Cliffbee.com: Bound Rogue Toy Review

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Individual Review




Name: Bound Rogue
Series: Robot Masters
Allegiance: Cybertron
Function: Resource Supplier
Alternate Mode: Tasmanian Devil



TASMANIAN DEVIL MODE
Height: 7cm Length: 14cm Width: 6cm

   Don't believe the hype... this is _not_ a Tasmanian Devil at all. It probably goes without saying that they're _not_ blue, but there's more than that. Bound Rogue is cobalt blue with a beige stripe down his spine, beige "shoulders" and tail and a white snout with a black nose. He's got ferocious teeth which are painted white, and visible claws on his front limbs, so he's clearly a predator, as Tassie Devils are. However they're black, not blue. The scary thing is that the white snout makes Bound Rogue more like a devil than BW Snarl, of whom he is a repaint. Colour aside, the proportions are wrong, his body is too short, he's crouching when he shouldn't be and his ears are batlike. His face is almost doglike, with a big black nose and an open lower jaw that looks dog-like. Basically, this is a mode based on the Cartoon character "Taz", which looked nothing like an actual Tasmanian Devil anyway.

   That's not to say this is a bad beast mode, it's just not a Tasmanian Devil. It does look like a marsupial, the tail is very bushy and the moulded fur give the short bushy fur look that a lot of marsupial coats have - this is especially the case for along his spine. The blue colouring is just bizarre, but works in a weird aesthetic way, and clearly isn't trying to be realistic anyway. Bound Rogue has orange eyes and red ears, which help illuminate his face, giving him something of a possessed look, that actually works for a blue marsupial. Realism aside, this is an attractive colour scheme.

   There's no animal that looks like this - blue or otherwise - although I could believe it's some sort of Dasyurid species (Dasyuridae is the family to which the Tassie Devil belongs, it includes quolls and most of the animals commonly called marsupial mice). He's believable as a dunnart, although the mouth is a little too big, the ears the wrong shape and the eyes too small. The teeth are right for a Dasyurid, and the large mouth fits the Tasmanian Devil, actually.

   Taxonomy aside, Bound Rogue's play value is reasonable for a basic sized toy. His hind legs swing at the hips, although he's too front heavy to stand on two legs, since he'll only swing up so far before the tail gets in the way. His front limbs are the robot arms, so they have lots of ball joints, including shoulders, elbows and wrists/ankles. His wrists cannot swing up, only down, which allows his downward pointing claws to slash. The lower jaw is fixed open, but it can wiggle a little - it becomes the robot mode chest plate so there are joints that aren't meant for this mode. An unintended feature is that he's actually life sized for a dunnart!

   The detailing is good - there's a red tongue painted inside the lower jaw, and fur moulded all over this toy. The digits on his feet are also clearly moulded. Lastly, the distinctly moulded teeth really help, and make him look rather ferocious. It's worth nothing that most Dasyurids don't look anywhere as ferocious as this - with the exception of the Tassie Devil - but they're aggressive hunters so it's fitting.

   The main design feature of this mode is the tail gimmick. Basically, the tail is a launcher, the rest of him being the projectile. Pressing on a button underneath the tail shoots Bound Rogue along the table. This gimmick was all but useless on Snarl, but I'm happy to report that the spring in Bound Rogue is a lot stronger, he'll fire up to half a metre (depending on the table). It's an unusual gimmick that gets old fairly quickly, but considering how much of the toy is centred around it, I'm glad they made it work this time.

   Bound Rogue's beast mode is bizarre, but bizarre works for him. Snarl tried too hard to look like a Warner Bros character and failed as a Tasmanian Devil, Bound Rogue isn't trying to be realistic, and that works in his favour. The colour scheme is appealing if wildly improbable, and the contrast on the face looks good. The play value isn't fantastic but the fact that his gimmick _works_ helps a lot. I'm not sure if Beast Wars purists would think too much of the colours, but as a repaint it's fun.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   An unusual transformation for a Beast Wars mould, since it does a lot to accommodate the gimmick. Remove the tail, open the side panels and fold them up and out. Grab the ears and gently pull them apart, which will split the head into the robot feet. Swing the robot legs down, swing the feet up and fold out the heelspurs. Fold down the lower jaw to become his chest, swing his arms down to his sides. Fold the hindlegs into his side panels. You can attach his tail to his wrist to become a gun, but it looks pretty stupid there. Lastly, attach his silver gun to the other wrist - if you can.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 10cm Width: 7.5cm

   Again largely blue, Bound Rogue has a beige groin, beige thighs and arms but blue wrists. His chestplate has a red tongue and white teeth on it, the overall effect reminds of Rhinox, who also has a jaw chestplate. His face is dark red with orange eyes, his head is blue. The orange of his eyes is the same colour as the beast mode, and tends to get lost in the red face. The same red paint masks most of the facial sculpt. Face aside this is a nice colour scheme, although the white toes don't quite fit.

   There's a fair bit of kibble in this mode. The side panels of the beast mode sit on his back, forming a considerable backpack. Between them is the core of his gimmick, which weighs his back down considerably and causes some stability problems. The larger gun is little more than the tail/launcher, looking more like kibble than a weapon, especially since it attaches to his wrist.

   Meanwhile the second gun, new to this toy, is a very angular silver pistol with a magazine on the front that gets in the way of his hands or shoulders - making it almost impossible for Bound Rogue to hold it properly. It's nice that either end work as barrels, but I'd be a lot happier if the magazine wasn't present so he could aim the thing. Keeping in mind that it doesn't fit the aesthetic of the Beast Wars mould nor his colours at all, you can safely leave it off without Bound Rogue being any worse off.

   The upside of the kibble is that there's lots of beast mode bits visible in this mode. The feet are the two head halves, and his lower jaw is on his chest as already mentioned. The hands are the front feet from devil mode and have distinct fingers with claws. The feet are an unusual design choice, reminiscent of G1.

   The play value's not so great for a Beast Wars mould. As mentioned, the backpack is quite heavy. The heelspurs do help, but you've still got to be wary since they're long and pointy and you have to position them right or his weight will tip him over. The head and waist both rotate, but the waist is almost fixed in place thanks to the mechanism parked directly behind it. His shoulders, elbows, wrists, hips and knees are ball joints, although leg posing is limited by stability. The wrists allow his hands to fold backwards, which is weird, but they can rotate sideways, which works - and almost allows him to wield his silver pistol properly.

   For the most part, this robot mode has the same strength and weaknesses as the beast mode - interesting colours, good mould and some really nifty design elements, play value let down by the gimmick's domination of the engineering. The contrast between the blue and beige makes this robot mode slightly better than Snarl's, IMO.

VARIATIONS

   Later Bound Rogues feature a small red & white stamped Autobot symbol on the left side of the chest, on the top edge of the chestplate (mine lacks this stamping)

OVERALL

   Bound Rogue's colours are probably his most distinct feature. And they work for him in a bizarre way, thanks to good contrast and some good choices. I'm actually glad he's not going for realism, since the mould just _isn't_ a Tasmanian Devil. The extra weapon is usually a plus for Robotmasters repaints but this one's a waste of time. Since he's no longer trying for (nor failing at) realism, and since Bound Rogue's mechanism actually _works_, I actually slightly prefer him to Snarl. Recommended if you're interested in Robotmasters - 7/10

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