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Astroscope, Payload & Skyblast

Series: Armada
Allegiance: Mini-Con
Categories: Mini-Con
Year: 2002

Robot Modes: The three Space Team robots are of very different quality. Payload is the worst of the lot, having almost nothing in the way of arms. Astroscope is a lot better, though his huge right arm makes him liable to tilt over sideways. The best of them is Skyblast, though he might be a bit upset over not having any hands. All three robots don't offer that much in terms of play value, they are much better in their alternate modes and combined form.

Vehicle Modes: The Space Team transforms into space-themed Vehicles. Payload transforms into a transport rig and again, he's the worst of the lot. The only thing he can do is transport Sky Blast on top of himself. Sky Blast becomes a rocket and looks pretty good doing it, though it takes some doing to get him straightened out right. Finally Astroscope becomes a satelite. Not exactly a brilliant mode, but decent.

Combiner Mode: The Space Team Minicons combine into the powerful Requiem Blaster (or Astro Blaster in Japan), a cannon that can punch through pretty much anything (as Armada Smokescreen learned the hard way). The weapon isn't terribly stable (especially the front part), but does look like a kick-ass futuristic blaster, just like it's intended to. You can make it look even more powerful by powerlinking Jetfire's Minicon Cometor on top of it.

Remarks: Much like the other two Minicon teams that transform into weapons, the Space Team played a bigger role in the Armada cartoon than the other, non-combining Minicons. The Requiem Blaster was used, among other things, to blast Smokescreen into bits (though he was later rebuilt as Hoist) and became part of the Hydra Cannon that (temporarily) killed Optimus Prime.

The Space Team toys are nothing to write home about when in their robot forms and do only a little better in their vehicle forms. The appeal is to have the Requiem Blaster and they are doing a pretty good job there. They are also naturals for linking with Jetfire in their non-combined form. Bottom line, one of the better Minicon teams, if only for their combined form. That, plus their role in the cartoon, makes them attractive enough to be included in my collection.

Rating: C+

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