Cliffbee.com Unite Warriors Shuttler Toy Review

Individual Review




Name: Shuttler
Series: Unite Warriors
Allegiance: Destronger
Alternate Mode: Space Shuttle



SPACE SHUTTLE MODE
Height: 5cm Length: 15cm Width: 11cm

   A white shuttle with some black accents here and there - including the nose, edges of the wings and boosters at the back. The windows are painted metallic purple and there's a black Combatron logo on the portside wing (which is essentially a bordered G2 Autobot logo). These colours are faithful to the original save for the reentry-scorchmarks the original had. They're reasonably realistic colours for a space shuttle so the colours work well.

   While the colours are realistic, this is far from a realistic shuttle. It'd be more accurate to call this a shuttle-shaped space ship. It's flatter and boxier while his arms are fairly visible on the sides... and while they're vaguely sculpted to look like extra booster rockets, it's obvious what they are. The rear boosters are and longer and boxier than on a real shuttle, also. It's still recognisable as meant-to-be-a-shuttle, but yeah Shuttler ain't NASA's shuttle now. Given that Combiner Wars/Unite Warriors isn't using licensed vehicles, it's consistent with the line, but yeah I'd have preferred something more realistic.

   As is common for the line, there are attachment points for his weaponry in this mode. There's a hole on top of the fuselage and TWO holes one behind each other on each of the side booster rockets. Shuttler also has holes underneath each wing, but with no undercarriage he doesn't stand raised up from table (or floor, whatever) giving clearance for weapons underneath. He comes with two weapons - a large gunmetal rifle and a shorter white pistol. Both can plug into any of these ports and work well enough as shuttle mode weaponry. There's a hole on the rifle for the smaller pistol to plug into, but I find it's really tight on mine and don't want to stress the plastic.

   A somewhat limited shuttle mode, really. Play value is okay and the shuttle isn't at all realistic. I'm happy they actually revisited the Combatrons - whom I have an affection for - but this is probably the weakest vehicle mode in the set.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Detach and set aside weapons. Unclip the cockpit section and lift back, unlocking two black panels on the sides - lift them out. Flip up the nose, then swing under the roof of the cockpit. Swing the back panels down and fold this front section down into place. Unclip the arms and swing forward so the shoulders are in position. Split the rear which will split the rear stabiliser, rotate the halves out to the sides fold up the wings. Pivot the halves of the rear out to form his boots. Fold down the rear boosters to form his feet, stand Shuttler up.

   The front of the shuttle assembly has some fragile joints - especially one joint that pivots the nose. It's not so much that it breaks, just that if you transform in the wrong order or very quickly, it unclips. It clips in easily enough thankfully, but of course makes this piece prone to being lost (especially at the hands of kids, not so much for adult collectors).

ROBOT MODE
Height: 14cm Width: ~7cm (depending on pose)

   With an orange torso, black waist, fists and boots, Shuttler has a white head, ams and thighs. His face is white with a brass coloured eyestrip - the most notable departure from the Car Robots toy which sported a purple face. There's no allegiance symbol visible in this robot mode, which is unusual for a modern Transformer. Also unusually, the top pieces of his thighs are orange like his chest rather than white like the rest of his thighs. It looks fine, it's just unusual.

   While the shuttle mode didn't look so good, this robot mode looks the goods. The colours all play off each other nicely and the tops of his arms sit slightly above the line of his chest giving him a rather beefy, powerful look. The head is at once recognisable as that of G1 Blast Off in sculpt and Shuttler from the cartoon (which is white with orange eyes). This mould was designed by TakaraTomy for Blast Off, but it's clear they also had Shuttler in mind when you look at the sculpting on his chest (on Unite Warriors Blast Off, the chest is the top side of the shuttle, not the bottom side as is the case here).

   Shuttler's poseability is good by the standards of Unite Warriors/Combiner Wars. His neck, hips and shoulders are ball jointed while the elbows and knees are hinged with rotators. His waist turns while the wrists are fixed. His ankles are hinged with rockers - uncommon on deluxes in this line. The two guns both look good in his hands and he has a wide range of poses he can strike with them. The only caveat is the hollow insoles of his boots are somewhat visible in some poses as the insides are white... and the boots are black.

   As much as the shuttle mode is a little underwhelming, this robot mode is great. With excellent poseability and two useful guns (not a given in this line!), Shuttler has good colours that are true to the character. I like the fact that TakaraTomy have actually built this robot mode to be different for both he and Blast Off, too.

VARIATIONS

   None that I'm aware of as such. He was sold only as part of the Baldigus giftset. As mentioned, he's a repaint of Unite Warriors Blast Off. Combiner Wars Blast Off is a later repaint - using the same chest configuration as Shuttler.

OVERALL

   Shuttler is a tale of two modes. The shuttle mode doesn't look so great thanks to an unusual shape & arms that... well are clearly arms tucked onto the side. The robot mode looks good and has good poseability. Both his weapons are useful in both modes - which is sadly not the norm for UW/CW deluxes. If you're a fan of the Combatrons from Car Robots (AKA Robots In Disguise Commandos), Shuttler will please alongside his teammates who are all of a similar rewarding standard - 7.5/10

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