Thursday, 9 December 2010

TK-05 Scattershot


I've been a Doctor Who fan since I was 5ish, a Star Wars & Blake's 7 fan since 7 and a Star Fleet fan since I was 9. So I like my Spaceships. But do I like Scattershot's spaceship mode? We've a white cannon at the front, mounted on a cherry red cockpit which is in turn on a white a brown body that expands up, down & to the sides as it stretched to the rear where there are a cherry red wing on either side. There's loads of detail moulded into the odd block shape including a pair of grey gun barrels just as the body starts to rise behind the cockpit, large moulded engines in the rear of the toy and a brown rotating cannon on top of the rear of the toy. The toy has an action feature: press down on the grey roof of the cockpit and the cannon splits in two down the middle, folding out to the sides allowing the middle of it to extend and exposing the silver grey end. A fold down landing gear can be found under the cockpit.

Scattershot has a documented Attack jet mode: Take Computron's chest shield (supplied with Scattershot along with the head, hands and feet of the larger robot) and position it with the two points at the top facing forward. Slide Scattershot into it, providing the spaceship mode with a more secure & stable base.

Scattershot also has an undocumented tank/ground vehicle mode: Fold the landing gear down, then fold the wings down to the side so that the small wheels in the tips of the wings touch the floor. These wheels are not mentioned in any of the instructions, so this is a nice little bonus using them.

Scattershot also has a defined base mode: Fold the sides of the jet down 45 degrees and stand. Slide the points of Computron's chest shield over the sides of the cannon and open the cannon up. Lovely chunky ground based cannon.

Now Scattershot is based round the cannon, and it is obviously a cannon. But it does occasionally put me in mind of Perceptor and his Microscope. The advanced Technobot theme vaguely fits with Perceptor's Autobot scientist role and you could see Scattershot as a space telescope. So if Scattershot is Perceptor who are the rest of the Technobots? Well Perceptor came out in 1985 and there's a drill tank in 1985 so Nosecone becomes Twin Twist (Twin Missiles + Drill), and where you have Twin Twist you also get Top Spin who is a good fit for Strafe in terms of the vehicle mode. Two toys left, and there is another paiting of Autobots in 1985: The Deluxe Autobots. Roadbuster, the jeep serving as the ground assault commander is a good match for the heavily armed Afterburner leaving Whirl to become Lightspeed, which I will freely admit is where the analogy breaks down. Totally.

Transformation: Remove the Computron chest shield, if present, and fold the cannon down 90 degrees. Swing the sides of the ship forward 180 degrees. Rotate the rear of the ship so that the top cannon & grey dual cannons are on your right so it becomes the robot's body. Fold the cannon upon to the robot's back. Fold the top an bottom of the rear of the ship out to become the arms. Fold the chest plate down and raise the head. Fold the wings back. Peg another cannon into his right shoulder (on your left) and place the gun in his hand.

Scattershot's robot mode is big and chunky: it feels a bigger and more solid robot than the previous Special Team leaders. The robot mode repositions all the colours: the brown ends up on the shoulders, upper arms and lower legs as well as the additional automatic acid-pellet gun. The white forms the body, head and upper legs. The cherry is confined to the waist, chest shield and lower arms as well as some vehicle mode kibble attached to the back and legs. The face & visor and painted light blue which makes them hard to tell apart: I'd have painted one of them silver, probably the face. Articulation: the cannons on the shoulders stiffly turn but the shoulders themselves are much looser. Each arm bends in twice at the elbows allowing them to be folded across the chest. If you fold back the cannon the waist will turn. The legs turn at the hips and bend at the knees. I think this makes him the most articulated of the Scramble City Special team leaders.

Scattershot forms the central body of the Technobots combined form Computron. Take Scattershot's robot mode, remove the gun and shoulder cannons, fold the arms down to the side and then in so they're along the sides of the body. Bend the lower legs back at the knees. Slide the larger chest plate round the sides of the smaller one attached to the robot. Slide the Computron combined robot head like a helmet over Scattershot's head.

The four smaller Technobots then attach to Scattershot to form Computron. It's important to note that even though Computron's western boxset pictures the combined robot holding two guns, only one is supplied in both the boxset and the individual Scattershot.

Overall: Top, top toy. I liked it when I saw it in 1987 and couldn't afford to buy one. I love it in 2010 now I own one. Best Special Team/Scramble City leader.

Scattershot was sold in the US & UK in 1987 as boxed Technobot TK-05 and, as we've already said, was part of a Computron giftset. He was first sold in Japan in the same year as Transformers toy C-86 Scattershot and also as part of the C-91 Computicon giftset. I have a 1988 Masterforce leaflet showing the toy for sale the next year as well.

Scattershot has returned once, as a Legends sized toy which is a slight repaint of the very similar Legends of Cybertron Vector Prime, in the Universe Legends Special Team leaders box, while a similar name has been used several times for other toys which aren't the same character: Cybertron Scattorshot, Cybertron Defence Scattorshot and Movie Scattorshot.

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