Cliffbee.com: Steeljaw Toy Review

Toy Reviews
Individual Review




Name: Steeljaw
Series: Generation 1
Allegiance: Autobot
Function: Tracker
Alternate Mode: Microcassette



CASSETTE MODE
Height: 3cm Length: 5cm Width: 0.5cm

   A yellow cassette with pewter coloured die cast metal along the bottom edge and a foil red sticker on the tape side. He's got side "A" on the top right, "60" on the bottom right (indicating that he's a 60 minute cassette), and along the bottom it indicates he's metal position. The top left of the sticker has orange and yellow mane hair patterns (despite the head being on the other side!), and the bottom left corner is the rear hip of the lion mode. It's a bit of a jumbled sticker, actually. While it's clearly meant to look like a tape, there's an awful lot of lion mode kibble here. The other side, of course, has no stickers (aside from the rubsign), so he relies on this side only for the tape look.

   To be honest, Steeljaw's kibble probably makes his the weakest tape mode of all the microcassette Transformers. It's hard to really pick good points, since there are a lot of better examples of the same thing. It's not awful, rather made to look awful.

TRANSFORMATION TO LION MODE

   Fold the die cast metal down to form the legs, fold the tail out from the top left corner, fold the head of from the right side. The right corner actually rotates up to form the mane. Extend the main body, attach his guns to either side. Stand him up and pose.

LION MODE
Height: 7cm Length: 8cm Width: 3cm

   A yellow lion with pewter coloured die cast legs (but yellow feet). Of course, one side has the red cassette mode sticker, complete with mane-like sticker on his rump. His weapons can come in either gold or silver chrome. While he has gold eyes, I personally think the silver look better since they don't clash with the yellow. They're pretty good weapons, basically below the attachment point they have large cannons and above they have wings which taper up to the rear. While they don't really make him look like he can fly, they do give Steeljaw some depth so he doesn't look like a cardboard cutout.

   This is a much better effort than his tape mode. While it's far from perfect, it doesn't suffer from lots of little annoyances like the tape mode. The mane is too angular, and the mane on his rump is bad, he stands quite well, his stance looks cat-like in that you expect him to leap at any moment (well, ok, so to speak) and he has a small ball at the end of his tail as lions do. The fact that he's yellow is a big plus - let's face it, Beastbox would look pretty stupid in purple alongside black gorillas - Steeljaw's colour sells him as a lion. He has an ear moulded into his mane on (on the non tape side) as well as stripes to indicate matting of the hair. His mane, being the corner of the tape, is rather angular, but I can let that slide, since it's pretty much unavoidable.

   The mane on his rump is probably a result of the designing the sticker and the toy without really coordinating the two processes well - and then realising they were mirror imaged to one another. Honestly, I'd have preferred it had they just done away with the mane detail since it'd improve both modes. It does drag down what's otherwise a pretty good mode.

VARIATIONS

   As mentioned, the missile racks come in chromed gold or silver. In Europe and Hong Kong a painted version exists - the tape mode stickers being replaced with painted detail. This variant comes with the silver guns.

OVERALL

   A lot of flaws in the tape mode which is somewhat compensated for in the lion mode. Still, Ramhorn is a lot better, and it's hard not to compare the two. He's worth getting, but I'd grab Ramhorn and the humanoid pair first. Most of his problems arise from a poor sticker design, which is a real shame, since that's the sort of thing that's fixable, and he could have easily been a lot better - 5/10

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