Cliffbee.com: Airazor Toy Review

Toy Reviews
Individual Review




Name: Airazor
Series: Beast Wars
Allegiance: Maximal
Function: Aerial Recon
Alternate Mode: Hawk



HAWK MODE
Height: 6cm Length: 10.5cm Width: 20cm

   A brown hawk with yellow accents, Airazor's main colour in this mode is a slightly shiny brown. She's got grey-purple lines on her tail and wingtips representing feather colour variation, and a spattering of yellow plastic on her underside and claws, as well as two levers sticking out just behind the wings. Her beak is also yellow, but this is painted, as well as the yellow skin around her black eyes, which are black.

   I'm impressed by both the attention to detail in the paint job (such as the skin around her eyes) and the moulding - there's feather moulding covering the top of this mode, downy feathers on her head and skin wrinkles on her claws.

   The proportions are a little off - namely the legs are too big, mainly because they're the robot feet. I can forgive this since it would have awfully difficult to avoid this on a basic sized toy. The upper surface (wings, back, top of head) is very flat, she's in a gliding pose rather than a resting or flapping pose. I suppose they had to pick one, and the outstretched wings to allow kids to fly her around, so this is a decision I agree with. It also allows for the two gimmicks in this mode.

   The first of those gimmicks is related to the yellow levers. Pulling back on either level (or both) causes her wings to "flap". Basically they swing forward, there are swivels at the front of the wings. This does open seams where the wings connect to the body, but it's still a decent gimmick. The second gimmick ties into the first - there are panels on the wings which can fold forward to reveal metallic blue painted mech details. The panels form curved, pincer like protrusions on the front of the wings - pulling a lever will now cause them to come together - and they actually touch in the centre. While I'm not sure why they chose to give a hawk pincers on the wings, it's a fun gimmick.

   Poseability is about what you'd expect. The legs are quite poseable, with ankle and knee joints, but you have to be careful how you position her - she can fall forward. The wings flap as mentioned, but the gimmick is spring loaded causing them to swing back, so this doesn't really count. The wingtips can fold it, and the wings can fold up to point up. The last two are part of the transformation, but do allow wing posing to some extent. Lastly, she has a lower jaw that can open and shut, which is probably above expectations for a toy this size.

   A good bird mode for a basic toy. While it has a few problems none ruin Airazor's bird mode. The colours work and the play value is good.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Remove the gun from underneath her tail and set aside. Swing out the robot arms. Fold the tail up, swing the groin down and straighten the robot legs. Rotate the lower legs 180. Fold the bird head down to form her chest. Fold in the wingtips and fold the wings back. Lift up the shoulderpads, position her arms and attach her handgun to either the underside of a forearm or into her hand. Incidentally, it's actually possible to leave the gun attached to the underside of a forearm in bird mode.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 9.5cm Width: 7cm

   The brown and yellow share this mode. The head, chest, shoulderpads, forearms, hands and shins are brown, the sides of the chest, groin, upper arms, thighs and feet are yellow. She has a silver face with blue eyes and a yellow forehead. The gun is yellow. There are screws visible above her shoulders, which are part of the wing flapping joints. They look fine there, but all a little but more silver to this mode so I thought I should mention them.

   As well as having a very unified colour scheme Airazor has a good asthetic and attention to detail in her mould. The feet, arms, groin and head all have similarly moulded mechanical details. The face looks very avian, too. Sure, it's flat, making it look more owl-like than hawk-like, but it's still clearly birdlike, thanks to a wedge shaped mouthplate that looks like a beak. The shoulderpads are by no means an essential part of the transformation - they're purely for the aesthetic of the robot mode. This really scores points with me, not only because they look good but because it shows effort in this toy's design.

   This mode has a ridiculous amount of play value for a basic toy. There's the versatility of the gun, first off. The barrel end is three-pronged, so when attached on the underside of the forearm it's a claw-weapon (although still looks like a gun at the same time). It attached very snugly to the underside, since there's two attachment points.

   Joints? You bet she's got joints. Her head is on a ball joint, as are the shoulders, elbows, hips and knees. Additionally she has hinged ankles, and three joints per knee (including the standard ball joints, swivels above them and a hinges in her lower thighs). What's more, all of these joints give her meaningful articulation. The toes of her bird claws protrude backwards to become heelspurs, and she has pointy feet that protrude forward, so she's stable in a wide variety of poses. None of her joints are floppy, and with the bird wings on her back being light enough to keep her centre of gravity above her feet in most poses, the backpack actually helps stabilise her in some poses (as well as being a third leg of sorts in some poses). Incidentally, you can leave the wings pointing to the side if you like - they don't get in the way of the arms or legs at all.

   Overall, this is a fantastic robot mode. The colour scheme is simple and works very well, the moulding is good, the poseability is terrific and the play value is also terrific as a result. The only flaw I can really see is the gap on the top of her chest where her robot head hides in beast mode. But I can forgive that considering everything else about this mode is positive.

VARIATIONS

   Recoloured and sold with a video, otherwise none I'm aware of.

OVERALL

   One of the best basics Beast Wars produced, in fact I struggle to think of a better basic since Beast Wars. Only Razowclaw is in the same league, and he was from the same assortment (which also produced Claw Jaw, a great toy, and Drill Bit, the runt of the litter). Good colours, great play value, attention to detail and terrific engineering make Airazor a toy well worth picking up. The original version was never sold here in Australia, but it's worth importing - 9.5/10

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