Cliffbee.com: Transmetal Waspinator Toy Review

Toy Reviews
Individual Review




Name: Waspinator
Series: Beast Wars
Allegiance: Predacon
Function: Aerial Attacks
Alternate Mode: Wasp



WASP MODE
Height: 6cm Length: 21cm Width: 20cm
Length and height will depend on pose

   A black wasp with metallic red legs, antennae and mouthparts, four transparent green wings and chrome gold on his eyes and abdomen. There's gold chrome webbing on his wings and quite a few painted details in black, red and yellow. Waspinator's colour scheme is reminiscent of the original's despite not being all that similar. The green and gold, along with the black stripes on his abdomen, remind us of the character. This is an attractive colour scheme, the gold chrome and green wings are offset by the black body, making Waspinator striking without being too bright.

   Waspinator has quite a lot of detail including compound eyes, a jetpack theme on the thorax and claws at the end of the legs. The legs and antennae have mechanical details along the length while the webbing on his wings forms a lattice of polygons. The details are all mechanical, although the rounded eyes are a little ambiguous. The nose of his jet mode is visible underneath the head, but otherwise there's no real kibble here. The robot's gun sticks out the back as a stinger, and while it's obviously a gun it makes a good stinger.

   As with many arthropod Beast Wars toys, Waspinator has trouble standing on his own legs. Actually he's the worst culprit - the legs are thin and the joints far too weak - he simply cannot stand on his legs - you have to lie Waspy on his belly. The front and middle legs are quite poseable, the rear set can only hang out the back. The main set of wings can swing back and forth and are hinged, and can flap independently (not that you'd want to lift only one) while the smaller rear wings are on ball joints, so all four wings can move around. Sure, his legs aren't much use but the wings are quite cool.

   The jet mode is fairly straightforward - the smaller wings swing back and lift up to become tailfins, the nose lifts up from underneath his head while the larger wings swing back and fold to become plane wings. The legs fold away - though not especially well. Considering that Waspinator's not far removed from his wasp mode this is a decent jet. The wings and tail work quite well and there's a green canopy on the nosepiece making sure you're aware that this is a jet (the wings do the trick, mind you). There are black thrusters at the back, which aren't all that obvious - but they're meant for this configuration, and visible if you look. The beast legs are kind of annoying, and I'm not entirely sure what use a jet mode is for a guy with a flying beast mode, but for what this is it's a decent vehicle mode.

   For the most part this is a good beast mode - the chrome works well and the colours are great, Waspinator is a great mechanical wasp. The play value is limited to the jet mode and wings, which is a little disappointing. His main shortcoming is the uselessness of his legs - he's condemned to lie on his belly, and the legs get in the way of the plane mode (and the robot, which I'll come to shortly). Waspinator looks good, even if he is lying on his belly.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Fairly straightforward, but there's just enough here to keep me happy. Fold the hindlegs underneath to become his shins, swing the robot legs forward, revealing the arms underneath the abdomen. Swing the arms out to the sides and detach the stinger as his handgun. Fold the beast head down to for his chest (with the jet nose folding down to become the groin). This will reveal the robot head, so nw all we need to do is swing the remaining beast legs out of the way, swing back the smaller wings and give Waspinator his gun.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 14cm Width: 20cm

   The colours are again fairly similar, although we see less gold now and more red. The upper half of his body is essentially black, the boots and forearms are red. His head is black with red and gold aspects, his eyes are blue insect eyes. The green wings sit out to either side while the groin has a green canopy. The face looks remarkably like Waspinator's cartoon face (the show Waspinator never became a Transmetal - Mainframe used a stylised Mutant head), which really helps nail down the character. The gold chrome is now limited to the wasp eyes on his chest, which look good. The colour scheme isn't quite as nice as that of the beast mode - there's a little too much red - but it's still nice since the colour combination is a good one.

   Much of this robot mode is visible in beast mode - the shins are beast legs, the chest is the wasp's head and the wings are obviously part of the wasp mode. His arms and head carry the torch for the organic robot mode - the head is well sculpted and detailed (it looks great) and the arms are organic, but don't stand out as much as the head. The ambiguous beast eyes help - even if they're nowhere near as organic as the robot's eyes. The gun is rather organic which is a nifty touch - the designer used what was available as much as possible.

   His biggest failing here is the same as the beast mode - the beast legs. The middle set hang out from the thighs awkwardly rather and the front set from his waist. While they don't hinder poseability there's no way to neatly fold them up and they're distracting. The rear set have folded away nicely and the boots come together well, Waspinator even has solid heelspurs. Visually this robot mode looks nice, even with the legs hanging off. I tuck them behind, and while it's not perfect he still looks okay.

   The poseability here is pretty good - and close to that of the original Waspinator. The head, hips and knees are ball jointed while the elbows bend and the shoulders swing and lift out to the sides. He generally looks good holding his gun in action poses and you can drop the middle set of beast legs as stabilisers for more dynamic poses (hey at least they come in handy for something!). There aren't any gimmicks in this mode, but Waspinator is poseable enough to be fun anyway.

   While the beast legs get in the way again I quite like this robot mode. The head is really well done and the colours are still quite nice. His poseability is good - the beast legs actually help in one sense, rather than hinder it. The sloppiness of the beast legs floating around makes this robot mode less classy than some of the Transmetal robot modes, but it's still a solid robot.

VARIATIONS

   None that I'm aware of. The Fox Kids! version uses yellow jacket colours, with mixed results.

OVERALL

   While Waspinator's not as good as some of the other Transmetals, he's still a nice toy. The colours are very nice and there's some really good detailing here. Most of his problems revolve around the beast legs, which can't support the wasp mode's weight and get in the way of the other modes. Despite that the robot mode is quite poseable and the beast mode still looks good. The vehicle mode works fairly well despite being rather understated. Waspinator's transformation isn't as elegant as most Transmetals and he didn't appear as a Transmetal in the cartoon, so he's not as desirable as some other Transmetals, but this is still a good toy - 7.5/10

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