Cliffbee.com: Claw Jaw Toy Review

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Individual Review




Name: Claw Jaw
Series: Beast Wars
Allegiance: Maximal
Function: Underwater Attack
Alternate Mode: Squid



SQUID MODE
Height: 14cm Width: 8cm

   A crimson and orange upright squid with some purple on his head and frontmost tentacles, with yellow eyes. Crimson is slightly more dominant, the orange is limited to his mouthparts and the six tentacles at the rear. The crimson and orange might sound garish, but the two colours are close enough that it's actually a fairly subdued colour scheme (it also helps that none of the shades used are that bright).

   The eyes are dome shaped and are very distinct, with the longer orange mouthparts dangling below, almost like the two halves of a droopy moustache - the face almost looks human - except for the pointy head rising above it. At any rate, the head is formed from the robot legs, and while there's a slight gap between the robot thighs, it's a pretty good effort. You may notice that the insides of the mouthparts and tentacles have suction caps moulded into them.

   The rear legs are moulded into two pieces (one per side), but the front ones have "knee" and "hip" joints (being the robot arms), which means he's easy to stand up despite being tall with unposeable rear legs. There's some room for posing, although not a lot. The front legs do move around a bit, the orange mouthparts are independently hinged. The other thing this guy does is bite - literally. There's a lever on his back, which when depressed in pushes out the smaller, inner mouthparts (silver) and spreads them. The mechanism is spring loaded so they automatically retract back in, and clamp onto anything that happens to be in their way - like a finger. What's more, the spring is strong enough they'll happily support Claw Jaw's weight!

   I really like this squid mode. Sure, part of the appeal is that it's novel - but so what? Claw Jaw's cool simply because he's not another generic sports car Transformer. But even aside from the uniqueness, it's a pretty nice looking squid mode. The other cool thing is the biting gimmick - a cool idea that works as intended.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Split the top of his head open to form the robot legs, rotate the shins forward and the feet up. Stand the robot up and rotate the top half forward. Rotate the waist 180. Swing the rear tentacles back to reveal the head a flip it up. Swing the front tentacles down to for the arms and the orange mouthparts down to form an armour skirt of sorts. Fold the lever on his back down against his torso.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 13cm Width: 14cm (will depend on positioning the "wings")

   As in the beast mode, Claw Jaw is mainly orange in this mode, with a red head, red forearms, shins and legs. He has purple detailing on his forearms, shins and head. His eyes are yellow and there's silver panels on his chest (the inner mouthparts). He has giant orange "wings" pointing out and up from his shoulders formed from his rear tentacles.

   Claw Jaw has no hands, as such, instead having tentacle ends - but of course these tentacles would have suction caps - and this is achieved with holes on the insides to which you can attach a weapon. There's an orange claw-like weapon which can be detached from the lever on his back and held in his hand. I think it's meant to be some sort of slashing weapon, but looks more like a tuning fork or something, so leave it stowed, I say.

   The overall aesthetic in this mode is still very marine - the same sort of effect that was achieved in the "Snorks" cartoon of the 80s - he looks like an underwater humanoid. The head shape and colouring is very squidlike, and there's suction caps visible on his armour skirt. Add to this the tentacle wings and smooth lines of this mode and he looks very streamlined and marine. The combination of crimson, orange and purple again works in this mode, and while it may not seem terribly marine, doesn't detract from the theme.

   Ok, the weapon sucks. But he has a ball & socket head, ball joints at the shoulders, elbows, hips and knees, as well as rotating wings and waist. Oh, and his ankles are hinged, so there's a fair bit of poseability here. The heels are a little short, so he does have a tendency to fall backwards, but with a little effort you can stand him in most poses. His wings can point out to the sides, or right back, but unless you've got something to lean him against the sides give him more stability (and it looks better, anyway).

   The biting gimmick can still be activated in this mode, although now he's clamping with his... breasts. But hey, it's play value, if not tremendous, it's better than the play value in a lot of BW basic robot modes.

   Aside from the killer tuning fork and minor stability problems, this is a good robot mode. Poseability, aesthetic and colour scheme are all good.

VARIATIONS

   There was a blue "Transmetal" version sold in Europe. he was sold as "Scuba" in Japan, and there was a recolour, also in Japan, called "Ikard".

OVERALL

   Good play value, great aesthetics in both modes, good colours and a gimmick that _works_ all make this a good toy. The originality of the beast mode also scores points, more so since they pulled it off well - 8.5/10

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