Cliffbee.com: Strika Toy Review

Toy Reviews
Individual Review




Name: Strika
Series: Beast Machines
Allegiance: Vehicon
Function: All-Terrain Combat
Alternate Mode: All-Terrain Combat Vehicle

Thanks to Goktimus Prime for loaning me Strika for this review



VEHICLE MODE
Height: 7cm Length: 12.5cm Width: 8.5cm

   A dull pink, light grey, dull yellow and metallic blue all terrain vehicle with six obsidian tyres, Strika is a well blended mix of colours. There might be a lot of colour here, but everything is sedate so her colours don't clash. There's some brass coloured paint on her tyres, the cabin window is painted a fairly bright red and there's a dark, burgundy, wash on the front. She has yellow missiles which sit in blue launchers at the back of the vehicle and around the spark crystal between these launchers. While I don't especially like this colour scheme, it does work fairly well and I do appreciate how well the designer managed to blend this roll call of colours.

   Strika is clearly not designed as an Earthen vehicle, which is not a bad thing in this case, since it allowed the designers the freedom to beef this vehicle up without making it half-believable. Not realistic but at least she's not a poor attempt at realism. Strika's better for it, too - there's no doubting this giant, chunky, six wheeler is a killing machine from another world. With big wheels, twin launchers and lots of mechanical sculpting, Strika is clearly a powerful vehicle.

   It's quite refreshing that we have a female Transformer who's not intentionally dainty. While there's some pink here, it's by no means a feminine shade. The spark crystal is transparent green, the symbol faces backwards.

   All six wheels spin, and if you roll her along a table with a little downwards pressure will allow all six to roll. If you press down on the spark crystal housing the missile launchers will slide back and forth, alternating for a gatling gun effect. This looks great and will provide enough pressure for the wheels to spin. The missiles fire, using a ball-pressure mechanism that provides a lot of force.

   This is a pretty good vehicle mode. The gimmick is simple yet effective, the colours are unspectacular but combined really well and the mould is a detailed one. While there's not even a hint of femininity, I appreciate a female Transformer that's not going overboard trying to make sure you know she's different.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Complex and clever for a deluxe. The legs fold out from underneath and the front fenders become the arms. The cockpit lifts up and reveals her head, the missile launchers end up on the shoulders. The front set of wheels become her feet, the central set slot into her waist and the rear set fold underneath her back. The transformation back to vehicle mode has to be done right or she wont fit together properly, but is otherwise easy since she essentially folds up.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 16cm Width: 10m

   Again a mis of colours, with the pink most prominent. Her head is pink with red eyes, a black mouth area and blue cheeks. Strike has silver paint on her chest and more of that brass paint on her arms, head and chest. The missiles sit over her shoulders while her feet are tyres, the other tyres are all partially hidden in her torso. The spark crystal is no longer visible, and there's no allegiance symbol here. The colour scheme doesn't work as well here compared to the vehicle mode, since the silver upsets the balance between muted colours. While it's still not a bad colour scheme, it's now quite disjointed.

   The legs are fairly thin with wheels for feet, which are stable enough in themselves. The torso is big, bulky and back-heavy so while the wheels don't spin too much, the toy has a tendency to keel backwards, despite yellow supporting struts coming off the knees which are there specifically to prevent her falling over. I'm glad they added the supports, but she still needs to be fiddled with when posing, and this instability bugs me.

   There's again very little here that would be considered feminine, which is again refreshing. Strika's overly robotic robot mode does make her a strange choice as a female character, but for an evil killing machine soft and gentle would be inappropriate anyway. She has rather strange hands, which are fingers inside the fender-forearms. The fingers are blue and run the length of the forearms, encased inside the fenders. Whether this is a deliberate choice or design shortcoming I'm not sure - but it's not a feature I like too much.

   Strika's poseability is fairly poor by Beast Machines standards. Her head can lift up and down, the shoulders are double ball joints and the elbows a weird combination of swivels and inwards-bending hinges. The hips are ball joints with sockets at the back rather than the top of the joints and the knees are hinged. The effective poseability of her legs is almost nothing thanks to the weight of the toy and restrictive joints. Her arms are a lot more poseable but the shoulders are set back a long way from her chest (about an inch). The missile launchers still work as does the alternating action. Of course she's not stable enough for you to activate the gimmick with her standing unaided on the table, but it works fine if you hold the toy in your hands.

   This is her weaker mode, thanks mainly to her back-heaviness. The colour scheme isn't as nice here as on the vehicle mode, although it's still decent. The missile launchers still work and the way they've got her tyres out of the way is impressive.

VARIATIONS

   None that I'm aware of. TFU's Nemesis Strika is a repaint of Strika.

OVERALL

   A great vehicle mode with a really clever colour scheme makes Strika a fun toy. The robot mode is unstable with a less successful paint job, and it brings her down somewhat but it's not enough to ruin the toy. If you like the Vehicon style you'll enjoy the vehicle mode. I'm not really a fan of the robot mode, which isn't as poseable as many Beast Machines toys, but it still has merit - 6/10

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