Cliffbee.com: BotCon 2005 Buzzclaw Toy Review

Toy Reviews
Individual Review




Name: Buzzclaw
Series: Convention Exclusives
Allegiance: Decepticon
Function: Commander
Alternate Mode: Praying Mantis-Lizard Fusion

Thanks to Griffin for loaning me Buzzclaw for this review (mine is sealed).



BEAST MODE
Height: 9cm Length: 13cm Width: 8cm

   Exact dimensions depend on pose and wing position. Buzzclaw's body is transparent purple interspersed with black, mainly on the joints and forelimbs. There are only four limbs, which are mostly black, along with his mouthpiece (which, as on all the BotCon 2005 Buzzclaw repaints, is backwards). The wings and tail are slightly transparent red with black veins, the head has some yellow paint wash and big red eyes. There is some yellow paint wash on the hindlimbs and underneath the tail, rounding out a fairly coherent yet striking colour scheme. The purple and red are both strong colours, and they clash a little, although it's not as bad here as in robot mode.

   At first glance this beast looks to be a praying mantis rather than a Fuzor, but closer inspection will reveal a lizard's legs and tail - the latter isn't so obvious thanks to the painted veins, which mimic the wings' veins. The fact that this beast has only four limbs is also reptilian. The head, forelimbs and wings are pure mantis, mind you. This repaint isn't trying to highlight the Fuzor aspects of this mould, Buzzclaw is more of an insect monster than anything else, and since he's a Decepticon rather than a Predacon, I can live with the reduced emphasis on lizard elements. There's a plunger on his back, when you push down the forelimbs spread out to the sides, the idea being that once you let go his claws clamp onto prey (or your finger). It works fairly well without being all that useful.

   The gimmick is nice if not spectacular, but there's decent poseability here which helps make a fun beast mode. The wings are on ball joints while the shoulders, hips and knees are also ball jointed. The ankles and foreclaws are hinged as well, and the tail makes a good counterweight - he'll happily stand on his legs with the claws hanging at the front.

   A decent bug monster, and the colours help with the monster theme, making Buzzclaw an interesting creature. The transparent purple is dark enough to not be garish in beast mode. The mantis aspects of this Fuzor mould dominate and the lizard aspects are just enough to give him a creepy monster feel. While I'm not sure that you'd want to play with a BotCon toy, there's good play value here for a basic. The only real complaint I have relates to the backwards mouthpiece, which is not easily fixable. The difference is fairly slight - the organic sculpting is on the inside of the piece, but it's essentially flat.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Lift out the head, fold back or detach the gimmick assembly (the back, wings and the claws), swing the beast head down as a chestplate and swing up the robot head. Swing up the shoulders (beast hip plates), rotate the elbows and fold back the lizard feet to reveal the robot fists. Split the legs hidden underneath the tailplate, rotate the boots and flip up his feet. Detach the tailplate and attach to his right forearm as a shield, if you've detached the gimmick assembly, place it in Buzzclaw's hand as a large melee weapon.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 10cm Width: 5cm

   Again transparent purple and black, Buzzclaw has a yellow tinge on his chest, a yellow face on a purple head, yellow around the elbows and on the boots with red bug eyes on his chest. The shoulders, thighs and groin are black, along with the weapon's claws. The wings and shield are red and there's a Decepticon logo stamped on the inside of his shield. Buzzclaw has white clenched teeth and unpainted eyes - since the head is entirely transparent there's a built-in lightpipe here - although it doesn't work as well as that on his "twin", Dirge. This colour scheme is somewhat strange - especially the extensive use of transparent purple, which makes Buzzclaw rather garish, and not as nice as Dirge in colour terms, despite their similarities.

   The poseability of this robot mode is great, which is to be expected. Not only do we have a poseable beast mode as foundation, but the gimmick has been detached, so it can't get in his way. The neck, shoulders, elbows, hips and knees are all ball joints while the waist turns and the ankles are hinged. The melee weapon has a few movable joints as well, and the claw pinching thing is still workable here. The weapon can get a little heavy, but it's not hard to adjust the joints to make him stable - they're all nice and tight which is very helpful.

   I prefer to leave the weapon on his back, mainly because it's unwieldy in his hand. You can have the claws over his shoulders or turn it around so that the wings are prominent on either side of the head. If the wings are up, the claws can act as third (and fourth) legs, and you do have the option of leaving the tailplate attached as a third leg as well. The wings clash with the purple of the figure itself, since both the red and purple are very strong colours, and for the same reason I'm not so keen on the shield being on his arm - I'd recommend leaving it on his back.

   Versatile and poseable, Buzzclaw is great fun to fidget with and the gimmick is again meaningful. The colours aren't as nice as those of Dirge, although as a pair there's a nice symmetry if you have them side by side. The beast feet on the back of his forearms and giant gimmick mechanism are kibbly and help make this robot mode a little cumbersome, but the colours do represent an improvement on those his Beast Wars Namesake.

VARIATIONS

   None as such, although Buzzclaw was exclusively available at BotCon 2005, either as part of a giftset (which included the bio card) or on his own in a bag sans bio card. I have the latter, although I've kept it sealed. A repaint of the Beast Wars fuzor Buzzclaw, along with the BotCon toys Virulent Clone and Dirge.

OVERALL

   As with most convention toys, much of the appeal of this toy is it's exclusivity. The colours don't work out so well, and for that reason I'd recommend Dirge instead - but they do form a good pair, if you're after them as minions - 6.5/10

"Transformers" and other indica trademarks of Hasbro and/or Takara.