Cliffbee.com: BotCon 2009 Razorclaw Toy Review

Toy Reviews
Individual Review




Name: Razorclaw
Series: Convention Exclusives
Allegiance: Decepticon
Alternate Mode: Lion

Thanks to fatbot for loaning me Razorclaw for this review



LION MODE
Height: 12cm Length: 26.5cm Width: 10cm

   A yellow robotic lion with an orange mane, Razorclaw has black and red forelegs and lower hind legs. He's a repaint of Leobreaker representing G1 Razorclaw. The colours do a job good of representing the character, even if there is a bit too much yellow. The excessive yellow is a little garish, but that's the least of this toy's problems. There are two Purple stamped Predacon logos, but they're on the elbows of the forelegs, which makes them awkwardly positioned (and it doesn't really make that much sense in robot mode, either).

   This is a fairly awkward looking lion, in that the limbs are fairly static looking, there are claw weapons crudely hidden on the front of the forelegs and the face looks down. The limbs look like they're destined to become robot limbs - which they are. What's really sad about this is that the robot limbs are awful. The mane is well sculpted, the curved charcoal tail is nicely done. The colours work well enough that this lion mode works well enough.

   The poseability here isn't so good. The hips and shoulders swing and his front paws are on hinges, but the digitigrade rear paws are not, so there aren't really any walking or pouncing poses available that look anything like the graceful gait of cats. Razorclaw either looks static or awkward. You can press down on a black patch on his forehead, causing his lower jaw to open a little - but it doesn't open much and snaps shut as soon as you release the fairly significant force required to activate this feature. The shape of his forehead means you have to do it from the front, too, which means your hand's going to cover the mouth, making the entire thing pointless. As with most BotCon toys, the electronics have been stripped - but then they were underwhelming on this toy anyway. The key gimmick is accessible here, but it gets in the way, so I'll come back to it in robot mode.

   While the tribute comes out well, there's a little too much yellow here. And not even a well executed G1 homage can disguise this mould's awkwardness, I'm afraid. It _is_ true to the Dawn of Futures Past Razorclaw first introduced in the BotCon 2006 Comics (on which this toy is based). The play value is stunted and the bodyshape is poor.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Well, it's not stand up and fiddle with the hands, but it's close. Remove the tail, straighten the hindlegs and fold down heelspurs. Open the waist panels, rotate the front down to form the chest, stand him up. Open the hatch on the mane to reveal the head, pull the arms out sideways, rotate the forearms, plug the tail into the inside of either hand and try to imagine that it's actually a whip.

   This is probably the simplest mega/voyager transformation I've come across. Even Transquito has a primitive automorph. Frankly, I expect more of basics/scouts in anything after Beast Machines. And there are basics from before Beast Machines that do a better job.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 20.5cm Width: 13.5cm

   An orange, red, black and yellow robot with a purple Predacon logos on his elbows, Razorclaw has a yellow head with a red face. The head is completely resculpted, to resemble that of the G1 Predacon. The colours, as in his lion mode, are all mixed around (again with orange limited to his mane. The colour mapping only loosely lines up to that of the G1 toy, but lines up very closely to the comic incarnation on which this toy is based.    The bodyshape here is pretty bad. The arms hinge outwards just above above the elbows, and there are clear gaps visible from the front - it's one of the weirdest pieces of engineering I've seen on a Transformer. The reason behind it is to allow the arms to clear his hips, but the sane thing to do would have been to make his arms pull out to the sides during transformation. The hips are quite wide, since the legs attach to the outsides of the groin piece. There are yellow panels hanging off his waist, which don't really look like armour - just like crap not dealt with very well. Razorclaw's arms are far too long - they come down to his knees, and those knees are slightly lower than they should be. His head is sunken into the torso slightly, with a conspicuous plate on top, although this isn't as noticeable as on Leobreaker thanks to the resculpted head and choice of yellow, which overwhelms this now trivial flaw.

   The poseability here is pretty disappointing. His head turns a little while his waist is fixed. The shoulders rotate on ratcheting joints, the elbows rotate and hinge - perhaps more importantly you can bring those awful hinges in if you swing the shoulders up. His hands are the claws, and move like claws, so there's not much real poseability, even if there are thumbs of sorts which can move around. As I've already mentioned, the tail plugs in on the inside of his hands, but doesn't really look much like a weapon. His leg poseability is terrible - the hips swing while the knees, heelspurs and feet are all hinged, but with lowset knees and limited hips, these hinges don't allow for many natural stable poses.

   There are slots on the back of his forearms into which you can plug his transparent purple Planet Key. Doing so releases yellow claws which are visible on the outside of his forearms, which end up over his claws as Wolverine-style claws. Now, the idea is good and they flip out nicely, but they flip out over claws, so they end up redundant, which is a shame. They can sort of flip out in beast mode, but the table gets in the way - and the Wolverine-effect here is nice, despite their redundant nature.

   A bad robot mode with poor poseability, a terrible weapon and bad proportions. The key gimmick is peripheral but offers the most interesting aspect of his play value. The resculpted head is admirable, but nothing was ever going to save Razorclaw from this abysmal mould, I'm afraid.

COMBINATION

   Razorclaw can transform into a giant claw-like weapon that clips onto Optimus Prime's arm - or indeed Megatron's. It's essentially his robot mode with the head stowed and the arms plugged into his feet. It's not a very compelling combination, despite a few dedicated aspects of this toy - a plug on his back and the detachable forearms.

VARIATIONS

   None that I'm aware of. As Razorclaw was sold exclusively at BotCon 2009, he was likely limited to a single production run, making variants unlikely. A retool of Leobreaker as mentioned, he also shares the mould with Nemesis Breaker.

OVERALL

   While this repaint and retool does a good job of representing the G1 character - and an even better job of representing the Dawn of Futures Past Razorclaw (which used the Leobreaker character model) - it's ultimately disappointing as the mould used is just so poor. As a representation of that character this toy works as intended, but the choice of mould meant this was never going to be a good toy. Both modes are awkward at best with poor poseability and underwhelming gimmicks, the beast mode is garish. The third mode is underwhelming yet asks a lot of the toy. Razorclaw's transformation is laughable at this size. An exclusive which I can only recommend as part of the complete set (or as part of the Timelines set) - 4/10

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