Cliffbee.com: B'Boom Toy Review

Toy Reviews
Individual Review




Name: B'Boom
Series: Beast Wars
Allegiance: Maximal
Function: Guerilla Warfare Specialist
Alternate Mode: Mandrill



MANDRILL MODE
Height: 13cm Length: 16cm Width: 10cm

   A light blue mandrill made of a slightly metallic plastic, B'Boom has silver paws and gold coloured ears. He has a red nose and white cheeks. It's a pretty good colour scheme - if somewhat inaccurate. Mandrills are typically dark brown with blue cheeks and a red nose. Still, the most distinctive feature of the species is the brightly coloured face, and B'Boom has that. Mandrills typically have a blue rump - something B'Boom has, although that's only because his actual body is blue rather than brown.

   In case you're wondering why he's called B'Boom when he's a mandrill, the baboon and mandrill are very closely related species. His function is not only a bad pun but bad taxonomy - baboons & mandrills are old world monkeys, while gorillas are hominids (the group comprising the great apes and gibbons). For slightly more info, here's a primate family tree. His bodyshape and quadrupedal stance are broadly correct for a mandrill, which helps establish his primate form.

   B'Boom's finer details in this mode are good. He has the ribbed cheeks typical of the species and well sculpted feet, with five distinct digits per foot - there are even moulded nails and wrinkles on the joints. The entire body has moulded fur, which is only really broken up by pistons on the back of his hindlegs. He has a small, pointed tail, nostrils and black eyes with red irises. While the insides of his limbs and underside reveal robot bits and some gaps, the overall effect is above average for a Beast Wars toy.

   This beast mode has great play value, with all the poseability you'd expect of a primate. The shoulders, hips and wrists are ball jointed while the knees, ankles and elbows are ball jointed. There are rotators below the shoulders and hips, giving his limbs pretty close to full movement. Pressing on his right ear will cause his brow to slide back and his lower jaw to drop, giving him big eyes and a gaping mouth. You can also open the jaw on it's own. Inside his mouth B'Boom carries a gold launcher and two blue missiles. There's a slider on his back, pushing it forward will cause the launcher and missiles to protrude, allowing you to load one of the missiles. If you then slide it back and forward again, the loaded missile will fire. While it doesn't fire with great force, the mechanism is clever. The launcher retracts when you slide back, although the missiles have to be pushed in manually.

   A good, detailed, solid beast mode. While many Beast Wars mega toys were simply largish basics or basic bodies with appendages, B'Boom is a true mega. While the colours aren't quite those of a mandrill (and less so those of a baboon), the animal he's meant to represent is immediately obvious if you know what a mandrill is. The colours and poseability make this a good beast mode, regardless of taxonomy.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Straighten and rotate the legs. Fold the feet forward and deploy the heelspurs. Unclip the underside in two halves, which for the moment we'll leave hanging out to the sides. Fold down his beast head to form a chestplate, slide the chest section down. Fold the underside halves in again to form the outsides of the chest (there's a total of five joints in these pieces, and this section is quite involved without being tricky). Swing the arms down to the sides and rotate his hands. Lastly, remove the launcher and one of the missile from their storage area behind his head, place in one hand.

   Yes, it's a stand up and fiddle transformation, but there's more than enough going on in the torso to make B'Boom's transformation interesting.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 18cm Width: 12cm

   Again mainly blue, although with a lot more gold and some more silver. The boots, hands and the outsides of his thighs are silver while the head and some chest elements are gold, along with the missile launcher. There are twin ten-tipped missile racks on his chest, with silver facades (and no actual missiles). The red and white beast face is now the central waist area, hanging over a partially concealed silver groin. B'Boom has a blue mohawk with moulded ford and a rather organic face with red eyes and white teeth. The colour scheme doesn't map quite as nicely as it did in beats mode, but it's still nice. I would have preferred a silver head, but gold works.

   There is some kibble here, in the form of beast chest panels hanging off his shoulders, in front of the arms proper. While they don't really get in the way they looks silly. The feet are the undersides of his beats feet, while the long arms are the man drill's arms, with open paws as hands. There's some backpack, with the spare missile visible behind his head (with the rest of the weaponry able to stow if you want it to), but the heelspurs are enough to counter the backheaviness of this robot without any drama.

   The poseability is similar to the beast mode, since the limbs are the same. The shoulders, hips and wrists are ball jointed, along with the neck - although the latter is quite restricted. The elbows, knees and ankles are hinged, along with the heelspurs. The rotators below the hips and ankles allow for full limb movement, although since the feet only gold down (not up) and the backpack has some weight, leg poses are a little restricted. Action poses are still possible, mind you, and for a Beast Wars toy that also has a base mode, this is pretty good articulation.

   There are some really cool design elements here, such as the chest missile racks and the fur mohawk. The slightly long arms and some leg restriction count against this mode, along with the shoulder kibble. Still, considering how crappy many Beast Wars megas are, B'Boom still comes out as a good robot.

BASE MODE

   This is actually a dedicated mode. The torso unfolds into two flat sections, with his back becoming the front a battle platform, while the chest becomes the rear section. This platform has four legs, which are his limbs, while the beast underside becomes a set of semi-detached guns on either side. There are silver twin-barrelled guns that extend forward, and the multiple joints on these pieces are taught enough for these gun assemblies to stick out horizontal on their own. The missile launcher also sticks out the front, and just below it is a gold head with red eyes and silver teeth, which looks like something out of the movie Alien. While it's not quite of the level of the bases we saw in G1, it's clear that considerable effort went into making this work. The platform is more or less flat, and there's no reason why a basic can't stand on this platform. It's not going to make or break the toy, but this is a pretty good bonus.

VARIATIONS

   None as such although he was sold in Japan as Apache in the Beast Wars Second line.

OVERALL

   A great mandrill mode with great play value, detail and proportions, and for me this mode makes the toy rewarding before you even transform it. The colours aren't quite accurate but the mandrill is immediately apparent, so I'm happy - B'Boom's realism is about fifty times better than that of BW Snarl. The robot mode is quite solid and the transformation is one of the best in the stand-up-and-rearrange-limbs style common during the Beast era. The base mode is surprisingly worthwhile, it's actually better than most of the Scramble City base modes. If you like the idea of primate Transformers, this is very much recommended. One of the best megas produced during Beast Wars, making it a shame he never appeared in the cartoon. B'Boom is tricky to find, but is worth the effort for Beast Wars fans - 8/10

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