Cliffbee.com: Psycho-Orb Toy Review

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Individual Review




Name: Psycho-Orb
Series: Robot Masters
Allegiance: Destron
Function: Inspection
Alternate Mode: Armadillo



ARMADILLO MODE
Height: 4cm Length: 13cm Width: 5cm

   A brown armadillo with a gold painted stripe down his back and on the ridge of his head, Psycho-Orb has a grey tail and yellow claws. The colours are quite close to both Armordillo and Bump, the previous versions of this mould, but still different enough to give Psycho-Orb his own look. The colours are slightly more realistic than the previous two (which are still believable), and closest to the actual colour of a Giant Armadillo Priodontes maximus - the species this mould is based on.

   Psycho-Orb's anatomy is pretty accurate to that of P. maximus, which is nice. His long front claws are slightly hooked, while the Giant Armadillo's are slightly more hooked. Psycho-Orb has moulded scaling on his back, representing the scutes (bone plates) of the Giant Armadillo's shell and a short think tail, which is slightly shorter than on the real animal. He has pointy teeth protruding from his mouth, painted white, which isn't at all accurate - they tend to eat mainly insects and have stubbly teeth to grind the exoskeletons. Despite the teeth, this is a pretty decent attempt, and I'm pretty happy with both the effort and unusual choice of animal. His eyes are light green, and this fits his colours fairly well.

   The play value here is very limited. While P. maximus is fairly flexible considering it has a bone shell on it's back, Psycho-Orb's main body is fixed. The front claws have ball joints on the elbows and shoulders, the shorter hindlegs can swing back and forth and the tail can swing up and down on a hinge. The last one isn't terribly lifelike, mind you, since the hinge is really here for the transformation. The curved tail means you can hang Psycho-Orb from a cord or string (or whatever) like a bat if you really want (c8

   Aside from the silly teeth, my only other complaint here is the fact that his hindlegs are detachable weapons, which means that they detach fairly easily, and run the risk of being misplaced. There's a little undercarriage junk but he's close enough to the ground (or table) that it's not really an issue. The colour scheme is the best this mould has seen, although the two previous were still quite good. Psycho-Orb wins out on realism, even if brown isn't the most interesting colour.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Being a very early Beast Wars basic mould, Psycho-Orb has an auto-transform gimmick. Lift the tail up and he transforms. All you're left to do is swing down the arms, position his feet so he'll stand and detach the weapons and place them in his hands (or to the side, I suppose). While the auto-transform takes the challenge out, I'm glad that it works fairly well, and that things don't get stuck halfway as on some of the other early basics.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 10cm Width: 5cm

   Again brown and grey, Psycho-Orb now has purple eyes. The beast head is now his chest, while the foreclaws are his forearms and the boots are also brown. The upper arms, thighs and groin are all grey, along with the silver claws on his feet - which are _not_ part of the beast mode at all. The weapons are also grey, with yellow hindlegs hanging off the back of them. The gold paint is limited to the centre of his chest and his kneecaps, and works well enough. The colour scheme is really good here, and there's a Decepticon symbol stamped on top of his chest. This symbol was hidden in armadillo mode, and is the first this mould has borne.

   As mentioned, the toes are beast claws, which is an interesting touch. Along with tight skin sculpting on his boots, the end result is a very organic robot mode. In fact the only robotic part is his waist, which is largely hidden behind the beast head. His head is sort of robotic, although it makes heavy use of circles in its design. The organic theme fits this mould well so I'm not complaining about the sparse robotic elements here.

   The shell of the beast forms the robot's backpack, which is predictable really. It's quite close to his body and doesn't in itself cause stability problems - but he has very short feet and small heelspurs, so you have to get the pose right for him to stay standing, and unfortunately the weight of the backpack (if not position) means he has little meaningful leg poseability. I don't blame the backpack as such since heelspurs would have solved the problem - and I don't see why Bump doesn't have sizeable heelspurs.

   While his effective poseability is limited, Psycho-Orb is a very articulated toy. The neck, shoulders, elbows, hips and knees are all ball jointed, and while the hips and shoulders pop fairly easily, reattachment is also easy. The right rear leg becomes a mace weapon and the left leg a pistol, and they can mount on the holes halfway down the arms. He doesn't have true hands, rather long claws, hence the holes being midway. I don't like the claws in place of hands much, though at a basic pricepoint (especially a spring loaded one) it's hard to see how they could have avoided this. The weapons themselves are fairly well sculpted, but look kinda silly with the legs hanging off them.

   Psycho-Orb has an extra weapon compared to the Maximal versions of this mould - a transparent green battle-helmet shaped accessory. This thing is apparently a Calamity Defenser, which I suppose means it's some sort of shield. To be honest, this isn't much to get excited about - but at least it's something new.

   If you don't like the way his built-in weapons work, you can easily unclip the legs, but keep in mind the pegs to attach them in beast mode are on the weapons themselves. Other than the goofy weapons, the feet really bug me here. The articulation is really good, yet Psycho-Orb ends up with little leg poseability. His arms are very poseable, but the weapons look silly, so it seems the poor guy can't win. There are some nice details here - the sculpting is great. The colours are the best we've seen on this mould, the paint mask works quite well. While the mould has its limits, Psycho-Orb does a good job of making this robot mode work despite the inherent flaws.

VARIATIONS

   None that I'm aware of, although as mentioned he's a repaint of Armordillo and Bump.0

OVERALL

   The armadillo mode is actually quite good - and an armadillo is an interesting choice of beast. The overall sculpt is great but some design flaws really drag the robot mode down. The colour scheme is the best we've seen on this mould - and the most realistic - but I don't know that I'd recommend him if you have the others already. I actually got mine for less than the price of a basic (sealed), and he's certainly worth what I paid. If you don't have the mould and come across Psycho-Orb, grab him - 7/10

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