Autobot Salvage

Originally posted at on 05/13/09

I’m not looking forward to Michael Bay’s new Transformers movie. He took my favorite toy line as a kid and made it something vapid and insipid. Instead of robot explorers discovering Earth and befriending humans, we got posturing CG contructions and an annoying human “lead”. His movie was devoid of any of the indelible imagery of the 1986 animated film.

Ok, ok. I’ll give him Megan Fox.

But other than that, there wasn’t anything that really put Bay’s Transformers in league with other great sci-fi films. Even the toys based on the movie characters disappointed. I’ve sold most of my core Movie characters, even the in-demand Ironhide. In my opinion, the toys of the characters that were actually IN the movie were the weakest ones of the series.

The really good toys from the line were the ones that weren’t slated to be in the film and just released to fill out the line. Wreckage was a great toy. As was Landmine. You could argue that Stockade made an appearance in the film as the S5 vehicles, but the robot form is all new mold. These are the ones that I kept from my days toy hunting back in 2007. Unfortunately, there were a few I missed out on back then.
Salvage is one of the molds that didn’t make it into my shopping cart. He shares the same body as Dropkick who was released in an earlier wave, but is Autobot red instead of the evilicious Decepticon purplish-blue. Since the original was pretty scarce and getting pricey at the specialty shops, and since Salvage was going for p300.00 in the recent Toy Kingdom clearance sales, the choice was pretty obvious.

I don’t know if it’s the fact that I picked him up at such a ridiculous price (locally anyway), or because he really is a good toy, but he grew on me rather fast. As soon as I took him out of the package, I was wowed at how much articulation they worked into him. He shares an overabundance of ball-joints, much like Landmine, so you can pose him in almost any position.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. He comes packaged as a lowrider pickup truck with a cover for the truck bed. This might be an odd choice for a salvage truck, but remember that he’s a repaint of an existing mold. It’s weird, but I can overlook that. The bed cover can be removed if you want him to look a little more realistic as a junk dealer.

The transformation scheme is rather good. At first glance, he looks like a shell-former, but opening him up shows you how much is actually going on. The process isn’t simple, but it’s not overly complicated like the Movie Ironhide. You can even pull out his legs and have him run around as a chicken-bot.

Once transformed, the bot is pretty unique. He’s got twin, twin-barreled guns that flip out of his arms (which is all kinds of awsome), but his arm movement is somewhat reduced because of his lack of any cut joints to allow them to swing out. He doens’t have any articulated hand joints, but they’re not missed. Especially since he manages to have peg holes for Energon weapons.

His legs take it or leave it. I like the whole double jointed chicken-leg look, so it’s a win for me. It gives him something that not alot of the other robots have and gives joint junkies another few points of articulation to wow over.

I’ve only got two problems with Salvage. The first is his “backpack”. Remember I said he looked like a shell-former? well it’s partly true. He’s got a buttload of crap hanging off him. It looks good from the front, but turn him around and you can see all sorts of things that don’t really have a place to snap to. A relatively minor complaint, but something that can be annoying.

The other thing that I hate is the stupid “claw” gimmick. His bed cover comes off and becomes this idiotic looking contraption. I threw it out as soon as took the pictures. It really is worthless. Hasbro would have been better served splitting the thing in two and giving him extra blasters. I guess it’s for the kids.

Overall, I like this figure more that most collectors would (as evidenced by his stature as the only “butaw” figure left on shelves after the clearance sale). Though he’s not an outstanding toy, he’s got a good mix of things going for him. I would recommend him as a good figure to add to your Autobot ranks, especially if you can still catch him at the discounted price.

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