I mentioned already in my review of the Protectobots that even with less than three
complete teams released, Hasbro was already recycling designs and molds for several of the Protectobots. But the reuse really jumped into high gear with
the fourth combiner team to be released as it consists entirely of repaints of figures from the first three teams. That should have made it an easy pass
for me. But then Hasbro decided to fight dirty and included both Sunstreaker and Mirage on the team, the first two Transformers that I ever owned. That
made them hard to pass up. Then Hasbro did something interesting. They recolored Silverbolt from the Aerialbots to create Scattershot, the leader of the
Technobots. But without plans for any of the other Technobots, they marketed him as being able to combine with this group of G1 characters to form
a new combiner, Betatron. I'm still holding out hope for a complete set of Technobots. (And it looks like they are on their way now thanks to Takara.)
But in the mean time, I now have all the excuse I need to purchase two small pieces of my childhood to form Betatron.
Packaging - Scattershot 7/10, Others 8/10The packaging for this fourth team is more of the same. The deluxe figures are packaged on traditional cards with the included comic serving as the backdrop. The back of the card shows both forms of each character and the figures needed to form the Optimus Maximus team. Scattershot is a Voyager class Transformer and comes packaged in a window box. And as with the previous Voyager figures, you get a great view of the toy from the front as well as photos of both of Scattershot's forms on the back. There's also some limited artwork of Betatron and the five figures used to form it as well. The designs are attractive, But with figures now being marketed as being part of multiple teams, some clarification of Combiner function would be appreciated.
Sculpting - Scattershot 8/10, Prowl 6/10 Others 4/10As I said before, all five of these figures are basically repaints of previous figures. The works fairly well for Scattershot. They gave him a new head and new parts for his vehicle mode. That plus a new color scheme is more than enough to set him apart from Silverbolt and replicate his G1 appearance well. The reuse of molds starts to be more of an issue with the deluxe figures. Prowl for example only differs from Streetwise due to a new head sculpt. That's fine for the vehicle mode. But Prowl's traditional robot mode had the hood of his vehicle mode featured prominantly as his chest. That is all missing here. I will give him a slight break since Prowl did change forms slightly in the comics just before the Combiner Wars story line. But if you want a classic looking Prowl, this isn't it. And that same issue applies even more so to the others. Mirage doesn't have the front of his F1 mode forming his chest. Ironhide doesn't have a large van windshield for a chest. And Sunstreaker lacks any of the telltale bits of his vehicle form that should be prominant in his robot form. And his head is too small for his body. The head sculpts are well done at least. Each captures the look of the characters well.
Paint - Others 7/10All five figures have their traditional color schemes and they generally look good. Scattershot and Ironhide could use a bit more work to break up large areas of red. It does seem like they tried to do this with Scatttershot who has multiple slightly different red tones. But the differences are so slight that it is hard to tell if they are intentional or not.
Articulation - 8/10Since each of these figures reuses the sculpt of previous figures, it should be no surprise that the articulation is the same. All of the figures have the eqivilent of more than a dozen points of articulation and a decent range of motion for all of those joints.
Accessories - Scattershot 8/10, Mirage 4/10, others 6/10There's more recycling for the accessories. All five come with the same accessories as the previous characters to use that mold. That works fine for Scattershot. The pair of guns that combine to form a large rifle work well for both Scattershot and the combined form. But for the other figures, it's just giving each figure a random weapon. I'm okay with it for Prowl and Ironhide as neither of them has a particularly iconic weapon that seems to be missing. But Mirage is generally shown as having shoulder mounted weapons. And he doesn't have anything similar here. They also missed out on the opportunity to use his accessory pack to recreate the look of the original with his oversized air intakes and exposed engine.
Betatron - 5/10Betatron is composed entirely of reused figures so there aren't any real surprises. Structurally he works well and is well proportioned. The one issue I have with it is that the colors are not well balanced. Scattershot in particular is almost completely red with very little in the way of complimentry colors. And when you add Ironhide as limb that blends into the torso almost completely next to Prowl, Sunstreaker and Mirage none of whom match the torso at all, and you have a combined form that looks like the comglomeration of random characters that it is.
Value - Scattershot 8/10, Prowl 7/10, Others 4/10Scattershot is a voyager class figure and sells for $25. The other figures are deluxe class and sell for $15 each. I'm assuming that we will eventually be getting the other Technobots to joint him. But even if we don't, he is still a well executed modern update of the G1 character. The four deluxe figures are a tougher sell. There have been better updated versions of Ironhide, Prowl and Sunstreaker in recent years. And their combiner form isn't much of a selling point. Though Prowl may be worth picking up if you are a fan of his role in the IDW comics.
Happy Hunting:Prowl, Ironhide, Sunstreaker and Mirage were released in the deluxe line roughly two series ago, before the Combaticons and the latest series of G1 Autobots. I do still see them around at retail occasionally. But I would not expect them to be available much longer. Scattershot is shiping currently in the voyager assortment. If you are interested in eventually completing your Technobots team, I would would pick him up now.