Cliffbee.com: Beast Wars Iguanus Toy Review

Toy Reviews
Individual Review




Name: Iguanus
Series: Beast Wars
Allegiance: Predacon
Function: Demolitions
Alternate Mode: Lizard



LIZARD MODE
Height: 5.5cm Length: 15cm Width: 5cm

   His tech spec calls Iguanus "A lizard unlike any other", and they're not kidding. He's a dark brown with yellow and orange daubs of paint on his back, yellow daubs on his head and some yellow plastic on his spine and forelegs. Which is all fine in itself, but this lizard has the body of an alligator (Megatron, to be precise), a frilled neck and the head of a Komodo Dragon (a giant lizard found in Indonesia). His eyes are blue and his tongue is red, while his small teeth are unpainted. The colours are fine - while I've no idea if they correspond to an actual lizard I don't think it matters much since the colours are more realistic than the taxonomic mish mash that is Iguanus.

   Iguanus has moulded scales all over his body, which are borrowed from Megatron (of whom he is a retool), the frill is extended and has moulded radial lines while the head has lizard-like skin lines on it. The detailed sculpt _should_ be a very good thing but the front half and back half just don't match.

   The poseability is pretty limited, but then lizards aren't really known for their flexibility. The legs have some wiggle and the front feet have ankles. His lower jaw can open and shut, revealing the red tongue. Megatron's upper jaw moves, so Iguanus' jaw motion is actually more realistic - one of the few improvements here. The tail can wiggle up and down a little but don't move it too much or you'll set off the auto transform. Frilled neck lizards will stand up on their hindlegs and open the frill when threatened, and thanks to the long poseable front legs, Iguanus can actually stand up in this sort of pose. It's not quite accurate, but it means the frill isn't a _total_ loss.

   Megatron was a good idea, and they were vaguely on the right track with this retool but Iguanus really needs better sculpting on his body and the frilled neck is just plain stupid. I suspect the frill was included to help differentiate him from Megatron, but better sculpting would have been a much better way to achieve the same result. This is a alligator (caiman, actually) with a lizard's head and is far too disjointed for me to really like it. Frilled neck lizards are slender creatures and caimans are not.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Pull up the tail and internal gears and springs do most of the work. The beast head becomes his torso and the tail sits against his back. Straighten his hands, fold back the hindlegs now on his ankles and fold down his feet. The tail detaches and folds out to become his handgun.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 10cm Width: 4.5cm

   Still dominated by brown, but now the yellow plastic has a say, on the upper arms and thighs. The brown is a very organic colour, so this is a very organic beast mode. His eyes are red and his mouth is a white set of pointy teeth, the fists are painted yellow. The head looks vaguely like that of an evil turtle, which I can live with since a lizard shape would mean a hunchback (like the Pretender shell of his G1 namesake), and there isn't the clearance for that. The frill sort of sits behind his head, like a giant solar panel or something.

   One of the more organic robot mode in the series, thanks to both the colours and lack of angles & flat surfaces. Aside from the large chunk of kibble behind his head it's actually a decent looking robot mode, so it's a shame the frilly backpack makes the toy topheavy. The head is totally different to that of Megatron, incidentally.

   The play value here is quite good, and follows on directly from the Cyberjets at the tail of G2. The neck, shoulders, elbows, hips and knees are ball jointed while his ankles and wrists are hinged - although the wrists only bend backwards. The frill gets in the way of his gun deploying overhead, an undocumented bonus on Megatron. So the gun is purely a handgun, which is a giant brown lump with a barrel at the end. While the backpack is annoying, Iguanus' ankles do allow for quite a bit of posing - so long as the centre of gravity is right.

   The major shortcoming of the beast mode is again the weakest point. This is a very organic robot mode, so it won't suit all tastes, but it you can deal with that, then it's actually a decent robot mode, and the poseability is pretty good. Megatron's giant gap under the chin is retained here, although it changes shape with the redone beast head.

VARIATIONS

   A retooling of Megalligator as mentioned, and the character saw a Transmetal II reincarnation. No actual variations that I'm aware of.

OVERALL

   The idea of redoing Megatron's mould as a lizard is actually a pretty good one, but Iguanus is a great example of a bad rehash. He _looks_ like a gator with a lizard head, and frankly the frilled neck was completely unnecessary and ruins the toy. Granted, the robot mode looks pretty good, but Megatron's simply better all around - 3.5/10

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