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Blackjack's review: Universe Minicon 10-pack


I love Mini-Cons. Who doesn't? Tiny little guys who can latch onto larger transformers. Ever since their introduction in Armada, Mini-Cons had, made their mark in the transformers universe. Even after Armada, new Minicons and larger toys with Minicon ports kept appearing in Energon and Cybertron toylines. Even in the Classics lines and Movie lines, transformers with Minicon ports are available. Movie Blackout, Movie Ratchet, Animated Lugnut, and all those A/E/C repaints can interact with Minicons. So it's not surprising when they released more and more Minicon repaints. I've reviewed the first Minicon twelve-pack in the Universe 2.0 line, and they've now released a ten-pack again, with even more unique paint jobs. And some odd choices of names... Now, Minicons lead a pretty tough life. Each mold is repainted at least four times, and given names only for Hasbro to claim trademarks. (Cybertron Shockwave comes to mind) The good thing is, they're relatively cheap army builders, and are a good way for Hasbro to satisfy their fans' need for G1 Micromaster references. I mean, Micromasters are making a comeback, big-time. I mean, we have Stormcloud, Big Daddy, Countdown, Blazemaster, Detour, Dropshot, Flak and many more being given new toys (albeit repaints, but Micromasters can't be choosy. Blazemaster's lucky, though). Also, Minicons often reference older toys. Each of the 12 pack reference at least one G1 Micromaster, or something from another continuity. The reason this review took longer to complete is that I just couldn't resist looking for who these guys are referenced after (This is where the BW: Sourcebook and MTMTE trade paperbacks become useful). So let's cut the chase and get on with the review, shall we.

*******************************

Name: Windrazor
Allegiance: Autobot/Minicon
Repaint of: CLASSICS Swoop
Alternate mode: Pteranodon

Now this set contains five Autobot-aligned Minicons and five Decepticon-aligned Minicons, and are all repaints of Classics Minicons. Apparently, the Autobots are named 'Battle Support Team' and the Decepticons are named 'Ground Surveillance Team'. Right. Whatever. First up on the Autobots' side, we have Windrazor. Windrazor is a purple repaint of Classics Swoop, in the colours of Beast Wars Lazorbeak (or Beast Wars Neo Hydra. Whichever one you prefer), and it's a little odd that he's an Autobot-aligned MiniCon. But then, there is only a small MiniCon insignia on him, making repurposing Windrazor for Hydra/Lazorbeak easy to do if one so chooses.

The name Windrazor itself has been used numerous times throughout Transformers history, often (if not always) for flying transformers. The first usage is for the G2 Decepticon Windrazor, the leader of the Skyscorcher sub-group. The name Windrazor was later re-used in Beast Wars, for a BotCon exclusive repaint of Silverbolt. Another Windrazor appeared in the Energon toyline as part of the Aerialbots. Classics Blight was repainted in Japan as Windrazor as part of the Micron Booster sets. And then there's this little guy.

ALTERNATE MODE

Windrazor transforms into a pteranodon. Coloured in indigo and lavender, he has one of the better paint jobs in this set. There's a black Mini-Con insignia on his spine. Windrazor had an impressive set of wings, and they are attached to the 'chest' via ball joints. The three-toed claws can fold in and out as well. Windrazor's upper jaw and neck are able to move on hinge joints.

Windrazor's eyes are painted white, and so is the robot mode chin which shamelessly juts out under the pteranodon crest. Really, it's so noticeable it hurts...

Windrazor has robotic detailing on his wings and body, possibly making him a Transmetal of sorts. The 'hands' on his wings are molded, although they are portrayed as being webbed. He can be perched on things, or displayed as gliding. There's a Minicon port on his stomach.

That's about it for the beast mode, but after a quick (and non-conventional) transformation, Windrazor forms an odd little robot.

ROBOT MODE

A little bit of foreword here. I'm not a G1 extremist, and I love non-humanoid designs. Beast Machines Vehicons... Bayformers... downright bizzare Minicons... As long as they look 'cool' or 'alien', I'm okay with it.

Windrazor's basically a head, a long chest/stomach and two hand/leg/wing assemblies. Very... odd. Weird. I can't imagine something like this fighting on the battlefield. Moreover, his head just seems... lazy. By closing the beast mode mouth (and thereby pulling up the crest), we'll reveal the unpainted, generic head. The hands are too stubby but are on ball joints. The claws can move awkwardly, and someone gracious can put the wings as under-arm blades.

That doesn't excuse the laziness of the stomach/feet thing, though. It just looks weird, and useless. From a distance he looks like something that got rejected from a monster puppet film.

Possibly one of the worst Minicons in this set, although it's redeemed somewhat by his beast mode and paint job.

Marks out of ten for the following:

Transformation 5/10 Windrazor's a bitch trying to figure out on your own. You'll need the instructions, though the steps are simple.
Durability 8/10 Wings might snap off, but anything that could break could be easily popped back on via ball joints.
Fun 6/10 I suppose a dinosaur (yeah, yeah, I know pteranodons are not exactly dinosaurs and all that. I know, okay?) is fun. Besides, Minicons make great troop builders, although my suggestion is to leave him permanently in pteranodon mode.
Overall 6/10 Below average, actually. The only reason he's not getting a zero is because I love pteranodons as a kid. And purple's my favourite colour. I'm sentimental. Sue me. For most people, however, he's a 3/10.

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Name: Ransack
Allegiance: Autobot/Minicon
Repaint of: Classics Terrorsaur
Alternate mode: Tyrannosaurus Rex

Ransack is something of a surprise to me. I've never, in my whole life, expected a Beast Machines T-Wrecks figure. Who, you ask? T-Wrecks is a very obscure toy-only repaint of BW Megatron in red and a little blue, as part of the Dinobots sub-toyline after/during Beast Machines. T-Wrecks also happens to be my first ever Transformer (I did, however, play with knockoffs of the Protectobots as a kid. But they can't combine, and are KOs, so T-Wrecks is my first official TF). I still got ol' T-Wrecks... most of him, anyway... in a box in my room somewhere.

Ransack's a red tyrannosaur, which makes him a (probably unintentional, but you never know) homage to T-Wrecks. And possibly Transmetal II BW Megatron too, judging by the shade of red.

The name Ransack had been reused over and over again in the transformers franchise. First, G1 used the name Ransack for a locust/grasshopper Insecticon in 1985. G1 Ransack never appeared until recently in Dreamwave comics. Generation 2 brought us the first re-use of the name Ransack, as a Decepticon Corsair plane, I think. He's a Rotor Force member, and can shoot rotors at the enemy. The first Universe toyline had a repainted toy named Ransack. He's so obscure that no one knows who his paint job is based on. The next Ransack appeared in the Armada series, as part of the Adventure team, transforming into a pickup truck, if I'm not mistaken. Cybertron gave us yet another Ransack, who played a big part in the TV series. Namely, his role is the Decepticon motorcycle goon getting blown up by the good guys at every episode. ROTF gave us another Ransack, again a Decepticon, who is a Seeker who transforms into a biplane.

ALTERNATE MODE

Ransack is a tyrannosaurus rex. He's red. Dark grey adorns the hips, while a silver coat covers his lower legs and part of his side (Transmetal details perhaps?). His getup is completed by green optics.

Open his mouth to reveal a little cannon. This little fella can bite and shoot! Articulation other than the jaws, however, are only found on the tail and the rotary joints on his upper legs. The joints there are very sensitive, though, and those on my Ransack have worn out already. Mold problems, perhaps?

Regardless, Ransack's legs are slightly too long and combined with the broken joints, makes him hard to stand in T-rex mode. There are Mini-Con ports on both sides of his thighs. There's a small silver Minicon symbol on his back.

I like the mouth-cannon, which is so similar to IDW Grimlock, but otherwise the T-Rex mode is meh.

ROBOT MODE

Japan repainted this mold as a homage to BW Megatron in one of their Micron Booster lines. And damn, he does look kind of like BW Megatron. But the transformation is completely different. The entire front half of the Rex splits into two at the jaw, so the lower jaw (and gun) becomes one hand and the upper jaw becomes the other hand. How he types I don't want to know. The hips rotate and the tail moves up. The result is a more humanoid robot mode, although he does have that 'bizarre' look to him.

His face is painted silver. More articulation compared to Windrazor. The upper jaw can move, and the shoulders are on ball joints, and there are the legs, which look better here than in dino mode.

Overall, an okay robot mode. Not as bad as Windrazor.

Marks out of ten for the following:

Transformation 2/10 Like the others, easy enough.
Durability 5/10 Pitiful. Ransack's joints have worn off straight from the packaging, and the rest of him feels fragile.
Fun 7/10 He's a Tyrannousaurus with a gun in his mouth. He's fun enough.
Overall 6.5/10 Better than Windrazor, definitely. But Ransack is a much better mold than Windrazor. In any case, his low mark is more due to his durability issues. -shivers-

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Name: Stockade
Allegiance: Autobot/Minicon
Repaint of: Classics Knockdown
Alternate mode: Triceratops

Now... Stockade. A repaint of Classics Knockdown. A blue, bronze and brown triceratops, painted in the most unusual of way, Transmetal-ish hodgepodge colour job. I think he references Beast Wars Neo's Killer Punch, but it's not an exact match. Beast Wars 2 Elephorca, perhaps? Whatever.

The name Stockade first appeared in Universe, as an Autobot toy-only repaint of BM Tank Drone. The second Stockade, and indeed the only Stockade to get any characterization at all, is Movie Stockade, who transforms into an SUV. He's a Decepticon. This is the third Stockade.

ALTERNATE MODE

Stockade transforms into a triceratops. He looks like an obese specimen. The beak is more of a snout, and the body's just too big. Dirt brown colours the upper back and lower front body, while blue does the face, upper back and hind legs. Gold/Bronze colours the eyes, horns and some details on the face. A tiny golden Minicon symbol adorns the left back.

Posability is limited to the snout moving slightly up and down. The hind legs are on ball joints, but unless they are perpendicular to the body, they can't move. So he's a brick.

In my opinion, compared to Ransack, Windrazor or the other beast modes in the Minicon set, Knockdown is the worst. Ugly colours, no posability and just not realistic enough. A Minicon port adorns either side of his tail.

ROBOT MODE

His transformation is okay. His golden face's expression does make him look like a Joker gone bad, though, what with the lips pulled so up. The hind legs become arms (which are hunched down), and the crest become the chest. The front legs unfolds down to become the stomach, crotch and legs. The end result is creepily similar to Animated Snarl (perhaps that's what he's referencing? But he's got no red...) only worse.

Posability is better. The hands (which, considering they're made out of hind legs) have limited articulation. The knees can bend sideways and the hips can move freely.

Not really much to say about this guy, though. It's just so ugly.

Marks out of ten for the following:

Transformation 2/10 He's a brick.
Durability 10/10 He's a brick.
Fun 1/10 He's a brick.
Overall 3/10 He's a brick. Transformable and painted so ugly...

*******************************

Name: Overcharge
Allegiance: Autobot/Minicon
Repaint of: Classics Strongarm
Alternate mode: Taxi!

Overcharge is a taxi. Overcharge. Taxi. Get the joke? That's an awesome name. Overcharge is a recent name, given by eHobby to a G1 Blitzwing repaint. This 'Neo-G1' Overcharge is supposedly a generic Quintesson-minion troop builder. But this Overcharge is a repaint of the Classics Minicon Strongarm. Strongarm is a police car (referencing Armada Prowl, I think) and all this while, it has been repainted only into police cars, like Flatfoot and Detectus. But this Overcharge is a taxi cab, and the first ever taxi Transformer. And he's called Overcharge!

Seriously, this is the BEST name-assignation ever. Coincidentally, I'm writing this in my laptop while riding a taxi. Heh.

In any case, this won't be my first time dealing with the Classics Strongarm mold. I have Flatfoot, after all, and I'm very pleased with Overcharge. Compared to what we've seen so far, Overcharge is the star of the set.

ALTERNATE MODE

Overcharge's taxi mode is mainly yellow, with black windows and wheels, as well as a checkerboard motif on the front. the ramming bars are silver, and the headlights and top lights are white. Overall, he really looks like a taxi (with ramming bars... to clear traffic for those who have urgent meetings), which is amazing, since this thing's supposed to be a police cruiser.

A Minicon symbol adorns his hood, and he looks pretty spiffy from any angle. Two Minicon ports adorn the bottom of his car. Oh, and he's a taxi. Awesome.

Now what I like about this guy is that he's so tightly packed into his alt mode that it's really challenging to get him back into robot mode. I suggest you not transform him, though. Taxi-boy is cute enough on his own.

Hmmm, I forgot to think who he references. Considering most of the vehicle Minicons homage Micromasters, I'd say this guy references G1 Freewheeler or G1 Motorhead. He's a dead match in vehicle mode for either of them. Either those two, or they could be a homage to the Battle Taxis featured for five seconds in the G1 episode 'City of Steel'.

ROBOT MODE

Unlike Windrazor's or Stockade's robot mode, Overcharge manages to pull out a nice-looking robot mode even though he also seems to suffer from some odd bone disease. Very boxy, his transformation is a bit frustrating, for fear of snapping off a part or two. Oh, did you know he's a taxi cab? Yellow one, too?

His face is painted silver. Articulation extends to the elbows moving forward and his knees bending sideways. But more importantly, he looks good. Not great, but he looks good. He looks like an alien robot instead of a mass of vaguely humanoid plastic. Overall, an okay robot mode. Not the best, but he looks like a robot instead of a wacky jumbled-up mass of assorted kibble and body parts. Oh, and he's a taxi.

Marks out of ten for the following:

Transformation 5/10 Because I'm afraid I'll break something. It's also a bit hard to pull the two sides of the car apart.
Durability 7/10 The elbows and knees might fall off, but snap them back on.
Fun 10/10 He's a taxi! He's more fun than a stupid toaster.
Overall 9/10 For all his flaws, Overcharge's lovable. And that's coming from a person who hates buying two versions of the same mold. Did I mention that he's a taxi?

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Name: Sky Shadow
Allegiance: Autobot/Minicon
Repaint of: Classics Steel Wind
Alternate mode: A10 Warthog Fighter Plane

Sky Shadow seems to be one of those names that are reused but never gets any proper characterization. The name Sky Shadow first appeared in Beast Wars, a Drangonfly-lizard Predacon fuzor. The second time a Sky Shadow appeared, it was for one of Energon's Aerialbots. Cybertron Jetfire was repainted into a Decepticon named Sky Shadow (which, according to his tech specs, is actually Jetfire working undercover). Then there's this guy.

A repaint of Classics Steel Wind, Sky Shadow transforms into an A10 Thunderbolt jet, a relatively popular alternate mode first used by Powerglide. He could be a reference to a few Micromasters, including G1 Groundshaker, G1 Roughstuff (his base/jet, anyway) or G1 Skyhopper.

ALTERNATE MODE

Sky Shadow transforms into an A10 Thunderbolt. Or A10 Warthog. They're about the same. He's mostly army green, with black detailing and a silver stripe running across the two wings.

This jet's sculpt is positively overloaded with weapons, in the form of underwing missiles that are just a lot larger than normal. He looks like he's carrying enough explosives to cause another Hiroshima. Oh, and due to transformation, his cockpit can split into two. So if you have a sudden urge to have one of the Minicons having a sword to go all ROTF Sideswipe on him...

There are three molded landing wheels to support it. A small silver Minicon insignia in tampographed on the left side of his cockpit, and a Minicon port is stationed under his engines. That's about it. Hmm... this review's getting monotonous, isn't it? But it can't be helped, it's not like these guys have any backstory or tiny details I could tell you readers about. But relax, we're already at the halfway point.

ROBOT MODE

This guy's robot mode is unique. The entire cockpit section becomes the feet. So he has clown feet, just like Universe Cheetor. Unlike Universe Cheetor, Sky Shadow doesn't look that silly. The (albeit broken up) missiles on his entire leg section makes up for it, and Sky Shadow does look decently like an alien robot, with an inhuman, Jackhammer-esque head, long shoulders, barely no stomach and torso, and long legs.

This is what I'm talking about about inhuman robots. Windrazor... Stockade... Longview... they look like half-arsed pieces of plastic bent together to vaguely resemble a humanoid figure.

More silver appears on the robot mode. Sky Shadow's cute little hands are from his engines, and the fist slides out. Very charming!

Marks out of ten for the following:

Transformation 3/10 Simple enough, but then I already have experiences with this mold.
Durability 6/10 The legs do like to pop out, and the silver paint looks fragile to me. But otherwise, Sky Shadow's mold-mate Skyhammer hadn't been broken yet, and he's stuck under a box.
Fun 8/10 Big guns? Check. Cool jet mode? Check. Cockpit that can be sliced into two? Check.
Overall 7/10 For some reason, I like the goofiness of Sky Shadow. Cheetor's clown shoes are stupid because he's evidently meant to be agile and nimble from his body built. Sky Shadow's body built makes it clear that he's supposed to look goofy. Besides, big guns!

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Name: Scavenger
Allegiance: Decepticon/Minicon
Repaint of: Classics Overbite
Alternate mode: Wolf

Now here comes the Decepticon-aligned Minicons! First out of the Ground Surveillance Team is Scavenger, a wolf. He's a very obvious homage to Wolfang from Beast Wars. While a toy-only character, Wolfang was supposed to be in the TV show, but due to technical reasons, Wolfang was replaced by Tigatron. Why? Because Tigatron's toy is a repaint of Cheetor, and it would be much easier for them to tweak Cheetor's CGI model a bit to create Tigatron's model, instead of going all the way to create a new Wolfang model.

Now the name. Unlike virtually everybody in this set, Scavenger was given a very iconic and recognizable name, which is the name of one of the Constructicons. Scavenger. Why is this so? Is it because Hasbro wants to keep the Scavenger name to themselves? Maybe to strengthen it. After all, ROTF only has two products called Scavenger, so they probably slapped it into this toy to claim 'dibs' on the name before someone else does. Regardless, some wolves do scavenge.

The name Scavenger had been used numerous times in transformer lore. The first and foremost is the G1 Constructicon Scavenger, who turns into an excavator. He combines with his fellow Constructicons to form Devastator. The second Scavenger, a Predacon, is from Beast Wars, who turns into a transmetal fire ant. He has drills for hands! Beast Machines gave us another Scavenger, this one transforming into a... thing. Looks like a cobra-shaped attack platform. Regardless, he's a Vehicon. RiD redecoed the Beast Machines Scavenger into an Autobot, also named Scavenger. The next Scavenger is an Autobot, and hails from Transformers Armada, where he transforms into a culmination of a bulldozer and power shovel. 2003's Universe line got us two Scavengers that might or might not be the same character, and might or might not be the G1 character. One's part of a Devastator (Operation Combination Sixbuilder redeco) and the other is also part of a Devastator (RiD Landfill redeco). The next Scavenger would be this one, and then the Constructicon Terex Excavator from Revenge of the Fallen. Also, the canceled TransTech line also has plans for a Scavenger, who saw a cameo in fanclub exclusive comics.

Damn but that name is popular.

ALTERNATE MODE

Scavenger is a mostly grey wolf, with white detailing and black spine. His eyes are green. There is a Minicon symbol in white on his left side. Mechanical detailings, like the other beast-mode Minicons, are abundant. Scavenger has vampire fangs, which I don't think any real wolf has. There are also sharp things pointing backwards on his front legs, and his tail vaguely looks like a missile.

Posability is limited, sadly, for such a wicked wolf mode. The knees and thighs rotate on pin joints, but the frontal legs are static. So overall he just stands there looking ferocious.

Minicon ports adorn his thighs. And other than that, there's nothing important to note here. A nice beast mode, but nothing else.

ROBOT MODE

Unlike the banal Ransack and the nonfunctional Windrazor, Scavenger's robot mode looks kickass. Blue appears on his face, chest and crotch. His transformation is really fun, and the wolf's head and spine become the hands. Part of the hind feet swivel backwards to help balance, and the tail slips up so as not to distract. Overall, an impressive robot mode.

His face is a visor with a semi-circle mouth, vaguely resembling his BM self, which is a probably unintentional bonus. The shoulders are on ball joints, and so is the entire lower body (watch out, the ball joint looks like it could snap off). The knee and thighs are still as before.

One of the better, if not the best, beast-Minicons.

Marks out of ten for the following:

Transformation 2/10 A fairly easy transformation, but harder than some other Unicron Trilogy Minicons.
Durability 7/10 Pretty solid, but the waist looks very fragile and it seems to be able to snap off with too much play.
Fun 8/10 I do enjoy Scavenger. The lack of Decepticon symbol is a bonus, making repurposing him as Wolfang easy. He now lounges in my small 'Beast Wars' corner, looking important.
Overall 9/10 One of the best figures in the set.

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Name: Longview
Allegiance: Decepticon/Minicon
Repaint of: Classics Dreadwing
Alternate mode: Eagle

Longview is a name I never expected to appear again in transformers. The name Longview first appeared among the Real Gear Robots in the first movie line. Alongside wacky names like 'Booster x10', 'Twitcher F451' or 'Zoom Out 25x', the only nice-sounding names were Night Beat, Meantime and Longview. Other that Nightbeat, I never expected the others to appear anywhere else. But Longview made a surprisingly appropriate name for an eagle Minicon.

Longview is most likely a reference to Beast Wars Silverbolt. No, not that Silverbolt, the other one. The bald eagle who forms Magnaboss. Known as Skywarp in Japan. Although my sister insists it's an Airazor homage, the colours are more Silverbolt in my opinion. Still, with a Tigatron homage in the set, it seems appropriate that a possible Airazor is included.

ALTERNATE MODE

Longview is an eagle. Or a bird similar to it. He's mainly dark brown and orchre, with a little lighter brown among the feathers to blend the two in. The head, sadly, is purely white (is adding a yellow beak and eyes so hard?), so is the Minicon symbol on the left shoulder. The robot head, sitting on the center of the eagle mode's back, tries very hard not to be seen. But it's obvious.

Still, Longview's eagle mode is great. The wings are wide, and the claws are on ball joints. The wings sadly cannot flap, unlike Windrazor, but the outer edges of the wings are on pin joints, so they can rotate. The white head is able to look up and down, although it snaps off easily. There are Minicon ports on the underside of his wings.

This figure is a nice toy, perching alongside Laserbeak and Ratbat among my display. It wouldn't be hard to imagine this as Divebomb and Windrazor as Swoop, and have the two of them fight on a deathmatch again.

Overall, there is very little to hate about the eagle mode. It's just awesome.

ROBOT MODE

I was worried, upon looking at stock pictures, that Longview would become another contorted mess like Windrazor (boy, I think I really hate that guy's robot mode). But was I wrong!

Longview's frontal wings (the darker part) separates from the orchre wings and tail assembly, and forms the legs, with the wing tips acting as balance for the legs. The wing tips also have the charming side effect of making Longview look as if he has Hermes-type boots. Or Nightscream-type legs. The beast mode claws become hands, and the wing-tail assemble rotates to form some kind of robot-mode wings, and finally the robot head clicks into place. Longview's robot mode head is pretty awesome, with an almost... Banzaitron look to it.

Regardless, he is not proportional, but looks awesome nevertheless. He's posable -- the thighs are on ball joints, the elbows are on ball joints, and the shoulder, massive wings and wing tips are on pin joints.

Of course, he has an eagle's head on his crotch. But let's not be promiscuous.

Overall, a kickass robot mode, surprisingly one of the more enjoyable robot modes, even when compared to older Minicons!

Marks out of ten for the following:

Transformation 6/10 For a Minicon, Longview had me stumped for a while, before I realized the wings are to be separate.
Durability 8/10 The wings seem fragile and the beast mode head might pop off.
Fun 8/10 He's an eagle! With claws in robot mode!
Overall 9/10 One of the best figures in this set, undoubtedly. Better than some other Minicons I could name.

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Name: Snow Cat
Allegiance: Decepticon/Minicon
Repaint of: Classics Snarl
Alternate mode: White Tiger

Ah, Snow Cat. A very obvious homage to Beast Wars Tigatron, a white tiger with a blue robot mode face. Unlike Longview (who I expected to be crappy), I had high hopes for Snow Cat. He looked so cute and Tigatron-ish! Sadly, I was disappointed very badly.

The name Snow Cat had only appeared once before, in Energon, where Cyclonus' upgraded form was named Snow Cat. He transforms into a snow-sled vehicle thingy.

ALTERNATE MODE

Snow Cat is a white tiger. With metallic detailing, just like the other beast Minicons. Like Stockade, he's a virtual brick. Although Snow Cat has a little articulation. His tail is on a hinge joint, and his lower jaw is able to hang down, revealing what looks to be a gun inside his mouth.

He is all white, with black for everything else. Eyes, stripes, Minicon symbol... they're all black. There is a single Minicon port on his back right hip.

Not much to say about a brick.

ROBOT MODE

His robot mode is basically what Beast Wars Megatron would look like had he been a tiger. An entire head (albeit with a gun in the mouth) is on the right, and the entire hind part is on the left hand. Oh, and the lower part of his body is so ugly it looks like he dropped his pants or something.

His face is blue, making him look similar to Tigatron. Other than that, though... seriously, he looks ugly. They didn't put much work into this guy, that's for sure. I mean, Windrazor looks better than this mold, and that's saying something.

The left hand is basically twisting a leg the other way. That's hardly a hand, and the tail is too short to be used as a whip or anything. And the lower body is just ridiculous, what with the large ball joint being exposed, and no detailing whatsoever on the legs. Worse, they are all white!

Honestly, the robot mode is despicable. Keep him in tiger mode.

Marks out of ten for the following:

Transformation 2/10 Very simple, even for a Minicon.
Durability 8/10 What? He's a brick. Unlike Stockade, though, Snow Cat's tail can and will snap off.
Fun 4/10 Tiger mode's fun and you can pretend he's Tigatron. But I have no idea what to do with the robot mode.
Overall 1.5/10 one mark is for the Tigatron reference, half for his durability. His beast mode is not posable (even Windrazor and Scavenger had Beast modes that can move) and his robot mode looks like shit. Worst thing in this set. And he's the obvious homage, too! Pity...

*******************************

Name: Treadshot
Allegiance: Decepticon/Minicon
Repaint of: Classics Broadside
Alternate mode: Tank

Yeah, two more left! Next up is Treadshot, who reuses a name that harks back to G1. The name Treadshot was first assigned to a Decepticon Action Master in late G1. Other than his tech specs, he had no personality at all. He did appear in comics. Then, it was reused in Transformers Energon as one of the Aerialbots. He appears in the TV show but has no personality. Universe reused the name Treadshot for a repaint of Armada Sideswipe. This Treadshot doesn't appear in any fiction and has no personality other than his tech specs. Then, there's this Treadshot, who had absolutely no personality whatsoever.

I sense a trend.

Obviously Treadshot was a homage to one of those tank Micromasters, with his light tan parts. Big Shot could fit the alt-mode, and Sidetrack the paint job (Big Shot had more brown than tan parts). The Decepticon Sandstorm from Operation Combination might work too. So does Overcharge. Or Deep Desert Brawl from the movie lines. Oh, what the hell. Let's decide on this -- he's a Guzzle homage.

ALTERNATE MODE

Treadshot transforms into a light tan tank, with blue stripes on his sides. Dark greyish brown colour the turret and tank treads, as well as the Minicon symbol on his turret.

The turret rotates and moves up and down, and he rolls on wheels. He's also a realistic tank, with many details. A Minicon port is at his underside. He does look badass attached to Minicon ports, especially those on wrists. Overall, he's a nice tank.

ROBOT MODE

The robot mode is charmingly stocky, with long legs, and a short body. He does manage to pull off looking cute and badass at the same time. He has a rotary gun as a right hand.

More grey and blue appear, and the face's silver. Articulation is okay, with the shoulders and thighs on ball joints, and the wrists on hinges. The head (a.k.a. turret) is able to rotate. It does look stupid, but at least it's functional. And for some weird reason he keeps reminding me of one of the Movie Decepticons with his hunched look...

Having experienced this mold before (Heavytread, who really looks like Warpath), I'm rather fond of it, even though the robot mode looks a bit silly. Still, it could be worse. At least he is fun to fiddle with.

Marks out of ten for the following:

Transformation 4/10 The hands and chest need to be done in order, apparently, or you risk snapping something off.
Durability 7/10 He's a tank, and pretty solid. The turret worries me, though.
Fun 8/10 BAM! WHAM! KAPOW!
Overall 8/10 A charming robot mode and a realistic tank mode. After seeing how badly they fudge up some of the Minicons in this set, I have no choice but to give Tradshot an 8. I do like his appearance, in any case.

*******************************
Name: Crosshairs
Allegiance: Decepticon/Minicon
Repaint of: Classics Divebomb
Alternate mode: AH Cobra Helicopter

Ah, the last one! Crosshairs. At least it's easy to tell which one this Minicon is based upon. It's none other than the G1 Decepticon Tracer, of the Military Patrol. You know, actually they should've made Tracer by using the Cybertron Evac mold. It's really very similar to G1 Tracer. But no, they had to use the Classics Divebomb mold. Oh well.

The name Crosshairs was first assigned to the G1 Autobot Targetmaster, and (much) later, an Movie repaint of Energon Strongarm in desert camo was also named Crosshairs. And now, there's this wee guy.

ALTERNATE MODE

He's mainly black, with light grey for the rotors and tail part. A golden Minicon symbol adorns the part where the main body meets the tail. The windows are painted silver, and the gun racks have little golden pinpricks representing missiles, I suppose. He looks pretty realistic in black (as opposed to Cloudraker's green) and look pretty badass, like some sort of funky stealth helicopter. The missile racks make him look more threatening.

Both the main and tail-mounted rotors spin, which is a bonus. Crosshairs have some wing-like structures on the side of his cockpit as well as his tail rotors, making him look sleeker and faster. A Minicon port is located under his cockpit

Overall, a wonderful helicopter mode, which is helped by my bias towards Micromasters, the colour black and military vehicles.

ROBOT MODE

Despite him looking like a stiff-legged zombie, I love Crosshairs' mold. It has a unique transformation, resulting in a unique robot mode. Crosshairs' rotor blades end up above his golden head, and his missile racks unfold to become his hands. His cockpit become the chest, and a piece under the cockpit unfolds out to make him look less awkward. The entire tail section unfolds into the legs, with the wings forming toes of sort.

He's not very posable, with the elbows moving sideways, and the legs unable to move other than sideways. But he still looks awesome enough in black, grey and green. Oh, yeah. A little green appears on the shoulders. Okay, that's just about it for Crosshairs. He's nice.

Marks out of ten for the following:

Transformation 6/10 A rather complex transformation, but it's unique and results in a unique robot mode.
Durability 4/10 As with all helicopters, watch out for the rotors. Also, the tail section can snap off. As I've learned with Cloudraker, the elbow joints get loose very easily.
Fun 7/10 He's a helicopter with spinning blades and missile racks.
Overall 7/10 Not the best this set has to offer (certainly not when the likes of Longview and Overcharge are around) but not the worst either. I am rather fond of this mold myself.

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OVERALL

Damn but this is a long review. If you're reading this, it's either you're very interested in Minicons, you're bored, you're proofing my work (hi Kamen!) or my superior writing skills have wowed you (not very likely), or these little guys deserve an article of their own. Despite the faults of some figures in this set, the better figures make up for them. It's not as good as the first twelve-pack (mainly because of the rubbish animal-formers included here, such as Windrazor, Stockade and Snow Cat) but it's worth buying, even if only for army-building or kitbashing. We really need a Minicon/Legends Class city where these guys can run around in. For now, they're attached (literally) to my Cybertron Metroplex, although he does look daft with eagles, dinosaurs and wolves attached all around him. This set contains some interesting homages as well as a taxi. In any case, they are a 6/10 in average.
 
 
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