Cliffbee.com: TFU Tankor Toy Review

Toy Reviews
Individual Review




Name: Tankor
Series: Transformers Universe
Allegiance: Decepticon
Alternate Mode: Tank



TANK MODE
Height: 8cm Length: 15.5cm Width: 9.5cm

   A dark green Cybertronian tank with twin sets of black treads at front and back, Tankor has extensive silver highlights along with mustard yellow Cybertronian markings all over the toy. The turret is also mustard yellow, and the plastic used here matches the yellow paint. The turret sports a black and yellow missile launcher on the right side. The centre panel at the front is a transparent panel with a red spray underneath the back two-thirds. There is some silver & purple splatter on the front of the turret and on the missile launcher, which represents the only significant changes to the paint mask. The green, red and yellow would have made a reasonable if uninspired repaint, but the splatter is random and really doesn't fit the rest of this colour scheme. This toy has a very different feel to the original as a result, and feels very much like a TFU toy (which isn't a good thing).

   As with many Vehicons, there's an implied face on the small, flattish turret. There's a transparent window at the front that resembles an eyestrip, while the turret itself rotates. The left side sports a dark silver panel that opens backwards to reveal a stamped Decepticon symbol on what was once a spark crystal. The Cybertronian feel of the original is somewhat lost in these colours (especially the splotches), yet Tankor doesn't feel very Earthly either.

   There's quite a bit of play value here, with four wheels underneath the treads allowing Tankor to roll. The front wheels are even rubberised, although the rear ones don't grip as well and they tend to slide while the front tyres roll. The turret rotates through 360, there's a dial at the back which turns the turret thanks to internal gears - 2.5 turns of the dial will take the turret through one revolution. The cannon lifts up and can actually go right through 180 and point at the ground behind Tankor. It has a ratcheting base, so there's no worries about the cannon flopping down. The cannon itself is actually a missile launcher, a small black button on the side will release the clear missile.

   There's another, not quite as successful, gimmick here. The red panel at the front can slip and lift up onto either side, while the front opens to allow a clear gap. Inside this gap are twin silver buzzsaws, which spin when you roll Tankor forward (this is why Tankor has rubber tyres). The idea is a very good one and the buzzsaws will spin, giving Tankor a jaws of death thing. The fenders don't actually clip into place though, and without the panels clipped into one another the result is a rather unstable front. Worse still, even with this gimmick stowed, the orange panels are the only thing holding the front together - making Tankor fragile at the best of times.

   As is usual for a Beast Machines toy, there's great attention to detail here, and while the buzzsaw gimmick doesn't quite work this is still a decent tank mode. The colours do a great job of ruining the tank mode, though, and this is something that could very easily have been prevented.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Open the front panels and unlock the teeth which will become his hands. Flip the rear treads up and back which will largely unlock the tank. Open the front fenders out to the sides, fold down the waist and rotate the lower section of the robot mode. Push the shoulders into place, turn the turret around and fold down the dial to lock the turret in place as a backpack. Flip out the missile launcher as a shoulder cannon.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 15.5cm Width: 13cm

   With a black torso, green boots, yellow feet, forearms and thighs, Tankor again has a better, more unified colour scheme now. It's not fantastic, but it's now passable. There are some red highlights, and gold elements on his chest (the latter clash a little with the extensive yellow). The transparent red is limited to shoulder panels and the tip of the missile on his left shoulder. Tankor has a black mouth and a black eyestrip with a red face, there's also a single red eye nestled in there although it's very difficult to pick out. Again this repaint isn't as nice as the original, and while it's more unified now, I'm really not sold on mustard yellow for this mould. The purple missiletip looks out of place, also.

   With tall boots and giant forearms, a short torso and tiny upper arms, Tankor is a brutish looking robot, which makes me wonder why they thought yellow was a good idea. The rubber tyres sit in full view on his forearms while the silver buzzsaws are on the insides of his forearms. Rather than hands Tankor has claws, that open out to reveal serrated teeth. With these claws, the brutish proportions and giant missile launcher on his shoulder, it's pretty obvious Tankor is built for destruction.

   There's not really a lot of play value outside of Tankor's poseability, which is quite good. The missile launcher is about all we have to play with in the way of gimmicks, although the buzzsaws are exposed and can spin if you spin the tyres. His head is locked into place now (it only turns in tank mode) but the lower jaw can open and shut. The shoulders and elbows both rotate and and bend and the claws can open and close. His waist turns while the hips are ball joints. The knees can both bend and rotate, although Tankor has fixed feet and no heelspurs. The poseability is about as good as it's going to get on a blocky, chunky toy, only the fixed head is disappointing. The effective poseability is limited a little by the lack of heelspurs but the hips are tighter than those of the Beast Machines version, which makes this repaint more playable than the original.

   While the tank mode is okay for a mega, the robot mode would be average on a deluxe. For a mega this is a pretty unimpressive robot mode, Tankor really needs something more here. The only gimmick he gets is the missile launcher, and the purple missile looks crappy anyway (though the shoulder cannon itself is nice). What I really would have liked to see is something else in the way of play value - another weapon would have been ideal. It doesn't help that the transformation is fairly simple. Still, the splotches are nowhere near as visible and the tighter hips represent a definite improvement in this repaint.

VARIATIONS

   As mentioned this is a repaint of a Beast Machines toy. Tankor was sold with Obsidian, who is a much better repaint of another Beast Machines toy. There are no actual variations of this toy that I'm aware of.

OVERALL

   A rather uninspired repaint of a fairly simplistic deluxe, and Tankor has the sort of sub-standard colour scheme that's typical of the TFU line. The tighter hip joints are a clear improvement, but aren't enough to make the robot mode a good one. The tank mode has better engineering but some stupid colour applications. Tankor comes packaged with Obsidian, who is an excellent repaint. Unless you missed the original and really want this mould, Tankor himself is an easy toy to pass on - only get him if you're willing to pay for Obsidian as I was (I paid deluxe price for the set, and really I did so for Obsidian) - 4/10

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