Cliffbee.com: Chrome Horn Forest Type Toy Review

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Individual Review




Name: Chrome Horn (Insecticon)
Series: Superlink
Allegiance: Destron
Alternate Mode: Horned Beetle



BEETLE MODE
Height: 6cm Length: 13cm Width: 10cm

Attaching the energon weaponry adds about 4cm to his length
   A light green horned beetle with a dark green underside and mid green legs, Chrome Horn's greens are all fairly close to one another, giving him a very unified colour scheme. Despite sharing green with Insecticon, the two look quite different - there's no Barrage tribute here. There are some purple and gold highlights on top, which break up the greens nicely.

   Chrome Horn sports a Decepticon symbol on top of his thorax, on the right hand side of his spark crystal. While the purple and gold elements match those of Insecticon, the gold eyes are a change for the better. He has a very boxy body and very mechanical legs - gone are the organic Beast Wars days. Adding to the robotic nature are two angular claws on the end of his horn enclosing twin barrels. There's a little bit of wiggle in the horn, it can move up and down through about 70. The head also has some wiggle, it wiggles around a little on the central axis of the toy.

   There's a lot of play value here for a basic. The front legs are on restricted ball joints and the rear legs can swing back and forth. All six feet have hooks but sit flat on the table (or whatever) and the legs support his weight easily. They're not as poseable as a lot of the Beast Wars era insects were, but a lot of these toys would flop onto their belly thanks to knee or hip joints that weren't tight enough - Inferno springs to mind. It's a good compromise between articulation and stability.

   In general I'm not a huge fan of the clear energon weapons, but the weaponry here is worthwhile. He has a giant transparent amber spike that can clip over his mid green horn, thanks to a helmet that clips over his head to support it. The morphology of this weapon is suitable for the beast and the amber is far more tasteful than many Energon weapons. The horn spins, almost like a really long drill bit, thanks to a swivel in the base, and if you remove the horn you'll reveal a four-barrelled Gatling gun. This is more for the robot mode and looks a little odd with the green horn sticking out underneath, but it's another option, which is a plus.

   The amber helmet piece has a green paint wash on it, to help it blend a little better with the green behind it. Attaching the little amber energon chip over his spark crystal is actually worthwhile, thanks to the more muted choice of transparent colour here compared to most energon chips.

   Chrome Horn's colours work really well, providing a different feel to Insecticon and they just plain look good. There's some really nice engineering in the legs and an energon weapon that really adds to the play value of this beetle mode.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Swing the rear legs back to become the robot feet. Unclip and swing the wing covers out to the sides, stand him up. Rotate the entire torso section around the central axis of the toy, swing down the fists and rotate them around.

   The above probably made no sense to someone without the toy in front of them. Basically, the robot mode boots are formed from the rear pairs of beetle legs, the wing covers become his arms and the head of the beetle is the head of the robot mode.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 15cm Width: 9cm

   Again a blend of greens with gold highlights, Chrome Horn's face is purple with silver eyes. The torso and arms are light green, the head and thighs dark green while the boots and insect horn on his head mid green. The mouth is actually moulded to resemble an insect's mouthparts, which is cool, even if it is hard to see. He has a stamped Decepticon logo on the left side of his chest, to the right of this in the centre of his chest is a Decepticon spark crystal. The paint job is again a blend of greens, with a metallic green paint on his kneecaps. The groin is actually grey, but you don't really notice this, the greens work so well together. There's some gold detailing on his shoulders, remnants of the wing cover details, that prevent the arms from drowning in green, and as mentioned he has the Decepticon logo on his chest. Again this is a good colour scheme which is distinct from Insecticon.

   The proportions are a little unusual, he's quite wide, short and stocky, with big fists and a shortened torso. I wouldn't say Chrome Horn has bad proportions, since all these elements contribute to the same end result - he looks like a tough little punk. The boots, each formed from two beetle legs side by side, have a pneumatic look about them, while the front legs can sit over his shoulders as shoulder cannons of sorts - and they work quite well there, giving the shoulders plenty of clearance and having moulded barrels. The spike on top of his head is a little strange, but it doesn't stand out, rather it fits into the feel of this robot mode.

   Poseability is dictated by his transformation. The head again wiggles a little, although you can spin his torso around for those swinging body punches, giving the impression of a turned head. The shoulders rotate, the arms can lift out to the sides and the wrists rotate. The hips are on ball joints, but they're restricted by the total lack of knee articulation. Being formed from two separate pieces, I don't expect the boots to be on joints, so I'm happy that his large footprints and the heelspurs formed from the beetle feet allow some stable leg poses. The shoulder cannons are independently targetable, although they're restricted by the design of their ball joints.

   One thing that really annoys me about some of the energon basics' weaponry is that it's designed for larger toys and doesn't always suit the toy it's sold with. Chrome Horn's two accessories suit him very well. The horn now forms a four blade, star shaped sword while the helmet again forms the Gatling gun, with the wide helmet fitting over his big fists. Adding these to his solid build and shoulder cannons, this guy's a tough little Decepticon who you'd not want to confront at close range or be in range of his weaponry.

   The joint horn weapon can be assembled in this mode if you like, and he's able to wield it, although it's more of a charging weapon than a hand weapon. Lastly, the energon chip can fit over his spark crystal. Unlike most energon chips, it looks really good on his chest and he has an alternate Decepticon symbol, so covering the spark isn't a drawback.

   On the whole this is a pretty cool robot mode. The colour scheme and paint job are both good, he's got a lot of play value - despite fairly limited poseability - thanks to some great weaponry, and he looks menacing and impressive. The spike on his head works much better on Insecticon, to the point where I don't consider it a shortcoming as I did previously.

VARIATIONS

   A repaint of the original Insecticon, as mentioned. This repaint was sold exclusively in Japan.

OVERALL

   A good mould with great weaponry and two good modes. This is a great repaint which improves on the original version in some ways, even if the Barrage tribute is lost here. If you get the chance to pick him up, Chrome Horn is a toy I'd recommend - 8.5/10

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