Cliffbee.com: Beast Wars Second Galvatron Toy Review

Toy Reviews
Individual Review




Name: Galvatron
Series: Beast Wars Second
Allegiance: Destron
Function: New Emperor of Destruction
Alternate Mode: Dragon, Drill Tank

Thanks to Lord Zed for loaning me Galvatron for this review (I have since acquired Galvatron).



DRAGON MODE
Height: 22.5cm Length: 28cm Width: 25cm

   A lilac European dragon with purple and black wings and legs, gold feet and gold neckfrills. Galvatron has a black crest on his head and black forks on his tail. The eyes are green and his cheeks red, while there are some silver spines on his wings. It's a varied colour scheme and while the lilac, purple and black combine reasonably well, the gold breaks it up a little. None of the colours are especially bright, so Galvatron's colours are not garish.

   There's quite a lot of kibble here. Much of it is in the neckfrills, which are little more that the halves of his drill swung out to the sides. The upper legs are quite obviously the treads of the tank, even if the links etc aren't visible here. They're big and boxy with visible red wheels. You can swing the frills down so that you don't see the hollow insides, but this reduces the room for his forelimbs.

   While the kibble is distracting, the sculpt is otherwise quite good. Galvatron's head is well sculpted with teeth, there are spines on top of and underneath the neck, backwards facing hooks along the top of his tail and Gatling guns on the knees - my personal favourite. The wings are well sculpted, even if the details aren't aimed at this mode. The bodyshape is generally pretty good, aside from the chicken legs he ends up with thanks to the huge thighs. His feet are more angular than the rest of the dragon, but still work.

   Galvatron's poseability is good, the jaw opens to reveal silver teeth and a silver hook on the lower jaw. There are four ball joints in his neck, the segments working as vertebrae. The elbows and shoulders are hinged, although the latter will be restricted if the frills are facing down. The hips, knees and ankles are also hinged, the legs will always be bent to some extent, which works for a dragon. The tail is fairly static, permanently curling up at the tip. There's a purple slider on his back, pulling it back causes the wings to swing forward. The wings can be swung forward on hinges anyway, and they can also lift up. Adding to the sliding mechanism, the black forks of his tail tip are actually missiles - you can press red buttons on the sides of the tail to fire them, although they fire backwards.

   A decent dragon mode, but by no means a great one. The shape is good and there's some nice detailing, but the kibble does hurt visually - especially the giant gold frills. The chicken legs bug me but the Gatling guns on his knees and the slider on his back are good. The tail missiles are a nice idea, I just wish they could fire somewhere other than backwards.

TRANSFORMATION TO DRILL TANK MODE

   Swing the crest forward, fold the frills over the neck and head to form the drill bit. Swing the robot feet out behind the thighs, fold the lower legs up inside the thighs, swing up into place as treads and fold down the tread panels themselves. Swing the wings forward via their manual hinges, and you have a mining style boring vehicle.

DRILL TANK MODE
Height: 13cm Length: 34cm Width: 16cm

   A boring machine type of vehicle, Galvatron's drill extends well in front of the compact treads with the tail out the back as a counterweight. The overall colour scheme is essentially the same as that of the dragon mode, since there's more than a hint of intermediate mode here. The tail _is_ the beast tail, the drill is gold with a black tip while the treads are purple with graphite panted links, below a black block. The Gating guns stick out the front of this block. The colour scheme is on par with that of the dragon mode.

   While this is an intermediate mode is many ways, this is nonetheless a fairly convincing drill tank. The tail still looks like a beast's tail, but the block treads don't look like legs - since they don't look all that much like legs in beast mode. The swept forward wings do look somewhat like wings, but the don't really detract.

   There's some good play value here, and some problems. If you push down a black plunger on his back, the drill will turn clockwise (looking down towards the front), through about 270. You can push repeatedly and the drill will spin noisily. The drill mechanism works really well, once you get the treads stabilised (I haven't managed to do so but Ty Henderson assures me it can be done if the robot groin is positioned correctly). The slider on the back isn't as useful now - the wings will come together but this can't really work as a clamp since they do so over the drill. The missiles on his tail are still available, and still point backwards.

   Again, this is a visually impressive mode - moreso than the dragon mode, in fact. There's no real kibble, I wont count the tail's organic nature as kibble, since it serves a purpose on this vehicle. The drill gimmick works really well, if slightly hindered by the treads. This is a pretty good mode for what is to a large extent an intermediate mode - although there are quite a few elements dedicated to the drill tank mode.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Fold the tread panels up, fold the robot feet down, straighten the robot legs, which includes folding down the Gatling guns to form kneecaps. Unplug the wing assembly and set aside, detach the hips and swing down, unclip the groinplate, swing the hips together and fasten with the groinplate. Split the tail, swing the halves out to the sides to form robot arms, swing up and plug in the shoulders. Flip up the head, swing the chestplate into position. Rotate the waist, swing the drill down against his back, swing back the silver anchor for the wing assembly. Fold the tail tips onto themselves to reveal his fists, rotate the arms down into position. Lastly, open out the wings to reveal serrated teeth and place the claw-weapon in either hand.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 18.5cm Width: 15cm

   A robot with mixed colours, Galvatron has lilac arms, thighs, groin and a lilac head. The face, chest and boots are purple while his kneecaps, fists and hips are black. The feet are red along with quite a lot of minor details on the upper body. His mouth is open, showing his white teeth while the eyes are green and the crest red. The chest is centred on a marble - a very unique feature, encapsulated in purple and joined by green and gold painted features. The colour scheme here is better than in either alternate mode, since the gold is not as prominent here - giving the lilac, purple and black the opportunity to blend, with red playing a good supporting role.

   There are quite a few nice signature features here - including the marble. The shoulderpads are majestic, the gold flashes on top of his chest are majestic and the Gatling guns on his kneecaps are just great. The head is very distinctly based on that of Beast Wars Megatron, with the mouth in a scowl. The mix of colours and majestic elements really anchor this figure as a Takara conceived Destron leader - they've created leaders along this theme going all the way back to Deathsaurus in Victory.

   The slider now causes the serrated jaws - formerly the wings - to clamp, and they'll clamp around a Cybertron standing in front of Galvatron. This makes for a nifty and playable handheld weapon. He doesn't have a ranged handheld weapon, but with the rapid-fire kneecaps, who cares! The missiles fire out the back of his elbows, as mentioned. So as nice as the idea is, they never really work,

   The poseability is good for such a bulky robot. The head and waist both turn while the shoulders swing and lift out to the sides. His elbows bend and rotate, but you have to be careful since the buttons that activate the missiles are on the outside of his forearms - and the missiles will easily fire across the room. The wrists rotate maybe 20 each side. His hips swing and lift out to the sides - they're not ball jointed but at a glance you might mistake them for ball joints, and the range of movement is the same at any rate. There are rotators just below the hips to augment the hinged knees, and while the feet don't really move and lack heelspurs, the drill hanging off his back can act as a third leg for action poses.

   This is Galvatron's best mode for me. The giant drill hanging off the back is the only shortcoming, visually, while the missiles being in the wrong spot is the only design shortcoming - and that's an issue in all three modes. The majestic look is great, the marble is kinda cool and the Megatronesque head works for him. The weapon works, the poseability is good and there's nothing that plain doesn't belong as in tank mode or seriously impacts on play value as in drill tank mode.

VARIATIONS

   None that I'm aware of.

OVERALL

   An interesting toy with three decent modes, but Galvatron never quite reaches any heights. The robot mode is good without being spectacular, the tank mode is good while the dragon mode has a good sculpt but too much kibble. The overall play value impressive, but I just wish the missiles worked, because the mechanism behind them is great. While this isn't a toy I'd recommend hunting down, if you get the chance and he appeals to you, I would recommend Galvatron - 7/10

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