Cliffbee.com: BotCon 2006 Tigatron Toy Review

Toy Reviews
Individual Review




Name: Tigatron
Series: Convention Exclusives
Allegiance: Maximal
Alternate Mode: Futuristic Sports Car

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



CAR MODE
Height: 3cm Length: 10cm Width: 6cm

   A metallic menthol green repaint of the Cybertron line's Clocker with white plastic inside the open cockpit and on the engine block at the back. Tigatron's windshield and tyres are a smoky transparent plastic, his triple exhaust pipes on either side are painted silver and like Cheetor there's a big red Maximal logo on the hood, although Tigatron gets away with this much better than Cheetor does, since it doesn't stand out as much against green as it does on yellow. Having said that, it still reminds me of the TFU line, which isn't a great thing. The green dominates here, so the car doesn't quite exude Tigatron, but the seats have a delicious tiger stripe pattern on them, which hints quite nicely at the character here. I love this colour scheme, the metallic green paint looks great and while the character is fairly understated, the blacks stripes really do look good.

   This figure is meant to represent Tigatron _before_ he came to Earth at the beginning of Beast Wars, and whilst the relative lack of white makes the tribute a little weaker, the silver exhausts and black stripes still make this a good tribute. I like the subtlety of the stripes more than the obvious spots Cheetor has in car mode - not that Cheetor looks bad, but Tigatron's colours feel less forced for a car, in my opinion. It's a decent car anyway, and there are some great aspects here. He's a sleek, open roofed vehicle, which fits Cheetor awfully well but still works as Tigatron.

   The play value here is pretty good for a basic car without axles. Tigatron doesn't roll so well but all four wheels to turn easily. Inserting his gold Planet Key into the back of the engine block behind the cabin will cause it's sides (and the winglets) to spring up, allowing you to swing out white cannons, which will happily sit on either side of the cabin if you remove the key and fold the sides back down - my preferred weapon option. The engine block really impresses me - unlike many weapons that attach in vehicle mode it looks like it belongs.

   The engine block and exhausts are removable, although I've never worked out why the latter detach. Removing the engine block and exhausts leaves a somewhat bare looking convertible, which isn't awful but it's not as cool as Tigatron decked out. Tigatron looks better with the engine block detached than either Clocker or Cheetor, it must be said.

   A good car mould with a great colour scheme this time around. I like these colours better than those on the other two - in car mode at least. The tribute isn't quite as strong as it could be since the green dominates white, but then this makes the vehicle look better than the more obvious Cheetor. The tribute is still quite well executed anyway.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Remove the engine block, open the panels underneath the back of the car and flip out the back to form his legs, then close the panels again. Swing the doors down to form his arms and unfold the forearms. Fold back the front of the car, swing out his shoulderblades, rotate the head and attach shoulderblades to the chest. Give Tigatron his gun and you're done.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 11cm Width: 7cm

   A largely white robot with green accents on his waist and face and green boots. Whilst the car mode essentially had Tigatron's colours switched, the white is clearly dominant now. It's more apparent that the white is a pure white rather than the cream of the original toy, but it matches the cartoon. There are some tiger stripes on his chest and upper arms, which look really good. Tigatron's head has been extensively resculpted to match his head as seen in the Beast Wars cartoon, complete with green face, red eyes and whiskers! The face is fantastic. There are some lime green spots on his chest which vaguely resemble the beast eyes of the original, which I'm not so keen on, but the idea is nice. Whilst the vehicle mode dealt with the tribute quite subtly, this robot mode screams Tigatron, and looks tasteful in the process. The giant red logo is now safely on his back. There is a small red Maximal logo stamped on his left knee, which is a nice touch.

   The G1 feel of Clocker is overwhelmed by the strong presence of a Beast Wars character now, but this doesn't hurt the mould any. There are still G1 elements here, of course, such as the Hot Rod like exhausts on the back of his forearms. The fist holes are the exhaust attachment points, although the gun can still fit if the exhausts are in place. Detaching them will allow you to see through the holes, but there's not really anywhere else for the pipes to go, so you might as well leave them.

   Tigatron again has good play value. The gun is fully functional, although again I recommend against leaving the key inserted. Visually it works well with the sides up or down, I prefer them up since it's a little more compact and allows more arm movement. The shoulders and hips are ball joints, the head and waist turn while the elbows and knees are hinged. The calf panels work as heelspurs, which explains why they bothered with them on a basic sized toy (they're rare even on large Transformers). The articulation gives Tigatron a lot of meaningful movement, with some looser jointing compared with Clocker - although nothing that's really a step backwards.

   Again this is the best colour scheme this mould has seen in my opinion, although the gap between this robot mode and Cheetor's is fairly narrow. The tribute is awesome and the resculpted head is great, along with the placement of the stripes. The play value here is great, even if the gold Planet Key is best left aside. The gold Planet Key does work better against white than it does against Cheetor's yellow.

VARIATIONS

   None that I'm aware of. Tigatron was produced exclusively for BotCon 2006, and as such was likely limited to a single production run. He shares this retooled mode with a similar Cheetor repaint.

OVERALL

   A great repaint and and retooling of a really nice basic, in better colours. On top of that, this figure really captures the character of Tigatron. The play value is good - not that you'd want to play too much with a BotCon toy and he displays really well. The giant logo on the hood is my only complaint about an otherwise excellent toy - but it's not as stark as on Cheetor. Whilst I spent a lot of time here giving Cheetor a hard time, it's all relative - both are great repaints, with Tigatron the stronger of the two.. As with all exclusives, he doesn't come cheap, so I won't recommend him as such, but it's a compelling figure that I desperately want after this all-too-brief sampling - 10/10

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