The other toy in the last two figure wave of Power Core Combiners was Undertow, a Decepticon who turns into a kind of Cybertronian catamaran. I've already gone over Salvage with Bombburst so just visit that review if you'd like to go over the packaging again.
Like most triple-changers, Undertow has to sacrifice one form for the sake of design and that’s his vehicle mode. It’s a pretty poor looking kind of boat, with his legs basically going up in front of his chest and his arms pinning to his sides.At least it’s not a rehash of another figure like most of the Power Core Combiner series has been.
Undertow’s little buddy is Waterlog, another new figure. The minicon is cast mostly in translucent green plastic with some nice tan bits thrown in. Again, as a triple-changer, Waterlog sacrifices the look of one mode for the sake of others. In this case, the weapon is the crap mode; it looks like a small spaceship with its wings folded, which is what it essentially is.
The spaceship mode is pretty good looking and it fits on that 5mm peg on top of Undertow’s vehicle mode. At the very least it doesn’t have a problem with the loose legs flailing about like some of the other minicons in the line. The robot mode is my favorite though. Three words: tiny neck joint!
Like his Power Core partner, I really dig Undertow’s robot mode the most. The boat mode is kind of a turn off. With the exception of the Voyager Class Seaspray, I’ve never really liked boat Transformers. I might be a man-child, but sitting naked in a tub of water with a toy boat shouting “Man overboard!” or “Torpedo off the port bow!” puts one a little too low on the geek hierarchy for my tastes. Pulling out Leader Class Optimus Prime and an air horn is about where I draw the line.
Anyway, Undertow’s articulation is just as good as Salvage’s, with ball joints up the wazoo. I love how his pontoons form his legs and feet. So deliciously chunky!
If you decide not to use Waterlog as a weapon, Undertow still has a Vulcan cannon mounted on a swivel joint on each arm. Personally, I like these better than the spaceship gun. These things look absolutely vicious and more than make up for the rinky-dink minicon weapon. And best thing is that they can be used in his vehicle mode as well.
I’m not a fan of any of the Commander modes save for Bombshock and Steamhammer, but this one has an something going for it that the others don't.That awesome head:
Instead of a regular robot head, the gestalt Undertow gets a retro diving helmet! Totally gorgeous looking. It's too bad the rest of him looks like crap with over-sized thighs and non-existent shoulders. Those Vulcan chain guns are still available in this mode though, so that's a plus.
If I had to pick one, I'd say Salvage was the better buy, despite being a recolor. He's just better designed all around, with three decent modes. Undertow has only got the one good one (robot). If he had a better Commander mode, and some water themed drones, he might have scored higher in my eyes. As it is, I'd have passed on this if it wasn't in the 50% bin.
Of course, Undertow has already disappeared from Toy Kingdom shelves while Salvage is still hanging around. What do I know?