Sunday, 27 March 2016

Combiner Wars Voyager Scattershot

Voyager Scattershot

Reusing Silverbolt as Scattershot isn't an idea that readily comes to my mind but many people have claimed to have been able to see elements of Scattershot in Silverbolt's robot mode even before he was announced at SDCC 2015. The images shown there show a decent approximation of Scattershot's colours: Lower legs, waist, shoulders and hands are brown, with a red chest lower arms and combined robot chest. a new head in cream like the upper limbs, knee pad and gun parts completes the look. Unfortunately the robot we got was somewhat different: the brown is swapped for a dark red while the forearms are now cherry red. There's too many slightly different shades of red going on here. The gun parts ended up silver again, just like with Cyclonus. The gun was already a problem, being another reuse of Silverbolt's signature weapon but reusing it in the same colours as it's previous appearance? I'd have preferred red, like the original Scattershot, but to be different creamy white as previously shown would have been OK. To make it worse it appears as if the silver is painted over the creamy white. The only thing I've really got any praise for here is the new head which is spot on. It's is a shame because the robot mode was the image that looked OK in the promo renders.

The spaceship mode is a disaster: It's obviously Silverbolt, with new wings, nose and tail. The wings seem rubbery and are another slightly different shade of cherry red. The nose.... the nose just looks like a Jet with a gun for a nose! I can see what they're going for here but it looks nothing like the original Scattershot's chunky spaceship mode. You can't even plug weapons into the end of it which would have been a somewhat redeeming feature. It gets worse though when you plug the robot's gun underneath it and you end up with two completely different gun barrels sticking out the front of the toy! It would have required a bit more engineering but why not dump the original Silverbolt gun entirely and develop a new plane nose gun that removed to become a hand weapon.

Then there's the combined mode Betatron. Assigning Scattershot a different combined robot caused months of moaning in the fan community and I can see the argument. Unfortunately I'm old enough to remember the Micronauts use of the Betatron name and that wasn't a terribly good effort either. The main problem with the combined mode is it still has Superion's head in black. If we were aiming for something vaguely like Computron I would have at least repainted the head to match Computron's colours. But Hasbro didn't Otherwise the combined robot Torso looks exactly like Superion's, except that it's in varying shades of red. A hate plague Superion almost?

The other problem "Betatron" has is he doesn't have anyone to specifically combine with and not enough limbs spare to use with him that aren't more suited for use with Optimus Prime or Galvatronus. There are no Technobot limbs available separately. Hasbro have shown him combined with both sets of Autobot limbs at various times. This prompted speculation that a SEVENTH Combiner Wars wave was coming with the Technobot limbs and Scattershot had been released early and would return in Voyager assortments when his proper intended deluxes came out. This rumour was put to be by the reveal of first Hasbro Computron Boxset and then the TakaraTomy Unite Warriors Computron which both use the Scattershot Voyager with differently recoloured & remoulded limbs as the Technobots. These releases effectively render the stand alone Voyager Scattershot completely superfluous so why release him, especially as his slot could have been used for a fixed version of the original Optimus Prime voyager? I think the answer is money: Scattershot is released by himself so the cost of remoulding the toy for Computron is borne by the stand alone release and any budget for the boxset can be thrown at the other remoulds. We may never know for sure. But if you did buy Scattershot, hoping for Technobot limbs for him down the line, then you're going to be disappointed because you're going to have to buy him again to get those limbs.

Scattershot was released in Combiner Wars Voyagers Wave 5 (2016 Wave 1) in December 2015. He appears at one per case of two in only that case.

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