Cliffbee.com: BotCon Rhinox Toy Review

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Individual Review




Name: Rhinox
Series: Convention Exclusives
Allegiance: Maximal
Function: Defence
Alternate Mode: Payloader

Thanks to kup for loaning me Rhinox, making this review possible (I have since acquired Rhinox).



PAYLOADER MODE
Height: 8cm Length: 14.5cm (19cm with gun attached) Width: 7cm

   A pale metallic brown payloader with big black tyres and bright green front fenders and some gold painted highlights here and there, Rhinox is a repaint of Cybertron Landmine in distinctly Rhinox colours. Being a repaint of an Autobot rather than a Maximal, Rhinox sports a moulded Autobot logo on the roof, which is painted gold, but there are also stamped red Maximal logos on the front fenders. Oh, and in this case, kup has placed a Maximal logo sticker over the Autobot logo anyway. Sadly Rhinox's windows are unpainted, although the ladders on the sides are painted black - and they unpainted on Landmine. It's a good colour scheme and it's most definitely Rhinox, which endears me to this repaint even more.

   The small cabin and wide tyres suggest this earthmover is huge, and there are small ladders moulded (and now, painted) on either side between the wheels which back this up. Other moulded details include roof mounted floodlights, painted gold, pistons on the shovel arms and four silver exhaust pipes behind the cabin. There's a single black stabilising leg sticking up at the back (the robot mode missile launcher).

   The big black tyres roll fairly well, making quite a bit of noise as they do so. There's a single stabilising leg at the back which is fixed in the "up" position (it's a means of stowing the robot mode missile launcher). The shovel arms have hinges at the base and the connection with the shovel itself along with another pair of hinges midway which are really intended for Rhinox's transformation. The attachment joints are quite tight, and you'll probably have to hold the sides of the shovel together when you lift the shovel.

   Rhinox's gold Planet Key can slot into either rear hubcap, although the gimmick needs a little tweaking first. Lift the rear tyres up to the sides, insert key into each slot and turn to reveal six silver sawblades concealed in the middle of each tyre. The end result is a instrument of destruction with twin circular saws and a missile launcher. There are two small silver wheels underneath the front of this quasi-vehicle, ensuring Rhinox can still roll. While it's not all that much to look at and is a weird concept, this gimmick scores points for originality and doesn't get in the way of Landmine the Transformer. The spinning black wheels bear a striking resemblance Rhinox's chain-guns of doom, and I'm fairly sure that the designers chose those mould deliberately.

   Once the twin saws are deployed, the key is no longer needed (although it'll happily sit in one of the slots). Spinning one saw will cause the other to spin in the opposite direction thanks to two black rubber wheels inside the central block of the toy (which are partially visible but far from prominent). Incidentally, you can deploy the blades without the key fairly easy, which is handy if you lose the key or can't be bothered fishing it out.

   A solid vehicle mode without being spectacular - but the repaint itself is quite impressive. The colours really ensure that this vehicle looks like Rhinox although the Autobot logo and unpainted windows are minor annoyances. Still, it's a great repaint. The play value is pretty good and the gimmick suits Rhinox to the ground.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Remove the leg/missile launcher. Flip out the underside to the front, forming his legs, lift out his feet and heelspurs. Split the shovel in half and swing the arms out to the sides. Lift up the rear tyres and fold the back of the vehicle down to form his backpack. Swivel the silver waist blocks forward, which will push the solver groin block out into place. Turn the exhausts down to either side, revealing his head, then fold the exhausts back as shoulderguards. Swing out the fists and fold back the shovel halves. Lastly, give Landmine his missile launcher and deploy the blades on his backpack if you feel inclined.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 13.5cm Width: 13.5cm

   Rhinox is again brown and green, although the green us more prominent here before. Rhinox's brown is limited to the chest, boots and shovel halves hanging off his forearms. The head, forearms and thighs are green while the upper arms, fists, waist and groin blocks are black. His face is a well sculpted green affair with red eyes and a gold helmet. That Autobot logo is now on the chest (well, not on this one!) and the Maximal symbols are visible on his ankles. The colours really scream Rhinox now - again this is a great repaint.

   There are some really nice engineering aspects here, particularly in where the vehicle parts end up. The shovel arms work well as features on the forearms, without getting in the way. The exhausts look good on his shoulders although the Autobot logo in his chest is an inconvenient carry over from Landmine. The green front fenders sit on the outsides of his ankles and like the shovel halves work as features rather than being simply kibble.

   This robot mode is quite blocky and solid, which again works for Rhinox. The head is noble and wise and while it doesn't look that much like Rhinox, it's good enough to still work. The wheels on his back look fine and have the added bonus of the retractable blades. My main complaint about this mode centres around rather visible screws on his forearms and shoulders - something you'd usually find on smaller G1 toys. Still, compared to the good aspects here four pieces of metal aren't much to worry about.

   The articulation here is pretty good for such a blocky toy, and reminds me of the Car Robots Buildtrons (RiD Landfill). The head turns, the shoulders rotate and the arms lift out to the sides. The elbows are ball jointed and the wrists swing back and forth, ensuring the shovel halves can get out of the way for any pose. The hips are ball jointed while the knees twist and bend. The feet and heelspurs can fold down and allow for a variety of stable leg poses.

   The gimmick on his back still works, although the visual impact is obviously less than in vehicle mode (unless you look from behind). The missile launcher is quite powerful, it'll happily send the single missile across the room, but the black trigger has to be pressed firmly to fire - a good thing since powerful, easy to fire launchers lose their missiles quickly. Along with the poseability of this robot, the launcher gives Rhinox good play value, despite the fact that his gimmick is almost irrelevant.

   A good robot mode with a couple of minor flaws (screws, Autobot logo), and a really well chosen one for this character. The clever engineering of his shovel's transformation makes for a distinctive, attractive robot mode while the play value is very good.

VARIATIONS

   Rhinox was sold exclusively at BotCon 2006, and was likely limited to a single production run. As mentioned, Rhinox is a repaint of Cybertron Landmine. He also shares the mould with Grindcore.

OVERALL

   A good mould with one of the better key gimmicks and useful poseability, and a great repaint. The colours make this toy pure Rhinox while the heavy duty nature of both modes, and the spinning blades, really make this a good choice for the character. This toy won't come cheap, but if you have the means and inclination, Rhinox won't disappoint - 9.5/10

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