Cliffbee.com: Beast Changer (Noble/Savage) Toy Review

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Individual Review




Name: Beast Changer (for legal reasons. The show character is called Noble/Savage)
Series: Beast Machines
Allegiance: Maximal
Alternate Mode: Werewolf/Dragon modes



WEREWOLF MODE
Height: 15.5cm Length: 9.5cm Width: 20.5cm

   A largely red bipedal creature with gold "hands" and extensive purple paint sprayed on his head, torso, upper arms and thighs, this mode represents the Noble half of this duality. Noble has transparent purple plastic on his ears, lower jaw, chest panels and the bat-like wings behind his shoulders. There are gold claws on the top of his wings while his eyes are black with some metallic light blue plastic surrounding them, and he has some white teeth visible. The red and purple plastics play off one another well, and it's worth noting that while the red plastic is more common here, the purple features on the elements that really define Noble - especially since Savage is all about red.

   While this toy doesn't have a robot mode per-se, this is the mode that would fit the definition better, since he stands upright and assumes something similar to human posture. The sculpt is basically a wolf's fur, the head is quite wolflike, aside from the whole facing forward thing. His wings are actually detachable, allowing for a more show-accurate look, although I like the look of this werewolf with wings, and there's nothing else to do except leave them aside, anyway. Noble has a hunchback and the dragon head sits behind his head - forming the hump, basically. His arms are quite long and he has digitigrade legs, with the backwards "extra knees" like those on Cheetor. Unusually for a Beast Machines Maximal, Noble lacks any robotic sculpt - but then that fits into the concept, he's a completely organic Transformer. There's a transparent purple spark crystal on his right shoulder, sporting an allegiance symbol which incorporates elements of both the Maximal and Vehicon symbols.

   There's a spinning arm gimmick here - you can wind it up by lifting a panel buried under his backpack, when you slide the spark crystal down his arm rotates. I can't comment on how well this works, since my (second hand) Noble/Savage has a worn internal mechanism. Noble is quite poseable, and considering that he's digitigrade, he's very stable (much better than Cheetor). The lower jaw opens, the left shoulder is ball jointed and the right has two rotators (it needs to transfer the motion into his arm gimmick. The elbows rotate, the claw-hands can open and shut. The waist rotates, his hips are ball jointed with rotates below them. His knees bend, as do his ankles. The feet (toes, strictly) and heelspurs are on tight hinges, allowing him to stand quite well.

   A pretty good werewolf mode with a nice organic sculpt and a surprisingly effective colour scheme. The poseability is good, the defining features really cement this as an organic character. I'm happy that the designer gave us the option of leaving the wings off. I can't really comment on the gimmick's effectiveness, but I'm neutral on the idea. As much as I dislike a lot of the concepts in Beast Machines, this organic "robot" mode works well, capturing the primitive nature of the Noble character well. The colour scheme and sculpt do a lot to make this mode work.

TRANSFORMATION TO DRAGON MODE

   Swing the head down, fold back his ears. Flip up the dragon head and click into position. Lift up the thigh panels, fold the feet up into the thighs, close the thighs up again. Slide up the wrist covers, fold the hands up and fold out the opposing claw. Stand him on the feet formed from the robot hands, attach the wings if you had them set aside.

DRAGON MODE
Height: 9cm LENGTH: 17cm Width: 20.5cm

   A predominantly red dragon with gold trim on the edges of his wings, around the lips and the claws. Again this dragon (the Savage half of the duality) is essentially organic while the purple is restricted to his underbelly. The colours fit a European dragon fairly well, even if the shape does not. There's no sprayed on paint, which makes this beast a little monotone, but he still looks fairly good thanks to the extensive gold paint.

   Again there's no real hint of a robot - Savage is just as organic and beastly as Noble. There are no forelimbs and no eyes on his head, which serves to accentuate how primitive this persona is meant to be. Noble/Savage is meant to be a sparkless Transformer, and the lack of eyes really helps confirm this notion. There's no real kibble here although if you really look you'll see the werewolf head hanging underneath. Savage has twin tails, which are essentially folded up robot legs. As with the eyeless head, the twin tails reflect that this beast is not of an Earthly nature. Savage certainly looks like a monster - and there's a deliberate link to Dragon Megatron which helps explain this.

   The poseability here isn't quite as good as in werewolf mode, thanks to the spinning arm gimmick. The twin tails can move around some, the hips are the robot shoulders whilst his ankles are the robot elbows. The right ankle is therefore limited, which is mildly annoying. There is a nice little feature in his head, however. If you press a small button on the left side of his neck, the upper jaw lifts, which looks much more natural than it sounds. The teeth are painted gold, and he looks cool with his mouth open. It's not meant to stay open as such, but mine will happily stay open.

   As odd as this dragon mode is, it suits Savage, the mutant creature of rage that he is. The twin tails are weird, but the head is cool and the detailing is great. The poseability is okay, but then he stands close to the ground anyway, so I can live with a lumbering beast being unposeable. I still prefer the Noble half, mainly because it's more humanoid (and I guess, easy to relate to).

VARIATIONS

   None that I'm aware of.

OVERALL

   One of the more unusual concepts in Beast Machines, but having said that, the idea is more focused than the whole technorganic thing. Of course, the idea of a completely organic Transformer isn't going to sit well with everyone. The detailed sculpt and colouring are great in both modes, and the contrast between the two modes is well executed. The gimmick is something I could have done without, since it impacts on the dragon in a way I don't like, but the overall poseability is pretty good, and the werewolf mode is more stable than it probably should be, which is a bonus. Noble/Savage is an unusually show accurate toy for Beast Machines too, which should please fans of the series - 8/10

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