Warcry's Review: Scattorshot
Scattorshot usually finds surprise attacks upsetting, if only because they interrupt whatever careful plans he's laid out. Chaos bugs him like nothing else, and nothing is as chaotic as an unplanned battle. Still, he can't help but laugh as Divebomb helplessly dodges his fire. Little does he suspect, but a second Decepticon is sneaking up on him from behind.
In a line that's practically overflowing with original-series homages -- including but not limited to Bludgeon, Brakedown, green Devastator, Smokescreen and Dirge -- Scattorshot is an odd choice. Because while he is
a homage, he's a homage to Cybertron
Scattorshot. With the exception of Hot Shot the powers-that-be at Hasbro seem to be happy to pretend that the Unicron Trilogy never happened, so I didn't make the connection between the two initially. But when a third version of the character showed up a few months later as part of the War for Cybertron
video game cast I finally realized that someone seemed to have a liking for the little guy. It seems like he's unseated the G1 version of the character as the 'default' Scattorshot these days, which is quite the achievement for a character who only had a minor role in a single series of unpopular cartoons. But if they had to pick someone from the Cybertron line to turn into a Movieverse character, they definitely picked the right guy. The Cybertron version of Scattorshot was an awkward, ungainly robot that looked a little funny alongside the rest of the line, and those features translate over very well into the ROTF line.
Scattorshot himself is long gone from most toy aisles, but there are two redecos coming up in the 2010 Transformers line: Firetrap (who is coloured in green and orange, very similar to G1 Roadbuster) and Flak (a funny-looking urban-camouflage version).
In robot mode, Scattorshot manages to look like a big brute even though he's only a Scout-class toy. He's got a huge, blocky torso (which consists of an outer layer of armour with a smaller chest built into it. He's got small biceps but huge forearms with built-in heavy cannons, as well as very large shins and feet. It's all a bit awkward, but it makes him look like he was built for war.
Scattorshot's colour scheme is very similar to his namesake's, dominated by dark blue and grey with black and gold highlights. The colours are mixed very thoroughly too -- blue shows up on his feet, torso and hands, his shins, hands, wheels and head have black parts. His guns, elbows, crotch, shoulders and face are gold, and pretty much every part of him has some grey. The colours all work very, very well together and look quite good on Scattorshot.
Unfortunately, Scattorshot's awkward proportions take away from that a bit. His tiny chest, set inside a huge block of armour, looks especially silly. His huge forearms and tiny biceps don't work very well together either. His arms are very long and so are his built-in guns, to the point where the guns' barrels actually extend past Scattorshot's feet if you keep his arms straight.
Scattorshot is very posable, though. His huge feet give him great balance, so much so that you can pose him standing on one foot pretty easily and don't have to worry about him falling over. He's got ball-joints on his neck, shoulders, hips and knees, a swiveling waist (something that we need to see more of on Transformers) and double-jointed elbows, meaning that you can pose him doing pretty much anything you'd like. His guns can swing up and down and swivel 360 degrees too, but that's meant more for vehicle mode than here -- other than pointing straight forward, the guns look pretty silly. The guns can also pop off, making Scattorshot look like a brawler instead of a gun bunny.
Scattorshot's face deserves special mention here because it's very creepy. With a black helmet and a golden face you'd expect him to look fairly heroic, but the face sculpt works against that. He's got a faceplate that looks like a diving mask and deep-set, beady eyes painted the same colour as the rest of his face. Taken together it manages to make him look very, very evil, soulless and frightening. The other Autobots probably cross the street when they see this guy coming.
Scattorshot's robot mode is a mixed bag. He's both pretty and ugly at the same time, and his weird proportions come down to the same design compromises that you find in many Scout-class toys. He's too complex for the size and would probably have worked better as a Deluxe.
Scattorshot's vehicle mode is where he shines. He's a pickup truck, but not a normal one. He's got huge rooftop cannons, armour plates on the door and a huge bulldozer blade bolted onto the front, making him look like he belongs to some sort of crazy redneck militia. He's almost entirely blue now, aside from the grey blade, armour plates, tailpipes, grille and hubcaps. He's also got yellow headlights, black windows and tires, silver Autobot symbols on his cab and gold cannons on his roof. Unlike most Scout-class vehicles, Scattorshot actually does something in vehicle mode other than rolling on his wheels. His cannons can swing freely and swivel to fire almost straight up. The impression I get from the guns is that he's some sort of makeshift anti-air vehicle, designed to take on enemy planes. If that's true then he makes a big, obvious target -- the militia should have invested in some camouflage paint instead.
Scattorshot is a beautiful truck, though. The dark blue body works nicely and the different-coloured details make for a good contrast. Scattorshot doesn't turn into any specific make of truck -- even if the designers had a particular one in mind, the modifications, weapons and armour all drown out any distinctive design cues that he might have had originally. The only real problem I've got with him is that he would stand out terribly wherever he went, and while that's par for the course for Transformers in some lines the Movieverse does try to take the 'disguise' thing a bit more seriously that that.
Marks out of ten for the following:
All of his problems in robot mode can be traced back to a transformation that doesn't quite work at this scale. 4/10
Ball-joints everywhere mean that he's not very likely to break, and if he does he can just pop back together. He's liable to get loose joints after a while though, for exactly the same reasons. 8/10
For a small toy, there's a lot you can do with him. And unlike most Scouts, he's got proper guns! 8/10
A great colour scheme and a great vehicle mode, but the robot doesn't hold to the same standards. 6/10
Very good for a small toy. 9/10
Scattorshot was nice and cheap when he came out, but by now I'd bet he's pretty hard to find unless you buy him online. 7/10
Scattorshot has some really good points and some really bad ones, and the end result is frustratingly mediocre. He could have been better than he is, but what he is isn't too bad. I wouldn't recommend hunting him down, but one of the redecos might be worth it if you like the colours. 6/10