Cliffbee.com: Buzzclaw Toy Review

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Individual Review




Name: Buzzclaw
Series: Beast Wars
Allegiance: Predacon
Function: Saboteur, Quick-Attack Specialist
Alternate Mode: Praying Mantis-Lizard Fusion



BEAST MODE
Height: 9cm Length: 13cm Width: 8cm

   Exact dimensions depend on pose and wing position. Buzzclaw's body is mainly transparent peach, and this plastic has a nice subtle oily sheen. The limbs (only four) are light green, along with his mouthparts. The wings and tail are painted red with purple veins, the head has some red paint wash and big purple eyes. Other than some fluorescent yellow underneath the tail, the colour scheme is surprisingly coherent.

   At first glance this beast looks to be a praying mantis rather than a Fuzor, but closer inspection will reveal a lizard's legs and tail - the latter isn't so obvious thanks to the painted veins, which mimic the wings' veins. The fact that this beast has only four limbs is also reptilian. The head, forelimbs and wings are pure mantis, mind you. There's a plunger on his back, when you push down the forelimbs spread out to the sides, the idea being that once you let go his claws clamp onto prey (or your finger). It works fairly well without being all that useful.

   The gimmick is nice if not spectacular, but there's decent poseability here which helps make a fun beast mode. The wings are on ball joints while the shoulders, hips and knees are also ball jointed. The ankles and foreclaws are hinged as well, and the tail makes a good counterweight - he'll happily stand on his legs with the claws hanging at the front.

   The fusion is a tad underdone, if only because the lizard elements are far more subtle than the mantis elements. Still, the moulded detail in this mode is good, the colours are nice and organic and the play value is admirable for a basic.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Lift out the head, fold back or detach the gimmick assembly (the back, wings and the claws), swing the beast head down as a chestplate and swing up the robot head. Swing up the shoulders (beast hip plates), rotate the elbows and fold back the lizard feet to reveal the robot fists. Split the legs hidden underneath the tailplate, rotate the boots and flip up his feet. Detach the tailplate and attach to his right forearm as a shield, if you've detached the gimmick assembly, place it in Buzzclaw's hand as a large melee weapon.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 10cm Width: 5cm

   Again green and peach, Buzzclaw has a peach chest, peach head and forearms and peach feet. The shoulders, thighs and groin are green while the shins are that weird yellow colour. The blue bug eyes are clearly visible on his chest, while his face and shield are red, he has white clenched teeth and unpainted peach eyes. You'd be annoyed too if your head was transparent. The cumbersome weapon is a mix of red, orange and green. This colour scheme is not as coherent as the beast mode's, partly because there's a fair amount of kibble and partly because of that damn yellow on his shins. While it's not a bad colour scheme, it's a lot worse than it should be.

   The poseability of this robot mode is great, which is to be expected. Not only do we have a poseable beast mode as foundation, but the gimmick has been detached, so it can't get in his way. The neck, shoulders, elbows, hips and knees are all ball joints while the waist turns and the ankles are hinged. The melee weapon has a few movable joints as well, and the claw pinching thing is still workable here. The weapon can get a little heavy, but it's not hard to adjust the joints to make him stable - they're all nice and tight which is very helpful.

   I prefer to leave the weapon on his back, mainly because it's unwieldy in his hand. You can have the claws over his shoulders or turn it around so that the wings are prominent on either side of the head. If the wings are up, the claws can act as third (and fourth) legs, and you do have the option of leaving the tailplate attached as a third leg as well.

   Versatile and poseable, Buzzclaw is great fun to fidget with and the gimmick is again meaningful. I'm not a fan of the colours here, and the choice of paints frustrates me since the green and peach themselves work fairly well. The beast feet on the back of his forearms and giant gimmick mechanism are kibbly and help make this robot mode busier that it should be. This is his weaker mode, largely because of colour.

VARIATIONS

   None as such, although there were three different recolours produced for BotCon 2005 - Dirge, Virulent Clone and another toy called Buzzclaw.

OVERALL

   A good beast mode despite the mantis elements dominating lizard aspects, but the robot mode is let down by it's colours and some kibble. The robot mode is still playable, mind you, and if you like your Transformers playable it's hard to go past this guy. Not really a great display piece, but Buzzclaw still looks ok in beast mode - 6.5/10

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