Cliffbee.com: Max B Toy Review

Toy Reviews
Individual Review




Name: K-9
Series: Beast Wars Second
Allegiance: Destron
Function: Bodyguard Captain
Alternate Mode: Cyborg Dog



WOLF MODE
Height: 11cm Length: 2.5cm Width: 11cm

   A grey dog with extensive silver and red cybernetic enhancements, Max B is a fairly extensive retooling of K-9, himself a retooling of Wolfang. The forelimbs are in the same positions as on K-9, so we can safely say that Max-B is a retool of the retool, not the original. The sides of his body and the right side of his head are grey fur while his back and left side of the head are cybernetic, while his tail is a mix of both which ends in a black spiky ball. His natural eye is white with a black pupil while the robotic one is a yellow eyestrip, and the nose between them is a realistic black colour. While there's some purple kibble underneath (the robot forearms) you don't really notice since there's so much mechanical stuff on top anyway. The grey really brings the mould back to its roots - Max B feels more like Wolfang's timberwolf than K-9's Alsatian.

   The mould has come back to its roots here - Max B is a cyborg wolf over the top of a German Shepherd which was retooled from a wolf. While the shape is closer to the dog than the wolf, the grey makes him wolf-like, and the proportions aren't as important to the overall effect as the cybernetics are. The beast surfaces are well sculpted with fur - the same fur sculpting K-9 has while the cyborb elements are intricate with wiring, hoses, rivets and the like. Highlights include jets at the rear of his backplate, the eyestrip and cooling fans on his shoulders.

   Max B's configuration is the same as K-9s - his front legs are fixed with the right leg reaching forward and the hind legs can swing, giving him some poseability. The right rear foot is the only limb which has been resculpted as a mechanical piece. The backplate itself has been entirely redone, and Max B gains a missile launcher in this backplate. Two purple crossbow shaped missiles hidden underneath the backplate - which were previously used only in robot mode - can be loaded (well, one at a time) in the front of the backplate, and there's a light grey trigger on top which not only fires the loaded missile but releases two winglets which swing forward, slicing on either side and forming a clamp above his head. While the slicing wing gimmick is of limited use, it looks cool and I appreciate it being added to the more functional missile launcher.

   A good retool with some nice cyborg details, colours that really suit the concept and some nice play value. The repainting here brings the mould back to being a wolf, and that's a good thing. Easily a better beast mode than K-9's - if far less realistic - and more fun than Wolfang's as well.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Detach the tail and backplate, Swing down the legs and fold out the back of the thighs to form the robot boots. Split the head, fold out the side panels to form hipplates, swing the robot arms out to the sides. Rotate the beast-head halves to form shoulderplates, slide down the torso. Lift up the mutant head mask if you like, fold out the handles on his backplate and tail to give Max B a shield and missile launcher. The two missiles are actually concealed in his torso, and slide out of his back.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 14.5cm Width: 12.5cm

   Now a mix of the original grey and a light grey, Max B's chest and inner thighs sporting the introduced colour. His face and arms are purple while the groin is black. There are extensive red highlights - most are fairly minor - and yellow eyes. The detail on his head is highly asymmetrical, with the right side being a cybernetic helmet and the yellow eyes looking very different. Max B wears the beast head halves as shoulderpads, his right shoulder is organic and the left cybernetic. The colour scheme is quite nice, and the uniform colours look very different from the cacophony seen on K-9's robot mode.

   The retooling of the head mans we no longer have the mutant head trick here - Max B lacks the protruding jaw which dragged down both previous versions of the mould. The chest is basically the same, along with most of the limb pieces - save for the beast hindfoot now forming his right shin. The weapons are massive, giving this guy a one-bot-arsenal feel. The tail missile launcher sits in either hand and fires via a trigger underneath, the backplate can be held as either a shield (in the underside of one fist) or a convential point-and-shoot weapon, with the launcher at the front. Both configurations look impressive although I prefer the shield simply for balance reasons. The claw formed from the winglets makes for an impressive grappling weapon.

   The proportions are the same as those of K-9, including the taller chest and various beast kibble, such as forepaws hanging off his upper arms. While this robot mode is something of a mashing of elements, this fits in with the cyborg theme well, and the chunky weapons top the theme off nicely.

   This is a pretty poseable robot mode - the neck, shoulders and hips are ball jointed while the knees and elbows are hinged, there are rotators in his upper arms complimenting the elbows. The knees and beast ankles are the same joint, so the boots aren't hampered by their clip-together nature. The feet and heelspurs are hinged, giving Max B great leg poseability. The weapons are heavy and the shield can render quite a few poses unstable, but there's enough movement in the arms and versatility in the shield's use that I can't really complain.

   A nice robot mode with the better features of K-9 retained, this time with a nice colour scheme. The weapons dominate to an extent, but they're good weapons anyway. The play value is impressive for a heavily retooled deluxe, rounding off a good robot mode.

VARIATIONS

   None as such, although as mentioned, Max B is a retooling of K-9 and Wolfang.

OVERALL

   An intelligent retooling of a mould that's already been done twice before, Max B continues to iron out flaws in the mould, and improves on K-9's disjointed colours. The cyborg theme is well executed, the added play value in his shield makes it feel like a dedicated weapon rather than just something to do with beast kibble, and the poseability of the robot mode has been retained here. Whilst this might be the trickiest of the three versions of this mould, it's also the most rewarding - 8/10

"Transformers" and other indica trademarks of Hasbro and/or Takara.