Warriors From Three Worlds
Review by EVA_Unit_4A
The distant planet of Cybertron was the home to a race of intelligent, feeling alien robots who could change shape at will- the Transformers. For reasons no longer remembered by anyone living, a war broke out between the two factions of robots- the Autobots and the Decepticons- which eventually drained Cybertron of all its power sources, including all-important Energon. In the quest to get more Energon to sustain their fight, the Autobots created the Ark and some of them left Cybertron. But the power-hungry Decepticons were waiting for them in their great flagship, the Nemesis, and boarded the Ark to stop them. A battle between the two ships eventually brought them both crashing down onto Earth. With their leaders and greatest warriors lost, the war on Cybertron continued on to a stalemate. For over four million years, the Ark rested hidden inside a volcano located in what would eventually become Oregon, its occupants unconscious and helpless in stasis lock. Then in 1984, the volcano harboring the Ark erupted, reawakening the on-board computer system Teletraan-1. The computer, realizing that the ship and its crew were in danger, awoke the Transformers aboard the Ark, and reformatted them to change into disguises matching those of modern day Earth vehicles so that the giant robots could move among the population in secret. The surviving Decepticons, having lost their great ship millions of years earlier, also gained new disguise forms and hid themselves on Earth until they could rebuild their forces and gather enough Energon to destroy the Autobots, subvert the intrusive and annoying humans, and renew the war on Cybertron in their quest for total galactic domination.
Autobots Scattorshot and Repugnus, and Decepticon Ransack GTS all made their debut in “Transformers: Cybertron” (2005-06). While Repugnus and Ransack here are reissues of their 2005 repaints, Scattorshot has never been repainted. (Repugnus’ original colored toy was Decepticon Undermine, who debuted before his “twin brother” did.)
The on-the-box bio for this three-pack set says nothing of their origins in “…Cybertron”, although it is loosely based on their characters from that TV series:
“Fighters from three worlds face off to decide the fate of CYBERTRON and the rest of the universe! Two heroic AUTOBOTS one a tense perfectionist, and the other a cunning freedom fighter join forces to battle against the evil of the DECEPTICONS. RANSACK GTS, on the other hand, is just out for himself, and he’ll use every dirty trick at his disposal to see to it that his enemies are destroyed.”
Debuting in “…Cybertron”, the common gimmick was Planet Keys, which unlock hidden features such as extra weapons, wings, boosters, and other tools useful in a pinch! Additionally, each Planet Key has a code on the back that, when entered into the official Transformers website, will grant you access to extra information about the toy it came with!
(Umm, that’s all well & good back in 2005, and was a feature I genuinely enjoyed, but… where do I input these codes nowadays???)
Scout-class Autobot Scattorshot
Scattorshot has four ABS wheels that allow him to freely roll on a hard smooth surface.
The large missile turret can spin around freely 360-degrees. Both light gray missiles push-fire.
His double-barrel rifle can be attached on the roof of the vehicle, but this gets in the way of the missile turret and prevents it from turning anymore. Ironically, the missiles on the larger turret prevent the rifle from turning as well!
The head and arms move about just fine on swivel joints, but oddly the legs have no standard hip or knee joints! (I thought the days of stiff, non-poseable limbs were long gone thanks to ball & socket joints?)
Scattorshot’s Earth Planet Key pops open a door, which reveals several bonus racks of micro-missiles inside of his larger missile turret!
Scout-class Autobot Repugnus
For a spinosaur, it’s decently poseable enough; clearly “Beast Wars” rubbed off on this toy in a good way.
The legs retain their good flexibility, but the arms have somehow merged the elbows and wrists together which makes his arms look really short & stumpy. The beast mode’s arms end up on the front of his chest, and can still be moved in this mode.
The tail becomes a flail-like weapon that pegs into the top of each clawed-hand. It can also remain attached at its base from beast mode for storage if you like.
Repugnus’ Jungle Planet Key plugs into the back of the large fin on his back, which causes a large red blade to flip out from the front of the fin!
Scout-class Decepticon Ransack GTS
Unlike most Transformers, Ransack GTS requires his robot weapon to be attached in order to complete his vehicle mode.
The wheels are wide enough that he will always sit upright, thus Ransack GTS does not need a kickstand for displaying in vehicle mode.
Though featuring standard articulation, Ransack GTS has a non-transformation-related waist joint (whoa!) but lacks any ankle movement.
Ransack GTS’s Speed Planet Key flips out a pair of cannon barrels on his rifle. Unlike most Transformers: Cybertron toys, however, the Planet Key is required here to activate just a standard weapon. But, in vehicle mode the barrels instead act as extended exhaust tubes which increase his speed.
Wow, the complete lack of proper knee and hip joints totally blows my opinion of Scattorshot. And he’s back heavy to boot! Of all the “…Cybertron” sets I originally got in 2005-06 (at least fifteen), this is the first one not to have those critical joints. Mostly I didn’t get this guy because of his color scheme (neon green paint on top of snot yellow plastic!?) and the nose of the… truck(?) stuck out too far from his torso. The Planet Key gimmick was nice enough in both modes, as were the swiveling shoulder-mounted quad-laser guns and huge-ass missiles (the first to push-fire on a Transformer?), but he does seem a bit over laden with weapons for a bashful scientist-type, doesn’t he? Aside from barely holding his balance, the blue chest piece doesn’t tab into place, so it’s always shifting about easily when posing the arms or raising the missile turret. Boooooo! Oh, and this toy would have been a perfect candidate for light piping considering those giant nerdy goggles on his forehead.
Vehicle mode isn’t much better- the back half never feels securely snapped together (overused-and-aged plastic molds?), but it kills me that adding the rifle on top cuts off the rotation for both turrets.
It’s so close to good that it’s a shame it didn’t turn out better. I will not claim that toy engineering was at fault here because this toy isn’t much different from other Scout-class figures we see in 2011! I’ll hang on to Scattorshot, but I’m not all that proud of him.
I think Repugnus may very well be my first genuine case of the infamous gold plastic syndrome that haunts the Transformers franchise. I was opening the ‘jaw’ of the left arm for the first time, the bolt holding it in place was really tight… and I heard a distinct “snick”. Checking the joint over, sure enough a large crack has formed, which will probably prevent me from ever opening it again. (I just removed it from the box not five minutes ago! What the hell!) Problem is, that doesn’t look like gold to me, more like a brown… Well, it’s a good thing the hands don’t hold the flail, ehh??? Even though the shoulders are on ball joints, they can’t turn well enough for the hands to hold the flail. Ehh… okay. What really bugs me about this mode is how the dino arms don’t fold away somewhere else. Why not have those red transformation shoulder joints fold further back so the dino arms are in back? (I tried just that, but it ruins the torso’s appearance and places the shoulders too far back.) A surprise bit of articulation is how the upper torso can bend downwards independent of the lower torso! The legs are awesome for posing in either mode, and allow you to go “bird-leg” in either mode if you like, but the knees also bend forwards (eww). Why weren’t the robot’s eyes painted?
The coloring seems to work better in robot mode, but you can still make out the rather awesome surface detailing all over the place. The Planet Key gimmick here doesn’t feel like very much. I mean, how can a spike on his back to any good when he’s in beast mode? Why not make it a pop-put laser cannon barrel or something a little more aggressive? It works for the better in robot mode, but it feels useless in beast mode.
I like the coloring for Decepticon Undermine in 2005 better, and I was sorry to see it disappear before I could get him then. And I have fallen out a bit with it over the broken claw. But the toy design is good enough that I’m willing to put up with Autobot Repugnus.
Okay, I gotta say it- this was the reason I got this three-pack in the first place. I missed getting Ransack the first time around and regretted it. Then I saw the repaint (Ransack GTS) and was a little more impressed with the coloring. (Red-on-red just doesn’t work sometimes…) Ironically, of these three figures, this one was designed with light piping… and they painted the eyes over! I suppose it wouldn’t have worked anyways because the kibble behind his head would have covered it up. Though his feet are freakishly long-yet-narrow, my biggest problem in posing is having to contend with the split-up wheels outside his lower legs; you can’t even hang his arms straight down. His rifle is freaking huge! The peg underneath that fits into his hand fits a bit too tight, and that worries me a bit. But while it’s nice to have a weapon get upgraded by a Planet Key, why not give him a standardized weapon first?
Something that all the promotional pictures gloss over, however, is how crazy long and low-riding his vehicle mode is! My jaw hit the floor when I realized I hadn’t missed a step when transforming him the first time. The windscreen above the nose is really loose too, especially when it becomes the chest [armor?], but I can clearly see the white clips holding it in place are distorted. (I’m not sure how to go about fixing this…) Since I’m writing this review when this 3-pack came out in 2011, I had to remind myself that narrow-tire motorcycles weren’t that common before 2007 when “Transformers Animated” Autobot Prowl came out, so I supposed this how this toy shows its age, though I would certainly not call it obsolete just yet! I will say, however, that I totally dig the hoop wheel in front.
Other than oddly-designed feet and being a low-slung crotch rocket, I’d call Decepticon Ransack GTS the best of the three figures in this set.
I know that the Transformers Universe line has been running for a number of years, and that it has featured a lot of repaints, but this was the first case of a previous line being brought back and me really wanting the originals enough to pursue them. (I missed my chance with the larger Voyager-class Cybertron Defense Scattorshot, which was a missile mech I really wanted!) Hasbro, do this more, please! Just… re-release them in their original colors first and then try repaints. I wanted a second shot, and I got it with the Warriors From Three Worlds set.
|Posted 6 February, 2011 - 18:10 by EVA_Unit_4A|