Cliffbee.com: Apelinq Toy Review

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Individual Review




Name: Apelinq
Series: Convention Exclusives
Allegiance: Maximal
Function: Squadron Commander
Alternate Mode: Robotic Gorilla



GORILLA MODE
Height: 13cm Width: 12cm

   A metallic beige and metallic claret gorilla with vacuum metallised "Transmetal" chrome on his chest, head and feet. There's a lot of sheen here - between the two metallic plastics and the silver, untinted, chrome. Somehow, Apelinq manages to avoid being garish, although it's close thing. He's a repaint of Transmetal Optimus Primal, and the colours do a good job of making Apelinq distinct, something of a feat considering that both have chrome in the same locations and use earth tone plastics. There's actually an added plastic colour here - the plates on either side of his waist along with parts of his feet and backpack are composed of a black plastic - which is, of course, metallic. Apelinq has yellow eyes and some red metallic paint applications on his chest. Unlike the Beast Wars version, there's no namebadge here. I'm pretty happy with this colour scheme. It's not quite as nice as that of Primal, but does a good job of taking a fairly distinct figure and creating a new look without using awful colours.

   This gorilla mode is a little wider than it should be, since it's essentially a reconfigured robot, but the shape is close enough. He leans forward slightly, which helps sell the gorilla. The head and chest are well sculpted, and the face is pure gorilla amongst the metallic paint. The feet are very mechanical, and contrast with the rest of this beast - which is beast like in all but texture.

   The poseability is good, with hips and shoulders that move on two axes, elbows that bend and rotators above the elbows. Primal doesn't really have much in the way of knees - his legs are very short anyway. The arm poseability is good enough to give us some dynamic poses, and you can pose him in a walking-on-all-fours ("knuckle-dragging") pose. His backpack, which stows two missiles, can lift up to form a gunrack (the missiles, when rotated, double as cannons). What's more, the missiles double (triple?) as clubs, and Primal can wield them in either hand.

   As with all Transmetals, there's a third "transport" mode. All we need to to is fold down the plates on the back of his legs, rotate them and clip together to form a hoverboard (think Back To The Future II). There's a little jet hanging off his right leg which lifts up to provide propulsion - well the illusion of propulsion. While this is a simple reconfiguration, it works well and looks great. There are even little ridged wheels underneath the beast feet which allow the hoverboarding Apelinq to roll (badly).

   A great beast mode, and a good choice for an exclusive, as Transmetals go. Most of the Transmetals carry their character quite strongly, but Apelinq feels like something other than Optimus Primal here. The untinted silver chrome is striking, and works well for an exclusive such as this. The relatively sedate metallic plastics work well, also. As you'd want from a Transmetal, the robotic texture meshes with the beast form very well. I really like the transport mode - it's both creative and clever, adding something without getting in the way of the beast mode. The poseability is good - and while the legs could have been a little more poseable, it would have been at the expense of the wonderful hoverboard.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   As I've already alluded to, the same form essentially reconfigures, but there's enough in this transformation to make it interesting, and satisfying enough for a mega. The plates on the back of the legs fold down to become the lower legs of the robot, the waist rotates, the arms open up allowing the fists to swap out for more organic fists, while the backplate lifts up and moves to the other side of the body - covering what was the beast chest and revealing the robot chest. The torso opens up, allowing a headswap, completing the transformation.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 16.5cm Width: 13cm

   Again based on beige and claret, Apelinq's claret chest features a green paint wash in the centre, which is also present on the antennae and other robotic elements on his head. The shoulders, head, groin, hands and shins are also claret while his thighs and arms are beige. His feet, shoulderpads and face are black while his eyes are yellow and his gritted teeth are white. The chrome is now limited to his kneecaps, which look a little odd, but less so than the blue outbursts Primal has. There's some chrome red still around on his shoulders as well, which helps. The colour scheme isn't as striking thanks to the loss of chrome, which makes sense when you remember that this is meant to be the organic mode. The green is a little garish, but it's a sparing highlight, so I don't mind it. Again, this robot mode feels like a different character - the black face really helps, since it's so different from the orange face Primal has.

   Apelinq has big, beefy, shoulders with black shoulderpads above the shoulders themselves while the arms are quite long, since they're the gorilla arms. Much of this robot is actually mechanical - especially the legs. The arms are mainly mechanical, although the hands are moulded with fur and don't have any sharp angles - those are tucked away inside his forearms on the gorilla fists. The chest and face also have sculpted fur, the latter also has angular antennae and crest. While the significant mechanical areas are noticeable, there's enough fur here to provide a sharp contrast with the metallic beast mode, and I'm happy enough with that. The detailing is great, as you'd expect of a Transmetal, with the sculpted fur being the highlight.

   Poseability is better than in the beast mode, since he now has full legs. The arm poseability is the same, as is the hip movement. The knees and ankles are hinged, and the footprints big enough to big Primal useful leg poseability. The missiles on his back are just as useful now - the gunrack can be activated and they still double as clubs. The claret jetpack hanging off his thigh can attach in either hand as a launcher, although the missiles have to be pushed from the back (where they protrude) to fire. I prefer the clubs or gunrack - the range of options is nice though.

   A good robot mode with impressive play value and a well defined organic feel. Apelinq's stocky look works well, and the poseability is impressive. The green is a little garish but is used sparingly, and helps separate this character from Primal, anyway. The weapon options add to this robot mode, and Apelinq can wield his weapons in a range of action poses.

VARIATIONS

   Apelinq was sold exclusive at BotCon 2000, and was most likely limited to a single production run, making variants unlikely. As mentioned, he's a repaint of Transmetal Optimus Primal - although Apelinq is packaged as a Beast Machines toy rather than Beast Wars.

OVERALL

   A good repaint of a great mould, Apelinq just manages to avoid being garish while still sticking to earth tones and looks distinct from Transmetal Primal. The gorilla mode is great, with an integrated hoverboard mode. The robot mode is just as strong. The play value is great and while I'm not sure too many will play with convention exclusives, it does ensure Apelinq can be displayed in dynamic poses. As with most convention exclusives, Apelinq's is pricey due to his rarity, so I'll stop short of recommending him - but if you're interested in this toy and have the means, he's worthwhile - 9/10

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