Generations Selects GS-TT04 Gulf/Skalor Gallery and Review!

Foully stinking up the Allspark Studio today is Amphibious Assault Seacon Gulf/Skalor!  Will this polluting parasite leave a trail of grease and toxic chemicals all over your shelf, or will he finally see the error of his ways and start a recycling program with the other bots on your shelf?  Tune in after the break to find out!

Sadly, I never even saw the Seacons during the original G1 run.  My first exposure to the designs was during the Beast Wars II toy series of the late 90’s.  Being a fan of both G1 and Beast Wars, I couldn’t help but be enamored with the figures, though my budget at the time only allowed for a late in the game grab of a set with no combiner parts off BBTS that I think was the result of a find in a flooded warehouse (more on that in another review).  I wanted to get a complete set, and never imagined that one day Hasbro would release them in the original toy colors, especially after I missed the Timelines Seacons set released by FunPub (I STILL need that set).

To my further surprise, TakaraTomy (and Hasbro) went all in on the Seacon love and gave us the currently being released Generations Selects set, remolded from several Terrorcon molds and the Moonracer mold.  In spite of many things being on lockdown due to COVID-19 at the moment, the Generations Select Seacons have finally made it to the United States and have begun to trickle out in groups of 2 through the mail.  Today we will look at Gulf/Skalor, a remold of the Terrorcon Blot.

Colors
Before we really get started, let’s talk about colors.  One of the first things Western fans will note is that the colors on the Generations selects figures do not match the G1 toys exactly.  There is a good reason for that, and one I had totally forgotten until I was reminded by fellow Allspark staffer SoS.

 
You see, my only exposure to the G1 Seacons came as an adult, out of a wonderful discovery that, being a speaker of Spanish, I would get to enjoy all of the Japanese G1 shows in a dub language I understood.  It has been a long time since I watched Super God Masterforce en español, and I had forgotten about the colors used in the cartoon, which Takara has matched in the Generations Selects line.  So, there you have it, the reason for the colors not matching the toys.
 
Beast Mode
Gulf’s beast mode of that of a legged coelacanth-style monster.  Most of the form is accomplished by completely changing the Blot beast head.  Even so, when it comes to reproducing the original figure’s var-mode, there are definitely some liberties taken.  The front legs, teeth, and most of the beast head are a nice recreation of G1 Skalor.  Scales are, interestingly enough, one of the liberties I just mentioned.  The back is formed by the unchanged Blot robot legs, and with all of the other remolding that happened to bring this figure about, I imagine more edits just weren’t in the budget.  Scales on the back would have also changed the robot mode, so I can see why this call was made.  Budget likely also played into the decision to leave the beast mode rear legs unchanged from the Blot mold.

The tail is clearly inspired by the original figure but takes a nice turn in becoming a weapon (or an alt-mode propulsion system).  The fin on the back can move forward and reminds me of the way a catfish can stick you in self-defense.  Considering the dorsal fin of some catfish contains a venomous substance and Skalor here is known to be toxic, I think the observation fits.

Skalor’s jaws open and close, giving a satisfying “biting action” to the vicious looking figure.  His forearms can sadly only move up and down due to being installed via large flat pins.  It’s very G1, but in this case, it’s not a good thing.  Considering the beast head is a completely new piece, it is a disappointment that they went this route instead of using a ball joint, especially since these limbs never support any weight.

Despite what might seems like a few too many negative points, I really like this mode.  It looks sinister and primordial, and I would NOT want to go up against this beast!  Gulf balances well, and can stand horizontal like his original pose, or tilt to a degree.  I really love how you can flip the tail around to reveal the blaster, which can give the impression he can go into “high velocity” mode, zipping through the waters of whatever planet he finds himself on at the moment.  It is even better that his “spine” sword, side cannons, and his combiner hand can all be integrated into this mode.  If this figure was sold in regular stores, I think it would have been a hit with kids.  Unfortunately, this is an exclusive with a hefty price tag.

Robot Mode
This is another case of “inspired by” for Skalor’s robot mode.  The only remolding for robot mode is in the forearms, and head.  Gulf maintains the overall color scheme, with most of the blues landing where the teals appear on the G1 mold.  Same thing for the pink elements, with the notable addition of pink feet, which make up for the pink beast forearms being absent on the lower robot legs for this mold.  There are no fins on the robot forearms, but they do slightly swell outward, though not as drastically as the G1 figure’s forearms.  The head is a nicely square-ish update of the G1 “peg-head”, bringing over all the necessary design elements to give it the proper look.

Articulation from this mode is what you should expect from mainline figures:

  • Thigh swivel
  • Ball-jointed hips
  • Waist swivel
  • Ball-jointed shoulders
  • Ball-jointed elbows
  • Ball-jointed head


Sadly, while I continue to laud Hasbro and Takara for the skill of their current design teams, they still have an issue with the range of motion on ball-jointed heads.  It makes no sense that a ball-jointed head would have so little range.  Please Takara Tomy and Hasbro, find a way to improve this one thing.  It is a consistent disappointment on what are otherwise some of the best updates on characters to date.

This is not all bad news, however.  As you can see from the pictures, this is a nicely poseable figure, as should be expected.  The 3 guns and spine sword give him sufficient armory for battle, and the tilts on his wrists even remind one of how soldiers sometimes carry their weapons in real life.  I like this figure enough that I already wish I had ordered a second one to leave uncombined once I have the entire set.

Arm/Leg Mode
Being part of a combiner, Gulf/Skalor can be placed into both arm and leg mode, a la Scramble City.  While I am sure I have a true preference, he makes a very solid leg, which cannot be said for all combiner limbs.

As of the writing of this review I only have two Seacons in hand, so here is Piranacon using just Turtler and Gulf for the time being:

Overall Thoughts
Articulation nitpicks aside, this is a great figure!  Gulf/Skalor is a nicely “faithful” re-interpretation of the Generation One figure and character.  He poses well in both modes, makes a good leg or arm in combiner mode, and comes with an arsenal of weapons to use in his struggle against the Autobots.  He is a fun figure that is probably a little out of the budget for smaller fans, but collectors will love him.
Hopefully we will get to enjoy him more as a Beast Wars II repaint.  (You know you want to, TakaraTomy).
Sources:
Transformers Universe
TFWiki.net
 

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