arms are concealed behind the panels that are the treads, a trick often used in the Micromaster era, but much better defined than a lot of the Micromasters' were.

   While his robot mode bodyplan resembles a Micromaster, it's more poseable. He has swivel joints at the shoulders, neck, hips and groin. You can move the feet, too, but that's really just a relic of the folding needed for the transformation. It's a pretty good robot mode, without any real flaws.

OVERALL

   Based around a single gimmick, which for the most part works really well. The mould is a fairly good one but the colours aren't as good as those of the original toy. Ascentor is easily the better of this duo, but is still a rather mediocre Minicons - 6/10
Name: Payload
Series: Cybertron
Allegiance: Decepticon
Alternate Mode: Off-Road 4x4 Utility Truck

TRUCK MODE
Height: 2.5cm Length: 5.5cm Width: 3cm

   A darkish blue utility with grey tyres, including an unpainted spare on the back that houses the powerlinx socket. Payload has a brown tray, yellow headlights, silver windows and a lime green hook on his bumper-mounted winch. There's a silver Decepticon logo stamped on the bonnet, and rather messily it's on top of a moulded Minicon logo. As with those on Ascentor, these colours are a regression - Ransack, the original version, has more muted colours.

   There are two gimmicks in this mode - the first being a winch, the idea being that as you roll the truck along the silver hook either on the front retracts or unravels on a red cord. It works fairly well, so you can actually hang him from stuff and he can pull himself up. The second gimmick is front suspension. Basically, he has a set of tiny springs, so if you push down on either front corner, the wheel will lift into it's bay and then spring back down once you let go. It's kind of pointless, but it's nice they bothered to engineer it. Despite the changes in plastic, the gimmicks work as well as on my Ransack toy.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Fold the rear down to form the legs, swing the arms up. That's it - this is a simple transformation, even for a Minicon.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 6cm Width: 3cm


Again mainly blue, Payload has grey arms, lime green thighs and some other lime bits. The red cord is highly visible, and combines with the lime and blue to make this one ugly robot. As if it wasn't already garish, the eyes are yellow. The head is otherwise unpainted, which matters since it's moulded into his chest. The mechanism for the winch is clearly visible on his chest, and the innards consist of a green gear and a black rubber wheel, as well as some red cord.

   His poseability is slightly better than the average Micromaster - the arms swing up at the shoulders, the knees and hips independently swivel. The winch can be used, but a cord hanging off the top of his head looks pretty weird.

   A rather weak robot mode from the outset, now with awful colours. As much as I'd like to be positive, there's not really anything to be happy about here.

OVERALL

   A fairly weak mould to begin with now in rather dubious colours. The truck mode is okay with two gimmicks that work but a really badly placed Decepticon logo. The robot mode is simply a waste of time, I'm afraid. If you already have Ransack, Payload offers nothing aside from a different name - 3.5/10
PACK OVERALL

   With so many MiniCon repaints over the last few years, the MiniCon two packs in Cybertron really need to catch the eye. Both of these toys do that for the wrong reason. While Ascentor is a little bright, Payload is downright ugly. While Ascentor's mould is worthwhile I can't really say the same for Payload, and I'm not sure the set is worth it just for Ascentor. Not a set I can recommend - indeed I only got this duo as an in-store bonus with CD Scattorshot - 4/10

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