Cliffbee.com: Stranglehold Toy Review

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Individual Review




Name: Stranglehold
Series: Generation 1
Allegiance: Decepticon
Function: Enforcer
Alternate Mode: Rhinoceros



RHINOCEROS MODE
Height: 4cm (5.5 with gun mounted) Length: 7cm Width: 3.5cm

   Primarily deep yellow with green legs and a lilac backplate, Stranglehold is a small yet powerful looking little robotic Rhino. His eyes are black, but otherwise he's yellow and green. He's wider than a real rhino, but to me this enhances his tough look. It's easy to see where Marvel got the inspiration for Stranglehold’s function of Enforcer from.

   He's got a short stubbly tail, almost like a pig's, gut hanging straight. It's pretty rhino like, although the base is a little high. He has a proportionally large horn and a smallish horn on top of his head. He also has spikes on the sides of the lilac backpack. Lastly you can add his yellow handgun on top of the backpack to give him a ranged weapon.

   The legs can all swing at the hips, and being quadrupedal he stands in pretty much any pose you put him in. You can even have him stand on his hind legs - the joints are fairly tight and since they have screws you can tighten them. He doesn't have any more poseability - apart from the fact the gun can swivel 180° in it's socket. But then he's a Rhino they don't climb trees or anything.

   A pretty simple animal mode, but it's good for what it is. If he was much bigger it'd be a poor effort, but for such a small toy it's a decent effort.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Detach the backpack (attach it to the arm of the Pretender Shell if you're worried about losing it). Fold out the legs, rotate the rear rhino legs back, fold the front ones down to his sides to form the robot arms, fold the rhino head back to reveal his head. You can remove the yellow gun from the backpack/shield and give it to him as a handgun if you like.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 7cm Width: 3cm

   As you may guess, Stranglehold's robot mode is predominantly yellow. His arms are green and the rhino legs visible on his feet are also green. He has a blue face. The colours work in this mode, better than rhino mode without the lilac that all the Decepticons in this line got.

   Poseability is okay. His arms swivel at the shoulders and his knees bend. This is part of the transform, but you can cheat and use the rhino legs on his feet to make him look like he's walking if you want.

   This mode is actually really well proportioned. His thighs _look_ like comic/cartoon robot thighs, his waist is the right size, and his arms come down to just below his hips (wrong for a human, right for a Transformer). Plus he's got bulky shoulders helping with the whole enforcer thing. I suppose they cheated by hiding good robot proportions under a backpack which does all the rhino mode work, but I don't care, because it _works_.

   This is a good robot mode. Sure, he's small and he's simple. But he looks cool and is pretty good for a small pretender.

The Pretender Shell

   Something that I've always liked about the small Pretenders is that there's more imagination in their shells than the larger ones. And Stranglehold is no exception. He's the only Decepticon that's human, but he's _interesting_. Basically he's a wrestler. He's skin coloured (Caucasian) with brown shorts, boots, hair, eyes and moustache. His left arm is burgundy, as is a chain on his right wrist and a spiky shoulderpad on the left shoulder. He has a removable burgundy helmet which serves to lock the shell and a grey backpack which basically is there to give him enough room to store his inner robot. The backpack does kind of ruin the illusion, but at least it matches the grey handgun he carries in this mode.

   There's not much play value here. The arms swivel at the shoulders, you can attach the backpack to his left shoulder, and attach the yellow gun to this. Still, I suppose the point of the shell is to hide the robot, and it serves it's purpose.

   There _are_ cooler Pretender Shells out there - Bludgeon's for example. But Stranglehold's is okay. Plus it enhances his character (:

VARIATIONS

   None I'm aware of.

OVERALL

   A very cool robot mode, a good rhino and a decent colour scheme. The Pretender Shell is solid if not spectacular, but Stranglehold's still one of the better Pretenders overall. I'll admit this is a toy that holds tremendous sentimental value for me, but I still think he has a fair bit going for him. Of course, I'm the type who appreciates smaller Transformers. He is quite a simple toy, but he works well - 7/10

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