Entering in as the fourth combiner group for the Mini-Cons, Astroscope, Payload and Skyblast add a much-needed weapon to the arsenal of whatever faction gets to them first.
What could be more fun than a flatbed truck, satellite, and a rocket shuttle for a kid to play with? I somehow get the feeling that Astroscope will not get much play time in his satellite mode with a lot of kids. It’s original, but that’s about it. Payload looks decent so long as you ignore the back robot head that’s plainly visible from above and below. And while I really like the look of Skyblast’s rocket mode, the fact that his robot head is just sitting out in the open bothers me. Astroscope has this problem as well, but his looks less conspicuous.
Transformation is pretty straightforward on all three. Payload’s harkens back to the Micromaster days. Astroscope has the most ingenious transform of the three, but that really doesn’t save him from being a lame toy, in my opinion. Watch Payload when you turn his waist around. At least one leg always wants to pop off.
Robot modes are looking good for the most part. Skyblast is the best of the three. He’s rather reminiscent of G1 Megatron in robot mode with the way his chest and especially the robot head and face look. He also sports the most articulation of the group with nine points (two in each shoulder). Payload suffers from Can’t-reach-past-my-chest syndrome, otherwise he’s pretty good looking for a Mini-Con. Astroscope looks like a mindless drone. Three, cold, yellow eyes, steel blue for his ripped chest, and that monster cannon on his right arm. Too bad he can’t aim it past a 60-degree downward angle along his side.
The Requiem Blaster is a conglomeration of all three. Although, I get the feeling that it could have been done with only two. Payload’s only purpose is to provide a handle for the bigger bots to grad hold of. Skyblast could have easily been given an additional post for that. Or, Astroscope can be left off to give the bigger bots a smaller weapon.
Overall, this is a nice set to fiddle with, but I just can’t get into them like I hoped to be able to. Grade: C+
|Reviewer||Richard C. Mistron|
|Date||December 19th 2002|
|Score||(5 out of 10)|