Cliffbee.com: Bazooka Toy Review

Toy Reviews
Individual Review




Name: Bazooka
Series: Beast Wars Neo
Allegiance: Destron
Function: Fortress Guard
Alternate Mode: Ankylosaur



ANKYLOSAUR MODE
Height: 5.5cm Length: 16.5cm Width: 6.5cm

   An orange ankylosaur with grey legs and an extensive pattern of green spines on his back and sides. Bazooka has a white bony club on his tail, which was common to many ankylosaur species. The orange with grey and green looks pretty good since latter two are fairly peripheral. The white bony club looks a little odd, but then it's an unusual anatomical feature. I would have preferred to see it done in off white rather than such a clean white, but this is a fairly minor issue really. Rounding out a decent colour scheme, Bazooka has small yellow eyes.

   The ankylosaurs were a group of dinosaurs with armour plates on their backs, I guess filling a similar ecological niche to the modern armadillos, and Bazooka's body is a well sculpted series of orange plates with lines of green spines down the back. The sculpt is to BW Neo's usual standard, although he lacks the finer sprayed detailing some of the toys (usually larger than basic sized) have.

   Bazooka is fixed into a walking pose, with his body arcing around to the left. His left legs are together and the right legs apart, which is fairly natural for most quadrupeds as they walk (cats are one exception). He's pretty much unposeable, stuck in this walking to the left pose. While it's not a bad pose, it does mean that Bazooka only displays well from the front or the left. The pose is nice, really, but I would have preferred poseability.

   There are two action features here, mind you. One of the spines on the right side of his head is grey, pushing it forward causes his mouth to open, revealing six moulded, unpainted teeth. Granted you can open the mouth manually, but it's still an action feature. The other feature is more impressive. If you lift up his tail, a spring in the base will cause it to flip down rapidly, whacking the bony club on anything in the way.

   I do really wish there was some poseability here, and while the static beast is at least in a pose, it does hold him back. The tail gimmick is decent and the colours are nice enough. As with some of the other BW Neo basics, everything fits together very closely, leaving a fine margin of error - lining his neck up to the front of his body is especially tricky. I do like the unusual choice of animal used here - like many BW Neo toys, Bazooka's beast mode is memorable for the choice of creature alone. While it's not a great beast mode, there's certainly enough innovation here to make Bazooka enjoyable.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Unfold him, basically. The shell splits in half, the torso, legs and head are all folded away underneath. The beast head becomes the left arm while his rear right foot becomes the right arm. The front of the shell hangs off his left shoulder as an armour plate, the rear half - with tail - hangs off the right upper arm. There's a small grey warhammer which stows underneath the tail, unplug it and insert it into his right hand.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 11cm Width: 11cm

   A grey and orange robot with some green, some white, and lots of beast stuff hanging around. Bazooka's torso, thighs and arms are grey while his boots, hands, breasts and head are orange. There are some white markings on his chest whilst his face is white with red eyes and a green helmet on top of his head. There's a purple Destron spark crystal on his waist. The colour scheme is quite nice, and the kibble actually looks good.

   As with most BW Neo toys, the designer thought about what to do with the panels hanging off the robot mode. The left hand is his beast head, which opens and shuts, the armour shell basically looks like a shield, and for something so curved, it gives the shoulder decent clearance. On the other side, the armour sits on a small pole, giving the shoulder full motion. And with the club at one end, it's a mean looking melee weapon! Bazooka might carry some baggage, but he uses it to his advantage, which is really good to see.

   The poseability is fairly good here, although the kibble does get in the way a little. His neck, shoulders, elbows, hips and knees are all ball joints while his feet and heelspurs are hinged. The armour plates naturally do limit the arm posing, but not as much as it would appear at first glance. With a little patience, the legs can be posed in a decent range of poses, even with the upper body weight.

   The clubtail mechanism still works here, although it's not really as effective since it snaps in towards his body. The warhammer looks really cool, mind you, and has a second handle so he can hold it sideways like a gun, if you prefer. With the range of posing, nifty weapons and armour and a good sculpt (featuring an armour head which carries the beast mode theme over, as on most BW Neo toys), Bazooka displays really well in this mode.

   Other than the limitations placed on his shoulders from the kibble, there's not really anything to complain about here. Even then, the designer has done a great job of making sure Bazooka can still move around. He looks great and is surprisingly versatile, with clever weaponry. I suppose a left hand would have been nice, but the opening jaw means that the beast head isn't just a solid lump, rather a claw. Thanks to the play value, this is Bazooka's better mode, despite the stuff hanging off him.

VARIATIONS

   None that I know of, although he was repainted and released in the USA under the Transformers: Universe line as Snarl.

OVERALL

   A great robot mode with a great range of posing and a decent if rather static robot mode make Bazooka a fun toy. He's very much a shellformer, but as with many BW Neo toys, he deals with the panelling well in robot mode. The robot mode is really quite impressive, in truth, and the beast mode is worthwhile thanks to the interesting pose and choice of creature. Quite a lot of thought has gone into making him work well at the basic level without being too simple. While he's a little tricky to find, Bazooka's not actually that expensive (the American repaint tends to fetch more, actually), and if you like the BW Neo design style, I'd recommend Bazooka - 8.5/10

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