Cliffbee.com: Airazor (Video Pack Recolour) Toy Review

Toy Reviews
Individual Review




Name: Airazor
Series: Beast Wars
Allegiance: Maximal
Function: Aerial Recon
Alternate Mode: Hawk



HAWK MODE
Height: 6cm Length: 10.5cm Width: 20cm

   A dark brown hawk with bronze accents, Airazor's main colour in this mode is a dark brown with a slight sheen. She's got purple lines on her tail and wingtips representing feather colour variation, and a spattering of yellow plastic on her underside and claws, as well as two levers sticking out just behind the wings. Her beak is also silver-purple, the surrounding skin a shiny yellow along with the skin around her black eyes, which are silver-purple.

   There's more in this paint job than the original, although it's not necessarily better. This one's slightly less show accurate and the change of shade in the purple lines means the feather effect isn't quite as good. In truth this is very similar overall to the original. The level of detail of the mould is great, and the paint mask has a great attention to detail anyway. One addition to the paint job is a faint oily blue on her back and the top of her head, which works really well.

   The proportions are a little off - namely the legs are too big, mainly because they're the robot feet. I can forgive this since it would have awfully difficult to avoid this on a basic sized toy. The upper surface (wings, back, top of head) is very flat, she's in a gliding pose rather than a resting or flapping pose. I suppose they had to pick one, and the outstretched wings to allow kids to fly her around, so this is a decision I agree with. It also allows for the two gimmicks in this mode.

   The first of those gimmicks is related to the yellow levers. Pulling back on either level (or both) causes her wings to "flap". Basically they swing forward, there are swivels at the front of the wings. This does open seams where the wings connect to the body, but it's still a decent gimmick. The second gimmick ties into the first - there are panels on the wings which can fold forward to reveal blue painted mech details (this blue has a very slight sheen - it's almost matte, with far less sheen than the original). The panels form curved, pincer like protrusions on the front of the wings - pulling a lever will now cause them to come together - and they actually touch in the centre. While I'm not sure why they chose to give a hawk pincers on the wings, it's a fun gimmick.

   Poseability is about what you'd expect. The legs are quite poseable, with ankle and knee joints, but you have to be careful how you position her - she can fall forward. These ankles are substantially looser than on the original, most likely due to slightly different plastics. The wings flap as mentioned, but the gimmick is spring loaded causing them to swing back, so this doesn't really count. The wingtips can fold it, and the wings can fold up to point up. The last two are part of the transformation, but do allow wing posing to some extent. Lastly, she has a lower jaw that can open and shut, which is probably above expectations for a toy this size.

   A good bird mode for a basic toy. While it has a few problems none ruin Airazor's bird mode. The colours work and the play value is good. The original's slightly better, this paint job is more ambitious but introduces a few problems, and the ankles are a pain.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Remove the gun from underneath her tail and set aside. Swing out the robot arms. Fold the tail up, swing the groin down and straighten the robot legs. Rotate the lower legs 180. Fold the bird head down to form her chest. Fold in the wingtips and fold the wings back. Lift up the shoulderpads, position her arms and attach her handgun to either the underside of a forearm or into her hand. Incidentally, it's actually possible to leave the gun attached to the underside of a forearm in bird mode.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 9.5cm Width: 7cm

   The dark brown and bronze share this mode. The overall scheme is duller than the original, and at first glance appears closer to the show's robot mode (since the yellow is duller than the original toy's). The head, chest, shoulderpads, forearms, hands and shins are dark brown, the sides of the chest, groin, upper arms, thighs and feet are bronze. She has a white face with green eyes and a red forehead. The gun is bronze. There are screws visible above her shoulders, which are part of the wing flapping joints. They look fine there, but all a little but more silver to this mode so I thought I should mention them.

   The overall effect is good, but the green eyes and red forehead don't really match the show. Still, it's a unified colour scheme. Airazor has a good aesthetic and attention to detail in her mould. The feet, arms, groin and head all have similarly moulded mechanical details. The face looks very avian, too. Sure, it's flat, making it look more owl-like than hawk-like, but it's still clearly birdlike, thanks to a wedge shaped mouthplate that looks like a beak. The shoulderpads are by no means an essential part of the transformation - they're purely for the aesthetic of the robot mode. This really scores points with me, not only because they look good but because it shows effort in this toy's design.

   This mode has a ridiculous amount of play value for a basic toy. There's the versatility of the gun, first off. The barrel end is three-pronged, so when attached on the underside of the forearm it's a claw-weapon (although still looks like a gun at the same time). It attached very snugly to the underside, since there's two attachment points.

   Joints? You bet she's got joints. Her head is on a ball joint, as are the shoulders, elbows, hips and knees. Additionally she has hinged ankles, and three joints per knee (including the standard ball joints, swivels above them and a hinges in her lower thighs). What's more, all of these joints give her meaningful articulation. The toes of her bird claws protrude backwards to become heelspurs, but the ankles are loose, meaning you really have to leave her wings out to the sides, or she'll just flop backwards. Wings to the sides looks fine, but it'd be nice if the ankles weren't so loose. No other joints seem quite as floppy, or at least none cause any real problems.

   Overall, this is a fantastic robot mode, but it's dragged down by the ankles. The colour scheme is simple and works very well, the moulding is good, the poseability is pretty good and the play value is also terrific as a result. The gap on the top of her chest where her robot head hides in beast mode is carried over from the original, with the floppy ankles which drag this version down. Overall, though, this is still a good toy.

VARIATIONS

   None as such, but this is a straight recolour of the original Airazor.

OVERALL

   Overall this is a pretty good toy, but the original is better and was sold for less. Here in Australia the original wasn't released, unfortunately. I'd still endorse this toy, but if you have the chance, grab the original instead. If you want the video, grab Razorclaw, which differs more from it's original with no joint problems. On it's own, this is still quite a good toy, she has good colours, great play value, attention to detail and terrific engineering with the exception of those damn ankles - 8/10

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