Cliffbee.com: Longhorn Toy Review

Toy Reviews
Individual Review




Name: Longhorn
Series: Beast Machines
Allegiance: Maximal
Function: Warrior
Alternate Mode: Technorganic Bull

Thanks to Excelon Zero loaning me Longhorn for this review.



BULL MODE
Height: 6.5cm Length: 13.5cm Width: 6cm

   a very deep red bull (almost brown) with a gold tail and gold upper forelegs. The big horns are painted silver while there are some gold lines here and there. There's a red mane of sorts on his back, sculpted as fur. His eyes are transparent green and there's a die cast metal ring through the nose - possibly the only die cast in the Beast Machines line. The colours work fairly well, and the deep red is unusually realistic for the rather abstract Beast Machines - especially the Maximals. The transparent green belly doesn't look too good, but it's not at all dominant here.

   The technorganic theme is reasonably well done here, with mainly mechanical detailing on a bull lacking angles and covered in curves rather than straight lines. There are gold ribs on either side of the torso, the tail is a mix of organic and mechanical sculpt. The ring in his nose is a great touch.

   There's a single gimmick here, which isn't too impressive. The mane lifts up to become a lever, pushing it down causes the head to lift up, and it'll spring down when you let go. It works as intended, but the movement is slight, so the goring effect intended doesn't really come off. The idea is nice, mind you. The other feature here is a panel that lifts up on the rear left leg, revealing a green spark crystal.

   The poseability is so-so. All four hips are ball jointed, but only the rear knees are similarly articulated - the front legs have hinges which are only useful for transformation. All four hoofs are fixed, so the end result is a lack of leg poseability. The head can swing about 15 to either side and the tail lifts up.

   This beast mode is fairly good compared to some Beast Machines Maximals, but it never reaches any great heights. The gimmick is a decent idea, the colours are good - aside from that green tucked away underneath - and the ring in his nose is cool. However the poseability is disappointing which prevents Longhorn from really standing out. This is his better mode, however, since it lacks any serious flaws.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Straighten the hindlegs to form his legs, rotate the boots and fold down the feet. Pull out the green belly, extend the forelegs to form arms, push the green section back in to form his chest. Fold up the hooves. Swing the bull head down into the gap in his chest, flip up the robot head.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 13cm Width: 7.5cm

   The green now dominates his chest while the head, legs and the kibble trying to be his hands are deep red. The arms are gold, along with various details here and there. Longhorn's eyes are transparent green with a very poor lightpipe, flanked by red paint. His mouth si silver and the horns sit on either side of his head, doused in gold and red paint. The ring sits on his chest.

   While there are some well well-positioned elements here, the overall look is very messy. The ring again looks nice and the horns are a good idea, but they have hollow undersides, so they look bad despite being painted. The green chest just looks out of place compared to everything else - and frankly it didn't need to be transparent. The random use of transparent plastic is something that has always bugged me about Beast Machines, and Longhorn is a great example of how not to use it. There are no hands, just the folded up hooves on the front of his wrists. More than anything else, this ruins the robot mode. There are moulded fingers on the joints, but they're unpainted so they end up being easily dominated by the hooves, which do not look like weapons - although I suspect the designer hoped they would.

   Longhorn's articulation is decent but the poseability isn't so good thanks to some silly design choices. The head can turn though 360, but to get enough clearance you need to lift the bull's head up. He's permanently looking down, I don't see why the transformation joint wasn't designed to move a little further - it would solve both of these issues. The shoulders, elbows, hips and knees are all ball jointed, but there are no real weapons (nor proper hands) so no arm poses really do anything useful. The heelspurs and feet are both very short - while I can deal with short heelspurs since they're the rear hooves, the feet fold down and needed to be longer. The small footprints deny Longhorn most action poses. So there are eight ball joints that can't do anything. The waist is fixed.

   A poor robot mode, partly due to the stupid use of transparent green which doesn't work, and partly because of lazy engineering. The lack of proper hands is the real killer for me, because Longhorn just feels half done as a result. There's really very little here to excite. He has lots of ball joints, but so do about fifty other Beast era figures, and most actually get to do something with them.

VARIATIONS

   None that I'm aware of.

OVERALL

   While the bull mode has some merit, including that nifty little nosering, this is a disappointing toy. The robot mode is just awful, with a green plastic that should never have been used, terrible arms and feet which are far too small killing the poseability. There's just far too much underdone here. Unless you really dig noserings, Longhorn is a very unexciting toy - 2/10

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