Cliffbee.com: Dinotron Toy Review

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Individual Review




Name: Dinotron
Series: Beast Wars Neo
Allegiance: Maximal
Function: Ground Infantry
Alternate Mode: Pachychepalosaurus



DINOSAUR MODE
Height: 12.5cm Length: 18cm Width: 7cm

   A green Pachychepalosaurus with black spots all over, black claws, black forelimbs and a yellow dome on top of his head. Dinotron has red eyes and silver painted teeth. He's got robot kibble in the shape of black robot feet on his throat, but there's enough black on this mode that it blends in reasonably well.

   It's a Pachychepalosaurus that used to be a Velociraptor, since Dinotron is a retool of Dinobot via Hardhead of Beast Wars Neo. The head, lower jaw and belly have all been remoulded. The most significant change being the bony dome which these dinosaurs had on their head, which has led to the entire head being redone, although the skin pattern is similar. There's an added gimmick, which I'll expand on later. Dinotron still has the random post on his back that Dinobot and Grimlock had.

   Poseability is reasonably good. His forelimbs are on ball joints, and while they're restricted to some extent, they move in pretty much any direction you'd expect a bipedal dinosaur's to move. His lower jaw opens and shuts, to reveal black inside his mouth and push the dome on his head out. It slides out maybe half a centimetre, and slides back in when you close his mouth. I suspect this is meant to be a headbutting sort of action, although it's not really very threatening. Still, it's cool they engineered this - it's fun and makes Dinotron (well, Hardhead, actually) more than just a repaint. Lastly, the hip are swivels with hinges that swing outwards, the knees bend and the front and rear toes on the feet are hinged.

   Most of the weak points Dinobot had are gone now. The colour scheme is bright, but it's not bad by any means, and the heavy use of black extends to the spots that were unpainted on Dinobot, that made his beast mode look unfinished. The badly coloured underbelly is gone, also. Throw in the poseability and headbutting gimmick, this is a good beast mode.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Detach the tail and set aside. Fold the tail's base over onto his back, fold the robot legs out from his belly, rotate them and fold down the feet. Flip out the heelspurs, rotate the side panels 180. Flip the beast head down over his robot head and onto his chest. Fold the front claws up onto his back, rotate the arms down to his side and fold down the claws on his hands. Open the two halves of his tail, detach the sword inside if you like, arm him.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 13cm Width: 7cm

   The green and black colour scheme is extended into robot mode, with the addition of more yellow. The yellow dome was the only yellow on his Pachychepalosaurus mode, but Dinotron now has yellow on the outsides of his shins, as well as on his blade weapon. His head is green, his face maroon and his eyes yellow.

   The head's colour scheme looks like he should be a Decepticon, but I can excuse that, since it's got a great level of detail - his mouth and nose are clearly moulded - the head has been totally redone for this retooling, in fact. The chest is his beast head, and you can still partly open the lower jaw, pushing the dome on his chest out.

   Dinotron has some problems in this mode, all carried over from the original mould. His shoulders are higher than they should be - on either side of his head. The head itself is kind of surrounded by torso - there's a ridge behind it and the side panels on either side with the shoulders attached. His forearms are formed from the Pachychepalosaurus legs, but rotated. They went for the cheap option of putting holes on one side of these limbs, and so his forearms have big holes on the sides, which looks pretty bad, and was easily avoidable. He doesn't have actual hands, rather he has opposable claws, which can wrap around his weapons, so they end up working reasonably well.

   Dinotron's got a fair bit of poseability in robot mode. His shoulders are swivels, but have hinges so he can lift his arms to the sides. His elbows are also dual joints, and his opposable claws open and shut. His head is on a ball joint, but it's got a lot of plastic around it so it's effectively a swivel. The hips and knees are also ball joints, and these are far less restricted. Add the hinges on both his feet and heelspurs and you've got a very poseable robot mode.

   The black sword sticks into a hole between his claws and follows the line of his arm - he holds it as a stabbing weapon, not a slashing weapon. The other weapon is a green spinning blade affair, and the two halves of the tail fold out to form a large blade with a yellow top surface. What's really cool about this is that pushing the button on the base of this weapon in causes the blade to spin quite rapidly for about 3 seconds. It doesn't go on and on like Dinobot's in the cartoon unless you constantly push the button, but it's certainly an effective close quarter weapon, that would beat up any opponent in reach.

   A good colour scheme and great play value mean that while this mode has proportion problems, it's a fun robot mode. The shins are retooled, the head has been completely redone, the chest is also a different mould, so while it's clearly based on Dinobot, Dinotron has his own look in robot mode. Still, it'd be nice if they'd fixed some of the problems in this mould's robot mode this time around.

VARIATIONS

   None as such, but he's a repaint of Hardhead who is a retool of Dinobot/Grimlock. The mould has been revisited many times - including Dinobot, BW Grimlock & TFU Grimlock amongst others. As mentioned he is a repaint of Hardhead from Beast Wars Neo. Thrustol from Beast Wars Second is a major retooling of this mould.

OVERALL

   They've dealt with a lot of the mould problems in Pachychepalosaurus mode, most of the robot mode issues still remain, however. The retooling is significant enough that this is not just a repaint, which increases Dinotron's appeal. He's got a much better colour scheme than Hardhead's purple and aqua too, so if you want one version of this mould, I recommend Dinotron over his harder to find predecessor. Whether or not you'd want both him and Dinobot is up to you, but he is a good toy in his own right - 7/10

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