Cliffbee.com: Striker Toy Review

Toy Reviews
Individual Review




Name: Striker
Series: Beast Machines
Allegiance: Maximal
Function: Ground Combat Specialist
Alternate Mode: Stegosaurus



STEGOSAURUS MODE
Height: 10cm Length: 18cm Width: 6cm

   A golden dinosaur with vermillion plates on his back, twotone metallic blue here and there with orange and yellow stripes across the back and tail. While the blue is little more than the robot mode peeking through, it works well, providing a quieter colour that offsets the other bright colours. Striker's colour scheme is fairly nice, despite being rather bright - I don't know that adding green just for the eyes was such a good idea, however. We have no way of knowing how realistic it is, of course.

   Being firmly in the realistic theme of Beast Wars, Striker is markedly different from the far more stylised Snarl, with wrinkled skin, distinct toes and a smallish head. The tail has spines at the tip, there are nostrils moulded on the snout, adding to the realism. The main detraction here comes from two blue "skis" stowed behind the hindlegs, which don't ruin the look but are clearly visible.

   Since Striker's a shellformer, there's not a lot of poseability here. The hips can move around on all four legs, and the front legs can bend, allowing for walking poses. There are no gimmicks available in this mode. The beast mode looks pretty good, but I can't help but wish there was some respectable play value here - most deluxe beasts have more than Striker in this department.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Unclip the tail, lift up the tail and spine (with plates), so it hangs loose. Detach the side plates, swing them forward, which will reveal the folded up robot. From here it's largely a case of unfold and clip together the robot mode, turning the sideplates around to form shoulder armour. The tail can hang as a tail, at the end of the spine (which attaches to his head), or handheld as a weapon.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 17cm Width: 10cm

   Much of the robot mode is now blue - the paler of the two shades is more prominent, although there's just as much of the mid blue here. The shoulder armour, forearms, ankles and outsides of the legs are gold. There are extensive vermillion paint applications, notable on the head and chest, while there's a royal blue on his head and groin. The face is a metallic cobalt blue with yellow eyes (this makes a total of four shades of blue). The colour scheme is fairly good, not so much in terms of combination but placement.

   The colour placement makes a difference on Striker because it highlights the skull-piece on his chest (which is done in white with black eye sockets) and the Amerindian chieftain head-dress on his head, which has vermillion highlights. Together they create a distinct theme, and the paint mask makes sure this aspect works.

   As with most shellformers, Striker has a few panels hanging around. The sides of the dinosaur mode stick up from behind the shoulders - and while I call them shoulder armour, they're quite obviously kibble that's been dressed up. Granted, they look good, but are still easy to pick as kibble. There are two more armour plates, which hang off his hips, and stand out far less - to the point where you don't really notice them.

   The poseability is pretty good - Striker's shoulders and hips are ball jointed while the knees and elbow are hinged. There are rotators above the elbows and the head turns, although the latter is restricted a little by the spine hanging off the back. The hip and shoulder armour stays out of the way for the most part, while the skis on the bottom of the feet prevent the ankles from moving. Lastly, the waist turns. The weapon, which is formed from the tail, is a flower-like claws. Pulling on a vermillion lever will cause the tail to spread into three pieces, revealing an intricate blue and orange pattern inside, with a royal blue flowerhead in the centre. The lever can be pulled back to click open, making sure the weapon can be displayed as well as played with. I really appreciate the last aspect - the display value of this robot mode is much better than it would be if he was only able to hold the tail.

   A good robot mode, thanks to a fairly involved transformation once you open the shell pieces. The colour scheme is bright but well put together while the shell plates manage to fit into the robot mode well. The chieftain theme is well handled, and works with the colours applied. The poseability is good and the weapon both innovative and useful.

VARIATIONS

   None as such, although Striker is a repaint of Sabreback of BW Neo. Striker was repainted, and again called Striker, in TF:Universe. TFU Snarl Also shares the mould.

OVERALL

   A satisfying toy with two good modes - although for different reasons. The beast mode looks good but doesn't really do a lot - and exhibits a realism well beyond that of the G1 Dinobot Snarl. The robot mode looks good and is fairly poseable, and carries a nice weapon and interesting theme. While Striker's a shellformer, his transformation is still satisfying and the panelling is well positioned. If you like the BW Neo style, I'd definitely recommend Striker - 8/10

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