Cliffbee.com: Mach Kick Toy Review

Toy Reviews
Individual Review




Name: Mach Kick
Series: Beast Wars Neo
Allegiance: Cybertron
Function: Express Courier
Alternate Mode: Horse



HORSE MODE
Height: 13.5cm Length: 14.5cm Width: 4.5cm

   An indigo horse with charcoal mane, front legs and legs. Mach Kick has a white patch on top of his nose and white eyes with black pupils and a black tail, made of polyester strands. There are some red pieces sticking out here and there, notably the lower jaw (which you only seen while open) and his rump. While indigo isn't a colour we find on horses, it's meant to give us that shimmering black coat (think Black Beauty), and so this colour scheme is actually quite realistic.

   While Mach Kick is dark and his colours fairly straightforward, calling this a lazy design would be selling Mach Kick short. There are moulded veins on his neck, cheeks and legs - with multiple veins on his legs. There are subtle ribs moulded onto the sides and the mane has sculpted hair. He has lips, nostrils and hoofs. While the red patches at the back ruin the view from one side, the others all look fine, despite the right side having some visible screws.

   The knees are hinged as are the ankles while the front hips are ball jointed, allowing for some leg posing. He's not poseable enough to gallop but a cantering pose can work. The red lower jaw can open, although it doesn't look so great as a jaw. The mane is actually a scissor-lift style gimmick, pushing down on the back of the mane will cause the head to push forward around 15cm - and the open mouth makes a little more sense as an attack weapon. While it's not the best gimmick ever it doesn't get in Mach Kick's way.

   A good horse mode with a nice yet subtle sculpt, clever colours and useful leg movement. The bodyshape is pretty good, and the fibrous tail is a nice touch. The head gimmick is a little silly but since it'll stay out of the way if you don't want to activate it.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Unfold everything, basically. Mach Kick is very much a shellformer, with the hindlegs folding down to become boots while a total of four panels open out to reveal his torso, thighs, left arm and head. The head and neck of the beast become his right arm, the front legs and back of the horse end up as kibble on his back, with two hipplates. The tail actually attaches to a white tomahawk, which becomes a handheld weapon. Transforming him back to beast mode is a real b*tch - ranking behind only Big Convoy/TFU Nemesis Prime for difficulty.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 12cm Width: ~14cm (depends on pose)

   The blue gives way to red and while now - Mach Kick's chest, waist, left forearm and feet are red while his waist, while the bulk of his boots, the right arm and the various kibble is blue. Oh, Mach Kick has a black pony tail, again composed of polyester strands. His mouth is silver and his eyes light green and there's some gold on his waist and thighs. Mack Kick sports a red Cybertron (Maximal) spark crystal on the outside of his left thigh. The colour scheme is both striking and attractive, and with the pony tail and tomahawk there's a distinct Native American theme here.

   Mach Kick (along with Archadis, who was repainted as Airraptor, is a winning entry from a fan design competition, which I guess explains why he's such a shellformer. The robot mode ends up being quite good though - kibble aside. The kibble on his back is quite obvious but manages to keep out of the way for the most part. The right arm is respectable considering it's a beast head - that red lower jaw is now a claw (its real reason for being there). The hip plates are quite visible but are far enough away from his hips to not get in the way of his legs - and they sit on two ball joints so moving them out of the way is easy.

   The beast mode might be fairly smooth but there's a lot of detail here - especially on the face and chest. The tomahawk is quite detailed as are the arm and leg aspects that aren't visible in horse mode. The tail hangs off the bottom of his tomahawk which is a little odd - but the bio card gets around this by telling us it doubles as a whip. The shins sport a pneumatic rod theme, making sure that there's nothing left blank.

   There's a sackful of poseability here. The head turns, the shoulders, hips, knees, left elbow and _waist_ are ball jointed while the right elbow and wrist are hinged (the latter is where the head attaches to the horse's neck). The rear hoofs form heelspurs and with such poseability in his lower body Mach Kick can assume a wide range of positions - it's not difficult to stand him on one legs, which is pretty good for a toy with a backpack like Mach Kick's. Granted a lot of his poseability exists so he can twist and fold back into his horse shell, but the end result is still a really poseable toy.

   We only get one gimmick here, and it's fairly obviously the right arm. The scissors jointing gives him an attach claw, and while it's cheesy it works well enough. I much prefer this beast head arm with a successful gimmick than nothing all - it helps justify the lack of a proper arm. The tomahawk is a much cooler weapon, but Mach Kick can do something with both arms at least.

   Complex, detailed and incredibly poseable, Mach Kick is a pretty damn good effort, and while he's very much a shellformer, there's no denying that this is a clever toy. The Native American theme is done quite well and while there's a lot of kibble here, Mach Kick manages to shine despite the baggage. The biggest drawback of this mode - transforming him back into horse mode is a pain in the skidplate.

VARIATIONS

   None that I'm aware of.

OVERALL

   A complex shellformer with a fantastic horse mode and a very playable robot mode despite the kibble it carries. The robot mode is detailed and clever and while the gimmick is silly, he manages to overcome that. The transformation is annoying but a little cleverer than the more frustrating Big Convoy. If you don't like shellformers Mach Kick might bother you - but as the only equine Transformer this is a toy I recommend for Beast Wars fans - 8.5/10

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