Knightdramon's review of: Scrapmetal
Scrapmetal is little more than a beast. Once, they were merely a dangerous breed of mechanical vermin from the depths of Cybertron, but he and his terrorcon brethren have been mutated by the power of the black hole. Much larger than they once were, and far more dangerous, these creatures now swarm on the surface Cybertron, led by Scrapmetal, who has gained the ability to reason, and plot. Now that he has tasted the power that comes with command, his only desire is for more power
Scrapmetal was one of the last basic sized toys that were released in the Galaxy Force line (I'm really not keeping up with Cybertron) under the name of Ramble. While the design is entirely new, with cues for Final Fantasy 8 and Ghost in the Shell, the toy retains some very basic elements from G1 Rumble.
It should be noted that Scrapmetal was released in three colour variations in Galaxy Force [red, blue and yellow] while as of August 2006, he is out in red and a yellow edition is also planned for Cybertron. Personally, I'd prefer the blue edition over the yellow. A special edition (Coby Ramble) was included in the Sonic Convoy gift set. Besides some minor colour differences, it features a different head sculpt. That version is scheduled for limited release sometime in the future in the US. [Clay's note - as of the time of the review, the U.S. Coby Rambles are only being issued for the customization classes at Botcon in 2006. Maybe 50-ish total?]
Acquired as a part of a larger lot (including GF Soundblaster], I only bought Scrapmetal because I wanted my Soundblaster to have his updated G1 companion but mostly because he was dirt-cheap. Unlike some other purchases under the same logic, I'm very pleased with Scrapmetal.
A fairly standard Scout class Cybertron packaging. I prefer this packaging to its Japanese counterpart, but it's harder to store. The box art is nothing special. The back of the box has those nice photoshopped\air brushed Hasbro pictures of the figure, which really make it look infinitely better than it is. The transformation skill level is 2, but to me it was -2. It should be noted that because of the nature of the card, it's impossible to keep it mint after opening it. I managed to cut mine very neatly, but I still cut the scout class text.
Scrapmetal's vehicle mode (called attack mode on the back of the card) is in my opinion, the best mode of the two. It's a spider drone like creature with a helicopter cockpit for a head and a large cannon as a tail. The paint finish is actually pretty good. Flat black is used for the head and limbs, with orange for the main body. Some panels on the legs are painted in a darker tone of orange, whilst other are painted in an even darker tone (bordering on crimson). The cannon and the remaining body parts are cast in a gunmetal gray tone. As I said, the finish is overall good, but there are parts on the legs (the crimson panels) that the paint shows some ugly marks that occur if you paint a piece and add a second coat without the first one drying.
Playability-wise, Scrapmetal is top notch. He has fourteen points of articulation (three on each limb and two on the cannon, which can turn 360 degrees and about 45 up and down). Right out of the box, Scrapmetal's rear legs have the ball joints reversed (meaning you actually see the ball if you're looking from the top). This is actually for the best, as it provides better options for poses.
Standing less than eleven centimetres tall, Scrapmetal is not what you'd call imposing. He is what you'd call a neat little figure, though. The transformation sequence is very easy; I only had to look at the back of the box to see which side the cannon goes to. In all honesty, Scrapmetal reminds me of the Superlink aerialbots as far as articulation is concerned. He's got two points of articulation on each limb. What's noticeable is that the legs can bend further at the knee because the plastic on the calf does not get in the way, allowing for 120 degrees or so of bending. It might not sound like much, but it does make a difference. The head sculpt is nothing great, it's an angular yet boxy head with two horns, a small crest and what appears to be two teeth pointing up. The red eyes and nose do not clash well. Additionally, there was supposed to be a much shorter gray line separating the eyes (as evidenced on the packaging pic) that made him look less goofy.
The robot mode head prohibits the cannon from rolling and turning fully in all directions, but that doesn't really hurt playability. The right shoulder flap does not get in the way at all, allowing both arms to achieve full articulation out of their respective joints. Each limb is articulated via the use of ball joints and the head has no joint-it simply revolves around itself (much like the recent BW Cheetor). An interesting feature is that the arms are equipped with the pile drivers seen on the original G1 Rumble. The part that serves as the leg of the attack mode can be displayed on the side (open fist) or closed in (i.e. not transforming it at all). Additionally, he can be left with the toes on, which resemble drills, or they can turn and form the traditional pile drivers. The picture on the back of the packaging has the pile drivers assembled in the wrong way (I thought it was my Scrapmetal, but after consulting the reviews of the GF versions, I found out it's just the sample that's assembled badly).
The Cyber key is the Cybertron planet version. Intricate details are sculpted on the outer ring. The code sf2x reveals that the Scrapmetal drones *could* be descendants of the G1 insecticons. If you insert the key on the back of the cannon, a blade pops out. The blade is moulded in transparent red plastic and can be detached to be held as a sabre. Not really that interesting...
Overall, Scrapmetal is a very fun little toy. He might be missing a few paint apps and the robot mode is not as fun as the attack mode (usually it's the opposite) but that doesn't mean it's bad. Until Alternators Rumble is released, this is something to pass your time and display along Soundwave\Soundblaster.
2. Honestly, very easy, didn't even have to look at the instructions.
9. No loose joints on mine, nothing prone to breaking. Gets -1 point for relying heavily on ball joints, which are prone to become very loose as time passes.
10. Fantastic attack mode, very nice robot mode. You have to be trying hard not to like him.
10 for mine. I got him at 4 USD, which is like 2 euros. So basically, I got him five times cheaper than he would go in my country, if he was released.
Solid 10. Fun in both modes, nothing too heavy to strain the joints, plenty of articulation and very cheap. Add to the fact that we'll probably be seeing more repaints, and you can have a small army of these guys!