Cliffbee.com: Powerpinch Toy Review

Toy Reviews
Individual Review




Name: Powerpinch
Series: Beast Wars
Allegiance: Predacon
Function: Infantry
Alternate Mode: Earwig



EARWIG MODE
Height: 3cm Length: 16cm Width: 9cm

   A black earwig with orange legs, mouthparts and pincers, along with yellow eyes. The black is actually a transparent dark green, although you'll only really notice the transparency if you have a light source behind him, and the green will only become apparent if that light source is fairly strong. What this does do is give him a "shades of black" look, which works quite well with the insect exoskeleton sculpt on the green plastic. These colours work quite well, and whether orange and black or orange and green, both effects work quite well, with the dark and bright colours complimenting each other well.

   As already mentioned, Powerpinch's sculpt is pretty good, and the eyes are latticed to resemble insect eyes. The mouthparts and legs are moulded like beetle legs. The pincers are serrated on the insides, rounding out the impressive details.

   For those who don't know, Earwigs are small bug-like insects that live in places like compost bins, and have claws as a tail, at the end of the abdomen, and Powerpinch's claws open and close together thanks to internal gearing. His legs are moulded as single pieces on either side, and the hinges aren't strong enough to support his weight. The toy is designed to rest on it's "stomach", anyway.

   So the play value is ok although not really impressive. The head transforms into his robot arms, and has an annoying tendency to split in half, as well as a habit of flopping down, detaching from the thorax. The loose head bothers me more than the opening claws impress me, unfortunately.

   Visually, this mode works quite well, and I love the obscure choice of insect - especially since I think earwigs are curious creatures. Unfortunately the engineering lets this beast mode down somewhat. Despite the unrealised potential, it's still distinctive enough that I like this mode.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Detach the tail section, lift up the top of the thorax, fold the remainder of his abdomen into the thorax - which will deploy the robot legs - and fold down the panel on his back. Split his head to form the robot arms, swing the arms out to the sides, fold down his chest, position his feet and attach the claw-weapon to one of his hands.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 12cm Width: 11cm

   Again dark transparent green and orange, with the transparency slightly more obvious now that he's not flat against the floor (or table, etc). The green is dominant again, with the orange on his groin, thighs and upper arms, including the insect legs hanging off his shoulders. His eyes are again yellow, while his mouthparts and various details on his shins and knees are a dull white. The insect-like mouthparts are a nice touch, as are the rather insect-like boots. As with the beast mode, the colours compliment each other well here.

   The legs on his shoulders are kibbly without interfering. More annoying are the forearms, which are little more than the insides of the head-halves, and he lacks fists, instead the forearms end in holes for attaching the weapon. Otherwise it's a pretty good robot mode, I love the way his abdomen, which is almost totally concealed, peaks out as his waist and resembles abdominal muscles.

   This is a pretty poseable robot mode. The neck, shoulders, elbows, knees and hips are all ball joints and the ankles are hinged. The weapon's attachment post actually activates the opening claw, but it's rather counter-intuitive since you have to slide the main body of the weapon _up_ to open the claws and _down_ to close. The gears resist more than they should for this sort of mechanism, too, so you're more likely to detach the weapon than activate the gimmick. Still, this weapon has more play value than those of a lot of BW basics so it's not all bad news. Sure, a ranged weapon would have been nice, but this is a good concept that ties into his beast mode well, even if it misses the mark.

   This is Powerpinch's better mode, since it holds together better and looks really good. The poseability is great, which for me makes up for a rather lame weapon. The forearms bother me more than the weapon, since the latter is easy enough to set aside, and if his forearms were better I'd really love this mode. As things are it's still a decent robot mode with impressive articulation.

VARIATIONS

   None that I'm aware of although he was repainted as Vice Grip, a BotCon exclusive.

OVERALL

   Great colours, a good robot mode and a very creative choice of beast mode make Powerpinch worthwhile for Beast Wars fans. While he's not without his problems, the plusses do outweigh the negatives and the unusual beast mode will appeal to naturalists - 7/10

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