Cliffbee.com: Cybershark Toy Review

Toy Reviews
Individual Review




Name: Cybershark
Series: Beast Wars
Allegiance: Maximal
Function: Ocean Attack
Alternate Mode: Hammerhead Shark



SHARK MODE
Height: 8cm Length: 21cm Width: 10cm

   A dull blue hammerhead shark whose skin fades to beige underneath, Cybershark has menthol green spots on top and red eyes. He's a little fat for a hammerhead, I suspect Hasbro simply mashed together aspects of various shark species. Still, at least he's quite clearly a shark, not a generic critter like Snarl. The colours don't quite fit those of a shark, but I can live with them since blue beige and green is more interesting that flat grey while still close enough to work.

   There are a total of seven fins, including two small ones underneath the tail that sweep forward for some reason. The dorsal and pectoral fins are the most prominent fins, as you'd expect. The pectoral fins are ball jointed, representing the only poseability in this mode. Not that I'm asking for more - I'm just glad this thing holds together, which is more than can be said for the Transmetal 2 version of Cybershark.

   The small backwards fins prevent Cybershark from laying flat - he'll tip forward. The pectoral fins do help - you can stand him nose up or horizontal if you swing them forward. Granted, the latter is hardly natural, but neither is a shark on a table. Adding to the play value is a launcher mechanism. There's a beige button on top of his head which fires... his head... well most of it. The front of the upper jaw, hammer and all, will fire - and it's a fairly powerful launcher. What's left afterwards is a silver robotic upper jaw which has silver teeth. Both jaws actually have these teeth, but you don't really see them with the hammerhead over the top of them. For some reason you can lift the launcher (and the hammerhead projectile) up 90.

   One the one hand there are lots of little problems here - like the small fins, muddled anatomy and strange launcher. On the other, this is a nice looking shark mode, and there aren't many shark Transformers out there (even fewer that are trying to be realistic).

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Remove the missile-head and the tail. Open the side panels to reveal the robot stuff - pull down the legs which will drag the robotic shark head down to form his chest, along with revealing his head. Flip up his feet, pull out the arms. You can attach the hammerhead as a very kibbly warhammer and the tail as a claw-weapon (there's a handle along with a silver upper claw that pops out).

   Cybershark is very much a shellformer, which I can deal with - it _works_ unlike his Transmetal 2 incarnation. The detachable pieces bother me though - lost missiles are one thing but a lost head and tail are another matter entirely.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 16cm Width: 9cm

   Blue and beige are again his main colours, mixed across the robot mode, with some rust paint inside the shark-body panels that sit behind the shoulders. I suspect the rust is meant to resemble flesh, which is a little disturbing - but at least it's not blood red. His face features a shark-like mouth with pointy white teeth and red eyes. It's rather corny but it does fit the toy (would have been more appropriate on a bad guy, mind you). The blue and beige mix well while the rust works with the two main colours, so I have no complaints about the colour scheme. I'm glad the silver on his torso doesn't really come to the fore at all.

   Since everything tucks away inside the shark there's a lot of poseability here. The shoulders and hips are ball joints with swivels below them while the ankles, knees and elbows are hinged. The head is on a ball joint that's unrestricted, although the head is surrounded by shoulder blades. The feet have compact yet effective heelspurs, which is a good thing when you consider how much is hanging off his back (the dorsal fin and the side panels). So long as you've got the feet underneath the centre of gravity you're set - the effective poseability is impressive.

   There are two beige missiles that store in his back, which can clip into the launcher now on his chest - this is probably why the launcher lifts up. I'm not really a fan of that function though - a handheld launcher would have been much cooler. Still, the missiles work very well as handheld clubs and have moulded shark mouth, eyes and gills! I recommend giving him at least one club, with the claw, or just two clubs. You have the warhammer option, but it's rather forced - you're better off just setting the head kibble aside.

   The head is kind of goofy, but it's certainly distinctive and fits with the whole shark thing. Poseability and play value are a definite plus, and the robot mode's versatility justifies the relatively simple transformation. The weaponry is a mixed bag, but the fact you get options is in itself a good thing.

VARIATIONS

   None that I know of. Hellscream and Sharpedge - both Japanese toys - are retools of Cybershark.

OVERALL

   Something of a mixed bag, Cybershark has some flaws in both modes, yet both modes still manage to work fairly well. The robot mode is his better mode by virtue of great play value. Being the only organic shark Transformer has to count for something also, so if you're a Beast Wars fan I'd recommend Cybershark - 7/10

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