Cliffbee.com: Transmetal II Spittor Toy Review

Toy Reviews
Individual Review




Name: Spittor
Series: Beast Wars
Allegiance: Predacon
Function: Amphibious Warrior
Alternate Mode: Frog



FROG MODE
Height: 6cm Length: 12cm Width: 8cm

   A twotone blue and yellow frog, Spittor's legs and upper jaw are mid blue while his lower is dark blue. His back is fluorescent yellow with a chrome yellow stripe down the spine and some navy paint on the back half. His eyes are chrome pink, rounding out a rather ugly colour scheme. I generally like blues, and while the blue hues used are nice, the combination of two different bright yellow shades really overwhelms everything else about this colour scheme.

   Spittor is fairly well sculpted, which is standard for a Transmetal II toy. As you'd expect there's an asymmetrical mixture of organic and robotic elements, with warts and hooks the most prevalent elements. He has webbed feet with claws, which is very unnatural for frogs, but then with the aposematic colouring and abundance of warts I think they're trying to make him as threatening as possible.

   The hips, knees and ankles are all ball jointed and the mouth opens (although it's the upper jaw that moves), giving Spittor good poseability. This is somewhat wasted since the front legs are significantly longer than they should be, so most poses look gimpish. There's a pink spark crystal inside the mouth, along with a mace-tongue which cheats by attaching rather than coming out of storage. The chrome yellow tail section is a fold out claw, with a ball jointed base, adding to the play value. The idea is admirable, but since the legs are out of proportion, most poses where it would be useful aren't really worth doing.

   As you might have guessed, I don't think much of this frog mode. The yellows were a really bad choice and ruin this thing on their own, while the forelimbs just make things worse. The sculpting is detailed but quite frankly ugly. I don't mind fierce & menacing, but warts are overkill - especially when this amphibian looks like he's wearing a distress flare already.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   There's a lot of contorting and twisting for what ends up being a pretty involved transformation for a basic. The front legs become the legs and the hindlegs the arms, but this is more than a stand up and repose affair. The robot head is stowed within the mouth, the upper jaw becomes the right shoulderpad and the backplate the left shoulderpad. The tongue becomes a handheld mace, giving Spittor something to hold.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 11cm Width: 11cm

   There's more blue and less yellow in the robot mode, which is good to see, even if this robot mode has it's own problems. The boots and forearms are mid blue while the upper arms, thighs and groin are dark blue. The waist is fluorescent yellow while the chest is a mix of blues. The head is dark blue with light blue elements, a fluoro yellow face and pink eyes (which are not chromed). The right shoulderpad is blue and chrome yellow while the longer left one is mixed yellows with dark blue paint.

   It only gets worse, really. The head is attached to the front of the chest, giving Spittor a severe hunchback. Yet the bottom of the head is flat, so it looks like his head has been cut off and stuck on. The shoulderpads are really bad kibble, and while they don't impinge on shoulder movement too much, they're very lopsided and a mess of colours. There are no hands, only the hindfeet from beast mode (a feature copied from the original Spittor). The forearms are the undersides of the hindlegs and have gaps, which isn't really a major issue relative to the rest of the problems.

   I really don't get this robot mode. More than anything else, I've never worked out why the head is tacked onto the front - it wouldn't have been hard to put it on top of the torso (where it belongs!). The sculpt is good, especially on the limbs (which are, after all, frog limbs), save for the gaps in his forearms. While the sculpt doesn't have the ugly feel it did in beast mode, it's still not really a high point. The mace-weapon plugs into holes in either hand (well, as much as he has hands), but doesn't really add much considering it's an add-on in both modes. The mace itself is OK - it would have been more useful if he had proper hands to hold it.

   The poseability here is good. The hips, shoulders, knees, ankles and elbows are all ball jointed and work well. The wrists are hinged and the waist rotates. The "neck" is also a ball joint, but the head can only look down thanks to the stupid design. The fold out claw adds somrr play value, but since it sits on top of the awkward left shoulderpad, it's not a great addition.

   By now you're probably wondering why I bought this toy. It was a present, but I still felt ripped off. There aren't any highlights here - it's an awful robot mode that makes Runabout look good (although by now poseability is a lot better). I hate the badly tacked on head more than anything else.

VARIATIONS

   None, thankfully. The mould was recoloured in Car Robots as Gusher, who was released in RiD as Slapper.

OVERALL

   My brain hurts. As hard as I try, I can't work out why this toy was released. The Transmetal II hallmarks are here - great poseability and sculpting, but the beast is fugly, the colours atrocious and the robot a mess of kibble with a dislocated head. I have a newfound respect for Gobot Soundwave - at least that toy had a useful set of axles. Avoid if at all possible - 1/10

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