Cliffbee.com: Tripredicus Agent Toy Review

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Individual Review




Name: Tripredicus Agent
Series: Beast Wars
Allegiance: Predacon
Function: Covert Intelligence Operative
Alternate Mode: Metallic Cheetah

Thanks to Sofaman for loaning me Tripredicus Agent for this review.



CHEETAH MODE
Height: 13cm Length: 13cm Width: 7.5cm

   A hunchbacked black cat with lots of silver paint on his mechanical parts and some gold chrome, TA doesn't look much like a cheetah without yellow and with that hunched back. Mind you, he's meant to represent Ravage who is a panther, so I suppose the shift away from a cheetah look isn't a bad thing in this case. TA is a repaint of Transmetal 2 Cheetor, who doesn't look all that much like a cheetah either (other than being yellow). The black areas of the toy have sculpted fur while the chrome parts are on his left side legs and the rocket pack on his back. His eyes are red along with some shoulder detail. The mouth is moulded open, the lower jaw does not move. It's not much of a cheetah but as a limited (Walmart Exclusive) repaint, this colour scheme works well enough - TA's colours work visually and differentiates him from Cheetor.

   I have to admit I'm not a fan of this mould. They body is very uncatlike and the realism of the early Beasts is gone. The head is cat-like, but the body looks like he's a hyena or something. The tail is moulded into a big hook and curls up over his hunchback. The main theme of the Transmetal II line - the intricate mould detail - is clearly apparent - the robotic silver spots are highly detailed, and like most TMIIs the detailing is assymetrical.

   The poseability is somewhat haphazard. All four hips are ball joints, the front limbs have restricted ball joints at the "elbows". The right wrist is a swivel while the left is a hinge - the right paw sweeps back, unable to be hinged into a natural position, and the left one tends to sag, so TA's usually leaning to his left. The knees at the back are hinged, as are the ankles and the false ankles that cats have (it's actually a foot joint). The head swings up and down, but even at it's highest point it's still looking down. The jetpack on his back can swing up and out to become a missile launcher. The missile launcher works pretty well, shooting a bronze missile a few feet. The chrome panel on his left hip lifts up to reveal a green Maximal spark crystal. The head is fixed in a looking down position, so TA is stuck looking at the dirt.

   While there's a lot of detail here, there's not much cat here. The poseability could have been good, but the problems with his front paws ruin it for the most part, since you'll have to compensate for his leftist tendencies when posing him. The colours _are_ nicer than Cheetor's though, so there is some value here as a repaint.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   There's a fair bit of twisting involved in transforming the torso, which includes folding away the beast had and folding out the robot head. The end result is a torso that still has a hunchback, the front limbs are the arms and the hind legs the robot legs. I'm really not a fan of this "stand up and twist stuff around" concept, which was applied to a lot of quadrupedal TMIIs, and continued into Beast Machines.

   The tail detaches and can be held as a weapon with some difficulty but it's not a very good one. The rocket launcher can unclip from it's hinge, if you clip it in facing the either way he has a rather nifty overhead rocket launcher.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 15cm Width: 9cm

   Again mainly black with silver techno bits, TA sports a yellow chrome right arm. The eyes and crest are red, along with some red detailing on his chest. The colours are again nicer than those of Cheetor and while it's not really Ravager, this guy does look suitably evil.

   TA is nowhere near as ugly as Cheetor, thanks largely to the striking black and silver - the darker colour is now dominant - meaning TA doesn't look as dirty. It also helps that this time the evil look is applied to a bad guy. The silver face has a distinct snarl on it that combine with the red eyes for a very sinister face. I'm not impressed that despite rotating and twisting and whatnot, this mode still has a hunchback. The weird jointing in his wrists isn't so bad now, although his right hand is stuck in something of an awkward pose. The other thing that really hurts TA's aesthetic in robot mode is the fact his legs are curved. His thighs are convex and his shins concave, and as a result his legs look silly. It's not as bad on black legs as it was on yellow, but I still don't think of it.

   The poseability is better than the beast mode, largely because stable poses are now possible. The knees and ankles bend a little, the waist and neck rotate, the shoulders are restricted ball joints, the elbows are hinged and the wrists are the hinge and swivel from the beast mode. While this is by no means good poseability - it's actually pretty poor for Beast Wars, it's still a relative high point. The overhead launcher is probably his best feature as a robot.

   The colours are an improvement on Cheetor pretty much all round, the black works a lot better on his legs. The evil look of the toy is fitting now also. The poseability is a little hit and miss though. This is his better mode but it's not without it's problems.

VARIATIONS

   None that I'm aware of, but as mentioned it's a limited edition repaint of TMII Cheetor.

OVERALL

   A much better toy than the original version of this mould, but TA isn't a great toy either. The colours are nice but that doesn't solve all the problems. Considering the premium you'll pay for this guy, you're almost better off seeking out Transmetal Jaguar, who matches the Ravage we saw in the Beast Wars cartoon. Unless you're a big Transmetal II fan, you can skip Tripredicus Agent - 4.5/10

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