Back when the first wave of Mini-Cons was hitting stores, I wished that there was a team that combined into a rifle. I love it when Hasbro reads my thoughts.
Space Station Mode: Astroscope is mainly red, cyan, and medium blue with purple, grey, yellow, neon green, and metallic silver highlights. The longest Mini-Con so far at 10 cm(4"), he's clearly some type of space station, similar to the one shown here: http://www.rediscoveredpaper.com/graphics/skylab.jpg . His two solar panels are adjustable and have a nice grid pattern to them, his connector socket is on his underside, and he has two faction symbols, one on either flank. He looks fairly believable except for the fact that he's got a robot head on his left side and a fist sticking out at his rear. His missile can fire in this mode, with a range of more than two feet.
Transformation: Remove the missile, swing up the head, then fold the station up. It's a clever bit of engineering, however, it's marred by the fact that the upper body pieces pop off *very* easily.
Robot Mode: Astroscope stands just under 6 cm(2.4") tall at the head. He's quite an imposing little fellow, with a face that resembles a gatling gun, a wide chest, and a massive launcher of a right arm. Unfortunately, he can't do very much in this mode. His elbow bends, his shoulders only swing up to the sides, and his hips are ball-jointed, making him stiff at best. And, of course, his ginormous launcher makes him slightly unstable.
Overall, Astroscope is a neat-looking, cleverly designed toy, but is dragged down considerably by his fragility and lack of poseability. 6/10
Transport Mode: Payload is a type of transport vehicle, similar to the kind used by NASA to carry rockets to launching platforms. Black, red, and cyan with grey, orange, yellow, and metallic silver highlights, he measures 6.5 cm(2.5") long. He rolls along on four wheels and has sixteen tiny moulded wheels for display. His faction symbol is on his right side and his connector socket is on the underside of his cab. Although Payload looks pretty plain by himself, he has a peg and a couple of holes for attaching Skyblast.
Transformation: The simplest of the trio. Robot chest folds down, blaster handle flips up, waist rotates around.
Robot Mode: Standing a little under 6 cm tall, Payload is the plainest, most kibble-free member of the Space Team. He's articulated at the head, shoulders, waist, hips, and knees. His head is cyan and silver with yellow eyes, and bears a passing resemblance to G1 Megatron.
Overall, Payload is a solid if somewhat plain toy. 7/10
Rocket Mode: Skyblast is a type of multi-stage rocket, 8.5 cm(3.3") long. Mainly white with some red and cyan parts, bronze and black thrusters, silver highlights, and dirty grey airbrushing on the booster section. His faction symbol is on his "neck" and his connector socket is at the end of his central thruster. The thruster can be swung out to one side so as to connect better with large TFs. Skyblast looks especially nice attached to the shoulder of Red Alert or Combined Optimus Prime, as he resembles one of those shoulder-mounted rocket launchers from the days of G1. He also has a peg on his left side that can act as a dead hardpoint.
About the only negative thing about this rocket is that the robot face is visible on the right side.
Transformation: Like Astroscope, Skyblast has a rather clever transformation, and what's more, none of his parts fall off. And as other fans have noted, it's better to have the waist 180 degrees around from where the instructions say, as this gives him proper knees.
Robot Mode: Skyblast stands just shy of 6 cm tall. He's probably the best-looking member of the Space Team and easily the most poseable. He's got universal joints at the shoulders and waist, ball-jointed hips, and hinged knees. Plus his lower legs are nice and wide, allowing for a fairly wide range of action poses. Skyblast's head is cyan and metallic silver with yellow eyes, a large sloping forehead, and an underbite, making him look like a tough guy. He lacks fists, however, it's easy to envision the rocket nose and connector socket as a missile launcher and flamethrower respectively.
Skyblast is definitely the star of this team. 9/10
Transformation: From vehicle mode, Astroscope forms the barrel and clips, Skyblast forms the main body, and Payload the handle and butt. The completed Requiem Blaster measures an impressive 16.5 cm(6.5") long and despite its mish-mashed colours, actually does resemble a rifle. It flops around a little, but holds up to repeated shaking, unlike the Star Saber. The handle fits into the fists of certain Beast Wars as well as Armada figures. 8/10
Overall, Susp Sez: As far as Mini-Con combiner teams are concerned, the Space Team is one of the better ones. The individual vehicle and robot modes are neat, with only Astroscope appearing to suffer much from being a component. The Requiem Blaster is a bit ungainly but sturdy overall, and actually does resemble a rifle. A worthwhile purchase in all. 7.5/10
"Space travel is the only flight to freedom." -Lightspeed
|Date||February 1st 2003 |
|Score|| (7 out of 10) |