Cliffbee.com: Fox Kids! Transmetal Waspinator Toy Review

Toy Reviews
Individual Review




Name: Waspinator
Series: Beast Wars
Allegiance: Predacon
Function: Aerial Attacks
Alternate Mode: Wasp



WASP MODE
Height: 6cm Length: 21cm Width: 20cm
Length and height will depend on pose

   A yellow and black wasp with metallic orange legs, antennae and mouthparts, four transparent red wings and midnight blue chrome on his eyes, wing veins and abdomen. There are quite a few painted red details, and extensive use of yellow paint on the abdomen (over the chrome). Waspinator's colour scheme is reminiscent of BW Buzzsaw's, making his colours reminiscent of the german yellowjacket wasp. The colours don't really remind us of the character, although the black, green and yellow were all present on the original. They're brighter than the colours of the original Transmetal, but more realistic so they manage to avoid being garish. We'll blame nature for that. While many of the Fox Kids! repaints feature fairly random colours, I really like the fact that this colour scheme is taken from a real insect.

   Waspinator has quite a lot of detail including compound eyes, a jetpack theme on the thorax and claws at the end of the legs. The legs and antennae have mechanical details along the length while the veins on his wings forms a lattice of polygons. The details are all mechanical, although the rounded eyes are a little ambiguous. The nose of his jet mode is visible underneath the head, but otherwise there's no real kibble here. The robot's gun sticks out the back as a stinger, and while it's obviously a gun it makes a good stinger.

   As with many arthropod Beast Wars toys, Waspinator has trouble standing on his own legs. While my original TM Waspinator is unable to stand on his legs, this one can stand on his legs with some effort. The legs are thin and the joints weak, but he _can_ stand. The front and middle legs are quite poseable, the rear set can only hang out the back. The main set of wings can swing back and forth and are hinged, and can flap independently (not that you'd want to lift only one) while the smaller rear wings are on ball joints, so all four wings can move around. Sure, his legs are limited but the wings are quite cool.

   The jet mode is fairly straightforward - the smaller wings swing back and lift up to become tailfins, the nose lifts up from underneath his head while the larger wings swing back and fold to become plane wings. The legs fold away - though not especially well. Considering that Waspinator's not far removed from his wasp mode this is a decent jet. The wings and tail work quite well and there's a transparent green canopy on the nosepiece making sure you're aware that this is a jet (the wings do the trick, mind you). There are yellow thrusters at the back, which aren't all that obvious - but they're meant for this configuration, and visible if you look. The beast legs are kind of annoying, and I'm not entirely sure what use a jet mode is for a guy with a flying beast mode, but for what this is it's a decent vehicle mode.

   For the most part this is a good beast mode - the chrome works well, the colour scheme is, if anything, an improvement over the good colours of the original Transmetal. Waspinator is a great mechanical wasp, with wasp colours. The play value is limited to the jet mode and wings, which is a little disappointing. His main shortcoming is the weak legs - which get in the way of the plane mode (and the robot, which I'll come to shortly). Waspinator looks good, even if he is lying on his belly.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Fairly straightforward, but there's just enough here to keep me happy. Fold the hindlegs underneath to become his shins, swing the robot legs forward, revealing the arms underneath the abdomen. Swing the arms out to the sides and detach the stinger as his handgun. Fold the beast head down to for his chest (with the jet nose folding down to become the groin). This will reveal the robot head, so nw all we need to do is swing the remaining beast legs out of the way, swing back the smaller wings and give Waspinator his gun.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 14cm Width: 20cm

   The colours are fairly similar, although we see less chrome and black, and a lot more orange. The upper half of his body is black and yellow, the boots and forearms are orange. His head is yellow with yellow painted compound eyes, his nose is red and the mouth black. I really don't understand the yellow eyes, which don't look good at all. The green wings sit out to either side while the groin has a green canopy. The face looks remarkably like Waspinator's cartoon face, although the show Waspinator never became a Transmetal. The colour scheme here _is_ garish, I'm afraid, since this robot is mainly yellow and metallic orange. The yellow eyes on a yellow face really look poor.

   Much of this robot mode is visible in beast mode - the shins are beast legs, the chest is the wasp's head and the wings are obviously part of the wasp mode. His arms and head carry the torch for the organic robot mode - the head is well sculpted and detailed (it looks great, yellow eyes aside) and the arms are organic, but don't stand out as much as the head. The ambiguous beast eyes help - even if they're nowhere near as organic as the robot's eyes. The gun is rather organic which is a nifty touch - the designer used what was available as much as possible.

   His biggest failing here is the same as the beast mode - the beast legs. The middle set hang out from the thighs rather awkwardly and the front set from his waist. While they don't hinder poseability there's no way to neatly fold them up and they're distracting. The rear set have folded away nicely and the boots come together well, Waspinator even has solid heelspurs. This robot mode's layout is good otherwise. The orange legs sticking out are far too prominent for my liking.

   The poseability here is pretty good - and close to that of the original Waspinator. The head, hips and knees are ball jointed while the elbows bend and the shoulders swing and lift out to the sides. He generally looks good holding his gun in action poses and you can drop the middle set of beast legs as stabilisers for more dynamic poses (hey at least they come in handy for something!). There aren't any gimmicks in this mode, but Waspinator is poseable enough to be fun anyway.

   While the beast legs get in the way again, the general layout is good. It's a shame that the colours work so poorly here, although this is a by-product of the yellowjacket colours of the wasp mode. More annoying, the yellow eyes have no good reason for being yellow. The mould is still solid, but these colours are inferior to his beast mode colours - and the robot colours of the original.

VARIATIONS

   None that I'm aware of, but he's a repaint of the original TM Waspinator, as mentioned.

OVERALL

   While Waspinator's not as good as some of the other Transmetals, he's still a nice toy. The yellowjacket colours work really well in wasp mode and the detailing is good, but the colours don't work too well in robot mode. The robot eyes are ugly and the beast legs really get in the way in robot and plane modes, without that useful in beast mode. The vehicle mode works fairly well despite being rather understated. While the beast mode improves on the original, the colours don't translate well to robot mode, so I'd recommend the original first - 7/10

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