Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Transformers Beast Machines Scavenger & Robots In Disguise Scavenger

Beast Machines

Faction:  Vehicon

Function:  Demolition Drone

Motto:  " The road to ruin is short when I'm driving. "

Bio:  Perhaps Megatron's most horrific invention ever is his army of programmable drones which unquestionably serve his every wish. Falling under Tankor's charge of specialized tank drones, Scavenger's application is focused on one thing: brute force. Heavy armor makes Scavenger practically unstoppable. Galva-conductors on his back channel deadly electric currents. Enjoys nothing more than getting out and wrecking something.

Strength: 8 Intelligence: 2 Speed: 4 Endurance: 6
Rank: 4 Courage: 9 Fireblast: 7 Skill: 5

Robots In Disguise

Faction:  Autobot
* no official bio was ever created by Hasbro

Today we'll take a look at a very strange vehicular toy released under Hasbro's Transformers Beast Machines banner. It is rather easy to find these days on the secondary market, but is it worth the purchase? Let's find out together.

The review features the same mold released in two different Transformer lines, but the main review will focus on the Beast Machines version of Scavenger.

At first glance you may have no clue what you are looking at! I can remember finding this toy for the first time @ Walmart in 1999 and I too was a little clueless. The best description I can give you is that he is some sort of Cybertronian construction vehicle. Perhaps a power shovel or modified back hoe? Whatever it is supposed to be its odd looking. The primary colors are a neon-ish orange, olive green with black. The rear claws are chromed. The toy features 4 free rolling wheels and rolls very well on smooth surfaces surprisingly enough. There are several points of articulation in vehicle mode and one gimmick. The arched neck you see is on a ball joint allowing the whole neck assembly to rotate forward and back and side to side. The other end of the ball joint is attached to a ratcheting joint allowing more articulation. The middle joint allows the top half of the vehicle to move forward and back giving it a taller or shorter appearance. This piece is cast in a translucent orange plastic and features a piston like mechanism that slides inside the hollowed neck. The top of the vehicle or head if you will has 2 articulated weapons that rotate a full 360 degrees. One side features 3 missiles while the other side has a mini gatling like gun.

When you pull on the spring loaded rounded tab on the back of the middle neck joint the head opens and closes like a steam shovel. There are even molded teeth that gives the appearance of a large mouth. Inside there is some neon paint applications that makes it look almost like a tongue on the bottom. There are two grooves that featured mechanical cylinders...a very nice touch for a part of the toy that is normally not visible. I also want to point out the small door like panel in the 2nd picture. This opens and closes to reveal the toy's spark crystal.

In the Beast Machines story Megatron escapes from the pre-historic Beast Wars Earth and returns to Cybertron ahead of Optimus Primal and his fellow Maximals. Upon doing so Megatron tries to shed his organic beast mode and purge all of Cybertron of organics. To help his conquest he develops mindless and sparkless drones he calls Vehicons. These are Transformers that are devoid of a spark or soul if you will. Sadly Scavenger was never featured in the awesome CGI television show. I'm guessing Hasbro just made the toy as a filler for the first wave of figures. Here you can see the green Vehicon crystal. All Beast Machine toys featured either a Maximal, Predacon or Vehicon crystal somewhere on the toy.

The later repaint of this toy that was released in Robots in Disguise (RID) as part of a 3 pack had the spark crystals painted over. Kinda ugly if you ask me so I'm there is a panel that covers this now red orb.

Here is Scavenger in his robot mode. Now this looks a lot better and resembles a Transformer. Scavenger is a basic or scout class toy meaning he isn't very big. He stands right at or a little taller than 3 inches. Don't let his diminutive stature fool you though as this is a well articulated robot. The hips and knees feature ball joints allowing moderate poses. The large tank treads that hang on the side of the legs do hinder the overall leg articulation a little bit, but nothing too bad. His feet are really tiny, but thanks to the aforementioned tank treads they give some much needed stability. The arms are attached by ball joints as well, but the plastic fully surrounds the joint limiting the range of motion. The elbow's ball joints however are not hindered at all. Those silver chrome claws that hung behind in vehicle mode now are the robots hands. Note the tips of the claws are the same shade of neon orange featured on other parts of the toy. It appears the paint was applied with a air brush. The large black wheels folded up and now give the appearance of some much needed bulk in this form.  

Now one question you may be asking yourself is "where is the robot's head?" That small black panel on top of the vehicle head lifts up ever so much to reveal a pair of eyes. These robotic eyes even featured light piping using a translucent orange plastic! The head is a little bit of a stretch, but if you can get past it I think the overall look of the robot is excellent. As as I said in the opening this is a very strange toy, but for some reason I like it a lot.

For a smaller toy there is a lot of detailing sculpted into the mold. I know this isn't really a fan favorite as even when the toy was new it warmed the pegs at a lot of retail stores. Non-show characters always get snubbed when it comes to kids and their parents, but don't let his absence in the television show deter you from looking into at least one version of this toy. I prefer the original Vehicon version, but the blue and white used on the RID version works well. It's a striking combination and the fact that he's an Autobot is also interesting. I believe he was the first Autobot to have the name Scavenger. This toy won't win any rewards and the vehicle mode is very odd, but the robot mode makes up for the rest of the short comings in my opinion. I highly recommend the Beast Machines version since it can easily be purchased individually. The RID version was sold with other repaints of Beast Machines toys so it isn't as readily available, but I was able to find one for about $5.00 recently on eBay.

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