Cliffbee.com: Transmetal Scavenger Toy Review

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Individual Review




Name: Scavenger
Series: Beast Wars
Allegiance: Predacon
Function: Infantry Commander
Alternate Mode: Ant



ANT MODE
Height: 8cm Length: 24cm Width: 24cm

   A transparent red and chrome orange ant with bronze legs, mandibles and antennae. Scavenger is meant to be Transmetal Inferno, hence the transparent red. His head and parts of his abdomen are transparent red while the thorax and most of the abdomen are chrome orange. His eyes are painted green and there's some black visible on his disjointed thorax, rounding out an unsuccessful colour scheme. The colours themselves are ok (other than the green), but they toy itself is too broken up for a mix of colours to really work.

   I'm probably being too nice when I say that Scavenger has a thorax - the middle third of this beast is a series of chromed blocks with a seam through the centre - quite obviously robot limbs (the arms in fact). The abdomen is fairly well formed save for two horns rising out near the front, while the head is a single piece (well, the seam is there, but there's no gap like that on the thorax). The abdomen has four bronze wheels tucked underneath which get in the way, and while you can flip them out to the sides they don't really look very good. I should mention that while this is a fairly robotic beast, the broken up thorax kinda ruins the whole "robotic" theme that Transmetals usually have.

   So far Scavenger's beast mode sounds like a bit of a disaster, right? I suppose it should come as no surprise that his legs can't support his weight - a problem faced by many arthropod Beast Wars toys. They _can_ support his weight if you get things exactly right, but you need to use the wheels as a seventh leg - which is cheating really. He tends to sag forward even then - the leg joints just aren't designed to hold Scavenger's weight. The legs have two ball joints and a hinge each, but there's no meaning poseability since he's only going to lie on his belly anyway.

   There's a vehicle mode here, as is standard for the Transmetals. Not surprisingly the four plastic wheels under abdomen flip out, while the head slides back to reveal two drills at the front. Lastly you lift the legs up and you've got a drill tank of sorts. There are rubber tyres under the thorax which cause the drills to spin in opposing directions as Scavenger moves. While the drill effect works quite well, the rear wheels usually slide rather than roll on smooth surfaces. This is probably the coolest aspect of this beast mode, despite the fact that the legs simply hang out the sides, simply because it hides the mashed thorax. It also provides a reasonably successful gimmick, which I suppose counts for something.

   A bit of a dud I'm afraid. The thorax really looks awful, that no attempt has been made to allow Scavenger to stand on his own legs is simply pathetic really. Other than the successful drill gimmick on his vehicle mode, there's nothing about this beast mode I actually _like_. It's still a reasonable ant mode, but it lags a long way behind the high standard we expect of Beast Wars (espcially the Transmetals).

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Fold the head back, split the front two thirds down the middle. Lift the chrome cover on his abdomen, revealing the torso, head and legs. Rotate the cover and fold up on his back, fold down the legs and flip up his head. Bring the arms down to the sides, try in vain to fold away the ant legs. Reattach the ant feet that fell off during the process. One of which actually fell off a good 30 seconds _after_ I finished transforming Scavenger.

   This is an awfully disappointing transformation for a mega. It's about as simple as some basics and shows very little imagination (something we see in a lot of Transmetals).

ROBOT MODE
Height: 16.5cm Width: 11cm

   Incidentally, the dimensions I've given ignore the various ant legs on the outsides of his arms.

   Again Scavenger is an uneasy alliance of colours - the shoulders, thighs, hands and feet are transparent red while the lower legs, arms, head and groin are metallic burgundy. The chest is painted the same awkward green as the beast's eyes while his eyes are yellow and his mouth is a rather eerie white-toothed grin. For some odd reason Scavenger has Unicron-like horns, a feature we didn't see on Inferno. Granted, Inferno has teeth visible in his mouth, but that was executed a _lot_ better. The colours don't clash since there's no chrome now, but they aren't really coherent either.

   This is easily Scavenger's better mode despite the head looking like something out of a parody. I wouldn't say this is a _good_ robot mode, but it can stand on its own and his torso is a single piece. he lacks true hands - instead he has drills, which I guess worked on the drawing board, but with drills on both arms, it ends up a little forced. The ant legs, as I've mentioned, hang off the arms without really folding away nicely, giving Scavenger an awful lot of kibble.

   The good news (hard to believe, I know) is that Scavenger has no trouble standing up - there are nice solid heelspurs. His hips are ball jointed while the elbows, wrists and shoulders are hinged, while the shoulders also have rotators allowing full motion. His head turns, but sadly it can't detach and orbit Cybertron. The hinges on his wrists are an odd choice - you can turn the drills to one side (or front/back), which negates the still-functional spinning gimmick. Clearly these hinges were deliberately inserted, although we'll probably never know why. The tyres are now on the front of his forearms - allowing the gimmick to work, and while it's a little awkward I'm glad we can access this gimmick.

   This robot mode is brought down by largely avoidable flaws. The motif on the head is mystifying, the legs on his arms could have been dealt with better and the colour scheme was quite avoidable. Still, it's a coherent mode which is more than we can say for the beast mode, and the poseability is quite respectable. The wrist hinges, bizarre as they may be, thankfully don't impact on this mode in a negative way.

VARIATIONS

   As with all Transmetals, Inferno has his name printed on him. The first production run had it one one thigh, later runs saw his name on the abdomen cover. According to FortMax, Hasbro changed the name since Inferno was still clogging the shelves.

OVERALL

   The worst Transmetal by some distance, Scavenger was a slow seller during Beast Wars. I'm not sure the change of this character's name was such a good idea - especially since both names derive from G1 (and share no link within G1, except both debuted in 1985). The ant mode is weak, with legs that don't even come close to supporting him and a mess where his thorax should be. The vehicle mode is okay with a nice gimmick, but there are better vehicle modes on much stronger Transmetals. The robot mode is better but lacks hands and has a face that looks like Unicron's had one too many facelifts. Unless you really dig ants, this is a toy you can safely avoid - 4/10

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