I’ve always had a thing for military Autobots, and I’m not sure why. Maybe it’s because we don’t see them too often. I feel the same way about Decepticons that transform into fast cars-when they’re done right, they’re pretty cool. It’s also a good thing that we’ve never really seemed to be oversaturated with them. Heck, Animated even made a point of there not being any Decepticon cars aside from Lockdown and the upcoming Stunticons. Keeping each side with a specific aesthetic is cool, yes, but sometimes, I think it’s a good idea to think outside the box and give the ‘cons some wheels and the ‘bots some guns.
Steelshot is the Autobots’ new long-range specialist. He’s a redeco of the Combaticon commander Bombshock, now done in a great desert color scheme. Transformers with environmentally-specific color schemes are few and far between, so it’s cool to see one again. His vehicle mode is very reminiscent of the G1 Onslaught toy, with a few updated touches like the extra missile boxes next to the large cannons. Unfortunately like a lot of other PCC Commanders, he has those big, nasty blue ports sticking out of his tailgate. Yuck. He does have two Minicon ports in this mode, but only one of them is really accessible.
Transforming Steelshot is really simple and could probably be done on the first try without using his instructions. I believe this mold has an assembly error on his legs, but it isn’t too obtrusive and I haven’t found any guides on how to fix it, so I’m just going to leave mine as it is.
Even for a PCC guy, Steelshot is really short. I suppose most of it is made up for by his huge backpack, but without it he ends up being about a head shorter than most of the other Commanders. It makes him seem like the tough little guy of the group-the one everyone underestimates until they see him in battle. His cannons can be positioned down into firing positions-something the old Onslaught toy sure couldn’t do. Those damn PCC ports still interfere with his robot mode, with the ones on his forearms sticking out like big blue warts.
His articulation is surprisingly good. His transformation gives him a waist joint, though you need to move up his armored skirt piece to get it to work. Visually, though, I’d say a lot of his articulation gets lost as a result of his huge shins…
As much as I enjoy Steelshot, I really wish the same could be said for his Minicon, Beacon. I hated this mold when it came with Searchlight and I hate it even more now. While I DO like the solid red coloring, it’s still a bad mold, made even worse by the fact that he can’t even be used as chest armor for Steelshot because Steelshot lacks a Minicon port on his chest! You have to put him on Steelshot’s back, and it just makes him look like the world’s laziest Powermaster. I never liked the gun mode, either-he looks like a Cybertronian leafblower. Also, his face makes him look really, really distraught.
Steelshot’s torso mode looks pretty damn cool-almost all of the camouflage is visible on his front in this mode. It has a very buff appearance to it, certainly making up for his short robot mode. The cannons are still able to come down over his shoulders, too.
The best part of this mode his face-I LOVE the warpaint. It’s such a quirky little touch I was honestly not expecting. It really gives this guy a lot of character.
Steelshot isn’t truly fantastic or a bad figure-he’s in the middle of the road. I wouldn’t recommend him as a first Power Core Combiner to someone who doesn’t like the concept, but I would to someone who’s looking for a neat commander. I’d be able to give him a much higher recommendation if he came with one of the better Minicon molds. As such, if you’re looking for a new PCC torso guy (especially one to go with the Protectobots) definitely get him if you see him at FPNYC, if not, he’s pass.