Cliffbee.com: Transmetal 2 Dinobot Toy Review

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Name: Dinobot
Series: Beast Wars
Allegiance: Predacon
Function: Special Operations Combatant
Alternate Mode: Robotic Velociraptor



RAPTOR MODE
Height: 12cm Length: 30cm (snout to tail) Width: 7cm

   A beige mechano-velociraptor with some navy blue bits and maroon chrome on his hips, back and the crown of his head. Dinobot's got orange eyes and a navy lower jaw on what is otherwise a beige head. About 80% of this mode is beige, and it looks like a skeleton as a result. The chrome sections have orange highlights, which are a lot duller than the eyes.

   Like all Transmetal 2s, Dinobot has a lot of mould detail, including skin textures on the few smooth surfaces, as well as lots of mechanical textures, the latter tend to be more obvious. The claws looks more mechanical than organic, and all four limbs have hoses running between the feet and the limbs themselves. Remember how I said he looks like a skeleton? The claws and hoses contribute to this effect. The tail is segmented, and being beige, its segments look like vertebrae. He has huge fangs on both the upper and lower jaws, with a gap between them, meaning his head looks a lot like a skull. I really get the feeling this skeletal look was intentional, since there's so many elements contributing.

   Despite the intricate details, a lot of Transmetal 2s suffer from poor proportions or limbs that don't quite sit right. In Dinobot's case his forelimbs are too big and curve downwards. I mention it since it's quite obvious, but it's nowhere near as bad as some of the flaws on other Transmetal 2s. It's really the only major flaw of the raptor mode, actually.

   Dinobot's poseability is reasonable, although nothing fantastic. His head is on a somewhat limited ball joint, and his mouth can open quite wide. Opening his mouth reveals a small beige tongue which has two forks, one on top of each other (it looks like a little claw, actually), which is a nice touch that I only just noticed while playing around with him for this review. He's got ball joints at the base of the forelimbs and hinges at the wrists, and two hinges along the length of these limbs, but only the wrists move naturally - the rest aren't intended for beast mode. He has ball jointed knees, hinged ankles and hinges on his false ankle (halfway along his foot, like a cat or dog has), but his leg poseability is quite limited by the fact his hips only wiggle a little.

   Adding to the play value is the tail, made of soft plastic. At the base is a blue section, which rotates, and when you do so, the tail moves from right to left, thanks to a plastic cord running through the centre of the tail (you can see it, it looks like a spinal cord!). The chrome panel on his head lifts up to reveal his spark crystal, which is pink. The hook-claws on his feet hinge separate to the rest of his foot, allowing him to slice his enemies, although it doesn't work as well as was intended, since his legs get in the way of the claw lifting up.

   Overall, Dinobot has a good beast mode. The detailing is good, he has good play value and some really cool aspects, like the spinal cord and tongue. The skeletal thing is weird, but it certainly makes him look evil. The oversized forelimbs are really the major feature holding this raptor back.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   A lot of panel folding in the chest, so I'm not going to describe it as such. The legs become his robot arms, the forelimbs the robot legs. His velociraptor head forms the bulk of his chest, and the beast mode hips become large shoulderpads. His tail can stay on his back, or you can remove it and place it in his left hand as a whip.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 13.5cm Width: 11cm

   The beige of the beast mode again dominates Dinobot's robot mode. The blue is still around, on his groin, upper arms and head. The shoulderpads and chest are chrome maroon. His eyes are red, his face is asymmetrical, the left eye is mechanical, with a beige socket, while the right is organic and it's socket is blue. The mouth is a weird silver block, which makes the head looks rather unappealing on the whole.

   As with all Transmetal 2 toys, Dinobot's mould is high detail, and this detail is asymmetrical. This is a spindly robot mode, and the beast mode claws sit on the end of the forearms, lengthening the arm length - when you straighten the arms out the hands reach down to his ankles. The claws certainly give him a great advantage in close quarter combat, since he's got long arms with giant blades at the end. Add to this the tail-whip, he'd be a difficult foe to approach, although he has trouble holding his tail-whip.

   Like his beast mode, Dinobot's robot mode's detail is the strong point. The mechanical left eye really looks like it houses a laser, giving him a ranged weapon. The maroon panel on his chest lifts up to reveal his spark crystal - I really like how they positioned this. The shoulderpads are huge, and while they don't really get in the way of poseability, they overwhelm his head and shoulders.

   Dinobot's poseability is pretty good, although you might want to simply leave the tail weapon out, since it's pretty heavy and makes it difficult to stand him up. He's got ball joints at the shoulders, elbows and hips, and hinges at the elbows, wrists, knees, ankles and bridge of the foot. He has small heelspurs, which are enough to keep him standing in a variety of poses, provided you've removed the tail, or have it placed so it's tip is on the ground. The hoses that now sit on the back of his feet, like achilles tendons, limit the positioning of the feet somewhat, meaning you'll rely more on his ankles and knees for positioning his legs.

   While it doesn't exhibit as much of the skeletal effect as the beast mode does, it's got fewer problems. Aside from the long arms and big bulky shoulderpads, there's not really much wrong with Dinobot's robot mode. There's some nice features here, I suppose the main flaw is that the overall look is a but ugly (but that's opinion).

VARIATIONS

   There is a rarer version with white instead of beige plastic. Rapticon is a recolour of Dinobot.

OVERALL

   There's some great detailing on this toy, the skeletal motif is nifty, but he's dragged down by bad proportions and a somewhat ugly robot mode. Still, he's one of the better Transmetal 2s, and has a prominent role in the Beast Wars cartoon, so he's got enough going for him for me to recommend him - 6.5/10

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