Cliffbee.com: Jungle Bonecrusher Toy Review

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Individual Review




Name: Jungle Bonecrusher
Series: Movie Tie-Ins
Allegiance: Decepticon
Alternate Mode: Buffalo Mine Protected Clearance Vehicle

Thanks to Tiby for loaning me Jungle Bonecrusher for this review



TRUCK MODE
Height: 7.5cm Length: 14.5cm Width: 5.5cm

   A jungle green armoured truck with six dull brown tyres and two false spare tyres on the sides, which sit on brown panels (a lazy feature of this repaint), Jungle Bonecrusher is close to being a straight colour swap compared to regular Bonecrusher. Jungle Bonecrusher has metallic blue painted windows and a huge arm extending from the front up over the roof, carrying a giant kiwi green comb. As odd as that last bit sounds, the MPCV is an actual vehicle - Bonecrusher is licensed! The colours here aren't exactly normal - these things are usually the beige seen on the original, so they had to diverge here to force the repaint. The Decepticon logo on the arm is a dark purple, which makes it just as hard to see as the gold one on the original. Jungle Bonecrusher has yellow warning lights below the side mirrors and a "Bonecrusher" badge on the right side, rounding out an attractive if inaccurate colour scheme.

   I'm still pretty happy with the unusual choice of vehicle here, even if the novelty is diluted on a repaint. Bonecrusher was the first MPCV we've seen, and I suspect Jungle Bonecrusher will be the last for a while. We have seen armoured trucks a few times, but never a dedicated mine clearing truck like this. The basic idea of this truck is that it's heavily armoured, rugged, and built to both withstand and clear mines. Which is where the giant arm comes in - the comb is the unsubtle clearance device. The sculpt on Jungle Bonecrusher is pretty good - the detailing is quite accurate although some of it looks forced in jungle green. The comb has eight teeth, one less than the actual MPCV, since it needs to split during transformation.

   All six wheels roll, although the middle pair generally won't touch the table. While two wheels sit above the table slightly, Bonecrusher rolls well enough, which is the most important aspect for me. The arm, which attaches to the right side of his grille, is quite poseable. There's a rotator at the base, two hinges near the base (one back and forth, the other side to side) and a major hinge just above roof level (so that it can stow above the roof). The end result is a comb that can extend 15cm in front of the truck itself. Unlike the actual MPCV, the comb doesn't have any joints near its attachment point. However the comb splits into two - forming an attack claw (not an MPVC trait), and this claw can open and shut, with two joints per side. The joints closest to the claws themselves fold in independently while those further back work in unison, and are linked to a slider. Sliding back closes the claw and forward opens the claw.

   While the repaint is somewhat forced, Jungle Bonecrusher still has a pretty good vehicle mode. While the MPCV generally isn't green there's no reason why one couldn't be repainted for camouflage on a particular mission, anyway. The arm's poseability has some limitations since it lacks side to side motion, but there's still play value in both the comb and the claw that it becomes. My main complaint here relates to the brown panels housing the spare tyres - the fact that these panels aren't green bothers me. On that basis, I'd say this is inferior to the original, even if the colour scheme is perhaps a little more interesting,

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Fold the arm in slightly, so that it sits in the middle of his grille, swing the front wheels out and forward. Detach the rear wheels from the fenders, open out the sides of the truck, swing up the rear wheels. The sides are now arms and the wheel assemblies legs. Rotate the boots, push the spare tyres together and clip the groinplate over them, locking his legs in place. Swing his head into place. Open the claws on the front of his legs, swing out the claws on either side. Pivot the rear wheels down underneath his legs. Lift up two small panels on his shoulders, swing up the back sections of the truck (on the end of his arms), fold back the truck sides to reveal the hands, swing out his claw hands and bend the elbows. Fold the claw up on his back so that the two halves sit behind the front wheels.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 14cm Width: 16.5cm

   Bonecrusher's legs, head, groin and forearms are beige whilst his slender chest, upper arms and backpack are green. There are some "allspark blue" details and some silver here and here, while his eyes are red, The claws on the front and outsides of his feet are kiwi green. The colour scheme is less green now, and for the most part the colours gel, with the blue standing out for the wrong reasons. Overall it's still a fairly nice colour scheme, because the blue is used sparingly, but it's not really any better than the original robot mode colours, in fact the overall look is fairly similar.

   The shape here is markedly different to the truck mode. Granted there's quite a bit of shellforming here (a lot hangs off his arms), but the change is still notable. The body itself is thin and short, with much of the bulk in his limbs. While the truck was an angular block with flat surfaces, Jungle Bonecrusher's robot mode is full of organic curves with points on long limbs. I like this contrast - Jungle Bonecrusher's two different modes really convey the idea of an alien being hiding as a Earthen vehicle. The feet are claws, the arms long, rangy things ending in alien claws. The head is bizarre, looking vaguely insect like but mainly other-worldly. The upper arms stick out to the sides, the elbows bend downwards, and the forearms are quite long. His proportions are very much alien, which is in keeping with the theme of this toy. Whilst badly proportioned Transformer robot modes can be a burden, these proportions _fit_ into what the designer was trying to achieve, and hence works in his favour.

   The poseability is great. His head is on a ball joint, the shoulders swing and the elbows lift out to the sides - giving his forearms full range of movement. The claws extend thanks to a series of hinges - the extended forearms are 8cm long on their own. Jungle Bonecrusher's no doubt great at Greco-Roman wrestling. The hips are ball joints, the knees bend and there are rotators above his knees. The four claws on his feet work surprisingly well at stabilising poses, while the wheel in between also lends a hand. The heels fit nicely into the skating ability Bonecrusher displays in the movie, although the toy can't actually skate.

   Oh, and then there's the claw which can deploy overhead, adding to Jungle Bonecrusher's wrestling ability. Not a Decepticon you'd want to engage in hand to hand combat. It's worth noting that he lacks any sort of ranged weapon, mind you. The claws have quite a reach, but from afar he has no way of attacking.

   A very unusual but thematically strong robot mode with great poseability, some unusual design elements, a good sculpt and a marked contrast to the vehicle mode. If there's a shortcoming here, it's the lack of an actual weapon - but with the long claws and the extra claw on his back, I don't really mind. I will concede that the unusual concept wont fit everyone's tastes, but it _is_ well executed, and for that reason I like the robot mode. The repaint ends up being quite similar to the original, maybe slightly inferior because of that pointless "allspark blue".

VARIATIONS

   None that I'm aware of.

OVERALL

   Two vastly different modes that are only unified by the Claw Of Doom, but both modes are great in their own way. The vehicle mode brings something new to the Transformers toyline while the mine clearing comb is fun and its claw function is great. The Earthen military vehicle mode couldn't contrast more with the distinctly alien robot mode - and this fits into the movie's focus on the Transformers as aliens on our world. The play value is better than most movie deluxes, and the robot mode really is a lot of fun. The basic idea of the repaint is good, but the brown panels in vehicle mode and random blue elements in robot mode hold this repaint back - so while I'd recommend Jungle Bonecrusher to those who missed Bonecrusher, I'm not sure he's worthwhile as a repaint - 8.5/10

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