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with Beacon

Series: Power Core Combiners
Allegiance: Autobot
Categories: Commander
Year: 2010

Even before becoming a Power Core Commander, Steelshot was a master of long-range combat. Now, with Beacon acting as his spotter, he uses his powerful cannon to pound targets up to 100 miles away, softening them up for an all-out Autobot assault.

Prelude : Steelshot is a straight-up repaint of Bombshock, only instead of four drone vehicles for limbs he comes with Minicon Beacon, a repaint of Backwind. I’ve never reviewed Bombshock myself, though, (nor Backwind) so I’m going to give Steelshot and Beacon a go. And many thanks to fellow TF-fan BlackZarak, who loaned me the duo for this review.

Robot Mode: Steelshot is a Scout/Commader-sized robot with a heavily military look. He won’t be mistaken for a car Transformer anytime soon. There is a bit of a Samurai-theme to his design, too, as his armor plates are arranged somewhat like medieval Samurai armor. The most prominent feature is the two big cannons he carries on his back, which can swing forward to shoot over his head. I’m a big fan of shoulder guns, so I like that a lot. Look-wise there is nothing wrong with Steelshot at all, though he does appear a bit squat and he does have those bright blue Power Core connecting pegs that are a staple in the line, but don’t fit with his coloring at all.

In terms of articulation and detailing Steelshot performs well, too. Granted, his bulkiness and the armor plating on his body prevent him from being a contortionist, but with ball joints he has a full range of movement, so no complaints here, either. So really Steelshot’s robot mode has nothing bad about him, though he does lack that little je-ne-sais-quoi that would turn a good robot into an outstanding one. Still, thumbs up for the robot mode, no complaints.

Alternate Mode: Unsurprisingly Steelshot becomes a military artillery vehicle, prominently featuring the two big cannons on top. The desert cameo look prevails here, too, of course, and the entire vehicle looks as realistic as is feasible at this scale, I guess. The turret with the cannons and the sculpted missile launchers can turn and the cannons can be raised, giving a large field of fire. Overall a solid, unsurprising vehicle mode.

Partner: Beacon is a mostly red Minicon with a somewhat gorilla-like robot mode. Very long arms, one of them ending in a minigun, and an apish-looking face. Not bad. Like all PCC Minicons he is advertised as a quad-changer with weapon modes for both Steelshot’s robot and vehicle mode, plus an armor mode, but in actuality it’s really just one alternate mode, two at the utmost. He becomes... something. I’m honestly not sure. The minigun on the end of his arm remains in play and those two headlights on his knees... you know, I have no idea. He can attach to Steelshot in either mode or be held in hand as a weapon, none of which really looks good. Plus the bright red color doesn’t really jive with Steelshot’s desert cameo look. So bottom line here: Beacon is far from the best of the PCC Minicons and doesn’t really fit with Steelshot.

Combiner Mode: Like all non-Minicon Power Core figures, Steelshot can form the torso of a Power Core Combiner. Given that Steelshot is clearly patterned after Onslaught, it is unsurprising that his combiner mode evokes Bruticus, or probably the desert-cameo version of RID Ruination. Steelshot can use any of the PCC drone vehicles as limbs, but he looks especially great with the TFC Iron Army. Overall Steelshot makes for one of the better combiner torsos from the PCC line, looking pretty good and nicely proportioned, so he gets a big thumbs up here as well.

Remarks: The first PCC figure I ever bought was Bombshock, who did a lot to sell the PCC concept to me, despite its utter lack of media presence. Steelshot, as a repaint, is of course just as good and whether you like Bombshock’s darker colors or Steelshot’s desert cameo look is, of course, entirely subjective. The PCC line has largely been forgotten these days, I think, mostly due to the aforementioned lack of media presence and the mediocrity of many of its figures, but overall I still really like them and there are still quite a few of them left to review. As for Steelshot: if you’re not completely put off by the PCC concept, I advise getting either him or Bombshock, depending on which paintjob you like better.

Rating: B+
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