Cliffbee.com: Iguanus Toy Review

Toy Reviews
Individual Review




Name: Iguanus
Series: Generation 1
Allegiance: Decepticon
Function: Terror Trooper
Alternate Mode: Motorcycle

Thanks to Sofaman for loaning me Iguanus for this review (I have since acquired Iguanus).



SUBMARINE MODE
Height: 7.5cm Length: 10cm Width: 5cm

   A purple and crimson motorbike, Iguanus has a pink undercarriage, pink gun mounted on the back of his saddle and pink rails on either side of the saddle (the robot arms), along with a white windshield on front. Otherwise he's "Decepticon" Purple". The tyres are pink plastic and are hollow on top, which looks bad if you view him from on top at all - you really want to view this guy from the side.

   The undercarriage unclips as a single piece, and the wheel struts are fairly poorly faked. The rear one lines up with the pink block that becomes his robot mode but the front one sticks out in front of the body of the toy. Still, the tyres, struts and windshield make Iguanus' bike mode unmistakable, which is more than can be said for a lot of the 1988 Pretenders.

   There's no play value here aside from the detachable gun. The wheels are solid cast, as mentioned, and there's a block in the middle of the undercarriage that allows Iguanus to stand up without any trouble.

   While it's a pretty poor motorbike mode as they go, Iguanus' bike mode is far better defined than those of other Pretenders, so I won't complain too loud. I'm not sure there are any purple and pink motorbikes out there mind you, and black tyres would have done a lot here. Iguanus is very dependant on add on pieces in this mode, too.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Remove the undercarriage and the saddle-mounted gun. Swing down and forward the side rails to form his legs and flip up the feet. Fold out the rails to form arms, swing them down to his sides. Rotate the saddle behind his head to hide it and give him his gun. You have the option of attaching the undercarriage as a backpack, although storage is the only reason you'd want to - it's better off being a handheld weapon for the shell.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 12.5cm Width: 6.5cm

   A purple robot with crimson arms, feet and head and a crimson waist, Iguanus has a silver face with a Decepticon logo on the top of his chest. There's really an overabundance of purple here, and the crimson isn't really different enough (or used enough) to counteract it. The legs are pretty much long purple sticks with very little detail, which doesn't help. There are some small thigh stickers but they don't do a lot. While it's not the worst Pretender colour scheme, considering that a purple bike is wacky, you have to wonder why they went with purple here.

   When you consider that most 1988 Pretenders have well shaped robot modes and poor vehicle modes, Iguanus' robot mode isn't as good as is should be. The arms are slightly curved, the convex shape is accentuated by their tubular shape. The leg shape is fine in itself but they're so purple, so the arms tend to stand out.

   Play value here is slightly less than you'd expect - the shoulders rotate and there's some wiggle in the hips and knees, but the head doesn't turn since the back of it is the saddle. You do get the rather meaningless option of giving him a backpack, which makes him slightly back heavy. The gun works well enough, though.

   Iguanus is great if you like purple, but otherwise there's not much here to really get into. The arm shape and featureless legs are the most distinctive aspects of a forgettable robot mode. There are worse Pretenders and this robot mode has nothing really awful about it, but there's no real pluses either.

The Pretender Shell

   A light purple humanoid iguana with some gold armour on the torso and knees and a black armour on his arms. There's a solid grey tail hanging out of an almost non-existant backpack and the detachable belt is also grey. With reptilian skin moulded all over and beady yellow eyes, this is well thought out Pretender shell.

   There are twin sails on the back, which don't quite belong on an iguana, but then I suppose this is a bipedal iguana monster. They do look very nice, as does the tail which can rotate at the base. He can hold both the gun and the bike's undercarriage, which looks like a melee weapon of some sort here. If you don't like the latter, you can stow it inside if the robot isn't in there.

   They really hit what they were trying to achieve here - Iguanus makes a very good iguana monster, the detailing is very well done and the armour, tail and fins all work in his favour, as do some decorating spines and fins on his head. This is by some distance the best part of the toy, and the only memorable part in truth.

VARIATIONS

   None that I'm aware of.

OVERALL

   The robot mode is far too sparse and while the bike mode is good for a Pretender, it's bad for a motorbike Transformer. I really do wonder why they went for purple here. Still, the novelty of a motorbike Pretender has some merit, it's more imaginative than all the generic submarines and planes. The Pretender shell is very well done and is the star here, and is the reason you'd want to get Iguanus. While he's really one for the Pretender fans, the shell will make or break this guy - 4.5/10

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